The least predictable NFL Draft in recent memory is just days away. Here is a first round mock draft for the 2014 NFL draft.
1. Houston Texans select DE Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina). When it is all said and done, the Texans will pick the most talented player in the draft.
2. TRADE – Cleveland Browns select QB Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M). The Browns, who have a five picks in the first three rounds, move up two spots for their guy. Manziel could be the spark that this franchise desperately needs.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars select OLB Khalil Mack (Buffalo). There are some people who like Mack over Clowney. Coach Gus Bradley gets to build his defense around a guy who could be a franchise player for the next decade.
4. St. Louis Rams select OT Greg Robinson (Auburn). Jeff Fisher has never selected an offensive lineman in the first round but that should change this year. This is quarterback Sam Bradford’s final chance.
5. Oakland Raiders select WR Sammy Watkins (Clemson). The Raiders would race to the podium in order to pick the best playmaker in the draft.
6. Atlanta Falcons select OT Taylor Lewan (Michigan). The Falcons decide to go with Lewan over Jake Matthews as they hope to get tougher along both trenches.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M). There are not a lot of options other than Evans that make sense for the Bucs here. They are definitely a candidate to trade out.
8. TRADE – Dallas Cowboys select DT Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh). The Cowboys ship their first and second round picks to move up from #16 to secure the best interior defensive lineman.
9. Buffalo Bills select OT Jake Matthews (Texas A&M). If Matthews slipped this far, the Bills would be ecstatic. They need to do a better job of protecting quarterback E.J. Manuel.
10. Detroit Lions select TE Eric Ebron (North Carolina). The Lions opt to bypass the secondary and decide to give Matthew Stafford another toy.
11. Tennessee Titans select OLB Anthony Barr (UCLA). Another pass rusher off the board. The Titans can take a quarterback in round two.
12. New York Giants select OT/OG Zack Martin (Notre Dame). It would be interesting to see who the Giants would take if Martin and DT Aaron Donald were on the board here. With Donald gone in this mock draft, the Giants take the versatile Martin to help protect Eli Manning.
13. St. Louis Rams select FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama). The Rams desperately need help in the secondary.
14. TRADE – San Francisco 49ers select WR Odell Beckham, Jr (LSU). The 49ers have plenty of picks to move up in this year’s draft. They need to give Colin Kaepernick a speedster at wideout.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers select CB Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State). The Steelers have to get younger on both sides of the ball.
16. Minnesota Vikings select LB C.J. Mosley (Alabama). Linebackers are key to Mike Zimmer’s defenses and the Vikings need to upgrade in that area.
17. Baltimore Ravens select FS Calvin Pryor (Louisville). The Ravens pair Pryor up with Matt Elam to form one of the NFL’s best young safety duos.
18. New York Jets select CB Darqueze Denard (Michigan State). Rex Ryan loves corners.
19. TRADE – Cleveland Browns select CB Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech). The Browns trade the #26 pick and a third rounder to move up again in the draft: this time for a corner to play opposite Joe Haden.
20. Arizona Cardinals select QB Blake Bortles (Central Florida). The Cardinals would have to take Bortles, who is a good fit for Bruce Arians’ offense, if he fell to them.
21. Green Bay Packers select LB Ryan Shazier (Ohio State). The Packers need to get quicker on defense in order to make it back to the Super Bowl.
22. Philadelphia Eagles select WR Brandin Cooks (Oregon State). The Eagles would probably prefer to move up but take the speedy wideout here to help replace DeSean Jackson.
23. Kansas City Chiefs select OG Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA). The Chiefs lost a lot of linemen in the offseason and grab the best guard in the draft.
24. Cincinnati Bengals select CB Bradley Roby (Ohio State). The Bengals never shy away from taking chances on players and cornerback is an obvious need.
25. San Diego Chargers select CB Jason Verrett (TCU). San Diego needs to upgrade their secondary.
26. Miami Dolphins select OT/OG Joel Bitonio (Nevada). With the big tackles gone at #19, the Dolphins trade down and fill an obvious need here.
27. New Orleans Saints select WR Marqise Lee (USC). The Saints look to the future at wideout with Marques Colston starting to age.
28. Carolina Panthers select OT Morgan Moses (Virginia). The Panthers need all kinds of help along the offensive line. They can get a wide receiver later on.
29. New England Patriots select DE/DT Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame). It is probably a safe bet to guess the Pats will trade down but Bill Belichick may really like Tuitt’s versatlity.
30. Chicago Bears select DT Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota). The Bears must continue to rebuild their defensive line.
31. Denver Broncos select DE Kony Ealy (Missouri). Why not add another pass rusher to that defense?
32. TRADE – Jacksonville Jaguars select QB Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville). And the night ends on a buzz as the Jags jump ahead of the Texans to grab their QB.
There you have it. Hey, it’s all in good fun, right? Enjoy the draft!