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Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) rushes into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Mock Draft 2014: Picks 6-10


Here’s a recap of my top five selections:

1. Houston Texans: Johnny Manziel, 2. St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, 3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, 4. Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr, 5. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney.

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-12): Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (6’4″ 247 lbs.)

Anyone who watched the Falcons in 2013 noticed the reason why they couldn’t close games or why they weren’t even in most games, a lack of playmakers on defense. Anthony Barr has the ability to be an instant contributor and starter on almost any 3-4 defense in the NFL. Barr has incredible size and speed combined with the ability to play the run and the pass. Though Atlanta has some veteran talent in their front-7 they lack a player who can effectively rush the passer from the linebacker position. Barr in his last season for the Bruins compiled 66 total tackles and 10 sacks. Barr has the potential and upside to be a perennial all-pro outside linebacker. NFL Comparison: Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama (6’2″ 238 lbs.)

The Bucs are an interesting team to discuss going into the 2014 Draft. The don’t have a real immediate need that any prospect jumps right off the page. A lot of people discussed edge-rushers or offensive tackles or maybe even quarterback as a potential hole Tampa might fill in the first round. However, with the current regime change in Tampa the pick that makes the most sense is a smart, talented, experienced middle linebacker. The best inside backer in the draft is Mosley by far. Mosley led one of the strongest defenses in college football for the last two seasons and was a huge factor in the Tide’s success. Lovie Smith’s main concern will be finding the right guy to run his defense, mainly because ball clubs that have been at his helm start with the leadership of the middle linebacker (see Brian Urlacher). Mosley is a guy who will become a stalwart for an NFL defense for a decade and is an instant contributor. 2013 Stats: 108 total tackles, 9 TFLs, 2013 Dick Butkus Award, 2012 consensus All-American.  NFL Comparison: DeMeco Ryans, Philadelphia Eagles

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (6’3″ 196 lbs.)

The Vikings clearest and most present need is at the quarterback position. Bridgewater has had a decently dominant career in the Big East/AAC. He has the frame that scouts really love and would be a good fit in Minnesota. He does not have the greatest arm strength or accuracy but he has won a lot of games throughout his college career and has the physical measurables that merit a first round selection. The Vikings have talented weapons throughout their offense (Peterson, Jennings, Patterson, Rudolph,etc.) and badly need a quarterback to distribute the ball. Bridgewater is an efficient passer who will be a good game managing QB in the NFL. 2013 Stats: 3,970 yds, 31 TDs, 4 INTs, 71.0 COMP. %. NFL Comparison: Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (6’1″ 205 lbs.)

One thing that was missing in Buffalo’s passing game last season was game breaking speed that could take the top off a defense. The best wideout with that particular skill set in this draft is Sammy Watkins. Watkins is a game changing receiver who has played a ton of different positions throughout his college career and is comfortable in  many different roles. Whether it be at slot, or in the backfield or as your #1 wideout on the outside Watkins will be a tremendous help for which ever team lands him. Sammy Watkins has had a tremendous college career compiling 3,730 all purpose yards with 28 TDs, not to mention  1,376 return yards. NFL Comparison: DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles

10. Detroit Lions (7-9): Marqise Lee, WR, USC (6’0″ 195 lbs.)

The Lions badly need a consistent number 2 option in their passing game. Having a player either in the slot or on the other side of the field to draw attention away from Calvin Johnson will dramatically help Matt Stafford and the Detroit passing game. Burelson and Durham are solid receivers however considering their skill set they fit better as the third option in an NFL passing game. A pick that makes a lot of sense for the Lions is USC’s Marqise Lee. Lee might be the most decorated receiver in the 2014 Draft. He’s a Biletnikoff Award winner, a consensus All-American (2012), Pac-12 Player of the Year (2012), USC Team Captain, all in addition to grabbing 248 receptions for 3,655 yards and racking up 29 TDs in his career. Lee has a great pedigree, breakaway speed and terrific route-running skills combined with incredible instincts. Detroit would be remiss to not draft Lee this year. NFL Comparison: Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts

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