• My Scores
  • Golf
  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NHL
  • NFL Draft

2014 NFL Mock Drafts

Pete Prisco
By
The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com


The 2013 NFL Draft was dominated by offensive tackles. This year, pass rushers will steal the spotlight.

The Houston Texans will kick things off with Jadeveon Clowney but the bigger story could be the rise of Buffalo's Khalil Mack and Pittsburgh's defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Of course, desperate teams are always willing to gamble on quarterbacks and with three projected to be among the first eight selections (but not Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater), that story won't change in 2014.

NFL Mock Draft - 4/22/2014
Round 1
1. Houston Texans

(2-14)
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Every franchise picking No. 1 overall is hoping that an Andrew Luck-like can't miss quarterback is available to them. Unfortunately for Bill O'Brien and the Texans, there isn't one of that caliber available this year. Taking Clowney, unquestionably the most gifted player in the 2014 draft, and pairing him with J.J. Watt gives Houston the best opportunity to win right away.
2. Atlanta Falcons (from St. Louis)

(4-12)
Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: The Falcons are desperate to land an impact pass rusher to star in defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's scheme and with Mack, one of this draft's blue-chip talents, almost surely off the board by the sixth pick, Atlanta will have to be aggressive. St. Louis Rams' general manager Les Snead previously worked under Atlanta's Thomas Dimitroff and may be willing to facilitate the trade given the likelihood that the Rams can still address their biggest area of concern -- the offensive line -- with one of the top tackles likely to be available a little later.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars

(4-12)
Blake Bortles, QB, UCF: Given head coach Gus Bradley's defensive background, the Jaguars would likely take either Clowney or Mack if available. With each off the board, however, Jacksonville instead takes the more traditional route of building with the draft's top passer.
4. Cleveland Browns

(4-12)
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Veteran Brian Hoyer is a serviceable quarterback but he, like virtually every other quarterback the Browns have trotted out since Bernie Kosar, lacks the star power to turn around this rudderless franchise. Do I have questions about Manziel's ability to hold up in the ultra-physical AFC North, especially at gusty and grassy FirstEnergy Stadium? Sure, but waiting to see which quarterback may fall to No. 26 (or lower) could mean more of the same for a long-suffering fan base. If he is not chosen here, Manziel could be in for quite a slide.
5. Oakland Raiders

(4-12)
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: The addition of veteran Matt Schaub and Maurice Jones-Drew in recent weeks is an indication that Raiders' general manager Reggie McKenzie is feeling the pressure to win now. Watkins' vacuum-like hands and first-step acceleration make him a big play waiting to happen. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr could also be in play here should two passers come off the board in the first four picks.
6. St. Louis Rams (from Atlanta)

(7-9)
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn: To compete in the ultra-physical NFC West division, priority No. 1 for the Rams must be to get tougher at the line of scrimmage. Robinson is a work in progress in pass protection but he's a dominant run blocker who would could step in at right tackle or guard and be groomed to ultimately take over for Jake Long on the left side.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(4-12)
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: No one attacked free agency like Tampa, which gives head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht plenty of options with this pick. Wide receiver is probably the likeliest scenario given the jettisoning of Mike Williams. Evans is a virtual clone of current Tampa star Vincent Jackson and would provide the Bucs with a monstrous duo of pass-catchers similar to the Brandon Marshall-Alshon Jeffery pairing Josh McCown enjoyed great success with a year ago.
8. Minnesota Vikings

(5-10-1)
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: Mike Zimmer's choice of Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator is an indication that he is looking for quarterback with the big arm to keep safeties from crowding the line of scrimmage. The quarterbacks already on the roster do not possess this type of ability but Carr does. He led the country in passing yards, passing touchdowns and wowed scouts at the Senior Bowl as well as his Pro Day.
9. Buffalo Bills

(6-10)
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: The Bills' gamble on EJ Manuel a year ago won't pay off if they can't keep him upright. While adding weapons is important, Buffalo can't ignore a blocker as talented as Matthews still on the board.
10. Detroit Lions

