2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT; FROM A FANS VIEW
April 14, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
A “Google” search of the 2014 NFL Mock draft could bring you hundreds, if not thousands of mock drafts. All the experts from every major sports web site have analyzed all 32 teams and to examine their needs. They have watched hours upon hours of game film and when the NFL Combine came to Indianapolis, all the coaches, scouts and NFL personnel poked and prodded their way through hundreds of prospects. So what have we learned so far? We have learned there is not a consensus on who will be the top pick. Some web sites believe Houston will trade the pick. Others feel the Texans will go for a QB like Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M or Blake Bortles of Central Florida. I have a feeling they may go defense with the first pick and look for a quarterback later, maybe more than one. So without further delay, here is just another mock draft to give you something to think about.
1. HOUSTON: I believe they will take South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney. No Clowney didn’t have a good senior season (compared to his junior season) but his talent is too good to pass up. The Texans were last in the NFL in sacks (31) and Clowney would be a cornerstone for the Houston defense for years to come.
2. ST. LOUIS: Trade talks continue for this pick but it is unlikely the Rams will find a partner unless it is Atlanta. The Falcons are looking to move up because they need an edge pass rusher. If the Rams keep this pick, look for Auburn OL Greg Robinson. Robinson has excellent size (6-5 332) and you can never have enough quality offensive linemen.
3. JACKSONVILLE: The Jaguars need a quarterback and there is one very close to home. Central Florida’s Blake Bortles has excellent size (6-5 232) and has great game management skills. To me, this is a no-brainer!
4. CLEVELAND: Cleveland needs help in a lot of areas. The number four pick should be Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. Now we already know there are other teams looking to move up to the number four spot (Detroit, Tampa Bay) if Cleveland is willing to deal. If not, take Watkins.
5. OAKLAND: Yes, Johnny Manziel did visit Oakland but believe me, the Raiders won’t take him. If the Browns don’t take Watkins, he will head to Oakland. If Watkins is gone at #5, Oakland will go defense with Buffalo LB Khalil Mack. Mack is a disruptive player and too good to pass up here.
6. ATLANTA: Now as I mentioned earlier, Atlanta would like to move up and take the #2 pick. If they can’t, look for the Falcons to take Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews. The Falcons need an edge pass rusher, but Matthews will give the Falcons a much needed boost to the OL in both pass protection and running the football.
7. TAMPA BAY: This is a difficult pick. The Bucs want a big receiver like Mike Evans of Texas A&M, but they like the thought of having QB Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville. Everyone is looking for the next great QB. Many scouts feel Bridgewater has a great upside. Take Teddy here.
8. MINNESOTA: The Vikings are in need of a QB. Problem is, who is worthy of a #8 pick in this draft for Minnesota to gamble on? Fresno State’s Derek Carr? Johnny Manziel? Not likely. So the Vikings will go with a big receiver in Mike Evans of Texas A&M. Evans is 6-5 225 and will present match-up problems for opposing defenses.
9. BUFFALO: The Bills really need a traditional TE. They added WR Mike Williams but another target is necessary. North Carolina’s Eric Ebron (6-4 260) is athletic and expolsive and will give the Bills a great red zone target.
10. DETROIT: The Lions want Sammy Watkins but he will be gone by this pick. Detroit will look to move up to get Watkins but if they can’t look for Alabama FS Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix to be selected here.
11. TENNESSEE: The Titans have made moves in the off-season to address many needs including filling holes on defense. One area they need is NT. How about Notre Dame’s Louis Nix? Nix is a big man (6-2 331) who can take on double-teams to free up linebackers. Nix is an excellent athlete with good quickness.
12. NEW YORK GIANTS: The Giants are in need of a quality offensive lineman. Some experts feel Michigan OT Taylor Lewan will be gone before the Giants get their chance. If he is still on the board, the Giants will get a player better than last year’s top pick Eric Fisher.
13. ST. LOUIS: If the Rams stay put, they will get another quality player at #13. Greg Robinson went at #2 so this time the Rams go defense with Alabama LB C.J. Mosley (6-2 234). Mosley isn’t the fastest linebacker on the board but has excellent lateral movement and is good in pass coverage.
14. CHICAGO: The Bears really like Mosley. If the Rams pass on the Alabama LB, Chicago will take him. If not, Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert is available. Gilbert is perhaps the best overall athlete in the draft.
