Thanks for checking out our first mock for the 2014 NFL Draft.
Be on the lookout for our 2014 NFL Draft app, which will provide quality in-depth scouting reports (including 40 times, college statistics and more), rankings, mock drafts and news coverage. In the meantime, follow us on Twitter: @NFLDraft2K14.
You'll notice that there are many underclassmen listed, and at least a few of them have not declared to this point. Our updated mocks in the future will account for changes to the player pool, of course, and will eventually extend to the third and fourth rounds.
You'll also notice there are no running backs in the first 45 picks. It wasn't until the Bengals took Gio Bernard with the 37th pick that a runner was selected a year ago, and this draft likely has no prospects on the level of Bernard or Eddie Lacy. Tre Mason (Auburn, not yet declared) and Bishop Sankey (Washington, declared) are our two favorite runners to go first.
This mock projects three trades: San Francisco (30) moving up with San Diego (22), Oakland (36) moving up with Philadelphia (23), and Tennessee (42) moving up with New England (29).
1. Houston Texans – Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville
You may have seen rumors on Twitter indicating new Houston coach Bill O’Brien prefers Central Florida’s Blake Bortles over Bridgewater. That’s exceedingly difficult to believe.
2. St. Louis Rams (from WAS) – Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina
The evidence for such a belief is elusive, but coach Jeff Fisher evidently still thinks Sam Bradford is good enough as a starting quarterback for St. Louis to advance in the playoffs. Passing on the likes of Johnny Manziel and Derek Carr would be easy at this spot, in that case.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Manziel*, QB, Texas A&M
A lot of draft observers and football fans in general are highly skeptical of Manziel’s ability to succeed in the NFL. A lot of NFL front offices probably feel the same way. That doesn’t mean they won’t be equally tantalized by his electrifying play and considerable marketing potential.
4. Cleveland Browns – Brett Hundley*, QB, UCLA
The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah stated he would be very surprised if Cleveland went for anything other than a quarterback at the fourth pick. He made that statement without the condition of any particular quarterback remaining on the board. Be it Hundley, Carr, Manziel or someone else, a quarterback might be the safest bet.
5. Oakland Raiders – Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
The Raiders are desperate for talent in the front seven, and Barr can change games as an edge disruptor. He also gives them the ability to switch easily between three- and four-man fronts.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix would be tempting here, but Matt Ryan is the team’s top investment, and adding Matthews would be a nice way to aid Ryan’s odds of success.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson
A quarterback will be a tempting pick for the new regime in Tampa, but it would be hard to sell after Mike Glennon’s surprisingly strong rookie year. Watkins would give Glennon a dangerous RAC target to complement Vincent Jackson’s deep-route game.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Another season of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman could hardly be a more nauseating prospect for Vikings fans. Carr would be an easy sell if he fell this far.
9. Buffalo Bills – Jace Amaro*, TE, Texas Tech
Even as the fans chant for in-town hero Khalil Mack, aiding the development of EJ Manuel would remain the top priority for coach Doug Marrone. An optimist can get Jimmy Graham notions while watching Amaro.
10. Detroit Lions – Marqise Lee*, WR, USC
For a team that lives and dies by the passing game, heading into 2014 with Nate Burleson as the No. 2 target isn’t an acceptable proposition. Even after a down year, Lee is a clear top prospect and would excel as a RAC threat while defenses obsess over the threat Calvin Johnson poses downfield.
11. Tennessee Titans – HaHa Clinton-Dix*, S, Alabama
The Titans definitely need a quarterback, but they can trade back up in the late first to get one. They won’t find a rare safety talent like HCD much later than this.
12. New York Giants – Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
Barring a regime overhaul, the Giants will always love collecting pass rushers. They do so even when it’s not a need, but it’s very much a need right now. Jason Pierre-Paul is a free agent after 2014, and Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck might not be in the team’s plans going forward.
