NFL's Future

2014 NFL Mock Draft

"Thomas Dimitroff"

Let me kick this one off by saying mock drafts are hard enough without factoring trades into them. With them it’s a crapshoot. I’m not going to pretend to have some insider intel that led me to these deals but they made sense to me, so I pulled the trigger.

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

Thomas Dimitroff hasn’t been shy about going up and getting the guy they covet. This year is no different as the Falcons send pick No. 6, No. 37, and a 2015 No. 1 to Houston to take the passing rushing freak from down the road. Houston moves down but most importantly picks up another high second and snags Atlanta’s 2015 1st. I’m just not sold on Houston taking anyone in this slot, so it makes sense for them to move out.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

We all know Les Sneed would love to move down a couple of spots and pick up extra picks. The Bucs have filled a ton of needs in free agency so they get aggressive and get a difference maker to team with Vincent Jackson. In order to do, so they give up their 2nd round pick and a mid-to-late rounder to keep the likes of Detroit away from their coveted prospect.

"Khalil Mack"

USA TODAY Sports

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

One of the QB’s or Mack? That’s the question this one could and should come down to. If it’s one of the QB’s I’d lean toward Johnny at this spot. But I think these teams at the top are gun shy about snagging a QB and leaving some of these potential stud difference makers for someone else.

4. Cleveland Browns – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Browns faithful may blow a gasket with this pick. They need weapons and Robinson doesn’t exactly scream weapon. That said, this move strengthens their OL in a major way and allows them to take a QB later. Robinson is a perfect fit for what Kyle Shanahan wants to do and with Clowney/Watkins/Mack off the board it becomes fairly simple. I don’t think you can simply say plug Robinson in at RT and move Mitchell Schwartz inside. Who knows if Schwartz can make that transition but I do know that Robinson would be one hell of a guard while he buys his time to take over at tackle.

5. Oakland Raiders – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

With the Matt Schaub acquisition the Raiders can afford to take a shot on Bortles. Bortles needs some time to develop and this situation should allow him to do just that. It worries me a bit that the Raiders brass isn’t on solid ground and could feel the pressure to rush him in if Schaub struggles in the least.

6. Houston Texans – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

I think this works out perfectly for the Texans. They move down and still get the guy they so badly want to take with the top pick. With Clowney and Bortles off the board, they are free to take a shot on the home-state kid. Manziel isn’t your prototypical B.O.B. QB but his talent is off the charts and O’Brien could do wonders for him early.

7. St. Louis Rams – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Rams would have to feel pretty good about moving down the draft board and have Mike Evans and Jake Matthews waiting for them. This would be a tough call for Sneed but he needs to see what he has in Sam Bradford. Teaming Evans up with their receiving crew takes all the excuses out for Bradford as this will be a make or break year for the former No. 1 overall pick.

8. New York Giants – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

"Jake Matthews"

USA TODAY Sports

The Giants need to find a LT out of this draft. Eli Manning played fairly miserably last year, partially due to his lack of protection. Jerry Reese has to find a solution on the left side and can’t afford to sit idly at No. 12 and wait for Taylor Lewan to slide down his way. He opts to get aggressive and Minnesota could move down the board for a QB – makes sense.

9. Buffalo Bills – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Taylor Lewan? RT is a bigger need and Lewan could be an easy transition to the right side after playing LT for four years. While many assume is an easy transition to switch sides, it’s more difficult than you think. Lewan is a good candidate to make that early transition and should start on the right side at the opening of camp.

10. Detroit Lions – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Teaming Anthony Barr with DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch is too enticing for the Lions brass to pass on. Barr is an elite athlete that gives the Lions some much needed pass rush outside of the front four.

11. Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.

Ray Horton has been blessed with elite man cover corners at his last two stops. Jason McCourty is solid and Blidi Wreh-Wilson has potential but the Titans may be looking for a true stopper in the secondary. Gilbert’s ability to shadow the Andre Johnson’s of the division could play a huge part in making this a fairly easy pick although I badly wanted to put Teddy Bridgewater here.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St.

