Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014 Draft Day Mock

1. Houston Texans (2-14) - Jadeveon Clowney (DE/South Carolina)

From what I have been hearing, the Texans are pretty much locked in on Clowney, unless they can find a suitable trade partner, but their asking price is high. Houston wants a deal similar to the RGIII trade, but on a sliding scale, in which the further down they trade, they bigger return.

I think Blake Bortles is the better option for the Texans, but Clowney is the top player available in the draft, so I can't fault them for taking him instead. My biggest concern, however, is how he will fit in a 3-4 defense, but the Texans will likely point to the success they saw out of Mario Williams when they changed schemes.

2. St. Louis Rams (7-9) - Greg Robinson (OT/Auburn)

Given Jake Long's injury history as well as their fragile quarterback, the Rams need to find a way to upgrade their offensive line. Robinson will likely start off as a right tackle before shifting to the left side when Long inevitably gets injured.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) - Khalil Mack (OLB/Buffalo)

Quarterback is still in play here, especially with Bortles available, but the rumor mill has stated that the Jaguars are more focused on waiting until Round 2 for a quarterback. A pass rush is an obvious need for Jacksonville, so Mack would be an asset.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Blake Bortles (QB/UCF)

Sammy Watkins is an option, but with the top signal caller available at this spot, it is doubtful that Cleveland will let him slide any further. Bortles can sit for a year while Brian Hoyer starts before taking over in 2015.

5. Oakland Raiders (4-12) - Sammy Watkins (WR/Clemson)

A deep-ball threat that Oakland needs, Watkins could become an immediate offensive weapon for the Raiders.

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) - Jake Matthews (OT/Texas A&M)

With none of the top pass-rushing options available, the Falcons will instead look to upgrade their pass protection. Matthews, son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, has experience on both the right and left side.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) - Mike Evans (WR/Texas A&M)

Johnny Manziel is an option here, but I think in the end the Bucs will take Evans instead. Similar to how the Bears are set up with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, the Bucs can utilize two physically imposing receivers with Evans and Vincent Jackson.

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) - Aaron Donald (DT/Pittsburgh)

Minnesota has reportedly been interested in finding a front seven pass rusher, even after drafting Sharrif Floyd last season. With Kevin Williams officially gone, Donald and Floyd could form a fearsome combo along the defensive line.

9. Buffalo Bills (7-9) - Taylor Lewan (OT/Michigan)

Buffalo will still try to trade up for Watkins or Clowney, but if they aren't willing to pay king's ransom, they will instead seek for a blindside protector for E.J. Manuel.

10. Detroit Lions (7-9) - Justin Gilbert (CB/Oklahoma State)

Detroit needs to find a way to plug up their leaky secondary. Gilbert is not a physical cornerback, but he has the size and speed to be a solid cornerback in the NFL.

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9) - Johnny Manziel (QB/Texas A&M)

Tennessee declined the fifth-year option on Jake Locker's contract and has brought in a new head coach in Ken Wisenhunt. This season, Locker could retain his starting role and take another step up, forcing Tennessee to re-sign him and trade Manziel or if he flops or is injured again, they could part ways with him and name Manziel the starter one year after holding the clipboard.

12. New York Giants (7-9) - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S/Alabama)

Giants 101 has reported that the team is not sold on Eric Ebron due to personality concerns, so the team will likely look elsewhere at this slot. C.J. Mosley is also an option, but New York has been known to avoid the linebacker position in the first round, especially the mike position. Clinton-Dix comes into play for New York int he wake of Will Hill's suspension.

13. St. Louis Rams (7-9) - Odell Beckham (WR/LSU)

St. Louis added Tavon Austin last season, but offensive weapons are still needed. Defense could also be addressed here, but with Clinton-Dix and Donald off the board, it is unlikely.

