2014 NFL mock draft time. The 2014 NFL mock draft order is now set. We also have feature stories on the players themselves. Click on the names where highlighted to read those.
The draft combine begins soon, Feb 22-25th in Indianapolis. We’ll have so much more from the combine, winners and losers, and 2014 NFL Mock draft stock reports, in the meantime, here’s our latest update
1. Houston Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
A former NFL scout, former, not current, named Russ Lande reports the Texans have made up their mind between Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles. Bill O’Brien wants Bortles, who he got the chance to personally scout when UCF won at Penn St. last fall. Texans GM Bob McNair wants Manziel. I need to get something more concrete than that before I make the switch to put Manziel number one overall. I might make the switch soon, but I need more verifiable info first.
No one could have predicted the Texans and Matt Schaub meltdown, but here we are. Case Keenum was better than what you would expect from a prospect of his caliber, but he’s nowhere near anything that could be considered the answer. The organization knows they need a new face of the franchise, maybe Bridgewater is it.
2. St. Louis from Washington, 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 Robert Quinn- DOMINATION! Of course, as I reported earlier, the Rams are desperately trying to shop this pick and trade back. We know the supposed controversy about Jadeveon Clowney has “no there there” as Gertrude Stein would say. Yet it does bring up one very important potential future issue that we should look at.
“I think it got blown out of proportion” – Spurrier. Well, yes but the visored one is the person who got this whole party started by throwing Jadeveon Clowney under the bus in the first place.
So both Spurrier and the media are at fault in this. But as College Gameday did a mea culpa, one of the show’s talking heads, Kirk Herbstreit brought up a salient point that we should takeaway from this.
Whenever a college football player has a star freshman or sophomore season, and he’s clearly ready to leap to the NFL, should be just bail on his team and prepare for the NFL Draft? Instead of risking injury that will derail his draft stock and cost him life-changing amounts of money should he just go leave the game? And work out with a trainer and focus on conditioning for the combine instead?
3. Jacksonville, Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
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.”
Is Johnny Manziel the next Brett Favre? That’s what Trent Dilfer, the game manager of all game-managers thinks. So that’s the opinion of a second ESPN analyst. As for a third, here’a Mel Kiper Jr.’s assessment, and where he has Johnny Manziel on the big board.
4. Browns, Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Browns are supposedly looking to trade up to get Manziel. I don’t forecast trades in my mock- that’s too much work, and this thing is 4,000 words already as it is. So I’ll have them go a different direction at QB
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
7. Tampa Bay Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Their phenomenal season has seen this guy’s draft stock shoot way up through the roof. He’s a franchise type tackle prospect now.
8. Vikings Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Still you see what a ship wreck Christine Ponder is at QB. Or you can call him Christian Steele. He’s not the answer. Freeman is more questions, bad questions than answer as well. Can’t see them doing Manziel. He’s too much of a wildcard, and scares too many NFL scouts and front office people. Former Patriots Director of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, as well as the insiders at Pro Football Talk are saying scouts are high on Bortles.
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.
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..
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
He’s extremely mature. He understand accountability, at 2013 Big Ten Media Day, he broke down every loss from 2012 as to it being his own fault. He found a way to blame it on himself. And that really says something given who much talent surrounds him on the MSU defense. there is next level talent at every position, and plenty of talented Spartans next to Dennard in the secondary.
Has officially declared now, and skyrocketing up draft boards. Why? He didn’t have that great of a final season in South Bend and he’s dinged up to boot. But maybe he’ll wow ‘em at the combine and change my mind. The 2014 NFL mock draft is interesting for the Pack as you don’t know which way they’re going to go, it really should be defense. I could see the Pack going shopping for some “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.
