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New Trade NFL Mock Draft

March 27, 2014 in Mock Drafts

As the third week of free agency is underway, NFL draft boards are rapidly changing. College Pro-Days are also having an effect on those same boards. NFL hopefuls are also participating in their universities Pro Day’s.

If your new to the process, Pro Days occur after the NFL combine and are hosted by the colleges the prospect played at. NFL scouts are allowed to come to the school and watch players participate in the events that take place at the Combine. This is done under the belief that players feel more comfortable at their own campus than they do at the Combine, which in turn leads to better performances. College teams that produce a large quantity of NFL prospects generally generate huge interest from scouts and coaches at their Pro Days.

Over the past 10 days, most of the top QB prospects held their Pro-Days and not all of them did as well as expected. Former Louisville signal caller Teddy Bridgewater, whom many draft experts have as the No.1 QB prospect, may have hurt his draft stock with a Pro-Day that was average at best. Within days of Bridgewater’s workout, UCF’s Blake Bortles and Fresno States Derek Carr had workouts that were considered to be better than that of Bridgewater.

2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel threw for scouts today (March 27) and in Johnny Football like fashion impressed the scouts, coaches, as well as a former President. Every team's coaching staff was on hand except the Bears and Browns. More on the Browns skipping the Pro-Day in a few minutes. However, the hype surrounding the 2014 QB class seems to be calming a bit and there are indications that NFL teams in need of a signal caller may not necessarily be ready to overdraft one early and instead may wait and roll the dice with a few of the names that are up coming.

The Texans traded Matt Schaub to Oakland, which on the surface would appear to clear the way for them to take one of the signal callers in May but they signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and while Fitzpatrick is not the answer, he could be a stopgap. Jacksonville, which picks third, re-signed Chad Henne. Oakland, which picks fifth, will have Schaub. Tampa Bay, which picks seventh, signed Josh McCown. In addition, Minnesota, which picks eighth, re-signed Matt Cassel. This simply adds to the drama of the draft and is a big reason why we love the NFL so much—-you simply cannot predict what happens next.

What we know for sure is that the NFL Draft will take place on May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in NY City. With Pro-Days nearing an end and free agency in full swing, here is my latest mock draft. Side note: With only six weeks until the draft, I will include mock trades going forward.

1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB University of Central Florida

How fitting was it that Houston Texans received a sixth round pick in this year’s NFL Draft for QB Matt Schaub after all the pick sixes he threw this past season. What the move does is clear the way for the Texans to select Bortles with the No.1 overall pick in May. Bortles, who was the only top QB prospect to throw at the Combine and looked good doing it, held his Pro-Day on the campus of UCF this past Wednesday. Bortles started by completing his first 10 passes. At 6’-5” and 232 pounds, Bortles has the size NFL team’s love in a QB and he can move in the pocket. He may not have elite arm strength but he can make all of the necessary throws. He showed improvement on the long ball at his Pro-Day and did so even when he missed the long tosses. At the Combine, Bortles was short on the deep ball on a few throws but at his Pro-Day missed them long, which if you have to miss that pass, you would rather over throw it then under throw. As a former OC in New England, Texans HC Bill O’Brien has to like what he sees in Bortles work ethic on and off the field. O’Brien spent five years working very closely with Tom Brady. Tommy Terrific is known for being as prepared as any QB in the history of the game. When asked about Bortles Pro-Day, Obrien said, “It was a good workout. He made all the throws. Shows good footwork. I was impressed.”

2. St. Louis Rams: Mock Trade to Cleveland Browns

2. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

They are a few similarities between the 2012 & 2014 drafts for the Browns. Just two years and amazingly, two administrations ago, Cleveland panicked and traded their fourth overall pick, as well as picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh round to the Minnesota Vikings for the right to draft RB Trent Richardson. Ironically, by trading Richardson in September to Indianapolis, the Browns are able to panic in this draft. Cleveland will likely hand both their fourth and 26th pick in this year’s first round, to the Rams, who would then have three first round picks, for the right to draft what they perceive as a franchise QB in Johnny Manziel. The Browns have one QB worthy of starting on the roster in Brian Hoyer, as Brandon Weeden (Dallas) and Jason Campbell are gone.  It’s not a bad move when you consider the Browns have a solid foundation in place on both sides of the ball and own 10 picks heading into this draft. Cleveland must start winning. They have done well in free agency by adding to the LB corps with Karlos Dansby, the secondary with Donte Whitner and at RB by signing Ben Tate.

The Browns have been a mess as an organization both on and off the field. They have not won more than five games since 2007 and have not been to the playoffs in 14-years. New HC Mike Pettine is the eighth HC since the Browns rejoined the league in 1999. A big reason why the franchise has struggled is poor play at the QB position. Cleveland has had 11 signal callers under center since winning 10 games in 2007 and with the prospect of the Jaguars taking Manziel at three; the Browns cannot afford to lose Johnny Football. The Browns did not interview Manziel at the Combine and they did not attend (coaching staff or GM) his Pro-Day, which Bucky Brooks of NFL.com said was the best of the top rated quarterbacks. The fact that the Browns, which have the fourth overall selection, did not attend Manziel's workout, means nothing. There are plenty of opportunities between now and May 8 for private workouts and interviews. The Browns need a QB and I cannot imagine they risk waiting to later in the first round to grab one—or believe they are willing to roll their franchises dice on Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo. While the new administration may not be as enamored with Johnny Football, they will take him and will do what they have to in order to get him.

No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

The Jags aren’t sweating the QB spot, despite owner Shad Khan, saying the Jags might draft two in May. There is a good chance they may have a chance at Brett Hundley or even Jameis Winston (should he declare) in next year’s draft. Re-signing Chad Henne will do for now or at least until the second round. If you have been paying attention in free agency then you would know that the Jags re-signed DE Jason Babin and then added Ziggy Hood and Chris Clemmons at the position as well. That may also bump Jadeveon Clowney down the board a slot or three. Jacksonville allowed 50 sacks last season, second most in the NFL. Robinson helps correct that number almost immediately. The former Auburn star is a freak in own right. He owns a prototypical frame for playing offensive line in the NFL, including broad shoulders, long arms, a relatively trim waist, thick bubble and tree trunks for legs—all of this and don’t forget he ran a sub five second 40-yard dash at the combine. Amazing for his size. The Jaguars cannot miss on this pick the way they could have with Manziel or Clowney. Even though Robinson won’t sell tickets like the other two could have, he will help put people in the seats eventually when the QB he’s protecting is allowed to make plays from the pocket and the Jaguars can run the ball as they used to in their glory days. They had those glory days because they drafted OT Tony Boselli instead of Steve McNair or Kerry Collins in 1995. It is no coincidence they get back there eventually by selecting another franchise tackle in Robinson.

*previous pick Johnny Manziel

4. St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

According to my mock draft, the Rams move back and still get their man. In addition, they also own multiple first round picks for a second consecutive draft. They could select Sammy Watkins here but with three other picks in the first round, the Rams will get a WR that they will be able to count on a little later—what they won’t get is  a player of Mathews caliber.  Jeff Fisher has never selected an OT in the 17 drafts he has been associated with during the first round but Matthews is no ordinary OT. While most of the hubbub at the NFL combine was on Auburn’s Greg Robinson, I would like to point out that Matthews played in a much more complete offense meaning, Auburn's reliance on the running game provided Robinson few opportunities in pass protection. Fisher knows all about Matthews—but I’m sure you already know that story. Jake is the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, who finished his HOF career playing for Fisher in Houston and Tennessee.  Mathews is good pass protector and possesses a nasty streak when run blocking. He has good balance, feet and hand use, and he plays prepared as an intense worker who carries great NFL bloodlines; aside form dad—his brother and two cousins have played in the league. The Rams have a unique opportunity to actually have a very viable O-line next season. Roger Saffold failed his physical in Oakland and has returned, re-signing with St. Louis. Even with Jake Long coming off a serious late season knee injury, Saffold gives Fisher flexibility along the line if he selects Matthews.

No.5 Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

When you look at what the Raiders have done in free agency, they do not appear to be a team looking to the future. In fact, the Raiders appear to be building a team that wants to win this season.  They need a young QB and can still get one later in the draft but they traded for Matt Schaub this week and now must surround him with some weapons. The Raiders addressed the mess at Tackle when they signed Donald Penn and will now pair him with former NY Jets, Austin Howard. The duo will protect the former Texans signal caller. The Raiders also signed former Packer wideout, James Jones. Watkins is great pick for Oakland. The Former Tiger hauled in 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 TD’s last season for Clemson. He’s a playmaker from the word go. He plays bigger than he measures, runs bigger than his listed size, and has always had explosive speed. He fights through contact to make plays for the ball, and once he has it, he's devastating after the catch and is a player that when the Raiders actually decide to get younger, can rebuild around.

*previous selection Derek Carr

No. 6 Atlanta Falcons: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney wants to be drafted by the Atlanta Falcons. Whether or not he actually lasts until this pick is the biggest question of the early part of the first round. I believe this is as early as Clowney deserves to go and in my opinion, this is too high given all the red flags. Draft history is littered with physical freaks that never panned out and Clowney could be another. The red flags he produced in his final year at South Caroline outweigh his performance. Clowney showed at the combine why he could be a top 5 pick when he posted a 40-time of 4.53 seconds. At 6’5” and 266 pounds, that feat is truly remarkable. He also posted a vertical jump of 37.5 inches and a broad jump of 10’4” (124 inches). However, questions were raised and excuses made when it came to the bench press as Clowney put up 21 reps of 225 pounds. Clowney’s reps on the bench press ranked him tied for 33rd among defensive linemen. Cody Latimer, a 215-pound wide receiver from Indiana, pushed the same weight up 23 times. Pat O’Donnell, a 220-pound punter from Miami, also did 23 reps. After setting South Carolina’s single-season record for sacks (13) and tackles for loss (23.5) during his sophomore season of 2012, Clowney finished sixth in the Heisman balloting. In 2013 he wasn’t in shape to start the season and failed to overcome double-teams and offenses that game-planned seemingly strictly for him, Clowney failed to live up to the hype as he posted only three sacks in 11 games and had 11.5 tackles for loss. The sack total drop off was almost a 76 percent decrease while he fell off just more than 50 percent in tackles for loss. His head coach Steve Spurrier, who knows a thing or two about getting to the NFL, questioned Clowney at every turn this season—including his work ethic. If 2013 was the exception rather than the rule with Clowney, than Atlanta has hit a home run.  Speaking to ESPN, Clowney recently said, “I wish they (Falcons) could trade up for me but I hope I don’t fall to No. 6. I like Atlanta – a lot. They’re pretty good. They’ve got some guys from South Carolina on the team, also. And it’s close to home." Doesn’t sound like Clowney has been eating much humble pie.

*previous pick Greg Robinson

No 7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, DE / OLB Buffalo

Lovie Smith, who began his NFL coaching career with Tony Dungy in Tampa helping to develop the “Tampa 2” will build this team with defense first. Mack is a great fit in Tampa. He’s fast and versatile and he loves to hit, all traits Smith loves in a LB.  Mack was the all-time leader in FBS history with 16 forced fumbles and tied for the all-time lead with 75 career tackles for loss over his career. Mack is a dark horse candidate for No. 1 overall with the Texans and would be a steal here. The versatile skill-set Mack brings to the table and the numbers he produced in college should have him drafted ahead of Clowney—but it won’t happen. He has experience lining up all over the front seven, possesses a relentless motor, and feeds off the energy of the game. He was a four-year starter (48 career starts) and didn't miss a game due to injury in college. Mack played his best against the better competition in college with big games vs. Ohio State and Baylor.

