Most of the top name NFL free agents have either resigned with their own teams or found a new home by now.
With that in mind let’s take a look at how some of these moves may affect the upcoming draft.
The selection process will commence with the first round in Radio City Music Hall in New York on Thursday, May 8 beginning at 8pm eastern time. This will be followed by the 2nd and 3rd rounds on May 9 at 7:00 ET and 4 through 7 at noon on May 10.
Even before Commissioner Roger Goodell has a chance to announce the number 1 pick speculation has arisen that the Houston Texans might be very interested in trading down for multiple selections later. It has also come to light that the Buffalo Bills sitting at number 9 might be a willing partner. Can you imagine Jadeveon Clowney joining Mario Williams on the Bills defensive line or keeping Khalil Mack in upstate New York as a pro?
At this point we will assume the Texans remain at the top spot and proceed from there.
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2014 NFL Mock Draft – Picks 11-20
The consensus pick here seems to be Clowney, but he’s not a good fit in a 3-4 D-line scheme. That’s why Williams was allowed to move on to the Bills and why Mack should be the pick here.
2. ST. LOUIS RAMS – Jadeveon Clowney – DE, South Carolina
The Rams need help on the O-line and Greg Robinson is awfully good, but Jeff Fisher is a defensive minded coach and I can’t see him passing on a talented “freak” like Clowney should Houston go with Mack.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Sammy Watkins – WR, Clemson
If Mack is off the board I think the Jags take the best offensive talent in the draft. Watkins not only is a great receiver, but he is the most complete offensive player available as well.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Teddy Bridgewater – QB, Louisville
After releasing Brandon Weed and Jason Campbell the Browns don’t have a QB… enough said?
Only the Raiders would have the “cojones” to pick “Johnny Football” this high in the draft. They need a QB and why settle on a boring Blake Bortles when Manziel already has a pen in hand after signing all those autographs.
6. ATLANTA FALCONS – Greg Robinson – OT, Auburn
The Falcons have a need for multiple offensive linemen and Robinson is by far the best option.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCANEERS – Justin Gilbert – CB, Texas
New coach Lovie Smith loves his defense and is a Texas native. Why wouldn’t he want the best secondary player available who played his college ball in the Lone Star State?
As a team with many needs they could also trade down to a team looking to beat the Vikings to Blake Bortles.
With my projections that Bridgewater and Manziel are off the board, Bortles is the best of the rest of the QB’s which the Vikings desperately need.
9. BUFFALO BILLS – Mike Evans- WR, Texas A &M
If the Bills are sticking with EJ Manuel at QB they need to supply him with a quality receiver like the 6’5”, 231 lb. Evans.
10. DETROIT LIONS – Calvin Pryor – S, Louisville
The Lions secondary has been lacking for years. Pryor is a hard hitting difference maker.
2014 NFL Mock Draft – Picks 11-21
If the Titans go to a 3-4 defensive alignment in 2014 as is expected, it will be critical to have an interior lineman that can rush the passer. Donald is the best available at this in the draft and is NFL ready now.
12. NEW YORK GIANTS – Taylor Lewan - OT, Michigan
If the Giants are going to return to being a viable Super Bowl contender they must protect Peyton’s “lil bro” Eli and Lewan would be a step in the right direction. The Wolverines are known for their dominant line play and he was a major factor in last year’s Big 10 season.
13. ST. LOUIS RAMS – Jake Matthews – OT, Texas A & M
Some prognosticators have Matthews ahead of Lewan on their draft charts so a flip-flop of these names is a possibility. Jake comes with a pedigree from his father Bruce Matthews who was part of the Titans organization when Rams coach Jeff Fisher led them. The father also played on the offensive line for 19 NFL seasons, 14 of them as a Pro Bowler.
With the recent acquisitions of defensive ends Lamar Houston and Jared Allen I see the “Monsters of the Midway” shoring up a weak interior line that could not stop the run in 2013.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – S, Alabama
Dix is the last of the quality players at his position and a must grab for the Steelers secondary.
16. DALLAS COWBOYS – Anthony Barr – OLB, UCLA
The Cowboys like linebackers with speed and for a guy over 250 lbs., he can fly.
17. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Eric Ebron – TE, North Carolina
Definitely the best tight end available in the draft and a nice complement to Dennis Pitta in a 2 TE set.
18. NEW YORK JETS – C.J. Mosley – ILB, Alabama
Once again, the drop off is steep at this position and most impact players are off the board. So the Jets need to grab the best available player left on the board which is easily Mosley.
QB Ryan Tannehill suffered the most sacks of any NFL passer. Morgan should help to alleviate that situation.
20. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Derek Carr – QB, Fresno State
The “best of the rest” at QB is Derek Carr. He has a chance to play in the league longer than his brother David, once Carson Palmer runs out of gas.
21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Darqueze Dennard – CB, Michigan State
This is another “best available” pick even though not one of great need for the “Pack”.
2014 NFL Mock Draft – Picks 22-32
While at Oregon, Eagles coach Chip Kelly saw Lee up close and personal so he knows his outstanding capabilities.
23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Jace Amaro – TE, Texas Tech
Amaro is a good fit for a QB like Alex Smith who likes to throw short and efficient routes.
24. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Dee Ford – DE, Auburn
Even without prototypical height for a defensive end, Ford has shown he can be a disruptive force.
25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Jason Verrett – CB, Texas Christian
Verrett will only fall this far due to size concerns. The Chargers will take their chances at 25.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS – – WR, Oregon State
A Cooks/ Josh Gordon duo would be an inviting sight for a new QB (Bridgewater at no.4?).
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Ra’Shede Hageman – DT, Minnesota
The Saints are in dire need for a pass rusher and Hageman fits the bill.
28. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Allen Robinson – WR, Penn State
Cam Newton needs more aerial targets and less of his own ground game if he is to survive a season injury free.
29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Louis Nix III - NT, Notre Dame
Belichick will be all over this Golden Domer to shore up the middle of the D-Line.
30. SAN FRANCISCO 49’ERS – Bradley Roby - CB, Ohio State
With their secondary depleted entering next season Roby is a great pickup from a program known for developing quality coverage guys.
A bit of a stretch even at 31, but Denver is weak at LB and Van Noy can rush QB’s too.
32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Louisiana State
And with the final selection of the 2014 NFL Draft’s first round the Seattle selects Beckham Jr. Seattle is in need of receivers after losing both Sidney Rice and Golden Tate.
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