2014 NFL Mock Draft: Willy Shoup

Updated: 5/7

Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | Round 2

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1. Houston Texans: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

-Texans look to go either Mack or Clowney here if they can’t work out a trade back. I think Clowney is just too good to pass up and he ends up being their pick here.

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

-The Rams have a big decision here with the final pick from the RGIII trade. Do they attempt to trade back and further stockpile picks, take a quarterback and move on from the Sam Bradford era, or do they take a top talent like Jake Matthews or Sammy Watkins that they don’t fully need? I actually see them trading back a couple of spots and trying to land a guy like Matthews or Watkins, but for the purpose of this I’ll say they draft Matthews here. Roger Saffold is an impending free agent and Jake Long tore his ACL at the end of the year. Matthews would fill one spot in case either (or both) of those guys aren’t back for the start of 2014.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo

-The Jaguars need a QB, but they aren’t likely to take one in Round 1. That leaves this pick between Mack and Sammy Watkins. Though with Justin Blackmon‘s status up in the air a concern, the Jaguars could grab a WR or two later in the draft. Mack is a special defensive talent and one the Jaguars shouldn’t let slip through their fingers.

4. Cleveland Browns: QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida

-The Browns don’t seem like a strong fit for Johnny Manziel and it’s possible they pass on a QB all together with this selection. If they do that, they could take either Sammy Watkins or Greg Robinson and get a potential elite player. In the end though their desperation for a QB will probably win out and they will take Blake Bortles as their QB of the future.

5. Oakland Raiders: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

-I would be shocked if the Raiders actually make this selection as I think they will trade back to a team looking for a QB or Sammy Watkins. If they do stay here Watkins will probably top their wish list as he would give them a dynamic playmaker and someone to build around going forward.

6. Atlanta Falcons: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn

-The Falcons are expected to be very active in the trade front to try and land Clowney, but if they can’t get a deal to work, they will have plenty of good options at the 6th spot. They will consider Mack, Barr, the top three OT’s and Aaron Donald with this pick. They would probably prefer to go defense, but if Mack is off the board it will probably come down to a LT vs Donald. Barr is an option, but he’s not as strong of a fit here in their system. They could use an upgrade at DT, but it’s not as weak as their LT situation.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

-Some will say Aaron Donald wouldn’t be a fit in Tampa because he’s too similar to Gerald McCoy, but the reality is Lovie Smith has always liked smaller quicker defensive tackles in both spots along his defensive line and he’d absolutely find a way to utilize both McCoy and Donald. Pairing them together would be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines and would make free agent Michael Johnson’s life pretty easy.

8. Minnesota Vikings: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M

-This is a tough spot for the Vikings. If Blake Bortles is on the board I think they go in that direction. Aaron Donald could also be an option as an impact defensive tackle, but both of those players are off the board. Johnny Manziel doesn’t seem like the best fit in Minnesota,

9. Buffalo Bills: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan

-The Bills could go a couple different directions here, but I can’t see them passing on a potential elite talent like Lewan. Lewan could take over at LT, moving Glenn to RT strengthening two positions for the Bills offensive line.

10. Detroit Lions: CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

-The Lions could consider a receiver, but unless it is Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins I don’t see them actually taking one over the top corner in the draft. Given the weapons the Packers and Bears have (and the Vikings could be catching up), the Lions need to match-up if they want to take over this division. Gilbert does exactly that and gives Detroit a potential shut down corner.

11. Tennessee Titans: OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA

-The Titans could consider quarterback or corner here, but if Anthony Barr is on the board he’s such a perfect fit. Tennessee has to get an edge rusher for their new 3-4 defense and he’s the best left on the board in the draft. After Barr there is a bit of a drop off for the next group of pass rushers so if Tennessee wants an impact guy this is where they need to go.

12. New York Giants: TE Eric Ebron, UNC

-The Giants desperately need to improve their TE talent and the easiest way to do that is to grab Ebron with their first round pick. He would be an immediate impact player and could help out Eli Manning quite a bit by creating a number of coverage mismatches Eli can take advantage of.

13. St. Louis Rams: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

-This is the wildcard pick. In reality trades will likely shake this up where he’s not an option for the Rams at 13, but there are plenty of scenarios where Manziel could fall. If he does start to fall the Rams would be an interesting landing spot for him. Sam Bradford has not secured that job in St. Louis and it could be time for a shake up. With the Rams locking up Manziel’s LT with their first pick, this could be a great 1-2 punch combination for their draft.

14. Chicago Bears: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

-The Bears would probably take Aaron Donald if he’s on the board, but if they don’t trade up for him this pick will likely go to the secondary. Corner is possibility, but safety is probably the bigger need. Either safety could make sense, but Clinton-Dix is the better pure FS and when you are dealing with some of the WR’s in this division having a centerfielder you can trust is key.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech

-The Steelers will consider a couple different areas with this pick. OT/OG Zach Martin from Notre Dame could get consideration, NT Louis Nix (also from ND) will get a look as well. If WR Mike Evans were to fall they could take him, but I think they end up going corner here. At that point it becomes an interesting discussion between Darqueeze Dennard and Kyle Fuller. I think Fuller wins out and ends up as their pick here.

16. Dallas Cowboys: DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

-The Cowboys need to go defense here, but are in a tough spot as the top three pass rushers and top DT are all off the board. They could consider a corner or safety to help their defense or even LB C.J. Mosley, but fixing their line is the most important. A trade back is possible, but if they stay here Jernigan will be a good pick for them. He has the ability to be a very good defensive tackle and could be a nice addition to pair with Henry Melton inside.

Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | Round 2