A 2014 NFL Mock Draft like no other; we tag team things, going pick for pick through round one of the draft. A coin was flipped, words were exchanged, and Todd won first pick. Its draft time! Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part one of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
2014 NFL Mock Draft – Tag Team [Todd (T) picks first, Dan (D) picks second]
1. Houston Texans – Blake Bortles, Quarterback, Central Florida
T: Even if Bortles is not the best player in this draft, which seems to clearly be the case, Houston has a quarterback need, and Bortles has separated himself as the best QB out there. His size and strength in the pocket, coupled with his arm strength down field make him a more pleasing option to those other passers Houston might have been considering.
2. St. Louis Rams – Jadeveon Clowney, Defensive End, South Carolina
D: The Rams will jump on Clowney if he slips to them at number two. They still like their starting quarterback and would love to add the best player in this year’s draft to an already strong defensive front.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Greg Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Auburn
T: It is odd that there were two teams worse than Jacksonville last season. The Jags need a lot of help on both sides of the ball. By all accounts, there are a couple historically great talents at the top of this draft. One was Clowney at defensive end. Another is Robinson at tackle. I personally have hesitations with players who fly up draft boards (he was a borderline first-round pick at the end of the college season), but Robinson seems to be the real deal.
4. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M
D: The Browns are a team who seemed to have things going well last season, in short bursts, until it all went wrong. They need major help on offense and will make the mistake of going quarterback instead of offensive line. With the fourth pick they’ll scoop up Johnny Manziel and hope he’s more Doug Flutie and less Brady Quinn.
5. Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack, Outside Linebacker, Buffalo
T: It isn’t often that Oakland forgoes the option of selecting a possible franchise wide receiver, however Mack has the same upside on the other side of the ball. The Raiders may finally be doing something right here by building on a strength they addressed during free agency: the pass rush.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
D: This team is one season removed from dominance, yet stunk so badly last year that they still have many holes to fill. One reason they were so bad is their offensive line gave up 44 sacks last season. It’s not a flashy pick, but Atlanta will look to remedy this with OT Jake Matthews.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
T: If the actual draft shakes out like this, Tampa Bay will get its first-round pick submitted in under 45 seconds. They have a need at wide receiver opposite Vincent Jackson, and Watkins grades out as a possible transcendent talent at the position.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback, Louisville
D: The Vikings have a lot of needs, not least of which is at quarterback. Christian Ponder has proved little to nothing of his long-term viability at the position and Minnesota will snatch up Bridgewater to push Ponder and ideally steal the job from him by midseason.
9. Buffalo Bills – Zack Martin, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
T: While the defensive line for Buffalo should be a strength, the offensive line needs some help. Although Taylor Lewan is the best remaining talent at the position, there are many questions regarding his character. Instead of taking a risk, the Bills will grab the lesser player but someone they view as a better person for the team in Martin.
10. Detroit Lions – Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan
D: By all accounts, the Lions under achieved last season, in no small part because Matthew Stafford was running for his life. Detroit has never been afraid of bad character and will be thrilled to watch Buffalo pass on Lewan. The Lions take Taylor without blinking an eye.
11. Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma State
T: Tennessee has a pretty solid team overall except for a question mark behind center. Unfortunately, there is no quarterback deserving of a selection here. Instead, the Titans will try to shore up their defensive backfield by selecting the best DB in the draft: Justin Gilbert.
12. New York Giants – Mike Evans, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
D: It feels like forever since the Giants picked this high in the draft. They desperately need help for Eli Manning, another go to weapon to pair with Randle and Cruz. Mike Evans is too good to pass up at twelve.
13. St. Louis Rams – Bradley Roby, Cornerback, Ohio State
T: With their first pick this draft, the Rams selected defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, meaning they are still in need of some offensive line help. However, at this spot, someone like Morgan Moses could be considered a bit of a reach. Instead, St. Louis will bring some more help to the defensive side by selecting corner Bradley Roby to play opposite Janoris Jenkins.
14. Chicago Bears – C.J. Mosley, Linebacker, Alabama
D: The Bears trotted out one of the worst rushing defenses in the league last year, ranked 32nd, and will draft to help change that in 2014. They are hoping Mosley can be the next star in Chicago.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Eric Ebron, Tight End, North Carolina
T: The Steelers have a lot of holes to fill and a number of directions they can go here. The most important thing for them though is to get Ben Roethlisberger more help. With that comes Eric Ebron, one of the most fearsome receiving weapons in this draft, regardless of position labels.