By Matt Falk
2014 NFL Mock Draft 1st Round Projections
With the draftseason in full draft mode all draftniks have had the chance to get a good idea on who will be the top players in this years crop, and which teams will have their eyes on who. Which gives us more than enough to put together our 2014 NFL Mock Draft.
While it is still early we can already tell that this years draft class will be (at least at first glance) a lot more talented than the 2013 class. NFL Mock Draft order is based off the current NFL Draft order.
Updated March 4th
1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina
As of now it is a toss up if the Texans grab one of the top quarterbacks at 1 or not. But I think the possibility of pairing Clowney with JJ Watt might end up being to much for the Texans to pass on.
2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson OT, Auburn
I’m convinced the Rams will deal out of this spot but if they do stay put addressing the offensive line will be priority 1. With his big frame and athletic ability Robinson has become the the favorite to be the first offensive lineman off the board.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles QB, UCF
The Jaguars are a team that probably can’t afford to wait until round 2 to get a quarterback. In this scenario they have their choice of any QB they want, I slot the big bodied Bortles to the Jags, he has the make-up to take a beating that could be coming for whoever is under center for Jax in 2014.
4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson
With that extra 1st round selection I have the Browns waiting at quarterback even though Manziel is still on the board. Instead they grab the dynamic Watkins, giving Cleveland a pretty scary receiver combo with him and Josh Gordon.
5. Oakland Raiders – Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M
While the Raiders have a handful of needs if Manziel is on the board at 5 can anyone see them passing him up? Johnny Football would add a jolt back into Raider nation and could end up being a match made in heaven. There is talk the Raiders prefer Carr to Manziel but i’m not biting on that yet.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews OT, Texas A&M
The Falcons could go in a handful of directions especially if Mack and Barr are still around, but I still think the most important thing for Atlanta is to give Matt Ryan protection. The bread and butter of this team is their dynamic offense so look for them to protect that early.
7. Tampa Bay Bucs – Khalil Mack LB, Buffalo
Tampa has a few solid young pieces in place on the defensive side of the ball but still lack a stud pass rusher. Mack has a huge ceiling and could burst onto the scene as a rookie and put up big sack numbers.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville
The Vikings have made it clear they don’t NEED to go quarterback in round 1 but if Bridgewater slides to 8 I can’t see them passing him up. Bridgewater has the ability to step in day 1 for the Vikings and instantly improve a passing game that has been lacking for the past few years.
9. Buffalo Bills – HaHa Clinton-Dix S, Alabama
Jarius Byrd could be on his way out in Buffalo leaving a big hole to fill in the secondary. While it might be a tad early for the Alabama safety he is in fact a game changer and I remember the Bills taking a safety earlier than expected in 2006 and that worked out pretty good for them that time.
10. Detroit Lions – Justin Gilbert CB, Oklahoma St.
Unless the Lions absolutely fall in love with a receiver like Evans or Lee Gilbert is almost a must. The Oklahoma St. corner has the ability to be a number 1 corner in the NFL, and his combine performance only helped his stock even more.
11. Tennessee Titans – Anthony Barr LB, UCLA
No secret the Titans will be hoping a pass rusher like Barr falls to them at 11. Barr is still a bit raw but has a huge ceiling and could be an impact player for the Titans defense in year 1.
12. New York Giants – CJ Mosley LB, Alabama
The Giants are completely bare at the linebacker position and lack a true leader in the middle of the defense. Mosley not only brings the physical tools to be an impact player but also brings leadership that the G-Men are in need of.
13. St. Louis Rams – Mike Evans WR, Texas A&M
The big bodied Evans would be a great compliment to last years first round pick Tavon Austin. Evans has more #1 receiver abilities and could help boost the Rams offense to the next level.
14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald DT, Pittsburgh
Donald has been a hot name the past few months and rightfully so after lighting up the Senior Bowl and the combine. Has a great first step and can get into the backfield in a hurry, not great versus the run but makes up for it with his ability to tackling for a loss.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Eric Ebron TE, North Carolina
At this point I think the Steelers are looking for playmakers and at 15 they go best player available. Ebron is a physical freak who can stretch the field and become a favorite target for Big Ben.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan DT, Florida St.
The Cowboys greatest needs are along the defensive line which means Jerry Jones will go a completely different route. But Jernigan is the real deal, he has a deadly combo of size and speed and can muscle his way into the backfield on a routine basis.