Welcome to the 2014 NFL draft the Houston Texans are now on the clock:
Pick #1: Houston Texans select QB Blake Bortles
Bortles provides not only the ideal frame for a prototypical Quarterback, but is also an extremely polished prospect out of UCF. Bortles is very similar in skill set to Andrew Luck although he is not as complete of a prospect. Bortles can be the Texans franchise Quarterback for the next decade or so. This pick will be the first decision under the Bill O’Brien regime and the only reason they do not select Manziel is that
Pick #2: St. Louis Rams select OT Jake Matthews
Jake Matthews is the kind of blue chip prospect that can be the corner stone for an offensive for twelve plus years. Matthews’ lineage is one of the best in the NFL with his father being a HOF lineman and cousin being the Clay Matthews Jr. Matthews will probably start out at the RT position for the Rams across from Jake Long. Matthews has the talent to be a perennial all star at the tackle position, and this selection will provide some stability around young Sam Bradford.
Jacksonville select QB Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater is one of the most complete prospects since Andrew Luck and owner Shahid Khan has come out and said that he looking to draft one or two quarterbacks this draft. That will start with Bridgewater. The Louisville prospect is going to be a day one starter and an instant improvement over the current QB situation in Jacksonville. The only question about Bridgewater’s game is his durability and even that is not truly in question.
Pick #4: Cleveland Browns select QB Johnny Manziel
Johnny Manziel is the QB of the Browns dreams. Manziel has rarely seen talent in the NFL, his ability to escape defenders and make plays with his feet are what set him apart from the other Quarterbacks in this year’s draft. This past season he proved that he would be able to not only be a rushing threat, but also as a passing threat. He will be a dynamic player in the NFL and that can help Browns move on from their recent history as a mediocre franchise in the NFL.
Pick #5: Raiders select DE Jadeveon Clowney Plain and simple Jadeveon Clowney is a beast. He is a once in a decade type talent. Clowney not only fits the Raider’s style but has the Raider mentality. Clowney has the kind of talent and athletic ability that can change a game at any point. The Raiders have a lot of needs but defensive end will easily fit and start in the Raiders from the first day he’s on the team. The only concern with Clowney is that he does on film take a plays off, although that may be just player not wanting to ruin his future like a past team mate did.
Atlanta Falcons select OT Greg Robinson
Greg Robinson is a mauler at OT and is probably the best run blocker in this class. Although he is only a redshirt sophomore, he is one of the most promising prospects in this draft class. He will step into Atlanta’s offensive line and be a monster from day one. Robinson is the type of tackle that will be able to dominate on the line and help Atlanta’s faltering
Tampa Bay Buccaneers select OLB/DE Anthony Barr
Anthony Barr is one of the biggest of upside potential in this draft, he is a former running back which makes him even more impressive. He projects well into Lovie Smith’s defense as a DE on a Defense that is already stacked with talent. Although he may not be a day one starter from day he will develop into a great defensive player.
Minnesota Vikings select QB Derek Carr
Derek Carr was the player that most benefited from the senior bowl performance, he is the fourth best QB in this draft. The Vikings biggest need this offseason is QB and brother of former first overall pick David Carr fits this need. Although he isn’t a 100 percent NFL ready he will be able to step into the offense and take reigns over fully in a year or two. Until then it may be a little rough for the Vikings until he is fully developed.
Pick #9: Buffalo Bills select WR Sammy Watkins
Sammy Watkins will come into the Bills organization and be the number one WR. Watkins is a dynamite talent who can not only jump out of the stadium to make catches, but also can run jet sweeps that the offense enjoys running. The Bills could go for a player like Ebron for this pick, but it would be quite a reach of a pick at number 9, and Ebron does not fit their scheme well due to his poor blocking. Watkins was also a Bills fan growing up so that is also a plus on drafting him.
Pick #10: Detroit Lions select CB Justin Gilbert
Now there are so many players the Lions could draft at number 10. The positions of most need for the Lions are Cornerback and a Wide Receiver across from Calvin Johnson Jr. I think they will draft Justin Gilbert. He will be starting cornerback immediately, and he also will be the kick returner, which is a position they have also been lacking in recent years.
