2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT - Round 1
Its pretty clear that the Texans are in a downward spiral and are probably going to be looking at the first round pick at the end of the season. That clearly dictates that Matt Schaub is done and Case Keenum is not the best fit as a starter. Texans will see Bridgewater and before the time starts at the draft, will have their card in. Bridgewater has been the consensus #1 pick in a lot of mocks and should hold true till April.
TRADE BAIT! This is prime position for the Rams to have teams interested in Clowney to trade up. The Rams signed Jake Long in the offseason but Roger Saffold has been terrible in protection and getting off blocks to the second level. So as the Redskins tend to suck it up this year, their pick gets better and better. Therefore, look for the Rams to find the replacement for Saffold at the RT position with the best OT on the board in Jake Matthews.
With so many needs on defense, the Falcons could trade out of this pick if a team really falls in love with Clowney, as I think that Anthony Barr would be a better fit for the Falcons hybrid defense. If the Falcons have to stay put, I think they take the best long term option with Barr. He fits the hybrid defense better than Clowney and Barr likes the game of football.
If Clowney falls this far, I would be surprised, but Minnesota will not hesitate to take him. With Jared Allen being a free agent and looking for one last pay day, the Vikings could let Allen walk knowing they have the chance to draft Clowney.
With the Jaguars having a better record than they were expected to have, they may play themselves out of the spots to get a franchise QB in this loaded class. They could very well trade out of this pick if someone is interested in going after Clowney, but for now they hold and grab their signal caller in Hundley. Hundley has had a solid season under Jim Mora and should bring stability to the Jags QB.
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. Derek Carr has played in a weak conference but he has been significantly strong within the conference and should get a long hard look from the Browns before they pick him at #7 in the draft. Carr would give them that stability at QB that they have been longing for since Bernie Kosar.
The Raiders acquired Vance Walker in free agency and they also picked up Pat Sims from Cincinnati. Neither have performed very well since being acquired and it might be Pat Sims that needs to be replaced. Nix has good size, athleticism and is able to clog lanes, eat up blockers, and get pressure up the middle. Raiders need an impact player in run support which is Nix's specialty. Huge upgrade to the DL of the Raiders.
Its pretty clear that the Bills need help in their front 7 on defense. They are not getting a lot of pressure from the DL and they could benefit from a pass rushing LB that can cover and get pressure on the QB. Mack has been fantastic for the Bison with 10.5 sacks, 6 PD's and 3 INT's. He had a breakout game against NFL caliber players where he had 2.5 sacks against Ohio State.
The Bucs are going to have a decision on their hands with the QB position, and if they feel that Glennon is a starter in this league, then they need to build weapons around him. Adding Watkins to his arsenal to go along with Vincent Jackson will allow the Bucs to spread the field and give the Bucs another option to take pressure off of Jackson. Watkins has elite speed and is not afraid to go over the middle.
Its pretty clear that the Steelers are getting old in a lot of places. Larry Foote is on the IR as well as having 12 years in the league. Steelers must get younger on defense to continue to compete within their division. Mosley is an impact player that plays all over the field. He is very effective in run support and has good size and speed to drop into coverage. Has great instincts and pursues well. Mosley and Jarvis Jones would be nasty.
Alterraun Verner is a free agent and while the Titans have some young depth at CB, they don't have that true shut down CB they need. Verrett is not big with the INT's, but he is very physical and flourishes in man press coverage. Verrett has an eye for the ball as he does know how to deflect passes from defenders which shows that nhe can break on the ball very well and reacts to the pass play.
The Giants have seen some of the worst pass protection they have had in years. Will Beatty has been torched all season long and if the Giants want to have Eli back to form and not a turnover machine, they must upgrade their protection. Replacing the LT spot will certainly help as that is Eil's blind side. Kouandjio has been solid all season for the Crimson Tide and his athleticism and strength will help at the next level.
Darian Stewart is going to be a free agent and Rodney McCleod is just awful. Its clear that the Rams need to upgrade the S position as it is the worst position on their defense. The Rams need that player that can cover center field that has a lot of range. Clinton-Dix has that type of ability. His range prevents a lot of passes going over the top and getting behind the defenses.
I have mocked a defensive player to replace Calvin Pace, but got pounced on with remarks that the Jets cant score points so they need offense. So here is one of the best WR's in the country. Evans has height and speed and will be coveted by some teams if he falls past the Jets. If Geno is the QB of the future, the Jets need to add more weapons around him.
Derek Cox and Shareece Wright have not helped the Chargers stay in games and have relied on Rivers to pass a ton this season. Chargers must take the best available pass rusher or cornerback in this position. Gilbert did himself justice by staying in school to play with the Cowboys. He has 6 INT's on the season and has been as solid a shutdown corner as he can be.
