2014 NFL Mock Draft: Shaun’s Picks

I did six different mock drafts, all looking at different ways to fill certain needs or by taking a look at draft prospect rankings that differed significantly from the norm just to see different options for the first round. I then took all six mocks, added a bunch of my own bias, and came up with my final and official mock draft. This is somewhere between what I think will happen and what I think should happen. If you are interested in seeing the six other mock drafts, they can be found here.

 

1) Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney – DE/OLB – South Carolina – Clowney is the best talent in the draft in years, making him an easy number one pick. There has been some buzz about Khalil Mack possibly being the guy based on scheme versatility, but lining up Clowney on the opposite side of the line as J.J. Watt could make for one of the greatest defensive lines ever.

 

2) St. Louis Rams::Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M – Most boards have Greg Robinson going here, and I originally did too, but the Rams need help now and Matthews is probably the most NFL ready tackle in the draft. Robinson has the higher upside and will likely be the one selected, but he also has bust potential, and at this point in the Rams development, they can’t afford a but at offensive tackle.

 

3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson – With many reports that Justin Blackmon will not be playing at all in 2014, the Jaguars need a playmaking receiver they can count on.  Watkins is as impressive a wide receiver I have seen in college football since Larry Fitzgerald at Pitt.

 

4) Cleveland Browns: C.J. Mosley – ILB – Alabama – In my other mock drafts, I found the Browns could probably get Mosley all the way down at pick 26, but he fits the need best here. Sure they need a quarterback, but the thought that each of the top three will be gone by then just doesn’t seem likely to me. They need someone that can be a leader in the middle of that defense, and Mosley can be just that.

 

5) Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack – OLB/DE – Buffalo – People have said Mack is the surest pass rusher to come into the draft since Aaron Curry, and we have seen how well that went. I don’t see him being the bust Curry was, but I also don’t see him being a league leader in sacks. The Raiders need talent at every position, and lots of it, so look for them to take the best player on the board

 

6) Atlanta Falcons: Eric Ebron – TE – North Carolina – Julio Jones has proved to be an injury risk and the team has lost a future Hall of Famer in Tony Gonzalez, so a playmaking tight end is an easy selection. Ebron is one of the most talented receiving tight ends in the draft in some time, and could be a real star on a team like the Falcons.

 

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Robinson – OT – Auburn – The Bucs might not know who their long term quarterback is going to be, but regardless of who it is, they will need to protect him. Robinson has the most natural tools of any offensive lineman in the draft, he just doesn’t have the polish. He has brute strength and is very athletic. He can protect the quarterback and blow up the defense on running plays, making him a perfect fit in Tampa.

 

8) Minnesota Vikings: Darqueze Dennard – CB – Michigan State – Defensive back might not be the most pressing need for the Vikings, and with them declining Christian Ponder’s fifth year option, they could very well go quarterback here, but Dennard might be too tempting to pass up. Unlike most of the corners in this draft, he has number one corner upside rather than the nickel corner profile of most guys. In an incredibly pass happy division, adding another play making corner could benefit the Vikings moving forward.

 

9) Buffalo Bills: Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M – The Bills had some young receivers show flashes of brilliance last season, to go with flashes of rookie mistakes. I was tempted to put Marqise Lee as a surprise pick here to give them the duo the USC fans became used to of Lee and Robert Woods, but Mike Evans is the big bodied receiver that can wreak havoc in the AFC East.

 

10) Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State – Detroit ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing yards allowed in 2013 and 28th in sacks. They have spent plenty of money and draft picks on the defensive line, but really need help on the back end. Gilbert might be the most athletic of the first round corners, but he also needs the most refining. He will get beat by the top receivers in the division, but he should make plenty of big plays too.

 

11) Tennessee Titans: Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville – I am not one of those people who think this draft is bad at quarterback, but I also don’t think there is a real star available either. There are a lot of quality game managers who have the upside of someone the likes of Joe Flacco. If there is one player that can become a star, it is Bridgewater, but he needs to be in the right environment to do so. He will struggle in cold weather locations like the East and North divisions, and while Nashville has it’s cold stretches, games in Jacksonville, and two stadiums with a roof on it (Indianapolis and Houston) should allow Bridgewater to really shine.

