2014 NFL Mock Draft No-QBs Version

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9. Buffalo Bills
Eric Ebron
TE, UNC

I think it’s clear that tight end is the way to go for the Buffalo Bills with the top two tackles off the board, because the Bills need to do whatever they can to give E.J. Manuel a cadre of high-end playmakers heading into his second year. They made a nice upgrade at wide receiver by acquiring Mike Williams from the Buccaneers for a mere sixth-round pick, though it will be interesting to see how he and Doug Marrone get along. Anyway, Ebron is frequently the Bills pick at No. 9, and I’ll pull the incredibly talented UNC product here for the Bills. There’s no doubting his explosiveness and physical tools, but he is a raw player whose blocking and hands are a real work in progress. I actually thought about taking Jace Amaro here, but the Bills need someone with Ebron’s speed and explosiveness the most.

10. Detroit Lions
Marqise Lee
WR, USC

The Lions kept James Ihedigbo with Teryl Austin, who coaxed Ihedigbo’s breakout 2013 season with the Baltimore Ravens, by signing him to play strong safety next to Glover Quin, who fits better as a free safety anyway. That seems to knock out safety as a need, so Ha Ha Clinton-Dix isn’t their best option here. Despite signing Golden Tate to give Calvin Johnson a top-notch WR2, the Lions could still use another impact wide receiver. Marqise Lee has ridiculous tools and athleticism, and he’s a very smooth route-runner who can win at any level of the field. There will be a run on wide receivers without quarterbacks in this mock draft, so Lee comes off here.

11. Tennessee Titans
Anthony Barr
OLB, UCLA

The Tennessee Titans need an edge rusher now that they are transitioning to a 3-4 defense under Ray Horton, and Anthony Barr could be the high-impact pass rusher they are looking for. His success in the NFL will hinge on Horton’s ability to coach him up, because Barr is a very raw prospect with a great deal of upside to be tapped into. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the five most athletic players in this class, but athleticism surely isn’t everything.

12. New York Giants
Taylor Lewan
OT, Michigan

I know a number of people are scared to death of his character concerns, but he just seems too good to pass up on. I mean, he’s not far off from Jake Matthews in terms of ability, and he is one of the top ten prospects in this draft class based on talent alone. Lewan is an incredibly agile and athletic offensive tackle, and I think that gets overlooked. Not only does his nasty streak make him a very valuable run blocker, but his agility and athleticism allow him to get to the second level and do things that most tackles simply cannot. He rarely gets beat in pass protection, and he displays very good technique when mirroring pass rushers. Another thing that makes Lewan so difficult to beat is his determination on plays, as he’s always working to stay with speedy edge rushers. Lewan could be an amazing starting tackle for the Giants, allowing Justin Pugh to kick inside and forming a top bookend with Will Beatty. If the Giants take Lewan and he pans out, then they could have one of the best lines in the league if Beatty also bounces back and Pugh is a solid guard. That’s a number of “What ifs”, but I’m confident that at least two of them would come true.

13. St. Louis Rams
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
S, Alabama

I literally have never had anyone other than Clinton-Dix going to the St. Louis Rams in a mock draft, and a haul of Watkins and Clinton-Dix would be an excellent one in one draft. It would give the Rams the top prospect at safety and wide receiver, which are their top two needs at this point.

14. Chicago Bears
Louis Nix
DT, Notre Dame

No Aaron Donald? I guess I had better explain myself. Donald is an incredibly gifted interior pass rusher who would immediately be an excellent replacement for Henry Melton, but the truth is that the Bears need a defensive tackle who is stout against the run. They already invested heavily in pass rushers at DE by signing Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, and Jared Allen, so it’s clear to me that a guy like Louis Nix makes more sense for the Bears. He’s about as good as Donald is overall, and there’s this misconception that he’s purely a nose tackle. His game is very comparable to Vince Wilfork‘s, in that he can most definitely succeed as a 4-3 defensive tackle and is probably a better fit there. Nobody swallows up blocks like Nix, and he made his teammates look a lot better by swallowing up blocks and getting solid penetration on his own. The vast majority of mock drafts have Donald going to the Bears, but I think Nix makes more sense.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin Gilbert
CB, Oklahoma State

The Pittsburgh Steelers biggest need has to be at cornerback right now, as they can go for an impact wide receiver later on in the draft (they recently worked out Bruce Ellington, who looks like a very enticing option). Justin Gilbert isn’t my highest-rated cornerback prospect, but his playmaking ability and pure coverage on the outside makes him the best fit for the Steelers. They could really use a CB1 with his speed and athleticism, because that’s severely lacking for the Steelers at the position.