13. St. Louis Rams – Kelvin Benjamin*, WR, Florida State
If the Rams really insist on standing by Sam Bradford, then they need to continue aiding his odds of success. Austin Pettis offers nothing, Brian Quick is a disappointment heading into his third year, Chris Givens is a one-dimensional deep threat and Jared Cook is inconsistent. Benjamin is huge (6-foot-5, 235) with athletic traits not terribly dissimilar to Calvin Johnson and Vincent Jackson.
14. Chicago Bears – Louis Nix*, DT, Notre Dame
Nix is a top talent and the Bears are exceedingly desperate for help at tackle, so this would be a dream pick.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cameron Erving*, OT, Florida State
The Steelers need to make bigger investments in their offensive line if it’s to ever improve. Erving has good potential at left tackle. He chops his feet well for a stocky fellow and shows good hustle.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Mike Evans*, WR, Texas A&M
(This pick will be assigned to Baltimore or Dallas based on a coin flip). Even with Marlon Brown’s promising rookie year, the Ravens would be wise to add wideout help to complement Torrey Smith. Evans is slower but much bigger at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, giving the Ravens both a deep-route and red-zone threat.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Hageman figures to kill it during timed drills and workouts, and the Cowboys are suckers for workout athletes. Hagemen does impress on the field, though, and the Cowboys are remarkably desperate for help on the defensive line.
18. New York Jets – Odell Beckham*, WR, LSU
Beckham is an explosive, strong and acrobatic receiver who might be something like a bigger Steve Smith. The Jets need to add pass-catching threats if they’re even vaguely interested in setting up Geno Smith (or the next quarterback) for success.
19. Miami Dolphins – Cedric Ogbuehi*, OT, Texas A&M
The Dolphins need offensive line help. Ogbuehi played right tackle for A&M this year and guard the year before that, but he probably has the talent to translate as one of the top left tackle prospects in this draft, too.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Posting an 10-6 record with Carson Palmer at quarterback probably convinced Arizona they can wait till after the first round to pursue another quarterback. Offensive line would therefore be the more pressing need if the Cardinals believe they can win with Palmer.
21. Green Bay Packers – Eric Ebron*, TE, North Carolina
Ebron has drop issues not unlike Jermichael Finley, but he’s faster and probably can turn into a better blocker in the NFL.
22. San Francisco 49ers (from SD) – Stephon Tuitt, (3-4) DE, Notre Dame
With extra picks in the second and third rounds and very few team needs, the 49ers should seriously consider moving up. Nabbing Tuitt here to eventually replace Justin Smith would be a nice addition, particularly since the conference rival Saints might want him a few picks later.
23. Oakland Raiders (from PHI) – Blake Bortles*, QB, UCF
Nabbing Barr earlier and then a player like Bortles or Brett Smith in this range would go a long way in making Oakland competitive in 2014.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Dennard is mostly expected to go earlier than this, but he has questions to answer about his man coverage skills after largely succeeding as a press-heavy cover-3 corner at Michigan State. Dennard won’t be able to play downhill as much or use as much contact in the NFL.
25. Cleveland Browns (from IND) – C.J. Mosley, (3-4) ILB, Alabama
Mosley is a very talented linebacker who could easily go sooner than this. Cleveland could part ways with the prohibitively expensive D’Qwell Jackson if Mosley falls this far.
26. Kansas City Chiefs – Brandin Cooks*, WR, Oregon State
Cooks can provide Kansas City with an upgrade over both Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster. With fast feet to excel after the catch and the ball skills to make catches deep, Cooks would be a welcome additional dimension to a Chiefs offense that needs to be less dependent on Jamaal Charles in the passing game.
27. New Orleans Saints – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu*, CB, Oregon
The Saints are one of the relatively few teams who haven’t shown any aversion to undersized cornerbacks, so getting Ekrpe-Olomu here would be a nice fit by their standards.
28. Carolina Panthers – Jarvis Landry*, WR, LSU
The Panthers need to take Cam Newton’s development more seriously, and that means adding a lot of wideotu talent right away.
