2014 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
17. Baltimore Ravens - OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
Offensive line was a major issue last season for the Ravens as they struggled to give Joe Flacco enough time to survey down the field as well as open up lanes for the running game. They made a trade to solidify the offensive line mid-season by acquiring Eugene Monroe, which helps the left tackle position. Martin could play the right tackle position if Micheal Oher is let go, but he could also slide to the inside at left guard. Martin is a skilled offensive lineman and while he might not make a great offensive tackle, he would make an outstanding guard. Martin has the versatility to play all five positions on an offensive line making him an even more intriguing prospect for the Ravens.
18. New York Jets - WR Marqise Lee, USC
You would find a hard time naming some of the receivers that Geno Smith was throwing to last season. On top of that, now the Jets have cut their best wideout Santonio Holmes leaving Geno just one decent receiver in Jeremy Kerley who isn't much more then a slot receiver. Marqise Lee is an extremely talented wide receiver with decent size and great running after the catch. There are rumors that the Jets would pursue Eric Decker in free agency and Lee would be the perfect compliment to the big bodied Eric Decker. Decker can be the possession receiver while Lee would take the top off of the defense.
19. Miami Dolphins - CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
The Dolphins would love to address their offensive line but their are no players available that truly warrant a first round selection at this point. This leaves the Dolphins to choose the best player available who happens to be one of the more talented corners in the draft. Dennard would greatly help their pass defense as outside of Brent Grimes, their corners are a bit suspect. Dennard is a great press corner while also having terrific ball skills. The only gripe on him would be his injury woes in the past, however there are no worries about his on the field skill.
20. Arizona Cardinals - OLB/DE Anthony Barr - UCLA
Anthony Barr was initially considered to be one of the best pass rushers in the draft, however after a poor combine his stock fell pretty low. The Cardinals would be elated to see him fall this far as he would step in day one and compete at a high level for them giving them a good duo of pass rushers alongside Sam Acho. The Cardinals defense will need some addressing this off-season as over the years the offense has gotten more attention, thus their defense has father time knocking on the door..
21. Green Bay Packers - S Haha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
One of the issues with the Packers defense was that once they lost Nick Collins, their defense never regained their form. In their super bowl run, their defense was all over the field thanks to Collins, Charles Woodson and a great front seven. The front seven still needs some work, but Clinton-Dix is too good of a prospect to pass up in this position and would help solidify the back end of their defense for years to come. He is terrific in coverage and a capable hitter. Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett would make for a great duo at the safety position for the Packers defense who seems to be in a transitional period.
22. Philadelphia Eagles - S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
This kind of pick would make every Eagles fan love Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly so much more. Even since Brian Dawkins left Philadelphia, the Eagles have desperately want a safety who would make receivers think twice about catching the ball over the middle of the field. Calvin Pryor would be that guy. He plays with great instincts while also being a lights-out hitter. He is a tempo-setter on the defensive side of the ball and has the makings of a leader. He is a bit of a box safety, and he can get lost in coverage from time to time but he is rangy enough to play center field thanks to his speed. Eagles fans would love him thanks to the confidence he plays with and the attitude he carries on the field.
23. Kansas City Chiefs - WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
The Chiefs offense lacked any kind of explosiveness in the passing game last season, which cost them against the high powered offenses of the Colts, Broncos and Patriots last season. Outside of Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs lacked any real threat in the passing game. This of course makes Brandin Cooks the ideal pickup for the Chiefs. He is a smaller wide receiver with great speed, which is exactly the kind of receiver Andy Reid loves for his system. Cooks is terrific after the catch and can take the top off of the defense. He would shine on the outside, but would wreck havoc on defenses out of the slot position.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
The Bengals are already very good defensively, but their pass coverage could use some help. Leon Hall is their top cover man but he has had injury issues and age is catching up to him. Past Hall, their talent at the position takes a dip so in drafting Bradley Roby they would be adding more talent to that position while also making it much deeper. Roby could probably step in as the number two corner on the team, or make for a very good nickel corner as they slide Dre Kirkpatrick to the opposite side of Leon Hall. Roby fits in perfectly with this defense as he is a good physical corner but he also can help in run defense as he is a very stout tackler.