Pick #11: Tennesse Titans select OLB Khalil Mack
Mack is a top five pick in any other draft, but because of the plethora of talent in this draft he can fall to the Titans at eleven. Mack was an absolute terror at Buffalo University setting multiple Mid America Conference Records. His play style is very similar to that of Von Miller except that Mack is a better coverage player having to a couple interceptions this year. Anyone questioning Mack’s talent should go review his game film against Ohio State University. He single handedly held Buffalo in that game. Last season the Titans defense was a surprise because it was expected to be abysmal and it was decent. However, it still as leaps and bounds to improve and the choice of Mack would really help to move this defense in the right direction.
Pick #12: New York Giants select MLB CJ Mosley
The New York Football Giants need all the help they can get this year on both sides of the ball. CJ Mosley is someone who will come into this system and immediately bring the level of play up. The Alabama product is someone who can play sideline to sideline, which is one of the new most desirable traits that scouts are looking for. The Giants linebacking corp was shaky at best and Mosley will be a day one starter and be in the long line of Alabama alum who are 1st round draft picks.
St. Louis Rams select WR Mike Evans
Mike Evans will play along side last year’s first round selection, Tavon Austin. In the first round the Rams are going to select two offensive weapons that will help Sam Bradford succeed. Mike Evans’ big play ability will compliment Austin well, and he has the ability to out muscle and out jump basically any defender in the NFL. Evans will be an instant weapon for Bradford who is missing a few pieces to make this offense a success.
Pick #14: Chicago Bears select DT Aaron Donald
The Bears defense was its Achilles heel last season. For once under Jay Cutler, their offense stepped up in a big way. Donald would be a major upgrade for da Bears at DT as their D line was one of their weakest positions this past season. There are questions about Donald’s size translating into the pro game, but similar questions were brought up about Geno Atkins and look how that turned out for the Bengals. Once he gets to rookie mini camp he will be asked to bulk up a little and this will allow him to make the step up to the pro game where he will be a day one contributor for the Bears.
Pick #15: Pittsburgh Steelers OT Taylor Lewan
The Steelers need Offensive line help in the worst way, and that is what they will find this in Michigan University product. Taylor Lewan is a mean cuss of an offensive lineman who is strong in both the run and pass game. Both Kiper and McShay have him ranked as the third best tackle in the draft and Kiper went as far to say that he would draft any of the top three tackles this year over any of the top three chosen in last year’s draft. Lewan’s only problems are that he does lack hip flexibility and elite foot speed. However, both of those abilities are easily remedied by a good O-line coach.
Pick #16: Dallas Cowboys select Ha-sean Clinton-Dix
Down in Dallas their defense is the biggest concern, since theirs was absent last season other than Sean Lee or Demarcus Ware. One of the worst positions on that unit was Safety. That’s where Clinton-Dix comes into play. The Alabama product does a lot of things well while playing centerfield for the defense. Clinton-Dix is a hard hitter who plays well in zone, although he does sometimes get beat deep because of a lack of pure speed. He makes up for this with great positioning and reading.
Pick #17: Baltimore Ravens select WR Marquise Lee
Over the past two seasons it looked like Marquise Lee was going to be the top WR taken in the draft. But, after the emergence of both Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans, Lee falls to the third taken in the draft. The Ravens get a steal of a pick here. Lee is a receiver who will not only make a difference from day one, but also will be a producer for the next ten years. Lee will pair excellently with Torrey Smith because he will be able to fill the role that was vacated by Anquan Boldin. Lee will be able to play slot and become Flacco’s new favorite option. Lee also isn’t afraid to go over the middle and take a hit or dish one out.
Pick #18: New York Jets select TE Eric Ebron
Eric Ebron is the biggest big play threat in this draft at the TE position. Once in the NFL he will play a very similar game to Jimmy Graham. He will be able to stretch the field, and give whomever is the Jets QB next season a major offensive weapon that was not seen on the roster last season. The Jets need help in a lot of positions on offense and they will draft the best available player come May; here it’s Ebron.
Pick #19: Miami Dolphins select OT Cyrus Kouandjio
After the scandal and loss of two of its major pieces on the O-line the dolphins gave up the most sacks in the NFL at 58 which is more then the bottom two teams combined they will take all the help they can get. Filling part of the major void is Cyrus Kouandjio. He is a mauler of an OT similar in play to fellow Alabama alum DJ Fluker. Also similarly to Fluker, he has a bit of a mean streak and a powerful highlight line move (The Slap). Cyrus will bring immediate stability on the Dolphins O-line as well as OT who will be able to anchor the edge for years to come.
