Conor Cahill’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Version 3.0

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Apr 26, 2013; New York, NY, USA; (Editor

 

17. Dallas Cowboys
Calvin Pryor
Safety, Louisville

Calvin Pryor is flying up draft boards. He even surpassed his fellow Louisville safety, Hakeem Smith. He can play both safety spots because he is a vicious hitter and great tackler, but athletic enough to make plays in center field. The Cowboys have struggled at safety for more than a few years now. Barry Church played alright as the Cowboys leading tackler this season, but undrafted rookie, Jeff Heath, is not the long term answer. Pryor hasn’t been tested much in coverage, but would fill the role of a powerful hitter in the backfield quickly and easily. The Cowboys could also look to pick CB Jason Verrett if they feel he is worth the #16 pick.

Previous Pick: DE Kony Ealy

 

18. New York Jets
Marqise Lee
Wide Receiver, USC

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.

 

19. Miami Dolphins
Taylor Lewan
Offensive Tackle, Michigan

The Dolphins did nothing to replace Jake Long on the offensive line, and the offense has struggled because of it. The Dolphins will being in their next era of Michigan left tackles, Taylor Lewan. Lewan would bring a tenacity and competitiveness that was lacking on the front line this season. He has quick feet and bursts off the line. He is only falling this far because he needs to develop his technique a bit more to stand up to premier NFL pass rushers. He will improve the running lanes for the emerging Lamar Miller as well.

Previous Pick: OT Cyrus Kouandjio

 

20. Arizona Cardinals
Jason Verrett
Cornerback, TCU

The Cardinals whiffed on Antoine Cason, Jerraud Powers, and Javier Arenas in free agency last year. 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. The Cardinals have a good opportunity to create one of the best young secondaries in the NFL featuring Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Verrett.

Previous Pick: OT Cameron Erving (staying at Florida St.)

 

21. Green Bay Packers
Eric Ebron
Tight End, North Carolina

Jermichael Finley has stated he would like to return to the NFL next season. Whether or not the Packers decide to bring Finley back, they need a plan to replace him. Finley is coming off a career-threatening neck injury and has never really been able to put it together, even with all his talent. Adding Ebron creates a mismatch for almost any defender in the NFL. Ebron is fast, physical, and can make insane catches in contact. Eric Ebron would make life for Aaron Rodgers much easier in the open field and especially in the red zone. If CJ Mosely is still on the board, he is definitely still an option.

Previous Pick: MLB CJ Mosely

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles
Ryan Shazier
Outside Linebacker, Ohio State

The Eagles need to add some explosion to their defense to match that offense. Ryan Shazier is very fast and instinctive, recording over 22 tackles for loss this season at Ohio State and 44.5 in his three year career. Shazier had 6 sacks this season and is a tackling machine that will bolster the veteran linebacking core of the Eagles. The Eagles could also target a corner here.

Previous Pick: OLB Vic Beasley (staying at Clemson)

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs
CJ Mosely
Inside Linebacker, Alabama

Inside linebacker is not an immediate need for the Chiefs, but with Mosely left on the board, they will get excellent value at pick #23. The Chiefs need to have a plan for when Derrick Johnson retires. Mosely would also just be a nice fit alongside Johnson for the next few years in the 3-4. CJ Mosely probably has the talent to be a top-15 pick. 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 pass defense.

Previous Pick: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals
Stephon Tuitt
Defensive End, Notre Dame

Michael Johnson is a free agent this year and Domata Peko will be a free agent (and 30 years old) after next year. Geno Atkins was also hurt the entire year and the defensive line was not nearly as effective without him. Adding some youth and athleticism will help. Stephon Tuitt has the athleticism and skill to play either DE or DT in the Bengals’ 4-3 defense, and would add some much needed versatility for their defense. Tuitt would be able to stick around the midwest and finish his degree at Notre Dame, a concern of HC Brian Kelly that almost held him out of this years draft.

Previous Pick: OLB Ryan Shazier

 

25. San Diego Chargers
Justin Gilbert
Cornerback, Oklahoma St.

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.

