2014 NFL Mock Draft: A new No. 1

Posted by Brad On April – 4 – 2014
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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.
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"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.

"Johnny Manziel"

4. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns are positioned to take or not take a quarterback at No. 4 with Brian Hoyer at the helm. Hoyer’s recovery from an ACL is ahead of schedule and he’ll be ready to compete this spring. With Manziel, the Browns get someone that fits what Kyle Shanahan wants to do on offense. Additionally, he provides a splash for an organization in need of a major boost.

"Sammy Watkins"

5. Oakland Raiders – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Matt Schaub is going to need all the help he can get. Watkins is a dynamic, explosive playmaker that brings a much needed competitor to this receiving corps.

"Jake Matthews"

6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The Falcons miss out on Clowney and Mack so they look to firm up their offensive line. As much as they need a Clowney-type on defense, I could argue that an OT capable of keeping Matt Ryan upright is equally if not more important.

"Mike Evans"

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Three A&M players off the board in the first seven selections. Mike Williams may not be long for the new Bucs regime. His latest transgression could have him wearing out his welcome fairly quickly. Pairing Evans with Vincent Jackson gives the Bucs a monster pair of receivers for Josh McCown – similar to what he had in Chicago.

"Blake Bortles"

8. Minnesota Vikings – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Norv Turner gets a guy that fits what he likes to do. Bortles has the stuff to be effective, eventually, in this system. The question will be will this regime be around long enough to see him grow into being a solid starter. Hopefully Matt Cassel is ready to play stopgap for a season or two while Bortles grows into an NFL starter – because he’s not at that point yet.

"Ha Ha Clinton-Dix"

9. Buffalo Bills – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

The Bills may look to get out of this spot but I’m not sure they will have suitors with the top shelf of players off the board. If they stay here I think it comes down to a tackle (Taylor Lewan or Zack Martin) or Ha Ha. In this scenario the Bills find their Jairus Byrd replacement and hope to score a RT later in the draft.

"Anthony Barr"

10. Detroit Lions – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Lions fans’ will be bored with my mock drafts if Barr and Davante Adams (in the second) continue to be available for the taking. They both fill big needs for the Lions with great value with where they are picking.

"Taylor Lewan"

11. Tennessee Titans – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

I know they picked up Michael Oher in free agency but this selection is two-fold. One I’m not confident that Oher is anything more than a serviceable swing tackle and the other being Michael Roos will be 32-years old next season and will be in the final year of his deal.

"Aaron Donald"

12. New York Giants – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

I badly wanted to slot Donald into an earlier slot. I think he winds up going higher than anyone anticipates – as high as No. 5. If he lands with the Giants it’s a great value addition for a defense in need.

"Justin Gilbert"

13. St. Louis Rams – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

The Rams would love for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to fall into their laps here but he could start coming into play with the Vikings at No. 8 and you could make an argument the four selections ahead of them could use Ha Ha. With that in mind, the Rams go for a long corner to match up with the Michael Crabtree’s and Larry Fitzgerald’s of their division.

"Darqueze Dennard"

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

The Bears would love for Aaron Donald to make it down their way. This pick should come down to a corner, safety, or defensive tackle. With Dennard still on the board they jump at the opportunity to match up this physical corner with the NFC North WR’s.

"C.J. Mosley"

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

As much as I wanted to slot a receiver or tight end in here I just can’t get by the fact that C.J. Mosley screams Steelers to me. This selection is on my gut, not my brain. I badly wanted to say it would be Eric Ebron or Odell Beckham but Mosley is the direction I think they go in May.

"Timmy Jernigan"

16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

End is the bigger need along the defensive line but Kony Ealy is a stretch for me at this point. Jernigan could pair with Henry Melton to give the ‘Boys a dynamic duo in the middle of their defense.
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  • Reggie

    Buddy I do not believe Minnesota will double up on QB.
    As for Lions yes it can be boring but I do not find any problem with the duo.

    • bradc11

      Thanks for the catch Reggie. It’s changed. It’s a solid get for the Lions, so no need to change it if it works.

  • Flint

    I got to say I hate your two first rd. Browns picks. “Johnny Trademark” is a BIG reach, and if we are to take a corner, we need one with size.

    • bradc11

      We’ll see on Johnny…I’m not sure he makes it to the Browns.

      Don’t get lost in Verrett’s height. If you didn’t know he was 5’9″ish you wouldn’t know watching his tape. He played a slew of ‘big’ receivers and more than held his own. I’m not sure he’s not the best corner in this draft. If he were 5’11 or 6’0 we’d be talking about him as a top 10 pick.

      • Flint

        O.K., Quality is there at corner, with J.V., but Haden is avg. size and Skrine under-sized ( except his heart). We better get a big safety then, and I’d still like someone like McGill.

        • bradc11

          They definitely need to add more than one in the secondary. They probably pick up a safety in the mid-to-late rounds. McGill would be a good fit for them but he’s probably going to come off the board late on day two – maybe too rich for them with other needs to fill.

  • Phillip

    And Green Bay fans will continue to disagree. We could easily move up in the 2nd and still find Ward, there’s no way Ted Thompson reaches for Ward at 21, he could even trade down 10-15 spots, add picks and still get Ward. If Mosley, Dix, and Ebron are all gone, Ryan Shazier will likely be going 21 and than Green Bay could get aggressive and possibly look to add Ward or Bucannon in the 2nd, and who knows, Ward has a mid 2nd draft grade and even lower with a lot of people, he could easily fall in our laps at 53, but 21 is just far too early for Ward.

    • bradc11

      Call me stunned if Ward makes it out of round 1. On May 9th if he’s still on the board you can shoot me an email ([email protected]) and tell me I told you so. Shazier would be a solid pick for the Pats and if I didn’t go with Ward, he probably would have been in serious consideration.

    • Micheal Profetta

      Shazier or Mosley would make sense for the Packers in round one. Clinton-Dix is exactly what they need, but they would probably have to trade up. Don’t sleep on Ward. He has some Polamalu to his game and I doubt he’ll be available at #53. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Eagles at #22 or Chargers at #25 scooped him up. Green Bay got zero turnovers from their safeties last season, so a play-maker like Bucannon makes sense, but he’s more of a box safety. The Packers need a safety who excels in coverage. Terrence Brooks could be a 2nd round target. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that Thompson will draft a WR much higher than most expect. The Packers have been “talking up” Jarrett Boykin…perhaps a little too much. He’s known to disappear for stretches (see playoff loss to SF) and I think that his ceiling is as a #4 WR. If Mike Evans somehow slips to #21, Thompson will grab him.

  • Duncan

    HCD would still probably be available if Buffalo were to trade down a few slots. I like the pick, but I don’t Clinton-Dix has the value to be taken at #9.

    Cyrus Kounandijo, seems to to be falling down draft boards due to his bad knees. I would still love to have him if he can prove that he will be around more than two or three years into his career, but at this point, he looks like a third round prospect to me.

  • neighborhooddrunkpart2

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