Pick #20: Arizona Cardinals select OT Zach Martin
The Cardinals are going to draft a QB in this draft to develop behind Carson Palmer; however there is no QB that will carry this high a pick left on the board. This is where Zach Martin comes into play here because of the Cardinals need at O-line. No player better helped themselves during both Bowl Season and the Senior Bowl. He was the best O-lineman at the senior bowl hands down. Bruce Arians has this team on the precipice of a playoff birth and the addition of a great OT will push this team even closer.
Pick #21: Green Bay Packers select DT Timmy Jerigan
The Packers have a bit of a need on the defensive side of the ball with their greatest needs falling at cornerback, inside linebacker, and the position of current selection defensive tackle. Timmy Jernigan had one of his best games of the season against Auburn in the BCS National Title Game. However, this game also brought up the biggest question about him, his cardio. But, the amount of talent that Jernigan brings to the table is such that questions of conditioning are easily shrugged off. Jernigan would play the five technique in Green Bay’s defense and will increase this team’s overall defensive talent level significantly.
Pick #22: Philadephalia Eagles select CB Darqueze Denard
The Eagles offense is a thing of beauty. It runs much like a handmade Swiss watch. Their defense on the other hand runs like the ROLOXX you buy out of a briefcase that also contains bootleg DVDs and tube socks. Their defense needs a lot of work, and one of the positions of most need is CB. This draft class is extremely deep with first-round talent at corner. Darqueze Denard is a Big Ten product who played at an extremely high level all season and will be a day one starter on the Eagles defense. Denard will immediately improve on a unit that was one of the worst in the NFL.
Pick #23: Kansas City select WR Allen Robinson
The Chiefs need another WR not named Bowe, and they get this in Penn State alum Allen Robinson. Robinson is a big, tall receiver who is also a big play threat on any play. He lit up the Big Ten this previous season with 97 receptions for 1,432 yards and 6 touchdowns to boot (ESPN Stats and Info). While Alex Smith played extremely well this season, he would love to have another wide receiver who would be a large target and can out jump opposing corners. Combine Robinson with Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs offense is something to be afraid of.
Pick #24: Cincinnati Bengals select WR Odell Beckham Jr
AJ Green can’t do it all in Cincinnati, and although Marvin Jones had a decent season with a couple promising games it is not enough to warrant him being a true number two option. Odell Beckham Jr offers a very different style of play than Green. Beckham is a small across-the-middle type receiver who isn’t afraid to take a hit going across the dirty area of the field. He will provide not only Andy Dalton a secondary option to Green, but also will create some space for Green who will no longer be the only focal point on the receiving corp. Beckham will be a day one starter who can provide relief to a one star receiving corp.
Pick #25: San Diego Chargers Select DE Kony Ealy
Kony Ealy was a beast this year in one of the biggest surprises of the college football season, the Mizzou tigers. The San Diego defense was one of the worst this season and is in major need of pass rushing help. Later in the draft you may see the Chargers select Ealy’s teammate Michael Sam to bolster their pass rush as well. However, Ealy in most other drafts is a consensus top ten pick but because of the large volume of talent at the top of this season draft the Charger get a gift in Ealy. His pure athleticism is one of his biggest gifts. The only problem I see in his game is that at times when exploding off the snap his pad level is elevated to the point where it is detrimental to him. But that is a small hole in an otherwise impressive game.
Pick #26: Cleveland Browns select DT Louis Nix III
Louis “Irish Chocolate” Nix will be a great addition to a team that added a defensive genius of a head coach and does not have many holes. Interior D-line is really the only area of need on this defense, and Nix fills that need in a big way. He is a powerful tackle who is strong at the point of attack and is very good a splitting double-teams. There are some holes in his game though as he doesn’t always use his power when in double teams, and he did come into this previous season a little heavier than scouts would’ve liked. However, he will be a great addition to the Browns D-line that Mike Pettine will optimize for his best use.