25. San Diego Chargers - DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
The Chargers defensive line needs help and their starting nose tackle left for free agency making this selection an obvious choice. Louis Nix is a mammoth and a superior run stopper which would be welcomed among the Chargers defensive front. Nix would make life easier for the linebackers behind him and the pass rushers. Nix could soak up blocks but due to his huge frame, he has a good first step that allows him to get penetration into the backfield.
26. Cleveland Browns - QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
This is a dream scenario for the Browns but the possibility of this happening is very real. Drafting Sammy Watkins with the 4th pick solidified their offensive weapons and now Derek Carr comes in as their starting quarterback. Carr has a great arm then screams gunslinger along the lines of Jay Cutler due to his ability to get out of the pocket and use his feet. However, it might be better for him to become a bit of a game manager. He has the potential to be a leader as he is tough, instinctive and highly competitive, all of which are traits that new head coach Mike Pettine would love out of his starting quarterback.
27. New Orleans Saints - CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
The Saints could go in a lot of different directions with this pick, but ultimately they look to shore up their cornerback position having released Jabari Greer before free agency began. Kyle Fuller fits what he wants out of a cover corner due to his willingness to make a tackle to stop the running game. He is a physical corner with good size and plays with good balance while attacking the ball at it's highest point.
28. Carolina Panthers - WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
Pairing Kelvin Benjamin with Cam Newton just makes sense. Both players are complete freaks at their positions and stand taller then almost everyone at their position. There is also a huge need for a wide receiver on the Panthers roster and Benjamin could step in from day one and be their number one wide receiver. He has great size and good speed for his size. Cam Newton loves to throw the fade route and now with the addition of Benjamin, that fade route would be deadly with these two on the same team.
29. New England Patriots - CB Jason Verrett, TCU
With Aqib Talib most likely leaving through free agency, this selection makes sense. As of now the Patriots have Alfonzo Dennard and Logan Ryan at cornerback. Of course that will likely change between now and when the draft starts, but even then Verrett would provide the Patriots with some much need depth and talent at the position that has been lacking in recent years. Verrett could play on the outside for the Patriots and he could even make a great nickel corner, he has tremendous versatility which is something Bill Belichick covets.
30. San Francisco 49ers - WR Odell Beckham, LSU
This pick makes a lot of sense for the Niners if Beckham falls this far. Beckham has tremendous speed and would factor in greatly as a slot receiver to any team he goes to. Due to his frame, it is unlikely that he would be effective on the outside matched up one on one with top notch corners due to his lack of being physical at the point of impact but he has incredible speed. His speed would be a great compliment to Micheal Crabtree and Anquan Boldin on the outside. Crabtree and Boldin are big bodied wide receivers that can make the tough catches, but with Kaepernick's arm strength and Beckham's speed that makes for a tough cover for any defense. Beckham could very well complete the Niners already impressive offensive attack.
31. Denver Broncos - LB Ryan Shazier , Ohio State
The Broncos defense struggled up the middle in large part due to the revolving door at inside linebacker last season. Wesley Woodyard was the day one starter who lost his job to journeyman Paris Lenon. Ryan Shazier could fill that void as he is a terrific tackler and very disruptive in the passing game and running game. He has a great blend of speed, power and coverage skills that is coveted from an inside linebacker in today's game. It also helps that Shazier comes from a school of great tradition that produces terrific linebackers in today's game. With a healthy Von Miller next season, he and Shazier would make for a lethal duo for many years to come.
32. Seattle Seahawks - DE/DT Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
The Seahawks lost some big bodies on their defensive front to free agency and seeing how that is their strong suit, they will not let a player of Hageman's stature pass them by. Hageman is a disruptive player with a tremendous amount of upside while he is also a boom or bust type of prospect, which fits perfectly into the Seahawks type of player. However, with the release of Red Bryant who was terrific against the running game the selection of Hageman makes all the more sense for them. He is a tremendous run stopper and has the flexibility to play the defensive end position in a three down lineman front or the defensive tackle position in a four man front. That versatility would surely be coveted by the Seahawks.
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