The Best Damn NFL Mock Draft Yet

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Jan 1, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) talks on the bench as the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Wisconsin Badgers 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

1. Houston Texans – DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Houston needs a quarterback, but is any signal caller in this draft really worth the top pick?  Look for the Texans to add Clowney, who – as a prospect – compares strangely well to Mario Williams, and grab a quarterback in the second or third round.  My money is on Garoppolo.

2. St. Louis Rams – WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Many people believe that this season is make-or-break for Sam Bradford.  Thus, the Rams will want to give him a solid chance to prove himself.  While a Tackle might make sense in this spot, Wide Receiver is actually the bigger need.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Blake Bortles, South Florida

Sure, the Jags need to sell tickets.  More than anything, though, this franchise needs legitimacy.  Blake Bortles may not be a guaranteed success, but he looks like the most all-around QB prospect in the draft.

4. Cleveland Browns – QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Somehow, someway, it has been my belief that Johnny Manziel would end up a Cleveland Brown.  His persona seems to fit the franchise, the ownership appears to be head-over-heels with him, and more importantly: his style of play should go well with speedy WR Josh Gordon and the incredibly athletic TE Jordan Cameron.

5. Oakland Raiders – OT Greg Robinson, Auburn

The Raiders will also look to draft a quarterback, but Teddy Bridgewater no longer appears to be a solid selection at #5.  This, along with the recent departure of LT Jason Veldheer make Robinson the perfect pick for Oakland.  Plus, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to see them land Bridgewater in the 2nd round or with a trade to get back into the 1st.

6. Atlanta Falcons – LB Kahlil Mack, Buffalo

Atlanta desperately needs to protect Matt Ryan, but equal to that is their need for some intensity on Defense.  Since the departure of Brent Grimes, the unit has been rather unexcitable.  Mack could be a leader for that group early on, and there should still be some solid options left at Tackle in the 2nd round, such as Morgan Moses, “Tiny” Richardson, and Cyrus Kouandjio.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB Anthony Barr, UCLA

The Bucs are probably the most unpredictable team in the draft.  Despite a solid rookie campaign from Mike Glennon, word on in the street is they’re looking for a quarterback.  Under Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier, though, expect a defensive re-vamp before anything else.

8. Minnesota Vikings – CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma

Like the Texans and Raiders, Minnesota probably wants to add a solid piece before taking a chance with one of this draft’s quarterbacks, especially since not many teams after them need one.  Gilbert would be an excellent pairing with emerging talent Xavier Rhodes, helping the team with the likes of Chicago, Green Bay and Detroit for years to come.

9. Buffalo Bills – S Calvin Pryor, Louisville

Buffalo has tried very hard to re-build their Linebacker core during the off-season but has only had moderate success.  Thus, Mosley or Shazier could make sense here, but while both are very talented, each does present a lot of risk for a top 10 pick.  Instead, look for the Bills to surprise some by replacing Pro Bowl Jairus Byrd with their top pick.  Pryor’s fast, hard-hitting style of play makes him very similar.

10. Detroit Lions – WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M

While the Lions need Secondary help in a major way, there are enough intriguing 2nd round prospects to allow them to wait.  With Mike Evans on the board and the desire for a strong compliment to Calvin Johnson (especially with the departure of Nate Burleson), there is no way Detroit would pass on Mike Evans.

11. Tennessee Titans – OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

Much like the Jaguars, the Titans need to fix their foundation before addressing flashy positions.  Arguably the best talent in the draft, Jake Matthews will be irresistible at Pick 11.

12. New York Giants – OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan

Enough offensive talent in the later rounds and defensive additions via free agency allow the Giants to focus on their o-line with the #12 pick.  Protecting Eli Manning, anyway, is priority numero uno.

13. St. Louis Rams – S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

Dix may not be the exciting Safety talent there has been in recent years, but he is probably the best all-around player at the position.  Playing in the NFC West demands a solid secondary, and Dix would be an instant upgrade.

14. Chicago Bears – DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

Following the departure of Henry Melton, the Bears need a three-technique Defensive Tackle.  Though undersized, Donald is probably the best such player available in the 2014 draft.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan St.

With this pick, the Steelers employ the same strategy as the Detroit Lions, but in reverse: fix the secondary now and look for a wide receiver next.  In other drafts, Dennard might be a top 10 pick.  He’s a gift for Pittsburgh at #15, and will learn a great deal from Ike Taylor.