Pick #27: New Orleans Saints select CB Jason Verrett
The Saints Defense under Rob Ryan took a huge leap forward this season but there are still some major needs that need to be addressed on the defensive side of the ball. Verrett shows good hip movement and his ability to change direction translates well to the next level. His best abilities are when he is attacking the ball and forcing turnovers. He is a true ball-hawking corner which is his most tangible trait that could help him succeed in the NFL. He also is strong in run support and has been seen throwing his body around on the field.
Pick #28: Carolina Panthers select WR Kelvin Benjamin
Kelvin Benjamin had a breakout season with the FSU this season and capped it off with his biggest of the season for the game winning catch against Auburn in the National Title game. The Panthers have been looking for a secondary option to compliment Steve Smith and they get that in spades with Benjamin. Benjamin is a big-play threat every play he is on the field. His abilities include a great vertical leap, a big body to out body defenders and speed to run away from them once he gets into space. The biggest concern around Benjamin is the bust potential of being a redshirt sophomore.
Pick #29: New England Patriots select WR Brandin Cooks
After the loss of Wes Welker, Tom Brady searched for a number one wide receiver all season only to still be looking, Brandin Cooks will provide this for the Patriots. Cooks was extremely productive while at Oregon State. He is the type of athlete that teams look for in terms of athleticism and leaping ability. Cooks has the ability to be a similar player to Percy Harvin or Tavon Austin because of his ability to not only catch passes but also to run and return kicks. One of the holes in his game is his lack of ability to get off corners who are physical at the line, and he lacks the size and muscle density that you would like to see in a number one WR.
Pick #30: San Fransisco 49ers select S/CB Lemarcus Joyner
Lemarcus Joyner is the player equivalent of Donte Hitner’s little cousin. Joyner throws his body around the field with reckless abandon. He also is a ball hawk who not only can pick off the ball, but also jar the ball loose when blitzing or stepping up in run support (see his Clemson game from this year). Joyner fits well on a team with not a lot of holes who happens to play in the most physical conference in the NFL. Jim Harabaugh will utilize Joyner on both defense and special teams, which will give him some time to develop and become the heir apparent to Whitner’s safety position or take over one of the starting CB roles that are really up in the air. The only knock against Joyner is his size at 5’8 and 180 pounds; he is by no means the biggest player in the NFL.
Pick #31: Denver Broncos select S Calvin Pryor
The Bronco’s this offseason need to focus on defense. As the old adage goes “defense wins championships” and Seattle proved that this year. The biggest hole on this defense the past two seasons has been the secondary, specifically the safety position. Pryor brings good ability coupled with strength in run support. He is also good at getting turnovers, which he had three of this previous season. Pryor will start immediately in Denver unless he shows terribly in training camp. This pick isn’t the flashiest, but fills important hole on the Denver defense.
Pick #32: Seattle Seahawks select OG/OT Morgan Moses
Now there are a lot of Offensive Lineman who the Seahawks could go with at this pick. Someone like David Yankey or Xavier S’ua Filo would fill the LG position that is really the only hole the Seahawks have on their team. But, Morgan Moses makes the most sense here because of his extreme versatility on the line. He can play every position but center, and that’s the type of O-lineman Pete Carrol loves. Some of my colleagues would argue that Moses is a reach here, but that has never concerned the Seahawks (see Bruce Irvin or Russell Wilson). They saw the player they wanted and they took him and I think the same situation will apply to Moses. Moses moves very well for his size and gets to the second level in run blocking which is something that Seattle needs for its offense. A couple of his weaknesses are when in space he tries to ram or lower his hat into the defender which can lead to him lunging at air and he lack ability in short distance start and stop that you like to see in an NFL ready lineman. With coaching and practice these are thing that are correctable.
I hope you liked this mock draft and remember to get your pets spayed or neutered. Also, if you’re like me, you like your news delivered to you in one convenient package and you can get your sports news delivered to you in a beautiful package with a bow on it (there probably won’t be a bow on it) by signing up for the Fansided newsletter. Also, if you would like to create your own Mock Drafts using real time prospect ratings and team needs then go to Fanspeak.com or follow this link http://fanspeak.com/ontheclock/ and in no time you’ll be the next Mel Kiper Jr or the Head Coach/GM of the Cleveland Browns, the later is much more likely.