2014 NFL Mock Draft (Pre-Free Agency)
Every year I read over NFL mock drafts and every year I laugh at how wrong they are. To be fair, the NFL Draft is one of the hardest things in sports to predict and no one can possibly be 100% right, but I'm tired of sitting on the sidelines. This mock draft will serve to be my predictions before the free agency period hits. It will be a way for me to get my predictions on the record and refer back to when I do my final mock draft later in the year.
For this mock's sake, I will assume no trades will take place in the first round. My final mock draft will include any predicted trades. I've listed a short description of my thoughts on each pick, and will expand on these in my final mock. Enjoy!
1. HOU: QB-Blake Bortles (UCF)--I'd be shocked if the Texans don't take a QB here and I think new head coach Bill O'Brien likes Bortles the best.
2. STL: OT-Jake Mathews (TAMU)--I considered Robinson here, but Mathews is more polished at this time. If the Rams don't feel they can get Evans at 13 I think they go Watkins here.
3. JAX: DE-Jadeveon Clowney (SC)--Jacksonville could go QB here, but they're not that close to contention and the QB crop is better next year, when they'll be picking top-5 again.
4. CLE: QB-Johnny Manziel (TAM)--Cleveland could use a boost at the QB position and I think Manziel is the best one in this draft
5. OAK: QB-Teddy Bridgewater (LOU)--Oakland always seems to make weird picks at the top of the draft and if Watkins is there they may take him, but I think they'll get this one right. There are other needs, but they don't have the QB of their future currently on the roster.
6. ATL: OL-Greg Robinson (AUB)--Falcons need to start protecting their franchise QB.
7. TB: LB-Khalil Mack (BUF)--Mack is an absolute animal that Lovie Smith will be chomping at the bit to let loose.
8. MIN: WR-Sammy Watkins (CLEM)--This is a bit of an odd pair, but Watkins and Patterson on the same offense could be lethal. Now they just need a QB.
9. BUF: LB-CJ Mosely (ALA)--The addition of Mosely could give the Bills a top five defense.
10. DET: CB-Justin Gilbert (OK ST)--I think the combine cemented Gilbert as the top corner. Hopefully the Lions can restrain from drafting Mike Evans because they need help on defense.
11. TEN: S-Calvin Pryor (LOU)--The Titans need a safety and Pryor is the best one in this draft.
12. NYG: LB-Anthony Barr (UCLA)--I think the Giants could go a few directions here, but Barr is a versatile monster that they shouldn't pass on.
13. STL: WR-Mike Evans (TAMU)--With their second pick in the top 15, the Rams will take another weapon for Sam Bradford. This is the final year of his contract, and if he can't get it done with this offense I think they look elsewhere the following year.
14. CHI: DT-Louis Nix III (ND)--The Bears need to upgrade and get younger along the defensive line. I think Aaron Donald from Pitt is a possibility, but think Chicago will want someone bigger.
15. PIT: OT-Taylor Lewan (MICH)--The Steelers fill a gap on the O-line with this pick.
16. DAL: DE-Dee Ford (AUB)--I also think safety Clinton-Dix is a possibility here, but the Cowboys may be parting ways with DeMarcus Ware and they know how valuable being able to pressure the QB is for their defense.
17. BAL-WR Marquise Lee (USC)--I think the Ravens would like to get an offensive tackle here, but unless they trade up I think it's a reach and they need to add an impact player to their receiving core.
18. NYJ-WR Kelvin Benjamin (FSU)--The Jets need to upgrade their receiving core and I think they'd like to make it a big target.
19. MIA-OT-Zach Martin (ND)--The Dolphins replace one Martin with another
20. ARI-DE-Kony Ealy (MIZZ)--The Cards upgrade their defense following the model of their NFC West rivals.
21. GB-S-Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (ALA)--I'm not sure that he lasts this long, but if he's there I think the Packers take him.
22. PHI-CB-Darqueze Dennard (MSU)--I think the Eagles sign a bigtime safety in free agency which allows them to take the best available corner here
23. KC-TE-Eric Ebron (NC)--I don't expect Ebron to go this late, but not sure who takes him before this and the Chiefs need more weapons on offense.
24. CIN-CB-Jason Verret (TCU)--The Bengals upgrade their secondary with this pick.
25. SD-DT-Aaron Donald (PITT)--Donald may not be the best fit, but I think the Chargers get nice value here.
26. CLE-OL-Xavier Su'a Filo (UCLA)--Browns take advantage of no more Trent Richardson.
27. NO-CB-Kyle Fuller (VT)--Saints fill hole from offseason cuts.
28. CAR-WR-Brandin Cooks (OSU)--Cam needs another weapon.
29. NE-TE-Jace Amaro (TTU)--An Aaron Hernandez clone (on the field).
30. SF-WR-Allen Robinson (PSU)--Think this is a nice fit and necessity for the Niners.
31. DEN-DT-Rashede Hageman (MIN)--Broncos need to get tougher in the trenches.
32. SEA-G-David Yankey (STAN)--One of the few holes the Super Bowl champion Seahawks have is on their interior line.