2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT: UPDATED September 18, 2013
1 Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15): QB Brett Hundley, UCLA
This is not a joke—If he continues to play as well as he did on Saturday vs. Nebraska, (in Lincoln) and improves each week, then Brett Hundley will continue to move up the charts and ultimately be the top QB in the draft. Hundley threw for 294-yards and three touchdowns and rushed for an additional 61-yards, leading the Bruins to an impressive 20-point win against the Cornhuskers. The Jags lost to the Raiders, haven’t’ scored a TD this season and look historically bad on offense. In fact, Hundley could play QB for them now.
2. Cleveland Browns (3-13): Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
I said it last week and I will say it again—Brandon Weeden simply is not the man to get the Browns to where they want to be. Cleveland will be forced to select a QB here, which will return the draft to its glory when QB’s and not offensive tackles were selected first and second. Bridgewater –Hundley…Hundley—Bridgewater, shades of Luck or Griffin all over again and like both the Colts and Skins, the Jags and Browns will be winners (eventually) with either pick.
3. New York Jets (4-12): Marquis Lee, WR USC
This pick could be almost anyone, including a pass rusher, which they have spent first rounder’s on in the last three years. If Geno Smith can progress, they will look to get him some weapons and Lee paired with Stephen Hill could be a formidable 1-2 punch. If Clemson progresses as expected throughout the season, this pick could turn out to be Sammy Watkins as well.
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
The Oakland Raiders are playing impressive football this season and appear to have a QB they can move forward with in Terrell Pryor. That means the pick here has to be Jadeveon Clowney, who resurfaced vs. Vanderbilt on Saturday. The junior standout had four tackles; a forced fumble and a sack in the Gamecocks’ 35-25 win over the Commodores. That wasn’t the big story. Clowney told reporters following the game that he would undergo surgery after the season to remove bone spurs from his right foot.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11): Taj Boyd, QB Clemson
The Buccaneers need help on the defensive side of the football but they also need a QB for the future. Josh Freeman may be a good consistent NFL QB one day but that will not happen in Tampa. Mike Glennon is not the answer. Boyd will look good in a different shade of orange and should fit quite nicely in the NFC South with Brees, Newton and Ryan.
6. Minnesota Vikings (5-11): Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA
With a need at linebacker, the Vikings will select Anthony Barr. He has outstanding quickness to go along with the size, which is more than suited for the NFL. He out performed Dion Jordan last year and Jordan went No.3 to the Miami Dolphins. That was his first year trying the defensive side of the football unbelievably. He is a former fullback and should fit right in as a purple people eater.
7. Carolina Panthers (5-11): Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M
It is hard to believe but Jordan Gross will be finishing his 11th season in the NFL, Cam Newton will need to have faith in a blindside protector and Matthews is the best tackle in the draft.
8. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) (6-10): Tyler Lewan OT, Michigan
I would not be surprised to see the Rams trade out of this spot. If the Skins do not get their act together, this could be a top five selection. With that said, Jeff Fisher would love to have another Tackle and Lewan would likely be the pick. Lewan might have leapfrogged Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel to be the No. 1 pick in 2013, if he had entered his name in the draft rather than returned to Michigan. Roger Safford, the current RT in STL, can play any position on the line and would likely move to guard.
9. San Diego Chargers (7-9): Cyrus Kouandjio OT, Alabama
King Dunlap is not the answer at left tackle for the Chargers. Kouandjio will be a great get for the Chargers at No.9 and they will not pass him up. After struggling Vs. VA Tech, the Bama line, led by Kouandjio, helped the rushing attack amass 234 yards and did not allow a single sack. Though he was frequently blitzed, quarterback AJ McCarron was barely touched.
10. Arizona Cardinals (7-9): Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon
It’s my mock draft and I’ll have as many QB’s as I want in the first 10 picks. The Cardinals see firsthand the effect that a signal caller with Mariota’s skill set can bring. In the NFC West, Mariota would take his place alongside Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. He threw for a career-high 456 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for another in Saturday’s blowout win against Tennessee. I also would not be surprised to see Johnny Football work his way into the top 10 before it’s all said and done.
11. Tennessee Titans (7-9): Bradley Robey, CB Ohio State
The Titans looked as if they could have used Robey this past Sunday when DeAndre Hopkins beat them late for a come from behind Houston win in overtime. The Titans seemingly had this game in hand until the secondary collapsed. Robey is a playmaker who can change games and as you saw, the Titans definitely need one. What makes this pick a little more likely is Alterraun Verner is entering his contract year, so Tennessee will need to fill in.
