2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

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Number 1: Houston Texans - Blake Bortles | QB | Central Florida

For the longest time I had Teddy Bridgewater mocked as the first pick in the draft. While I still believe that Bridgewater is still the best quarterback in this year’s class; however, his recent Pro-Day might have turned off the Texans. Insert Blake Bortles. Bortles is a heck of a lot bigger than Bridgewater and is very athletic. Although he is somewhat raw, Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien was very impressed with Bortles during his private workouts. O’Brien, who loves working with quarterbacks said the team will select one in the draft. They didn’t say when, but Bortles has a tremendous upside and is someone who O’Brien would love to build.

Number 2: St. Louis Rams (from Wash) – Sammy Watkins | WR | Clemson

If you watch any tape on Sammy Watkins , you would realize that he is an absolute stud. He would be Sam Bradford’s best receiver that he has ever had. Watkins, Austin, Cook and Stacy would give St. Louis one of the better group at the skilled positions in the league. At first, I believed that St. Louis will go with an offensive lineman; however, the Rams also have the thirteenth pick in the draft. There should be a quality tackle that they can select at thirteen, and I expect them to do just that.

Number 3: Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater | QB | Louisville

With Bridgewater being available at the third pick, I believe the Jacksonville Jaguars will pull the trigger. Blaine Gabbert was a bust and although the team re-signed Chad Henne; he is not the future at that position. Teddy has more upside than Johnny Manziel and is more NFL ready, in my opinion. If Justin Blackmon can figure out his life outside of football and is reinstated for the 2014 season, the group of Blackmon, Lewis and Shorts along with Bridgewater can be a pretty adequate for the future.

Number 4: Cleveland Browns –  Jadeveon Clowney | DE | South Carolina

Ever since the last 90′s the Cleveland Browns have been on the lookout for their next franchise quarterback. They have had little to no success in their search, so the likelihood of them drafting a top quarterback in this draft would make sense, right? Well, the Cleveland Browns have expressed their minuscule confidence in the quarterbacks in this draft and it should surprise no one if they decide to pass on a quarterback. If Jadeveon Clowney is available with the fourth pick, the Browns must take him. Cleveland already has a pretty decent defense and adding Clowney would drastically improve the unit, particularly their pass rush. They also have a late first round draft pick that they could use to select a quarterback.

Number 5: Oakland Raiders - Greg Robinson | OT | Auburn

I originally had the Raiders selecting a quarterback for this Mock; in fact, I had them selecting Johnny Manziel. Then, the team decided to trade for quarterback Matt Schuab. This means their quarterbacks are Schuab, Pryor, and McGloin; making the likelihood of the team drafting a quarterback highly unlikely. They were unable to keep Jared Veldheer and Roger Saffold was unable to sign due to a failed physical. With the quarterback position locked up for the season, it is imperative that the Raiders fill the hole left by Veldheer. Greg Robinson’s stock rose tremendously towards the end of the season and is now projected to be the top tackle selected in this year’s draft.

Number 6: Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack | LB | Buffalo

During free agency, the Atlanta Falcons were able to bulk up their defensive line. They signed former Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai and former Chief Tyson Jackson. The Falcons could still use another edge rusher, and with Khalil Mack still on the board, it would be foolish not to select him.

Number 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Johnny Manziel | QB | Texas A&M

Although the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought in Josh McCown during free agency, he is 34 years old and is not the future in Tampa. The team also doesn’t exactly view Mike Glennon as their long-term option either. While Johnny Manziel might not be the Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles that the Buccaneers were hoping for, he would still give them a viable option at the quarterback position. With Manziel under center (or in shotgun), the Buccaneers would have a very fast offense. At times, they struggled last season with putting up points on the boards. Adding Manziel can hopefully change that for them.