No.8 Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB Fresno State

The Vikings really need help on the defensive side of the football, especially when you consider that Jared Allen will be playing somewhere else next year. Their secondary was better than only the Dallas Cowboys, which means it stunk. New head coach Mike Zimmer is a defensive minded coach—-so this has to be a defensive selection—right!—well maybe not—They were just as bad at the QB position last season as well as Christian Ponder struggled eventually losing his job to Matt Cassell. The Vikings even signed Josh Freeman, who couldn’t hit water if he fell out of boat in his first start, thus ending that experiment. Minnesota signed Cassel to a new deal this offseason and it's possible Christian Ponder could be dealt to the Cleveland Browns or Jacksonville Jaguars if the Vikes decide to draft a quarterback with this pick. Reports are starting to surface that GM Rick Spielman is looking at as many as 10 signal callers and may be willing to wait until the second round to get his QB. San Jose State’s David Fales, and Jimmy Garoppolo could be in the mix for Spielman. Knowing what we know about today’s pass happy NFL and with Minnesota moving into a new stadium in two years, that they wouldn’t to start grooming a franchise QB now. Carr could and should be that guy. Despite battling the flu, Carr had a solid Pro-Day last week. He hit on 56 of 63 passes and impressed Vikings new OC Norv Turner. “Obviously, he was very impressive today,” Turner said, via the AP.  “He came out and showed he has a strong arm, very accurate, he made all the throws.  He had a heck of a workout.”

*previous pick: Khalil  Mack

No.9 Buffalo Bills: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan State

Despite the recent news that Lewan has been charged with two accounts of assault and battery and one count of aggravated battery stemming from an incident in December with two Ohio State fans, I don’t see his slide way down the board as many are projecting. The Bills allowed 48 sacks of their QB’s last season, including 28 of their rookie QB, EJ Manuel, in just 10 games. Cordy Glenn has become a stud at LT, earning high praise from Pro Football Focuses grading system—but they need help at right tackle, as The Bills could also look to trade back and replace safety Jairus Byrd, earning extra picks but Lewan and Gordy would give the Bills and Manuel piece of mind. What Manuel really needs, besides to be upright, are a few more weapons at his disposal but again, the Bills could address that later. They will not find a Taylor Lewan however, and will not pass him up. Rob Rang of CBS Sports points out that in head coach Doug Marrone's first season at the helm, he showed off his preference for a ball-control attack, making controlling the line of scrimmage paramount to success. Few are better there than Lewan, who starred for four seasons at left tackle with the Wolverines but may be even better suited to the right side because of his length and aggression.

*previous pick: Sammy Watkins

10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State

I go back and forth between Dennard and Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State. Dennard seems to be the better fit in Detroit. A native of Dry Branch Georgia, Dennard played his college ball at Michigan State and won the Jim Thorpe award last season as the best DB in college football. As a the three-year starter, Dennard enjoyed his best season in 2013, allowing just three receptions (on 31 attempts) of 15 yards or more to be completed. He recorded 14 pass break ups, including four interceptions. These numbers are similar to the production he enjoyed in 2012 (10 PBUs, three interceptions), speaking to the consistency with which he's become so highly regarded by NFL scouts. Dennard is a smart physical player, which makes up for his lack of straight-line speed. His competitiveness extends to the running game and in an era of cover corners, Dennard plays the run very well. He will be an immediate upgrade in a Lions defense that ranked 23rd vs. the pass and has blown numerous fourth quarter leads during the past two seasons.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA

The Titans need a safety and were not a threat on the first day of free agency when four of them signed elsewhere. They also need a hybrid edge player to shine in new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 4-3 / 3-4 scheme. Barr only produced 15 reps of 225 pounds at the combine and while his strength may be in question, what you simply cannot overlook is the ceiling Barr possesses, as well as his versatility. It is well documented he began his career as a running back and then exploded in 2012 in his first season on the defensive side of the ball. He backed it up with another great year in 2013, including 65 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles, earning him the Lott IMPACT Trophy. According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Barr’s burst and bend around the corner, make him an immediate threat as 3-4 rush linebacker or potential conversion to defensive end in the 4-3. In other words, perfect for Horton and the Titans. Besides, Tennessee is going to need someone chasing down Andrew Luck, and Johnny Manziel. Johnny football you say—It is likely that either the Texans or Jaguars land the duel threat QB with two of the top three picks in the draft.

12. NY Giants: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina

The NY Giants need help in the secondary and addressed the need by signing Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and adding backups Walter Thurmond and safety Quentin Demps. After losing Joseph Linval and Justin Tuck, they could use some help on the d-line and rushing the passer. With only 34 sacks in 2013, the G-Men were a mere flash of what they were when sacking the QB on their way to winning two of the last six Super Bowls. They also addressed their linebacking corps when they re-signed Jon Beason and plucked Jameel McClain away from the Ravens.  They also signed G Geoff Schwartz from Kansas City, which will help a running game that finished 29th in the NFL. They could still use a tackle for the future but with Taylor Lewan off the board, the Giants won’t reach to grab the second tier of tackles such as Cyrus Kouandjio. They can add a playmaker for Eli Manning and TE Eric Ebron could be just what the Giants offense needs. With Brandon Myers now in Tampa Bay, the Giants have only Larry Donnell to play the position and he has just three career receptions. The former Tar Heel makes perfect sense. Ebron caught 40 passes for 625 yards and four touchdowns in a breakout 2012 season, setting school records for a tight end in both categories. He earned second-team All-ACC honors and caught at least two passes in all 11 games. This past season he raised the bar establishing school records for single-season receptions (62), single-season receiving yards (973), career receptions (112) and career receiving yards (1,805) at the position.  Ebron has the ability to create big yardage after the catch, which would fit in nicely with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s plans. Ebron compares to the 49ers Vernon Davis—bot are freaky athletic specimens that play move like wide receivers, but have the size and length of tight ends to create mismatches in coverage.

*previous pick Taylor Lewan

13. St. Louis Rams: Mike Evans WR Texas A&M     

With 12 plus million dollars of cap space entering free agency, the Rams did not seem overly concerned with trying to get safety help, which many experts say they must have. I have them addressing the OL with their first pick. They still may be able to grab a safety at No.26 but this pick will be about getting the offense. Enter the big-bodied Mike Evans, who will be quite the compliment to the Rams speedy receiving corps. Evans is deceptively fast himself (just ask Alabama) and with 147 receptions, 2,427 yards and 17 TD’s in two seasons, dominated SEC defenses during his brief stay at Texas A&M. At 6-5 and 231 pounds, Evans possesses great size and after watching his workouts at the combine, a great deal of surprising athleticism to match. I would not be surprised if the Rams traded back again. There are a few teams that may want to ensure they fulfill dire needs.

14. Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald: DT Pittsburgh

The Bears were horrific at stopping the run last season. Ranked dead last in the NFL, Chicago allowed 400 more yards on the ground than did the second worst rushing defense, the Atlanta Falcons. No player has improved his stock more since the end of the season through the scouting process than Aaron Donald. He was a standout all week at the Senior Bowl and he absolutely killed at the combine. He ran an amazing 4.66- 40 yard dash and was a top performer in a lot of tasks. He's shorter than prototype size, but he has long arms, a powerful upper body and creates a lot of big plays with his anticipation and quickness. Both he and FSU's Timmy Jernigan dominated the ACC this past season and both are good fits as a 3-technique player but Donald is a much better finisher as a pass-rusher, according to NFL talent  evaluators such as Todd McShay of ESPN and Rob Rang of CBS Sports.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State

As the revolving door that is NFL free agency continues to spin, so does the needs of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  As usual, the list of players leaving is far longer than the arrivals. The Steelers did address one need when they signed safety Mike Mitchell from the Carolina Panthers. No need to worry, they are still plenty of needs in the Steele City. After a few less than stellar overall drafts and the usual holes free agency leaves in Pittsburgh, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has a ton of positional holes to fill. A primary issue is at cornerback, where William Gay was the only pass defender to log an opponent passer rating under 88.1 — Ike Taylor, who had the most passing snaps of any Steelers’ cornerback, allowed a 110.6 passer rating and six touchdowns with no picks. Gilbert was a 2013 Second Team All-American, First Team All-Big 12 and a Jim Thorpe Finalist while finishing the year tied for third in the FBS with seven interceptions, returning two of them for touchdowns. Gilbert is the top rated Cornerback on many draft boards. At 6 feet, 202 pounds, Gilbert has good size and plenty of speed. He was clocked in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.38 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

*previous pick: Eric Ebron

16. Dallas Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan, DT Florida State

The Cowboys defense was ranked last in the NFL last in 2013 and from the defensive front seven to the deepest part of the secondary, massive upgrades are needed. Not being able to convince DeMarcus Ware to restructure his contract leading to his release certainly does not help. It is safe to say, or maybe not, knowing Jerry and his boys, the Cowboys should almost certainly be using most of their eight picks in this draft on defensive players. The smart play is to trade back and accumulate more picks. Dallas could also use a little help on the O-line but have hit on their past two first-round picks on the offensive line in Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, this after not previously drafting one in the first round in the Jones era. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli hopes Dallas adds pieces to its front seven this offseason and the departure of Ware will force the Cowboys to grant him his wish instead of hard-hitting safety. FSU’s Timmy Jernigan would be a nice start. Jernigan has a powerful frame that makes him well suited to handling interior duties in the 4-3 or 3-4 alignment and has a huge ceiling. He is a good value as 3-technique DT for Dallas and after last year, the “Boys” need all of the help and value they can get.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, RT Notre Dame

The Ravens are quietly filling holes in free agency and doing so by continuing to get good value. Just in the past few days, Baltimore signed safety Darian Stewart from the Rams and on Sunday, signed center Jermey Zuttah from Tampa Bay. Zuttah lacks consistency but he’s an upgrade over Geno Gradkowski. That leaves right tackle as the big hole on the line and Notre Dame’s Zack Martin fills it quite nicely. With the exception of WR Steve Smith, the irony in this offseason for the Ravens is that after going 8-8 and missing the playoffs one year after winning the Super Bowl, Ozzie Newsome and company seem content on re-signing their own players, after watching last offseason, as no less than nine starting contributors form the champion team signed elsewhere. The Ravens feel former Panther Steve Smith is a piece not an answer and have to know that they need the big bodied WR Newsome promised Ravens fans this offseason. What they need more is help on the O-line. Center and right tackle being the biggest areas of concern. Usually at this point of the draft it would be best player available for Baltimore but help that is not a luxury this year. According to Pro Football focus, the Ravens finished 2013 with the fourth worst O-Line in the NFL. Re-signing Eugene Monroe at the price they got him for was a real value and the duo should help drastically cut down on the 48 sacks QB Joe Flacco suffered last season, which was the second most of any starting signal caller in the league. Many feel Martin’s squareish frame and 32 1/4-inch arms will earn him a projection inside to guard but his versatility gives the Ravens more options than does a Cyrus Kouandjio, who may be another Michael Oher. Regardless of where he lines up, Martin plays with the controlled aggression—-controlling opponents with excellent strength. Martin was the best player on the field in Mobile according to many NFL scouts and is the type of player in terms of versatility the Ravens love to have on their roster.

