2014 NFL Mock Draft
Round 1 of 2 Rounds
The phone lines are open in Houston but if they stay at #1 , I expect them to go with the safer more versatile defensive player over the freakish upside / quesionable attitude of Clowney. Houston's team defense ranked 28th in the League, tied for 29th with only 32 sacks. Paired with JJ Watt, Mack should help the Texans improve on their 23rd ranked run defense. The Texans LB corps would get a major boost with Brian Cushing also returning from a season ending injury. Brooks Reed
The RG3 trade continues to pay dividends for the rebuilding Rams. Jake Long tore his ACL and MCL in December. Free agent Rodger Saffold was resigned but an upgrade is needed. The most athletic O-lineman with the biggest upside in this class should be the pick here.
Head coach Gus Bradley (former Seattle DC) will look to upgrade the Jaguars league-worst pass rush (31 sacks). Despite a down 2013, Clowney flashed the skills to be a future Hall of Famer with a lights out 2012 season when the sophomore amassed 54 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss and 13 sacks. In 2013, Clowney totaled 50 tackles, three sacks, and 11.5 tackles for a loss. He has the skill set to be a yearly double digit sack master at the NFL level.
Cleveland could go quarterback here but it would not be the best value on the board. Considering they have another pick (#26) in the first round thanks to the Trent Richardson trade - they should go BPA here. Josh Gordon had a true breakout season but is also just one more off-field mistake from a significant suspension. Upgrading from Greg Little and Davone Bess' (led the league with 14 drops) could take this passing offense to top 5 status. In 2013, Watkins hauled in 101 receptions for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns and many experts consider him to be the best WR prospect since 2011 when the dynamic duo of AJ Green and Julio Jones were selected amongst the top 10 picks.
The Raiders have urgent holes to fill elsewhere but they have to stop playing QB roulette. The Raiders have the luxury of perhaps allowing him to learn behind Texans cast off Matt Schaub. Could Johnny Football be the 2nd coming of Ken Stabler ? Johnny football's fit for this system is a question mark but the upside is off the charts despite his questionable maturity and smallish frame. While Manziel's running ability gets a lot of attention, 2013 showed that his passing skills are improved as the redshirt sophomore completed 70% of his passes for 4,114 yards with 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He added 923 rushing yards (759 net) with nine touchdowns on the ground. In 2012, the redshirt freshman won the Heisman after he completed 68% of his passes for 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. In his first collegiate season he rushed for an eye popping 1,571 yards (1,410 net) with 21 touchdowns.
Protecting franchise QB Matt Ryan should be a priority on draft day. LT Sam Baker (6-year, $41 million contract) was a bust in his first season with Atlanta. RT Mike Johnson has struggled to stay healthy. Adding a pass rusher like OLB Anthony Barr is also a possibility. The son of Bruce Matthews will be a welcomed addition for Matty Ice. Matthews excels as a pass-protector and run-blocker The 6-foot-5, 308-pounder is athletic, with elite instincts and intelligence. Probably the safest O-line prospect in this draft
This pick should be a pass catching playmaker following the trade of head case WR Mike Williams to Buffalo. Lovie Smith and first year OC Jeff Tedford (Cal head coach) will need to add weapons opposite 31 year old Vincent Jackson. TE Eric Ebron and WR Mike Evans are the best available. In 2013, the redshirt sophomore had 69 receptions for 1,394 yards with 12 touchdowns. At 6-4, 230 pounds he'll provided QB Josh McCown with another size/speed mismatch combo like he had in Chicago with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Minnesota needs to find their QB of the future but will likely waint until rounds 2/3 to upgrade. Christian Ponder (major bust as the 12th overall pick in 2011) could make GM Rick Spielman gunshy about rolling dice on another first round signal caller. Defensive minded first year head coach will get his way as Minnesota looks to improve a defense that allowed a league high 30 points per game in 2013. Donald's stock is on the rise based on a solid combine as well as impressive collegiate stats. His stats for 2013 and career are as follows: sacks (11 in 2013, 29.5 in his career) and tackles for a loss (28.5 in 2013, 66 for his career). He's a bit light for a DT (285 pounds) and some question his arm length, but there is no doubting his elite production.
Scott Chandler was resigned but an upgrade is needed. The Bills 28th ranked passing game is in dire need of playmakers even after the trade for WR Mike Williams. The UNC junior finished the 2013 season with 62 catches for 973 (16 YPC) and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-5 250 pounder ran very well at the combine (4.5) and some have compared him to Vernon Davis.