14. Chicago Bears (8-8) - C.J. Mosley (MLB/Alabama)

Chicago's run defense was horrific last season. Defensive tackle is a much more significant need, but with Donald already selected, the Bears will need to find another way to upgrade their run defense.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) - Anthony Barr (OLB/UCLA)

Pittsburgh has finished 22nd, 24th and 25th in sacks over the past three seasons. If the team wants go back into the playoffs, they will need to find a consistent threat to opposing quarterbacks.

16. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) - Zack Martin (OT/Notre Dame)

Dallas had addressed their offensive line needs over the past few seasons, but they still need help at right tackle. Martin can also play guard if needed.

17. Baltimore Ravens (8-8) - Marqise Lee (WR/USC)

Baltimore traded Anquan Boldin to San Francisco last season and nobody emerged to take his place.  Baltimore needs another reliable option to take the pressure away from Torrey Smith.

18. New York Jets (8-8) - Eric Ebron (TE/North Carolina)

The Jets need passing weapons if they want Geno Smith to step up this season. Ebron has been linked to a few top 10 teams, but if he slips here, expect the Jets to pounce on him.

19. Miami Dolphins (8-8) - Ja'Wuan James (OT/Tennessee)

This is absolutely a reach, but Miami is desperate to find offensive line help, even after signing Branden Albert. The most likely scenario for the Dolphins is that the team will trade up in order to try and select Lewan or Matthews.

20. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) - Ryan Shazier (OLB/Ohio State)

Quarterback is an option here too, but I have a feeling Arizona will likely wait until next year to take their signal caller of the future. Karlos Dansby left the team in free agency, so replacing him will be a priority.

21. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) - Calvin Pryor (S/Louisville)

Unafraid to deliver a big hit, Pryor could be a force in the NFL and a much needed upgrade to the Packers secondary.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - Brandin Cooks (WR/Oregon State)

Philadelphia let DeSean Jackson go to Washington and Jeremy Maclin is coming off of an ACL injury. The team will need to bring in another receiver, preferably a speedy one to replace Jackson.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) - Xavier Su'a-Filo (G/UCLA)

The Chiefs are reportedly enamored with Su'a-Filo and are trying to find a way to trade down and acquire more picks before selecting him. If they are unable to move, however, I can't imagine them not taking him if they truly like him that much.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) - Darqueze Dennard (CB/Michigan State)

The Bengals luck out and are able to land one of the top cornerbacks in the draft. As stated in previous mocks, adding a cornerback is a serious need for multiple reasons. Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick could form a fearsome combo in the secondary.

25. San Diego Chargers (9-7) - Dee Ford (DE/Auburn)

San Diego's top two pass rushers are coming off of season injuries. Dwight Freeney probably doesn't have much left in the tank to begin with. The Chargers will need to bring in a young pass rusher to groom.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Cody Latimer (WR/Indiana)

With a second first round pick, the Browns could bring in an offensive asset for the new quarterback in town. Cornerback could also be addressed here as well.

27. New Orleans Saints (11-5) - Demarcus Lawrence (DE/Boise State)

If the Saints expect to become a serious Super Bowl threat, they need to find a way to get to the quarterback. Lawrence could be a starting point.

28. Carolina Panthers (12-4) - Kelvin Benjamin (WR/Florida State)

Carolina's wide receiver depth chart is awful, especially after letting their top two receiver walk. Cam Newton needs a reliable target in order to progress.

29. New England Patriots (12-4) - Jason Verrett (CB/TCU)

Darrelle Revis was signed, but he will only be here for one season. When he leaves, the Patriots will need a NFL-ready replacement.

30. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) - Ra'Shede Hageman (DT/Minnesota)

Massive, but nimble, Hageman can play both defensive end or tackle and is a reliable weapon in the pass rush.

31. Denver Broncos (13-3) - Stephon Tuitt (DE/Notre Dame)

The Broncos have focused on rebuilding their defense in the wake of the unit's performance in the Super Bowl. Adding another lineman will be necessary early in the draft. Tuitt could line up across from Derek Wolfe.

32. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) - Morgan Moses (OT/Virginia)

The Seahawks pass protection was less than stellar last year, especially when Russell Okung was injured.  Adding a right tackle is needed at some point.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft

1. Houston Texans (2-14) - Blake Bortles (QB/UCF)

Houston is keeping their pick pretty close to the chest, but if they don't trade the pick, it will be between Bortles and Jadeveon Clowney. Unlike 2006,  quarterback is more likely to be picked. Houston has not added a starting-caliber signal caller this offseason and they have someone who can get to the quarterback in J.J. Watt, though they are thin at that position.

Bortles has ties to Texans Head Coach Bill O'Brien as well. UCF Head Coach George O'Leary, was a mentor to O'Brien when the two were at Georgia Tech.

2. St. Louis Rams (7-9) - Greg Robinson (OT/Auburn)

This pick is more likely to be traded since a lot of teams are interested in acquiring Clowney. St. Louis could go for the defensive end as well. but with both Robert Quinn and Chris Long maning the defensive line, tackle is a much more significant need.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-13) - Johnny Manziel (QB/Texas A&M)

The Jaguars need a new face of the franchise and Manziel could become that guy. There are concerns about Manziel's size and style of play, but the Jaguars have the protection necessary to help prevent injury. More importantly for the Jaguars, Manziel could help sell tickets.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Jadeveon Clowney (DE/South Carolina)

Quarterback is a need, but with Clowney available, the Browns will likely wait until their second first round pick to select a signal caller. Clowney will strengthen the defensive line for the Browns.

5. Oakland Raiders (4-12) - Sammy Watkins (WR/Clemson)

Oakland does not have much to offer at receiver and needs a deep-ball threat for their offense. Watkins has great speed and acceleration, but he excels at running after the catch.

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) - Khalil Mack (OLB/Buffalo)

If Atlanta does not trade up and select Clowney, Mack will be a good consolation. Atlanta's pass rush was horrendous last season and needs to be upgraded.

7. Tampa Bay Bucaneers (4-12) - Mike Evans (WR/Texas A&M)

Tampa already has Vincent Jackson, who Evans is comparable to, but that doesn't rule out another big-bodied receiver. Josh McCown was successful in Chicago with two large receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) - Teddy Bridgewater (QB/Louisville)

The Vikings declined to pick up Christian Ponder's option for next season, so the team is likely looking for their signal caller of the future this week.  Bridgewater is the most NFL-ready quarterback in this draft class.

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10) - Jake Matthews (OT/Texas A&M)

Buffalo is looking to trade up to select either Watkins or Clowney, but if they are stuck here, finding someone to protect E.J. Manuel will be necessary. Matthews has experience at both right and left tackle.

10. Detroit Lions (7-9) - Justin Gilbert (CB/Oklahoma State)

The Lions will need to plug up their leaky secondary in this draft. Gilbert isn't a physical cornerback, but has the size and speed to be successful in the NFL.

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9) - Anthony Barr (OLB/UCLA)

Tennessee needs a pass rusher who can consistently get to the quarterback if they expect to dethrone Andrew Luck. Barr has become a sack machine since converting from fullback two years ago.

12. New York Giants (7-9) - Eric Ebron (TE/North Carolina)

New York needs a new pass-catching threat and if Evans isn't available, the team will likely take Ebron instead.

13. St. Louis Rams (7-9) - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S/Alabama)

Going offense with their first pick, the Rams also need to upgrade their defense with their next selection. Clinton-Dix serves as an immediate upgrade to the Rams secondary.

14. Chicago Bears (8-8) - Aaron Donald (DT/Pittsburgh)

Chicago could not stop the run to save their lives last season. Defensive tackle Henry Melton signed with the Cowboys in the offseason, so defensive tackle is the team's biggest need at the moment.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) - Darqueze Dennard (CB/Michigan State)

Secondary is need for Pittsburgh, who has a 34-year-old Ike Taylor currently starting. Dennard could start off as a nickel back before emerging as a starter.

16. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) - Taylor Lewan (OT/Michigan)

With the top defensive ends and tackles selected, the Cowboys are better served selecting  an offensive tackle to help solidify their offensive line. Lewan would serve as a right tackle in Dallas.

17. Baltimore Ravens (8-8) - Marqise Lee (WR/USC)

The Ravens passing game suffered when they traded Anquan Boldin to San Francisco. Torrey Smith is talented, but he is their only reliable receiving option and the Ravens will need to address this in the draft.

18. New York Jets (8-8) - Odell Beckham (WR/LSU)

Offensive help has been an obvious need for the Jets this offseason.  Chris Johnson was added, but if they expect Geno Smith to take the next step, they need to bring in a reliable receiver.

19. Miami Dolphins (8-8) - Zack Martin (OT/Notre Dame)

Miami signed Branden Albert during the offseason, but the team allowed a whopping 58 sacks last season, so their work along the offensive line is far from over. Martin profiles as a right tackle, but could also play guard if needed.

20. Arizona Cardinals (10-6) - Ryan Shazier (OLB/Ohio State)

Arizona has lost Karlos Dansby to free agency and Daryl Washington is facing a possible suspension for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Outside linebacker is becoming a need for the team and could be addressed with Shazier.

21. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) - Calvin Pryor (S/Louisville)

Green Bay's play at safety was terrible last season. Pryor is a hard-hitting strong safety who would fit great in Green Bay.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) - Brandin Cooks (WR/Oregon State)

After losing DeSean Jackson, the Eagles will look for a speedy replacement for him on offense. Cooks and his 4.33 40-yard dash time will fit nicely in Philadelphia.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) - C.J. Mosley (MLB/Alabama)

Kansas City can go after the best player available at this spot and Mosley can help solidify their run defense.  There are concerns about Mosley's durability since he was banged up last season at Alabama, but he is a great value at no. 23.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) - Jason Verrett (CB/TCU)

Cornerback is by far the biggest need for Cincinnati due to age, injury and uncertainty across the top players at the position. Verrett and 2012 top pick Dre Kirkpatrick could become a fearsome duo in years to come.

25. San Diego Chargers (9-7) - Dee Ford (DE/Auburn)

With both Dwight Freeney and Melvin Ingram coming off of season-ending injuries, the Chargers will seek another young pass rusher to help build their defense for the future.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-12) - Derek Carr (QB/Fresno State)

Cleveland plays the waiting game and still gets one of the top quarterbacks available without having to reach for him. Carr will likely sit out in 2014 and learn from Brian Hoyer for a season before taking the reigns.

27. New Orleans Saints (11-5) - Demarcus Lawrence (DE/Boise State)

New Orleans won games last year despite being unable to get to the quarterback, but when their offense stalled, their defense was unable to bail them out due to the lack of pressure. Adding someone who can rack up sacks will be needed.

28. Carolina Panthers (12-4) - Cody Latimer (WR/Indiana)

Carolina completely gutted their receiving core and did not make any serious additions in free agency. Cam Newton needs a new no. 1 option and the Panthers will likely find that man in the draft.

29. New England Patriots (12-4) - Kelvin Benjamin (WR/Florida State)

A track star, the speedy Benjamin will serve as an upgrade to the mediocre receiving group the Patriots are carrying into 2014.

30. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) - Ra'Shede Hageman (DT/Minnesota)

A monster along the defensive line, Hageman is a great value selection for the 49ers. Cornerback and wide receiver are needed too, but I doubt the 49ers will want to take Bradley Roby given his off-field issues and there aren't any top receivers available.

31. Denver Broncos (13-3) - Xavier Su'a-Filo (G/UCLA)

Denver needs a guard who can start immediately for them and the 38-year-old Peyton Manning. Su'a-Filo will hep make an immediate impact to the Broncos running game.

32. Seattle Seahawks (13-3) - Stephon Tuitt (DE/Notre Dame)

Seattle needs to add youth to their pass rush, especially with Cliff Avril playing on the final year of his contract.