2014 NFL Mock Draft - Tag team

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16. Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

D: Everyone likes to talk about how Dallas’ offense never meets expectations and how Tony Romo under performs, but their defense was atrocious last season. The Cowboys will do everything they can to remedy this by taking a defensive tackle with their first round pick.

17. Baltimore Ravens – Darqueze Dennard, Cornerback, Michigan State

T: Baltimore’s defense has gotten older and has been in decline since its pantheon level of a number of years ago. Depth is needed across all three levels of the defense. The best option though is to address the backfield where Darqueze Dennard, the reining Thorpe Award winner, can cover better than perhaps any other player in this draft.

18. New York Jets – Kyle Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech

D: The Jets need a young star on offensive just as much as they need to replace the hole left by Revis and now Cromartie in the defensive secondary. The Jets have always gone defense first and this year is no different. They snatch up cornerback Kyle Fuller with open arms.

19. Miami Dolphins – Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

T: Prior to the combine and offseason draft work, Kouandjio was being considered near the very top of the first round. Because of injury concerns and poor showings, his stock has fallen. Fortunately for the Miami Dolphins, they may be able to grab a top-level talent this late in round one. The risk of taking Kouandjio is worth it for the Dolphins, who are desperate for offensive line depth after the debacle there last year.

20. Arizona Cardinals – Morgan Moses, Offensive Tackle, Virginia

D: The Cardinals had a good season last year, but struggled in the run game. They’ll look to add depth and youth to an offensive line that needs the help. Moses fills that hole perfectly for Arizona.

21. Green Bay Packers – Timmy Jernigan, Defensive Tackle, Florida State

T: Because of injuries and other circumstances, the Green Bay defense was a liability last season. Timmy Jernigan should go a long way towards fixing some of those problems inside.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – Jason Verrett, Cornerback, TCU

D: The Eagles need help in the defensive secondary, someone to light a spark under their 32nd ranked pass defense from last season. Verrett is viewed as a step below the previous corners selected, but he’s a great grab in the late first round none the less.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – Brandin Cooks, Wide Receiver, Oregon State

T: Kansas City had a miraculous season in 2013. If there was anything to be critical of though, it would be the lack of big-play potential on the offensive side. Brandin Cooks, the fastest receiver at the combine, should be that weapon the Chiefs were lacking last year.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Derek Carr, Quarterback, Fresno State

D: The Bengals primary point of inconsistency last season was at quarterback. The media kept harping on whether Andy Dalton was the long term answer and the Bengals aren’t quite sure themselves. They pick Carr to push Dalton to the next level, or push him right out the door. Whichever is best for the offense.

25. San Diego Chargers – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama

T: While safety is not the most pressing need on this Chargers’ defense, Clinton-Dix is too good of a value to pass up here. Besides, San Diego can find a place for him opposite Eric Weddle. This defense was weak in a number of areas. Working on improving things in the backfield should trickle down and aid the front seven as well.

26. Cleveland Brown – Odell Beckham Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU

D: The Browns need help at a lot of positions. Having already filled their hole at quarterback with the 4th pick, they’ll move to give Manziel a weapon at wide receiver. Beckham is their man.

27. New Orleans Saints – Kony Ealy, Defensive End, Missouri

T: Like many of the teams drafting in the 20s, the Saints have dire needs on the defensive side. Safety was their biggest concern before the free agent signing of Jarius Byrd. Now, New Orleans should look towards improving the front seven. Kony Ealy ended up getting overlooked in the papers because of teammate Michael Sam, but Ealy is a better prospect than Sam and should make a name for himself.

28. Carolina Panthers – Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver, USC

D: With the departure of Steve Smith and a poor passing offense to begin with from last season, the Panthers need to add a weapon at wide receiver. Lucky for them this draft class is deep at the position. Despite his size, Lee from USC has the pedigree to succeed with Carolina.

29. New England Patriots – Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Florida State

T: With five wide receivers already off the board, New England will have to dig a little, but the Patriots certainly want to come out of this first round with a weapon for Tom Brady. The team’s offense was surprisingly stagnant last year because of injuries, murder investigations, under performing additions, etc. Kelvin Benjamin is a big guy on the outside who should be the perfect complement to underneath receivers like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Jace Amaro, Tight End, Texas Tech

D: The 49ers are yet another team with a woefully bad passing attack last season, ranked 30th in the league. Yet with receivers taken with three of the last four picks, they’ll look elsewhere to bolster their offense. San Francisco has four tight ends on their roster, but only Vernon Davis is of note. They like tight ends and hope Amaro can one day fill Davis’ shoes full-time.

31. Denver Broncos – Xavier Su’a Filo, Guard, UCLA

T: Denver is still loaded on offense even after the departures of Eric Decker and Knowshon Moreno. However, the line is an area of concern. Because of Peyton Manning’s lack of mobility and the loss of depth from last season, the Broncos will need to add a piece back in the trenches. With all of the top tackles off the board, Denver will look to the top guard in this draft, Xavier Su’a Filo, for that help.

32. Seattle Seahawks – Allen Robinson, Wide Receiver, Penn State

D: The Seahawks are hoping they can steal a top twenty talent at the end of round one. They need help at wide receiver and are thankful for the wealth of talent in this class. Robinson is a big guy at 6’3″ and should provide Russell Wilson with a new dynamic weapon.


[Part two - Rapid Reactions]

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