2014 NFL Draft: A dream pick for each team

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Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett

My top-ranked cornerback in the class, Jason Verrett makes up for his lack of size with physicality, elite ball skills, and excellent FBI. Verrett is an expert at re-routing wide receivers, and his ability in press coverage is pretty comparable with Darqueze Dennard’s ability to jam wideouts. Some believe that Verrett’s lack of height has him ticketed for a career in the slot, but I view him as more of a Brent Grimes-type. I think Verrett has the ball skills and technique to be a shutdown corner in this league, but there’s also nothing wrong with him being a top-notch slot CB. The Bengals could use a guy like him at corner to help take their defense to the next level.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert

The Steelers biggest need right now is at cornerback, and I could see them going in a number of directions to fill the position in this year’s draft. Darqueze Dennard fits if the Steelers want a press-man corner to lock up No. 1 receivers one-on-one, but I think Gilbert’s speed, athleticism, and playmaking ability make him the ideal pick for the Steelers in round one.

Baltimore Ravens: Taylor Lewan

Since Zack Martin will likely be available for the Ravens with the 17th pick, Lewan would be the closest thing to a “dream” pick for the Ravens. Then again, I’m not entirely sure if the Ravens would want to draft Lewan given his character concerns, and they might also like Martin’s versatility more. But if a player as talent as Lewan is available there, then the Ravens have to at least give him a long look. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would be a solid pick for the Ravens if he’s still around, as he would be a solid starting free safety next to Matt Elam at SS. However, I think the Ravens have a bigger need at tackle than at safety.

Cleveland Browns: Teddy Bridgewater at 26

Another team hoping for Teddy. While I have the Browns picking up Derek Carr, who is my second-ranked QB behind Bridgewater, the Browns dream pick is pretty clear to me. QB is by far their biggest need right now, and they could be a playoff team with a solid starting quarterback. Bridgewater fits the bill as that guy, and the Browns shouldn’t gamble and need to take a QB at #4, especially if Bridgewater or Carr is there. But just as I did with the Texans, I’m going to get greedy with the Browns and have them taking Bridgewater with their second first-round pick. The way some people talk about Bridgewater scares me, because he could be poised for an Aaron Rodgers-style slide on draft-day if the doubters win out. And if they do, the team that finally does take him would emerge as big winners in May.

Denver Broncos: C.J. Mosley

The Denver Broncos could use a middle linebacker to replace Wesley Woodyard, who signed with the Tennessee Titans after receiving just about no re-signing interest from the Broncos, and C.J. Mosley would be amazing pick for them at 31. Mosley seems to be a little bit undervalued as a draft prospect, because he’s one of the 15 most talented prospects but ends up falling outside of the top 20 in many mock drafts. Mosley is the most well-rounded linebacker in the draft, and he’s clearly the best ILB/MLB over solid players like Yawin Smallwood and Chris Borland. His ability to excel in coverage and his leadership are two big positives, and he, Von Miller, and Danny Trevathan would form an amazing linebacker corps.

Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee

The Chiefs could really use a guard, but I’m not sure I would take one in the first round if I were them, nor would I prioritize free safety over wide receiver. Although there is plenty of depth at WR, Marqise Lee is simply too good to pass up on if he falls to the Chiefs with the 23rd pick. I don’t think Odell Beckham Jr. will make it out of the top 20, so a guy as athletic and explosive as Lee on the outside is a dream enough for Alex Smith. The Chiefs desperately need a better wide receiver across from Dwayne Bowe, and Lee would be a huge upgrade; he was an electrifying player in each of his last two seasons with the USC Trojans.

San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett

Tom Telesco would probably love to get his hands on Jason Verrett, with Darqueze Dennard probably being a close second on his wish list. The Chargers cut their losses with 2013 free-agent bust Derek Cox this offseason, so they are in the market for a No. 1 corner, especially one who is physical with opposing receivers. You can’t go wrong with Dennard or Bradley Roby if you are the Chargers, because both are very talented corners who would help fill the biggest need on this team’s roster. However, I have Verrett ranked higher than both of them on my board, so I’ll designate him as my preferred pick for the Chargers.

Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins

I had a bit of a back-and-forth in my head between Jadeveon Clowney and Sammy Watkins, but I decided that playmakers on the offensive side of the ball are more important for the Oakland Raiders. Watkins will probably be there for the Raiders with the fifth overall pick while Clowney probably won’t be, but the Raiders are pretty strong at defensive end after signing veterans Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley. The latter end is a bit of a gamble at this stage, but I like their defensive end duo more than I like their wide receivers at this point. Denarius Moore and Rod Streater aren’t bad players, but they are more WR2 and WR3s respectively than a true WR1 and WR2 combo.

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  • Erik Lambert

    Sorry to disappoint you, Joe, but it’s safe to say the majority of Bears fans will wholeheartedly disagree with your “dream” pick for Chicago.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Nix probably doesn’t qualify as a “dream”, and I can totally understand why a Bears fan would rather have Aaron Donald. His pass rushing ability is beyond ridiculous, and he was the most productive defensive player in college football last year.

      • Erik Lambert

        I’m as big a fan of Donald as any but there is a multitude of players the Bears have to pick from. Nix is a run stuffer. I understand our run defense was bad last year but we’ve already made some moves to improve it. We need a dynamic playmaker on defense, regardless of position. I’d be fine with Donald, C.J. Mosley, Justin Gilbert or Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

        • DiscountPCRepair SATX

          Bears should taken Clinton-Dix and go DT in round 2 … hopefully Rashede Hagemann or Kelcy Quarles.

          • Erik Lambert

            Hageman won’t be there but Quarles should be. Maybe event Stephon Tuitt if we’re lucky. I have a sneaking suspicion Clinton-Dix doesn’t make it past #13.

          • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

            I think any of those four players would be excellent for the Bears, and it’s going to be interesting to see which direction Emery goes. They could use another CB even after keeping Tillman and locking up Jennings, they didn’t make enough upgrades at S, Donald is such a gifted pass rusher that he definitely has to be someone worth taking, and Mosley is such a great, well-rounded LB. I wouldn’t take Quarles in the first two rounds, and I think there’s a solid chance Tuitt slips into the 2nd. What role would he play for the Bears?

          • Erik Lambert

            He is almost the spitting image of Lamarr Houston, whom the Bears already have. He’s 300 lbs but has the speed to play outside at defensive end. So you could swap those two all over the line from one end to the other. Houston is the better run defender so I’d put him at left end and slide Tuitt primarily to three-technique defensive tackle since he’s the more relentless pass rusher. With so much size and strength up front, the Bears would be really hard to run on and still have a consistent pass rush. It’s the perfect hybrid front you’d want.

          • Gary Stewart

            i keep hearing fisher doesn’t do this and doesn’t do that, but he never picked an OT in the first round partly because he had matthews and did not need one, plus he had bud adams playing jerry jones and forcing him to take the like of vince young who had talent but whose level of intensity and desire did not match what fisher wanted. now will they take an Oline in first round maybe not but to all the people that say the rams devalue the safety position seem to forget they got gregg williams to run the defense and williams loves centerfielders so he can let his guys loose to play in your face corner my choices are mack at #2 dix at #13 and let the rams find a cb in the second and give shotty and co the last 9 picks GO RAMS!!

          • DiscountPCRepair SATX

            I’ve been reviewing ALL of the defensive lineman the BEARS already have and players like Houston and Indonje can play end or tackle …

            I am thinking Gilbert in round 1 and Buchanon in round 2.

          • Erik Lambert

            Not at all opposed to that possibility.

  • David A Maupin

    NIX in the second round maybe for the “dream”. Not in the first.

  • Al Martin

    While predicting were rookies will land is fun. I never seen anyone go were they were predicted to go. Except maybe excluding the First pick of the draft.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      No doubt about it, Al. In fact, that’s why it upsets me when non-insiders try and mock players based on where they think that player will go instead of basing it on their own opinion. It’s all about analyzing fits and learning more about prospects through different kinds of mock exercises, rather than saying, “I am the all-wise oracle who knows that the Houston Texans will draft Blake Bortles because Bill O’Brien loves him.”

      To go off of your comment, who would have thought that E.J. Manuel would be the only first-round QB last year? Or how about the Minnesota Vikings drafting three first-round prospects? Or Keenan Allen inexplicably falling into the third round?

