2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0, First Round

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Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that most free agents (that were coveted at all) have been signed, it’s time for another mock draft.

Click here to see my pre-free agency mock.

And without further ado…

1.  Houston Texans

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

1.0  pick: same

Many people have been saying that Blake Bortles’ draft stock has been rising since the combine. Some also say that Bridgewater hurt himself (not literally) in his pro day performance. It’s worth noting that he didn’t wear gloves when throwing, and does during games. After watching him throw at Louisville’s pro day, I don’t see anything that we didn’t already know from watching his game film.

Bridgewater is the best quarterback in the draft, and a quarterback would help Houston more than Jadeveon Clowney would. Think about it this way – what would be more beneficial to the team: taking a defensive end in the first round and then a quarterback in the second, or vice versa? I think it’s the latter. Houston’s struggles in 2013 were mainly due to bad quarterback play, not bad defensive line play. Bridgewater makes a lot more sense than Clowney for the Texans.

2.  St. Louis Rams

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

1.0  pick: traded down with Falcons to sixth overall – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Ultimately, I don’t think the Rams will stay at second overall (they will probably trade down), but for the sake of simplicity and the way I thought this mock will turn out, I have the Rams picking here. St. Louis has a lot of flexibility here, as the team has another top-15 pick. The Rams have some needs they need to address, but there aren’t any glaring needs. They seem content with Sam Bradford as a franchise quarterback.

Quarterback is out of the picture here, and taking the best player available here seems inevitable. So Clowney is the pick. The Rams have one of the best defensive lines in football, and adding Clowney could make it the best by far. The team can address another position with its next pick in the first round.

3.  Jacksonville Jaguars

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

1.0  pick: traded down with Vikings to eighth overall – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Jacksonville has to take a quarterback here. Chad Henne is not a starting quarterback. He’s probably a top five backup, but not a starter. The best-case scenario for the Jags is for the Texans to take Bortles and for Bridgewater to fall to third overall, but that unfortunately doesn’t happen, at least in this mock.

Bortles is the next-best quarterback right after Bridgewater. He is regarded as the best quarterback by some, and he is a potential franchise QB. Jacksonville has holes in a lot of places, but quarterback is definitely the team’s biggest need.

4.  Cleveland Browns

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

1.0  pick: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

I can’t wait until draft day. I can’t wait to see the reaction, especially on Twitter, when Derek Carr is taken over Johnny Manziel. I don’t usually follow the reports saying that team X wants player Y in the draft, because those can just be completely false to manipulate the competition. But here, I completely understand why the Browns say they want Carr over Manziel – there’s less hype, less drama (for a lack of a better term), and less media attention. Most importantly, I think Carr can turn out to be the better player.

Carr was ridiculously prolific at Fresno State (50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions). He’s a “raw” prospect and has a lot to work on, but I think the Browns would do better with Carr than Manziel.

5.  Oakland Raiders

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

1.0  pick: same

Just like in my previous mock draft, I would definitely want Oakland to take a quarterback here. But after analyzing the quarterbacks in the draft more closely, Manziel really isn’t worth taking this high. Maybe Oakland can get him in the second round at 36th overall. The team just traded for Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, so he’ll probably be the starter while a rookie can sit and learn.

Oakland needs some help on both sides of the ball. It lacks a dynamic player on offense and defense, and Khalil Mack will give the Raiders a potential star pass rusher. Mack is the best pass rusher in the draft other than Clowney. Mack would have the flexibility to play either outside linebacker or defensive end in the Raiders’ system – most likely defensive end, as Oakland runs a base 4-3.

6.  Atlanta Falcons

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

1.0  pick: traded up with Rams to second overall – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

The worst two units for Atlanta last year were the offensive and defensive lines. The team has already tried beefing up both units, and I think the defensive line benefitted more through free agency, which makes this pick an offensive lineman. I didn’t want to have Atlanta pass on a pass rusher, but Clowney and Mack are off the board at this point. Robinson is more “raw” than Jake Matthews, but has a better skillset, so I think the Falcons would go with Robinson over Matthews.

7.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

1.0  pick: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Defensive end remains Tampa Bay’s biggest need even after free agency. However, that can be addressed later and I don’t see the Bucs passing on Matthews if he’s available. Tampa has made some smart signings through free agency and didn’t break the bank, and one of those included signing starting quarterback Josh McCown; protecting him will be a priority. Matthews had an excellent collegiate career; a concern could be how well he transitions into the NFL, but I think this pick will turn out fine.

8.  Minnesota Vikings

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

1.0  pick: traded up with Jaguars to third overall – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

I know the Vikings don’t have a starting-quality quarterback on the roster, but again, Johnny Manziel isn’t worth taking this high – my opinion on the Vikings pick has changed. It won’t be worth trading up for a quarterback. If Carr slips to eighth, I think the Vikings will take him, but he doesn’t in this scenario.