18. NY Jets: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

The addition of Eric Decker does not mean the Jets are done at the WR position. In fact, signing Michael Vick to battle Geno Smith tells me the Jets will be looking to add playmakers. The Jets were one of only three teams not pass for 3,000 yards last season and not all of the blame for that horrendous stat in today’s NFL belongs to QB Geno Smith. To say his options were limited during his rookie season would be understating the issue by more than a little. What the addition of Decker does do is remove the need for the big-bodied WR such as a Marquis Lee. Although having two big wideouts with the way defensive backs are getting bigger and faster isn’t a bad idea, the Jets should look for a playmaker with speed. Luckily for them, this draft has a few at the position and with a 4.33 40-yard dash time, no WR was faster at the combine than Brandin Cooks at the NFL Combine. In fact, Cooks won 100k from Adidas for being the fastest player wearing a pair of the company’s shoes. The former Beaver and 2013 Biletnikoff winner, as the nation's top receiver, also showed surprising strength with 17 reps on the weight bench. With Decker and Cooks plus Stephen Hill & Jeremy Kerley, the Jets could be well on their way to being a playoff team—that is if Vick has one more magical year in him or Smith can take a step forward. Finishing 8-8 with the offense the Jets put on the field last season has to be one of the most underrated accomplishments of the 2013 season.

19. Miami Dolphins: CJ Mosley, LB Alabama

Despite signing Branden Albert, the Dolphins still need an offensive tackle and could trade back to get a good one but the ones left aren’t worth taking here. They also signed guard Shelly Smith, which will help the Dolphins poor rushing attack. The Dolphins have taken a few hits in free agency on defense and could use some help stopping the run. Mosley was a three-year starter at Alabama and virtually be a coach on the field. His athleticism, range and quickness makes him a three-down linebacker, and his size (6-foot-2, 234 pounds) hints he's a good fit for any scheme. Mosley is constantly around the ball, which explains the back-to-back 100-plus tackle seasons he produced at Alabama. He'd immediate push for a starting spot, allowing the Dolphins to move Dannell Ellerbe to weakside linebacker.  Mosley lacks the bulk scouts want in a pass rusher, but his awareness in coverage is special. Mosley has undergone multiple surgeries (knee, shoulder) over his career and could be the latest Alabama player to receive medical red flags from some evaluators. Look for the Dolphins to address their anemic offense in rounds two and three.

*previous pick: Cyrus Kouandjio

20. Arizona Cardinals: Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S Alabama

The Cardinals have filled some draft needs in free agency. They signed OT Jared Veldheeer and CB Antonio Cromartie. Safety is also a need and getting Clinton-Dix at No.20 could be value of the first round. Clinton-Dix possesses the fluidity, instincts and ball-skills (seven interceptions in 19 career starts) to be the draft's best coverage safety. However, he is not without red-flags. He tends to shine in spurts and lacks some consistency rather than take over certain passing situations, as he could be capable of. He did not have a great combine and it is also worth noting that since Nick Saban took over at Alabama in 207, seven DB’s have been selected, four in the first two rounds. Only Dre Kirkpatrick has experienced much success. With that said, the Cardinals have Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie at the corners, and eventually, a healthy Tyrann Matthieu to pair with Clinton Dix. It may not be what division rival Seattle is putting on the field at the moment but it’s a hell of a start.

*Previous pick: Darqueze Dennard 

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville

The Packers were equally inept stopping the run (25) and defending the pass in 2013 (24). So far, this offseason, GM Ted Thompson signed an aging Julius Peppers away from division rival Chicago and re-signed CB Sam Shields, as well as DT BJ Raji. They drafted DE Datone Jones with their first round pick last year and I would not be surprised if GB chose to select another D-lineman with this pick. With that said the Packers need help at safety and having their pick of the safety litter will be too good to pass up. Alabama’s Ha-Ha Clinton Dix and Louisville’s Calvin Pryor are the top two safety prospects in the draft class. Pryor is more physical than Clinton Dix and that could be the deciding factor for his pick over the Tide safety in the very physical NFC North. Both posted identical 4.58 40-yard dash times at the combine while Pryor had a better vertical and put up 7 more reps on the weight bench than did Clinton Dix. The Packers did not record an INT from the safety position for the first time in more than 50 years in 2013. After passing on the safeties in the 2013 draft class, which produced nine safeties that started at least eight games during their rookie season and 10 of the 23 selected snagged at least one interception—- GB won’t make the same mistake twice. Pryor had 69 tackles (5½ for a loss) during his junior year with three interceptions and two forced fumbles.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Mock Trade With San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have 11 picks in the 2013 draft and need to draft a top tier WR. This deal to move up eight spots would include the first rounder (30), one of their third round picks, most likely their second one (94) and their fifth rounder (170). The deal is nearly identical to the one that was made between the Falcons and Rams last season for the same two spots. The Eagles will still be able to get a guy that can help their NFL worst pass defense in 2013 at No.30 in a player like Northern Illinois Jimmie Ward plus pick up two extra picks in this year’s draft.

22. San Francisco 49ers: Marquis Lee, WR USC

With the Jets taking Brandin Cooks, the Niners know they must pounce to grab a talent like Marquis Lee. San Francisco was one of only two teams to run the ball more than they passed it last season and while that was good enough for nearly another trip to the Super Bowl, getting Collin Kaepernick more weapons to throw to must be a priority. A nagging left knee injury slowed Lee for much of the 2013 season. The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner was also hurt by the poor QB play at USC. When finally healthy in the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State, Lee showed off his playmaking ability, catching seven passes for 118 yards and two scores. He wasn’t great at the combine, which is why I have Cooks over him. At his Pro-Day, Lee did not try to improve on a rather slow 4.52 40-yard dash time from the combine. Nevertheless, Harbaugh knows what kind of talent Lee is and the Niners cannot hold onto these picks forever. If they do not draft Lee, the Chiefs or Panthers will before them.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham Jr., WR LSU

The Chiefs lost two good guards in free agency (Jon Asamoah & Geoff Schwartz) and have yet to land an impact wide receiver; Beckham fills the need at Wide out and will be a good compliment to the bigger Dwayne Bowe.  Andy Reid has always preferred West Coast concepts as the driving force behind his offenses but he also wants a deep vertical threat to take the top off the coverage. And from start to finish, there is no better and more versatile speed receiver in this class than Beckham. He tore it up at the scouting combine, running a 4.43 40 and nailing it in all the drills. Add in his value as a return man, and Beckham could redefine Reid’s offense sooner than later. He’s considered a poor man’s Sammy Watkins in a very respectable sense and should find success almost immediately in KC with teams looking to stop RB Jamal Charles and Bowe first.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Dee Ford, DE. Auburn

The Bengals have been draft darlings the past two years and would be well on their way to having another solid draft if Dee Ford ended up in the Queen City. Cincy must replace Michael Collins and Ford could be that guy. As his undersized frame and 40 time (4.67) suggest, Ford relies on his burst off the snap to gain the corner against offensive tackles. He accelerates smoothly and is flexible enough to bend around the corner as a pure speed rusher. He is a perfect fit in N.O as he his respected by coaches and teammates, Ford finally became an obvious force to the rest of football in 2013 as an undersized edge rusher, finishing the regular season with 12.5 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks. He earned first-team All-SEC honors from the league's coaches and the Associated Press and had an outstanding week at the Senior Bowl. Speaking of the Senior Bowl, Ford impressed during the weigh-in and was virtually unstoppable off the edge during the practices, showing burst, bend and closing speed. He was the most dynamic player on the field during the game, recording two sacks and timing a leap to knock down a pass to earn MVP honors.

25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB TCU

Ranked 29th in the NFL last season, San Diego's pass defense was one of the worst in the league in 2013.This forced the Chargers to get rid of free-agent bust Derek Cox and Johnny Patrick after just one season with the team. Of the four corners remaining on the active roster, Shareece Wright is the only one with starting experience. In free agency, the Chargers added former Cincinnati Bengal Brandon Ghee on a two-year deal. While Ghee has spent four years in the NFL, he lacks starting experience and is injury prone. Verrett isn’t very big at just 5-9 and 190 pounds but he’s physical for his size and tied for the third best vertical at the NFL combine amongst cornerbacks. Scouts label him as scrappy and tenacious, making him an ideal nickel corner with the tackling ability to threaten on an occasional blitz. He also impressed with his speed in Indy, running a 4.38 40-yard dash. But he also scared a few teams announcing that he will undergo surgery after his pro day to repair a torn labrum. It won’t be enough to scare the Chargers who desperately need help in the defensive backfield and when you consider that Peyton Manning and the Broncos are reloading for another run, Verrett may not be the only DB the Chargers select in May.

26. St. Louis Rams (from Cleveland from Indy) Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

The Rams have made it clear that Sam Bradford is their guy—–but they haven’t ponied up an extension for him as of yet either. Back in February, CBS Sports' Jason LaCanfora reported that the Rams "have no intention of extending" Bradford's current contract, the $76 million deal he signed as the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. A source form the Rams would later say they are open to an extension for Bradford, who is due $27M over the next two years. A longer deal would still be a surprise to many, because adding guaranteed money beyond the current deal would make it very difficult for the team to part with Bradford. Enter Bridgewater, who for much of the 2013 season was the No.1 consensus to be the first QB selected. His impressive production, passing accuracy and leadership seemed to standout despite weaker competition and even over the playmaking skills of Johnny Football in the SEC. Weaker competition or not Bridgewater’s QB skills cannot be denied but there are a few concerns. His frame seems slight and even if he bulks up, durability might be an issue as he lacks that innate feel and smooth athleticism to move in and out of pocket. Although he’s quick, Bridgewater has a lower than ideal release point with the ball shooting passed his ear. Some durability concerns after all the hits he has taken over his career, specifically to his wrist and ankle. He's mobile enough to extend plays, but isn't a true dual-threat quarterback.

27. New Orleans Saints: Kony Ealy, DE Missouri

The Saints significantly improved their defense with new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan at the helm. In fact, no team in the history of the league had a better turnaround in terms of yards allowed and not allowed from one season to the next. The addition of players like Jairus Byrd means the defense stands to get even better next year. The Saints still need an outside edge rusher, who can wreak havoc in the backfield and create turnovers. Ealy is a perfect fit for a DC like Ryan, who loves versatility. He led all defensive linemen at the combine with a 6.83-second time in the 3-cone drill, a test designed to show change-of-direction ability, and shaved over a fifth of a second off of his combine 40-yard dash time (4.92) at his pro day (4.70). He is a bit raw but has drawn comparisons to Robert Quinn of the Rams. All Quinn did was finish second in the NFL with 19 sacks in 2013. According to Rob Rong of CBS Sports, "there is no denying Ealy's upside. He boasts the length, burst and developing technique that every scout is looking for off the edge. If he continues to develop his game, Pro Bowls are in his future."  Ealy is a highly versatile defender who projects well to the 4-3 and 3-4 alike.

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State

This is perhaps the biggest layup of the first round when you consider the following. The Panthers have watched their top four receivers from a year ago walk away this offseason. Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn and Domenik Hixon all have new teams. That's a combined 156 receptions, 1,983 yards and 15 touchdowns. That represents 53.4 percent (receptions), 58.7 percent (receiving yards) and 62.5 percent (TD passes) of Cam Newton's 2013 production. Those receivers also combined for all but 55 yards and four catches of the receiving production in the playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Benjamin is the best of the remaining first rounder’s and he isn’t a bad option here at 28. I’m not as sold on him as most but he is a big target for Cam Newton. At 6-5 and 240 pounds, Benjamin has rare size and is a physical mismatch vs. defensive backs and linebackers. He will not easily be knocked off course and will enter the middle on crossers and coupled with his outstanding jump ball catching abilities, could give the bigger NFC corners fits. He isn’t as strong as I’d like for his size, but he still has a lot of maturing to do and he isn’t what you would call fast– but speed when it comes to the WR position is overrated when you possess the size of Benjamin.

