2014 NFL Mock Draft history:
1st Mock Draft: April 29, 2013
2nd Mock Draft: October 22, 2013
3rd Mock Draft: December 20, 2013
4th Mock Draft: April 2, 2014
The above CineSport video is me talking about the draft.
1. Houston – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: No change.
2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn- Begging someone to move up to get a QB or Sammy Watkins, but three weeks out, I still don’t see it happening.
3. Jacksonville – Khalil Mack, LB/DE, Buffalo: No change.
4. Cleveland – Jake Matthews, OL, Texas A&M. Yes, I’m sort of buying into an offensive lineman here. Matthews is safe. A rock. An anchor. They could use an OL upgrade, as others have noted. Or maybe I’ve been too high on Sammy Watkins for too long?
5. Oakland – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. So Matt Schaub goes from one Clemson WR to another. The Raiders are going to be terrible, but Watkins should put up some solid rookie numbers.
6. Atlanta – Taylor Lewan, OL, Michigan. The Falcons made a lot of moves in the trenches last month, but didn’t secure a tackle. Lewan, 6-foot-8, 315-pounds, would start from week one.
7. Tampa Bay – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M. No change. Heard a potentially-crazy draft curveball that I’d say has less than 6% chance of happening: Rams say they have enough small wide receivers and take Mike Evans 2nd overall. My response: Why wouldn’t they just trade down?
8. Minnesota – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh. The guess here is Zimmer/Spielman will go defense. Is Zimmer getting his Geno Atkins in Donald? Perhaps. I refuse to buy the QB hype here; I think that’s the move with the 2nd round pick, or perhaps the trade-happy Vikings (remember last year?) pull the trigger on Ryan Mallett.
9. Buffalo – Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame. Seems high, and it’s not sexy to have four OT in the Top 9 picks, but the Bills have solid weapons offensively (though they could use a big WR). Fifteen days from now, I’ll probably regret passing on Ebron because of the thrilling Chandler/Tony Moeaki duo.
10. Detroit – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama. It’s got to be defense, right? Seems like the same situation every year. I had them going CB last time, but there’s depth at that position in the draft, but not a safety. Carey and Ihedigbo are the current starters at safety. [Ed. Glover Quin will start over Carey.] Perhaps one of the weakest tandems in the league.
11. Tennessee – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State. Previously had DE Anthony Barr here, and I’m sure I’ll regret that because my parents taught me always to go with my 1st instinct. But after losing their best CB to free agency, I’m now thinking that’s the priority here.
12. New York Giants – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. Does the latest Will Hill incident play a big factor here? Depends on what you think of journeyman Quintin Demps (signed to be a return specialist) and someone named Stevie Brown, the other contenders to start at safety. I’m having problems finding a spot for Ebron, who will go in the Top 20. Teams are asking themselves: Is there real value in a TE this high? Check out where Jimmy Graham, Jordan Cameron, Antonio Gates and Jason Witten were drafted. Then again, maybe Ebron is like Tony Gonzalez?
13. St. Louis – CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama. No change. An Ogletree, Laurinaitis and Mosley linebacking core is wicked fast and young. Combine that with the front four and you’ve got a fierce defense in the best division in football against the rugged ground games of San Francisco and Seattle.
14. Chicago – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU. Bad secondary must be upgraded. Feels like it has to be CB or safety.
15. Pittsburgh – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State. I’m probably in the minority with Verrett over Gilbert, but I’ll stick with it. Aging Steelers could go a lot of ways and either set off a WR run or keep a run of DBs going. And there’s always Ebron.
16. Dallas – Anthony Barr, OLB/DE, UCLA. Jerry Jones channels his inner Al Davis and goes for an athletic freak who isn’t technically-sound, but has a ton of upside. In a draft thin on edge pass rushers, I like Barr a lot, but Peter King hears Barr is “cold.”
17. Baltimore – Odell Beckham, WR, LSU. Joe Flacco to Ozzie Newsome: You paid me. Now give me help. I know Pitta’s back. I like the Steve Smith addition but he’s 35. We need another weapon. Beckham’s got great hands. Sick hands. Please?
