2014 NFL Mock Draft: Cahill Version 4.1

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Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (8) reacts to a play against the Auburn Tigers during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

17. Baltimore Ravens
Marqise Lee
Wide Receiver, USC

The Ravens are losers at the combine because Mike Evans is exactly what they need, and there is no way he is available at #16. The Ravens offense struggled this season without Anquan Boldin and still need to take a receiver. Marqise Lee finsihed 3rd amongst receivers in the broad jump, exemplifying his huge target radius. Marqise Lee was the best receiver prospect in the draft heading into the season, so the Ravens should be happy that he will probably fall to them at #15. Lee got no love after having an average season with an average quarterback, multiple play callers, and a whole bunch of drama at USC.

Previous pick: WR Mike Evans

 

18. New York Jets
Eric Ebron
Tight End, North Carolina

Eric Ebron performed well at the combine. He was 2nd amongst tight ends in the 40-yard dash with a 4.60. The Jets believe Geno Smith is good enough to be groomed into their future QB, so it’s time to start surrounding Geno Smith with real weapons. The Jets had the 31st passing offense in the NFL. This was in part due to growing pains with Smith, but the Jets also have absolutely no one that can bail him out from the pressure he felt behind the 26th worst O-line. 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 Geno Smith much easier in the open field and especially in the red zone.

 

19. Miami Dolphins
Taylor Lewan
Offensive Tackle, Michigan

Taylor Lewan posted the fastest 40-yard dash time for an offensive lineman with a 4.87. He showed he has the athleticism to hold up against NFL pass rushers. 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.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals
Jimmy Garoppolo
Quarterback, Eastern Illinois

The Cardinals offense struggled at times this year due to their deficiency in the running game. They are also starting a 34 year old Carson palmer that threw 22 picks this year. Even though the top-4 quarterbacks are off the board, the Cardinals could take a shot at Jimmy Garoppolo. He played well in the Senior Bowl, and showed his quick feet and quick release at the combine. Garoppolo does not have the pocket presence you would like for a 1st round quarterback selection, but he has the physical tools to be productive. There are still some good day 2 quarterback prospects available as well if the Cardinals don’t feel like betting a 1st round pick on Garoppolo.

Previous Pick: TE Jace Amaro

 

21. Green Bay Packers
Jace Amaro
Tight End, Texas Tech

Jace Amaro absolutely crushed the combine this weekend. He finished in the top-5 for tight ends in every single drill except the 3 cone drill. Whether or not the Packers decide to bring Finley back this year, 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. Plus, Aaron Rodgers deserves some new weapons. Amaro is a tight end built in the same vein as Jimmy Graham. He is tall (6’6″) and lean and runs most of his routes from the slot. He specializes in burning defenses down the field. He speeds by linebackers and uses his huge frame to beat safeties to the ball in the air.

Previous Pick: MLB CJ Mosely

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles
Calvin Pryor
Safety, Louisville

Calvin Pryor may be the 1st safety off the board after his showing at the combine. He tied HaHa in the 40-yard dash with a 4.58 and tied for 4th among safeties in the bench press. The Eagles GM has stated he wants to address the safety position in free agency prior to the draft. Assuming that doesn’t go as planned, Pryor is a very good fit for the Eagles. They need to add some explosion to their defense to match that offense. Adding a heavy hitter that is willing to step up and make tackles will add a dimension tot he Eagles defense that will instantly improve their 32nd ranked pass defense. Calvin Pryor is flying up draft boards after he outplayed his fellow Louisville safety, Hakeem Smith. He can play both safety spots because he is a vicious hitter and a great tackler, but he is athletic enough to make plays on the ball in center field.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs
Darqueeze Dennard
Cornerback, Michigan St.

