2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT - Round 1
The Texans do not feel there is a clear #1 QB in this draft and with that said, they will probably look to getting the best value for their buck. Adding Clowney will certainly improve the position Brooks Reed holds and that could move Reed inside to help with the oft injured Brian Cushing. Clowney has an armoire of pass rushing moves that will certainly make him a viable pass rusher for the Texans defense.
If the Rams are not able to get a good deal in trading out of this pick for Clowney, they would be best suited in taking the premier RT to protect Bradford. Matthews comes from a lineage of great NFL player including Bruce and Clay and will likely be that kind of player with the ability to work with Hall of Fame OL Bruce Matthews on his off time. But the weakest part of the Rams OL was the RT position hence moving Saffold inside.
While its no surprise that the Jags will need a QB this off season, they may not only find a local product not named Tebow, but one that may be the most talented QB in this draft. Bortles didnt play in a top flight school, but he certainly has top flight talent. A strong arm, mobile and accurate puts him at the top of the QB board in this draft.
The Browns biggest need as of right now is a franchise QB. Campbell and Weeden are not the answer long term mainly because of their age. Bridgewater put himself on notice with a great bowl game against a stout Florida defense in 2012 and capitalized this season with nearly 4000 yards passing, 31TD's and 4 INT's. The Browns would be grabbing their best franchise QB they have had since Kosar, at least on paper.
I am inclined to believe that the Raiders need some quality receiving options. They did not resign Darius Hayward-Bay mainly because he was nothing but speed and had little to no use of his hands in catching the football. But its clear that if Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor are going to succeed in this offense, that they are going to need weapons to do so. Watkins is the most athletic and prolific WR in this draft.
This is the perfect pick for the Falcons. Barr is a premier pass rusher that will excel in Atlanta's hybrid defense. The Falcons defense was terrible this season and while the offense had to make up for that, the Falcons defense just couldn't stop anyone. Their pass rush was abysmal and the secondary was left to fend for themselves. Barr is that perfect fit for the Falcons defense and should really help their pass rush.
The Bucs are going to need some upgrades to their LB corps, especially one that can rush the passer like Mack can. Mack put his name on the map with his perfomance against the Buckeyes in the opening game of the season and he didnt let up. The Bucs were not good in stopping the run and need to upgrade that portion of their defense. Mack is strong and quick and can be effective in both the run and pass.
With a new coach, the Vikings have to pursue a new QB. Even thought Mike Zimmer is the head coach, Norv Turner is the OC and will want a QB he can work with. Manziel will certainly be that guy to bring back the swagger to the Vikings QB spot much like Randall Cunningham and Daunte Culppeper. Manziel shouldn't be able to find too much off the field issues so long as he stays away from any booze cruises.
Robinson has shot up the boards as the best LT on the board. His consistent play against top players from Alabama and Florida State have really propelled his status in the NFL draft. While the Bills do have a premier LT in Cordy Glenn, Erik Pears should probably be replaced. With Manuel as the franchise QB of the future for the Bills they must find players to protect him.
The Lions have a prolific offense but its their defense that has let them down in big games. Their defensive line has all the tools to be stellar. Their LB corps is a little bit to be desired. Stephen Tulloch should probably be sent on his way or moved to a back up role because Mosley is a talented LB that will create a presence for the Lions in the run defense.
With Ken Whisenhunt now the HC, the Titans are going to a hybrid defense consisting of the 3-4/4-3 schemes. The Titans are going to look for versatility from theif defensive line. It would be so easy to say that the Titans need a QB, but I feel that Whisenhunt could push for Locker and to try and make him something, so long as he can stay healthy.
I know that a lot of people are not going to like this pick. But with Hakeem Nicks leaving and Victor Cruz not having another WR on the roster that can take attention away, you have to add that kind of talent to keep the offense moving. Eli has to have his weapons to exploit defenses, otherwise he will have a season like 2013. Lee had a down year, but is still a first round talent. He will have a chip on his shoulder to show he belongs in the first round.
The Rams defense is actually the heart and soul of the team, and there have been multiple games in which the Rams should have lost, but ended up winning because of their defense. Adding a S with range and playmaking ability will certainly help the rest of the defense be better in applying their roles.
Tillman and Jennings are both free agents, and both are 30 years old. The Bears must grab a CB to replace one of them. Dennard has proven that he can play on an island is a prolific cover corner. An attacking Bears defense would benefit from a seamless transition with their CB's so not much attention has to paid in developing one to play the island technique.
Steelers put on a run in the latter part of the season and came really close to making the playoffs. Part of the problem the Steelers are facing is a lack of a pass rush and that starts in the middle. They currently have Steve McClendon manning the middle, but this would be prime territory for the Steelers to take Nix who is athletic, strong, can create pressure and clog up lanes.
Jernigan has shot up the boards since my last mock and could go higher than this. The Cowboys had 7 different starting lineups at the DT position this season and no real starter emerged as a dominant force for the future. Jason Hatcher is a free agent, and had a good year, but was it enough to keep him around. Cowboys might be best served to pick up a DT who has a high motor like Jernigan showed during the up tempo national championship game.
