2014 NFL Mock Draft
Final Update: May 7, 2014
Final Update: May 7, 2014
There has been some talk of Atlanta trying to move up to this pick, which would make sense, and although everything they have done this offseason is making me think they will look at a quarterback, if the Texans stay at this pick the potential of adding a talent like Jadeveon Clowney is too much to pass up. Jadeveon Clowney has all the tools to become a dominant pass rusher in the NFL. He is a freak athlete who can beat linemen with his speed or his power. His motor and effort has been questioned, but if J.J. Watt's work ethic can rub off on him, Jadeveon Clowney could become the best pass rusher in the NFL.
I still believe there is a good chance that this pick is traded, but if they drafting in this spot, St. Louis will likely decide between Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Khalil Mack, or Sammy Watkins. They may decide to take a playmaker like Watkins but instead, they turn to an offensive lineman like Greg Robinson. Robinson has the ideal size and great natural talent at LT. He is a phenomenal run blocker and is no slouch in pass protection either. He is still young and a little bit raw but he looks like he could become a top five left tackle in the league in a few years.
It doesn't sound like the Jaguars are sold on selecting a quarterback in round one, and having the third overall pick they would be smart to pass. Mack or Watkins would both be great picks here, but Jacksonville's GM said he doesn't expect Blackmon to play next season which leads me to think they may choose Sammy Watkins. Watkins looks to have all the makings of an elite receiver, as he has good size and great speed. He is not only able to go up and get the ball but he is a playmaker with the ball in his hands after the catch. He is already a solid route runner who can create separation and should be able to contribute right away.
The Browns would love to see Sammy Watkins here, but if he is off the board this is where it could get interesting. They could stick at receiver with Mike Evans, but the Browns' owner has stated that he love Johnny Manziel, so they may take a chance on him instead. Manziel is the most polarizing figure in the draft and is a sure to get a lot of criticism, however he is a special player with a knack for making big plays. Manziel will have to improve his mechanics and decision making, but he greatly improved his accuracy and ability to throw in the pocket last season and he could become a star.
The Raiders are a team that is known for taking the players they like, regardless of what others are expecting, and they have been linked to Derek Carr and Taylor Lewan so keep an eye on both those names, but in my opinion Khalil Mack is too talented for them to pass up. Mack is a very complete player and is one of the most versatile and complete players in the draft. He is big, strong, and athletic. He can play OLB or DE and is able to drop into coverage or get after the QB. He comes from a small school but has been so productive and dominant that teams will not be able to pass him up.
The Falcons had a disappointing season last year and although they need a pass rusher, they may want to sure up their franchise quarterbacks's blindside with their first pick. Jake Matthews has the bloodlines, experience, and talent to be a pro bowl tackle in the NFL. Matthews returned for his senior season and it paid off as he showed he can not only play on the right side but also on the left. He has good size and quick feet. He is rarely put off balance and has great awareness. He has NFL bloodlines and has a nasty side to him which teams like to see in offensive linemen.
There are reports that Tampa Bay may take Manziel or Bortles with this pick, and Lovie Smith wouldn't have brought him in if they believed in Mike Glennon, so it is plausible, however they have a need at receiver and Mike Evans is the best player on the board. Mike Evans had a breakout year this season and posses the ideal size in a WR. He has a huge frame much like Calvin Johnson. He has great hands is able to go up and get the ball and win any jump ball. He showcased himself very well at the combine and looks to be a lock for a top 10 pick.
Minnesota has been active in moving around in the first round the past couple of drafts, and I think there is a strong possibility they do that again this year. However, at eight they are supposedly passing on quarterback to improve their defence, and C.J. Mosley would be a great pick for them. Mosley is one of the most NFL ready prospects in the draft. He is a very instinctive linebacker who is a natural leader in the middle. He is strong tackler and is good at dropping in coverage as well. The only concern surrounding Mosley is injuries, but if team doctors clear him, he should be one of the safest picks in the draft.