12. Buffalo Bills (7-9): Antonio Richardson, OT Tennessee
EJ Manuel has looked impressive in two games and the Bills will look to ensure his future a bit more by drafting Richardson. The Volunteer OT is a large human being (6’8″, 327 pounds) and physically overwhelming. In July, he said that Jadeveon Clowney was overrated. On Oct 12, we will see, as the two will square off at Neyland Stadium. That matchup could cause a meteoric rise, or fall for Richardson.
13. Detroit Lions (7-9): Loucheiz Purifoy, CB Florida
The Lions would love to get a Tackle but there may not be one left worth drafting this high. If NC’s James Hurst continues to play well he could find himself here but they need help in the secondary and Purifoy will provide that in a division where Aaron Rodgers still reigns supreme. Purifoy is an exceptional athlete and has value as a returner.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-9): Louis Nix III, NT Notre Dame
The Steelers felt good about landing LB Jarvis Jones at No.17 in last year’s draft, but they feel even better when Nix falls to them at No.13. He has not started with a bang but that will change. He has just eight tackles in three games and only one for a loss. At 6-foot 2, 352-pounds, he is a wrecking ball of a nose guard and would be an immediate upgrade over Steve McClendon and a natural fit for Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense.
15. St. Louis Rams (8-8): Ha’Sean Clinton Dix, S Alabama
The Rams drafted T.J. McDonald back in April, but they need more in that tough division. Last Sunday, St. Louis could not do anything to stop Matt Ryan even though Roddy White and Steven Jackson were limited. Dix will continue to play well in Saban’s defense and will improve.
16. Kansas City Chiefs (8-8): CJ Mosley, LB Alabama
Chiefs DC Bob Sutton has to like the prospect of eventually having Nico Johnson, Mosley’s teammate at Alabama, manning the middle in KC’s 3-4 scheme. Despite Texas A&M putting up 42-points, Mosley had an outstanding game against Johnny Manziel. He had 12 tackles vs. the Aggies and chased Johnny Football all day long forcing plays, it’s not Mosley’s fault Manziel completes 90 percent of his Hail Mary’s.
17. New York Giants (8-8) Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
I am guessing the Giants will eventually address their needs in the secondary. If they keep playing the way they have through the first two weeks, they may have a shot to draft the best available player in the secondary. However, the pick here at this point has to Ekpre-Olomu. He anticipates very well and is a huge hitter.
18. Chicago Bears (9-7) Jason Verrett, CB TCU
Verrett is as versatile as they come and could rise above all corners before next May. He smothered receiver Eric Ward (6-0, 205) and tight end Jace Amaro (6-5, 260) at different times last Thursday but it was not enough for TCU to win, but the loss would have been worse if not for Verrett. Despite starting Pro Bowlers at both CB spots, the Bears’ defensive backfield was quickly exposed as being dangerously thin following the early August season-ending injury to Kelvin Hayden.
19. Philadelphia Eagles: (9-7) Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M
Johnny Football is simply amazing and if Alabama couldn’t slow him, he may be gone way before the 19th pick. I still say Chip Kelly and the Eagles want him badly but it’s also likely that Kelly ends with Mariota and either way, that is a win-win for him.
20. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis): DeAnthony Thomas, RB Oregon
He is everything NFL scouts hate to evaluate. He’s too small, looks to be more of a college player than an NFL back….Yada-Yada-Yada……He’s fast and electrifying and will be a better fit in the Browns new up-temp—pistol read-style they will look to play. Trent Richardson is a bruising back that would not have suited the role well.
21. Baltimore Ravens: (10-6) Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson
If Watkins is available and the Ravens do not draft him, it may be a while until you hear Ravens fans screaming out the expression in “Ozzie We Trust”. Watkins is explosive, has strong hands and is tough to tackle, three things the Ravens lack in any of their wide receivers.
22. Dallas Cowboys: (10-6) Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Nothing but huge upside here. His drop from last week has nothing to do with his play but everything to do with how the Redskins are going to finish since I had St. Louis taking him with their pick. Mack may not be worth drafting as high as that pick may end up for the Rams. He is good but he’s raw. He had 10 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss in the Bulls’ five-overtime scare against Stony Brook. Monty Kiffin would love to have his pass rushing talent in Dallas.
