2014 Mock Draft 1.0

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Updated: April 3, 2014

by Joe Marconato, Featured Columnist

 

The top of this draft is an unusual one. Typically the team that owns the top pick is terrible. They will have so many holes that taking the best player available is the best option. Houston had a terrible season but is not a terrible team. They sport a great defense and solid starters at most positions on offense, with the exception of the most important one QB. The question for them is this, do they go with the best overall player Jadeveon Clowney or do they reach to fill a major need. When I research the players available I am constantly reminded of the last time they picked 1st overall in 2006. Do they take the dominant pass rusher as they did in 2006, or do they go for the electrifying homegrown Texas product that has a highlight reel similar to the University of Texas legend Vince Young whom they passed on. In my opinion they pass on both and take the man whom some refer to as Baby Ben.

 

 

1) Houston- QB Blake Bortles, UCF

A Risky first selection for the Bill O’Brien era, Looks like Ben, moves like Ben his arm is a little less. Has the stature and potential of a franchise QB but will he be given the time to develop into one. The pieces are there for a quick turnaround

 

2) St Louis- WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Another unusual circumstance, a good team with a high pick, I never liked Tavon Austin that high last year, he is not a number 1 receiver, Sammy Watkins is. Look for an instant impact as long as Bradford’s noodle arm can get it there.

 

3) Jacksonville-DE Jadeveon Clowney, SCAR

Gus Bradley stems from the Seahawks tree, defense first, everything else second. Playing Luck and Bortles twice a year makes it necessary to get pressure.  Derek Harvey, Aaron Kampman, Jason Babin, finally the Jags get the pass rusher they have been looking for.

 

4) Cleveland- QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

For the franchise that is the biggest disaster I give you the drafts biggest sideshow. But all jokes aside Manziel to Gordon and Cameron with a solid oline and some players on D they could be decent. There are a couple teams in the AFC North on the down slide (Pitt and Balt) could the times finally be a changing in the AFC North?

 

5) Oakland-QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

Ahhh my beloved Raiders, Reggie McKenzie is praying he knocks this out of the park or he will be out of a job by this time next year. Teddy is the most NFL ready and I believe best QB in this draft. But he doesn’t have the flash of Manziel or the size of Bortles. People ripped him for his pro day. But really who cares, when you watch the tape he reads D’s calls plays at the line, he is tough as nails and deadly accurate. It will be tough in Oak but he will make it.

 

6) Atlanta- OT Greg Robinson, Auburn

Sam Baker stinks and he may not be back. Robinson is a safe pick; they have to protect Matt Ryan better

 

7) Tampa Bay- LB CJ Mosley, Alabama

Have seen Khalil Mack here, I just don’t see how he fits a cover 2, Mosley on the other hand can fly. In the cover 2 the linebackers need to cover a ton of space, Mosley and Lavonte David will dominate Love Tbay’s talent in a Cover 2, especially with McCoy at the 3 technique.  This team could be dangerous this year.

 

8) Minnesota-LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo

I see him as a 4-3 strong side outside LB who rushes the passer on 3rd downs (think Von Miller) Minnesota’s needs a lot of help on defense, Mack will make an instant impact.

 

9) Buffalo- TE Eric Ebron- North Carolina

A bit off the chart with this pick, Ebron gets compared to Vernon Davis. He isn’t the blocker Davis is. When comparing his 40 time to Davis’s you could say not the athlete either but Davis’s combine efforts should be in the Hall of Fame, Ebron’s 4.6 forty on a wonky hamstring was not too bad at all.

 

10) Detroit- CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

Is it just me or does it seem like Detroit has never had a good corner?Maybe Dre Bly like 10 years ago? Gilbert ticks all of the boxes of the new age corner: tall, long arms and very fast. He blew up the combine.  The corner position is in the midst of an  evolution Gilbert fits the future.

 

11) Tennessee- OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

I think I screwed this one up, he probably will go way higher then this, maybe even two, but he is here and its Tennessee’s lucky day. In my opinion the 49ers began there assent with two first round picks Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. It changed their identity. The Titans attempt to do similar over two years. Matthews and Warmack will make a tough pair to play against.

 

12) New York Giants- OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan

The Giants would be ecstatic to land Lewan here; they have several holes on D but that offense was just putrid last year. They need to rebuild Eli’s confidence, protecting him is a sure fire way to do that.

 

13) St Louis- S HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama

The Rams absolutely knock this draft out of the park. Dix may be the best DB in this draft. He is so smooth in coverage. Coming out of Bama he is well versed in an NFL type system and can step in and instantly lead the Rams secondary.

 

14) Chicago- DT Aaron Donald, Pitt

Dominated the combine and was fast rising before that. His senior bowl performance was out of this world. Gets compared to Geno Atkins. Extremely high praise. Chicago let Henry Melton walk, Donald is an upgrade. Donald, Allen and Houston make a very athletic front.

 

15) Pittsburgh- DT Louis Nix III, Notre Dame

The Steelers need a space eater to replace Casey Hampton, Nix has rare athletic ability for a man of his size but lacks consistency; if he finds it he could be the next Haloti Ngata.

 

16) Dallas- DE/OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA

No Ware or Spencer, the cowboys desperately need a playmaker in the front seven. To be completely honest I strongly dislike Anthony Barr as an NFL prospect, he runs around tackles and many of his sacks are due to QB’s holding onto the ball to long. Those cheap sacks are not there in the pro’s.