This one should surprise many with Carr coming off the board before Bridgewater but I think some of the buzz is real on this. Carr fits Norv Turner’s offense and could play right away if Cassel stumbles at all.

13. St. Louis Rams – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

I have to say this was one of the toughest decisions of the mock. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Zack Martin fill major needs but Les Sneed looks for the value that Donald brings to the table. Donald isn’t a need filler but he’s an instant impact interior rusher that could set this team up for well into the future on the defensive side of ball. With Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Donald, and Michael Brockers this may be the best, young DL in all of football.

14. Chicago Bears – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.

"Darqueze Dennard"

USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have to replenish this defense. It starts in the secondary as they need corners and safeties that can fit their system. Dennard is a physical corner that should be an early contributor. Timmy Jernigan will get a long look here but I think corner is a spot they need to look at with the 14th pick.

15. Green Bay Packers – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

The Packers sorely need help in the backend. With Clinton-Dix sliding down to 15, Ted Thompson gets aggressive and gets his answer to their problems defending the back half. HCD has some interchangeable qualities about his game although I think he’s a little tight hipped to cover the slot against quicker Wes Welker-types.

16. Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Browns have plenty of picks to wheel and deal – a third may a get this one done. Bridgewater gets the ball out quickly, accurately, and has the smarts to excel for Shanahan. If Teddy falls down this far, I could see the next three or four picks heating up with teams looking to fill their QB need.

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  • Micheal Profetta

    I love the SL/Donald pick. I’m not sure why we don’t see it more often. Kendall Langford has done a great job mentoring Brockers, but Langford’s performance doesn’t match his salary. He’ll be a cap casualty by 2015, if not before the 2014 season. The Rams like to rotate their D-linemen, and Donald would be the perfect complement to Brockers. If the Rams trade with the Falcons, I wouldn’t be surprised if they take Donald at #6, then hope that Clinton-Dix, Lewan, or Evans slips to #13. Not sure about the PIT/Mosley pick. Mosley and Timmons are essentially the same guy. (Slightly undersized, three-down LB who excels in coverage.) Timmons is locked in as the nickel backer – the Steelers need a two-down thumper like Borland or Skov to challenge Vince Williams. I’m thinking that Pittsburgh addresses the trenches in the first round.

    • bradc11

      Great fit for Donald in St. Louis. I had him there awhile back but he’s been off the board, usually to the Giants since. I agree that he’s got a shot at being drafted in the top ten. Tough to pass on interior pass rushers.

      Mosley is a top ten value in my book. I wholeheartedly agree that he’s very similar to Timmons but I think his instincts allow him to win on first and second down…very similar to Luke Kuechly (not quite as good but close) in that regards. All that said, I agree with you – if I’m the Steelers I’m taking Zack Martin and walking away feeling pretty good about my draft.

  • Reggie

    While I think it will be a lot and I think the Lions should show patience….part of me will die a bit once Sammy Watkins goes to someone else.
    Anthony Barr I am watching more and more of. Love the potential and I hope we can bring it out of him….Ansah was similar in that regard and he had a nice rookie season. I am not as sure of Lattimore as you are. Over Davante Adams is risky. Lattimore has nice upside and I do like him as a prospect but early 2nd Round might be too high. What are your thoughts on him?

    • bradc11

      Latimer has been a top 100 guy for me for a long time. Obviously I’ve seen a ton of him playing in the Big Ten. He’s everything you want from a measurables perspective and between the play calling and quarterback play we haven’t seen the best of him on the field. I think he winds up early day two when it’s all said and done.

      • Reggie

        I have watched more and more of Barr. It is hard to draw complete consensus. His measurables are off the chart. He looks very fluid out there and his burst is awesome. That said he looks blocked a lot of the time and is not a violent hitter. There are some reservations the more I watch of him but I do believe his skill set is something we are missing.