Number 8: Minnesota Vikings – Justin Gilbert | CB | Oklahoma State

Heading into free agency one of the Vikings biggest need was the cornerback position. They went out and addressed the position by signing Captain Munnerlyn. They also have Xavier Rhodes, who was a real bright spot on the defense last season. With that being said, I still think they go cornerback at the eighth pick. Justin Gilbert is the top rated cornerback heading into this year’s draft and it is simple to see why. He is by far the most athletic cornerback in the draft and his ability to cover the deep ball is exceptional. In a division that features Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson in Green Bay, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson in Detroit and Jay Cutler with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in Chicago, Minnesota needs to have a good rotating group of cornerbacks. With a little more coaching, Gilbert has the potential to turn into a Pro-Bowl cornerback at the next level.

Number 9: Buffalo Bills – Mike Evans | WR | Texas A&M

Outside of maybe Robert Woods and Scott Chandler, there are no real weapons for E.J. Manuel to throw to. Stevie Johnson isn’t the same receiver he was in the past. Not only did he miss four games last season, but he led the team in targets (100) and finished the season with just fifty-two catches. That’s almost a fifty percent failure rate. To go with his NFL body, Mike Evans has excellent control of his body and catches nearly everything thrown to him. Drafting Evans would give Manuel a big bodied and consistent receiver  to throw to.

Number 10: Detroit Lions - Darqueze Dennard | CB | Michigan State

The Detroit Lions brought in Golden Tate on a five-year deal, so drafting a receiver at the tenth spot will most likely not happen. With the departure of Louis Delmas, Detroit’s already weak secondary became even weaker. As a result, the Detroit Lions must improve their secondary; particularly the cornerback position. With Justin Gilbert off of the board, the Detroit Lions will take the next best option – Darqueze Dennard. Dennard is a very physical cornerback that excels in man-to-man coverage.

Number 11: Tennessee Titans – Anthony Barr | LB | UCLA

One of the biggest positions of need that the Tennessee Titans were unable to upgrade during free agency was the need for a pass rusher. Jurrell Casey was the Titans most consistent pass rusher last season, as he led the team with ten and a half sacks. Outside of Casey, the Titans pass rush was just average. With the chance of the Texans drafting a quarterback with the first pick being likely, the quarterback position could be the strength of the AFC South. The best way to counter a division that has multiple capable quarterbacks in it (one great), is by rushing the quarterback. Anthony Barr is a very athletic outside linebacker who is at his best when he is rushing the quarterback. Along with his freakish athleticism, Barr also has very good size and should turn into a very solid pass rusher in the National Football League.

Number 12: New York Giants – Aaron Donald | DT | Pittsburgh

The New York Giants need to get bigger and stronger up front. They lost Linval Joseph to the Minnesota Vikings and it is very important that they fill the hole that was left. When the Giants were winning Super Bowl’s their biggest strength was their defensive line. Excluding Jason Pierre-Paul, there are some nice pieces on the line; however; no one really jumps out towards you. Due to his incredible speed, Donald has the great ability to penetrate the backfield. In his last season at Pittsburgh, Donald led the entire country in sacks per game with 1.6.

Number 13: St. Louis Rams – Jake Matthews | OT | Texas A&M

Here is the pick that I was talking about earlier. Last season, the St. Louis Rams brought in Jake Long with the hopes of dramatically improving their offensive line. Unfortunately, Long had trouble remaining healthy throughout last season and failed to live up to the contract that he received. If Jake Matthews can get past the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the St. Louis Rams would gladly select him. Matthews was a great pass blocker at Texas A&M and his great play will surely transfer over into the NFL. The Rams need to do something with their offensive line to protect their brittle quarterback. Drafting Matthews would be a great step moving forward to

Number 14: Chicago Bears – Calvin Pryor | S | Louisville

I met get some heat for this pick. Before you guys all let me know, I know that the Chicago Bears signed five safeties this offseason, however, Major Wright is a free agent and will most likely not be back next year. It would make sense for the Bears to bring in a young safety to come in and fill the void left by Wright. Calvin Pryor has the prototypical body to play the safety position, and combined with his good closing speed and ball skills, he has the potential to be a very good safety in the league.

