2014 NFL Mock Draft: 3 Rounds of Saturday Morning Reading
17. Baltimore Ravens – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
I may lose Ravens fans on this one. But if I’m a betting man, I’m betting that Ozzie Newsome looks to get out of this pick or takes a defensive back. I don’t love Calvin Pryor and I definitely don’t love him this high…same can be said for Justin Gilbert. Fuller is picking up steam (rightfully so), so I could see Ozzie shocking us all and adding to an already solid starting CB duo. Ladarius Webb will be 29 next season and the Ravens have little depth at the CB spot. With the burgeoning talent at WR in the division, the Ravens have to consider a CB early.
The Jets lost Antonio Cromartie, not that it was a huge loss with his mediocre play last season. Gilbert’s length and playmaking ability will keep him from falling outside of the top 20 despite some issues with his technique.
19. Miami Dolphins – Joel Bitonio, OT/OG, Nevada
Joel Bitonio could be this year’s Kyle Long. Bitonio doesn’t possess the length you want out of a tackle but he’s held up very well against some of the better pass rushers in the country over his career, including stoning Anthony Barr in ’13. If Lewan and Martin are off the board the Dolphins could look to move down the board a bit to score Bitonio or Cyrus Kouandijo. If Bridgewater is still on the board when the Dolphins pick, expect them to have a couple of suitors for this pick.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
The Cardinals could be the eventual landing spot for one of the top four QB’s, should they fall. If that happens, I could see the Browns dealing ahead of the Cardinals leaving the Cards to select from a group of defenders. Finding a safety to pair with Tyrann Mathieu will be a priority and could only be trumped if they find an edge rusher worthy of this pick.
21. Green Bay Packers – Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
How could Ted Thompson pass on the value Beckham offers at No. 21. He’s a dynamic player that could work outside or inside and gives the Packers another weapon for Aaron Rodgers to play with.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St.
With Brad Roby, Darqueze Dennard, and Jason Verrett still on the board, how could Chip Kelly pass? Well, I don’t know that he will but Cooks could would be the one to intrigue Chip enough to pass on those CB options. With Jeremy Maclin coming off a knee injury and Desean Jackson ousted to Washington, WR is a huge need.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
Latimer is soaring up draft boards. I took a lot of heat having him in my top 100 a month ago but now I’m taking heat for it being too low. The rise of Latimer is more than just your typical media hype. He has all the physical tools and probably never realized his true potential with spotty QB play at IU.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Brad Roby, CB, Ohio State
Between age and injuries the Bengals will be looking for an early upgrade at the CB position. With Darqueze Dennard still on the board, the Bengals may take some heat with this selection but in the long run Roby is the superior prospect in my book.
25. San Diego Chargers – Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
The nose tackle position is a major sore spot for the Chargers and Nix’s combination of size, strength, and sneaky athleticism makes him a perfect fit for this defense.
26. Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Ray Farmer would have to feel pretty good about the potential to land Bridgewater at No. 26. Unfortunately for him, I don’t see this one happening as someone will move in front of Arizona to secure Bridgewater’s services.
27. New Orleans Saints – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Marques Colston will be 31 years old this season and looked to have lost a step – not good for a receiver that already didn’t win with his burst. Kenny Stills was a promising rookie and adding Lee to this trio secures a solid corps for Drew Brees well into the future.
28. Carolina Panthers – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
The Panthers drastically need OL help. Without help on the OL Cam Newton may be in for big struggles, no matter how much of the offense he can carry. I could see the Panthers fall from grace happening this year with so little offensive firepower to surround Cam with. Moses gives the Panthers an immediate starter at either tackle spot because he’s better than anyone on their current roster.
29. New England Patriots – Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
The Patriots need help along the interior of their offensive line. They could really use a guy that could swing from guard or center but Su’a-Filo is too good a value to pass up on at this point in the first round.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.
With the Aldon Smith saga likely to take shape over the course of the next couple of weeks, this pick is really up in the air. The Niners could opt for a pass rusher ala Kony Ealy or Dee Ford but the value of Dennard is just too good to pass on at this late juncture in round one.
31. Denver Broncos – Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio St.
The Broncos were outclassed in the Super Bowl. It’s clear the balance of power has officially swung to the NFC and if the Broncos want to regain an advantage in the twilight of Peyton Manning’s career they need to add athletes to this defense. Aqib Talib, Demarcus Ware, and T.J. Ward additions should significantly help but Shazier could be the type of athlete that puts this defense over the edge.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
The Seahawks would have to feel pretty good about adding a talent like Ealy to their already stacked defense. That defense took a few lumps this offseason with a couple of significant subtractions. I could see the Hawks retooling this defense early and often in the draft.
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