16. Dallas Cowboys
Aaron Donald
DT, Pittsburgh

I actually had a whole paragraph written up about how Kony Ealy should be the pick for the Dallas Cowboys, because it would allow Jeremy Mincey to play in more of a sub-package role and give the Cowboys a great group of DEs. There’s some worry that a DT duo of Henry Melton and Aaron Donald would be too good of a pass rushing duo and not good enough against the run, but I operate on the belief that Donald is the more talented prospect than Ealy. It was an incredibly difficult choice, but I worry that Ealy won’t pan out and won’t even be an upgrade over either George Selvie or Mincey.

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  • Ken Tomlin

    Interesting way to do a draft. Mosley would be a good pick for the VIKES, but I’d rather see Gilbert go to them. Even with Munnerlyn starting on the outside, he’ll move inside in nickel. So, we’ll need a CB to start opposite Rhodes. Gilbert would be the perfect fit.

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

      I gave Gilbert consideration here as well, and he’s an excellent player who would be a decent pick-up for the Vikings. However, they did draft Xavier Rhodes in the first last year and signed Munnerlyn and Derek Cox this offseason, so CB doesn’t seem to be as much of a priority. I just read something after the mock was published that Mosley has some medical concerns, so he might be off the board for the Vikings unless if he slips into the 2nd.

  • gdubb

    Your funny no way raiders pass on Mike evans for odell beckham..Mike evens is a beast you must be a donkeys fan

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

      If you prefer Evans to OBJ, then that’s perfectly fine. I just felt like the Raiders needed a WR who can go underneath more. Evans is a beast, but so is Beckham Jr. It’s a matter of preference, and I have no qualms at all with taking Evans over him.

  • anon76returns

    I tend to see Shazier as a best case pick for the Broncos, so surprising not to see him on here in a “worst-case” scenario. The Broncos have two excellent (Talib & Harris) CBs for their base, and one pretty good 2nd year player (Webster) to come in on nickel.
    On the other hand, the Broncos have no Mike LB for base, and only 1 (of 2 required) coverage LBs for their nickel. Shazier would be excellent for both roles, hard to imagine CB being addressed first if Shazier (or Mosley) is still on the board.

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

      Yeah, I was thinking of putting Shazier, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to fit him in. Would the Broncos kick Trevathan inside and play Shazier at OLB or simply play him at the Mike? He would be a real asset for the Broncos defense due to his coverage.

      • anon76returns

        In base I’m sure Shazier would be the Mike. He might have played more snaps at Ohio State on the outside, but he had plenty of experience inside as well. Trevathan was an awesome WIL- should have been a pro bowler last year. No reason to mess with that.

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

          Thanks, I’ll be sure to keep this in mind in my next mock draft. Trevathan is ridiculous, so hopefully Shazier would have that kind of impact if the Broncos draft him. I think he’s good enough in coverage and athletic enough to bring some of that to the table, and I’m guessing he would be an upgrade on Woodyard at the end of the day.

    • Phillip

      If Mosley isn’t available, Shazier don’t get pass 21.

  • Jake

    I don’t see why the bears would draft Louis nix in first? We could get Gilbert or Denmark or even trade back in the draft to get extra picks and still get nix Lol but it’s creative and different i guess it was worth the read

    • Jake

      Excuse me dennard

    • DiscountPCRepair SATX

      Louis Nix is NOT even on the BEARS radar

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

      You and “DiscountPCRepair” aren’t the first two people to tell me that Nix isn’t an option for the Bears, and that has me a bit puzzled to be honest. Why isn’t he a fit and what am I missing that’s clear to so many Bears fans?

      Anyway, Gilbert or Dennard would be great picks for the Bears, and I would also put Jason Verrett on their radar. I have him rated higher than both of those guys (especially Dennard), and I don’t buy into the knocks on his height.

      • Panther Hines

        Who saw Shae Mclellon coming?

  • Jack

    Raiders make dumb decisions up front all the time.that picks proly spot on lol

  • BlueTalon

    “…his great ball skills help make up for his subpar hands.”

    What the heck does that even mean?

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

      Remember Terrell Owens? It’s like that. He can make incredible catches, but he suffers from too many concentration drops.