Number 15: Pittsburgh Steelers - Taylor Lewan | OT | Michigan

This might be the last piece that the Pittsburgh Steelers need to finish off the rebuilding of their offensive line. They already have Maurkice Pouncey, David  DeCastro and Marcus Gilbert. The one thing they are missing is a quality left tackle. With Lewan available at the fifteenth spot, it would make perfect sense for Pittsburgh to select him.

Number 16: Dallas Cowboys – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix | S | Alabama

To the surprise of many, Tony Romo wasn’t the problem in Dallas last season. In fact, Romo played fairly well throughout the season, finishing off with thirty-one touchdowns and just ten interceptions. The biggest problem that Dallas was faced with last season was their awful defense. They had a historically bad season and particularly struggled in the secondary. They have a huge need at the safety position and with Clinton-Dix still on the board, the Cowboys must pull the trigger. Clinton-Dix has a very rare combination of size, speed, and instincts have the potential to make him a perennial Pro Bowler at the next level.

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  • Johnny

    I like TE Ebron going to the Phins.. But Miami needs to bring in RT Winston who’s still available… If T/G Zach Martin is there at 19, he’s the pick.. He can start immediately at Guard, then slide over to RT.. Problem solved.. It if he is not there at 19, it will be very hard to pass on Ebron…

    • chas territo

      Sorry, but Ebron will be gone and my hope is for the AFC’s best rival for you to get him first, the Buffalo Bills. It might be moot because he is the best TE coming out and he may be gone by #9. GO BILLS!!

      • Johnny

        LOL

  • chas territo

    To me Evans would be a consolation prize since my choice has been Eric Ebron. GO BILLS!!

  • unclejesse40

    I am hoping that the Chiefs trade out of the 1st round and pick up more picks in this deep of a draft.

  • nc0gnet0

    At number 10 the Lions are going to go for a receiver, your flat out wrong on the DB/CB/Sf. Lions have added a free agent safety, have a second year cb that spent most of last year on IR, and have another second year cb that should show some improvement. yes the Lions have Tate now, but if either Tate or CJ gets hurt a game or two, we have already seen what can happen to the Lions Offense. If Watkins falls below #3, the lions will trade up to snag Watkins, they didn’t have dinner with the mans folks just for the heck of it. If Watkins go’s at number two, Lions will sit pat a few more picks and then trade slightly up to snag Evans.

  • Draftmane

    Luv HaHa Dix or Pryor better than Vaccarro & Reid of last year!

    • Paul Newbold

      Maybe Reid….but Vaccarro is the real deal, he’s already proven he can play. Future Hall of Famer if he continues to develop and can stay healthy! I love Dix though!!

      • CowboysWin

        could you repeat that – it just sounded like you said – never mind.

        • Justen Rosenberg

          And the winner for comment of the day goes to CowboysWin!

  • Kyle Smith

    I feel like my Minnesota Vikings will not address the CB issue here because of the Captain Munnerlyn and Derek Cox signings. Along with Xavier Rhodes there is plenty of upside now for us at cornerback.

    Linebacker is where I see them heading. I know the GM will pull the trigger but we have a defensive guru as a head coach now and the team has been making defensive moves all offseason…. With that said , we haven’t fixed any issues at LB and there is an obvious need.

    No disrespect to your draft.
    I love reading mocks and getting different ideas.
    Should be an interesting year come May.

    SKOL VIKINGS!!!!

    • Justen Rosenberg

      Linebacker at the eighth spot?

      • Kyle Smith

        Well in my opinion there isn’t going to be a Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles there to take at #8…

        I don’t think Manziel is worthy of a top 10 pick and we could score a moldable QB in any of the 2,3,4th rounds etc.

        We have patched up holes on the defensive side at CB, DT & DE. The only glaring need left is LB. Why not pull the trigger and get one of, if not the top available.

