2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0, First Round

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9.   Buffalo Bills

Greg Robinson

OT, Auburn

Tackles are at a premium in the draft. Cordy Glenn is an above-average left tackle who’s protecting E.J. Manuel’s blindside, but right tackle could use an upgrade. Eric Pears is not that bad in pass protection, but he gave up more sacks than I think the Bills would have liked to see. Protecting Manuel should be the team’s first priority – before his knee injury against the Browns, Manuel was making some eye-opening plays. Robinson is a solid prospect with a “high ceiling” and a crazy skillset which makes him the best remaining player on the board. Robinson is a necessary upgrade over Erik Pears.

10.  Detroit Lions

Darqueze Dennard

CB, Michigan State

There’s no doubt that the Lions’ biggest need is at corner. Taking a wide receiver like Mike Evans or even Marquise Lee to take away some attention on the field from Calvin Johnson is tempting, but the secondary was what cost the Lions on multiple occasions last season. Dennard is a rangy, big, athletic corner who could fill that need. Cornerback prospect Justin Gilbert will be on the Lions’ radar as well, but I like Dennard over Gilbert because of the former’s superior technique and consistency in his three years of starting at Michigan State. I don’t care that Mike Mayock said that Gilbert will be the first corner off the board. Chris Houston will remain the starter on the other side and Dennard would be a nice compliment to him.

11.  Tennessee Titans

Marqise Lee

WR, Southern California

Ken Whisenhunt says he’s confident in Jake Locker, but the Titans still might be in the market for a quarterback. However, I don’t think that happens in round one. If Locker truly is their guy, the Titans’ front office needs to surround him with key pieces for him to succeed. Lee would provide Jake Locker with a potential number one receiver on the outside – Lee is not as big as teams would like for a top receiver, but his speed makes him difficult to jam at the line of scrimmage and he his route-running ability is above-average.

Injuries are something to watch out for, as Lee struggled with a hurt leg in 2013, but injuries should be a concern for every single player. Lee’s skillset reminds me a little bit of Giants’ star receiver Victor Cruz – small but extremely explosive. I think he’ll be a good fit in whatever Whisenhunt wants to do. Perhaps he’ll be a 2014 version of Keenan Allen under Whisenhunt.

12.  New York Giants

Anthony Barr

OLB, UCLA

The Giants need help on the offensive line, but I expect the team to sign at least one guard in free agency. With Barr, the Giants regain some of its defensive prowess it boasted from 2007 to 2011. Some people believe that Barr can only play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but his tremendous ability would allow him to play defensive end in a 4-3 and even outside linebacker in that system as well. He’s a strong cover linebacker and a good pass rusher, but his run defense needs to be worked on. Despite that, I think that no matter what position he plays, he’ll be a good fit in Perry Fewell’s defensive scheme. Barr’s talent is “raw”, but the Giants do a tremendous job of developing talent (like Victor Cruz – even Ruben Randle is evolving into a solid receiver).

13.  St. Louis Rams

Taylor Lewan

OT, Michigan

After grabbing Sammy Watkins with their first pick, the Rams now fill their offensive line need with Lewan. I was thinking about having the Rams take Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but I don’t see as much of a need at safety than I do at offensive tackle, especially with Jake Long’s injury. Lewan should be able to come in and start right away at left tackle if Long isn’t able to go come week one – there’s a strong possibility that happens. Center Scott Wells and guard Harvey Dahl are cap casualties, so it’s possible that the Rams could move starting right tackle Joe Barksdale to the interior offensive line and have Lewan play right tackle. Although there isn’t much depth for the Rams on the line, there should be a little more flexibility with Lewan on the roster.

14.  Chicago Bears

Kony Ealy

DE, Missouri

Taking a look at all of the Bears’ rankings per unit, the defense was the worst out of the three; specifically run defense. It seemed like half of their guys were hurt. Brian Urlacher retired, Lance Briggs was out for an extended period of time, and the defense was not good. I think the Bears have to go with a defensive lineman – at any position, end or tackle – to improve that run defense and pass rush. Ealy is athletic and disruptive, and 4-3 defensive ends come at a premium in the draft, making the selection appealing to Chicago. Ealy will make his presence felt immediately and the Bears’ pass rush and run defense will be vastly improved with his addition.