 

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)
Zach Martin
Offensive Guard, Notre Dame

The Browns picked up their hopeful franchise quarterback, Blake Bortles, earlier in the draft. Now, they need to keep him clean and give him enough time to build a rapport with Josh Gordon. Martin played LT at Notre Dame, but does not have great size or speed to continue playing LT in the NFL so he will likely move inside. The Browns already have a premier left tackle in Joe Thomas and a premier center in Alex Mack, so adding Martin could give Bortles the best blindside protection in the NFL. Martin  is strong, fast, and able to block on the move. The Browns may also want to snag another receiver here to give Bortles even more weapons.

 

27. New Orleans Saints
Cyrus Kouandjio
Offensive Tackle, Alabama

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. Kouandjio is the third Alabama player coming off the board, and is the best offensive line prospect left. Cyrus Kouandjio is a physical specimen for a lineman who gets off the line quickly and establishes running lanes early. He still has work to do in passing protection, but he has shown improvement. He is an animal in the running game, and he will improve the running lanes for Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram as well.

Previous Pick: OT Taylor Lewan

 

28. Carolina Panthers
Davante Adams
Wide Receiver, Fresno State

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.

 

29. New England Patriots
David Yankey
Offensive Guard, Stanford

The Patriots are in dire need of a receiver, but unfortunately, none of the top receiver options are available at #29. Protecting Tom Brady is the next biggest need. Logan Mankins got burned a few times in the AFC Championship, but he doesn’t need to be immediately upgraded (even though he is already 31). Dan Connoly, however, definitely needs to be. Yankey is stout and powerful. He is good at pulling quickly and getting downfield. Imagine if LeGarrette Blount didn’t even make contact with a defender until he was 3-4 yards past the line of scrimmage and had a blocker that could get to the second level. We could actually witness the Patriots officially become a power running team because that would be a very potent combination.

Previous Pick: NT Louis Nix

 

30. San Francisco 49ers
Odell Beckham Jr.
Wide Receiver, LSU

The 49ers have a good receiving core with Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. But, the 49ers have been knocking at the door of a Super Bowl championship for 3 years now, and ‘good’ isn’t good enough anymore. Boldin is 33 and Crabtree just cannot put it together for a full season. He has only eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving once in his 5-year career and was never a burner anyway. Beckham has great top-line 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 Colin Kaepernick as he develops his passing game to match the explosiveness of his running ability.

Previous Pick: CB Marcus Roberson

 

 

31. Denver Broncos
Marcus Roberson
Cornerback, Florida

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. 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 Jason Verrett

 

32. Seattle Seahawks
Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Tight End, Washington

I still can’t bring myself to change this pick because it would just fit so nicely. With five receivers off the board already, the Seahawks will have to look at other positions to find help for Russell Wilson. Seferian-Jenkins will stick around in Seattle to give Wilson a legit red zone threat and add some consistency to the offense. Sidney Rice isn’t dependable and Percy Harvin can barely crack the field, but Wilson still looked promising. 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 3.0 2014 NFL Mock Draft. I will be updating it each week until the NFL Draft on May 8th.

Check out some more great mocks at:

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  • Giorgos Kassakos

    Eagles better target Gilbert if the draft goes like that or trade back and an extra second or third round pick.

  • Royals_Fan

    No way Chiefs go LB with there pick. Makes zero sense when you need a secondary pick and WR. Without a second round pick they’d pick up a position they don’t need and wait 2 rounds before picking again? No chance. Reid and Dorsey are smarter then that. Look for them to pick up Benjamin or Lee with the first pick.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      No matter how good Mosley is, WR is extremely talented in this class and is by far the Chiefs biggest need. The front seven? The Chiefs are fine there, especially at linebacker. I agree, man, they almost have to get a WR.

      • Julien Bélair

        From a Chargers fan, I do believe benjamin would be a great fit for the chiefs. Long term replacement for Dwayne Bowe

    • Conor Cahill

      Like Joe said, the wide receiver class is very deep. I don’t think the Chiefs need to waster their 1st on a receiver that isn’t Watkins, Evans, or Lee. There are some other guys that may be first round caliber, but I wouldn’t say early 20s. To me the draft oa about potential, and stretching for a need at 23 isn’t the best idea.