        I see the top DE, WR, and QB’s all gone before our 8th pick. I don’t know to me it makes perfect sense.

        • Justen Rosenberg

          If Minnesota drafts a linebacker in the first round it would be more sensible for them to trade down and acquire more picks, right? There are no linebackers outside of Mack and maybe Barr that Minnesota should consider at eight.

          • Kyle Smith

            If Mack or Barr are available id pull the trigger.

            But yes you’re right , and it sucks because we have needs that a lot of those 7 other teams need as well and our current draft position really screwed us out of nabbing one of those studs.

    • mike

      Good thinking. If we cannot get Khalil Mack then how about Anthony Barr whom I’ve liked from the get go. I just hope they get away from the qtb thing. They can find one later in the draft and who knows maybe even pre-season somehow.

  • Paul Newbold

    Try again. There is no way the Jets pass on Ebron for Benjamin! The athletic ability alone makes him a better fit! Besides unless the Jets have a plan in place to fill the gaping holes in the secondary, they may be forced to go corner earlier then anyone thought! If they can add another veteran receiver in free agency (Miles Austin, Desean Jackson possible), then expect them to go corner and WR in the second. The draft situation for the Jets is very fluid at this point, they have 12 picks going into this draft, so anything is possible, but personally I don’t think they could pass on Ebron if they decide to go offense….he’d look great catching the ball down the seam, no matter who’s behind center!

  • Bobby Postma

    I think if Sammy Watkins gets to the jaguars at #3 then you pull the trigger on him. Can you imagine Sammy, Justin Blackmon (if he can get right), and shorts managing the slot? Throw in ace Sanders and that will become the best WR tandem in the game regardless who the QB is. Bring in another QB like David Fales in the second round or AJ and we will be a force to be reckoned with

  • disqus_UxcsDwRD2u

    If the Steelers don’t get Gilbert or Dennard, they better pick up Ebron then in the first!!

  • Firre Workcz

    Justin Gilbert in the first is a sensible pick for Minnesota (plus it will piss off Detroit!)

    • 3kolu

      I agree

  • [email protected]

    ‘they (Vikings) still go CB with the 8th pick’….. Great that you think that, but Why? if they drafted Rhodes last year, paid Munnerlyn via FA (I’m sure a boatload of money) and therefore already filled the need!
    I am a Steelers fan, but I would think the Vikings FO is smarter than to overload at one position (CB) when they have a lot of needs elsewhere (from what I read).
    Doesn’t make sense…….

    • Spencer Davis

      It makes complete sense. Today’s NFL requires 3 quality cornerbacks. In the base defense, Rhodes and Munnerlyn play outside. In nickel situations, Munnerlyn slides in to the nickel and Gilbert would take the outside. You can never have enough quality corners in today’s league. There is a drop off in talent after Rhodes and Munnerlyn. Yes they also have needs elsewhere but you take the best player available and if this mock is the scenario, then you grab Gilbert in a heartbeat.

      • [email protected]

        Fair enough, Spencer. Just thought it would be helpful if the author explained his reasoning. Thanks

  • joe

    Jernigan to eagles? Interesting.

  • 619chargers4life

    Why wouldn’t the chargers go with Kyle Fuller ?

    • Conor Cahill

      or verrett

  • 3kolu

    Gilbert is one of my favorite players in this draft along with Mack and Matthews.

  • Nick Mansoor

    Why would the Chargers pick Roby over Verrett and Fuller? Doesn’t make sense.

  • Herman Moore

    Lions will not take a CB at 10. They have Houston, Mathis, Bentley, and Slay, as well as a couple of developmental guys on the roster already. Dennard is not a plug and play starter, so why spend a high pick on a guy who will be riding the pine for a year? They’re far more likely to go S, WR, or even DT.

  • Walter Parker

    It’s foolish to think the Jags would pass on Clowney at 3. At least I hope it is. Although, I would be ok with the Bridgewater selection as long as Clowney goes in the top 2, and he most certainly will.