 

12) New York Giants: Aaron Donald – DT – Pittsburgh – The Giants have had the mot success when they have disruptive pass rushers off the edge, but Donald could give them an all around disruptor right up the middle. Donald might be the second most talented player in this draft, and can be an absolute steal at 12, but defensive tackle is actually pretty deep in this draft and is not a major need for the teams at the top, so Giants fans should be very happy if Donald gets to them.

 

13) St. Louis Rams: Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix – S – Alabama – Clinton-Dix to the Rams at 13 has been the longest consistent pick in mock drafts ever since the draft order was determined. The Rams have decent corners, but their safeties are a major weakness. Clinton-Dix could step in and make a major impact right away.

 

14) Chicago Bears: Jason Verrett – CB – TCU – While the Bears have an excellent duo of starting corners, both are over the age of 30, so it is time to start grooming the heir apparent. Verrett is under 5’10”, so he will probably be a lined up on the traditional slot receiver, and he ran a sub-4.40 40, so he can run with the best of them.

 

15) Pittsburgh Steelers: Brandin Cooks – WR – Oregon State – Over the past two seasons the Steelers have lost Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jericho Cotchery, leaving them with a massive need at wide receiver. Cooks would join former Oregon State teammate Markus Wheaton up in Pittsburgh to give them a pair of burners opposite number one receiver Antonio Brown.

 

16) Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor – S – Louisville – The Cowboys just might be set to pick in in the top ten of the draft next year. They need help at almost every position on the defensive side as their depth was exposed as a massive weakness last season. They will likely spend the majority of their picks on the defensive side of the ball, and Pryor would be a fantastic start.

 

17) Baltimore Ravens: Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan – Michael Oher has a fantastic story which turned into a quality movie, but it turned out he wasn’t a very good NFL player. Eugene Monroe is set in at left tackle, and Lewan has never played right tackle, but if he slips this far, he is a must pick.

 

18) New York Jets: Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – LSU – If the Falcons don’t pick Ebron at six, he is the pick here, but since he is off the board, the best receiver is the obvious pick, and for me it is Beckham Jr. The Jets clearly are not sold on Geno Smith at quarterback given the fact they brought in Michael Vick, but it is too early to add another QB to their roster. Look for the Jets to add other offensive weapons to the recently signed Erik Decker and Chris Johnson to help on offense.

 

19) Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin – OT/G – Notre Dame –The Dolphins lost two starters on the offensive line due to scandal in 2013, so they need help on the offensive line. Martin can play either tackle or guard, both positions of need, and he can play right from the start.

 

20) Arizona Cardinals: Blake Bortles – QB – UCF – The Cardinals were the best team in the league that did not make the playoffs in 2013, and were arguably better than some that did taste the postseason, so drafting a quarterback rather than an immediate need may be tough, but Bortles makes it easier. Bortles would get the chance to sit behind Carson Palmer for part of the season but will work his way into playing time. Bortles would be a fantastic pick for the Cardinals.

 

21) Green Bay Packers: Marqise Lee – WR – USC – At first glance, with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb already on the team, receiver doesn’t look like a need, but the depth at the receiver position was exposed in 2013 after their receivers suffered injuries. If Lee was in the draft last year, he would have been a top-10 guy, but he will side this year, and become a steal for the Packers.

 

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Ryan Shazier – OLB – Ohio State – Trent Cole and Connor Barwin are the current outside backers for the Eagles, and neither of them are exactly spring chickens. Shazier is the top outside linebacker on a lot of boards after Anthony Barr has slipped for a lot of teams. One of the two will likely go here, and my money is on it being Shazier, although I believe Barr is the better player.

 

23) Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Su’a-Filo – G – UCLA – Su’a Filo being the first round pick for the Chiefs the season after they went tackle with the top overall pick last season, but he will help create to core of a team that will compete to win championships for many years to come.