15.  Pittsburgh Steelers

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

FS, Alabama

People have been telling me that defensive tackle is a bigger need for Pittsburgh, but I disagree. Troy Polumalu is a prime candidate to be cut (for the Steelers to save cap space) and I have my doubts about Shamarko Thomas taking his place as the new starting safety. Clinton-Dix has the ability to play either free safety or strong safety, and I think if/when the Steelers cut Troy Polumalu, safety will be their biggest need. The team can address the defensive line later in the draft or even through free agency.

Ha Ha has very good on-field awareness, much like Polumalu, and he’s a rangy safety who’s also very decisive. His playing style is very close to that of Earl Thomas – both are long, rangy safeties; Ha Ha is not as fast or explosive, however. Clinton-Dix is the best safety in the draft and I don’t think it’s much of a risk taking him at 15th overall.

16.  Dallas Cowboys

Aaron Donald

DT, Pittsburgh

Like Chicago’s defense, Dallas’s defense was bad in the secondary and up front. I remember seeing some crazy stat about the number of different starting defensive linemen they used. I think it was 17. There’s no doubt that the Cowboys’ biggest positional need is defensive tackle. Maybe Jerry’s son should wipe his glasses for him so he can see that.

I have Donald rated as the best defensive tackle prospect, despite his “small” size, with Louis Nix shortly behind him. He really helped his draft stock at the combine (although I don’t take the combine too seriously – it 40 times with no pads on shouldn’t make much of a difference). Still, Donald, although he’s “only” 6’1”, makes perfect sense for the DT-needy Cowboys.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants New York Jets NFL Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans

  • Joshua Giovannone

    This is probably the best mock I have seen. Dennard over Gilbert and I love the Steelers pick. Clinton – Dix could be really special. His film is pretty incredible. I don’t even care about 40 times but his in game closing time is fantastic.

    • Rishi Pochiraju

      Thank you. People were telling me that DT was a bigger issue, but based on what I’ve seen, Polumalu is getting older and might even be cut. I don’t think PIT could go wrong with Ha Ha.

      • Joshua Giovannone

        I don’t think picking him would be bad at all but they won’t ever cut troy. They will just restructure. He is the type of player who wouldn’t play for anyone else.

    • Kareem Daniels

      The Steelers want take Dix over Gilbert seeing they have Shamarko already. Corner is a bigger need than safety

  • Tyler_KC_Fan

    If Justin Gilbert is there at the 23rd pick the Chief will most likely take him. The draft is deep in WR and if we can either some how get a 2nd or another 3rd we could get Matthrews from Vandy or Robinson from Penn St.

    • Rishi Pochiraju

      I think that WR is a bigger need… I have enough confidence in Sean Smith and Brandon Flowers as starting corners to take a receiver here, but there’s not enough depth behind Dwayne Bowe. It’s a deep CB class as well and KC can take a CB in the 2nd round

      • Dustin McLaughlin

        Except the Chiefs don’t have a second round pick

        • Rishi Pochiraju

          Forgot about the Alex Smith trade. But again, as you saw from the Week 17 game against SD, there’s enough depth on the team to go either way and Flowers and Smith are solid, while anyone behind Dwayne Bowe isn’t (Kyle Williams? A.J. Jenkins? Donnie Avery? Nah.. and McCluster is mainly a halfback)

          • Tyler_KC_Fan

            I agree that WR is a need as well and I still have a hard time calling Bowe our #1 WR because he plays with zero determination or drive, but he is the only WR we do have. My only point is Flowers is not the strongest man to man player. I personally don’t know how Flowers got to the Pro-Bowl, but thats neither here nor there. Gilbert completely changes the secondary for the team because of his speed, height and physical ability.

            I love Cooks and Beckham and wouldn’t be upset with us drafting either of those players, but if Gilbert is still there at 23 I would be torn because Gilbert looks like he can be a stud.

