2014 NFL Draft:Pre-Playoffs 1st Round Mock Draft


Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A

Before the shenanigans of the off-season talent judging contest, this is the way the draft shakes out to me.

1 Texans – Johnny Manziel QB– Most say Bridgewater. I’m guessing Manziel in a slight shocker. He’s a Texas guy already, he’s exciting, smart, takes chances, and will give the offense a swagger for years.

2 Rams- Jake Matthews OT– The Rams have had a bad history with tackles from #2 pick Jason Smith, to injured Jake Long. That doesn’t stop them from getting Matthews to help this team.

3 Jaguars- Teddy Bridgewater QB– The rebuilding officially starts here. Bridgewater provides an NFL ready QB that is already as good or better than Gabbert or Henne. Only difference is he will be better than both by the end of his first season. Jags fans will rejoice with Bridgewater to Blackmon TD’s.

4 Browns- Blake Bortles QB – Browns swung and missed with Brandon Weeden, and Cutler is off the market. Trading for Kirk Cousins could cost a 2nd round pick, so drafting a player with Bortles upside makes sense. On a side note, I have a feeling Mark Sanchez could end up in a Browns uniform competing for a starting job with Bortles.

5 Raiders – Greg Robinson OT– I’m not sure if Robinson has declared for the draft yet, but if he does he’ll be the 2nd best tackle in it right now. Raiders need a line more than they need another first year QB. This is also my second and final choice for a Sanchez landing spot. A return to California could boost his play. The Raiders have a 3 way competition between Sanchez/Pryor/McGloin for the starting job.

6 Falcons- Jadaveon Clowney DE– Falcons have a great offense, but were killed by injuries and an off-year. They will be the bounce back team of 2014. Clowney is a steal here, and can play LE or RE either replacing Umenyiora, or Massaqui and providing an edge rusher that they desperately need since John Abraham left.

7 Buccaneers- Sammy Watkins WR – The Bucs have a new coach in Lovie Smith. First thing they need is to give young QB Glennon another receiver to make his job easier. Watkins provides more offense to combat the Saints, Falcons, and even Panthers strong offenses. Vincent Jackson has a new buddy.

8 Vikings-Darqueze Dennard CB – Minnesota gave up the most completions, and passing yards in an NFC North that has potent Green Bay, Detroit, and improving Chicago passing attacks. They need a franchise QB, but elect to stop the bleeding in the passing game first with the best corner available since there are no franchise QB’s at this point.

9 Bills- Khalil Mack LB – The Bills are pretty solid in the front 7 despite the fact they are not so good against the run. Nigel Bradham is not the answer and neither is Moats. Khalil Mack from Buffalo is a local guy that will make tackles and put more juice into an improving Bills defense. 10 Lions- Anthony Barr OLB– Lions really need a corner, but they settle for a guy to man the strong side and generate a little pass rush.

11 Titans- Cameron Erving OT – The Titans are well coached, but have a lot of middle of the pack guys. They upgrade with best available, and replace David Stewart while continuing to build that offensive line. 12 Giants – Mike Evans WRHakeem Nicks is going to leave, and the Giants aren’t going to pay a lot for another starting receiver. Evans will give Eli Manning the big receiver at a cheaper price than Nicks, while still letting Victor Cruz get his catches.

13 Rams- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB– This corner fills two needs. He is a replacement for Cortland Finnegan who wasn’t very good this year. He is also a great tackler as evidenced by his 78 this past season. The physical 49er’s and Seahawks require as many good tacklers on the field for St. Louis as possible. He also is a return man. 14 Bears- CJ Mosley ILB – In the second draft steal of the night, the Bears find the future middle linebacker in what the NFL has for MLB university. Mosley has speed, is a leader, and is the first step in rebuilding that defense. Bears will go offensive line and pass rush after that.

15 Steelers- Cyrus Kouandjio OT – Rumor is Emanuel Sanders is leaving and the Steelers need a starting receiver. They can get one later as Kouandjio is the best offensive line prospect available. He will help keep Big Ben upright, and also he will increase a run game that we may see more of next year.

Nov 9, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans receiver Marqise Lee (9) before the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

16 Ravens – Marqise Lee WR – The Ravens will give Eugene Monroe one more season at LT. In the meantime, Torrey Smith needs a reliable receiver opposite him to run good routes and open things up for Ray Rice and friends. Good fit, right place in draft.

