Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Blog 30 - 2014 NFL Mock Draft

2014 NFL Mock Draft
by Andy Head
1    -      Houston Texans  -   Blake Bortles
All the hubbub has Clowney, undisputedly the best player in the draft, going to the Texans, but I don't buy it. Houston had a horrible season last year. Horrendous. And they haven't added a QB in free agency other than Ryan Fitzpatrick, a perennial back up who they are paying back up money to. There is a massive hole where the most important player to a franchise should be. The media would have you believe that Houston will take Clowney and then move for another QB in Rnd 2. Seriously? See how much better this season is than last while Jimmy Garropolo or A.J. McCarron flail around, enduring all the same problems with protection that Matt Schaub bombed with last year. No, can't see it in a million years. Touting Clowney as the pick makes sense to drum up trade interest amongst the likes of Atlanta but I don't think it's convincing anyone except a few journalists. It will be a QB and that will mean Bortles or Manziel, and I think Bortles will be a better fit for Bill O'Brien's offense.
2   -       TRADE  -   Cleveland Browns  -  Johnny Manziel
With the first QB off the board, the race for Johnny Football begins in earnest. Jacksonville will be tempted, as will Tampa and Minnesota, but along with Oakland, they won't want to give up the picks. Cleveland have openly coveted Manziel and won't risk losing him. The franchise gets fresh life breathed into it. St Louis  gets pick 4 plus Cleveland's 2nd Rnd pick this year and next.
3   -       TRADE  -   Atlanta Falcons  -   Jadeveon Clowney
Atlanta, while sensibly holding back from giving up the farm to trade for number one, opt to pay the price for trading up three places to get the best pass rusher of the past decade at draft stage. Jacksonville extract pick 6, Atlanta's 2nd Rounder and a 3rd next year.
4  -        TRADE  -   San Francisco 49'ers  -  Sammy Watkins
Sammy Watkins, Khalil Mack and the remaining QB's are on the board and while St Louis will be tempted by the former two, they'll also be acutely aware that they can move down again and stockpile picks in a very deep draft. San Francisco, armed with a plethora of picks and needing an elite weapon to compete with the Superbowl champion Seahawks and improving Arizona, will take their shot with Watkins. St Louis gets San Francisco's 1st and 2nd Rnd picks this year and next years first.
5  -       TRADE  - Minnesota Vikings  -  Derek Carr
Minnesota HAS to get a QB and swaps their 3rd Rounder and next year's 4th, plus pick 8 for Oakland's pick.
6  -      Jacksonville Jaguars   -   Khalil Mack
While the Jaguars will hope to follow in St Louis's footsteps and trade down again, I think this is where normality makes a reappearance. Jacksonville will be tempted by Bridgewater because they are so short at QB but they'll stick with BPA on their board which will most likely be Mack.
7  -   Tampa Bay Buccaneers   -  Mike Evans
BPA that fits a need, Tampa will be delighted if Evans makes it to seven.
8   -   Oakland Raiders   -   Taylor Lewan

First shock of the night. With Robinson and Matthews still on the board, Oakland take Lewan, a workout warrior who they feel is the best overall fit for their offensive line.

9   -   TRADE   -    Dallas Cowboys   -  Aaron Donald

Dallas sneak up for the player they most covet and give up pick 16 and their second rounder to the grateful Bills.

10  -   Detroit Lions   -   Greg Robinson

Detroit go with the best player on their board and will be pleasantly surprised to have a choice between Robinson and Matthews. Robinson is a better fit for them and has a higher ceiling.

11   -   Tennessee Titans   -   Anthony Barr

There's a reason so many mocks have Barr going to the Titans. It just makes too much sense. Perfect fit for a team that sorely needs a pass rusher.

12   -   TRADE   -   Miami Dolphins   -   Jake Matthews

Miami, desperately in need of an offensive line with stability and character can't resist trading up for a guy that has both in spades. Has to sacrifice pick 19 and their second rounder to get him though.

13   -   St Louis Rams   -   Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Rams fans finely see their team go up to the podium. Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix would improve their secondary considerably and is an easy value pick at 13.