Darqueeze Dennard dropped for me due to his lack of participation in more than a few of the combine drills. Dennard proved that he didn’t have the elite athleticism of Justin Gilbert in the 40 and bench press and wasn’t the most reliable player due to injuries this season. The Chiefs’ secondary was exposed after teams realized how to stop their pass rush. The Chiefs are in desperate need of help and youth in the secondary after they whiffed on Dunta Robinson in free agency, and Gilbert is possibly the best CB prospect in the draft.Dennard won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back, and played a great game against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

Previous Pick: CB Justin Gilbert

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals
Jason Verrett
Cornerback, TCU

Jason Verrett helped his draft stock significantly after the combine. He tied for 2nd among corners and 5th overall in the 40-yard dash with a 4.38. Perhaps more importantly, he tied for 3rd among corners in the vertical jump which should quiet some of the concern over his 5’9″ frame. The Bengals have relied on Pacman Jones and Terrence Newman for a little too long. Since Mike Zimmer left for the head coaching offer in Minnesota, the Bengals D will most likely take a step back. They need to get younger in the secondary, and Verrett is the best CB prospect remaining in the draft. 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. He could also replace Leon Hall in a few years.

 

25. San Diego Chargers
Louis Nix III
Nose Tackle, Notre Dame

Louis Nix didn’t help his draft stock much during the combine. He failed to stand out amongst the other defensive tackle prospects, but he did cut over 20 lbs. since his senior year which will not go unnoticed. Nix’s knee surgery is a growing concern for most teams, although that could change if he puts on a good workout. As of now, it doesn’t appear to be that Nix will go in the top half on day 1. I am coming back to this pick because it seems like a perfect fit. The Chargers have had a huge hole in the middle ever since Jamal Williams left a few years ago. Cam Thomas is a backup at best and adding Nix would turn turn the defensive line into one of the best in the NFL with Kendall Reyes and Corey Liuget. Having that inside presence will also make things easier for the outside rushers and secondary. The Chargers could also look to draft a CB here, and they will surely draft on the defensive side.

 

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

The Browns picked up their hopeful franchise quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, 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
CJ Mosely
Middle Linebacker, Alabama

Cyrus Kouandjio killed his draft stock after failing miserably at the combine. Luckily for the Saints, who recently released Jonathan Vilma, CJ Mosely is available for the taking. CJ Mosely performed admirably at the combine, but his true value lies in the tape. His instincts and character will make Mosely very valuable. Mosely would also just be a nice fit alongside Curtis Lofton 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: OT Cyrus Kouandjio

 

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
Aaron Donald
Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

Donald showed great athleticism and strength during the combine. He finished 5th in the 40-yard dash among defensive linemen and 2nd in the bench press. Something tells me he won’t be available a #29, but if he is, the Patriots are in for a treat. Aaron Donald has been compared countless times to a cannon ball. He is short, powerful, and comes off the line with explosion. He can rush the passer as shown by his 29.5 career sacks and 28.5 tackles for loss as a senior. Donald is extremely explosive and would create havoc for the interior of an offensive line as a disruptor in the middle of the Patriots’ defensive line.

Previous Pick: DT Timmy Jernigan

 

30. San Francisco 49ers
Kelvin Benjamin
Wide Receiver, Florida State

Back to back Florida State picks. Kelvin Benjamin is a HUGE receiver with speed to kill. He can make catches anywhere on the field and is trouble to bring down for a defensive back. 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. Benjamin will be a huge asset for Colin Kaepernick as he develops his passing game to match the explosiveness of his running ability. He is, however, still developing as a pure receiver and often looks to make plays before actually cutting or making a catch.

 

31. Denver Broncos
Dee Ford
Defensive End, Auburn

Since this is my first mock since the Super Bowl, allow me a second to just say… wow. I knew the Broncos defense wasn’t great but just…wow. The Broncos were not only without ace pass rusher Von Miller for the Super Bowl, but also for most of the season. Shaun Phillips played well, but doesn’t have a lot left in the tank. The Broncos need a pass rusher badly if they hope to get back to the Super Bowl next year. Ford has a very quick burst off the line and underrated strength. Across from a hopefully healthy and eligible Von Miller, Ford will be able to set an edge and will disrupt pockets quickly as O-lines struggle to handle the explosiveness of both players. Ford would have to transition into a 3-4 OLB, but will likely get the chance to be a 2-down linebacker until he gets the hang of dropping into coverage.

