2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

1) Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney

The Houston Texans desperately need a quarterback of the future, but they do not believe that these quarterbacks are worth passing on Clowney. Clowney would give the Texans an extra pass rusher that can create pressure on quarterbacks. Many believe that Clowney is the best defensive prospect in the last 15 years.

2) Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack (via St. Louis Rams via Washington Redskins)

TRADE with the Rams

Besides last season, the Falcons were one of the most consistent teams in the league and almost went to the Super Bowl two years ago. The Falcons do not need much to compete for the NFC crown and Mack could make a major difference, like the trade for Julio Jones. Mack is from a small school, Buffalo, but showed that he can play against the best competition, Ohio St, because he has a great combination of size and skill that will create pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

3) Jacksonville Jaguars – Sammy Watkins

The Jaguars have been starving for talent on offense over the past few seasons. Although the Jags desperately need a quarterback, Watkins is one of the three best players in this draft and will provide Jacksonville with a great weapon on the outside. Watkins is a great player because he has hands, speed, size, and instincts. The Jags can draft a quarterback in round 2 and build like the Bengals, who have won over 8 games the last few seasons.

4) Cleveland Browns – Blake Bortles

The Browns need a new quarterback as the Brandon Weeden experiment has miserably failed. The Browns have solid wide receivers, especially Josh Gordon, and a quality defense, but the quarterback position has held the team back the last few seasons. Although Bortles is not the most ready quarterback, he has the most potential of the quarterbacks because he the prototypical size, mobility, and a good arm. Bortles should sit behind Brian Hoyer for a few games to learn how to play at the NFL level.

5) Oakland Raiders – Greg Robinson

The Raiders have been active during free agency, but they still have a need on the offensive line. The Raiders need a quarterback, but a young quarterback is doomed for failure if he does not have an effective line to protect him. Robinson is one of the top prospects in the draft because he has size, agility, and strength to play left or right tackle at the next level. The Raiders could look for a quarterback in the late first round or second round because Robinson is too good to not draft at number 5. If another team offers a good trade, they should trade down to get more draft picks.

6) St. Louis Rams – Jake Matthews (via Atlanta Falcons)

The Rams have spent money on tackles to protect Sam Bradford, but the tackles are frequently hurt. The Rams could move one of the tackles to the guard position because the tackles at the top of the draft are great. Although the Rams are in need of a big wide receiver, the wide receiver draft class is deep and they could find one with their second first round pick or a second round pick. Matthews comes from a long line of NFL players and has the talent and size to become a Pro-Bowl tackle for the next 10 years.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans

The Bucs need a second wide receiver behind Vincent Jackson after they traded Mike Williams in the offseason. The Bucs’ quarterbacks, McCown and Glennon, will need weapons on the outside in order to be effective and score points. The Bucs have a solid defense so an improved offense should drastically help their team contend for the playoffs. Mike Evans’ stock has risen lately because he was great this season for Texas A&M. Evans has a big body that will catch anything thrown his way, like Alshon Jeffrey in Chicago for McCown.

8) Minnesota Vikings – Johnny Manziel

The Vikes need a new quarterback because Christian Ponder is not a franchise quarterback. The Vikes have the best running back in the game, Adrian Peterson, who will help Manziel develop into an effective quarterback. Manziel is one of the biggest wild cards in NFL draft history because he plays like a former Vikings quarterback, Fran Tarkenton. Manziel has a lot of heart, the will to win, and talent, which could lead the Vikings back to the playoffs. Manziel has great instincts and has improved his pocket passing, which could make him a quality starter in the future.

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9) Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron

The Bills do not have many weapons in the passing game besides for Steve Johnson. The addition of a talented player like Ebron would give the Manuel more targets because he can run down the field and act like Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis. Like Davis and Graham, Ebron is huge, but fast, which will create problems for safeties and corners down the field.

10) Detroit Lions – HaHa Clinton Dix

The Lions may have the most talent at the skill positions and on the defensive line, but their secondary does not have much potential or upside. However, the addition of a ballhawk and a talented safety like Clinton Dix will cause more turnovers for the Lions, who commit a lot of turnovers.  Dix is an explosive player because he has the agility and ball skills to cover wide receivers and tight ends. Although Dix is a safety, he will mostly be playing like a corner because of his size, skill, and awareness.

11) Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert

The Titans lost their top corner this offseason when Alterrun Verner went to Tampa for a large contract. The Titans were thin at corner and need someone to replace the turnovers that Verner created on defense. Gilbert has good size for the position, but his great speed and instincts set him apart from the other corners in the draft. Gilbert should become a top corner in this league over the next decade.