 

17) Baltimore- WR Mike Evans, Texas A &M

Flacco sorely missed Boldin and Pitta last year; they desperately need a big body that can catch the ball. I am not sold on Mike Evans, he played in a sandlot offence at Texas A&M, Manziel mobility opens up WRs. Whereas Flacco’s mobility leaves some to be desired, the easy plays will not be there for Evans.

 

18) New York Jets- WR Marqise Lee, USC

The Jets would be ecstatic to land one of the draft premiere playmakers. Lee had a down year; terrible QB play and even worse coaching may have led to that. Lee can flat out fly it does not matter what the stopwatch says. He is a born playmaker. One of my personnel favorites. A far superior version of Santonio Holmes

 

 

19) Miami- OL Zach Martin, Notre Dame

Bullying ruins lives, and offensive lines, what was already a weak offensive line has become substantially worse following the Jonathan Martin/Incognito situation.  In comes Zach Martin an offensive linemen who can play outside or inside. He doesn’t fit the prototype for an offensive tackle and sometimes it is not pretty but he gets the job done.

 

20) Arizona- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

Arians believes that tight ends are there to block first and catch second. Jenkins does both extremely well. He has some character issues but his well-rounded game shines through. No matter what Arians thinks of tight ends Carson Palmer loves check downs; Jenkins will catch a ton of those.

 

21) Green Bay- DT Timmy Jernigan, FSU

Green Bays defense is one of the most perplexing situations in the league. How is Dom Capers still employed? Clay Matthew is widely considered elite despite being almost constantly hurt. He is to OLB what Darren McFadden was to RB’s a few years ago. Timmy Jernigan is an ultra talented DT that can control the line of scrimmage. However, he is raw and not well conditioned. He had to be taken out at integral moment during the National Championship game. Nonetheless with Picket gone the Packers need help inside. Maybe next year they will get a new defensive coordinator.

 

22) Philadelphia- FS Calvin Pryor, Louisville

A playmaker, the biggest complement you can pay a player. He has great ball skills and intimidates WR over the middle. He is not an elite athlete. His physical brand may cause a few fines in the pros, but WR will always know where he is.

 

23) Kansas City- WR Odell Beckham Jr. LSU

Silky smooth WR that played and produced vs. tough competition in the SEC. Great with the ball in his hands. Dangerous returner with quick acceleration.  Put questions about his top end speed to rest with a 4.43 40-yard dash

 

24) Cincinnati- QB Derrick Carr, Fresno State

It’s no secret that Andy Dalton is holding back one of the 3 most talented teams in the NFL. I could see a corner here or a pass rusher. But really if you were Marvin Lewis would you tie your future to a QB who has collapsed in every playoff game he has been in. I don’t know that Carr will be better, but isn’t the unknown better then perennial disappointment.

 

25) San Diego- CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

Yes his forty isn’t sub 4.5 and he is less than 6 feet tall, but when I watched Michigan State he stood out every game.  He can flat out play and that’s all there is to it.

 

26) Cleveland- OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

Slides due to injury concern (arthritis in his knee), the ultra athletic Kouandjio is a specimen, only 16% body fat and is actually probably the superior prospect to former teammate DJ Fluker. Will start opposite Joe Thomas giving Johnny Manziel two big time bodyguards. A risky draft by the Browns that could change the outlook of a downtrodden franchise, or potentially push it further down that path.

 

27) New Orleans-DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

Everyone is talking about Michael Sam, when Kony Ealy is the far superior player. His athleticism pops every time you watch him. He has a mean spin move in his repertoire. My early pick for defensive rookie of the year. Opposite of Cameron Jordan he will get a ton of one on one matchups.

 

28) Carolina- WR Kelvin Benjamin, FSU

For a team that went 12-4 they have a surprisingly high amount of holes, especially on offense. Their Wide Receivers are grotesque. Benjamin is a massive WR with soft hands who can win jump balls in the red zone. I do not see him ever becoming a legit number one target as he does not have the speed to separate, but he could be an extremely effective weapon given the right opportunity.

 

29) New England- TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

There are no trades in this mock but if there were I would assume the Patriots would have traded this 14 times already and got four fourth round picks for it. This draft strategy is beginning to haunt the Pats leaving Brady stripped of all weapons. This is the reason I have them taking Amaro. His 40 was terrible but he has great hands, runs great routes, and is as tall as Gronk. With him and Gronk in the lineup the Pats will be a terror in the redzone.

 

30) San Francisco- WR Brandin Cook, Oregon State

For this pick I go to the old Al Davis playbook. Just find me the fastest guy. Cook can fly and the 49ers need that in the worst way. Crabtree and Boldin are both effective players but neither are number one WR due to their inability to separate. Cook will push coverage off open up space for those guys and catch a few deep balls.

 

31) Denver- CB Jason Verrett, TCU

A quick fluid corner, who makes plays on the ball, lacks ideal size but makes up for it in short area quickness and awareness.  The Broncos brought in Aqib Talib, whom is top end yet unreliable player, they still have a need to strengthen the D. Verrett will help stabilize the position for years to come.

 

32) Seattle Seahawks- DT/DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame

Last year this guy was a lock top 15 pick. He got hurt and then showed up out of shape. Has elite talent. The Seahawks are stacked and are in the envious position to take the best player available. They land a guy with a skill set similar to Richard Seymour and an already elite defense gets better.

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