 

32. Seattle Seahawks
Odell Beckham Jr.
Wide Receiver, LSU

Finally. Jenkins’ medical hold out from the combine convinced me that he may not be a 1st rounder. Odell Beckham, on the other hand, used the combine to prove that his quickness is elite among wide receiver prospects. Seattle may want to add reliable receiver to pair with the explosive Percy Harvin. Beckham Jr. may not be the ideal possession receiver, but he has the physical tools to be a force downfield and take attention off of Harvin and Russell Wilson’s running ability. Beckham has great top-line speed but even better acceleration and agility. He is dangerous with the ball and has home run ability. He is best at stretching the field and creating separation.

Previous Pick: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

 

Thanks for checking out my Version 4.1 2014 NFL Mock Draft. I will be updating it each week until the NFL Draft on May 8th.

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  • bk

    I really don’t see the vikings reaching for Carr… he will be there in rd 2 or they can wait on any of a number of similar QB’s… Mettenberg, etc… Same for Az with Garrapalo..
    No way Lewan gets by the Steelers if he is there when they draft… no chance…

    • Conor Cahill

      I wouldn’t either, but then again….. it wouldn’t be the first time

  • Gary Stewart

    conor as a ram fan getting robinson and evans seems ok but after you had us trade down to #6 then down again to #9 we get maybe the same 2 we would have taken at 2 and 13 thats the good news. the bad part is you failed to tell the rams fans what we got for trading down to #6 and then what we got for trading down to #9 2 to 6 should yield a 2nd a 3rd and a future 2nd the trade from 6 to 9 should yield an extra 2nd and 4th rounder(maybe a 5th) but to not give your opinion on the value gained by trading down is shorting the rams fans

    • Conor Cahill

      Ya I agree with you. I would assume from 2 to 6 they would net a couple 2nds and possibly that current 3rd. from 6 to 9 i could see tham getting another 2nd (maybe future) and a 3rd. I haven’t started doing 3 rounds yet, but when I do closer to the draft, I will work on that trade so it refelcts the value added in later rounds. Good catch though

  • will hall

    When was this mock draft done? Before the Baltimore and Dallas coin flip. Cuz Dallas will pick 16th in this year’s draft. Amateur bog writers.

    • Conor Cahill

      there ya go ;)

  • Jordan

    As another Ram fan I’d like an explanation too. Especially if Watkins is still there at 6 I don’t see why the Rams would trade down again. They already gained more picks with the intial trade in this mock and a high caliber player who imo is high on there board who should of gone in the top 5 based on production and talent. I understand the Falcons trade but the Bills trade i don’t quite understand.

    • Conor Cahill

      I think Evans is a much better fit for the Rams. If Mack was available thats probably the direction I would go, but they have a chance to pick up some 2nd or 3rd rounders in a fairly deep draft.

  • 3kolu

    The Vikings will not reach for Carr at #8. They will trade down and acquire more picks if Carr is even on their radar. Depending on what they do in free agency, I could see them going CB and Justin Gilbert would be a great fit.

  • Hawthorne

    I think a lot of people plan on trading down, but with the depth in this years drafts I don’t see very many people wanting to trade up. Maybe San Fran, but that’s about it.

  • Dylan

    Two things. What is your reasoning for the Panthers taking Adams over Benjamin? Also Denver plays a 4-3 defense, if they were to grab Ford he’d most likely play the role Dumervil played the one season before he left for Baltimore. Mostly hand on the ground, move him around on obvious passing downs to help create mismatches with Von

    • Conor Cahill

      I think he is a more consistent and polished receiver, not just an insane athlete. I think that will benefit the Panthers more than a hit or miss guy. And ya, Ford would be a pass rusher until he gets his legs in coverage. Philips doesn’t have much left.

  • Joe Lawrence

    It is an absolute certainty that GB will NOT take a TE in the first 2 rounds. Their gm has said he will look for a TE in the later rounds if he sees value there. With one of the NFL’s worst defenses and Pryor-Nix-Mosley still on the board, the Packers will definately go after one of them at #1.

  • Josh Hart

    Just a little typo, but on the Browns 2nd pick you have Bortles name in there instead of Bridgewater.

    I like this for the Browns.

