2014 NFL Mock Draft
Final Update: May 7, 2014
Final Update: May 7, 2014
The Jets got their receiver in round one, and could stick to the offense and take a player like Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Jace Amaro, but Rex Ryan likes drafting corners and Lamarcus Joyner is an underrated player who would be a good pick for the Jets. Joyner doesn't have great size but he is able to deliver big hits and can play multiple positions. He is a playmaker on defence who can force turnovers in many different ways. He has great instincts and much like Tyrann Mathieu, he is a guy you just want on the field.
The Dolphins got the tackle they were targeting in the first round, and after a disatrous year for their offensive line last season, they could look to try and continue that by taking a guard with this pick, but they also need help at linebacker Chris Borland is a guy who I think will turn out to be one of the best value picks in the draft. Borland is the typical instinctive middle linebacker. He is not going to wow anybody with his combine results but he will when you watch game tape. He is a great leader who is always around the ball making tackles. He has consistently been a productive player each year at Wisconsin and should continue that in the NFL.
The Chicago Bears were able to get another corner in the first round, but they still will need to find a defensive tackle. The Bears signed Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen and Willie Young, so they want to play Houston inside at tackle, and if that is the case Louis Nix III would be a great nose tackle to pair with him. Nix has seen his draft stock fall after a disappointing season for him. Although he is a big man, he has deceiving athleticism. He doesn't create much for a pass rush but he is excellent at plugging up holes and swallowing up the run. He will have to improve his conditioning, but if he can he could be a great player in the NFL.
The Cardinals decided to plan for the future with their first pick by picking Blake Bortles, and I think that ideology could continue with their second round pick, as they have to get more youth at outside linebacker. Jeremiah Attaochu has a lot of upside and he could even be an effective situational pass rusher as a rookie Attaochu is scheme versatile and has good speed for his size. He is quick and explosive off the edge, which allows him to get after quarterbacks and he also has great range. He can improve at making more sound tackles and is a little raw, but he could develop into a very good player.
In this situation the Packers are able to find a perfect balance of need and value with both of their first two picks. They got a starting safety in round one, and now grab Austin Seferian-Jenkins to come in and be their starting tight end going into next season. Seferian-Jenkins has great size at TE. He also is a great athlete who used to play basketball and football while at Washington. Although, given his size, you would like to see him be a better blocker, but he is a solid route runner who can find holes in coverage and contribute to an offence right away.
The two biggest needs for the Eagles are at corner and receiver, and after grabbing a receiver in the first round, Philadelphia is likely going to be looking for a corner in round two, but with none worth taking they grab Kyle Van Noy who is a steal this late in the draft at linebacker. Van Noy has the size and athleticism to be a great edge rusher. He has good instincts and is able to locate very well. He can deliver big hits and be disruptive in the backfield, as well as taking good angles to stop the run. Van Noy would be a tremendous value this late in the draft.
The Bengals may look at a defensive end like Scott Crichton to come in and replace Michael Johnson, but I am thinking it is more and more likely that the Bengals will draft a quarterback in the first couple round, and Zach Mettenberger is a strong-armed QB that Cincinnati will be looking for after Andy Dalton. Mettenberger may not have the athleticism that many teams are looking for in quarterbacks these days, but he does have the prototypical size and may have the strongest arm in the draft. He is coming off an ACL surgery but should be ready for rookie camp and could compete for a starting job as a rookie.
It appears more and more likely that Aldon Smith's time with the 49ers, and possibly the NFL in general, is coming to an end. Marcus Smith has all the tools to develop into a dominant pass rusher and would be a great pick for San Francisco. Smith is a versatile player who can play in any scheme but given his athleticism and speed he may be best utilized as an outside linebacker. He is quick and explosive and is able to get after quarterbacks and be disruptive in the backfield. He should be able to be a good pass rusher and contribute in the NFL right away.
The Chargers grabbed a corner in round one and may look for help on the offensive line, at pass rusher, or at nose tackle, but I think they could also use more help in their receiving core and much like Keenan Allen last year, Jordan Matthews is an underrated player who shouldn't fall this late in the draft. Matthews went into the draft process as a potential first round target and was falling, but after his great combine he is showing that he is a steal at this point in the draft. He has great size and is a smart and savvy route runner. He is able to go across the middle of the field or over top of defenders to make the catch and is one of the most NFL ready receivers.
The Saints could go in a few different directions; either on defensive at corner, or on offense at receiver or at center. But after losing Brian de la Puente, I think that New Orleans would be smart to grab a starting caliber center like Marcus Martin. Martin rose up draft boards and looks to be the top center available in this draft. He is also able to slide over and play guard. He is experienced and has good recognition and awareness. He technique can still improve but he has ideal size and mobility for the center position and should be a very good player.
The main focus for the Colts has to be protecting their young superstar quarterback. Andrew Luck has been hit too often in the past couple seasons and without a first round pick they will have to address it in the second round. They could use help at guard and center and Weston Richburg would be a good player to plug in at center. Richburg has good size and is a good athlete for the position. He uses his hands well and has quick and mobile feet. He could stand to add more strength, but his long arms and active hands help offset that. He has good awareness and blocks through the whistle which teams will love.
No team in the league needs more receiving help than the Carolina Panthers. After losing their top two receivers this offseason the Panthers will likely be taking several receivers in the draft, and although they passed on one in the first round, they grab a reliable target like Jarvis Landry in the second. Landry's stock fell after the combine, but he is starting to recover from that because of his good tape and strong work ethic. Landry isn't the biggest or fastest receiver, but he tough and is loves going across the middle, has great hands, and is able to make big catches for his team and I see that continuing in the NFL.
The 49ers will be looking for help at corner after releasing Carlos Rogers. Phillip Gaines is a player who has seen his draft stock rise after a great combine, and I think he could sneak into the late second round with this pick. Gaines has good size and elite speed for the corner position. He is has good ball skills, reads the quarterback and has a knack for making a play on the ball. He may have to add more strength and improve his tackling, but a player with his abilities has big upside.
The Patriots could grab a guy like Jace Amaro with this pick as an insurance policy for the often injured Rob Gronkowski, but they also have not had consistent play from their running backs and Bishop Sankey would help solve that problem. Sankey is a well-rounded back who would be a good value in the third round. He is a little undersized and as a result he can struggle to break tackles, but he has good speed and excellent vision. He is elusive and is able to go up the middle or bounce it outside. He would be a welcome addition for any backfield.
The Broncos may consider a guard with this selection, but it appears as though they may be committed to filling the hole left by Zane Beadles internally. So instead they grab Phillip Gaines to help out at corner and play opposite of Aqib Talib. Crichton is a good prospect with good size and speed. He is very quick and explosive off the line and can be very disruptive in the backfield. He has strong and violent hands combined with the ability to use leverage well to get around offensive linemen. He will need to improve his repertoire of pass rush moves but once he does he should be a starter in the league for a long time.
It was clear that the Seahawks are looking for help at tight end after bringing in Jermichael Finley in for a workout this offseason, and with Jace Amaro still on the board I think this pick would be a no-brainer for the defending Super Bowl champs. Amaro has the prototypical size and bulk for a TE in the NFL. He isn't a great athlete but is fast enough to make plays. He has great hands, solid route running, and was very consistent and productive last season which could continue in the NFL.