23. Miami Dolphins (10-6): Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
Erving’s name will come into the bright lights a bit more, as the next Johnny Manziel —FSU QB Jameis Winston, excels this season. The Dolphins have two guys at 30 on the line and did not do anything to replace Jake Long. With their surprising 2-0 start and Ryan Tannehill’s solid play, they may reconsider building the D-line in favor of looking for younger pass protectors and Erving fits the bill nicely.
24. Atlanta Falcons (11-5) Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame
Tuitt’s fall to 24 would because of quarterback circumstance. There are a few teams drafting higher that would love to have Tuitt. But the talented rich QB and tackle class makes him a victim of draft board circumstance. I originally had the Falcons drafting a TE but Tuitt is too good to pass up to help bolster the Falcons pass rush.
25. New England Patriots (11-5) Mike Evans WR, Texas A&M
Not even Tommy Terrific can do it alone. The Pats future Hall of Fame signal caller does not have enough weapons around him and while Belichick would love to boost up his defensive line here, he may be forced to snag a big-bodied WR like Evans. That’s not a bad thing getting Evans. Belichick and Alabama HC Nick Saban are good friends. Saban can tell him first hand all about the seven passes, 279 yards, and touchdown he witnessed up close and personal last Saturday. On that 95-yard score, he ran away from the Alabama defense.
26. Green Bay Packers (11-5) James Hurst OT North Carolina
Aaron Rodgers was sacked a total of 51 times in 2012 – more than any other NFL quarterback was – and 55 times if you count the playoffs. It eclipsed his previous record of 50 sacks in 2009 and brings his five-year total as a starter to 202. Enter Hurst, or at least another offensive lineman. Hurst handled Jadeveon Clowney pretty well. There are several guards who have been bumped out of the first round because of skill position needs ( David Yawkey & possibly Cyril Richardson) and GB may select one of them nut Hurst would be a better option here.
27. Cincinnatti Bengals (11-5) Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
Roberson is an All-American talent with the skills necessary to step in and play immediately. The trade between the Browns and Colts may make Roberson a real god value pick here, if he is still available.
28. New Orleans Saints (11-5) Kyle Van Noy, OLB BYU
The Saints bled historic yard totals in 2012 and had several holes to fill in the 2013 NFL Draft. They simply were not able to fill them all and did not obtain a pass-rusher until the sixth round with Rufus Johnson. They will look to do so in round one in May and Kyle Van Noy should fall to them here at 28. Van Noy recorded 13 sacks in 2012. After a week off, Van Noy will play in his final Holy War against Utah on Saturday.
Would be a scary thing to see Von Miller (possibly) and Sutton play together on a Broncos defense that seems to be doing just fine without Miller. Sutton was contained by Wisconsin’s massive offensive line Saturday but he is not the first and he will not be the last NFL prospect a Badger O-Line slowed down for a Sat afternoon.
30. San Francisco 49ers (12-4) Colt Lyerla, TE Oregon
What could make the Niners pistol read option offense even more unstoppable and potent, how about having a dangerous dual TE threat similar to what the Patriots employed with Gronk and Hernandez. Scary thought isn’t it. With NFL teams actively seeking Gronk- and Graham-esque flex tight ends, why not grab a tight end that is so flexible that his team occasionally lines him up at tailback?
31. Houston Texans: (12-4) Adrian Hubbard, OLB Alabama
Whitney Mercilus was an excellent addition to Wade Phillips 3-4 last year. Brooks Reed is also a strong contributor on the other side but he will be a FA 2015. The 6’5 252-pound Hubbard is very athletic for his size. A year of grooming can only help, as he immediately boosts special teams’ coverage.
32. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
This is a great pick for the Seahawks. For his career, Johnson has played in 27 games with six starts … Has 52 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks to his credit. He has good speed (Runs at 4.7 40-yard dash despite weighing 295 pounds) and he is good at pressuring the quarterback or plugging a gap against the run. Sounds like a perfect fit (if he’s available) for a team currently willing to employ, as many speed defensive front seven players to chase down Colin Kaepernick for years to come. It is obvious with the Hawks last two wins over San Fran that their defense currently owns the upper hand over Kaepernick and his pistol read option offense. Johnson has been nursing a sore shoulder since the season-opener against TCU, but he seems determined to play through it.