The Vikings have an obvious need at receiver – I really like Cordarrelle Patterson, but I doubt Greg Jennings as a number one target. The addition of Watkins would be a huge help to whoever is starting at quarterback. Adrian Peterson and Watkins can cover up a lot of quarterback liabilities.

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  • Wayne Davis

    I actually could see this happening especially since this draft is deep with defense ..with the FA signings so far we could easily short up some dept on defense an still pick up another QB in the 3rd or even Fales in the 5th …it feels as though Zimmer can tighten up the failures of the defense so a big impact offensive weapon for Turner could be huge

    • Don Andrew Halvorson

      No way Spielman doesn’t sell that pick for a bevy of picks is Watkins is available.

      • Wayne Davis

        Don I would not be at all surprised by that either nor would I be upset…live draft game I’ve traded back twice in the first round an picked up 3 extra 2s and a 3rd & 4th an took Carr at 30…. http://Www.firstpick.com be careful that game is additing

        • Wayne Davis

          My latest draft

          Round 1 Pick 30 (S.F.): Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State (B+)
          Round 2 Pick 8: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (A)
          Round 2 Pick 10 (TENN): Dee Ford, DE, Auburn (A)
          Round 2 Pick 24 (S.F.): Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin (B+)
          Round 2 Pick 31 (DEN): Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State (A)
          Round 3 Pick 8: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska (B-)
          Round 3 Pick 13 (S.F.): Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington (A)
          Round 3 Pick 31 (DEN): Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas (A)
          Round 3 Pick 32: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson (A)
          Round 4 Pick 8: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (A)
          Round 5 Pick 8: Prince Shembo, OLB, Notre Dame (B)
          Round 6 Pick 8: David Fales, QB, San Jose State (B-)
          Round 7 Pick 8: Dri Archer, WR, Kent State (B)

  • Old Frog

    Three OG’s positioned to go in the 1st round and we take a safety? I hope not.

    • Rishi Pochiraju

      Cowboys? I don’t think they would go with offensive line at all. Really the only positions they should go for is any DL position (if Donald is there at 16, I’d take him) and safety. That defense really needs help.

  • Paul Newbold

    Ebron would be great for the Jets, even one of the top WR’s would be nice. They seemed to have tied their hands at CB though. Failing to land a replacement for Cromartie during free agency, may force them to go CB in the first round. Rex loves corners, and his scheme relies on them heavily, without top level corner play his defenses suffer mightily! With no legitimate starter after Milliner and Wilson, the Jets have to find a starter, I’m not too certain they can do that if they wait to the second! Hopefully Idzik has a plan before then, because either Beckham or Ebron would be a great boost for the offense!

  • Spencer Davis

    The Vikings don’t have a starting quarterback on the roster? Matt Cassel is definitely a starting quality QB. He should of been from day one last year. Don’t make judgments on the man from last year because he was tossed around the starting lineup by a flailing coaching staff. That said, I don’t think there will be more than two quarterbacks taken in the first round this year. They’re all overrated because of how weak the class is. I would love Watkins though no matter how solid our WR corps is. Remember when we drafted AP and everyone was wondering why so when we had Chester, Chester….. oh what’s his name? Ha! Take the best player available regardless of your team needs.

    • Matthew

      Just because Cassel is under center when the first play is run doesn’t mean he should be a starting QB. Not that I think the Vikings should reach for a QB or anything. Just don’t sound in disbelief when someone else says he sucks.

    • bbies1973

      Cassel could have been a good QB. Unfortunately, after he left the Patriots, I think he got ruined by playing on incomplete teams under poor leadership. I don’t know if he can come back from it all. Flynn was under that same threat, but he was able to get back to the Pack in short time.

  • Matthew

    While I don’t exactly follow Minny, my guess would be that they would trade back if Watkins was there at #8. Not that he will be or anything.

  • Chris Schroeder

    Yeah I hear ya about the Raiders picking Mack, but they just picked up three very solid pass rushers in free agency. Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, and Smith. What about Greg Robinson? Im not sure if the two O-lineman they picked up in free agency will be enough. Howard is okay, and Penn was starting to digress so maybe he will come back plus Watson. The loss of Veldeer is why I’m thinking Greg Robinson. Or if Sammy Watkins is available I would take him all day over any linemen considering they need to have weapons right now especially with Matt Schaub and what he can do. No way Johnny football makes it to the second round being that he’s unique quarterback that can do things no other quarterback can do. If he could translate that to the NFL level he will be a superstar. There are a lot of teams right now with a question mark as far as the quarterback position goes so yeah taking Johnny football at 36 would be a dream but not likely to be there.

  • Wayne Davis

    He’s more like 3rd behind Gilbert & Denard

  • mlc43

    This is the worst mock I have seen this year. It’s almost like they are going too far away from the consensus just to be different. Good God, some of these picks make absolutely no sense at all.