17 Cowboys – Ryan Shazier OLB – The Cowboys need help in the secondary, but they also need to stop some people on defense. Shazier is a 3 down LB who can tackle and play either weak or strong side for years.

18 Jets – Jace Amaro TE – Taking a page out of the Patriots book, the Jets grab a 6’6 quick footed pass catching tight end. Instead of addressing WR, the Jets get the best pass catching option with immediate starting potential to improve the passing attack.

19 Dolphins – Taylor Lewan LTRichie Incognito. Jonathan Martin. Neither will be back next year. The Dolphins try to fix the line by drafting a guy from Michigan to play LT. Worked out ok with Jake Long.

20 Cardinals – Hasean Clinton-Dix S – The Cards are strong across the board. They have aging linebackers, but Clinton-Dix offers the best value. Teamed with Mattheau he can play either FS or SS and tackle well. The NFC West is a tough division and athletic tackling DB’s will help the Cards close the gap.

21 Packers – Eric Ebron TEJames Jones might leave as a free agent, and Finley is gone too. This is the 3rd great steal of the night, and Ebron will win a ROY award with Rodgers constantly throwing him the ball.

22 Chargers – Louis Nix DT – The Chargers defense gets a drastic upgrade with 6’2 345 pounds of Louis Nix. Just like Star Lotulelei boosted the play of all the Panthers defenders around him, Nix will eat up blockers and let the pass rushers make plays all over the field. He might have no stats, but watch the pass rush and run defense improve with him on the field.

23 Eagles – Stephon Tuitt DE/DT – The Eagles have been very slowly improving on defense. Tuitt gives flexibility in the 3-4 look or 4-3. Edge rushers like Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham who have been miscast will benefit from Tuitt being drafted by playing their more natural positions in 4-3 fronts

24 Chiefs – Allen Robinson WR – The Chiefs need more offense, as they seemed to have flamed out. They have playmakers in Bowe and Jamaal Charles. Robinson provides big plays and sure hands.

25 Bengals – Vic Beasley OLBJames Harrison is getting older. Beasley provides speed, aggression, pass rushing, and teamed with the current linebackers offers more range on 3rd downs.

26 Browns – Kony Ealy DE/OLB – The Browns have little to no pass rush with their 3-4 scheme, and don’t know what the next coach will want to do scheme wise. Ealy is 275 pounds and runs a 4.7. He played well as a LDE but might be able to stand up as an OLB or stay as a DE depending on what they want to do next.

27 Saints – Trevor Reilly DE/OLB – 6’5 260 pounds with 4.6 speed. He played DE for BYU where he registered 100 tackles, and 8.5 sacks. He can stand up as a pass rushing OLB specialist and help the Saints generate even more of a pass rush next year.

28 Patriots – RaShede Hageman DT/DE– The Patriots like to switch looks a lot, but don’t have a lot of substance up the middle. Hageman is a 6’6 310 pound athletic lineman that can play multiple positions on the line, and remind Pats fans of the old days with Richard Seymour.

29 49ers – Travis Swanson CJonathan Goodwin, the starting center will be 36 years old next season.

30 Panthers – Odell Beckham WR – I think the Panthers will be the team to sign Hakeem Nicks. They have the need, and the cap space. Even if they do, I think they will draft Beckham to replace Steve Smith one day soon.

31 Broncos – Kyle Van Noye LB– What do the Broncos really need? I can’t think of anything but this lets Von Miller came not have to rush back, and gives Denver flexibility if they want to slide Trevathan to MLB.

32 Seahawks – Justin Gibert CBBrandon Browner won’t be back, and the Hawks got along fine without him. They could use a WR, but Gilbert is a playmaker and a good return guy.

That’s my mock. I only expect to get maybe ¼ of these correct since there will probably five or six first round trades. I also expect the Raiders and Vikings to try to trade up for a guy like Blake Bortles or snatch up a Derek Carr or David Fales at the end of the round. The Browns will try to ship their 1st and 3rd round pick to the Rams to trade up to #2 to get whoever is on the board between Manziel and Bridgewater, and the Rams will accept gaining a 3rd rounder and sliding down to 4th and still getting a tackle they wanted.