2014 NFL Mock Draft: Cahill Version 5.2

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Feb 24, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (R) talks to Pittsburh Panthers Aaron Donald (L) during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Hey friends. Welcome to my 2014 NFL Mock Draft Version 5.2. There are no mocked trades in this draft. Instead, I focused on what the teams would likely want to do if they were forced to pick in that situation. Please share all of your thoughts in the comments. Any feedback is appreciated.

1. Houston Texans

Blake Bortles
Quarterback, University of Central Florida

This is between Bortles, Clowney, and trading down. I don’t think the Texans will be able to find someone willing to trade up to #1. Since Shaub is gone, I think they go with the best quarterback in the draft. The Fitzpatick signing also pushes me to think they will bring in a young quarterback with this pick for an open competition. Plus, this quote from Bill O’Brien after watching Bortles’ pro day convinced me that quarterback will be Bortles.

“I was very impressed. He made every throw I wanted to see, and he showed good footwork.” – Bill O’Brien


2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins)
Sammy Watkins
Wide Receiver, Clemson

The Rams might have trouble trading down as well. In such a deep draft, early picks will be far too precious. It is also starting to look like Mike Evans will not be available for the Rams at #13. Watkins in the better prospect anyway and will give the Rams the flexibility to let Tavon Austin play in the slot where he can be much more effective.

Previous Pick: OT Jake Mathews


3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jadaveon Clowney
Defensive End, South Carolina

Mack seems like the better fit at least mentally. Bringing a guy with motivation issues into a team that doesn’t exactly have a lot to play for doesn’t seem like the best combination. But, the most talented guy in the draft, a potential franchise changer, and a position of need falls into their lap.

Previous Pick: OLB Khalil Mack


4. Cleveland Browns
Greg Robinson
Offensive Tackle, Auburn

Greg Robinson has star potential at left tackle. At right tackle, he will probably be a star on day one. He will also get to learn pass protection technique from one of the best in the NFL. The Browns haven’t given Johnny Manziel any attention leading up to the draft and none of the offensive staff attended the Teddy Bridgewater pro day. Either the Browns are bluffing big time, or they actually are targeting Derek Carr at #26.

Previous Pick: QB Teddy Bridgewater


5. Oakland Raiders
Khalil Mack
Outside Linebacker, Buffalo

Quarterback is no longer an immediate need with Shaub on the roster. They have a solid core of linebackers in Sio Moore and Nick Roach. Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley recently joined the Raiders’ front seven. Adding Mack would give the Raiders great depth in the box and a guy that can eventually become the leader of this defense.

Previous Pick: WR Sammy Watkins


6. Atlanta Falcons
Jake Mathews
Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M

The Falcons didn’t address the pass rush in free agency, but both Clowney and Mack are off the board. The depth of talent in the draft could scare teams from spending multiple early picks to trade up a couple spots. It will also cost much less for the Falcons to trade into the late first round to take a pass rusher like Dee Ford or Ryan Shazier. With Mathews on the roster, the Falcons will have an insurance policy if Sam Baker goes down again. They could also have a new starting left tackle if he outplays Baker in the pre-season.

Previous Pick: DE Jadaveon Clowney


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Teddy Bridgewater
Quarterback, Louisville

Josh McCown isn’t a long term solution at quarterback and Mike Glennon doesn’t have the trust of the current regime. The real question here is do the Bucs want Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater? Manziel is the sexy pick, but despite a poor pro day, Bridgewater still appears to have a more NFL-oriented game.

Previous Pick: OT Jake Mathews


8. Minnesota Vikings

Justin Gilbert
Cornerback, Oklahoma State

The ideal scenario for the Vikings would be to trade back, collect picks, and make a play at Derek Carr before the Browns can get him at #26. I don’t think the Vikings will take a chance on Manziel not only because he is a risky prospect, but because he isn’t a great fit for Norv Turner’s offense. #8 is probably too early for Carr, so if they cannot find a willing trade partner, the Vikings should address their outside corner need.

Previous Pick: QB Johnny Manziel


9. Buffalo Bills
Mike Evans
Wide Receiver, Texas A&M

Taylor Lewan or Mike Evans? With both on the board, the Bills can shore up one of two very big needs for their offense. #9 may be a little early for Lewan so Mike Evans has greater value here. The Bills can still address the tackle spot in round 2 with Morgan Moses or Joel Bitonio both being solid prospects expected to be around when the Bills pick next.