  • 1961 Fan

    No QB’s taken; that is not an ignorant statement, it is stupid. Go bury your head in the sand numb nut.

    • Panther Hines

      He wasn’t saying he didn’t think any QBs would be taken, he said “what if none were taken” and did a draft based on his hypothetical scenario, trying to identify team needs and players that fit those needs. Honestly, there isn’t really a QB in this class that’s ready to go week 1 but the position is so highly covered that they’re wayyy over drafted. It’s just an exercise…numb nut….

  • Panther Hines

    I commend you for having your own player rankings that stray from the norm for most mocks. I disagree with some of it but there are always surprises on draft day….as for my teams pick, I’m not sold on Kouandjio. I’ve heard that the Panthers are one of the teams that failed his physical at the combine and after Otah, I don’t think they risk it. Its a shame though, he’s just the type of hog mollie that Gettleman covets. I would like Jordan Matthews or Jarvis Landry with that pick. Since the WR run is happening in this draft I think it’s more important to grab one of the top tier WRs in the first. I like those guys more than KB…also, ehy are you so much higher on Amaro than ASJ?

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

      Thanks for the kind words, and my different views on prospects often get me shelled. Kouandjio was a reach for the Panthers, but they have a massive need at OT and I like Kouandjio more than Morgan Moses, even with the injury issues. With The First Pick compared Kouandjio to Marcus McNeill, and I like that comparison: http://withthefirstpick.com/?p=11784

      He should be a solid starting tackle at the next level, but for how long with the injury issues? I was in a pinch at WR with KB the top guy on the board, so I decided to go with OT. In the real draft, there will be QBs taken, so this is a “worst-case scenario” look at the draft for teams picking later on in the first because of the absence of QBs in this mock. Therefore, the Panthers will probably have a chance at picking up a much better receiver prospect, though I can’t see a guy like Allen Robinson falling to them after his big workout numbers.

      I’m now much higher on Amaro than ASJ at all haha. I actually wrote a few times this year that I think ASJ isn’t far off from either Ebron or Amaro, and I think the gap in talent between the three top TEs is pretty close. The issue with ASJ is that he has an awkward running style that hurts him as a pass-catcher, especially compared to Ebron and Amaro. But he is actually more versatile than those guys, because he can line up in the backfield and lined up out wide more than those two. Plus, he’s a much better in-line TE because of his blocking. He has attitude, consistency, and maybe even a couple of injury concerns, but I have a late first-round grade on him. Based on his talent and Amaro’s ability, I think Ebron is going to get overdrafted, but that’s also because teams love “joker” tight ends.

  • Joe

    Odell Beckham to the Raiders? I stopped reading after that. Your mock drafts are getting even more idiotic

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

      I’m an idiot because of one reach pick in a mock draft of 32. Sounds good.

      • Phillip

        Jimmie Ward could be considered a reach too, depending on who ya ask. I feel he’s a risk and Shazier would be a better fit for Green Bay at 21, he bring sideline to sideline playmaking potential to our ILB position, and after him and Mosley, the talent is such a drop off at ILB, not near as much at Safety in the 2nd. Ward is strictly a need pick there too, Shazier is a lot higher value + need, i think Shazier at 21 and than i believe Ward will still be there at the top of the 2nd. Just because Safety is our top need is why i believe TT won’t reach at all for it and a guy like Shazier i believe could have a lot more impact on our D than a Safety anway, a impact LB like him could easily control the line of scrimmage and he easily has the speed and physical ability to cover TE’s and slot receivers, i just believe Shazier would add so much more impact then Ward. I could easily see Shazier as our 1st pick, and than Ted Thompson liking Ward or Bucannon at a certain 2nd round spot and see him move up for him. That’s my opinion anyway, Shazier and Ward or Bucannon would make this D leaps and bounds better.

  • Phillip

    With the 21st pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select, Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio St.!! If Mosley don’t fall of course.

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

      I think Ward is a good pick for the Packers at 21, because I don’t see him falling to them in the second round and view him as an underrated prospect in this year’s draft. Ryan Shazier would be a very good pick for the Packers, too, even if they don’t have as big of a need for an inside linebacker as they do a free safety. They could still use a talented starting LB, especially one with Shazier’s excellent play in coverage. Drafting Shazier and trading up for Ward is an interesting idea. How often has Ted Thompson traded up in the draft?