12) New York Giants – Taylor Lewan

The Giants drafted a tackle, Justin Pugh, last draft, but need another linchpin on the line to protect Eli and make the offense run smoothly. The Giants’ offensive line is starting to age and many players are becoming hurt or ineffective due to their age. The injection of a player like Lewan will greatly help the Giants line for the next decade. Lewan is big, strong, and agile, like the other top prospects, but has some off the field issues, which will cause him to fall a little in the draft.

13) St. Louis Rams – Calvin Pryor

Along with the Rams’ need at wide receiver and offensive line, the team needs a new safety. Although TJ McDonald is a good player, he is frequently injured and the Rams could use another skilled ball hawk to take advantage of the team’s great pass rush. While Dix has more ball skills and playmaking ability, Pryor is a tough safety that can clog running lanes, play physical, and add some playmaking ability to the Rams’ secondary.

14) Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald

The Bears were not the Monsters of the Midway last season as their defense could not stop anyone. Specifically the Bears had trouble stopping the run because their defensive line did not stuff holes or allow the linebackers to pursue the running backs. Donald would be a perfect fit for the Bears because he has the strength and tenacity at defensive tackle to clog up the line and prohibit teams from creating a stable running attack

15) Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard

The Steelers’ defense was not the typical Steelers’ defense and their team record suffered due to their inability to stop offenses. The Steelers’ corners are aging and they need to inject youth and talent into the position. Although Dennard does not have great athleticism, he is the toughest corner in the draft and has the most potential to finish like a shut down corner. Dennard should excel agains the run and pass and may play like Revis during his prime in the Steel City.

16) Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan

The Cowboys had one of if not the worst defense in NFL history last season because they did not have the ability to stop the pass or run. The Cowboys attempted to create more turnovers, but they did not practice the fundamentals of defense. The Boys lost a lot on the defensive line during the offseason, but the addition of Jernigan will help Jerry Jones forget about his losses. Jernigan has great potential and has the chance to become a boom or bust prospect.

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17) Baltimore Ravens – Zach Martin

The 2014 Ravens were a dissappointment because it was the first time they were unable to make the playoffs during the Joe Flacco Era. Before the addition of Steve Smith, the Ravens were in the market for a wide receiver, but now the most pressing need could be on the offensive line. The Ravens could not run the ball effectively last season which doomed their offense. Zach Martin will be a great pick for the Ravens because he has great agility and footwork which will improve the running game this season.

18) New York Jets – Odell Beckham Jr

The Jets offense was one of the worst in the league last season because they did not have many weapons that could make game changing plays. The addition of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson will help, but they still need more talented wide receivers and tight end on offense. If the Jets do not go offense with the pick, they will probably look at the cornerbacks because they are not very deep at the position. Beckham will add a lot for Geno Smith because he is a smooth and talented wide receiver with speed and the ability to go into traffic and make plays.

19) Miami Dolphins – Morgan Moses

The Dolphins’ offensive line went through possibly the worst year in NFL history because of the Martin – Incognito situation. The Dolphins signed Brandon Albert, but they need another good tackle because Ryan Tannehill was the most sacked quarterback and the running game was putrid. Morgan Moses is a solid prospect because he has good size and strength, but could improve his agility. The Dolphins may attempt to trade up if they desperately want a tackle like Taylor Lewan.

20) Arizona Cardinals – Anthony Barr

The Cardinals were one of the most underrated and quietest teams in the league last season although they won double digit games. The Cardinals need to improve their pass rush and become younger at the line backer position. The addition of Barr will greatly improve the team. Originally at top ten pick, many experts believe that Barr will fall to the late teens or early twenties. Lately, Barr’s stock has fallen, but he has the skill and potential to be a top flight edge pass rusher for the next decade in the desert.

21) Green Bay Packers – Kony Ealy

The Packers had a tough year last season due to the loss of Aaron Rodgers, but their defense could have played better for much of the season. When Clay Matthews is playing, the Packers will have a great pass rush with Matthews and Peppers. However, Matthews is frequently injured and Peppers does not have the same explosion. The addition of Kony Ealy will give the Packers a young pass rusher that can relieve pressure off the other two. Kony has great athleticism that allows him to burst past offensive line. However, the burst occasionally causes him to be lost in the running game.

22) Philadelphia Eagles – Bradley Roby

The Eagles had one of the worst defenses in the league last season because they could not stop the pass effectively. The Eagles desperately need youth and talent at the position. Although a story was reported that Roby was driving under the influence, it has been recently denied and Roby has too much skill for the Eagles to pass. Roby came into the season as one of the best prospects in college, but did not live up to the billing at Ohio St. However, Bradley still has the capability to become a shut down corner because of his athleticism, speed, and ball skills.