        This draft falls into two variables to me with projecting Lions trade

        If we exclude last year and you told me you could get Watkins but had to lose a 2nd and 4th I would say absolutely. I can go without Leshoure, Broyles, Young.

        Now if we are the team that drafted last year and we will continue to draft well I say keep your picks because Ansah, Slay, and Devin Taylor is more than Watkins.

  • Dave

    You don’t draft a RT/OG with the 4th pick in the draft, very poor allocation of resources

    • bradc11

      Tell that to the Chiefs and Jaguars. A guard I could agree with but look at today’s NFL. RT is not very different from LT. Gone are the days of big, plodding road grading RT’s. You need athletes at both tackle spots because defenses are becoming more multiple and moving guys around. Robinson is a great fit for the scheme and I’m not sure Mitchell Schwartz is in this regime’s short-term plans. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they plugged Robinson in at RT and Schwartz was tried inside or shown a seat on the bench…he’s a liability against speed rushers off the edge – see Cameron Wake.

      • Dave

        Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel will both be playing LT next season. In the last 25 years only two RTs have been drafted in the top ten picks of the draft. Andre Smith who was drafted to play LT but struggled there and had to move to RT, and Lane Johnson who will likely be playing LT before the end of his rookie deal. I also think Schwartz isn’t as bad as people are making him out to be, he play well against speed rushers his rookie and he struggled early last season but got progressively better as the season went on. Joe Thomas make around 11MIL per season, Alex Mack is about receive a large offer sheet from the Jags which the Browns probably will match. With two most important position on the O-line locked down and Schwartz being a early 2nd round pick the Browns don’t to invest premium picks in the O-line.

  • metalhead65

    I hope your right about the Bears pick or they take dix. the years of drafting guys in the later rounds have not worked out so well for them so time to draft the best guy there for once.

    • bradc11

      I see a CB for the Bears in round one. Don’t know who but I think that’s a position they target early.

  • Duncan

    I give the Bill’s draft a “A”. Solid picks that mix need and BPA. I love Amaro in the second, especially. I think teams are getting too down on him for his slow forty, when it was never his speed that made him successful in college. It was more his hands and route running that got him open, not so much his athleticism. He reminds me a lot of Dallas Clark in the fact that he knows how to work the middle of the field and that he rarely drops anything that come his way. Great, big target for Manuel.

    Lewan is, again, a solid pick that will help pave the way C.J. and Fred in the run and protect our injury prone QB, EJ Manuel.

    • bradc11

      This really is a perfect scenario for the Bills. I’m not a Lewan fan but consensus seems to have him in that late top 10 range. Love Amaro and how he could change the offense a bit for Manuel.

  • Nick

    Vikings would easily draft teddy over Carr. turners offense is built around mature, good decision makers with a solid arm and pocket presence which Teddy is exactly and Carr still needs to grow

    • bradc11

      Norv’s offense is hinged on a QB’s ability to threaten the defense vertically. Teddy’s struggles at Louisville really were in the vertical game, his accuracy was very average at 18+.

  • Dave

    Browns pick makes absolutely no sense. The only way that makes sense is you are a Raiders fan and needed to find some “pick” for the team in front of you so you could mock draft your ideal pick to your favorite team. The Browns have a very solid O-line. They need playmakers, not more linemen. Ruins your entire mock.

    • bradc11

      Browns’ fans not big fans of Greg Robinson. With Alex Mack re-upping w/the Browns this probably becomes less likely. I don’t expect the Browns to take a WR at No. 4, so that leaves Clowney, Mack if they fall or a QB.

  • TheOUTLAW1982 .

    Horrid Browns pick

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

    The steelers will draft offensive in the first round this year. That is how
    Colbert drafting pattern go, Defense one year, the offensive the next
    year. They will most likely draft Odell Beckham, Marqise Lee or Kelvin
    “lazy” Benjamin. Then CB, in the second round.