 

24) Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Fuller – CB – Virginia Tech – The Bengals lost their defensive coordinator and two of their top corners are already into their thirties. Fuller is a quality corner that can serve as the dime back in his first season but be a legit starter in a year.

 

25) San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix III – DT – Notre Dame – The Chargers need a true nose tackle, and that is just what Nix is. He is the type of guy that could drop to the third of fourth round, or go as early as 25. Maybe this is my Notre Dame fandom shining through, but I think he is a difference maker so long as the team determines his knees won’t be an issue moving forward.

 

26) Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M – I don’t like Manziel. I don’t get how he has been so successful, but he has been. Eventually I fully believe his antics will cause him to go down in flames, and is there any more fitting city for him to do that in than Cleveland? I think not.

 

27) New Orleans Saints: Bradley Roby – CB – Ohio State – The Saints got significantly better on defense in 2013, but they currently have Champ Bailey listed as a starting corner on their depth chart, making corner a desperate need, and Roby is the best available.

 

28) Carolina Panthers: Cyrus Kouandjio – OT – Alabama – The Panthers offensive line is an embarrassment for a team that has Super Bowl aspirations, as are their receivers. Kouandjio is an incredibly underrated offensive lineman and I think is going to be really good, maybe even make a Pro Bowl or two.

 

29) New England Patriots: Stephon Tuitt – DE/DT – Notre Dame – Tuitt is a top-10 talent, but an his makeup are off the board. If a team can take an outspoken, me-first player and turn him into a team-first mute who does his talking on the field, it is the Patriots. The Patriots are a great fit for this guy.

 

30) San Francisco 49ers: Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri – The 49ers need an edge rusher, and this could be another spot for Anthoy Barr, but a guy that can rush with his hand on the ground is a bigger need. Ealy fits that need and would be my pick for them.

 

31) Denver Broncos: Jordan Matthews – WR – Vanderbilt – I absolutely love this kids game. In the first game of the season he got hit so hard he was puking on the field. He came off the field for one play, then went back in and made one of the biggest catches of the college football season. He went on to break several SEC receiver records. With Decker gone, Matthews could fill that role, and might even be better.

 

32) Seattle Seahawks: Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota – I saw a lot of Hageman this season, and he looked fantastic. He could very well be the second best defensive tackle in this draft, and would fit the Seahawks perfectly.

 

Round 2

#

Team

Player

Pos

School

1 (33).

Houston Texans

Tom Savage

QB

Pittsburgh

2 (34).

Washington Redskins

Anthony Barr

OLB

UCLA

3 (35).

Cleveland Browns

Kelvin Benjamin

WR

Florida State

4 (36).

Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr

QB

Fresno State

5 (37).

Atlanta Falcons

Morgan Moses

OT

Virginia

6 (38).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Davante Adams

WR

Fresno State

7 (39).

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jimmy Garoppolo

QB

Eastern Illinois

8 (40).

Minnesota Vikings

Chris Borland

ILB

Wisconsin

9 (41).

Buffalo Bills

Dee Ford

DE

Auburn

10 (42).

Tennessee Titans

Carlos Hyde

RB

Ohio State

11 (43).

New York Giants

Cody Latimer

WR

Indiana

12 (44).

St. Louis Rams

Gabe Jackson

G

Mississippi State

13 (45).

Detroit Lions

Jimmie Ward

S

Northern Illinois

14 (46).

Pittsburgh Steelers

Lamarcus Joyner

CB

Florida State

15 (47).

Dallas Cowboys

Demarcus Lawrence

DE/OLB

Boise State

16 (48).

Baltimore Ravens

Marcus Martin

C

USC

17 (49).

New York Jets

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

TE

Washington

18 (50).

Miami Dolphins

Bishop Sankey

RB

Washington

19 (51).

Chicago Bears

Deone Bucannon

S

Washington State

20 (52).