Detroit's 23rd ranked pass defense could use an upgrade. LCB Chris Houston was benched late in season and rookie Darius Slay was replaced by 33-year-old Rashean Mathis (due to hit free agency). Dennard is an elite press-man corner capable of matching up against No. 1 receivers. He lacks top end speed but would be a welcomed addition to the Lions 23rd ranked pass defense.
The Titans decided not to pick up Jake Locker's 2015 option and the oft injured QB has yet to justify his first round status. The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder is considered to be a solid pocket passer with above average accuracy and decision-making. In 2013, Bridgewater completed 71% of his passes for 3,970 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. Once thought to be in contention to be in contention to be the #1 overall pick, his struggles on Pro Day should keep him on the board outside the top 10.
Will Beatty struggled in 2013 and broke his leg in the season finale (probably better at RT). First-round rookie Justin Pugh could move inside. Finding a blind-side protector for Eli Manning (coming off surgery) should take priority. Geoff Schwartz and Charles Brown were signed in free agency but are better utilized as backups. The senior surprised many when he returned for the 2013 season as many viewed him as a top 10 talent for last year's draft. An impressive combine (fast forty time and solid field drills) have his stock on the rise as rumors have circulated that some teams prefer Lewan over Matthews. He has good height and length, he to play the left side and has added nearly 50 pounds since high school. He plays with a mean streak but will need to cut down on the penalties and improve his footwork to excel on the blind side.
Rodney McLeod was one of the worst starting safeties in the NFL last season and rookie T.J. McDonald (3rd round) struggled but flashed potential. In his 2013 junior season, Clinton-Dix had 50 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up in 2013. The 6-foot-1, 209-pound safety has the size / ball skills to defend big receivers.
Major Wright signed with Tampa and Chris Conte was abused in the season ending loss to Green Bay. Pryor is a physical hard-hitting safety. In 2013, the junior amassed 75 tackles, three interceptions, four passes broken up and two forced fumbles . At 5-11, 210 pounds he has the size to defend tight ends and big receivers. Pryor matched consensus #1 safety HaHa Clinton-Dix in the 40 with a 4.58-second time.
An upgrade from the aging and ineffective Ike Taylor is sorely needed in a division with WRs AJ Green, Josh Gordon, and Torrey Smith. Gilbert played press coverage nearly 70% of the snaps in a pass happy conference and excelled defending physical receivers. In 2013, he totaled seven interceptions, 42 tackles, seven passes broken up and one kick returned for a touchdown. He posted the fastest CB forty time at the combine (4.37). At 6'0 and 200 lbs. he has the prototypical size to excel against the bigger receivers in the NFL. As an added bonus Gilbert was one of the better kick returners in the NCAA.
Signing Henry Melton didn't solve the problems on the Cowboys D-line. Melton comes with his own issues and Rod Marinelli needs bodies to play his rotation game on the line. Zack Martin will be tempting here since they can start him day one at guard and kick him out to ultimately take Doug Free's tackle job as early as next year. In 2013, Jernigan totaled 63 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for the National Champs. His draft stock is on the rise after an impressive combine and his versatility to play multiple techniques on the defensive line could put him in the first round discussion. Although some experts believe he's best slotted in as a one-technique in a 4-3 defense which isn't valued as highly and could result in a 2nd day selection.
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FFToolbox 2014 NFL Mock Drafts
|FFToolbox Writer||Dated||Predicted 1-2-3-4-5-6|
|Mark Niemi||May-08||J. Clowney, G. Robinson, J. Manziel, S. Watkins, K. Mack, J. Matthews|
|Mark Morales-Smith||May-08||J. Clowney, G. Robinson, J. Manziel, S. Watkins, K. Mack, J. Matthews|
|Rob Warner||May-08||K. Mack, G. Robinson, J. Clowney, S. Watkins, J. Manziel, J. Matthews|
|Ricky Dimon||May-08||J. Clowney, G. Robinson, K. Mack, J. Manziel, S. Watkins, J. Matthews|
|Matt De Lima||May-06||J. Clowney, K. Mack, S. Watkins, J. Manziel, G. Robinson, T. Lewan|
|Forrest N Long||Apr-29||J. Manziel, J. Matthews, J. Clowney, K. Mack, S. Watkins, G. Robinson|