This 2014 NFL mock draft has added more feature stories on the players themselves. They’re linked in the player name and listed after each entry too. Lots of combine winners and losers, here’s three that earned their way into the first round in Indianapolis, and three who cost themselves a first round pick with a bad performance.
Big changes all over my first round of the 2014 NFL mock draft, starting right at the top.
1. Houston Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Not the biggest need, yes I know. But how can you pass this up? What a pairing he’d have with JJ Watt- DOMINATION! Of course, as I reported earlier, We know the supposed controversy about Jadeveon Clowney and his “motor” has “no there there” as Gertrude Stein would say. Clowney was just worried about not getting hurt and costing himself millions of dollars. It’s only natural. He’s truly the best player available, as that sub 4.5 40 is just inhuman for a man his size. Gotta go Clowney.
Bill O’Brien is a quarterback whisperer. He brought blue chip recruit Christian Hackenberg along into a star right away. He took the pile of garbage that was Matt McGloin and made him a fringe NFL guy, who accomplished the greatest passing season in PSU history. BOB can get a QB in round two and mold him into what he wants.
Go here for more on Jadeveon Clowney.
Namewise Jadeveon Clowney is right up there with college football players Hingle McCringleberry, Ozmataz Buckshank, Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace and LeCarpetron Dookmarriot. Of course, those three players don’t actually exist. They’re characters in a Key & Peele sketch.
2. St. Louis from Washington, Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Auburn’s phenomenal season has seen this guy’s draft stock shoot way up through the roof. He’s a franchise type tackle prospect now. He’s bunched up there together with Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews, any of the three could go first, and the order of the three is in flux. Overall, the triad grade out higher than Lane Johnson, Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher did last year. Even though they all went top five. This year the OTs (thank god! we don’t need another fat boy draft like we had last year) won’t go as high because there’s blue chip prospects at the other positions of need.
3. Jacksonville, Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Is Johnny Manziel the next Brett Favre? That’s what Trent Dilfer, the game manager of all game-managers thinks. Ron Jaworski doesn’t like Manziel, but so what? Jaws thought Brandon Weeden was a lock to be a star in the NFL. Here’s Mel Kiper Jr’s assessment of Johnny.
ESPN talking heads assessed Johnny Manziel, and Chris Mortensen seems to have a pretty good idea who will be drafting him. Senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, on what he’s hearing from NFL front offices about Johnny Manziel:
“First of all, they believe he is a very exciting football player, but he has this recklessness about him – some say on and off the field – that he needs to corral. One evaluator said he saw him wear down as the season went on in the SEC – did not even look as explosive. But then he freshens up and looks like the old Johnny Football in the bowl game. So, these guys believe he is a first round draft pick. I’ve had more than one evaluator say he’s going to be a top-5 pick, some suspect the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3.”
Teddy Bridgewater did not run or throw at the NFL Scouting Combine yesterday, after saying that he would. Which is disappointing. A lot of QBs don’t like throwing in Indianapolis because they would rather throw to their own guys under circumstances they are more familiar with. Teddy will throw at the Louisville Pro Day March 17th.
It’s interesting that Bridgewater didn’t want to show off that he’s the best signal caller in this draft though, given his comments that he believes he’s the best quarterback prospect in this class. Is he “pro ready Teddy” And are the Brownies, the dumbest organization in the NFL going to screw this pick up? And take Derek Carr instead?
Go here for more on Bridgewater
5. Oakland, Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
You don’t like this pick, but so what? A lot of mock drafts are making this pick. What’s with receivers increasing their NFL Draft stock versus the OSU secondary? First Jared Abbrederis of Wisconsin took himself from obscurity to a mid-round prospect against Bradley Roby and company. Now Watkins played himself into a top ten pick with his lights out Orange Bowl performance.
6. Atlanta Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
This guy seems to be high on almost everyone’s 2014 NFL mock draft boards. This college football season he has shown the potential to be a star next-level edge-rusher. He’s only building on his huge 2012 season and increasing his stock each week. Kiper has him as one of the the top three picks in the 2014 NFL mock draft. Your draft priorities are always quarterbacks first, then pass protecters, pass rushers, and then pass-catchers and shutdown pass defenders. Those are the main priorities, every thing else is ancillary. He has 13 TFL and six sacks through nine games this season.
Go here for the UCLA Cheerleaders photo gallery
Best player available and an upgrade over Mike Glennon.
SI’s Peter King:
“The fastest rising quarterback in the first round, should he choose to come out, is fourth-year junior Blake Bortles of Central Florida. I’ve spoken to a team that’s likely to have a top 10 pick, and they like him better than any quarterback in this draft.”
