2014 NFL Mock Draft from Mid-Major Matt
I’ve read hundreds of mock drafts and watched a ton of college football. I am nowhere near on the level of half the mocks you will read, but I figured that since my social life is dull and I like to try new things, here is my first ever NFL Mock Draft. There will be no trades whatsoever because that is some next level stuff.
1) Houston Texans — Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina — It’s hard to pass up on a one of a kind talent in Clowney especially when he goes nicely with JJ Watt. Having the first pick in the second round will allow them to move up or stay and take a Teddy Bridgewater or a fast rising Savage. Good luck mediocre offensive lines in the AFC South with Watt and Clowney.
2) St. Louis Rams — Greg Robinson, OT Auburn — The Rams desperately need offensive line help. Robinson is up there with Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews. Robinson stabilizes the line which welcomed back Rodger Saffold. Robinson battled with some of the best in the SEC and will fit in nicely in St. Louis.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars — Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson — Watkins adds a lot of speed and talent to a mediocre wide receiver corps. Jacksonville doesn’t expect to have Justin Blackmon this year and even if they do, it won’t be for awhile. The Jags also have the obvious need at quarterback, but they could also move up using other picks into the back end of the first round. Whoever is going to be under center needs weapons.
4) Cleveland Browns — Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M — The most exciting player goes to one of the more boring franchises in football. Cleveland gets their buzz and Josh Gordon gets a quarterback to get him the ball. Cleveland has a lot of picks and should be able to upgrade their roster. They can shoot up the division a bit with the right few moves.
5) Oakland Raiders — Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo — Somewhere Al Davis is unhappy that the Raiders couldn’t get Watkins. Still this is a smart pick as some think Mack is the safest of any player out there. The stud from the MAC will help a defense that has had to shuffle the deck this offseason and is need of young talent.
6) Atlanta Falcons — Jake Matthews, T Texas A&M — The Falcons have an itchy trigger finger and if there’s anyone who is trading up, it’s Atlanta. For the purposes of this mock, they stick at six and fill a hole at tackle in Matthews. Atlanta is close and has shown in the past that they don’t mind moving up…even if it’s not the best idea. This is a team that should use all their picks and get more depth.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Taylor Lewan, T Michigan — This pick makes Doug Martin jump for joy. When you get down to it, the Buccaneers are a running team and they didn’t do that very well last year. Lewan gives the line a bit of a mean streak and someone to help open holes for Martin.
8) Minnesota Vikings — Blake Bortles, QB UCF — Minnesota desperately needs a quarterback and can’t go with Matt Cassel again next year. Bortles has cooled off a bit in the minds of the experts, but I think he’ll fit this offense well especially with a rising Cordarelle Patterson. Bortles didn’t have to deal with the cold too much at UCF and now that the team is outdoors, that could be a factor in the decision.
9) Buffalo Bills — Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M — The Bills offense is one weapon away from legitimacy and Evans brings that. Pair him with Spiller and Stevie Johnson as well as Robert Woods and EJ Manuel has a lot of weapons. Evans has unteachable size and is a great red zone threat.
10) Detroit Lions — Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama — If Detroit can get past the shiny toy in Mike Evans, they can make the right decision and take a bonified safety for their porous secondary. This pick was so tough to make because I can see them taking Evans and it wouldn’t be awful. I just think you can address WR in the later rounds with guys like Allen Robinson and Jordan Matthews.
11) Tennessee Titans — Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State — Tennessee is another team who could go quarterback, but with Jake Locker there, I think they should address it in the later rounds with maybe Carr or the EIU quarterback. Gilbert has good size at corner and will help a defense that needs to defend the pass better especially in the AFC South.
12) New York Giants — Aaron Donald, DT Pittsburgh — The Giants used to be so stout on the defensive line and now that’s quite the opposite. The losses of Linval Joseph and Justin Tuck make this a necessity. Donald is an absolute beast in the middle and will help out especially since the Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles love to run the ball.
13) St. Louis Rams — Odell Beckham, WR LSU — Beckham helps out the wide receiving corps after they passed up on Watkins earlier. He’s got size and helps out in the possession receiver category. There’s a lot of options here should they go wide receiver. This could also be a trade down to acquire a few more picks and fill a few more holes.