      • Royals_Fan

        I don’t think it would be a waste to go WR with the first pick because we don’t have a 2nd round pick as of right now. If we make some moves and get a 2nd round pick then I would be more inclined to say go something else first round. But by the time the Chiefs get to the 23rd pick the number of first round quality secondary picks is limited. Varrett would be the best option and he is 5’10″ (Flowers is getting torn apart right now by fans because they say he is to short to play man coverage in our defensive plays and he is 5’9″). So going secondary with the first pick really doesn’t make much sense to me. McGill from Utah would be the best bet and as of right now he is the 100th best player in the draft to some people. Much easier to get him in the 3rd or 4th round. The number of quality WRs by the 3rd round has dropped significantly and in my opinion that is our weakest area. The Bronco’s win so much because they are always scoring and have the best WRing core in the game. That’s why I think it would be best for the Chiefs to draft WR first. I really like Benjamin. 6’5″, 235lbs and major speed is something I would take any time. Lee isn’t a bad choice but he is 5’11″, maybe 200lbs and injured a lot. If the Chiefs have a chance to get Maclin in FA too…you would have Maclin, Bowe and Benjamin and Charles and Davis in the back field? That would be the best core of WRs/RBs the Chiefs have had i years.

        I’m curious though, if you say the Chiefs should pass on WR first and go with something else, what should they go with in your opinion?

        • Conor Cahill

          Yes, it would be nice to have those options and look at how good they are on paper, but it just isn’t necessary. Denver has the best receiving core in the game because of 1. Peyton Manning and 2. they have 3-4 guys that do their job well and don’t make mistakes. I wouldn’t take Benjamin because the Chiefs need someone who is a polished receiver who will minimize mistakes, not a potential star athlete. KC was 27th in the NFL in dropped passes this year. If they want to emulate the Broncos and have 3-4 B-B+ receivers, they do not need to spend a 1st on a receiver that isn’t Lee, Watkins, or Evans. I think that they either need to draft based on value (on defense, because that is what Andy Reid wants to be the backbone of the team) or trade down.

          In this mock, I mocked them CJ Mosely because he was the best defender on the board by far. They could go with Justin Gilbert too. Trading down and taking a WR (Donte Moncrief, Allen Robinson, Odell Beckham, Davante Adams, Jarred Abbrederis, Robert Herron) later in the draft or getting a reliable receiver in FA are the two best options to me.

          • Royals_Fan

            I would rather have 3-4 B-B+ WRs then one B- and everyone else barely making a C-…in my mind thats a significant improvement.

            I understand that Mosely would be an improvement, but the Chiefs aren’t looking for a ILB with the first pick. It honeslty does not make sense. The two biggest problems they had this year was at the WR and secondary. Thats a huge reason why we had one of the worst defenses in the league at the end of 9 weeks, because we got burned on the sidelines. I understand that pressuring the QB could help with that, but at soe point the pass rush can’t be to blame for getting burned or not being able to play your position to a high enough calibar.

            Signing Maclin should be a priority of KC. If they sign Maclin, then I can see them drafting defense first, but saying the draft is deep in WRs isn’t totally accurate. You’ve got a lot of WRs but you’ve also got the WRs that you know are going to be successful, like Watkins, you’ve got the WRs that have a high promise like Benjamin (I like Lee, but I don’t because he always gets hurt) and then the last where they could do well but most likely wont like the majority of the WRs. But they time KC drafts again the in the 3rd round, those WRs that you either know will succeed or have high promise are gone. Not worth the risk.

            What’s your opinion on McGill from Utah. Someone who could be around in the 3rd round and worth the pick and Sam from Mizzou as the pass rusher in the 4th round?

  • Old Frog

    The Cowboys pick a safety at 17? I hope not. We need Linemen.

    • Conor Cahill

      I had them going with kony Ealy for a long time but I just don’t think he will last until 16-17. Maybe Stephon Tuitt?

  • Travis Forsyth

    I’d like to see kc trade up to get Ha Ha Clinton- Dix

    • freshmeat62

      I like Dix also, but I don’t think Chiefs will be trading up. If anything they’ll trade back to get back that 2nd rd pick they traded away for Alex Smith.