No discussion of Blake Bortles is complete without bringing up his scorching hot girlfriend Lindsey Duke. (pictured below) but here’s more pictures. And here’s some Lindsey Duke video. She even came up as a discussion topic at the Combine.
8. Vikings Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
Kiper Jr: “I’ve liked him from the start and he grades out as #7 on the big board.” I’ve seen him as high as #6 in some of the better, more established mocks. Mack is underrated because he’s from a small mid-major school. The key for him is how he fits into both a 3-4 or a 4-3 team. I like how he could fit with the Titans 4-3. Maybe “Return of the Mack” will make them a playoff team again?
9. Buffalo, Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Best player available might not even fall this far. A franchise cornerstone.
Matthews comes from the blue blood of NFL families. Bruce Matthews, Clay Matthews, Casey Matthews etc. Dave Matthews….oh wait, not that last one. Matthews is a right tackle turned left tackle and shows the ability to be a franchise building guy. He can play both Tackles positions but projects as a big money Left Tackle protecting the blind side..
10. Detroit Lions, Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St
Solidified his place as the first corner taken with his official 40-yard dash. Gilbert was outstanding in coverage this year, and the only criteria that will make him rise above Darqueze Dennard is who works out better at the combine and pro days. Right now they’re pretty much CB1a and CB1b.
11. Tennessee Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
This guy needs to give a huge cut of his salary to Johnny Manziel, who’s made all this money for him. Eli was terrible this season, time to give him something more to work with. Plus Ike Reese is a value GM, and he’ll go best player available.
I’m surprised THIS isn’t affecting Lewan’s draft stock very much. People aren’t talking about it much. They should. And the NFL should really do their due diligence on Lewan regarding the Brendan Gibbons rape case before they think about taking him. According to the Detroit Free Press, the police report said Lewan told the friend that if the victim pressed charges against Gibbons “then I’m going to rape her because he didn’t.”
Lewan denied the allegation at the NFL Scouting Combine and added that he was “not here to defend Brendan Gibbons.”
Go here for more on Taylor Lewan
13. St. Louis, Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
ran a 4.68 40 which is PHENOMENAL for a guy his size. His 35 reps on the bench press was second most in his position group.
Scouts like Hageman’s length and girth, abt 6-6, 311. He’s a nose guard, who makes an interesting 3-technique prospect in the NFL.
“He had a great off week, and we worked out on his fundamentals,” said Gophers Interim Head Coach Tracy Claeys.
“He’s a big part of what we do, because others prepare for him.”
Hageman said he did a lot of drills working on technique and hand-work. And he needs works on his technique. Very much so as it looks like Hageman plays off every now and the, The Gophers are pretty deep at DL, and Rashede disappears or awhile. He needs more consistency.
Go here for more on Ra’shede Hageman
For an exclusive with the man who witnessed that Cutler story go here
15. Pittsburgh, CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. ranks him as the sixth best prospect on his big board. “a guy who has done a tremendous job from a production standpoint, he’s consistent, he shows up every week, he studies. For a NFL Defensive Coordinator, he’s someone who can come in and cover and so much on the field and play every down,” Kiper said. And what’s a 2014 NFL mock draft without the Steelers taking a linebacker?
Go here for more on CJ Mosley
My god that Dallas defense is a train wreck among train wrecks. Did you see Josh McCown score on all eight possessions in the Siberian version of Soldier Field? Josh McCown! ‘Boys must go D BPA in the first round. Defensive best player of available. Safety is the primary need, but safeties don’t usually go in the first round. Unless it’s Ha Ha Clinton Dix, who very well might end up here. I
MSU had the #1 defense in the nation, and Dennard is the #1 most NFL ready on that squad. Made himself some good money in the Big Ten title game. Wow did he look good. The “No Fly Zone” can make himself even more money by dominating the Stanford WRs in the Rose Bowl.
Go here for more on Darqueze Dennard
17. Baltimore, Marqise Lee, WR, USC
I’d rate Lee higher but it’s all about health with him. He’s suffered a fair amount of injury during his time in Troy, and he needs to show that he’s 100% at the combine. No worries about him producing a lot of big numbers or possessing talent. He’s proven that already; he’s not just a beneficiary of Matt Barkley, he proves that he can play regardless whatever Trojans QB is throwing to him. It’s obvious that the Ravens desperately need help at receiver. Neither Jacoby Jones nor Marlon Brown are a legit NFL WR2.