Louis Nix was blunt about his agenda running the football. “My intentions were just to truck somebody, to be honest. I didn’t care about the touchdown too much. I just wanted to run somebody over and show coach I can do it without fumbling the ball,” he said. The defense wanted no part in taking on Louis Nix, with linebacker Kendall Moore moving out of the way to avoid collision with Louis Nix. “They were scared. I wouldn’t want to tackle me. Would you?” Nix asked. “I saw fear in his eyes. I would have done the same thing.”
by the way, here’s more on Louis Nix’s Twitter buddy, who’s in the next two pics:
12. New York Giants, 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.
The Big Ten has been great at producing offensive linemen prospects for he NFL lately. The Wisconsin Badgers are a factory, but there’s also been a bunch in the past few years coming out from the Penn State Nittany Lions, Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines.
Ever wonder what Big Ten school has produced the most 1st round picks these past five years? The answer will surprise you.
Given the “fat boy draft” of 2013, maybe I should put Lewan #1 in my 2014 NFL mock draft. No seriously, this past draft was in fact exceedingly boring, but the next draft will be much more exciting.
Part of what makes these o linemen from the league so tough is who they’re constantly facing off with- great defensive lines, Whether in practice scrimmaging or in game, so many linemen are practicing their craft vs strong defensive lines.
“the Big Ten is great for defensive lines and I think one of the the best defensive lines is the one we have at Michigan,” Lewan said.
Ra’Shede Hageman is a hometown product getting it done for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The Minneapolis native is leading the Gophers in tackles for losses and looks like a top ten pick in the NFL Draft in May. It’s a toss-up between Ra’Shede Hageman or Michigan OT Taylor Lewan to be the first Big Ten player taken in the draft. They are also the only guys who could be top ten picks.
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.
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?
16. Dallas, Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St
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.
Intriguing to pair him with the guy who was rumored to score a 5 on his Wonderlic test. And then later said he just blew the test off because he knows it doesn’t matter that much to your draft status anyway. But you’ll seriously want to see my pics from inside the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders locker room, Oh, and here’s the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on bikini fitting day. You’ll want to click that too!
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
18. New York Jets, Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Jets have some QB issues and the way to best help develop a young signal caller is to give more protection and weapons to work with. Perhaps no one NFL Draft prospect increased his draft stock as much as this guy. From obscurity to top 20.
19. Miami Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame
Flew under the radar; which is surprising considering that he went to ND, the most above the radar school that there is. Shows you how linemen are just extremely unsexy and boring. Here’s why Miami taking Zack Martin makes sense.
Zack 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(pictured above). 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.
20. Arizona, Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Fills a need and is about the exact time that Ebron should be picked anyway.
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.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was the number one rated DB in his recruiting class. And he’s second on the Crimson Tide in tackles right now. He was on track to be a first round NFL Draft pick. Of course, this suspension won’t exactly help his draft stock. Still despite all his potential as a star player, none of that will overshadow his given name.
One of the veteran leaders of the Crimson Tide defense … in his second season as Alabama’s free safety and the play caller in the back of the Tide defense … started six games … returned against Arkansas as a reserve and then returned to the starting against Tennessee … has 31 tackles, ranking third on the team, an interception and three pass breakups … Alabama Defensive Player of the Week following the Ole Miss, Arkansas and LSU games. Virginia Tech: Made six tackles, including two solo stops, as the Tide limited the Hokies to 59 yards passing in a 35-10 victory at the Georgia Dome. Texas A&M
Namewise Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is right up there with college football players Hingle McCringleberry, Fudge, and LeCarpetron Dookmarriot. Of course, those three players don’t actually exist. They’re characters in a Key & Peele sketch.
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, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Sefarian-Jenkins is one of the top overall prospects in the 2014 NFL mock draft, and could help fill two Chiefs needs: blocking and pass-catching; they could use some help in both areas.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a first team All-American tight end for the Washington Huskies. He finished third in the Mackey Award voting last year, and was 3rd team All-American. Extremely tall, big and fast, he’s projected as a top 15 NFL Draft pick in 2014. I’ve seen him in the top 10 in a few mocks.
Seferian-Jenkins was also a member of the Huskies basketball team during his freshman year.