    • Conor Cahill

      There are some god FS prospects to be had on day 2 as well like Dion bailey or Ed Reynolds.

    • Royals_Fan

      I don’t see the Chiefs moving up in the draft. I honestly would like to see them make a move to get a 2nd rounder back (trading a player or something) but I’m not sure who would take that trade. But Clinton-Dix would be gone before 23rd and I would be shocked if he still was there, but I would hold off on secondary till 3rd round. I like Keith McGill. Good size, speed and man to man coverage which is what the Chiefs need. He could still be there to when the 3rd round comes too.

  • Johnny

    You must be copying NFL.com… What happened to OT Mathews??? He’s now being picked behind OT Robinson?? A lot have us picking that OT/G Zach Martin??? Don’t think he’s even worth a 1st rounder… Maybe as a Guard, but not OT.. Or atleast LT.. Maybe RT/G…

    • Conor Cahill

      Lucky you, he looks like he wants to come back.

  • Paul Newbold

    Jets go TE in the first. If Ebron is there at 18, its a no brainer. WR talent is deep in this draft, and with EVERY tight end on the Jets roster being a free agent, they have to address the position. The Jets need offensive weapons, Ebron definitely fits that need!

    • Conor Cahill

      I personally think Lee would be a top-5/top-10 pick this year if USC wasn’t a mess. Yes, the wide receiver group is deep, but I think they would want to take advantage of Lee’s artificially low draft stock. Jace Amaro is still available in this mock as is 6’7″ CJ Fiedorowicz.

      • Paul Newbold

        Fair enough. But speaking as a Jet fan, I think as a group, we are weary of #1 picks out of USC at this point! LOL

        • Conor Cahill

          Hahaha and I don’t blame you. Fortunately, I think Lee is dealing with the opposite effect that Sanchez benefited from. USC was horrible in SC standards this year, and his stock is paying the price.

  • Johnny

    I’m suprised that only 2 OTs are going ahead of 19 in this mock.. You never know…. I still think LT will be addressed in FA with either Monroe or Albert… If they do indeed get Lewen, he’d be moved to RT and hopefully be the Michigan 77 to take over LT on day.. BTW, Jake Long is getting surgery on his MCL/ACL… In which looks like a good move by not overpaying him… But, Ireland didn’t replace him… Like I said before last year, when people laughed at be when I said Jonathon Martin is NOT A NFL LT… But I guess Ireland didn’t see that, like most of us, and that’s why he’s gone…. We basically only have 1 Starting OLine material on this roster.. And that’s out Center Pouncy… The rest MUST be addressed in Free Agency and the draft…. In the end, Lewen would be a decent pick….

  • Don

    Why did everyone think Carr to Minnesota? It’s not going to happen when he could still be there in the second, and Garroppolo might be a better pick.

    • Conor Cahill

      Like I said I’m not a big believer in Carr. I just think Minnesota will press for a QB. I hope they don’t because like you said, Garroppolo will be available in the 2nd, Mettenberger certainly will be available, Boyd, and even David Fales. All 4 of those guys are arguably better than Carr. I just don’t trust Minnesota because then again, Kaepernick, Dalton, and maybe Mallet are also all better than Ponder.

  • 3kolu

    Carr has been the best QB at the Senior bowl. He has a rifle arm, toughness, competitiveness, intelligence, and athleticism. I believe he runs 4.6/40 with a 34″ vertical. Who cares if analysts believe he’s a reach, if a team thinks he offers them a franchise QB in the making they should take him. Minnesota should consider trading down if they want to go with Carr because they would be the last QB needy in the draft. In the right system with the right coaches they could mask his flaws as a rookie and be successful. He will need to learn to take the ball under center. Also, he needs to work on his footwork and pocket presence. Having to improve on variety of bad habits can prove to be challenging.