(7-9)
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: The Lions have visited with most of the blue chip players in the draft, indicating that general manager Martin Mayhew and new head coach Jim Caldwell have a win-now mentality. The club seems fed up with former first round pick Nick Fairley and can't appreciate that star Ndamukong Suh has thus far skipped the team's "voluntary" offseason workouts. Donald's burst and relentless style could complement (or replace) either.
11. Tennessee Titans

(7-9)
Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: The Titans tied for 21st in the NFL with 36 sacks recorded in 2013 with defensive tackle Jurell Casey chipping in a disproportionate 10.5 of them. With the Titans expected to transition to a 3-4 defense under Ray Horton, Casey's numbers are likely to fall, creating a need for more pass rushers. Only two years removed from playing on offense, Barr lacks the polish to rank as a top 10 pick for everyone but his tremendous blend of size (6-5, 255), speed (4.44) and flexibility made him a star rush linebacker in UCLA's 3-4 scheme.
12. NY Giants

(7-9)
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: The Giants' alarming fall from grace is largely due to their inability to protect Eli Manning. Whereas some head coaches might be frightened off by Lewan's tendency for over-aggression, Tom Coughlin may welcome it.
13. St. Louis Rams

(7-9)
Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama: The additional T.J. McDonald a year ago could pay real dividends if the Rams were able to complement him with a more fluid centerfielder to operate at free safety. Clinton-Dix boasts the field-speed, agility and ball-skills to star in this role.
14. Chicago Bears

(8-8)
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: Given the additions of defensive linemen Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen and Willie Young via agency, the Bears are likely to focus on the back seven in the draft. Possessing rare read-and-react skills and fluidity, Mosley is capable of starring at virtually any of the three linebacker roles in Chicago's 4-3 alignment.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers

(8-8)
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: The once-proud Pittsburgh defense has fallen off in recent years and reinforcements are needed at all three levels. Gilbert plays with a gambler's mentality that may scare some teams off but his athleticism and ball skills could make him a star if operating behind a productive pass rush.
16. Dallas Cowboys

(8-8)
Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: The signing of defensive tackle Henry Melton helps fill the gaping hole in the middle of Dallas' defensive line but the Cowboys may want insurance that his surgically-repaired knee will hold up. Jernigan, athletic, powerful and just scratching the surface of his potential would give Dallas the interior duo needed for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli's scheme to be successful.
17. Baltimore Ravens

(8-8)
Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame: General manager Ozzie Newsome is a master on draft day in large part because he sticks to the best player available strategy. Martin lacks the body type scouts prefer at tackle (where he started 50 of his 52 career games for the Irish), but slides well laterally and controls opponents with fierce hand usage.
18. NY Jets

(8-8)
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: Rookie Geno Smith certainly took his lumps as a rookie but considering the weapons surrounding him, his struggles aren't surprising and he appears likely to return as the Jets' starter in 2014. Beckham is an extraordinary athlete with the agility and speed to complement newly signed possession receiver Eric Decker.
19. Miami Dolphins

(8-8)
Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: Finding weapons for Ryan Tannehill should be priority No. 1 in Miami and few offer the immediate impact ability of Ebron, a freakishly athletic pass-catcher capable of attacking the soft middle of AFC East defenses.
20. Arizona Cardinals

(10-6)
Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State: John Abraham led the Cardinals with 11.5 sacks in 2013 but 2014 will be his 15th in the NFL. Lawrence is a bit of a gamble. He was suspended three times in just two years at Boise State but is a gifted pass rusher who may just be scratching the surface of his potential.
21. Green Bay Packers

(8-7-1)
Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville: Given how the Packers' lack of speed was exposed by San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick to end each of the past two seasons, GM Ted Thompson is likely to target a back-seven defender here. Pryor has excellent read and react skills which allow him to close quickly and deliver thunderous hits.
22. Philadelphia Eagles

(10-6)
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Chip Kelly is, of course, most known for offense but during his tenure at Oregon, his Ducks featured terrific cornerback play, as well. The Eagles took a significant step in improving upon their 30th ranked pass defense by landing former New Orleans Saints' safety Malcolm Jenkins but more help is needed. Roby struggles a bit with consistency but the tools are there to warrant top 20 consideration.
23. Kansas City Chiefs