10. Detroit Lions
HaHa Clinton-Dix
Free Safety, Alabama

The Lions could be looking to trade up if they think Mike Evans will fall off the board before they pick. The Lions brought in both James Ihedigbo (SS) and Joseph DeCoud (FS) for visits last week. They decided to sign Ihedigbo, so the Lions should target HaHa with this pick to play beside him. They also hosted HaHa’s workout, so the interest appears strong enough to take him at #10.

Previous Pick: CB Justin Gilbert


11. Tennessee Titans
Anthony Barr
Outside Linebacker, UCLA

The Titans signed Wesley Woodyard and its safe to assume he will be playing the middle linebacker spot in their hybrid front. Barr gives the Titans some burst off the edge which they sorely need. His UCLA defensive coordinator is also now part of the Titans coaching staff. If anyone can get the most out of Barr, it’s the guy who helped him become a linebacker in the first place.


12. New York Giants
Taylor Lewan
Offensive Tackle, Michigan

The Giants solidified their needs at corner by signing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmund. They signed Geoff Schwartz, but I’m not sure he is the blind side pass protector they are looking for. Taylor Lewan fits their need and allows them to solidify the rest of the line by allowing Justin Pugh and Schwartz to play guard, and moving Will Beatty to the right side.


13. St. Louis Rams
Darqueze Dennard
Cornerback, Michigan State

The Rams have to make another minor reach here for a position of need. They need a safety, but Clinton-Dix is off the board and Calvin Pryor’s game is too similar to 2013 3rd round rookie, TJ McDonald. The Rams need more bodies and talent at the corner position after releasing Cortland Finnegan. They may want to trade down from this pick as well since #13 is a little high for Dennard at this point.

Previous Pick: FS HaHa Clinton-Dix


14. Chicago Bears
CJ Mosely
Linebacker, Alabama

Calvin Pryor and Aaron Donald are on the board, but the Bears somewhat addressed both positions in free agency. There are also some talented safeties and linemen to be had in the 2nd-3rd rounds. Strongside linebacker and middle linebacker are both needs for the Rams. CJ Mosely offers the versatility to play snaps at either position.

Previous Pick: DT Timmy Jernigan


15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Eric Ebron
Tight End, North Carolina

The Steelers signed Lance Moore to a short deal, but that isn’t enough. They wanted to draft a big receiver, but it doesn’t appear to me that any big receivers left are worth the #15 pick. But, who says the big target has to be a receiver? Eric Ebron is the most talented receiving option and had the size and speed that the Steelers want.

Previous Pick:WR Marqise Lee


16. Dallas Cowboys
Aaron Donald
Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

Aaron Donald is still the choice here. The Cowboys signed DT Henry Melton, but there is no guarantee he will be able to recover fully from a torn ACL he suffered in September. They no longer have Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, or Jason Hatcher. Donald gives the Cowboys flexibility to avoid another defensive line musical chairs and a backup plan in case Melton does not live up to his ability before the injury.

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  • tru

    Pretty good mock. I would like to see the Rams take Pryor or hopefully Dix at #13. And I don’t think the Cardinals would spend a 1st round pick on a QB (especially Manziel)

    • Conor Cahill

      Thanks a lot. Do you think Pyror could play free safety?

      • tru

        I think he could make the transition from strong. Much easier than McDonald would. But that’s y I said hopefully Dix

        • Conor Cahill

          I think he can too, not necessarily as a rookie but he could. Dix is a perfect fit.

  • Nick Hesterly

    Ryan Shazier is so undersized he would only fit inside with the Packers…

    • Jarod Cook

      Shazier is a great player, and I’m not saying that cause I’m a OSU fan. Personal I hope he falls to the Browns at #26. He’s got a nose for the ball back to back seasons with a 115+ tackles, he’s versatile can play multiple positions and plays sideline to sideline. Can blitz and fall back in coverage, also has good personality and a team leader. True he’s got a lean frame and will have trouble getting bigger and putting on more weight. Tends to be a little over aggressive at times, which lead to stupid penalties. Also needs to wrap up when tackles more, tends to be content with throwing his shoulder sometimes.

      • Conor Cahill

        jack of all trades?

  • Earl

    Bucs will not pick a quarterback in the first round!

  • Julio Echeverria

    Oh Cahill…

    • Conor Cahill

      haha don’t like Mack either?