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Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 Draft Dallas Cowboys Jadeveon Clowney NFL Ryan Shazier

  • baronmwd

    I love Shazier, but not at 16. I think there first option should be to trade back. If forced to pick at 16 then I think the pick is Martin.

    • SK_Jersey13

      I agree that if he’s our target we should trade down for him, but I don’t like Martin at 16. I think he’s too small to last as a RT and there r plenty of excellent guards available in the mid rounds. Personally I’m really hoping for Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State.

    • Assassin

      Agreed – Shazier is a solid late first rounder. Assuming Donald and/or Jernigan, the two most popular mock draftees for the Cowboys aren’t there, a tradeback in the first could still bring him in. Given our #16 pick is worth 1,000, a good trades might be to 21 for their 1st (800) and 3rd (165) and 5th (31.8) and 7th (7.2) or maybe a 4th next year instead of the 5th and 7th. Shazir and maybe Ealy would be there at 21 as would Hageman.

      • SK_Jersey13

        Good value but I’m not sure Packers will move up. It’s possible that one of the teams picking 17-20 are looking to grab some secondary help thus pushing Green Bay to switch spots with us but I’m not sure they will be. Instead, how about a similar situation with the Chiefs at 23? I think it’s more likely they move up for either a WR or pass rusher. Would love Hageman btw, just a little risky for 16. Jernigan has been my favorite for us since before the season ended but I think there’s too much DT talent later to use the first pick on it. I really want Dominique Easley and could even see us trading way down to maybe the 49ers spot (then maybe landing their first and one of their 2nd founders) and picking Easley

        • Assassin

          For the Chiefs to move up, thier 1st is 760, their third is 155, 4th is 56. That would be 971 (our pick being 1,000). I would ask for a 4th next year to make the difference.

          Worried that we already went into the draft with 11 picks, which would be over 20% of the active roster if everyone makes it (highly doubtful). If we add two more picks to make 13, then use a couple of those to trade up for someone or simply trade a couple of those picks into next years draft, something New England does very well. ie; trade this year’s 4th for a 3rd next year and so forth.

          Love Easley, hate for the fact he’s had ACL issues. They are not fun and no two people respond the same, kinda like backs. With that said, he’s a solid third rounder and probable second rounder as the draft gets closer. I wouldn’t take him with our top pick unless the doctors gave him a GLOWING health report.

          • SK_Jersey13

            That’s really interesting. I always forget about trading for future picks but it would make total sense in that scenario, and that’s on point about New England. And I agree that Easley is a huge risk, but I’ve got faith in a 21-year old being able to recover. He sure looked good at his ProDay. To me, his film is just so exciting that if he’s there in the 2nd round, we gotta jump. Even with the risk, I’d be open to trading with the 49ers (picking up their 1st and one of their 2nds + a late rounder) and taking him at Pick 31. I just think that in this draft, the best pass rushers will come out of the 2-3rd round. Easley is high on my list for DT (as is Jay Bromley for day 3) and UNC’s Kareem Martin sits atop my DE list.

          • Assassin

            For SF to trade up with us, assuming they sent us their 1st (600) and 2nd (276) – their 3rd is worth (120), 5th is (29) and 7th (3) for a 999 total (for our 1000). I wouldn’t be against a trade for their 1st (1000) and maybe a 5th (29) this year and 1st next year and us giving them back a 3rd either this year or next. That would be a minimum of theirs (600 + 29 + 590 [in 2015]) for our (1000 + 190). The odds are against them making a run to the Super Bowl and I would think it will be better than the 31st pick this year. They’re one Kapernick achilles tear from being an 8-8 team.

  • brian basile

    Here is my best mock so far:

    • docmike

      How can anything claiming to be the “The best damn NFL mock draft yet” not include any trade scenarios ??
      Lame, very lame

      • SK_Jersey13

        LOL Point Taken. Who do u think is most likely to move? My money is on Dallas moving down, swapping with either KC or San Fran. What do u think?

    • SK_Jersey13

      LOVE Martavis Bryant but I don’t think he’ll get out of the 2nd round. Also a big fan of Jeff Mathews but would rather Dustin Vaughan out of W. Texas A&M or Casey Pachal from TCU. And I’m not sold on Clinton-Dix or Marcus Smith just yet. Groy is an interesting pick, as the Badgers usually make for good linemen, but I think there’s more value to be found at Guard in the middle rounds, especially if a guy like Gabe Jackson slips, or if Cyril Richardson or even John Urschel are still around.