29. New England Patriots: Louis Nix III, DT Notre Dame

The play of DT’s Aaron Donald and Timmy Jernigan coupled with Nix’s knee injury drops him into the lap of Bill Belichick, who just so happens to have DT, as one his team’s biggest needs. Knee surgery cut short his 2013 season and he prepared for the combine at EXOS (formerly Athletes' Performance Institute) in Phoenix. Despite less than average times, his conditioning and confirmed recovery made him one of the combine's "big" winners. When healthy, he has proven to be the best run-stoppers in the draft. At 6-2 and 331 pounds, he is bigger than both Jernigan and Donald and when healthy has as much if not more athleticism. He is a steal for the Patriots at 29. 

30: Philadelphia Eagles: Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio State     

The story here is to wait and see what the Eagles do with DeSean Jackson. The Eagles bold and outspoken WR has told anyone that will listen he is not going anywhere but do the Eagles feel the same way. Head coach Chip Kelly acknowledged Wednesday that he spoke with wide receiver DeSean Jackson "a couple days ago" regarding swirling reports that Jackson could be traded or released, but when he was peppered with questions by the media at the NFL owners meetings, Kelly did not quash those reports by ensuring Jackson would be with the club in 2014. "We've had a good conversation, and we're always going to do what's best for the football team," Kelly said. "But I think he knows where we are, and I know where he is”. If Jackson is traded, the Eagles will look to replace him but if he’s there, then Shazier could be the pick. At 6-1 and 237 pounds, Shazier does not have ideal size but his instincts, speed and hard hits make him a fearful defender that offenses must account for on every snap. Shazier, whose 143 tackles, including 22.5 tackles for loss, not only led the Big Ten last season, they combine to rank among the best seasons from any Buckeye defender over the past 25 years.

Previous pick: Ha-Ha Clinton Dix

31. Denver Broncos: Bradley Robey, CB Ohio State

The Broncos have made quite a splash in free agency signing players such as DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and Emanuel Sanders. All address major needs for Denver. With that said, it’s safe to say Denver learned something from their loss to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl; you can never have too many good players in your secondary. The Broncos paid top dollar for Talib but with the talented cornerback having never played a full season in his seven-year NFL career, Denver would be wise to add to the position in the draft. Roby was not as consistent in 2013 as scouts would like but he is a terrific athlete whose best football may still lie ahead of him. Some team is going to gamble on his upside in the first round and none better to roll the dice than Denver. With a 4.39 40-yard time at the combine, Roby has world-class speed with the click-and-close ability to play tight coverage and mirror receivers all over the field. He possesses a good fighting attitude to battle for the ball but he lacks consistency and seemed to disappear from big moments in some games but he wasn’t alone on the Buckeyes defense in 2013.

*previous pick: Ryan Shazier 

32. Seattle Seahawks: Jace Amaro, TE Texas Tech

Amaro has the potential to be a very special player in the NFL. You know he can catch, as his 106 receptions for 1,356 receiving yards and seven touchdowns will attest to but he can also block. At 6-5, 257 pounds, Amaro has the frame to block and did so more than adequate in his second year in 2012 in the offense of Tommy Tuberville. He was the fourth fastest TE at the combine and showed good strength in finishing second with 28 reps on the weight bench amongst the players at his position. Seattle needs another WR with  the loss of Golden Tate but Amaro will do just nicely as the Seahawks look to ramp up their passing attack a tad in 2014.

 

 

User Submitted On The Clock Entries Feb 7th

February 7, 2014 in Mock Drafts

Here are the three of the best user submitted Mock Drafts of the week. Thank you again for the feedback and all the great mocks to choose from. There were over 1,500 entries this week and it was fun reading through all of them throughout the week.

Many could be considered for this post, and I apologize if you weren't picked. Thanks again for the submissions and don't forget to keep mocking!

 

Mock 1: Trey – Dallas Cowboys            christianjones

Link to Mock: 

 

16 DE KONY EALY

MISSOURI

 

47 DE TRENT MURPHY

STANFORD

 

78 ILB CHRISTIAN JONES

FLORIDA STATE

 

115 DT DAQUAN JONES

PENN STATE

 

146 QB A.J. MCCARRON

ALABAMA

 

206 S NICKOE WHITLEY

MISSISSIPPI STATE

 

208 OLB DENICOS ALLEN

MICHIGAN STATE

 

215 WR SHAQ EVANS

UCLA    

 

Why I like it:

I really like what Trey did in this mock as it addresses the Cowboys biggest needs. Landing Kony Ealy in the middle of the first round and then adding Trent Murphy one round later, not only shows a focus for this season, but a look towards the future as well. DeMarcus Ware has been tremendous for the Cowboys, but there could be a time in the next couple years where he either retires or Dallas is forced to let him walk due to his contract. Adding two pass rushers here helps prepare Dallas for that day. Also, Murphy can be used immediately as a situational rusher on passing downs. Ealy is a bigger defensive end and could move inside on passing downs to allow for another edge rusher.

Grabbing Christian Jones in the 3rd round is another great pick-up for the Cowboys. He's capable of playing any linebacker position and can rush the quarterback as well. He could line up at SLB for the Cowboys and used as a blitzer as well. He's got great versatility and should help make an impact on the Cowboys defense. DaQuan Jones offers Dallas a nice nose tackle type in the middle of their line to help defend the run. He's not going to generate a lot of a pass rush, but as a 4th rounder he's got nice value here.

Using a 5th rounder on A.J. McCarron is a smart move as well. Opinions vary on McCarron, but at the very least he should be a capable back-up for the Cowboys. He also has the potential to be the heir apparent to Tony Romo in 3-4 years. Though not impact guys, Whitley, Allen and Evans are all capable of making the roster and being valuable back-ups.

 

Mock 2: Steven – Carolina Panthers

(This mock was sent in separately, as the submit option wasn't working for him)        Jace Amaro

 

28 TE JACE AMARO

TEXAS TECH

60 WR DAVANTE ADAMS

FRESNO STATE

 

92 OT CAMERON FLEMING

STANFORD

 

124 CB ROSS COCKRELL

DUKE

 

156 WR BRUCE ELLINGTON

SOUTH CAROLINA

 

188 CB ANDRE HAL

VANDERBILT

 

202 DE CASSIUS MARSH

UCLA

 

Why I like it:

The Panthers are ready to compete and the biggest issue facing them in the short and long term is their weapons for Cam Newton. While the Panthers already have Greg Olsen, adding another pass catching tight end makes some sense. In Cam Newton's rookie year the Panthers went with Olsen and Jeremy Shockey and it paid off nicely. Olsen and Amaro could have even more success now that Newton has grown some as a passer.

The Panthers take advantage of the receiver depth in this draft and land Davante Adams and Bruce Ellington. Adams should offer immediate impact as the starter opposite Steve Smith. Ellington could help some from the slot and maybe be Smith's replacement down the road. Jordan Gross has done a nice job protecting Cam's Blind side, but he needs more help along the line. Fleming offers that help and he's got the upside and potential to replace Gross in a year or two as the left tackle.

With all of their offensive needs set, Steven then focuses on the secondary, nabbing a pair of upside corners in Ross Cockrell and Andre Hal. Also Cassius Marsh is brought in late for depth. This draft hits on every need and gets multiple guys who can contribute as rookies, which is key for a team who is among the NFC's best.

 

Mock 3: Curt – New York Jets              ericebron

Link to mock:        

18 TE ERIC EBRON

UNC

 

49 WR ALLEN ROBINSON

PENN STATE

 

69 WR JARVIS LANDRY

LSU

 

80 CB KYLE FULLER

VIRGINIA TECH

 

111 DE JACKSON JEFFCOAT

TEXAS

 

142 TE JACOB PEDERSEN

WISCONSIN

 

179 S TRE BOSTON

NORTH CAROLINA

 

210 CB AARON COLVIN

OKLAHOMA    

 

Why I like it:

The Jets are desperate for weapons on offense and Curt does a great job addressing that with the top three picks. While you could take a receiver with the 1st round pick, Curt here lands the best tight end in the draft and a guy who should be an instant favorite of Geno Smith. Then with the depth of the receiver class Curt lands Allen Robinson and Jarvis Landry back-to-back. That adds instant credibility and talent to their receiving corps and should give the Jets the weapons they need to have a quality offense.

Later in the draft a 2nd tight end Jacob Pedersen is drafted. Pedersen doesn't have the upside or potential of Ebron, but he should be a good number two tight end and will help out with nice depth here. After the offensive needs are met, Curt makes some nice picks on defense. Fuller is a good corner who falls slightly here. He could quickly become a starter for the Jets and would help boost that secondary.

Jackson Jeffcoat would be a really nice addition to the Jets linebacker corps and would give New York another weapon to attack the QB with. Boston and Colvin are great late round picks, as both have starting potential down the road. Colvin especially is a nice pick-up considering he would have been a top 2 round selection if not for tearing his ACL.

 

Thanks again for all the submissions, feel free to share some of your mocks in the comments!

 

 

On the Clock Updates & NFL Draft News from Fanspeak

January 9, 2014 in Mock Drafts

Be sure to check out On The Clock, and be the GM for YOUR favorite NFL teams and make picks in a simulated 2014 NFL Draft. Rankings, players and team needs were updated on Tuesday. Just note, that a player will not be removed from the list until its official they will be returning to school.

Also, be sure to check out the NFL Draft page for rankings, big board, scouting reports and more!

Finally, Fanspeak.com is excited to announce that we will be returning to the East West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl to cover it live for you all! Our NFL Draft resident expert Steve Shoup leaves Sunday to head to Florida to spend a week at the Shrine game practices and game then heads to Mobile, AL for Senior Bowl week. Stay tuned here for in-depth coverage live from these events and we'll have those pages up by the end of the week!

 

 

Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft – Mariota Up Top

October 25, 2013 in Mock Drafts

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

Many are asking me why I like Mariota over Bridgewater. I like Mariota's overall skill set and his physical build better. While both are listed at 6’3”, Mariota is bigger and can take the hits better than Bridgewater. Bridgewater will need to put on at least 25 more pounds and there have been some injury concerns. Then there is the whole level of competition thing, which Mariota has a clear advantage playing in the PAC-12. Mariota isn't as refined as a passer, but the upside is there. Mariota is the far more dynamic quarterback and could be the bigger box office draw. I just believe his upside is greater than that of Bridgewater’s’ but with the rookie wage scale does it matter if it is two or three or one or two?

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

Bridgewater is averaging 312 passing yards per game and owns an astounding 71 percent completion percentage. He has 18 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. Bridgewater is leading a Louisville team that possesses a per game margin of victory of 33.6 points. Nevertheless, I must point out that the six teams faced by Bridgewater have an average ranking of 96. While I know he can only play the schedule given to his team, it is a big part of the reason why I have Mariota ahead of him and why Louisville may be on the outside looking in at the BCS Bowl picture this season.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Brett Hundley, UCLA

Hundley is averaging 312 passing yards per game and owns an astounding 71 percent completion percentage. He has 18 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. Hundley is leading a UCLA team that possesses a per game margin of victory of 33.6 points. Nevertheless, I must point out that the six teams faced by Bridgewater have an average ranking of 96.

