The Final, Best, Last & Accurate-ish 2014 NFL Mock Draft, Version 10.0
Just kidding, this is my first mock draft of the year. And last, because making multiple mock drafts is stupid, and because the first round starts at 8pm on Thursday. If you own a TV and watch it, no doubt you’ve been inundated with NFL Draft coverage over the past several months. I actually heard a SportsCenter anchor this week call the draft a bigger deal than the NBA and NHL Playoffs. Riiiiiiight.
OK, so two rules:
1. I won’t try to predict trades, because there won’t be any.
2. I won’t try to predict trades, because every team will make them.
(Hint: the truth’s somewhere in the middle, and no on has time for that.) So without further ado, your TBA 2014 NFL Mock Draft:
#1. TEXANS – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Southern Carolina
Anyone else secretly think he’s picked here for this play, and this play alone? I mean, what do draftniks really know, anyway? What else do they need to see?
#2. RAMS – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Rams last pick from the RGIII trade yields this mauler and future Pro Bowler.
#3. JAGUARS – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Former Buccaneers Head Coach and Head Nightmare Greg Shiano called Watkins the best player in the draft. Hopefully he’s not cursed.
#4. BROWNS – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
That’s right – no Johnny Football here. Where’d he go? Dun, dun, dunnn.
#5. RAIDERS – Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Can the Raiders actually make an intelligent decision and draft the second best defender? I could not be more unsure. #Raiders #amiright?
#6. FALCONS – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
If the Falcons don’t move up for Clowney, I’d expect them to take the most polished OT available to guard Matt Ryan’s valuable backside. At number six, that’s Matthews.
#7. BUCCANEERS – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
All I hear is “Mike Evans this” and “Mike Evans that” when it comes to Tampa Bay. Well guess what? Evans is gone! Somehow, I think Lovie Smith will make due with Donald, a perfect fit for his Tampa 2 defense.
#8. VIKINGS – Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Bortles likes to dink and dunk down the field, and OC Norv Turner likes to splink and splunk. Confusing onomatopoeia aside, it’s a match made in heaven.
#9. BILLS – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
His pending legal issues caused him to fall, but he might be the best OT.
#10. LIONS – Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama
Let’s hope no one laughs at Detroit for this pick (had to). He’s the player Louis Delmas was always supposed to be.
#11. TITANS – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Titans resist Manziel because, well, Jake Locker. Not only was he decent at times last year – Manziel’s a lot like him. Don’t see Whisenhunt wanting that.
#12. GIANTS – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Giants need so many things, but Eli needs help. Enter, Ebron.
#13. RAMS – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
What, you trust Finnegan? Surrrrrrre you do.
#14. BEARS – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Everyone’s saying Aaron Donald, but he’s gone, baby gone by this point. Pryor provides a much needed oomph to the Bears aging secondary.
#15. STEELERS – Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Beckham’s at his best after the play breaks down. So is Big Ben.
#16. COWBOYS – Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
As tempting as Manziel would be to fill NFL’s largest stadium, the Cowboys need pass rushers, and Barr’s the man for the job.
#17. RAVENS – Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
To complete passes, Flacco needs to be on his feet. Martin helps one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines, which allowed 48 sacks last year.
#18. JETS – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Cooks is one of the easiest selections to make – the Jets QB, a man I’ll call Geno Vick, will desperately need a reliable target in 2014 besides Decker. Meanwhile, blazing fast Cooks may be the best route runner in the draft.
#19. DOLPHINS – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
Cyrus Kouandjio is a possibility here, but the combine matters, people. Don’t ask me why, but it does. Moses is the pick.
#20. CARDINALS – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Annnnnd boom goes the dynamite.
#21. PACKERS – Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
They’re not technically rivals, but it sure would be nice having an LB fast enough to catch 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. Shazier ran a 4.38.
#22. EAGLES – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Did no one else see what this guy did in 2012 with an actual quarterback? Tony Siragusa in Depends throws better balls than Lee’s QBs in 2013…(pauses)…yeah.
#23. CHIEFS – Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
The man’s made for the West Coast offense, and Smith and Bowe need help.
#24. BENGALS – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Bradley Roby’s recent off the field troubles cost him. Verrett’s the benefactor.
#25. CHARGERS – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Chargers face Peyton Manning. Twice. They need a cornerback desperately.
#26. BROWNS – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
I don’t know the who, the why, or the how, but I think the Browns trade up from this spot to grab Bridgewater. Call it a hunch, but the Browns have 10 picks to play with, and they need a QB.
#27. SAINTS – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Roby finally catches a break, and it’s from the team with the leadership to spare.
#28. PANTHERS – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
A knee injury and ensuing subpar combine cause Kouandjio to fall, but he may be a steal this late.
#29. PATRIOTS – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
When do the Patriots not go CB in the first round? When Brady is without toys to throw to. Amaro is that toy.
#30. 49ERS – Ra’shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
With Justin Smith at 35, the 49ers need to groom his replacement.
#31. BRONCOS – Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
Say that five times fast. Here’s something simpler: He’s the best guard in the draft. Period.
#32. SEAHAWKS – Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Perfect fit in a physical division.
REMEMBER: All Predictions Wrong, Or Your Money Back. Last year, I guessed six picks correctly – one more than ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr (Bows).