  • mnelson52

    Lee would not be my dream pick for KC. He’s not even my favorite receiver in the draft.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Totally fair, but I believe Lee is the best wide receiver who will likely be there for the Chiefs. Brandin Cooks looks like an excellent option to me, Odell Beckham Jr. would be highway robbery if he fell to the 23rd pick, and Allen Robinson could also be an option. Lee’s athleticism, though, would be a huge help to the Chiefs offense, but Cooks’s agility might be even more enticing. Which WRs do you prefer?

  • Jaime Olguin

    I want the Raiders to draft Taylor Lewan so bad , this draft pick would make it all better after losing Jared,
    but I know that he will be gone before the later rounds, and bad part of it all is that his suspention is pending.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Lewan would be a great value for the Raiders if he falls far enough, and it’s not inconceivable for him to fall outside of the first round entirely if his character concerns are big enough. I mean, we’ve seen plenty of prospects slide pretty far due to concerns. The Raiders have bigger needs than tackle after signing Howard and Penn and I think there are too many teams with huge needs at tackle for Lewan to slip past the first, but he could be too good to pass up on if he does fall into their hands.

  • Johnny

    I think you can put Clowney has every teams “Dream Pick”…

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Except for the Rams, because they already have Robert Quinn and Chris Long throwing it down at both DE spots.

      • Johnny

        Yes.. True… But who wouldn’t want Clowney??? Him and maybe a RB and WR will make an immediate Impact in year 1… Only D player to make an impact day 1…

  • David

    The Cowboys particularly Marinelli do not believe in drafting a 1 tech in the 1st round. They passed on Floyd last year for the same reason. The 1 tech is down the todum poll in regards to the importance in his defense.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Who do you think the Cowboys should draft? Donald? They would like to scoop up Clinton-Dix if he fell a bit, yeah?

      • David

        Personally I like Pryor. I think he has as good as range as Dix but hits a lot harder. They could use a center fielder with an enforcer presence. The Cowboys FS’s have like 1 pick in two years. They could then go with a DE in the 2nd round where the value would be much better.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          I actually think Pryor hits harder than Clinton-Dix, though I would take the latter one in a heartbeat if he’s there. DE in round two sounds like a good plan to me.

          • David

            Well and it would cover two huge needs with the right value. Ive seen Pryor and Dix range from 15-20 ranked overall depending whos top 50 you look at.

  • Gordon Guffey

    The Vikings are not going QB in round 1 ~ Not with this bunch of want~a~bees ~ Not one of them is good enough to step up and take the lead ~And after Teddy’s pro day he will be lucky to go in the top 15 and might even fall into round 2 when all is said and done ~

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I would snap him up at 8 in a heartbeat, and I think the only player the Vikings could take over Bridgewater is Khalil Mack if he is still there. I wouldn’t read too much into his pro day, and I think both he and Carr would be great picks for the Vikings. Waiting until the 2nd round is certainly a possibility, but it’s a big gamble for a team with QB as their biggest need. In fact, they don’t have another need anywhere close to QB.

  • 65yt

    Is Watkins getting the same hype that Austin was getting last year? Austin was suppose to be this game changing WR but didnt do much until last few games in the season. My fantasy team sufferd from that hype. Just want to know what you guys think. I know the Rookie year isnt the best time to grade a player.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Don’t worry, I thought Austin was way overrated last year, and there are big differences between his game and Watkins’s game. I can’t guarantee that Watkins won’t bust, but I will say that he’s a much better route-runner than Austin and is a much smarter WR. He’s more than just some fast, gimmicky playmaker, as he made Tajh Boyd look a lot better than he really was. Watkins can win off of just about any type of route, because he can beat defenses with long speed on the outside, contest for jump balls, and get big YAC off of screens. I’d take him over Austin in a heartbeat, and I feel like Austin benefited greatly from his 40 time, which greatly overrated him as a prospect.

      The rookie year is never the best time to grade a player, but I am personally willing to bet on Watkins making an immediate impact.

  • Spencer Davis

    When you say a dream pick for the Vikes, you must be talking about the second round for Teddy Bridgewater. Am I right? You would have been better off putting Khalil Mack or Sammy Watkins there. It doesn’t take an expert to realize the “Big 3″ are not worth a top ten pick.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Mack would be an awesome pick for the Vikings there, so I’m cool with that if they really don’t think Bridgewater is worth taking with the 8th pick. I certainly do, because I can’t see him slipping to them in the 2nd.

      • Spencer Davis

        Just because you can’t see a player falling to you in the second round, doesn’t mean you take them prematurely.

