Nick's Post-Underclassman Deadline 2014 NFL First Round Mock Draft
Still not projecting trades at this point, just too early in the process. Constructive criticism and feedback is always welcome!
1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
-The vast likelihood is that this pick is a quarterback, and I still maintain that Bridgewater is the best available. However, don't count Manziel or Bortles out here, either.
2. St. Louis Rams (f/WAS): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
-Most expect the Rams to trade down from this spot, which makes a ton of sense. But as I'm not projecting trades, I have them opting for the best combination of value and need. In my opinion, that is Jake Matthews.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
-The Jaguars are going to be tempted to take South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney if he's available, but they are in desperate need for a quarterback and may find it impossible to pass on one here.
4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
-The Browns get their man in Johnny Football, whom the front office in Cleveland is supposedly very enamored by, so much so that they may force him onto a new head coach, whoever that turns out to be.
5. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
-Oakland would have liked to grab a new franchise quarterback, and may be a contender to trade up to get one. But if they stay here and can nab Clowney, they'll be very pleased with that move.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
-The Falcons could be in play for a trade up, or they could sit tight and decide between the likely outstanding options left over. While Greg Robinson is tempting to block for Matt Ryan’s blind side, Atlanta desperately needs defensive help.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
-The Buccaneers strike while the iron is hot and grab Robinson, who is the recipient of a lot of positive buzz right now as a young and very athletic prospect who could ultimately go in the Top 5.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
-Minnesota is desperate to end the Christian Ponder era, so don’t be surprised if they’re players in the Quarterback Market this offseason.
9. Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
-Mack is simply too good of a match for the Bills to pass up in this projection, providing a significant upgrade over Manny Lawson.
10. Detroit Lions: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
-Some argue that Watkins is best when he’s playing opposite of another talented wide receiver, and it’s hard to find a more talented receiver to play opposite from than Calvin Johnson.
11. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
-Both starting tackles in Tennessee are getting long in the tooth, so while defense may get a lot of consideration here, the Titans would be wise to snatch up a tackle, too.
12. New York Giants: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
-The Giants’ linebackers were boosted by the addition of Jon Beason, but they shouldn’t consider their work done just yet. Mosley would give them another young defender to build around.
13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
-The Rams boasted a talented defensive in 2013, but their secondary was one of the few weaknesses. Safety represents a bigger positional need, but the value at this pick is with cornerback Dennard.
14. Chicago Bears: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
-Chicago’s run defense was atrocious in 2013, and they’re looking at some potential turnover in the trenches. Look for them to consider one of the best defensive lineman available with this pick.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
-Adding more weapons to the Steelers offense should be an offseason priority, and right now, the best receiving weapon on the board is Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame
-Tuitt is an intriguing prospect whom I think is going to get looks from 4-3 teams as a penetrating defensive tackle, and if Dallas retains Monte Kiffin, they’re going to need some bigger bodies who can rush the passer on the inside.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
-The Ravens let some talented offensive pieces go after their Super Bowl win, and now need to refill the cabinet. Lee is the best available receiver on the board, and makes a lot of sense for a Baltimore team in need of offensive help.
18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
-The Jets need to surround Geno Smith with help in 2014, and while there isn’t a receiver on the board now that is great value, they could take a tight end in Ebron instead.
19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
-The Dolphins were unable to resign Jake Long last offseason, and still need to find his replacement at left tackle. If Kouandjio is available here, he’s a no brainer in my book.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Kony Ealy, LB, Missouri
-Adding some talent to their pass rush should be a priority for Arizona, and Ealy is generating some buzz in that regard after amassing eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss this season.
21. Green Bay Packers: HaSean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
-Green Bay’s personnel at safety is awful, and while there’s no guarantee a prospect like Clinton-Dix makes it out of the Top 20, I expect the Packers to pounce if he does.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
-The Eagles' best corner is Bradley Fletcher, and while he's servicable, more help would clearly make a difference. Gilbert could contend to be the first cornerback taken in this draft.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
-The Chiefs have the ultimate offensive weapon in Jamaal Charles, but adding more receiving options for Alex Smith should be a priority. With the emphasis on athletic tight ends in today’s NFL, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amaro’s name called early.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
-The Bengals can’t count on 35-year-old James Harrison for much longer, and while Vincent Rey is emerging in the middle, another linebacker could be beneficial.
25. San Diego Chargers: Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford
-San Diego’s pass rush is still a big issue, as they did not boast an outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme that put up more than three sacks this season. Murphy provides an instant upgrade.
26. Cleveland Browns (f/IND): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
-The Browns took a new signal caller with their earlier pick, so they continue to address their offense by picking a weapon for him here. Benjamin has some work to do, but would be dangerous across from Josh Gordon with Jordan Cameron stretching the middle of the field.
27. New Orleans Saints: Vic Beasley, LB, Clemson
-The Saints have one quality 3-4 pass rusher in Junior Galette, but not much on the other side. Beasley gives them a second weapon from the upright position, and more weapons for their new defensive scheme.
28. Carolina Panthers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
-How much longer can Steve Smith’s career last? Even if he’s around a few more seasons, giving Cam Newton a legitimate weapon opposite Smith should only help his effectiveness.
29. New England Patriots: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
-Vince Wilfork is 32 years old, coming off of a major injury, and is in the final year of his contract. Nix can be groomed to replace him.
30. San Francisco *****: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
-A wide receiver might make sense, but at this point, they may prefer taking the 3rd best corner over the 6th best receiver. Verrett gives San Francisco a necessary boost in their secondary; they can address receiver in the second round.
31. Denver Broncos: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
-The Broncos have some awful personnel at safety, and could really be in need of an upgrade. Pryor gives them the enforcer in the back of their defense that they’ve been lacking.
32. Seattle Seahawks: David Yankey, OG, Stanford
-Neither starting Seattle guard ranked within Pro Football Focus’ Top 50 at their position. If Seattle wants to continue to be a championship caliber team, they’d be wise to address their effectiveness in the trenches.