    • Conor Cahill

      thank you

  • [email protected]

    Not to be too picky, and I am not a Giants fan (Steelers fan) but if I WAS a Giants fan, I would think I have a lot worse things to ‘shore up’ than a 10th ranked pass defense given that Eli threw like 90% of his passes from his back last year! Doesn’t it make sense that they would take Lewan given his great combine? Also, selfishly, that gives my Steelers a chance to take Justin Gilbert!!!

  • Dan Onti

    Gilbert for the Leo’s………..

  • twrdh

    Though the vikings have a reached for a QB in the recent history (Ponder) there is no way Spielman makes that mistake again with his job on the line and takes Carr 8th overall. If he is there in the second round he may take a shot at him, but not at 8 overall. I don’t see the vikings picking at 8 though. They will either make a move for one of the top 3 QBs or more likely drop back and get extra picks. If they stay at 8 or drop back just a couple I’d say they pick Anthony Barr, or Justin Gilbert, and then pick up someone like Mettenberger in round 2.

    • Conor Cahill

      IMO while taking a QB in the 2nd round is less risky, does it really solve any problem? Sure, you could take a stab at hitting a Brady or Wilson, but it almost never works. I doubt he makes it out of the 1st. I agree he isn’t worth the 8th pick, but he is a QB. QBs get special treatment. Unless they really like a 2nd day guy (Mettenberger is the only one I would think matches Norv Turner’s style) then I can’t really see them passing.

      • twrdh

        I agree the odds of solving your QB problem with a round 2 pick aren’t good, but you don’t solve your QB problem by taking the wrong person just because you need a QB either. I’m not really sold on any of the QB’s in this draft outside of Bortles. The other “1st rounders” I’d rather not see the vikings waste a pick on given how many other pressing needs the team has. If they want someone the talent level of Carr IMO I’d rather see them pass on Carr, Take someone like Mettenberger (who IMO would be a round 1 talent if it wasn’t for his knee injury) and use the first round pick to help their terrible defense. They have no ILB, WLB, need a SS across from Smith, someone to help Rhodes at CB, NT to help solidify what was once a great run D, and they need to replace Jared Allen. There are far to many needs to waste an 8th overall pick on a QB with a talent level you can find in round 2.

        • Conor Cahill

          I agree. Haha I just think they’ll do it

  • Jarod Cook

    This is one of the worst mock drafts I’ve seen top to bottom. Did you even make adjustments to what teams saw and learned from the draft? The QB’s had a horrible showing and went down on most teams draft boards. Clowney, Robinson, Mack, Watkins blew every one away, showing they are the elite talent to be had this year. You have teams reaching on what are 2nd/3rd talent just to fill a need minor needs.

    • Jarod Cook

      As a Browns fan no way do they take a QB at #4. They take Watkins, Mack or try to trade down and draft Mosley, Evens, Carr, Dennard. At #26 can live with taking best available OL. But the Browns like Carr and I don’t see him getting picked at #10 by Vikes, so this is where the Browns draft Carr.

    • Conor Cahill

      QBs can look as horrible as possible, but at least two of them are going in the top 5. Guaranteed.

      • Jarod Cook

        Thanks for the link, If the draft were to draft today as Browns fan I’d be pleased. I’ll agree with you probably all 3 will be taking in the top 10. Only teams I see that will trade out of the top 5 are Rams and Browns. A scenario I see in the Browns favor is, if Rams stay at #2 take OT. The Browns could then trade down to #7-8 and still get Watkins and extra picks.

    • Conor Cahill

      Check this draft out. He goes that route. I just can’t believe that many teams will pass on QBs after there were no options last year.
      http://www.nfl.com/draft/2014/mock-drafts/daniel-jeremiah/190602

  • Tom Weissmann

    Just because they gave up 47 sacks doesn’t mean they should grab the pass blocking left tackle in Tampa. Remember, they run the ball more than they pass (when they are within two scores) and the run blocking was pretty bad too. Why not draft Robinson who is already a stud run blocker and has tremendous upside to develop potentially (from what I’ve heard) better pass protection skills than Matthews will? Matthews doesn’t fit the bill but Robinson does in every area. If both are still there somehow, Robinson will be the one getting his name called, not Matthews.