14) Chicago Bears — Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State — There was an audible roar when Donald went off the board because he screams Chicago Bear. Instead they’ll work on a leaky secondary. Packers and Lions will bomb away thru the air in this division and you can never have too many corners to cover the many weapons those teams have.
15) Pittsburgh Steelers — Calvin Pryor, S Louisville — Gotta start grooming Troy Polamalu’s replacement and infuse some youth on this defense. They could also go for someone to fill Emmanuel Sanders’ hole, but I think defense has to be the priority here. A cornerback could go here as well.
16) Dallas Cowboys — Jason Verrett, CB TCU — Verrett’s size is of concern, but he’s quick and has nice leaping ability. He comes home to Dallas to fix a secondary that was brutal again. Zack Martin could go here too, but I like Verrett to go to Dallas.
17) Baltimore Ravens — Zack Martin, T Notre Dame — The Ravens offensive line let them down at times last year and it reflected in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce’s stats. Martin helps out as this was a team that needed to run more, but just couldn’t.
18) New York Jets — Brandin Cooks, WR Oregon State — Cooks says he’s the next DeSean Jackson. Eric Decker will be glad to be opposite another weapon. Cooks is a speed demon and will love it if Vick ends up starting at QB as he has the bigger arm. Can’t pass up this wide out here.
19) Miami Dolphins — Eric Ebron, TE, UNC — The Dolphins add another weapon for Ryan Tannehill who needs them. This is an offense that is going to pass the ball a lot and can put Ebron and Charles Clay on the field at the same time.
20) Arizona Cardinals — Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville — The good thing about Arizona is that they don’t need a quarterback for a year or two which gives Bridgewater time to learn. I can’t see him falling out of the first round and Arizona is a good place to go with Larry Fitzgerald and a solid stable of running backs.
21) Green Bay Packers — Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA — The experts say he’s one of the toughest guys to figure out. Barr has the talent to be great in the NFL, but is very raw in certain areas. He will make or break someone’s class.
22) Philadelphia Eagles — Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech — Wide receiver could also go here as the Eagles need more speed, but they could get Robinson or Matthews in round two. Some experts think Fuller is the best corner in the draft. If he’s over his college injuries, it’s an absolute steal here.
23) Kansas City Chiefs — Marquise Lee, WR, USC — Kansas City needs weapons and Lee will give them one to complement Dwayne Bowe. Lee’s hands have been an issue at times, but his speed helps out. It’ll help an offense that needs to get more for Alex Smith.
24) Cincinnati Bengals — Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State — It makes too much sense here for the Bengals to take Roby who is familiar with the area. Cincinnati needs secondary help and Roby’s size helps.
25) San Diego Chargers — Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State — Can San Diego hit a HR at wideout for a second straight year? Benjamin’s size is great and will be a nice complement for Keenan Allen.
26) Cleveland Browns — Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana — Latimer gives Manziel another weapon to throw to besides Josh Gordon. It’s a nice little run of wideouts as this is the deepest it’s been in awhile.
27) New Orleans Saints — Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State — The Saints defense needs to improve their pass rush especially in this potent division. Shazier provides some of that for them. I could also see them going wide out too if one of the above is still available.
28) Carolina Panthers — Morgan Moses, T, UVA — Carolina needs offensive weapons, but they also need to protect Cam Newton. They could go Bitonio here, but Moses being available is a gift for the Panthers.
29) New England Patriots — Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame — Nix would have been a higher pick if he’s healthy this past season for the Irish. He’s an absolute monster and of course the Patriots stumble upon a top 10 talent in the bottom of the draft.
30) San Francisco 49ers — Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT Notre Dame — Protecting their butt if Aldon Smith gets in trouble again, Tuitt is a nice piece to move around on the SF D-Line. Tuitt’s size is a positive. He’ll help this already stout defense.
31) Denver Broncos — Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota — The Broncos filled their needs during free agency and could go best available here. We like Hageman whose size is nice inside to go with Terrance Knighton.
32) Seattle Seahawks — Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt — I love Matthews. All time leading wideout in the SEC with great size and the ability to win a jump ball. He’ll fit in nicely now that Golden Tate is elsewhere.
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