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          Spencer, you have to understand that we have two completely different evaluations of Teddy Bridgewater. I don’t think taking Bridgewater with the 8th pick is taking him prematurely, because I would honestly take him first overall if I were the Houston Texans, or at least 3rd overall if I were the Jaguars. I actually could see Bridgewater falling into the second round, but I couldn’t see him falling to the Vikings second-round pick. He’s well-worth the pick for the Vikings in my view, but you are most definitely entitled to your own evaluation of Bridgewater (that should go without saying). I mean, you aren’t the only one who isn’t a fan of Bridgewater, so it would be premature to take him 8th from your perspective. I should have made it more clear in my previous comment that I am a big Bridgewater fan, as that would have clarified things.

  • Aaron Sisk

    Teddy Bridgewater is NOT the to QB prospect. Did you see his pro day? HE FAILED! Most experts have him going LATE 1st round if at all in the 1st now. Get it together. He’s undersized and his arm strength is not that great. Vikings need defense more than a qb.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      There are more important things than arm strength, such as accuracy, reading defense, understanding protection schemes, and making the smart throw. Bridgewater’s arm strength isn’t bad. I’m fine with others undervaluing him, and if you want to base a player’s grade over their pro day, then go for it. I’ll base my evaluation off of what he did against actual defenses. Most experts have him sliding? That’s not what I’ve seen, and Lance Zierlein recently mocked him 4th to the Browns (2nd QB off the board).

    • Gary Stewart

      bridgewater will be fine he played his pro day without glove on his throwing hand a major mistake when he does the private workouts he will show what showed on his game tape

  • thabear04

    Hmm Usually USC WR dont make it that long into the NFL.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      Panthers fans would vigorously nod their heads at this (Keary Colbert, Dwayne Jarrett).

      • thabear04

        Another bust is Pattrick Turner he was great in college & Mike Williams the one Lions drafted not the Ex-Bucs

        • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

          Keyshawn Johnson, Lynn Swann, and Johnnie Morton say, “What about us?”

          • thabear04

            I wouldnt say so much on Johnnie Morton he was good but not enough to get his name into the Hall of Fame. Only 624 Receptions 8,719 Receiving yards and 43 TD

  • Daniel Sutter

    Dont think Verrett is a dream pick. Maybe at 6′-6’1″ but at 5’9″ there is maby question marks….

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      But that’s the thing, the only knock on Verrett is his height. I think he could be the next Brent Grimes in the NFL, because he has excellent ball skills, tracks receivers perfectly, knows how to jam and re-route bigger wideouts, has a nice vertical, and is strong against the run. I think Verrett has the full package, but I can understand why you would be leery about his ability to be a shutdown CB on the outside. Just know that top slot corners are valuable (see Chris Harris Jr.).

  • Steve Batchelor

    I agree with you about Sammy being the dream pick for the Bucs at #7…But, I don’t see Sammy being there…There are at least 3 teams likely to pick Sammy before 7…With all of the rumors I have seen flying all over the internet in the last week, I am going to say their dream pick will be Mike Evans…My reasoning is those pesky rumors that I have been hearing about a few teams trading up into the top 6 and stealing Evans. While I believe Watkins is a terrific prospect I believe Evans will be the better pro and would flourish with Vjac on the other side. Reminiscent of the Bears WR’s last year that McCown was throwing to.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I also doubt Watkins will be there at #7, but I tried to dream big for the Bucs. Mike Evans looks like the ideal pick for TB at 7, and he and V-Jax would be similar talented wideouts on the outside for Josh McCown to throw it to. I hope the Bucs also add a top underneath option in the slot later on in the draft, and I think Jarvis Landry would be a steal if he falls to the early 3rd. He’s a big guy, but I think he can play out of the slot.

  • Joshua Jones

    I don’t see Matthews slipping all the way to the Giants unless teams get real QB happy in the top ten.I think a more realistic dream pick would be Mike Evans where the talent alone is just too good to pass up.

    • http://www.musketfire.com/ Joe Soriano

      I could never see Matthews falling to 12 either, but he actually has in a couple of mock drafts I’ve read. Mike Evans would be a great replacement for Nicks, but I also don’t think he’ll last past the top ten. Still, it’s more likely that he’ll fall than Matthews with much more depth at WR than OT in this class and a higher demand for top OTs than top WRs. Good call, Josh.