4.  New York Giants: Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

Let us just for a moment say it aloud. The Jaguars played the Broncos a lot tougher than did the Giants this season, so at this point of the season, it is time to be honest about where the G-Men are—possibly worse than Jags? Both teams in my opinion have a chance to win their first game in Week 7 and it does not matter who has the first pick, it will not affect the draft. The Giants need help on both sides of the ball on the line and considering they know what having a pass rush meant to beating Tom Brady not once—but twice in the Super Bowl, this pick is Jadeveon Clowney all day long. Despite his subpar season, his potential is limitless. 

5. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

The Rams could trade one of these two picks and get two to three potential impact starters but may opt to stay with both in hopes of grabbing players with Pro-Bowl potential. One of the players is OT Jake Matthews. He has a great combination of size and athletic ability and is drawing comparisons to Michigan standout Jake Long.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

The Steelers got their first win of the season vs. the Jets last Sunday. It was a vintage Steelers win in terms of how their defense tortured a rookie QB. There are still major issues on the offensive line. They placed Levi Brown on IR this past week, yes—the same Levi Brown they just acquired in a trade from Arizona. The Steelers will likely have a chance at one of the top Tackles in the draft, if they are at No.5 they will be blessed with Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews. Mel Kiper says of Matthews—“Matthews was at right tackle last year and would have been drafted high, but a full season at left tackle solidifies his stock. He is an intense worker and has great NFL bloodlines, as his father, brother and two cousins have played in the league. Has strong skills as both a pass protector and a finisher in the run game.”

7. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

The Falcons need to address their offensive line but they need to address their pass defense even more. They are 1-4 and come off the bye with the 26th worst pass defense in the NFL. Geno Smith, who tossed three touchdowns, beat them at home. The Falcons have 11 sacks through five games and need to get more pressure on opposing QB’s to help ease the 275 yards they are allowing through the air per game. While this may be a reach and many thought, Ziggy Ansah was at No.5 LY, I like Khalil Mack. The Buffalo has an amazing 63 tackles for a loss and 23 sacks so far in his career. He added an INT return for a TD vs. Ohio State this year and is likely to legitimize being drafted this high by years end.

8. Buffalo Bills: CJ Mosley, OLB Alabama

The Bills need a cornerback and they need some help on the defensive line. So let’s split the difference and give them one of the best linebackers in the country. Mosley is the heart of the Alabama defense and has the all-around skill set that makes him appealing in any scheme. At 6-2, 232 pounds, he could be undersized but he flies to the ball and makes a ton of plays. At his size, he could be the best pound-for-pound player in the country. There is talk of Ryan Shazier and now everyone is in love with Vic Beasley from Clemson and for good reason. I’ll stick with the proven Nick Saban groomed player at the moment and so will the Bills if this is the pick.

 

9. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

I am sold that the Raiders believe Terrell Pryor is the long-term solution going forward. If they want to keep him around for a while, they may need to think about protecting a bit more, as they allowed the Chiefs to sack him 10 times last week. The smart play would be to trade back once again, stockpiling a few more picks. However, finding a playmaker for Pryor is likely where the Raiders head at No.9 and that could be Sammy Watkins from Clemson. Watkins & USC’s Marquis Lee and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans are considered the top three WR’s in the draft. In three games against FBS competition (Georgia, NC State, Wake Forest), Watkins is averaging seven catches for 112 yards and a score. We will see what happens this weekend vs. the Florida State Seminoles.

10. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

I am convinced the Browns are finished with Branden Weeden and no matter what you think of Johnny Manziel off the field, he will be drafted in the first round. Against Ole Miss last Saturday, the Aggies looked as if they could be finished but it only appeared that way. Despite an early injury scare, a feisty Mississippi defense and a few uncharacteristic mistakes, Manziel was Johnny Football in enough time to lead the Aggies to a win. Texas A&M trailed 38-31 midway through the fourth quarter, but Manziel engineered a 75-yard drive that he finished with a tying 6-yard touchdown run with 3:07 remaining.He completed 31 of 39 passes, threw for 346 yards, and ran for two touchdowns while rallying No. 9 Texas A&M past Ole Miss for a 41-38 victory. On the game winning drive, playing with an injured knee, Manziel had runs of 12 and 13 yards. Yeah, the Browns will and their fans will love Johnny Football.

11. Houston Texans: Zach Mettenberger, QB LSU

If the Texans are actually drafting this high and did not turn their season around, then they will indeed be in search of a QB. Whether they want a prototypical drop back passer like a Zach Mettenbereger or a more mobile guy like Boyd or Manziel will likely be decided by who their head coach is. If Manziel is here that would be there pick, but with him off the board I think they look to Mettenberger to be their QB of the future.

12. St. Louis Rams: Louis Nix III, DL Notre Dame

The Rams trampled the Texans but only on the scoreboard. Houston led every statistical category, as Arian Foster rushed for 141-yards. Everybody runs on the Rams 30th ranked rushing defense. It only makes sense to sure up the middle of the front seven with this pick. Nix is a potential-future NFL Pro-Bowl type run-stuffer with enough burst and determination to push the pocket.

 

 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Taj Boyd, QB Clemson

Watching Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick play four times, a year make has Arizona wanting and needing a QB for the future. Boyd possesses less-than-ideal size but Wilson is not exactly Hercules either. If Boyd takes down Florida State on Saturday night and finishes the season undefeated, size will not matter. He has significantly improved his accuracy and decision-making from the pocket in 2013. A true dual-threat quarterback, Boyd is in fact very comparable to above-mentioned Wilson and some even say the late Steve McNair, as well.

14. NY Jets: Marquise Lee, WR USC

I like Watkins overall playmaking ability more than I do that of Marquis Lee’s, but that doesn't mean Lee won't still go high in the draft. The Jets need a weapon to pair with Stephen Hill and Lee gives them that guy. He would be a huge addition for Geno Smith's development and could help jump start this offense.

15. Carolina Panthers:Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

The OL and WR are where Carolina will look to upgrade here. I say they snag the top available OL on the board at this point and that is likely to be Kouandjio. The Bama OT is a physically blessed athlete, who has begun to draw comparisons to former Redskins Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, the No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama in 2000. With Jordan Gross getting up there in years (11 in the NFL), this is as good a time to make this pick.

16. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers finally shut down a QB and it just happened to be Andrew Luck. That still does not diminish the need for help in the secondary. The Chargers pass defense is 25th in the NFL and although Verrett lacks prototypical size, he is more than agile enough and skilled enough to be a good NFL corner. Verrett led the pass happy Big 12 with 22 passes defended and 6 interceptions in 2012. After injuring his shoulder, he returned to provide great coverage (six tackles, two passes broken up) against Oklahoma on Oct. 5 earning him the Top Prospect of Week 6 by NFLDraftScout.com.

Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft – 10/17

October 17, 2013 in Mock Drafts

Updated: 10/17

Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32

1. New York Giants: Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

Let us just for a moment say it aloud. The Jaguars played the Broncos a lot tougher than did the Giants this season, so at this point of the season, it is time to be honest about where the G-Men are—possibly worse than Jags? Both teams in my opinion have a chance to win their first game in Week 7 and it does not matter who has the first pick, it will not affect the draft. The Giants need help on both sides of the ball on the line and considering they know what having a pass rush meant to beating Tom Brady not once—but twice in the Super Bowl, this pick is Jadeveon Clowney all day long. Despite his subpar season, his potential is limitless.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brett Hundley, QB UCLA

Many are asking me why I like Hundley over Bridgewater. I like Hundley’s overall skill set and his physical build better. While both are listed at 6’3”, Hundley weighs 225 and Bridgewater is only 195. Bridgewater will need to put on at least 25 more pounds and there have been some injury concerns. Then there is the whole level of competition thing, which Hundley has a clear advantage playing in the PAC-12. Hundley does have some accuracy problems and tends to panic under pressure at times but I am betting maturity and coaching will take care of both. He is averaging nearly 300 passing yards per game and has 14 TD’s and 4 INT’s. Hundley has added an additional 52 rushing yards per game and 4 more TD’s on the ground. He has even caught a TD pass. I just believe his upside is greater than that of Bridgewater’s’ but with the rookie wage scale does it matter if it is two or three or one or two?

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

Bridgewater is averaging 312 passing yards per game and owns an astounding 71 percent completion percentage. He has 18 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. Bridgewater is leading a Louisville team that possesses a per game margin of victory of 33.6 points. Nevertheless, I must point out that the six teams faced by Bridgewater have an average ranking of 96. While I know he can only play the schedule given to his team, it is a big part of the reason why I have Hundley ahead of him and why Louisville may be on the outside looking in at the BCS Bowl picture this season.

4. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr OLB, UCLA

I have placed on hold, at least for this week, the Vikings need for a QB. Let’s see how Josh Freeman performs. If it fails, this pick is a QB—no questions asked– but looking at their loss to the Panthers on Sunday, pass defense is a real issue in Minnesota. This is a what comes first scenario, the chicken or the egg. The Vikings do not blitz because their secondary needs help and they have just 10 sacks on the season. UCLA’s Anthony Barr has 4 sacks and 10 tackles for a loss this season. He is a former running back that possesses great speed to go along with his powerful lower half. He has a long frame and reach. LY, he had 21.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. As a senior, he could have left for the NFL. The Vikings are glad he did not, as he becomes a purple people eater in 2014.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

The Steelers got their first win of the season vs. the Jets last Sunday. It was a vintage Steelers win in terms of how their defense tortured a rookie QB. There are still major issues on the offensive line. They placed Levi Brown on IR this past week, yes—the same Levi Brown they just acquired in a trade from Arizona. The Steelers will likely have a chance at one of the top Tackles in the draft, if they are at No.5 they will be blessed with Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews. Mel Kiper says of Matthews—“Matthews was at right tackle last year and would have been drafted high, but a full season at left tackle solidifies his stock. He is an intense worker and has great NFL bloodlines, as his father, brother and two cousins have played in the league. Has strong skills as both a pass protector and a finisher in the run game.”

6. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

The Rams could trade one of these two picks and get two to three potential impact starters but may opt to stay with both in hopes of grabbing players with Pro-Bowl potential. One of the players is OT Taylor Lewan. He has a great combination of size and athletic ability and is drawing comparisons to Michigan standout Jake Long– but he did not play well last Saturday before leaving the Penn State game with an injury. I will give him a one-week pass, as Lewan has been the obvious bright spot up front for Michigan, which has struggled with injuries and penalties. Lewan exited the Wolverines' four-overtime loss to Penn State on Saturday in the second quarter, and did not play in the second half. Without him, Michigan struggled to run the ball against the Nitnany Lions. Fitz Toussaint had 27 yards on 27 carries and Derrick Green's three carries totaled just 1 yard. He is expected back for this week’s game vs. Indiana.

7. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

The Falcons need to address their offensive line but they need to address their pass defense even more. They are 1-4 and come off the bye with the 26th worst pass defense in the NFL. Geno Smith, who tossed three touchdowns, beat them at home. The Falcons have 11 sacks through five games and need to get more pressure on opposing QB’s to help ease the 275 yards they are allowing through the air per game. While this may be a reach and many thought, Ziggy Ansah was at No.5 LY, I like Khalil Mack. The Buffalo has an amazing 63 tackles for a loss and 23 sacks so far in his career. He added an INT return for a TD vs. Ohio State this year and is likely to legitimize being drafted this high by years end.