(11-5)
Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California: With three blockers lost to free agency (including Pro Bowl tackle Branden Albert), former offensive line coach Andy Reid's top priority may be addressing the front wall. A dynamic athlete like Lee, however, would open up Kansas City's offense. A knee injury hampered Lee in 2013 but his talent and success in former head coach Lane Kiffin's pro-style scheme are undeniable.
24. Cincinnati Bengals

(11-5)
Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State: The Bengals' re-signing of Vincent Rey offsets the release of James Harrison but Cincinnati could still be on the look-out for versatile linebackers equally capable of attacking quarterbacks or dropping back into coverage. Shazier's instincts, speed and explosive hitting make him an intriguing fit on a defense that prides itself on physicality.
25. San Diego Chargers

(9-7)
Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame: The Chargers could use help in the secondary but the biggest hole, literally speaking, is at nose guard where the team lost one-time starter Cam Thomas to Pittsburgh in free agency. Nix (6-2, 331) is a load and possesses surprisingly light feet to provide some pass rush, traits which typically result in a top 25 selection.
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)

(4-12)
Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: General manager Ray Farmer may swing for the fences with one of his first round picks but expect the other to be a safer selection. Dennard lacks top-notch athleticism but he's physical, alert and poised when the ball is in the air, making an ideal complement to standout Joe Haden.
27. New Orleans Saints

(11-5)
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: Pairing Jairus Byrd with Kenny Vaccaro gives the Saints arguably the best safety tandem in the NFL but depth at cornerback isn't as impressive. Fuller is instinctive and physical and might prove an upgrade over the 35-year old Champ Bailey, signed in the off-season from Denver.
28. Carolina Panthers

(12-4)
Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia: While receiver and cornerback are areas of concern, replacing longtime standout left tackle Jordan Gross is the Panthers' top priority. Moses is a gifted athlete whose game took off in 2013 after making the jump from right to left tackle, momentum he built upon with an impressive effort at the Senior Bowl.
29. New England Patriots

(12-4)
Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri: Ealy starred at defensive end for the Tigers and certainly will be viewed as a quality defensive end from teams operating out of a 4-3 but he's a fluid athlete also capable of making the transition as a standup outside linebacker in the 3-4. Few value versatility more than Bill Belichick.
30. San Francisco 49ers

(12-4)
Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: Adding former Viking Chris Cook helps alleviate the hole left by the release of Carlos Rogers but the 49ers need more help at cornerback. What Verrett lacks in size he makes up for in tenacity and athleticism. Verrett ranks as the top cornerback in the draft for some scouts and would be a top 15 pick if just a few inches taller.
31. Denver Broncos

(13-3)
Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA: The Broncos spent millions in free agency to overhaul the defense but protecting Peyton Manning should be priority No. 1. Given the loss of starting guards Zane Beadles (who signed with Jacksonville) and Chris Kuper to retirement, Denver will almost surely dedicate an early pick towards the offensive line. Strong, athletic and versatile, Su'a-Filo would step in and start.
32. Seattle Seahawks

(13-3)
Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: With the final pick of the first round, Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have the luxury of letting the draft come to them. Addressing depth along the line of scrimmage is their likeliest course but the team may be unable to let a Percy Harvin-like weapon in Cooks slip by, especially given the durability concerns with the real Harvin, as well as newly re-signed teammate Sidney Rice.
Round 2
1. Houston Texans

(2-14)
Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh: O'Brien gets his prototypical NFL passer in Savage, who some scouts believe would rank as a top 10 prospect had he played his entire career with one program.
2. Washington Redskins

(3-13)
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: An undersized offensive line was pushed around too often a year ago. Kouandjio is technically raw but tough, physical and highly aggressive.
3. Cleveland Browns

(4-12)
Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss: With Josh Gordon one failed test away from a year-long suspension and Greg Little as likely to drop a ball as catch it, the Browns can't afford to let big, talented receivers slip by.
4. Oakland Raiders

(4-12)
Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois: Given the passing attacks in the AFC West, re-signing Charles Woodson can't be the only improvement Oakland makes at safety.
5. St. Louis Rams (from Atlanta)