Jermichael Finley had a bad injury this season and was not producing as much as the Packers would like to see out of their TE. Amaro has flown under the radar for most of the season but his numbers are starting to get noticed. With nearly 100 receptions and over 1200 yards receiving he is certainly one of the best TE's in the country and the Packers need to have a productive TE in their arsenal.
Henry Melton hit the IR this season and he is supposed to be a free agent. The Bears have really lacked a serious pass rush this season where Peppers and McClellan have been lost at times and its clearly because they don't have the interior pass rush that Melton brings. Hageman has been dominant for the Golden Gophers this season and while he has seen his share of double teams, he can be dominant as a pass rusher.
The Cowboys have used a flurry of defensive players at the DT position this season and they need to add a stable but productive piece to that Kiffin defense. Jernigan has really sneaked up the boards as of late on a stacked Seminole defense. With 2 sacks and 5 TFL's, Jernigan has been really effective for the Noles in their pass rush and just being disruptive as a player on the Noles line.
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. Lewan has had some issues this season but that is in part because Michigan has struggled.
One of the biggest needs of the Cardinals is the LT position and the Cardinals need to have a young stud that can step in. They thought that Nate Potter might be able to grow into that role, but with the potential to make the playoffs this season, it has to be a concern heading forward. Bradley Sowell is holding the current position but will need to be upgraded for any future QB that will come to Arizona.
Its clear how ineffective the Lions offense is when Calvin Johnson is not in the line up. Considering that he faces double teams and brackets during most of Lions games, the Lions need a formidable receiving threat along side of him to open up the coverage as take pressure off of CJ81. Lee has had a down year, but that is due to poor QB play fo the Trojans. With a decent QB, Lee has shown that he can produce.
Arthur Jones may hit the free agent market in which case the Ravens may see a good opportunity to upgrade the position. Tuitt has been up and down in the mocks, but is probably going to be the best steal of the 3-4 DE's in this draft class. Ravens defense thrives on its up front pressure and adding Tuitt to the front 7 will certainly add a better defensive front with run stopping ability.
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. And its a no brainer that Chip Kelly would look for his guys to add to his team. Olomu is a solid CB who has good speed and matches up well with opposing WR's.
Buster Skrine is a liability in the Browns secondary and if the Browns are going to look at the future of over taking the AFC North, they are going to have to have a shutdown defense. Their front 7 is stout, but they must add some young good CB depth to solidify that defense. Dennard had a great game for the Big-10 Championship against Ohio State. Plays on instincts and is superb in pass coverage.
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. Murphy has been consistently good for the Cardinal with 14 sacks on the season. He has good size, moves, and strength to get into the backfield and get after the QB.
The Niners are in need of a deep threat WR. Crabtree cannot do it alone, but doesnt have that deep threat speed to stretch the field. Manningham is going to be a free agent and Boldin is a solid #3 WR. Adding Lee to the Niners offense should help their vertical passing game and make their offense more potent. Lee has good size and speed and can really open up a passing attack. USC has had a down year so Lee's numbers are down.
Chase Blackburn was picked up last season by the Giants because they didnt have a good LB to fill the middle. Blackburn wasn't that good. But the Panthers have needed a WLB and Blackburn was available. With this draft the Panthers should upgrade this position to improve their front seven. Shazier has steadily moved up the boards with his solid play. With 133 tackles and 6 sacks he is a force coming off the outside.
Dwayne Bowe needs some help in the passing game. There are games where he gets a ton of looks and some games where he gets no looks. While the Chiefs have been rolling this season its primarily their defense that has kept them in games. If the Chiefs want to take that next step, they will have to add some passing weapons to that offense to open it up.
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. Ebron has been a solid receiving target for the Heels and Bryn Renner this season. Ebron has 55 receptions for 893 yards and 3 TD's. A good option for Brady with Gronk out for a while.
Parys Haralson needs to be ugraded. While the Saints defense is good this season, it is still not complete. They have to add true pass rushers at the OLB position. Beasley has 10 sacks on the season and will need add some weight to his frame. The Saints need more out of their OLB pass rush and since they could not achieve this last season, look for the Saints to move on that this draft.
Breno Giacomini had played bad and was replaced by a 7th round pick in Michael Bowie but is still not the long term answer at RT for the Seahawks. Carroll will want to upgrade this position to keep Wilson protected and improve the running game for Marshawn Lynch.
As far as value, the Broncos could go in a few directions here, but they must replace Zane Beadles if they want Peyton around for a few more years. Once they get Clady back and if they add a capable G, Peyton will have a lot of time to disect defenses.