29. Tennessee Titans (from NE) – Brett Smith*, QB, Wyoming
Smith won’t get the press players like Carr and Bortles do, but his film is no less impressive. Playing for a bad team like Wyoming should allow a team in the late first round to get a steal with Smith.
30. San Diego Chargers (from SF) – Vic Beasley*, (3-4) OLB, Clemson
Not much can be expected from Melvin Ingram at this point, and they might even need him to work at inside linebacker at times if Manti Te’o continues to fall flat. Beasley would be a one-dimensional edge rusher to start his career, but it’s a dimension San Diego could use immediately.
31. Denver Broncos – Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
Van Noy would be a great pick for Denver because he can play both as a traditional linebacker and the linebacker-end hybrid role that Von Miller stars in. Van Noy would be a long-term starter inside or opposite Miller, as well as a short-term crutch as a blitzer while Miller recovers from a torn ACL.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
It might take a trade up for Seattle to get at Gilbert, so he’d be a very nice pick at this spot. Suspension troubles for Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond means that adding cornerback help is one of the few needs for Seattle.
33. Houston Texans – Ryan Shazier*, OLB, Ohio State
It’s not clear whether coach Bill O’Brien will keep the 3-4 running in Houston, but Shazier would be a valuable addition either way.
34. Washington Redskins – Davante Adams*, WR, Fresno State
The Redskins could really use a field-stretching wideout to complement Pierre Garcon’s workhorse skill set, but Adams would be a valuable addition despite his lack of great speed. Adams is a big receiver with a standout catch radius who would be a nice security blanket for Robert Griffin as a chain-moving threat and a red-zone target.
35. Cleveland Browns – Allen Robinson*, WR, Penn State
Josh Gordon is a nightmare for opposing defenses, but the Browns need someone else at receiver who can capitalize on the single coverage. Robinson can do that and excel as a possession and intermediate-route target.
36. Philadelphia Eagles (from OAK) – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Chip Kelly is partial to bigger corners outside the slot, but Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher aren’t as good in that role as you’d like them to be.
37. Atlanta Falcons – Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford
Murphy is a bit more lumbering than you’d want for the 3-4 outside linebacker position he often played at Stanford, but his experience standing up is still a plus. He’d primarily work as a 4-3 end in Atlanta, and could earn a starting role.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Austin Seferian-Jenkins*, TE, Washington
Tim Wright looks like a nice pass-catching specialist for the Buccaneers, but he’s not a true traditional starter at the position. Seferian-Jenkins has the talent to be that and more, and he might not fall this far if he tests well enough at the Combine.
39. Jacksonville Jaguars –Zack Martin, G, Notre Dame
Most of the offensive line is a sore spot for Jacksonville, and Martin would likely be a major upgrade as an instant starter.
40. Minnesota Vikings – Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
If the Vikings decide they’re tired of Charlie Johnson, Richardson would be the sort of mauler that would be useful in an Adrian Peterson-led offense.
41. Buffalo Bills – Chris Borland, OLB, Wisconsin
Borland might surprise people in workouts and timed drills, in which case he’d be very intriguing at outside linebacker in a Buffalo defense partial to lopsided alignments. Borland has very underrated edge-rushing ability.
42. New England Patriots (from TEN) – C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
The Patriots would probably prefer Seferian-Jenkins, but Fiedorowicz is an in-line tight end Bill Belichick would appreciate.
43. New York Giants – Bradley Roby*, CB, Ohio State
Roby did not have a good 2013 season for Ohio State, but the Giants need corner help and have shown a willingness to gamble on underachieving but talented players.
44. St. Louis Rams – Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Concerns about Sutton’s size wouldn’t apply much for a team like St. Louis, where he’d be the third man in the rotation behind Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford. Sutton could be a menace inside as offensive lines fixate on Robert Quinn outside.
45. Pittsburgh Steelers – Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
Pittsburgh needs to move on from Will Allen, and Troy Polamalu’s days are obviously numbered. Bucannon’s aggressiveness and unfriendly demeanor make him a perfect fit for Pittsburgh.