Arizona Cardinals

Jeremiah Attaochu

OLB

Georgia Tech

21 (53).

Green Bay Packers

Jace Amaro

TE

Texas Tech

22 (54).

Philadelphia Eagles

Stanley Jean-Baptiste

CB

Nebraska

23 (55).

Cincinnati Bengals

David Yankey

G

Stanford

24 (56).

San Francisco 49ers

Jarvis Landry

WR

LSU

25 (57).

San Diego Chargers

Martavis Bryant

WR

Clemson

26 (58).

New Orleans Saints

Kyle Van Noy

OLB

BYU

27 (59).

Indianapolis Colts

Allen Robinson

WR

Penn State

28 (60).

Carolina Panthers

Keith McGill

CB

Utah

29 (61).

San Francisco 49ers

Weston Richburg

C

Colorado State

30 (62).

New England Patriots

Troy Niklas

TE

Notre Dame

31 (63).

Denver Broncos

Phillip Gaines

CB

Rice

32 (64).

Seattle Seahawks

Ja’Wuan James

OT

Tennessee

 

 

 

Round 3

#

Team

Player

Pos

School

1 (65).

Houston Texans

Antonio Richardson

OT

Tennessee

2 (66).

Washington Redskins

Joel Bitonio

OT/G

Nevada

3 (67).

Oakland Raiders

Donte Moncrief

WR

Ole Miss

4 (68).

Atlanta Falcons

Telvin Smith

OLB

Florida State

5 (69).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pierre Desir

CB

Lindenwood

6 (70).

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tre Mason

RB

Auburn

7 (71).

Cleveland Browns

Ka’Deem Carey

RB

Arizona

8 (72).

Minnesota Vikings

A.J. McCarron

QB

Alabama

9 (73).

Buffalo Bills

Billy Turner

OT

North Dakota St.

10 (74).

New York Giants

Jeremy Hill

RB

LSU

11 (75).

St. Louis Rams

Brandon Coleman

WR

Rutgers

12 (76).

Detroit Lions

Scott Crichton

DE

Colorado State

13 (77).

San Francisco 49ers

Marcus Roberson

CB

Florida

14 (78).

Dallas Cowboys

Caraun Reid

DT

Princeton

15 (79).

Baltimore Ravens

Kareem Martin

DE

North Carolina

16 (80).

New York Jets

Trai Turner

G

LSU

17 (81).

Miami Dolphins

Dakota Dozier

G

Furman

18 (82).

Chicago Bears

DaQuan Jones

DT

Penn State

19 (83).

Cleveland Browns

Cyril Richardson

G

Baylor

20 (84).

Arizona Cardinals

Terrence Brooks

S

Florida State

21 (85).

Green Bay Packers

Marcus Smith

DE

Louisville

22 (86).

Philadelphia Eagles

Dominique Easley

DT

Florida

23 (87).

Kansas City Chiefs

Bruce Ellington

WR

South Carolina

24 (88).

Cincinnati Bengals

Zach Mettenberger

QB

LSU

25 (89).

San Diego Chargers

Bashaud Breeland

CB

Clemson

26 (90).

Indianapolis Colts

Trent Murphy

OLB/DE

Stanford

27 (91).

New Orleans Saints

Dri Archer

RB/WR

Kent State

28 (92).

Carolina Panthers

Paul Richardson

WR

Colorado

29 (93).

New England Patriots

Travis Swanson

C

Arkansas

30 (94).

San Francisco 49ers

Jackson Jeffcoat

DE/OLB

Texas

31 (95).

Denver Broncos

Shayne Skov

ILB

Stanford

32 (96).

Minnesota Vikings

Brandon Thomas

G/OT

Clemson

33 (97).

Pittsburgh Steelers

Will Sutton

DT

Arizona State

34 (98).

Green Bay Packers

Dion Bailey

S

USC

35 (99).

Baltimore Ravens

Ego Ferguson

DT

LSU

36 (100).

San Francisco 49ers

Jordan Tripp

OLB

Montana

 

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