‘Tis the season and NFL’s Future is giving the gift of a completely inaccurate 2014 NFL mock draft. You can thank us later for this one.
By a little before midnight on Sunday we’ll know the top twenty picks for May’s draft. It is then officially draft season for us – it’s been draft season for me (a lowly Browns fan) since Kiko Alonso blew out Brian Hoyer’s ACL.
The top of the 2014 NFL Draft will surely be shaped by some major, impending underclassmen announcements. The January 15 deadline is looming large for guys like Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles. The need atop the draft at the quarterback position is glaring. At least six of the top eight teams could use a franchise signal caller – good news for Bortles and Fresno State QB Derek Carr who will likely vault into the top ten with the grave need of teams.
The other storyline carrying us into the January 15 deadline will be the decisions of the redshirt sophomores. I spent Monday night watching Auburn tackle Greg Robinson and came away convinced that he’s a franchise LT. Robinson isn’t the only talented third year sophomore were watching closely. Johnny Football is all but a lock in my book, so I’ve moved on to a trio of receivers in Mike Evans, Davante Adams, and Kelvin Benjamin.
Enough of the speculation, it’s time to move onto our mock draft that is sure to change in four days time. After the break check it out and share your feedback in our comments section if were way off on your team’s needs or the player makes no sense in the spot.
1. Houston Texans – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Texans are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. It’s a monumental mistake if the Houston brass opts to pass on Bridgewater for anyone not name Teddy Bridgewater.
2. St. Louis Rams (f/WAS) – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
I like Jake Matthews as much as the next guy but Greg Robinson has the potential to be an elite LT. His combination of size, athleticism, and nastiness are rare. If the redshirt sophomore enters the draft, it’s going to be tough for teams to pass on him in the top 10.
If you think I’m crazy, just watch for yourself…
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
It’s easy to see why many are becoming enamored with the UCF quarterback. He’s a physically imposing QB with above-average athleticism and arm strength. That said, there’s some development that needs to take place before he’ll be worthy of this high of a selection. The Big Ben comparisons are fair but Jacksonville’s coaching staff will have to bring him along slowly.
4. Oakland Raiders – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
This will be interesting. Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr or Jadeveon Clowney? I think Clowney wins out – he’s just too talented to slide beyond this selection.
5. Cleveland Browns – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Derek Carr will have some weapons (Josh Gordon/Jordan Cameron) at his disposal. Carr will also have an opportunity to sit – should he need it, with Brian Hoyer returning from a knee injury. Hoyer’s emergence last season should allow the Browns to sit Carr for a season while he develops under pressure.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Anthony Barr, OLB/DE, UCLA
Atlanta may be looking to move northward for Jadeveon Clowney but without mocking trades we’ll go with another pass rusher. Barr is a pretty nice consolation prize if the Dimitroff is unable to land Clowney.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Bucs could be the toughest team to peg in the top 10 (not that any are easy at this early point). Who knows what happens with Greg Schiano or Mark Domenik. The Bucs need a pass rusher, could use another receiving threat or two for Mike Glennon, or a new GM could make a splash and draft Johnny Manziel. For now, I’m going the safe route with an excellent value in Jake Matthews. Donald Penn will be 31 next season and is set to make nearly $8 million. Just saying.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
What would a team with Johnny Manziel and Adrian Peterson look like? In this scenario, we get a look at that possibility. Leslie Frazier may be coaching his final game at the helm of the Vikings this weekend and new blood is needed at QB. Enter Johnny Football.
9. Tennessee Titans – C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
C.J. Mosley has some elite qualities about his game. We’re talking Luke Kuechly elite. The Titans need help in the middle of the defense and Mosley is as good as they come. A DE is much needed but I can’t see any DE worth this selection.
10. Buffalo Bills – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Buffalo Bull is a perfect fit for the Buffalo Bills. Teaming Mack with Kiko Alonso is a scary proposition for the AFC East QB’s for a very long time.
11. New York Giants – Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama
The Giants OL has been putrid this season. Will Beatty abysmal season makes this an almost must in my book. Yes, they need a boatload of help on the defensive front seven (DE, LB) but Eli Manning’s future success will be dependent on this team’s ability to keep him upright.
12. Detroit Lions – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The Lions late season decline has pointed out some major flaws with this roster. The Lions have to find another weapon on offense and a combo of Watkins and Calvin Johnson reeks of trouble for NFC North foes.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Steelers need help in a lot of spots. The shelf life of Big Ben is running thin and the Steelers could use another weapon for Ben. Ebron is a special athlete that represents a significant upgrade over any of their current options.
14. New York Jets – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Geno Smith’s struggles this season can be directly tied to the lack of weapons for this squad. Evans is a huge target with great hands – everything they thought they were getting with Stephen Hill.
15. St. Louis Rams – Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
The Rams would have to be ecstatic to land Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with their second of two, first round picks. Dix represents a significant upgrade over their current safety tandem.
16. Green Bay Packers – Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame
I can’t stand behind a scenario that has B.J. Raji being paid big dollars. If I’m TT and the Pack, I let Raji walk and re-signing Sam Shields and James Jones before throwing cash to Raji. The Pack may be a bit gun shy about taking a DL in round one but Nix could be everything they thought they had in Raji.