17. Baltimore Ravens: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M Aggies
The Ravens offense struggled this season without Anquan Boldin. Wide receiver Mike Evans happens to be one of the top players available. At 6’5″, Evans led the SEC in receiving touchdowns, would add another legit red zone threat, and would be a much needed weapon for Joe Flacco as a possession receiver and in the red zone.
Previous Pick: WR Marqise Lee
18. New York Jets: WR Marqise Lee, USC Trojans
If the Jets believe Geno Smith is good enough to be groomed into their future QB, it’s time to start surrounding Geno Smith with real weapons. Marqise Lee was the best receiver in the draft heading into the season, so the Jets will be happy if he falls to them at #18. Lee is getting no love after having an average season with an average quarterback, multiple play callers, and a whole bunch of drama at USC. He is still a great route-runner and receiver, as seen in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Previous Pick: WR Davante Adams
19. Miami Dolphins: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Dolphins did nothing to replace Jake Long on the offensive line, and the offense has struggled because of it. Kouandjio is the second Alabama player coming off the board, and is probably the best offensive line prospect remaining. Cyrus Kouandjio is a physical specimen for a lineman. He gets off the line quickly and establishes running lanes early. He still has work to do in passing protection, but he has shown improvement.
20. Arizona Cardinals: OT Cameron Erving, Florida State Seminoles
The Cardinals gave up 41 sacks this season, which is not a recipe for success for any QB the put under center. Luckily for the Cardinals, Bruce Arians was able to cover up their gaping holes on the offensive line, but it is still the achilles heel for the Cardinals’ offense. Cameron Erving is athletic and aggressive on the line and will bring a winning pedigree to the Cardinals. Cameron Erving could be a top-15 pick, so the Cardinals should take him if he falls to #20.
Previous Pick: Ryan Shazier
21. Green Bay Packers: ILB CJ Mosley, Alabama Crimson Tide
Despite not having Aaron Rodgers for most of the season, the Packers defense has not given them many chances to win. CJ Mosely probably has the talent to be a top-15 pick, so the Packers are getting good value at #21. Mosely is an elite athlete coming from one of the best defenses in college football. Mosely should be able to make an immediate impact in the Packers’ rush defense, and has the athleticism and instincts to become great in the passing game.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: OLB Vic Beasley, Clemson Tigers
The Eagles need to add some explosion to their defense to match that offense. Vic Beasley is exactly that: explosive. Beasley is quick of the line and uses that as his main method of attack. By pushing offensive lineman on their heels from the snap, Beasley drives them back with a strong bull rush. If Beasley can add some moves to his arsenal, he could be dangerous in the NFL. The Eagles may also elect to pick a corner.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU Tigers
The Chiefs defense must have the most drastic change in draft position in 1 year in NFL history. Defense has been the key to that turnaround, but their offense is the thing holding them back. Beckham has great topline speed but even better acceleration. He is dangerous with the ball and has home run ability. He is best at stretching the field and going deep, which would be a huge asset for Alex Smith and the stagnant Chiefs offense.
Previous Pick: WR Donte Moncrief
24. Cincinnati Bengals: OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State Buckeyes
James Harrison is 35 years old is is nowhere near as effective as he used to be at rushing the passer with only 2 sacks this season. Ryan Shazier is very fast and instinctive, recording over 22 tackles for loss this season at Ohio State. Shazier had 6 sacks this season and is a tackling machine that will bolster the young linebacking core of the Bengals. The Bengals could also target a corner here.
Previous Pick: CB Justin Gilbert
25. San Diego Chargers: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Chargers are in desperate need of help and youth in the secondary, and Gilbert is possibly the best CB prospect in the draft. He is a physical ballhawk on the outside and would add plenty of athleticism to improve the Chargers’ secondary. Gilbert has great size at 6’0″ 200 lbs. and has the speed to bring it to the house every time he touches the ball. He has returned 5 kickoffs for touchdowns in his career at Oregon State and led the Big 12 with 6 interceptions in 2013. He must work on his technique to avoid getting burned by NFL receivers.
Previous Pick: DT Louis Nix III
26. St. Louis Rams (TRADE: Indianapolis Colts via Cleveland Browns): OG Zach Martin, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Rams already passed on Jake Mathews to select Sammy Watkins earlier in the draft. Now, they need to keep Sam Bradford clean. Martin played does not have great size or speed to continue playing LT in the NFL, so he will likely move inside. But, he is strong, fast, and able to block on the move. The Rams may also want to snag a corner here.
Previous Pick (Browns): OT Cedric Ogbuehi (staying at Texas A&M)
27. New Orleans Saints: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan Wolverines
New Orleans didn’t allow a bunch of sacks this season, but when Brees isn’t kept upright, this offense completely stalls. The Saints still need to replace Carl Nicks and Jermon Bushrod on the left side. Lewan would bring a tenacity and competitiveness that was lacking on the front line this season. He will improve the running lanes for Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram as well.
Previous Pick: OT Cameron Erving
28. New England Patriots: NT Louis Nix III, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The Patriots need to add some protection for Tom Brady and get younger along the defensive line. Unfortunately, most of the premier offensive line prospects are off the board. Louis Nix is a nice consolation prize, though. He is the best NT prospect in the draft, boasting a huge frame and insane strength. Nix is still recovering from an ACL injury, but certainly has the talent to be a top-10 pick. Nix is also a great pass rusher for a 3-4 DT, which fits with Bill Belichick’s hybrid defensive system.
Previous Pick: DT Ra’shede Hageman
29. San Francisco 49ers: CB Marcus Roberson, Florida Gators
The Niners need some help in the secondary. Roberson is strong enough to press against bigger receivers and quick enough to keep smaller, faster receivers from getting any separation. He also has quick closing speed to bait quarterbacks into throwing his way. Roberson had a rough senior year, only playing in 7 games. But, he has shown the dedication to getting better and the talent to become a starter in the NFL. He finished at Florida with 17 pass breakups and 3 interceptions.
Previous Pick: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (staying at Oregon)
30. Carolina Panthers: WR Davante Adams, Fresno State Bulldogs
The Panthers have needed another wide receiver for a long, long time. Steve Smith can still get it done, but not for much longer. Davante Adams has the speed to stretch a defense. Adams could easily go in the top-15, however like Derek Carr, most of his tape is against lesser competition, which could cause him to be drafted later than expected. The Panthers will take a chance on him if it means it will help the development of Cam Newton and improve the slow, 29th ranked passing offense.
Previous Pick: WR Allen Robinson
31. Denver Broncos: CB Jason Verrett, TCU Horned Frogs
If the Broncos had a better secondary, they would easily be the best team in the NFL. Instead, they had the 27th ranked passing defense, allowing 254.4 passing YPG. Champ Bailey is 35 years old and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent after the season. The Broncos need to add some youth into that secondary. I have seen Verett mocked as high as #12. He looks like the best pure corner in the draft, but he lacks the size (5’10″, 176 lbs.) to be considered a top prospect. He plays like he is 6’3″, 230 lbs. though, throwing his body at the ball in run support and in coverage.
Previous Pick: OG Cyril Richardson
32. Seattle Seahawks: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington Huskies
Seferian-Jenkins will stick around in Seattle to give Russell Wilson a legit red zone threat and add some consistency to the offense. Sidney Rice isn’t dependable and Percy Harvin could barely crack the field, but Wilson still looked great. Jenkins is a huge target for Wilson and would add another dimension to the offense that ranks 2nd in rushing but only 24th in passing.
Thanks for checking out my Version 2.0 2014 NFL Mock Draft. I will be updating it each week until the NFL Draft on May 8th.
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