8. Buffalo Bills: CJ Mosley, OLB Alabama

The Bills need a cornerback and they need some help on the defensive line. So let’s split the difference and give them one of the best linebackers in the country. Mosley is the heart of the Alabama defense and has the all-around skill set that makes him appealing in any scheme. At 6-2, 232 pounds, he could be undersized but he flies to the ball and makes a ton of plays. At his size, he could be the best pound-for-pound player in the country. There is talk of Ryan Shazier and now everyone is in love with Vic Beasley from Clemson and for good reason. I’ll stick with the proven Nick Saban groomed player at the moment and so will the Bills if this is the pick.

 

9. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

I am sold that the Raiders believe Terrell Pryor is the long-term solution going forward. If they want to keep him around for a while, they may need to think about protecting a bit more, as they allowed the Chiefs to sack him 10 times last week. The smart play would be to trade back once again, stockpiling a few more picks. However, finding a playmaker for Pryor is likely where the Raiders head at No.9 and that could be Sammy Watkins from Clemson. Watkins & USC’s Marquis Lee and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans are considered the top three WR’s in the draft. In three games against FBS competition (Georgia, NC State, Wake Forest), Watkins is averaging seven catches for 112 yards and a score. We will see what happens this weekend vs. the Florida State Seminoles.

10. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

I am convinced the Browns are finished with Branden Weeden and no matter what you think of Johnny Manziel off the field, he will be drafted in the first round. Against Ole Miss last Saturday, the Aggies looked as if they could be finished but it only appeared that way. Despite an early injury scare, a feisty Mississippi defense and a few uncharacteristic mistakes, Manziel was Johnny Football in enough time to lead the Aggies to a win. Texas A&M trailed 38-31 midway through the fourth quarter, but Manziel engineered a 75-yard drive that he finished with a tying 6-yard touchdown run with 3:07 remaining.He completed 31 of 39 passes, threw for 346 yards, and ran for two touchdowns while rallying No. 9 Texas A&M past Ole Miss for a 41-38 victory. On the game winning drive, playing with an injured knee, Manziel had runs of 12 and 13 yards. Yeah, the Browns will and their fans will love Johnny Football.

11. Houston Texans:Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

If the Texans are actually drafting this high and did not turn their season around, then they will indeed be in search of a QB. Whether they want a prototypical drop back passer like a Zach Mettenbereger or a Mariota will likely be the biggest question Houston needs to answer. It will be tough to pass on the multi-dimensional Mariota and what he could do with weapons like DeAndre Hopkins, Arian Foster or Ben Tate and maybe another good year or two from Andrea Johnson. For those of you that doubt the Texans will draft a QB with their pick, look no further than five straight weeks of throwing a pick six.

12. St. Louis Rams: Louis Nix III, DL Notre Dame

The Rams trampled the Texans but only on the scoreboard. Houston led every statistical category, as Arian Foster rushed for 141-yards. Everybody runs on the Rams 30th ranked rushing defense. It only makes sense to sure up the middle of the front seven with this pick. Nix is a potential-future NFL Pro-Bowl type run-stuffer with enough burst and determination to push the pocket.

 

 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Taj Boyd, QB Clemson

Watching Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick play four times, a year make has Arizona wanting and needing a QB for the future. Boyd possesses less-than-ideal size but Wilson is not exactly Hercules either. If Boyd takes down Florida State on Saturday night and finishes the season undefeated, size will not matter. He has significantly improved his accuracy and decision-making from the pocket in 2013. A true dual-threat quarterback, Boyd is in fact very comparable to above-mentioned Wilson and some even say the late Steve McNair, as well.

14. NY Jets: Marquise Lee, WR USC

I like Watkins overall playmaking ability more than I do that of Marquis Lee’s, but that doesn't mean Lee won't still go high in the draft. The Jets need a weapon to pair with Stephen Hill and Lee gives them that guy. He would be a huge addition for Geno Smith's development and could help jump start this offense. 

15. Carolina Panthers:Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

The OL and WR are where Carolina will look to upgrade here. I say they snag the top available OL on the board at this point and that is likely to be Kouandjio. The Bama OT is a physically blessed athlete, who has begun to draw comparisons to former Redskins Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, the No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama in 2000. With Jordan Gross getting up there in years (11 in the NFL), this is as good a time to make this pick.

16. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers finally shut down a QB and it just happened to be Andrew Luck. That still does not diminish the need for help in the secondary. The Chargers pass defense is 25th in the NFL and although Verrett lacks prototypical size, he is more than agile enough and skilled enough to be a good NFL corner. Verrett led the pass happy Big 12 with 22 passes defended and 6 interceptions in 2012. After injuring his shoulder, he returned to provide great coverage (six tackles, two passes broken up) against Oklahoma on Oct. 5 earning him the Top Prospect of Week 6 by NFLDraftScout.com. 

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Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft 10/10

October 10, 2013 in Mock Drafts, Uncategorized

Updated: 10/10

Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brett Hundley, QB UCLA

The Denver Broncos have scored as many points in each of their last two games that the Jaguars have scored for the entire season. The only way to change this is to draft a do it all franchise signal caller and with each passing week, Brett Hundley is that man. All the UCLA red shirt sophomore did was hit for the football cycle on Thursday in UCLA’s 34-27 win at Utah. Hundley threw for a touchdown, rushed for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass and even pinned Utah inside the 10 with a punt.

2. New York Giants: Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

The team with the Super Bowl countdown clock in its locker room is now 0-5 for just the fourth time in franchise history and the first time since the strike-shortened season of 1987. Instead of playing for a Super Bowl berth, the Giants are now playing to avoid the franchise-worst 0-9 start of the 1976 squad. They have allowed an NFL worst 182-points, which is 13 more than the Jaguars. It appears Jadeveon Clowney decided to sit out the year after all. Because of injuries, in three games this season, Clowney has just 12 tackles and 2 sacks. NFL EXECS DON’T CARE!. According to an article dated Oct 8 in USA Today Sports, "Nah, no one will care," an executive in personnel for an NFL team told USA Today.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

Josh Freeman is now in Minnesota, as NC State rookie QB Mike Glennon takes his turn behind center for the Buccaneers. It will not matter if Greg Schiano is the coach next year or not, if Tampa Bay is picking in the top six, they will take a shot on one of the franchise QB’s in this draft. At this spot, it is Bridgewater or Hundley and in my mock draft, it’s the Louisville signal caller at No.3 for the 32nd ranked passing attack in the NFL.

4. Minnesota Vikings: Taj Boyd, QB Clemson

Funny How Josh Freeman will now play a pivotal role in another team’s decision to draft a franchise QB next May. Freeman was signed for one year in Minnesota and will have to make the most of his fresh start wearing purple. If he can be at least above average and a tad more than serviceable, the Vikings may not opt to select a QB here considering Jared Allen's pending free agency. It's likely Allen will command top dollar on the market and because the Vikings have Everson Griffen behind him they will not likely resign Allen. But this is the NFL in 2013 and everything starts with a franchise QB, which the Vikings DO NOT HAVE.

5. Carolina Panthers: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

If the Panthers only had an offense, they may actually be a team that push the Saints. But they don’t. They need some help in the secondary but that is about as pressing as it gets in Carolina on defense . The OL and WR are where Carolina will look to upgrade here. I say they snag the top OL in the draft and that is Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews. Johnny Manziel’s blindside protector has the size, skill, and the bloodlines to become one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL and with Jordan Gross getting up there in years (11 in the NFL), this is as good a time to make this pick.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

If the Steelers are drafting in the top ten and it appears they will be, they will use the pick on an offensive tackle. The OT play has been so bad this season, the Steelers traded for Levi Brown from Arizona. According to Pro Football Focus, only three OT’s have performed worse than Brown this season, so you see the desperation. Big Ben is on pace to be sacked 60 times this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he announced the pick of Taylor Lewan, if he’s able to stand at the podium. At 6-7, 315-pounds Lewan has all of the necessary tools and talents to play at a high level for many years in the Steel City.

7. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

The Eagles' defense is just plain bad. They rank 32nd in total yards, 31st in passing yards, 26th in rushing yards, and 31st in points allowed per game. Nearly every position needs help, so it will be interesting to see if Chip Kelly uses this pick on a QB or trade it to draft a few defensive players later in the first round. The pick should be Anthony Barr from UCLA but with Marcus Mariota on the board, it is hard to imagine Kelly passing up his former QB at Oregon. It is not the smart pick but the likely pick if he is available when Philly is on the clock.

8. Buffalo Bills: Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State

Despite picking Joe Flacco off five times two weeks ago, the Bills enter Week 6. ranked 28 in pass defense. Robey is a Playmaker with elite speed, quickness, and breaking ability but he was torched by Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis two weeks ago, who had 10 catches, 207 yards and a touchdown. Against Northwestern, Roby earned Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week after blocking a punt and recovering it for a touchdown but the Wildcats were still able to pass for 343 yards. Roby’s stock could fall and TCU’s Jason Verrett could take his place if performances such as this are not slowed in the coming weeks.

9. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

I am sold that the Raiders believe Terrell Pryor is the long-term solution going forward. I did not say I was sold but he is the reason they are not drafting in the top 5. The smart play would be to trade back once again, stockpiling a few more picks. Oakland’s defense has been a surprise but they still need help. However, finding a playmaker for Pryor is likely where the Raiders head at No.9 and that could be Sammy Watkins from Clemson. Watkins & USC’s Marquis Lee and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans are considered the top three WR’s in the draft. In three games against FBS competition (Georgia, NC State, Wake Forest), Watkins is averaging seven catches for 112 yards and a score.

10. St. Louis Rams: Louis Nix III, DL Notre Dame

The Rams are one of the bigger disappointments in the NFL this season and especially on defense. After tying for the league lead with 52 sacks last season, the Rams are not only NOT getting to the QB but4 weeks into the 2013 season, the team has allowed 24, 31, 31 and 35 points per game en route to a 1-3 record. Everybody runs on the Rams and their 27th ranked rush defense. It only makes sense to sure up the middle of the front seven with these two picks at this point, well at least one of them. Nix is a potential-future NFL Pro-Bowl type run-stuffer with enough burst and determination to push the pocket. With five tackles and despite losing to Oklahoma, Nix was solid against the Sooners and senior center Gabe Ikard, who is also an NFL prospect.

11. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

The Rams could trade one of these two picks and get two to three potential impact starters but may opt to stay with both in hopes of grabbing players with Pro-Bowl potential. One of the players is OT Cyrus Kouandjio from Alabama. At 6'6 and 310 lbs., Kouandjio is a physically blessed athlete, who has begun to draw comparisons to former Redskins Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels, the No. 3 overall pick out of Alabama in 2000.  The Rams are also going to have to contend with Rodger Saffold's free agency in 2014 so a tackle with this pick is perfect.

12. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M

No matter how I try to slice the mock draft pie, I see the Browns with Johnny Football. The Browns won for the third consecutive week since trading Trent Richardson. Lost for the season was backup QB Brian Hoyer who tore his ACL vs. Buffalo last Thursday, which means Brandon Weeden is now back under center—which means, the Browns will take a Manziel type of signal caller with their first pick in the first round. In my opinion, Johnny Football leads the Heisman race and why shouldn’t he with almost 1,500 passing yards, another 314 on the ground and 17 total touchdowns in only 5 games.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Anthony Barr OLB, UCLA

The Cardinals may be a dancing partner for one of the teams looking to trade down. Arizona needs an OT, as well as a QB for the future but they will take this gift as well. Arizona could always address their need for another WR but with Barr on the board, this is a no brainer. Barr only falls to 10 because he’s a victim of QB & Tackle circumstance and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Giants or Raiders take him earlier. He is a former running back that exploded onto the Pac-12 scene last year registering 21½ tackles for loss and 13½ sacks. He has been just as dominant in 2013.