15. PITTSBURGH: Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard is a heady player who is good in run support. He had 62 tackles with 10 pass break-ups and 4 INT’s last year for the Spartans.
16. DALLAS: You lose Demarcus Ware to Denver and the Cowboys defense is in need of major repairs. UCLA DE Anthony Barr is a perfect fit. Many have compared Barr to Ware because of his quickness and his ability to pass rush.
17. BALTIMORE: The Ravens upgraded their offense in the off-season but didn’t do much for the defense. TCU CB Jason Verrett has a great football IQ and has 4.38 speed and a 39” vertical leap. Verrett was a very productive college player.
18. NEW YORK JETS: The Jets signed QB Michael Vick in the off-season. That made plenty of news. How about adding Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel? Now you are talking about a huge media circus during training camp. Maziel may be a good plan “b” just in case Vick doesn’t pan out or Geno Smith struggles. By the way, Vick only got a 1-year deal.
19. MIAMI: Most Miami fans feel the Dolphins should go with an offensive lineman at #19. But their defense needs a lot of help especially pass defense. Louisville SS Calvin Pryor is a “stud” and during his 38 games with the Cardinals he had 217 tackles, 7 INT’s and 8 forced fumbles.
20. ARIZONA: The Cardinals have a chance to get a very special player in Georgia Tech OLB Jeremiah Attaochu at #20. He is a very explosive athlete who can move quickly over short distances. Don’t let he lack of participation in the NFL combine bother you (injury). His career at Georgia Tech speaks for itself.
21. GREEN BAY: The Packers are been very open about their desire for more impact players on defense. Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier will fit into their system. Shazier had 144 tackles, 7 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in 2013.
22. PHILADELPHIA: USC WR Marqise Lee would give the Eagles a proven athlete at this position. The Eagles have needs in other positions, but Lee may be too good to pass up (248 receptions for 2655 yards and 29 TD’s in only 36 games at USC).
23. KANSAS CITY: The Chiefs would like to find a top notch DB with the 23rd selection but the best may be gone. Auburn OLB Dee Ford would help the defense tremendously. Ford is very versatile and would give the defense endless possibilities in their movement and blitz packages. Ford is explosive off the football and has a relentless motor.
24. CINCINNATI: The Bengals really want Ford at #23. If Kansas City passes, Ford will be in a Bengals uniform. Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller has been rated the #1 CB on some draft boards. Fuller would fit into Cincinnati’s system very well.
25. SAN DIEGO: The Chargers like Fuller. In fact they need Fuller. But if he is gone, San Diego will go with Ohio State CB Bradley Roby. Roby has excellent speed and will stop the revolving cornerback door in San Diego.
26. CLEVELAND: The Browns have another first round selection and this time they take Fresno State QB Derek Carr. Carr isn’t on some draft boards in the first round but Cleveland likes his mentality and his arm. Could be the sleeper in the draft for QB’s.
27. NEW ORLEANS: Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks may be too good to pass up at #27. Cooks isn’t big (5-10 189) but he is an explosive athlete who can stretch defenses. Imagine giving Drew Brees more room to throw the football?
28. CAROLINA: Missouri DE Kony Ealy is too versatile to pass us for the Panthers. He is 6-3 273 pounds and some consider him to be the second-best pass rusher in the draft. Ealy had 9.5 sacks last season at Mizzou.
29. NEW ENGLAND: Tom Brady needs his tight ends. Jace Amaro of Texas Tech can fill the void. Amaro will provide the flexibility the Patriots need in their offense. Amaro is also a big target (6-5 265) who can block as well.
30. SAN FRANCISCO: The 49ers need to shore up their secondary and can do so with Florida State CB Lamarcus Joyner. Joyner isn’t big (5-8 195) but he is explosive and can contribute right away. Most scouts consider Joyner one of the better playmakers in the draft.
31. DENVER: The Broncos showed they needed help on defense during the Super Bowl. Let’s go with production at #31 with Oregon State DE Scott Crichton (6-3 273). Crichton is a good fit in the 4-3 and has a great history of production with the Beavers.
32. SEATTLE: LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr. may be gone before Seattle gets a chance at him but if he is here, the Seahawks get a steal. Beckham won the Paul Hornung Award as college football’s most versatile player. Some are comparing his on-field play with DeSean Jackson. This pick could take Seattle’s offense to the elite stage.