On March 9, 2013, Seferian-Jenkins was cited for DUI in Seattle. In July he plead guilty to DUI and served a day in jail. A blue chip football prospect with some character issues- I know shocking. UW Coach Steve Sarkisian suspended him for the Huskies’ season opener against #19 Boise State.
He got off to a rough start this year, because he wasn’t healthy. A preseason All-American, he wasn’t living up to the hype. Then he dominated the USC game. Stephon Tuitt pretty much won the USC game for Notre Dame. Stephon Tuitt projects as a first round pick in next May’s NFL Draft. A possible top 15, top 20 pick. 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.
A feature on more ND players who should get drafted, signed as free agents
25. San Diego, Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Cyrus Kouandjio has blocked for 17 100-yard rushers over the past two seasons as a starter, including seven this year. He anchors an offensive line that ranks ninth nationally in fewest sacks allowed (.90 per game) while opening holes for one of the most-balanced offenses in the nation, averaging 207.5 yards on the ground, 238.2 yards in the air and 38.8 points per game.
He’s had a few hiccups along the way, and he struggled at the beginning,” ESPN expert Mel Kiper Jr. said of him. However, he still rates Kouandjio as 18th overall on the big board.
Kouandjio anchors an offensive line that ranks ninth nationally at .89 sacks per game. Versus Texas A&M he recorded two knockdown blocks, did not allow a sack and graded out at 90 percent.
26. Browns from Colts, Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
Imagine adding him to a line with Joe Thonas, and they get their franchise QB up at the top. All of a sudden this offense isn’t so bad, is it?
When Carlos Hyde return from suspension for the 2014 college football season at Northwestern, he broke down and teared up (here’s video of him crying) when answering questions about his suspension, missing football because of it, and possibly maturing from it. Hyde was suspended because he allegedly hit a woman. However, the charges were dropped.
27. New Orleans, Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Saints, statistically speaking, had the worst defense in NFL history last year. That’s not hyperbole. It’s true. And it only makes what the cowardly lion looking guy has done with it this year that much more amazing. Rob Ryan has turned them around. But they’re fading here down the stretch. Gotta go that side of the ball in round one.
Yes, that is Joe Paterno made out of Legos!
28. Carolina Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
ESPN’s draft analyst, Mel Kiper Jr., said Allen Robinson could be a mid-round pick in next spring’s NFL draft. And if Allen Robinson wins the Big Ten MVP award, it could push his draft stock even higher.
Why? Because Allen Robinson would be beaten out such a high-profile candidates like Miller.
Robinson’s numbers leave no doubt that he is leaving a legacy at Penn State, and those numbers could influence him to leave school a year early. If Allen Robinson declares for the draft, then he won’t have to worry about living up to the numbers and records he already has. Allen Robinson has the single-season school records for receptions (89) and receiving yards (1,310). And Allen Robinson leads the Big Ten in receiving yards (1,310, 119 per game) and ranks third in that category as well.
29. New England Patriots, Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
Most under the radar player in the 2014 NFL mock draft. Kiper Jr. “I’ve liked him from the start and he grades out as #7 on the big board.” Only true draftniks know this guy because he’s from a small mid-major school. We know how stupid the Detroit Lions are at playing football. And about how all the dumb mistakes they made cost them the NFC North division; which was right there for them on a silver platter. Maybe “Return of the Mack” will make them less stupid and better at football? And better at life?
30. San Francisco, Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Ohio State Linebacker Ryan Shazier is a 6-2, 230-pound junior from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida who is rocketing up NFL Draft boards right now. He looks like a second round pick for sure, and may sneak into the first round. He can fly; he’s always around the ball. Kiper Jr. says Shazier has some Lavonte David in him. Shazier is a great physical open field tackler who can play every down.
31. Denver, Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
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, Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
It seems like the Seahawks WR corps is always in flux. There’s always talent, but there’s also turnover. Time to get Russell Wilson some more weapons. Seattle will most likely draft for offense, even though they just scored 43 points in the Super Bowl. Their defense is #1 in the league and just shut down one of the best offenses in history. Hard to justify using a first round pick on that side of the ball
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)