NFL's Future

2014 NFL Mock Draft

"Sammy Watkins"

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

This anxiety of the extra two weeks of prep time is finally behind us and the one week countdown clock has officially started. This draft is as unpredictable as any during my time of covering the draft and possibly watching the draft. From the possibility of the No. 1 overall pick being traded to the historic depth we are bound to be glued to every second of the 2014 NFL Draft, not that we wouldn’t be anyway.

This mock is the last of my best guesses as we begin the transition over to the Huddle Report submission. Next Thursday, as the clock strikes midnight, my final mock draft will be submitted for this year’s contest. After a fifth place finish last year and three consecutive years scoring in the 40′s the goal will be to hit the 50 mark – which usually is good enough to secure a win. So follow along next week by checking out The Huddle Report scoring system and see if I can break 50 points.

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Will Atlanta pull the trigger on moving up the draft for this ‘once-in-a-decade’ player? That’s the question that will lurk over the next week’s worth of draft talk. My bet is at the end they stay put or maybe make a less costly move up for Khalil Mack. In the end, Jadeveon Clowney is bound to be the draft’s top pick.

2. St. Louis Rams – Khalil Mack, Edge Rusher, Buffalo

I remain steadfast in Khalil Mack being the second player off the board next Thursday. Whether it be a team like Atlanta or Detroit moving up for Mack or Les Snead decides to opt to strengthen their already strong defense, my money is on Mack being taken in this spot. Gregg Williams will play a whole bunch of press coverage and bring blitzes from all over the defense. Adding Mack to bring heat off the edge and possibly to play more multiple fronts makes a ton of sense in my book.

Whoever wants Mack had better move into this spot because I see no chance he makes it past the Jags at No. 3.

MORE: Khalil Mack will be the second player off the board Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Mock Draft: Breathe a sigh of relief, there’s only a week left»

"Zack Martin"

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Like it or not we’ve about exhausted the additional time before next week’s draft. I, for one, hate waiting two more weeks for the draft but I’ve found ways to grin and bare it.

The two additional weeks allowed me to become bolder on my predictions as the overthinking process has set in and we’ve begun to explore avenues that weren’t even a thought this time last week (when the draft would normally take place).

Every year we make some bold predictions a week out from the draft. This year will be no different other than the fact that we have no idea how the top of this draft will play out. For three consecutive years, I’ve hit on the top four picks (twice on the top five) of the draft in The Huddle Report mock draft contest. That run could come to a close as I have no idea where this thing is going to go at the top. This uncertainty makes things very interesting and we’ll all be glued to ESPN or NFL Network next Thursday at 8:00 PM EST to see if Jadeveon Clowney is the top pick and whether Houston is still selecting in that spot.

Enough with the excitement building and onto the predictions. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Draft: Five Bold Predictions and One Not-So Bold Prediction»

"Jadeveon Clowney"

Jadeveon going #1 but will it be to the Texans?

It’s Saturday morning and in two weeks from today the first two rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft will be in the books. With that in mind, I bring you my predictions for those rounds on this glorious Saturday morning. Before anyone chalks me up as a moron (or worse) realize how many times the draft follows anyone’s expectations. No mock on NFL’s Future is ever your standard issue mock, and this one lives up to those expectations.

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

I believe the Texans look to move out of this pick…hard. If they can slide down the board and still swing Khalil Mack, they would. If they can move down and grab Johnny or Bortles, they will. I fully expect Jadeveon Clowney to be the top pick in this draft but I’d put the odds at 60-40 that he’s not wearing a Texans uniform next season.

