2014 NFL 1st Round Mock Draft

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Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive end Dee Ford of Auburn (30) sacks North squad quarterback Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech (3) during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

16th – Cowboys: DE Dee Ford, Auburn

It may very well be that Ford’s stock rises above Kony Ealy, solidifying himself as the second best defensive end in the draft.  No fan would be mad at the selection of Ford, but some may prefer to have taken a defneisve tackle.  Here’s the reasoning: 1) There appears to be a strong possibility that Henry Melton will sign with Dallas, in which case Ben Bass and others are more than capable of handling the one-technique role and 2) The drop off is far greater between 1st and 2nd round defensives ends than it is with tackles.  It may be that the Cowboys give up on Aaron Donald, but instead are able to grab both Dee Ford and Domenique Easely.  Considering that, Dallas should be happy to add the Senior Bowl MVP to their roster.

17th – Ravens: OT Zach Martin, Notre Dame

After picking up Steve Smith and re-signing Dennis Pitta, the Ravens can focus on other areas of their team which need improvement.  Listen for Zach Martin’s name to be called hear, who is just on the cusp of being mentioned with the top three tackles in the draft.

18th – Jets: TE Eric Ebron. UNC

Young quarterbacks needs big, reliable targets.  Ebron is not only that, but he’s fast and athletic as can be.  This is the perfect type of player to keep up with Geno Smith.  Plus, the arrest of Kellen Winslow in the off-season magnifies the need for a Tight End.

19th – Miami: ILB CJ Mosely, Alabama

Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler have not lived up to expectations as of yet.  Expect Miami to add a crucial piece to their young defense, and focus largely on offense for most of the remaining rounds.

20th – Arizona: WR Brandon Cooks, Oregon State

While there are other more polished receiving options on the board here, Cooks would provide the Cardinals with some much needed speed on the opposite side of Larry Fitzgerald.

21st – Packers: Calvin Pryor

In 2013, Packers safeties accounted for zero interceptions and led a number of long passes fly over-head.  Veteran Morgan Burnett has shown to be a leader, but even his skills as a ball hawk are limited.  In Pryor, Green Bay would get a player very similar to Morgan Burnett.  However, his speed and range should be enough to significantly improve a secondary that struggled mightily last season.

22nd – Philadelphia: CB Jason Verrett, TCU

The Eagles can share the same luck as the Lions: being able to wait on grabbing supreme secondary talent.  Jason Verrett can very well wind up being the most talented player to come out of this draft.

23rd – Chiefs: Rashede Hageman

The Chiefs are looking to add to their already excellent pass rush, hoping to find a DT to slot in next to Dontari Poe or an end to line up on either side of the line.  Hageman, who is remarkably athletic, presents potential to play either one.  Critics say that on film, he either looks like a top pick or is hardly noticeable.  The Chiefs, given the strength of their current line, could be the team who could handle the “boom or bust” risk he carries and may wind up with a very special player.

24th – Cincinnati Bengals: DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

With Michael Johnson out of Cincinnati, the Bengals have a hole at defensive end.  Ealy, who is among the top ends in the draft, would do well in black and orange stripes.  He could make solid contributions without feeling the pressure to deliver a sack on every play, as the Bengals have several players who could do just that.

25th – Chargers: DT Aaron Donald, PItt

A much improved Chargers team marched right into the playoffs last year for the first time in three years.  Look for them to continue improving their defense with the addition of one of college football’s most productive defenders.

26th – Browns (from Indianapolis): G Xavier Sua’Filo. UCLA

Cleveland already has a decent line, but if they draft a QB, they’ll need to do everything they can to protect him.  Whether it’s Manziel, Hoyle, or anybody else under center, Sua’Filo is the athletic type of lineman a team would need to protect its QB at all angles.

27th – New Orleans: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

The departure of Jabari Greer has left a major hole in a defense which came off its worst year in 2012.  2013 was much improved under new coordinator Rob Ryan, and the athletic Gilbert is just the type of guy to flourish in the new fast-paced system.

28th – Panthers: WR Marqise Lee, USC

Many are shocked to see Steve Smith play in colors other than black and teal.  Now that he is gone, Carolina needs to replenish their receving core in the worst way.  Lee would be the most polished WR choice left at this point.

29th – Patriots: OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

The Pats will be licking their lips if Shazier falls to them at 29.  One of the best linebackers in college, Shazier is a player with mature instincts and supreme ability.  He will provide New England’s unit the type of consistency for which they have been searching.

30th – 49ers: WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

San Francisco has a crop of good wide receivers, but they lack a true speedster.  Odell Beckham Jr. could be the guy they need to stretch the field on third down, stealing covers from Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin, while also giving Vernon Davis an open middle field.

31st – Broncos: S Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

It surprised many that Denver did not try to vastly improve their secondary after 2012’s loss to the Ravens on a couple long tosses.  Instead, they focused on their lines and haven’t looked back.  So far this free agency, they added former Pro-Bowlers DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib, further solidifying the line and finally addressing a piece of their secondary.  Now, they need a Safety who can basically play center field.  Ward provides the type of speed and range they need to take their defense to the next level.

32nd – Seahawks: TE Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Washington

The defending Super Bowl champions have lost their top receiver, Golden Tate, who recently signed with the Detroit Lions.  Rather than spend a first round pick on a wide-out, however, the Seahawks may wish to grab a receiving threat who can equally contribute to the run game.  Sefarian-Jenkins is a physical tight end who could push blockers as much as he could stretch the field.  Injury concerns will keep him on the board until 32, but a team like the Seahawks who can afford to wait on his development is the perfect fit.