14. NY Jets : Marquis Lee, WR USC

Lee’s 2013 season has seen about everything but the big plays we are accustomed to seeing from the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner. It is truly not his fault. The QB situation at USC is a mess, Lane Kiffin has been fired and now Lee is dealing with a knee sprain. Lee has been, as productive as can be expected with 30 receptions through five games and his draft stock will likely not be affected much if the Trojans cannot get the offense turned around and headed in the right direction.

15. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers did it again. They made another average to below average NFL QB look as if he were a Pro- Bowler. This time, Terrell Pryor of the Raiders had his way with SD’s defense. The Chargers can score points and gain yards almost as much as they surrender them. This pick will be used to bolster the NFL’s 27th ranked overall defense after Week 5. As to which part of the unit the Chargers will bolster, take your pick. Although he does not possess prototypical NFL DB size Verrett is more than agile enough and skilled enough to be a good NFL corner. Verrett led the pass happy Big 12 with 22 passes defended and six interceptions in 2012. He injured his shoulder in TCU's win over SMU, but the injury isn't expected to keep him sidelined for very long. Verrett could be the top CB in the draft once the season ends.

16. Detroit Lions: CJ Mosley, LB Alabama

DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch have turned in decent seasons thus far. Moseley would be a great addition behind a stout Lions front line. According to Mel Kiper, Mosley is gifted in coverage, and has the all-around versatility that will make him an appealing linebacker in any scheme. He flies to the ball and makes a ton of plays; now he simply needs to get a bit stronger and show the leverage against the run. However, on the weak side, he gets through blocks and chases everything down (or just beats people to the ball).

 

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Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft- Hundley Going Number 1

October 2, 2013 in Mock Drafts

Updated: 10/03

Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Brett Hundley, UCLA

The Jaguars rank in the 30’s in four of the six possible offensive and defensive rankings. They are last in the league in total offense ( 31 run- 30 pass) and rank 22 on defense ( 32 vs. the run & 11 vs. the pass). This is a team that must select a franchise quarterback and this draft has plenty of them. While most feel this pick is Teddy Bridgewater, I simply like Brett Hundley more than Bridgewater. At 6-3 225 pounds, Hundley is a raw gifted athlete. Through three games, Hundley is averaging 283 YPG with 8 TD’s and 3 INT’s. He averaging another 52.3 rushing yards per game and chipped in with another 2 TD;s on the ground.

2. New York Giants: Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

Fours are wild in New Jersey these days. A team that won two Super Bowls during the past six years because they could rush the passer has sacked the QB four times in four games and while it isn’t the only reason, it is a major reason why the Giants are 0-4 (there it is again) to start the season. Yes, they need help on the offensive line and in the secondary but the NFL Draft has proven those players can be had later, especially where the Giants are likely to be drafting at the top of each round. What cannot be had is a player with the ability to change your franchises defense for the next seven to 10 years and that player this year is Jadeveon Clowney. The Giants will need a player with his speed, size and power to contend with RG3 and whatever Chip Kelley is throwing out on the field.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

The switch to Mike Glennon signified the end of the Josh Freeman era in Tampa Bay. The switch to Mike Glennon also signified the end of the Mike Glennon era in TB. The Bucs take the QB that many feel is the best in this draft if Teddy Bridgewater. So far, in 2013, Bridgewater has passed for 1,214 yards, 14TD’s and 1Int. He is succeeding against lesser competition than some of the other high profile QB’s in this draft but he also has not struggled at any time.

4. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

This is not the Al Davis run Raiders anymore but that does not mean that the Raiders are going to do what everyone thinks they should with the fourth pick in the draft. The good news is Oakland will get an entire season to see if Terrell Pryor is the answer at QB before deciding what to do with this pick. I do not think he’s as talented as some of the QB’s coming out that play his style but with a year in the NFL under his belt, the Raiders will be happy to stick with him as they continue to build. With that said, this pick will be spent to bolster their defense, as Oakland takes Anthony Barr. Barr has just one sack this year but he has five tackles for a loss. After 13.5 sacks LY, he could already be playing on Sunday’s.

5. New York Jets: Marquis Lee WR, USC

The Jets enter Week 5 with the second best defense in the NFL, so this draft should be about the offensive side of the football. With more than a few possible franchise QB’s left on the board, could the J-E-T-S JETS, JETS, JETS actually take one? If Geno Smith does not get any better in a "what have you done for me lately" league, they could but it’s likely to be a weapon for him instead. That weapon is likely to be the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, Marquis Lee. Teams love his explosive speed and big-play potential. Despite the poor QB at USC, Lee is arguably the top receiver in college football. Lee also seems to also have survived what looked to be a potentially devastating knee injury, which he suffered on a punt return vs. Arizona St. last Sat. He was carted off the field but there is no ligament damage. He will be a nice addition for Geno Smith and WR Stephen Hill.

6. Minnesota Vikings: Taj Boyd, QB Clemson

The Vikings got a nice win on the pitch across the pond on Sunday as they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. They did so with Matt Cassell playing QB and need I remind anybody that while he looked good Sunday, he’s not anyone’s long-term answer. Neither is the guy he was filling in for, the injured Christian Ponder. I keep going back and forth on this one between Taj Boyd and Marcus Mariota. This week it is Boyd. He has 994 passing yards (9 less than Mariota) 9 TD's with no INT's (same as Mariota) and additional 159 yards (136 less than Mariota) and 4 TD’s (1less) on the ground. His completion percentage is 64 percent, or five percent higher than Mariota’s. The thought of Adrian Peterson running out of a pistol read option, or similar type of offense already has NFC North defensive coordinators looking for jobs.

7. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

Part of the reason I went with Boyd in Minnesota was because this was too easy to pass up. Michael Vick is thriving in Chip Kelly’s offense, it’s just a shame they cannot stop anyone. This means they should be taking Louis Nix or a linebacker here—-but they won’t. Why not build up the NFL’s second ranked offense and leave the 32nd defense to fend for themselves. Mariota and Kelly reunite and the Eagles still will not be able to stop anyone next season.

8. Buffalo Bills: Bradley Robey, CB Ohio State

The Bills picked off Joe Flacco five times last Sunday, which means they do not need any help in the secondary, or on the defense period—right——wrong. That’s just how bad Flacco and the Ravens offense were, as the Bills won 23-20. Many prognosticators have Bradley Robey heading to Bills and I do not disagree. He did not play well vs. Wisconsin but Jadeveon Clowney seems to be getting a season pass on poor play at times. Robey is a Playmaker with elite speed, quickness, and breaking ability. 

9. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M

The Browns won for the second consecutive week, this time against AFC North favorite, Cincinnatti. They did so with third string QB Brian Hoyer once again, as TE Jordan Cameron continues to shine. No matter how well Hoyer does, the Browns will take a Manziel type of signal caller with their first pick in the first round. It is not likely this regime will be duped, as previous Browns front offices have into thinking that the backup QB is the savior. In my opinion, Johnny Football leads the Heisman race and why shouldn’t he with almost 1,500 passing yards, another 314 on the ground and 17 total touchdowns. The Cleveland faithful will love his rock-n-roll persona, which is appropriate for the city that is home to the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame.

10. Carolina Panthers: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

The Panthers are a surprising third in the NFL running the football but last when it comes to passing offense. Cam Newton has been sacked 10 times, a number that would likely be amongst the leaders if not for his ability to scramble out of trouble. It is hard to believe but Jordan Gross will be finishing his 11h season in the NFL and Newton will need to have faith in a blindside protector. Jake Matthews continues to show each week protecting Johnny Manziel that he is the best OT in the draft and Carolina gets a gift as he falls to 10.

11. St. Louis Rams (From Washington): Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

If Sam Bradford continues to falter, I would not be surprised to see the Rams trade one of, if not both of these picks to snag one of the above quarterbacks. The run on Tackles starts, as the Rams need one to play opposite Jake Long. With Rodger Saffold likely to be elsewhere next season, Taylor Lewan slides in quite nicely. One scout describes Lewan as an “excellent athlete for the tackle position. Well put together. Long, strong and stout against rushers. Very athletic and is great getting to the second level. Smooth, quick kick slide in pass protection.” 

12. Pittsburgh Steelers: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

The Steelers need as much help on the offensive line as any team in recent draft history. Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 15 times and suffered an additional 22 QB hits through 4 games. The Steelers are 29th rushing the ball this season. How desperate is Pittsburgh, they traded for OT Levi Brown from Arizona today. According to Mark Sessler of NFL.com, Mike Adams has been a turnstile this season and needs to be replaced, but anyone watching Cardinals film has seen Brown pop off the screen– as a massive liability. Brown was flamed by Rams pass rusher Robert Quinn in the season opener, and was equally horrible vs. the Saints in Week 3. Fifty-nine offensive tackles currently grade higher on the field this season than does Brown, per Pro Football Focus. To make a long paragraph short, Cyrus Kouandjio will feel needed in the Steel City.

13. St. Louis Rams: Louis Nix III, DL Notre Dame

The Rams have issues in the backfield, as they possess the worst rushing attack in the league– but solid RB’s can be had in the second and third rounds. They also cannot stop the run, ranking 30th in NFL in run defense. Jeff Fisher will want a receiver to compliment Tavon Austin and Mike Evans would fit well here but Louis Nix III is a far better option at this point. Nix is the top DL in the draft. He is a great nose tackle prospect who is powerful and strong. He has good speed for his size and the Rams need him in a division that has two teams currently ranked in the top 8 in the NFL in rushing.

14. Arizona Cardinals: Kyle Van Noy, OLB BYU

The Cardinals have needs at QB and running back. Carson Palmer is not getting any younger and their rushing attack ranks 26th in the NFL. Arizona isn’t bad on defense, ranking 14th in the NFL but their pass defense could use some help. Conventional wisdom says to generate a better pass rush, as the Cards do possess some playmakers in the secondary. Look for BYU standout Kyle Van Noy to move up draft boards, as the season progresses. He is an explosive pass rusher with sprinter speed and athleticism. Has the quickness and elusiveness to beat his man inside and out. He is also a big hitter and never quits on a play. This season he has 16 tackles, 5 TFL and 1 sack. He also has six QB hurries and 3 PD.

15. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers can score points and gain yards almost as much as they surrender them. This will BE a pick to bolster their defense and you can take your pick, as to which part of it you would like to bolster. Verrett could be the top CB in the draft once the season ends and SD could use him—probably next week when they play Oakland. Ranked 29th vs. the pass, the Chargers pass defense is not likely to improve with receivers such as Mike Wallace, AJ Green, Victor Cruz, as well as Denver’s formidable trio left on the schedule this season.

16. Detroit Lions: CJ Mosley, LB Alabama

DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch have turned in decent seasons thus far. Moseley would be a great addition behind a stout Lions front line. According to Mel Kiper, Mosley is gifted in coverage, and has the all-around versatility that will make him an appealing linebacker in any scheme. He flies to the ball and makes a ton of plays; now he simply needs to get a bit stronger and show the leverage against the run. However, on the weak side, he gets through blocks and chases everything down (or just beats people to the ball).

Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32

Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Rd 1 Part 2

September 25, 2013 in Mock Drafts

Updated: 9/25

Picks: 1-16 | 17-32

17. Tennessee Titans: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

The Titans bolstered the interior of their line last offseason, so it is likely they continue to do build by beefing up on the outside. Starting tackles, Michael Roos and David Stewart, are 30 and 31 years old, respectively and both have voidable years on their contracts upcoming, too. Erving has good instincts and should only get better with experience. Blocking for famous Jameis Winston will help his mobility develop for the next level.

18. Kansas City Chiefs: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M

Evans was amazing vs. Alabama. The Chiefs defense looks great so far, in 2013, so it is possible Andy Reid will look to get Dwayne Bowe a partner and Alex Smith another weapon. Evans will be that guy for a team that just misses the playoffs this season despite starting 3-0. Johnny Football’s favorite target is averaging nearly 144 yards per game this season.

19. Chicago Bears: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

Tuitt would be a good get for the Bears here. Placing him on the opposite end of Julius Peppers would be a good match for Chicago. The Bears may also elect to take a TE if Marc Trestman wants to continue to build his offense.

20. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis) Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson

Rumors are flying that the Browns may elect to go after Ben Tate from Houston. They will also be able to draft a quality running back in the second round. Sammy Watkins will be a perfect fit for a team looking to change their offense to a more up tempo scheme and if they do indeed draft a Johnny Manziel, Taj Boyd or Marcus Mariota, then Watkins makes perfect sense.

21. Baltimore Ravens: (10-6).Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

Ed Dickson has been a bust this season, as the Ravens offense seems to suffer a little more each week without a quality TE like Dennis Pitta. Dickson is in his contract year and likely to be elsewhere in 2014. Placing Seferian-Jenkins and Pitta together in 2014 would allow the Ravens to have the offense they wanted in 2013 and the duo could grow to become a poor man’s equivalent of a Rob Gronkowski-Aaron Hernandez combination

22. Dallas Cowboys: (10-6) Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Nothing but huge upside here. His drop 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. Monty Kiffin would love to have his pass rushing talent in Dallas.

23. Miami Dolphins: Antonio Richardson, OT Tennessee

The Dolphins are 3-0 and believe that Ryan Tannehill is their franchise QB. With that’s said and Jake Long no longer there, the Fins will look to snag a franchise tackle to protect Tannehill. Richardson is a solid pass protector and has good balance. An entire year blocking in the SEC may have him challenging for a higher selection in May’s draft.

24. Atlanta Falcons: Kyle Van Noy, OLB BYU

With seven sacks through three games, the Falcons are still struggling to rush the passer. Van Noy recorded 13 sacks in 2012 and has one sack and five QB hurries in 2013.

25. New England Patriots: Ra'shede Hageman, DE/DT, Minnesota 

Vince Wilfork is not getting any younger and Bill Belichick loves size up front. At 6-6, 315 pounds Hageman fits the bill for what Belichick wants in his defensive lineman.

26. Green Bay Packers: 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 but Hurst would be a better option here.

27. Houston Texans: Trent Murphy, OLB Stanford

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. Murphy is a strong pass rusher and should be able to play in the 3-4. he can split time with Reed to start and then replace him when Reed becomes a free agent. .

28. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Hubbard, LB Alabama

Coming from Nick Saban to Rob Ryan will be an easy adjustment for Hubbard. Saban expects a lot out of his linebackers and so does Ryan. Another member of the loaded Alabama defense, Hubbard could bulk up to 265 or so and give N.O a little help as a pass-rushing end or he can stand up and play just fine in Ryan’s hybrid 3-4 scheme.

29. Cincinnatti Bengals: 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.

30. San Francisco 49ers: 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. Denver Broncos: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

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.

32. Seattle Seahawks: 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.

Picks: 1-16 | 17-32

Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1

September 25, 2013 in Mock Drafts

Picks: 1-16 | 17-32

2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT: UPDATED September 25, 2013

1 Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Brett Hundley, UCLA

The Jacksonville Jaguars could be a historically bad football team. They are not rebuilding but simply building. The Seattle Seahawks scored three touchdowns before the Jags could record a first down on Sunday and Seahawks HC Pete Carroll showed mercy on his former defensive coordinator at USC by pulling his starters in the third quarter. Jacksonville should even consider trading the pick because they need so much. They would still be able to get a franchise QB in this draft by doing and possibly another franchise player.

2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

It is likely the Buccaneers will be starting from scratch—–AGAIN. With Josh Freeman struggling and now benched in favor of rookie Mike Glennon and Greg Schiano very much out of touch with his locker room, look for yet another rookie head coach and quarterback scenario in Tampa Bay next season. I have no idea whom the new head coach will be but I’m pretty sure the Bucs won't let Teddy Bridgewater slip past No.2. The Louisville QB missed on only five passes while throwing four TD’s in the Cardinals 72-0 romp over FIU.

3. Minnesota Vikings: Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

The Vikings are a bad football team with a bad quarterback. Losing to the Browns at home may have been the worst loss the franchise has suffered in years. So far this season Christian Ponder has 2 Td’s and 5 INT’s. Adrian Peterson is averaging 93.7 YPG and if Ponder does not improve, teams could stack the box with nine. This pick will be a QB and we will debate which one all the way to draft day—but today it’s Marcus Mariota. All-Day may get his 2,500 yards in the pistol read option.

4. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina

Terrell Pryor kept the Raiders from being completely embarrassed on Monday Night against Denver. Oakland appears to have a QB they can move forward with in Pryor. That means the pick here has to be Jadeveon Clowney, who resurfaced vs. Vanderbilt two weeks ago. The junior standout had four tackles; a forced fumble and a sack in the Gamecocks' 35-25 win over the Commodores. However, Clowney told reporters following the game that he would undergo surgery after the season to remove bone spurs from his right foot.

5. New York Giants: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

The Giants embarrassed themselves and their head coach Tom Coughlin on Sunday. They were shutout 38-0 in Carolina and Coughlin said after the game, "Disappointed isn't a strong enough word. I expected more." Despite a bad defense that possesses a poor secondary, protecting Eli Manning and getting back to running the football will be the first order of business. Manning was sacked seven times on Sunday, the third-highest single-game total of his career and highest since Week 15 of 2008. Manning has been sacked 14 times already in 2013 and is on pace to take a seat 70 times this season. That stat will even out but he could still fall nearly 60 times this year. Look for the Giants to take a franchise LT and the top one in this class is Jake Matthews. He was phenomenal against Alabama and has great NFL bloodlines. He has strong skills as both a pass-protector and a finisher in the run game.

6. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M

The Browns do not appear as if they are throwing in the towel after all. Their inspiring 31-27 come from behind victory in Minnesota was actually a fun game to watch. Brian Hoyer became the 1st QB in Browns history to throw for at least 300 yards in his debut with the team. Hoyer also threw 3 INT’s and is not the long term answer so the Browns rebuild or keep building by taking a QB with their first pick in round one. I know this may sound crazy but if Johnny Manziel keeps playing the way he is, it will be hard to justify not taking him in the top 10. With a few teams needing a signal caller before Cleveland picks again later in the round, the Browns roll the dice and they take Manziel sooner than later.

7. Carolina Panthers: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

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 Lewan is a great option to be that player.

8.St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

This is a luxury pick for the Rams and I would not be surprised to see St. Louis trade out of this spot. If the Skins do not get their act together, this could be a top five selection before the end of the year. With that said, Jeff Fisher would love to have another Tackle and Kouandjio could be the pick. Roger Safford, the current RT in STL, can play any position on the line and would likely move to guard but he is also a pending free agent and he has been unable to stay healthy over the past three seasons. Kouandjio would likely play right tackle for a couple years, then move over to left tackle when Jake Long’s days are up.

9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

So far this season, Barr has one sack, four forced fumbles and five tackles for a loss. The Bills need a partner for Mario Williams and Barr would be make as good a candidate as anyone. The QB run drops Barr to this spot making Williams and the Bills very fortunate. This tandem would give Buffalo a formidable duo of hunters to chase after franchise signal callers Geno Smith, Ryan Tannehill and Tom Brady.

10. New York Jets: Marquis Lee WR, USC

If anyone told you the Jets would be the best team in New York after three weeks, you might still be laughing—but at 2-1 and a win over the Bills– they are. Rex Ryan’s defense has played exceptional to start the season. This pick will be all about getting QB Geno Smith some weapons. Lee has just 1 TD and 293 receiving yards this season but given the state of USC’s QB situation, he’s forgiven. Pairing Lee with Stephen Hill and veteran Santonio Holmes would give Smith plenty of options in his second year.

11. Arizona Cardinals: Tahj Boyd, QB Clemson

It’s my mock draft and I’ll have as many QB’s as I want in the first 11 picks. The Cardinals see firsthand the effect that a signal caller with Boyd’s skill set can bring. In the NFC West. Although he struggled a bit in Thursday’s conference opener against NC State, Boyd would take his place alongside Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson in the division. So far this season Boyd has passed for 683 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s added another 90 on the ground and three more rushing TD’s.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix III, DL Notre Dame

Pittsburgh outgained the Bears 459-258 in Sunday night’s contest but dropped to 0-3 for the first time since 2000. Despite the high number of yards, Pittsburgh is showing they need a lot of help on offense. The Steelers could trade back to draft OT Cameron Erving from Florida State but if Louis Nix III is on the board, they will grab him. This may not be a popular pick in the Steel City, considering the O-line situation but the Steelers have drafted a lot of youth on the O-line that have succumb to injuries. At 6-foot 2, 352-pounds, Nix is a an immediate upgrade over Steve McClendon and a natural fit for Pittsburgh’s 3-4 defense.

13. Philadelphia Eagles: Bradley Robey, CB Ohio State

The Eagles turned the football over four times in the first half vs. KC last Thursday night and are a controlled mess on both sides of the football. Chip Kelly would love to get Marcus Mariota or Johnny Manziel but both are likely to be gone. The Eagles may try to wheel and deal and I would not be surprised to see them make a deal similar to the one the Skins made with the Rams two years ago to get into position to get their signal caller. With that said, if they stay here, they will likely look to bolster the secondary and at the moment in my opinion that means taking Bradley Robey, who along with Loucheiz Purifoy and Jason Verrett are the top corners in the draft.

14. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

San Diego has the worst pass defense in the NFL and when Jake Locker looks like a Pro Ball QB, you need help in the secondary. Verrett could be the top CB in the draft once the season ends. The Chargers pass defense isn’t likely to improve with receivers such as Mike Wallace, AJ Green, Victor Cruz, as well as Denver’s formidable trio left on the schedule this season.

15. St. Louis Rams: Ha’Sean Clinton Dix, S Alabama

The Rams drafted T.J. McDonald back in April, but they need more in that tough division. Through three weeks, the Rams secondary is 23 in the NFL vs. the pass. Dix would probably play over Rodney McLeod now in St. Louis.

16. Detroit Lions: CJ Mosley, LB Alabama

DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch have turned in pretty decent seasons thus far. Moseley would be a great addition behind a stout Lions front line. According to Mel Kiper, Mosley is gifted in coverage, and has the all-around versatility that will make him an appealing linebacker in any scheme. He flies to the ball and makes a ton of plays; now he simply needs to get a bit stronger and show the leverage against the run. But on the weak side, he gets through blocks and chases everything down (or just beats people to the ball).

 

Picks: 1-16 | 17-32

 

Alan's 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Trent Richardson Trade

September 18, 2013 in Mock Drafts

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.

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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.

29. Denver Broncos (12-4) Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

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.