            I think the only way we get our 2nd rounder back is if we trade back, but the risk of trading out of the 1st might be to much of a risk with the players in the draft this year.

  • Johnny

    Crazy… T Zach Martin should be the Phins pick at #19… A lot of mock draft have him gone by 19… Giants or most likely Baltimore would take Martin before 19… But you left him out if the 1st round??? Crazy…
    Did you see him at the Senior Bowl???
    Not letting a few 1st round DE/DTs past him…
    This kid can start immedietly at RT for the Dolphins!!! He also has versatility to play guard if needed… or even take over LT if needed… ( obviously going to address LT with either Monroe or Albert in FA )..
    Martin has also broke ND records with 51 starts, playing 51 games… That shows he’s strong, reliable, and NOT injury-prone…
    He would be IDEAL for the Phins…
    You pick up Monroe at LT (only 27 next month), then draft Martin…
    Now you have both tackle positions secure for the next 5 years…
    Pouncy in the middle at Center…
    Add acouple of Guards in FA and Draft for depth… And your talking about a solid OLine… Maybe keep Tannehill’s jersey clean and give him that extra 1.5 secs to find his target….
    And now sky’s the limit!!!!
    Crazy how you left him out of the 1st round completely… You must have either forgotten him or maybe you don’t like he’s an inch too short compared to average NFL player at the Tackle position…

    • Rishi Pochiraju

      I don’t have Miami taking Martin, but they are taking an offensive linemen…I don’t really pay attention to other mock drafts and base my picks off of those. Yes, he doesn’t have the lateral range for tackle and I just don’t know about him playing guard, as he never played it in college. Antonio Richardson could come in and start just like you said Martin could.

      • Johnny

        Did you see Richardson at the combine???? Terrible!!! Got a grade of a 5th round pick and talks of red-shirting his First NFL year!!! Did you know he had Knee Surgery last (12)????season and still has a lingering affects to that knee?????Talk about one big red flag… Plus his play in college was inconsistent to say the least…
        Martin is the 4th ranked T in this draft…. After Mathews, Robinson, and maybe Lewan (maybe Martin), there’s a big drop off… I know the Phins are desperate for OLine, it’s obvious… But why select a 3rd round tackle in the 1st round… Plus the Phins will address a lot in free agency… They might even jump ahead of say Baltimore to get Martin.. Won’t cost much, being it’s only a few spots… But for one, Richardson does NOT belong in the first round.. PERIOD!!!! Read up on his combine and his Knee surgery…
        Do your homework bro!!!

  • Panther Hines

    As a Panthers fan, I would love for Atlanta to spend a buttload of picks to trade up for Clowney. We sacked Ryan NINE times in their house last year, love to see them completely ignore their biggest need

  • FrankieSmith

    Just because a QB is taken does not make him a franchise QB. I dont believe one exists in this draft, and Houston does not have to reach and take one either.

  • Rick Talley

    For the Rams, I like Evans better than Watkins. So, in this mock, I take Robinson first, Evans second. Or, trade, again, if someone really wants Watkins…..like the Lions. Then you still get one of the big three OT’s, Evans, and a bunch of extra picks in a VERY DEEP draft. Go Rams!

    • Rishi Pochiraju

      I definitely could see that happening, even if the Rams trade down to 6 for the Falcons to take Clowney. It’ll pretty much be just like 2012 — trade down to 6, then trade down to somewhere like 14, get more picks, and grab Evans, but I just think Watkins could succeed anywhere and is just too good to pass up. STL would still get a ton of picks or a few good picks if the Falcons do indeed trade up to second overall.

      • Rick Talley

        I def won’t cry if we take Watkins: you’re right about him being successful anywhere. I just like the idea of Evans beating people on the outside, with Austin, Bailey, and Cook working the middle. Also, if they wait on a receiver, I hope his name is Donte Moncreif…..he is an animal!