Go here for the USC cheerleaders annual swim event fundraiser, bikini photo gallery
A 3-4 defense looking to strengthen the front seven. The 2014 NFL mock draft is interesting for Nix as he’s graded out the top 3-4 Nose Tackle in this draft, but a lot of the teams looking at the DT position up at the top are 4-3 teams, not 3-4. “Irish Chocolate” in the 2014 NFL mock draft. And Nix is an awesome soundbite to boot. After he scored a rushing TD in the spring game, he said…..
“That’s what all teams need to be scared of. Everybody needs to be scared of Irish Chocolate. Everyone. Including you.”
Here’s more on Louis Nix
19. Miami Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame
Martin had a great Senior Bowl and will probably end up going to either Miami or Arizona, somewhere in the first round. I’m guessing Miami as they need big bodies to help protect QB Ryan Tannehill. And of course appease his wife, model Lauren Tannehill. The big three tackle prospects: Greg Robinson of Auburn, Jake Matthews of Texas A&M and Taylor Lewan ofMichigan will all be long gone by the time the Dolphins are on the clock.
“Zack Martin to me would be the guy because you could play him at left tackle, at right tackler, you can could put him at guard, he started 50 plus games, he’s durable,” ESPN NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. said on media conference call a couple days ago.
Here’s more in depth on why Miami taking Zack Martin makes sense
Here’s a summary of what ND players should get drafted, signed as free agents
20. Arizona, Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Fills a need and is about the exact time that Ebron should be picked anyway. However, he might not even be there, I could see him going to the Ravens at #17. More on Ebron from Walter Football:
There is no denying that Ebron is an exceptional athlete with a special combination of size and strength. He flashes the ability to be a dangerous receiver and impact blocker.
His name is worth being a number one pick alone. Don’t worry too much about the suspension. All he did was seek money for doing his job. A situation that magically changes 180 degrees in a few months. Namewise Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is right up there with college football players Hingle McCringleberry, Ozmataz Buckshank, Tyroil Smoochie-Wallace and LeCarpetron Dookmarriot. Of course, those three players don’t actually exist. They’re characters in a Key & Peele sketch.
Go here for more on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
22. Philadelphia, Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The Eagles defense is actually better than you might think it is, but it’s also got to be the way that Philly goes in round one. And I could see this position being one they would want to upgrade. Chip Kelly sort of endorses this very site you are reading. It happened at the Rose Bowl. Read the whole quasi-endorsement here.
23. Kansas City, Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
I don’t think it would surprise anyone if the Chiefs went pass-catcher in the first round, specifically with someone who can play on the outside. In Benjamin, they get a guy who’s draft stock has shot way up during the historic perfect season they had in Tallahassee, so this pick makes sense in my 2014 NFL mock draft. Does it make sense in real life?
Well, you know how these things play out…what’s logical is often the opposite of what happens.
He got off to a rough start this year, because he wasn’t healthy. Then he dominated the USC game. Stephon Tuitt pretty much won the USC game for Notre Dame. ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. sees Tuitt has a great prospect and said that he didn’t like the targeting rule that kept Stephon Tuitt out of the Pitt game, and he mentioned that the absence of Stephon Tuitt pretty much cost Notre Dame the Pitt game. Kiper believes Tuitt could step in and start right away.
Here’s a summary of what ND players should get drafted, signed as free agents
Go here for more on Tuitt
25. San Diego, Kony Ealy, DE/OLB, Missouri
26. Browns from Colts, Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
27. New Orleans, Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
This guy ran into the first round with 40 at Indy. It probably now goes Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Kelvin Benjamin and Cooks. Broke combine records in the 20- and 60-yard shuttles while running a Sonic the Hedgehog like 4.33 in the 40-yard dash.
28. Carolina Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
With his size and versatility and the trendy way that tight ends are being used in the NFL today, you have to see this guy being a first round pick.
“so much flexibility with Amaro, you flex him out, and with how long he is, and how big his hands are, I think Jace Amaro goes in the first round I think New England could look at him at pick 29,” said Mel Kiper Jr. on media conference call the other day.
30. San Francisco, Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
31. Denver, Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Broncos offense is a very well oiled machine, I didn’t expect them to get utterly dominated in the Super Bowl. It doesn’t take away from the passing records that the unit set, and I just don’t see them drafting on that side of the ball. The defense really came well together down the stretch despite all the injuries (Von Miller, Chris Harris, Champ Bailey) and played well most of the time, but then got embarrassed in the Super Bowl. I see them going defense, best player available at this pick.
32. Seattle, Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)