2. St. Louis Rams – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Jo-Lonn Dunbar was cut after a 4 game suspension but brought back. This defense is verging on an elite unit and Mack could be the force that puts them over the edge. Mack’s addition to the LB crew gives it some major punch and gives the Rams a ferocious front seven. My question, why is no one looking at Mack to St. Louis.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Jags miss out on Clowney and Mack, so the decision is likely to come down to Sammy Watkins or one of the QB’s. I, personally, feel Jacksonville may be the best fit (on both ends) for Manziel. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Mock Draft: 3 Rounds of Saturday Morning Reading»

2014 NFL Draft: Final Prospect Rankings

Posted by Brad On April - 25 - 2014ADD COMMENTS

"Dee Ford"

Outside of adding the final 50 players to the list there aren’t any major changes to the rankings. As expected these rankings were fairly static since the end of the Combine. Our biggest leaps up the board were with Kyle Fuller, Joel Bitonio, and Phillip Gaines. I really dug in on the cornerbacks because they are a positional group that I’ve missed on in the past. We learn a lot from our past mistakes and I’ve realized the errors of my old ways. In doing so, Fuller and Gaines jumped out at me for very different reasons and earned a re-ranking. For Bitonio, he’s a guy that I spent a lot of time on before the last rankings but really felt I was too low on him. For that reason, he’s been pushed up our board.

For the fallers, Brad Roby is one that sticks out to me (from 11 to 18). Roby’s fall was partially due to the fact that I’ve had this resounding thought that Jason Verrett was the best corner in this class for months, yet had Roby consistently ranked ahead of him. I went back and watched both of them last week and the thought became gospel. Roby is an elite athlete but there are some flaws in his technique, while Verrett is solid all around but lacks size. For those reasons, Verrett is officially our top corner in the draft.

This will be our final update to our rankings for the 2014 draft season. From this point forward I can be judged by these rankings. The booms and busts can be rehashed down the road and the mud slinging can commence on my hits and misses. I didn’t go as deep as normal but the time was invested heavily on those that are ranked here. For that reason, I feel pretty good about the final rankings with very few questions still left unanswered.

For those wondering where the Friday mock draft is, it will be out tomorrow with three rounds for your enjoyment. It will be our last multi-round mock as I begin to hone in on my final submission for the Huddle Report contest. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Draft: Final Prospect Rankings»

"Eric Ebron"

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

The 2014 NFL Draft is less than three weeks out and things are as murky as I can remember in recent years. With so many great players atop this draft, it’s going to be a difficult call to accurately predict many of these selections. I think the top two picks have a shot at being dealt on or before draft day. If Houston settles on taking a QB and passing on Clowney I feel pretty confident they will move down the board a few slots remaining in the mix to snag Manziel or Bortles. In this mock, I’m sticking with Clowney but I went on the record last week, saying this pick could be dealt to the highest bidder.

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

This one is Clowney or a trade back in my book. The question will be what team will be willing to give up a king’s ransom to move up for Clowney.

2. Atlanta Falcons (trade w/STL) – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Atlanta finds it a bit too costly to move up to No. 1 for Clowney and wind up finding a better fit for what they want to do. The Falcons sense the Jags pining for Mack’s services so they pull the trigger to get a guy they should be targeting. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Mock Draft: T-Minus Three Weeks Until Draft Day»

"Connor Cook"

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 NFL Draft is just weeks away but our evaluation sites have been turned to the 2015 class. “The hay has been in the barn” for a couple of weeks on 2014, so now is the perfect time to begin to preview the 2015 NFL Draft.

The 2014 NFL Draft is talent-ridden from top to bottom and the 2015 class appears to be fairly similar in regards to the overall talent. First up we’ll preview the offensive skill guys with the brutes on the offensive and defensive line next week.

Quarterbacks

1. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan St.