  • Ken Tomlin

    One of the few drafts that make sense, not saying there weren’t a few head scratchers, but a good mock nonetheless. Next time, do like a 3 rd mock with trades, but keep this draft the way it is. Well, except for like ARZ drafting Manziel, and maybe Rams trading up to get Clinton-Dix. Love that you had VIKINGS taking Gilbert( heck, I’d be happy as long as it’s not Manziel or Bridgewater). Nice mock Cahill.

    • Conor Cahill

      Much appreciated. I plan on expanding into more rounds and including more trades starting in April.

    • mike

      Also glad the ‘experts’ are getting away from taking a qtb for the Vikings. Although Gilbert is not bad I’m rooting for Khalil Mack which may not be realistic but then go with Anthony Barr and worry about a qtb somewhere down the road.

  • Jarod Cook

    Solid draft top to bottom, only really disagreed with a couple of picks.
    At #12 I can’t deny Taylor Lewan has talent, but has been involved in several off the field incidents. His personalty and decision making has been called into question, I can see his draft stock taking a hit and he might fall out of the 1st rd. Instead they go with Zach Martin.
    At #20 I don’t see the Cardinals taking a QB, and if they do I think they take Carr over Manziel. Personal i see them taking a OL, DL, or WR.
    At #26 I still stand by my opinion that GM Ray Farmer is going to pass on QB’s with their first 3 picks, and instead bring in skilled players. I like the early pick of Robinson, and i think they stay offense with this pick and take a WR. OC Shanahan likes big WR on the outside so they pick either Benjamin(still developing) or Jordan Matthews(complete WR, lacks top speed). They could also grab a CB, or look to add another impact OL player. I’d like to see them get Su’a-Filo or Yankee to play at LG.

    • Conor Cahill

      I thought about mocking them a guard at #26, but I thought Browns fans would go crazy haha

      • Jarod Cook

        Yeah most fans would get angry and the hate mail would pile up. Taking 2 OL players in with their first 2 picks, when they’ve got several other needs. But I personal would like the Browns to come out of the draft with 2 starting OL players. Great OL’s can make average QB’s and RB’s look like great players themselves. There are some good OG in the middle rds so that’s where I envision them taking a 2nd OL player. I wouldn’t be against them using 2 early picks to bring in OL, but I just don’t see it happening.
        Like I said based on your mock they’d probably look to add a big WR, Benjamin and Matthews fit the mold. Or look to add a CB who can start opposite of Haden. Personal not a fan of short CB’s, the Browns have players like those and they were abused weekly. So no one under 5’10″. Also as a OSU fan I’m unimpressed by Roby, yeah he’s got speed and is a good open field tackler. But he tends to be content with letting WR’s catch the ball then tackling them, instead of contesting them for the pass(Especially on underneath throws). Relies to much on his athleticism, and tends to bit on double moves and pump facts. I like Fuller has good instincts and skills to play the position, also is very physical on the outside he’ll contest any WR for any pass. But he has a string bean body frame and will not get any bigger then he is, which can lead to injuries giving his style of play.(Had a sports hernia last year)

      • Gary Stewart

        actually a smart browns fan would realize this game is won in the trenches especially in the afc north and nfc west and where are the browns??? oh yeah the afc north the question i would be asking as a browns fan (if i were one) would be are you going to be happy if they skip qb in favor of hoyer??

        • Conor Cahill

          agreed. knowing the browns, they could take a qb top of the 2nd and throw him to the wolves for a couple years before trying again in 2016

  • Gary Stewart

    connor if as you have mocked dix is gone before the rams pick at 13 taking dennard makes sense to a degree but if mosely is there at 13 with his flexability the rams should never let him go by IMO

    • Conor Cahill

      In my next mock I will explore all the trade options, but if Dix is gone they should definitely trade down imo. Mosely isnt a bad pick but 13 seems a bit high

  • Dave

    Terrible for the Browns. You don’t take a RT with the 4th pick in the draft no matter how good he is. The RT position just isn’t important enough to warrant spending a premium pick there. Thats like spending 300$ on a trashcan, you’ll use it and it gives you utility but who needs a premier trashcan? And for the record i’m not denying that you need good play from your RT but its resource allocation vs impact, you can find a decent RT outside of the 1st round and a decent RT is all you need to succeed. The greatest show on turf, AKA the team that kick-started the modern pass happy era of football had a 5th round average guy at RT.

  • Herman Moore

    Finally a mock that doesn’t have the Lions taking a corner at 10, they already have a group of guys they’ve been developing who only need more playing time. You don’t develop guys only to release them in favor of another rookie to develop.