18. New York Jets – Marqise Lee, WR, USC. To be clear, I’m not a fan of this. But the chatter goes like this: Jets WR Vidal Hazelton played at USC. He’s been raving about Lee. OC Marty Mornhinweg sees Lee as a stretch-the-field DeSean Jackson, like in his Philly days. Idzik sees Lee as a value pick – had he been in the draft last year, he might have been a Top 5 pick based on an incredible sophomore year (116 catches, 1,721 yards and 14 TDs).
19. Miami - focused on Kouandjio?With all the tackles moving up, maybe this is why the Dolphins have (allegedly)
20. Arizona – Blake Bortles, QB, University of Central Florida. No change. You already know how I feel about Bortles. The next question becomes: If he falls past 8, who likes him? Who needs him? Quick reminder: Arizona is a Super Bowl sleeper, and last year’s 1st round pick (Jonathan Cooper, G) didn’t play a minute due to a torn ACL. They’re a good QB away from being a very good team. And Carson Palmer turns 35 in December. Obligatory picture of Bortles’ girlfriend, who will probably be talked-about at the draft just a little.
21. Green Bay – DeMarcus Lawrence, LB/DE, Boise State. Very buzzy pass rusher who could probably play DE in a 4-3 or an OLB in a 4-3. An offensive question to ask: How much do the Packers love Jarrett Boykin?
22. Philadelphia – made a swap with, say, Miami for Bryce Brown in exchange for a 3rd or 4th round pick to move up a few spots and grab a player they love who is still on the board? No, I don’t know who that might be. 23. Kansas City – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State. With two weeks to go, it’s obvious the Chiefs will take a WR … but how early in the draft? It really depends when the “run” on receivers begins. It feels like the Ravens and Jets are leaning receiver, and then there will be a pause before the Eagles at 22 make a decision.No change. There are some rumors about the Eagles trading out of this spot, and what if they
24. Cincinnati – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville. Glaring needs all over the defense and let’s be honest – you never know when Mt. Burfict will erupt. For a variety of reasons, I think the Bengals take a big step back next season. I believe a QB could be in play here. Why a safety with Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, and Danieal Manning in the fold? Nelson’s 31 in September, and there’s chatter Cincy is lukewarm on Iloka. Pryor just visited the Bengals, for whatever that’s worth.
25. San Diego – Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB/DE, Georgia Tech. Like Lawrence, buzz has been building about Attaochu over the last few weeks. Smokescreens? Tough to tell. The draft is in two weeks and then we won’t hear the word “smokescreen” in the same sentence as “NFL” for eight months.
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts) – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M. Previously had him at 4. Dropped because it feels like all the QBs are dropping. Cleveland will have plenty of options for a QB here … or they could trade one of their many mid-round picks to New England for Ryan Mallett.
27. New Orleans – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri. CB Keenan Lewis is coming off a strong year. Strong safety tandem. Just need to bolster the pass rush opposite Cam Jordan (12.5 sacks). Kenny Stills had a strong rookie year and is ready to be the No. 2 receiver, replacing Lance Moore.
28. Carolina – Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana. What a meteoric rise. After we had him 32nd in our last mock, McShay and Kiper followed with Latimer in the first. His ceiling appears to be Baltimore – he’s visiting this weekend – but the Panthers feel like the most likely fit.
29. New England –
30. San Francisco – Dee Ford, DE, Auburn. Working under the assumption pass-rushing stud Aldon Smith is gone, the 49ers might draft a pass rusher, unless you think last year’s 3rd round pick, Corey Lemonier, is ready to start.
31. Denver – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State. You put Talib opposite Roby and you’ve got a real nice pair of corners. Toss in Ware and Von Miller bum-rushing the QB and this defense is filthy. Roby’s inconsistent, but very talented.
32. Seattle – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech. Strong replacement for Brandon Browner, and potentially Richard Sherman if contract talks break down and they lose him in 2015 (seems highly unlikely, but who knows). Does Schneider go WR here, or look for a value pick – Brandon Coleman? Jordan Matthews? in the 2nd/3rd round?
[artwork via Evan Russell/USA Today Sports]