I was burned by another preseason ranking of a state of Michigan QB last offseason. I don’t think I made the same mistake on Cook. Cook emerged last season as one of, if not the best QB in the conference. He put himself on the national stage with his stellar performance against the vaunted Stanford Cardinal defense. Another season like the last and he’ll be moving on up quickly. Read the rest of this entry » «2015 NFL Draft Preseason Offensive Skill Guy Rankings»

"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. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Mock Draft – 2 Rounds Chock Full of Trades»

Five Things I Think, I Think

Posted by Brad On April - 8 - 20145 COMMENTS

 

"NFL Draft"

USA Today Sports

We are less than a month out to the 2014 NFL Draft and the smoky NFL offices are billowing. In the last Five Things I Think, I Think I tackled the quarterbacks heavily – I promise today will be less QB centric. I created a bit of a storm with my take on Bill O’Brien checking in on the contract of Brian Hoyer. That noise hasn’t stopped but the Browns aren’t dealing Hoyer unless they get an offer they can’t refuse, so the Texans moved on by signing Ryan Fitzpatrick. Today’s I Think, I Think won’t end with Houston or the quarterbacks as we make a few more bold predictions on non-QB’s.

The top pick will be dealt Read the rest of this entry » «Five Things I Think, I Think»

2014 NFL Mock Draft: A new No. 1

Posted by Brad On April - 4 - 201411 COMMENTS

Blake Bortles or Jadeveon Clowney. Jadeveon Clowney or Blake Bortles. This will be one of the most hotly debated items leading up the May 8th draft. I’ve stood pat on a quarterback atop the draft but this week some clarity came to me with Houston. Needless to say we have a new No. 1. 

The intrigue in this draft is remarkable – maybe more than in any draft that I’ve covered. From Clowney to Manziel to where all these QB’s go we may no very little heading into Thursday. Combine that with the fact that this is as talented and deep as any draft in recent memory and the sparks begin to fly. Buckle up because the next month is going to be filled with unknowns and a whole lot of smoke.

"Jadeveon Clowney"

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

I broke my rule and no it’s not because of his Pro Day. I’m just not sure how the B.O.B. and the Texans brass could be sold on taking Blake Bortles with guys of the ilk of Clowney out there. Houston could be aggressive trading back into the first round for Carr or Bridgewater.
Anything Lists on Ranker
"Greg Robinson"

2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

With Jadeveon Clowney off the board, the Rams could find themselves with little market for the second pick. If they stay put they would be wise to snatch Robinson off the board. The sleeper here is Khalil Mack – I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he is the card they turn in at 2.

"Khalil Mack"

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

I was 50-50 on this one between Mack and Johnny Manziel. It could go any direction and I wouldn’t be surprised. Mack is as disruptive as any defender in this draft, including Clowney so Gus Bradley may push David Caldwell for an impact defender. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Mock Draft: A new No. 1»

"Anthony Barr"

USA TODAY Sports

This week gives us no changes in the top four but after that it’s change galore. The pick sure to draw the most buzz, otherwise known as hate, will be John Football to the Buccaneers. Johnny will be in the spotlight today as everyone outside of the Browns embark on College Station to watch J.F. spin it. I know this won’t be a popular pick but I’d love to see what Jeff Tedford would do with Manziel at the helm.

Enough Johnny talk, this draft is incredibly deep. With each mock draft that I complete it becomes more clear that teams will be aligning themselves to stockpile picks in the first three rounds. I see the quality of this draft in those areas as you can find first rounders into the beginning stages of round two and second rounders deep into the third. The studs  at the top of the draft will get all the attention but down the road the talk may be the steals on day two.

1. Houston Texans – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

No changes this week to our top 4, so I won’t bore you with the same old explanation. I still think this one is a QB because John McClain said so. Until he moves off that stance, you will be seeing Blake Bortles atop my mocks.

2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

One point that I probably should have made with the Rams is that I think they trade out of this pick to accrue more picks – probably future picks. Former NFLF mock draft legend, Michael Profetta believes the Cowboys could be a prime target to move way up the draft and Les Snead could find J.J. a prime candidate to fleece out of picks for this and next year.That said, we aren’t mocking trades, so the pick remains Greg Robinson. Read the rest of this entry » «2014 NFL Mock Draft: Johnny Manziel to the Bucs?»