14   -   Chicago Bears   -   RaShede Hageman

You either love Hageman or you don't, he's extremely polarising. One team will fall in love with him, and I can see the Bears having a great deal of interest in a player that can add to the refurbishment of their defensive core.

15   -   Pittsburgh Steelers   -   Darqueze Dennard

BPA at position of need. Strong, physical beast of a corner who fits the Steelers like a glove.

16  -  Buffalo Bills   -   Eric Ebron

The Bills drop down and pick up the player they may well have drafted at nine anyway. Ebron gives EJ Manuel an extra safety blanket to go along with his young wide receiver corps.

17   -  Baltimore Ravens   -   Odell Beckham Jr

Baltimore does what it always does. Sits tight, drafts BPA, and somehow comes out with exactly what they need.

18  -  New York Jets   -   Justin Gilbert

The Jets need a CB in the worst way and Gilbert is, by consensus, one of the top prospects in this years class. They'd be delighted to get him at 18.

19   -   New York Giants  -   Louis Nix III

New York could go in a number of directions with this pick, and they're not averse to springing a surprise with their selections. Nix is an outstanding defensive lineman who is great value at 19.

20   -   Arizona Cardinals   -   Calvin Pryor

Arizona struggled mightily against Tight Ends last season and the versatile all-round Safety, Calvin Pryor would be an immediate upgrade.

21   -   Green Bay Packers   -  Jordan Matthews

Green Bay have had some turnover in their receivers and Aaron Rodgers needs someone to catch the ball. Matthews, an interesting prospect with great measurable would be a reach with great upside.

22   -   Philadelphia Eagles   -   Kyle Fuller

Philadelphia traditionally draft well, and Fuller would be a solid addition to their backfield.

23   -   TRADE   -   Jacksonville Jaguars   -   Teddy Bridgewater

With both Kansas and Cincinnati rumoured to have interest in Bridgewater, Jacksonville throws the dice and throws in their own second rounder and their third rounder to secure their franchise quarterback.

24  -   Cincinnati Bengals   -   Zack Martin

The Bengals have holes after free agency saw some influential players leave, and the versatile offensive lineman, Zack Martin would cure many ills.

25   -   San Diego Chargers   -   Bradley Roby

San Diego could go in a number of directions. I think Roby fills a need and will be amongst the BPA's by this stage.

26   -   Cleveland Browns   -   Marqise Lee

Having kept their second first-round pick in the trade to get Manziel, Cleveland then uses the pick to secure a new toy for him. Lee paired with Josh Gordon will revolutionise Cleveland's offensive threat from Day 1.

27   -   New Orleans Saints   -   Morgan Moses

The giant Moses will help keep the heat off Drew Brees and complete a fearsome offensive line for the Saints.

28   -   Carolina Panthers   -   Brandin Cooks

Carolina were one of the bigger losers in free agency, so the draft is vital for them in securing extra resource. Cooks will provide a speedy, reliable target for Cam Newton and expand their options.

29   -   New England Patriots   -   Austin Seferian-Jenkins

New England never quite go in the direction you expect. This year they appear enamoured with Seferian-Jenkins and have looked him over three times in workouts and visits. With Gronkowski unreliable and Hernandez gone, they need a tight end and ASJ has huge upside.

30   -   St Louis Rams   -   Joel Bitonio

St Louis makes an unspectacular but solid selection to beef up their offensive line options with the pick they acquired from San Francisco.

31   -   Denver Broncos   -   C.J. Moseley

What do you get for the team that has everything? The leader of the Alabama defence of course. Moseley fills a need in the middle of the Bronco's transitional linebacking corps.

32   -   Seattle Seahawks   -   Cyrus Kouandjio

An addition to Russell Wilson's protection detail who struggled with injuries at times last season. Kouandjio will add depth, size and a big potential upside.

The draft should be awesome this year with an awful lot of depth across the board. Trades could well be flying around, especially at the top of the round, and I can't wait to see how it plays out.


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