Evans is a big WR that will help Flacco get back to being able to pass the ball. Torrey Smith is a great WR, but if all the attention is going towards him, Flacco will not be able to do anything about getting the ball out. Evans had a fantastic year for the Aggies with nearly 1400 yards on 69 receptions and 12 TD's. One of the best in the country. I am not sure if Newsome will see it that way, but couldn't go wrong with taking Evans here.
Dustin Keller left and Kellen Winslow got suspended for being a bonehead. The Jets are not willing to commit to Geno Smith as their QB but they really do not have any other options and they simply cannot take another chance on a QB. They will need to add more reliable weapons for Smith for him to be successful. The typical guy would be Jace Amaro, but Ebron offers more versatility, and is a better blocker in which the Jets need for their physical running game.
This whole mess with Incognito and Martin has really left the Dolphins in a bad position considering the position they were in before. Tannehill has been one of the most sacked QB's in the league and primarily that is due to Incognito being terrible. Dolphins need to secure their offensive line if the want to keep Tannehil as their franchise QB. Kouandjio has been solid for the Tide all year and kept McCarron off the turf.
The Cardinals missed the playoffs this season and it might have bought Carson Palmer some time. Bradley Sowell needs to be upgraded and this would be the pick to do so for the Cardinals. Nate Potter might have been able to play into the spot but has not developed into that role. Cardinals will see that there is not good value here to grab a QB considering the play of Carson Palmer this season and will go with the best value.
Sam Shields has been one of the bright spots for the Packers, but he is going to be a free agent and could test the waters. If he does the Packers might have to look at a CB as a position of need. Verrett is a physical corner that plays the ball very well. He is not the interception type corner but will play press man and defend the ball against any receiver.
Its pretty clear that Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher are not the answers at CB for the Eagles. While the Eagles are leading their division, the CB play has been the weak spot in the defense. The biggest weak spot can be upgraded in the first round for the Eagles by adding Glibert. Gilbert may be the best CB on the board but the Eagles really need to upgrade their secondary if they want to go further in the playoffs.
Dwayne Bowe is just not cutting it by himself and Dexter McCluster might be looking for that pay day for average play. While his specialty is more on special teams, he is probably going to be paid like a WR. I dont see the Chiefs bringing him back as he might get FedExed out of Arrowhead much like Freddie Mitchell in Philly some years back. Robinson adds another WR to the mix that is a true WR and will take attention off of Bowe.
Michael Johnson may be the odd man out for the Bengals defensive line this off season as Carlos Dunlap signed an extension and bringing Michael Johnson back could cost a lot of unecessary money. Ealy was productive for the Tigers this season with 7.5 sacks and 12.5 TFL's. A high motor dependable end the Bengals will need to replace Michael Johnson.
The Chargers OL has been wearing down this season and as clear value for the Chargers, this might be the best bet for their OL. Chad Rinehart has not been able to play in Buffalo or Washington, and found a place with the Chargers, but is not a starter. Yankey is by far the best OG in the draft and should be drafted as such. Chargers need to protect Rivers and give him time to throw.
The Browns are blowing up their team this season and are looking to really start new. This pick coems from the Colts and once they select their QB, they will have to add pieces to make him successful. Greg Little has not been reliable as a 2nd option for Cleveland and Josh Gordon has been fantastic. Adding a possession WR to the Browns will certainly help their new QB get settled in.
Parys Haralson signed a hefty contract that he is not living up to and the Saints need to get more out of their pass rush. Murphy is one of the better pass rushers coming out this season with 12 sacks on the season and 1 in their Rose Bowl loss to Michigan State. Murphy will be an upgrade to Haralson and certainly add a presence on the outside pass rush the Saints need from their OLB's.
Steve Smith is not getting any younger and its safe to assume that Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell are not the true #1's that Cam Newton could look for in his passing game. It is clear that the passing game does need upgrades and one of them will come with a reliable passing option in Beckham. Beckham had 59 receptions for over 1150 yards receiving and 8 TD's. Newton could love to see that production for 2014 season.
While the Patriots are clearly a system offense, what better system to bring a system guy into. With Gronkowski just getting back to form and Aaron Hernandez checking into his new life behind bars, Brady is going to want another TE to work with. Amaro will help Brady in the passing game as Amaro totaled 106 receptions and 1352 yards receiving. Certainly a viable pass catching TE for Brady to play with as his shiny new toy.
Justin Smith is not getting any younger, and it might be time for the Niners to shore up his back up with a prolific 3-4 DE like Tuitt. Tuitt is strong at the point of attack and can get pressure, while sealing gaps and chasing down ball carriers. Tuitt should be able to rotate in and eventually take over seamlessly.
I dont care what anyone says, the Broncos have the worst pass defense of any team in the NFL. They missed Von Miller and his pass rush this season and that might have made a difference in the Superbowl. The Broncos need to add pieces that are going to improve their pass rush if they want to make it back to glory.
Breno Giacomini needs to be replaced for the Seahawks. It is their weakest part of their line. Richardson will be able to provide a good run blocking and pass blocking tackle to replace Giacomini.