23) Kansas City Chiefs – Brandin Cooks

The Chiefs had the worst record in the league two seasons ago, but were able to turn their luck around last season and make the playoffs. For much of the season, the Chiefs relied on their defense and running game to win games. In order to take the next step forward and contend for the conference, the Chiefs need to draft a game changer on offense. The game changer should be Brandin Cooks. Cooks has the best speed among the wide receivers and exploded last season for the Oregon State Beavers. Cooks will be great for the Chiefs’ offense because he will run the short routes that the Chiefs love to execute.

24) Cincinnati Bengals – Jason Verrett

The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL the last few seasons, but they have not been able to win a playoff game. Eventually, the Bengals will need to make a change at quarterback because Andy Dalton is not the answer. Along with a quarterback, the Bengals need a new cornerback because their current starters are old, slow, and do not have many years left. Jason Verrett has the chance to drastically improve the Bengals’ defense. Although Verrett does not have great height and occasionally commits too many penalties, he has great agility and ball skills.

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25) Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr (via San Diego Chargers)

TRADE

The Chargers do not have any pressing needs after making the playoffs and winning a game this season. However, the Raiders have a lot of needs, but the biggest may be at the quarterback position. The Raiders are in love with Derek Carr’s arm and many believe that he would not reach their pick in the second round. The combination of Robinson and Carr would be great for the Raiders because they would have a foundation to build off of. Many believe that Carr may be the best pro quarterback of the bunch because he has an accurate arm and can make all the throws out of the pocket. The problems that people have with Carr is his ability to take snaps under center and the fact that he has not played against stiff competition.

26) Cleveland Browns – Marquise Lee (via Indianapolis Colts)

Earlier in the season, the Colts traded this pick for Trent Richardson and it is looking to be a coup for the Browns. With their first selection, they will likely take a quarterback, which means they will look for a wide receiver with their second pick. Although they already have Josh Gordon, they could use another wide receiver that can stretch the field and offer more weapons for Bortles. Marquise Lee would be a great selection for the Browns because he has good speed and great athleticism, which allows him to catch balls in traffic and separate from corners. Lee does have a slight frame, which may cause him to fall in the draft.

27) New Orleans Saints – Dee Ford

The Saints dramatically improved last season on defense under Rob Ryan and they should be able to take another step forward with a good draft. The main issue with the Saints is their inability to rush the passer consistently. During his time in Auburn, Dee Ford should that he can rush the passer consistently. In the Senior Bowl, Ford also showed that he had the ability to sack the quarterback. Ford uses his great burst off of the line and pass rushing moves to get by the offensive line.

28) Carolina Panthers – Cyrus Kouandijo

The Panthers were a nice surprise last season as Cam Newton finally led the team to the playoffs. While the offense was consistent, the defense was one of the best in the league because of their excellent pass rushers and linebackers. The Panthers suffered a major loss when Jake Gross retired. Gross was a stalwart at the tackle position. The Panthers need a substitute for Gross in order to protect Newton and allow the rushing game to continue its success. Cyrus is a huge man with great strength and good flexibility.

29) New England Patriots – CJ Mosley

This offseason, the Patriots improved their secondary, but they still have a hole at linebacker after the loss of Brandon Spikes. The Patriots’ defense has enhanced its talent over the past few seasons, but it needs to continue to improve in order to beat the Broncos and win Brady another Super Bowl. Although Mosley does not have great fundamentals when tackling, he is a high IQ player and rarely makes mental mistakes. Mosley has good vision and movement, which allows him to track the ball in air and make plays.

30) San Francisco 49ers – Ryan Shazier

The 49ers have a major dilemma when it comes to Aldon Smith. Although Smith is one of the most dynamic and exciting defensive players in the league because of his pass rushing ability, he has been on the wrong side of the law multiple times. If Aldon Smith is suspended for an extended period of time or the 49ers are forced to release him, Shazier will be able to fill in and give the Niners a quality pass rusher. Since his days in Columbus, Shazier has always and the ability to rush the passer and apply pressure on the quarterback.

31) Denver Broncos – Louis Nix III

Although the Broncos may have had the best offense in NFL history last season, they did not have a great defense, which stopped them from winning the Super Bowl. The Broncos’ defense did not have the necessary tenacity to strike fear in their opponents like the Seahawks and Niners are able to do to their opponents. Louis Nix III would give the Broncos a physcial player in the middle of the defensive line that can provide pressure on the quarterback up the middle and clog running lanes.

32) Seattle Seahawks – Kelvin Benjamin

The Seahawks were fortunate this offseason because they were able to keep many of their important players on defense. The Seattle defense was the best in the league and the secondary may have been the best all time. However, the Seattle receivers are not very good and took a hit when they lost Golden Tate to free agency. However, Benjamin should be able to easily fill in for Tate because he has great size, physicality, and speed.

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