    • Conor Cahill

      The Senior Bowl teams have only been practicing for 3 days. I watched him all year against average teams with college-level defenses (Mountain West) and he struggled. Not saying he can’t improve on all those areas of his game, but I feel that teams often ‘see’ what they want to see the closer to the draft we get and they ignore the obliviously flawed mechanics and poor decisions the player made against lesser competition. Because of how the NFL has been the last couple years, I expect that if a team takes a QB this high, they are going to try and throw him to the lions in year 1. If the Vikings do that to Carr, I think he may struggle too much to even improve consistently.

      • 3kolu

        Feed him to Da Bears too. I have my doubts as well. I’d like to see him progress as the draft gets closer. You gotta love the skill set, one of the most complete QB’s in the draft. Comparing him to the QB’s on the Vikings roster, he would definitely be an upgrade. He has some of the same strengths such as Ponder, athleticism, intelligence, and speed. However, Carr has a much stronger arm which allows him to fit the ball into tight windows, something Ponder couldn’t do. He also fits the Parcells model for a QB, “The quarterback must be a senior. He must be a graduate, He must be a three-year starter. He must have 23 wins.” He’s also completed 67% of his passes for nearly 13,000 yards, 113 TD’s against only 24 int’s at 8 yards an attempt. He has gotten better every year across the board. Understandably, He threw a lot of short passes, he played in the MWC, and he is the brother of former bust David Carr. and, he struggled against USC. I believe the Turner is going to make the call either way, and I’m a firm believer that Turner can turn, excuse the pun, Carr into a Jet Plane, excuse the pun, again. But, not at #8, we just can’t afford to reach for another QB.

  • Carl Eagan

    what a moron getting younger on the defensive line for the Steeler’s means getting a defensive end.They don’t need a nose tackle as anyone that knows anything about football would point out.

    • Conor Cahill

      I mean, I know that in football you get a penalty kick if the other team shoots a 3-pointer. So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

  • Joshua McEwen

    If the Chiefs do not pick up a WR during free agent signing, Then I hope they can get Lee. He looks like the perfect fit for this offence. If Lee is taken, then maybe go for Adams. The Chiefs should really look at the WRs that are going to be free agent. If they don’t get Maclin or Decker, really look for the best player at WR or DE. The Chiefs with a fourth person that could require double teams is deadly. The defense was the best when they got to the QB.

    • Conor Cahill

      I’ve seen a lot of Chiefs fans really high on Kelvin Benjamin. I just don’t see him as a 1st round talent outside of his size and speed. To me, Lee is the 2nd best receiver in the draft and would be a great pick for the Chiefs. Free agency seems like a good way to go for the Chiefs receiving needs because with Alex Smith, they don’t need a Megatron on the team. They need 2-3 guys that can consistently run good routes and minimize mistakes (aka drops, KC was 27th in the NFL in drops).

  • kyle

    Very accurate mock here the inky problem I have with it is the rams taking an OT it isn’t Fishers style to do so in the first round and Ita also a boring pick. Snead and Fisher always have an exciting draft and that pick isn’t exciting although I can see it happening because it’s a necessity position and a very talented tackle however I would rather see them wait until the second round to get a tackle because it is so deep and instead I would like to see them take a guy like Mike evans in the first because we’ll he’s just a boos at wilde out he doesn’t drop passes witch was a problem for rams receivers last year and he’s also a big target for Bradford. Not the fastest guy but if he gets some speed in the open field I certainly wouldn’t want to step in his path … If u can’t tell I’m praying the rams take evans

    • Conor Cahill

      I could see the Rams taking Evans as well. I could very well see them trading out of that #6 spot to take Evans at around 9-12 and pick up another 2nd rounder. That’s where mocks get messy though haha.

  • Duane Wade

    You didn’t explain exactly what the Falcons gave for the move up.

    • Conor Cahill

      Assuming it would be at least be a 2015 1st or a 2014 2nd and 4th.

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  • Jollyrob68

    For The STeelers can we please stop putting NT in rd 1. CAlvin Pryor is an Awesome Pick. Justin Gilbert & CJ Mosley still on the board as well. COme on know.

  • wt24

    even though I agree the falcons will move up I desperately hope we do not move up. That is where we got into trouble is by trading up for Julio…who I love, but it killed our depth and that is one of our biggest struggles now