NFL's Future

2014 NFL Mock Draft

"Robert Griffin III"

Geoff Burke – USA TODAY Sports

The big winners of this week remain the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are soaking up the last of the Robert Griffin III trade and it’s beginning to look like we’ll have to consider the Rams winners. I’m not on the bus of calling the ‘Skins losers in this deal – as I’ve believed RGIII can be the face of that franchise for a very long time. With that in mind, it’s looking pretty good if you’re a Rams fan.

Chad Henne to Cecil Shorts put Houston back in control of the No. 1 overall pick and did the Browns in again. I said when Hoyer was injured that they would be selecting in the top five when it’s all said and done – I’m feeling good about that prediction. 

One that I’m not feeling so great about is my preseason prediction that the Panthers would be selecting in the top five. I couldn’t have been anymore wrong on that one, wiping out my Browns prediction.

This is all banter, you’ve all been waiting for content from NFL’s Future and I’m busy stroking my ego. Here’s what you’ve been waiting for.

1. Houston Texans – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Look, I know we can point to history (Mario Williams over Vince Young), the young and developing signal caller in Case Keenum, or Matt Schaub’s contract. All that taken into account, I don’t see a way the Texans could pass on Teddy Bridgewater. While he’s not in the Andrew Luck stratosphere, he’s pretty damn good. If Case Keenum were the answer to this team’s woes, we wouldn’t be having this discussion because they’d be picking much later. Clearly he’s a solid backup in the league that could develop into a quality starter but you don’t pass on someone that has star potential because you want to see what you have in Keenum. This is not Vince Young. This kid has legit tools as a passer and runner. If the Texans pass on Bridgewater, they will regret it for the next 10 years.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

"Marcus Mariota"

Jennifer Stewart – USA TODAY Sports

It’s anyone’s guess as to whether Mariota opts to enter the draft. I do know that he’s just too talented to make it too far down the draft board. If Bridgewater is off the board, when the Jags are picking it’s going to be tough for Gus to pass on Mariota’s potential. That said, there is work that needs to be done with Mariota. If the Jags really can’t wait, it makes sense for them to pass on Mariota and take Derek Carr

3. St. Louis Rams (WAS) – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The tandem of Joe Barksdale and Jake Long has played admirably this year. The Rams could turn the page on Sam Bradford with this pick but I think it would have to be if Bridgewater slid down their direction. Barksdale can slide back to the bench and give the Rams a deep line – something they haven’t been able to say for a long time.

4. Atlanta Falcons – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

If the Falcons can sit at No. 4 and still be looking at Jadeveon Clowney, they would have to feel pretty great about draft day. Clowney fills a major need with arguably the best player in the draft. This one is the slam dunk of slam dunks.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The Bucs can’t rush the passer. The DL needs help, they need OL help but a pass rusher has to be the target early in the draft. Barr is a freak and the sky is the limit for his game.

6. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

It’s going to be tough for the Vikes to pass on a quarterback given the current state of the quarterback position on this roster. Christian Ponder isn’t Blaine Gabbert but he’s not going to win many games for a team.

7. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

The Browns could look at a Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles type of prospect at this point. Instead, I think they look at adding a playmaker on offense to team with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. Watkins is an explosive playmaker that gives the Browns another weapon that teams have to account for. The Browns are prime to trade up in this draft to grab their QB but I’m not touching trades at this point.

8. Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

The Raiders sorely need pass rush help. They don’t get much better than Mack. He’s an elite defensive playmaker with the speed, physicality, and instincts to be a special player in the NFL.

Click for picks 9-16

  • Reggie

    Jordan Matthews is an under rated player. Could be a lot like Terrence Williams from last draft. Though I think he might drop to Day 2. Those TE’s would be enticing as well as Trent Murphy, Ryan Shazier, Ra’Shead Hageman, and Justin Gilbert

  • Nice Marmot

    I’m all about Bortles and my Brownies. So many mocks don’t even mention him . . .

    • bradc11

      I’m with you. It would be ideal if Hoyer recovers from ACL and they can slowly bring Bortles along. A draft of Watkins and Bortles would be a great start to this draft for the Browns

  • HardcoreBillsfan37

    I love the CJ Mosley pick for Buffalo! Him lining up with Kiko will really help out the run game and will add another LB capable of pass coverage. Great mock!

    • bradc11

      Mosley and Kiko are a scary LB tandem for a lot of years.

  • Bex_R1986

    Two points on this, one positive, one negative.

    Delighted to see Bortles included here. He has an exceptional skill set, complimented by a quick mind, as under rated as they come. Sitting at No. 22 on my draft board currently, ahead of Brett Hundley actually. Great player.

    I am however, absolutely baffled by why everyone seems to love Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State. Seriously, it astounds me. He is horrible in man coverage, bites on the simplest of play fakes, gets burned by any double move, I could go on! He’s borderline 4th to 5th round to me and only on the basis of his natural athleticism and return ability. Other than that he is hopeless in coverage. I’d be delighted to be given an explanation as to why he deserves even a day 2 pick let anole 1st round consideration. I know this comes across harsh, but I really don;t see why he is considered highly. Thanks!

    • bradc11

      I was a big Gilbert detractor based off last years tape but he’s been very good this year. Thought he was very good as a sophomore and had very bad junior tape. He’s redeemed himself this year. He does gamble a bit too much but his athleticism makes up for a lot of those mistakes. While I don’t see a round one grade warranted I think he’s a solid second rounder. This corner class doesn’t have a headliner so he will be primed for being over drafted.

      Bortles could shoot up boards with his potential and guys like Mariota going back to school. Love his skill set and think his potential could have him picked in top 15 when it’s all said and done.

      • Bex_R1986

        Well I appreciate the explanation and the thought process, such as your thinking that this is a weak CB class. However, I think Verret is exceptional, (small he may be) but he is outstanding in covering a teams leading player. His size is certainly an issue, but I’d still take him long before some others. Moving on to others, Darqueze Dennard has legit shut down corner potnetial. His ceiling is massive. He’ll creep into the 1st by the time this process is done. I personally am a big fan of Kyle Fuller. Not in the 1st but a high 2nd round guy, due to some speed concerns, but the guy can play. I’d argue that this is actually an under-rated CB group that will be remembered more highly than it is now

        • bradc11

          Not a weak class at corner just no headliner. I like Verrett’s game but his size is going to be an issue. Dennard may wind up being my top corner in this draft but I’m not sure that I consider him a headliner. I think he has solid mid-1 value. Verrett’s an early day two guy for me. I haven’t seen a ton on Olomu, so I’ll hold off on him. After those guys, I like a whole slew of guys in the 2-3 range. I like the depth of the class especially those guys lumped in 2 and 3.

  • Bex_R1986

    Allow me to offer a comparison for Justin Gilbert. He is the CB version of Taylor Mays. You get lost in his athleticism and fail to realise that he has no initiative, anticipation or instincts to play his position.

  • Skinsfan

    What would Washington use the pick for? A LT that they already spent a top 5 pick on? How about a QB that they already spent a top 3 pick on? A 4-3 DE when they run a 3-4? How about a pass rushing OLB? Oh wait, they already 2 that they spent a 13th and 16th pick overall on. Nobody drafts a RT #2 overall and there isn’t a WR or CB worthy of that spot, so the Redskins would be screwed if they actually had that pick. They get to save themselves some money. THANK YOU ST LOUIS!!!!

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