  • David Mallow

    Were you high when you put this mock together? First of all Minnesota WILL NOT trade up, second, there is no way Manziel would be the pick even if they did. Whats so hard to understand that THEY DO NOT WANT TO REACH AGAIN!!!!!! Manziel will be a bust and thats a FACT.Look at Ponder and look at Johnny…Both are run first QBs and thats not a good thing , especially considering how pass happy the league is now.If I were any GM of the top 10 to 15 teams I would stay clear of all QBs, none are true franchise guys.Johhny runs too much with absolutely no pocket presence, Bortles, Bridewater, and even Carr are raw and need ALOT of work to be starters in the NFL.i see at least 2 busts from the QBs (Manziel and Bortles) Evryone will disagree, im sure, but it is the truth…guys like Carr, Garoppolo, Mettenberger, Murray and maybe Fales will be just as much a good of pick as any of first 3 guys, but they will be 2nd and 3rd round, the risk is not as high.

  • Jordan Huber

    Haha, I love this quote “Oakland can’t afford a quarterback who isn’t a lock to be a star right away”. Yea, cuz any rookie QB ever has been a “lock to be a star”, give me a break. I guess no QB should ever get drafted.

    • Rishi Pochiraju

      Cam Newton? Andrew Luck? RG3 in his first year? Russell Wilson? All immediate stars

      • anthony

        newton is not a star, rg3 is not a star and the defence is what won the Superbowl not Wilson, he truly is mediocre

        • Rick Talley

          Newton is not a star? Uh, think you got that one wrong! I completely thought he was gonna be a bust when they drafted him #1, but he turned out to be an animal. Wait till they bring in some fresh receivers….he will light the place up!

  • Chris Smith

    Texans need to trade down and collect picks.

  • Diegoblue

    If Justin Gilbert or Louis Nix is available no way the Chargers select Van Noy

    • chargersfanfromswitzerland

      agree, justin gilbert at 26 would be awesome

      • Christian Vazquez

        Oh yeah! Gilbert or Nix would be awesome.
        Also, cut Clary and English and sign some FA’s

  • Wayne Davis

    Lmao Vikes trade up to take manziel???

    Round 1 Pick 14 (CHI): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State (B+)
    Round 2 Pick 8: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State (A)
    Round 2 Pick 19 (CHI): Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois (A)
    Round 3 Pick 8: Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin (B)
    Round 3 Pick 18 (CHI): Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas (A)
    Round 3 Pick 32: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU (B+)
    Round 4 Pick 8: Anthony Steen, OG, Alabama (B-)
    Round 4 Pick 17 (CHI): Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State (A)
    Round 5 Pick 8: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri (A-)
    Round 6 Pick 8: David Fales, QB, San Jose State (A-)
    Round 7 Pick 8: De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (C)

  • Ken Tomlin

    Rishi, I agree with the other Viking fans who’ve already commented!! NO WAY WE TRADE UP!! It’s like you guys who make mock drafts, don’t even bother to read/listen to the NUMEROUS reports/interviews with Spielman! Sure, we need a QB, but we will NOT reach for 1, like we did with Ponder!! Even if we do happen to take one in the 1st rd, it’ll ONLY be after trading back, getting more picks later in draft. Then trading back up into the bottom of the 1st(and I only give that maybe a 30-40% of happening. Quit assuming like everyone else, and actually look at our DEF( esp our secondary). Just cuz a team needs a position, doesn’t mean they sacrifice everything to take a player at that position. Especially, when the only thing scouts/”experts”/fans can agree on is that not 1 of them is a can’t miss prospect at the QB position!!

  • 65yt

    Sorry to add to complaints. But i dont think bucs pick LB first. They said they were looking QB and Carr would do. Also taking any DE or OL would be almost a priority. And if Watkins was available i believe they would take him before Detroit.

  • loverpoint

    I can tell you right now the 49ers are not taking Timmy Jerrigan DT at the #30 spot.

  • flogginthelog

    Niners will not take a dt in the first round, that’s ignorant. Do the writers do any kind of research bc if they did half these picks are seem random and lack insight. Niners still have tank carradine who hasn’t played a snap bc of injury. He supposed to be full strength at seasons start. They need cb wr or a backup Qb.

  • Maariz Kashem

    As a saints fan like the pick not that is just a fantasy