This pick will likely come down to an offensive tackle, or another weapon for E.J. Manuel. Although Eric Ebron is a talented player and would add another dimension to their offense, I don't see Buffalo taking him with Taylor Lewan still on the board. Lewan looks like a prototypical left tackle. He has great height and weight to go along with long arms. He is established as a good leader and a very experienced player. He has struggled at times with speed rushers but he is a well-rounded player with a nasty streak in him.
Eric Ebron said that he doesn't think he will make it past the Lions, which makes me think he could be the pick here, but the Lions have to improve their defence and with the hole at safety and Haha Clinton-Dix still on the board, it wouldn't make sense for Detroit to pass him up. Clinton-Dix is the top safety prospect in this year's draft. He has good size and speed and is good in run support or in coverage. His biggest weakness will be in man to man coverage, however his strong tackling skills, good recognition and awareness, as well as his ability to drop into zone coverage will help him be successful in the NFL.
The Titans may look at quarterback to eventually replace Jake Locker, or they could take a chance on UCLA's Anthony Barr, but after losing Alterraun Verner, Tennessee decides to find his replacement early on with a player who many consider to be the top corner in the draft; Justin Gilbert. Gilbert had a disappointing junior season but was one of the best corners in the country this season. He has good size and speed to go along with excellent ball skills. He is a solid tackler and is good in either man to man or zone coverage. He has the athleticism and instincts to be a great corner at the next level.
The Giants improved their offensive line in free agency, but Eli Manning took way too many hits last year and they may look to add a player like Zack Martin, but they also lost several starters along their defensive line and grabbing a player like Aaron Donald would help fill the void left. Donald is a great athlete with great range and a constant motor. He uses leverage well and is very disruptive in the backfield and is a rare DT prospect who can create a pass rush from the interior. Aaron Donald is a little small and doesn't possess the ideal bulk teams traditionally want in a DT prospect but he has been able to overcome that in college and will do the same in the NFL.
If the Rams take Sammy Watkins with their first pick, they would likely be looking for a right tackle at this spot, but since they took Greg Robinson instead, they decide to grab Odell Beckham Jr. who has continued to see his draft stock steadily rise since the combine. Beckham Jr. doesn't have great size but he isn't afraid to be physical. He is fast with great athleticism and he can make spectacular plays look routine. He can stretch the field and is not only a playmaker but an excellent route runner who is ready to come in and contribute right away.
The Bears will likely be focusing on the defensive side of the ball with several aging players. Aaron Donald would be a good pick if he was here, but with him off the board they would likely turn to their secondary. Pryor could be the pick, but Darqueze Dennard would likely be the better value and add some much needed youth at corner for Chicago. Dennard is one of the top corner prospects and should be able to contribute early. Dennard has solid size and is not afraid to play physical with receivers. He is also a great leader who rarely finds himself out of position. He has good speed and great ball skills which will translate well to the next level.
I think the Steelers would have to take a long look at Eric Ebron with this pick, but they do have bigger needs on the defensive side of the ball, and I am hearing that Kyle Fuller is their guy, so they go ahead and pull the trigger on him. Fuller is a player who was getting overlooked in this deep draft class, but he is a good prospect with typical size for a corner. He also has good speed and great ball skills and is usually in good position. He is able to track the ball well, which allows him to be in a position to make plays. He is a smart player who should be able to contribute early.
This pick could get very interesting if Johnny Manziel is on the board, but with him gone the biggest need that the Cowboys have is trying to get a pass rusher and although he it is not an ideal scheme fit; Anthony Barr and his big upside just seems like a Dallas Cowboy to me. Barr's draft stock has fallen recently, but he is a intriguing prospect with great upside. He is still relatively raw as he is a converted RB but is extremely explosive and quick. He has good speed and is very long and athletic. His football IQ is still developing but he tackles well and is able to deliver big hit while being very disruptive in the backfield.