(7-9)
Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana: Ranking behind only Savage as the hottest prospect in the draft, Latimer would give the Rams a prototypical No. 1 target to complement the investment made a year ago in speedy (but undersized) Tavon Austin.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(4-12)
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: Bridgewater's less-than-ideal size could push him out of the first round but a defensive-minded coach like Smith will appreciate his poise against the blitz.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars

(4-12)
Dee Ford, DE, Auburn: After coaching him at the Senior Bowl, no one knows Ford's playmaking ways (or fit as a LEO defensive end) better than Bradley and the Jaguars.
8. Minnesota Vikings

(5-10-1)
Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young: Pairing Van Noy with Chad Greenway would give the Vikings two versatile and instinctive linebackers on the perimeter.
9. Buffalo Bills

(6-10)
Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State: The Bills' defensive line is talented but pass rushers are golden on draft and play with Crichton's motor.
10. Tennessee Titans

(7-9)
Tre Mason, RB, Auburn: Jettisoning Chris Johnson will look like less of a gamble once the Titans take their pick of the running back class here.
11. NY Giants

(7-9)
Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington: Tom Coughlin will appreciate Sankey's no-nonsense approach and three-down reliability.
12. St. Louis Rams

(7-9)
Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: The run on backs continues with Jeff Fisher getting the draft's most physical back to complete St. Louis' refurbished offense.
13. Detroit Lions

(7-9)
Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson: Bryant lacks polish but given his size and speed, some believe he is a star waiting to happen.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers

(8-8)
Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame: At this point in the draft, Tuitt's upside is just too tantalizing to ignore.
15. Dallas Cowboys

(8-8)
Joel Bitonio, OG, Nevada: Gritty and versatile, Bitonio could team with recent first round picks Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick to give Dallas a strong young nucleus along the offensive line.
16. Baltimore Ravens

(8-8)
DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State: The Ravens will want a strong wide-bodied defender to make up for the loss of five-technique defensive end Arthur Jones (no relation) in free agency.
17. NY Jets

(8-8)
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech: The Jets rely on their defensive line to supply their pass rush but could see this former Yellow Jacket as a fit as a traditional 3-4 edge rusher.
18. Miami Dolphins

(8-8)
Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State: Whether it be at corner or as an upgrade at safety, Joyner is just too instinctive and athletic to ignore.
19. Chicago Bears

(8-8)
Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida: Given their focus on the defensive line in free agency, adding youth and grit to the Chicago secondary could extend into Round Two for the Bears.
20. Arizona Cardinals

(10-6)
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU: Bruce Arians may love Carson Palmer but adding a young passer to groom behind him would be wise.
21. Green Bay Packers

(8-7-1)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: The reigning Mackey Award winner possesses the length and reliable mitts to help ease the sting of the expected loss of Jermichael Finley.
22. Philadelphia Eagles

(10-6)
Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: Chip Kelly gets the big receiver he prefers in his offense with a local standout.
23. Cincinnati Bengals

(11-5)
JaWuan James, OT, Tennessee: The Bengals do a terrific job each year of filling holes and could see the underrated James as an ideal replacement for right tackle Anthony Collins, who left via free agency.
24. San Francisco 49ers

(12-4)
Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville: With Aldon Smith's availability in question, the 49ers would be wise to seek reinforcements.
25. San Diego Chargers

(9-7)
Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood: The Chargers need reinforcements at corner and could be intrigued with Desir's length and ball skills.
26. New Orleans Saints

(11-5)
Marcus Martin, C, Southern California: With veteran Brian de la Puente signing with the Chicago Bears, the highly physical, aggressive Martin could be counted on to start as a rookie.
27. Indianapolis Colts

(11-5)
Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State: The Colts might see the rangy and physical Bucannon as a cheaper version of free agent defection Antoine Bethea.
28. Carolina Panthers

(12-4)
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State: Due to the extraordinary depth at the position, the Panthers can wait until the second round and find a receiver with first round tools.
29. San Francisco 49ers

(12-4)
Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice: With 11 draft picks to play with, the 49ers can gamble on Gaines, a fast-rising cover corner with size and speed.
30. New England Patriots

(12-4)
Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: With Rob Gronkowski recovering from ACL surgery the Patriots can't afford to let a talented athletic seam threat pass by.
31. Denver Broncos

(13-3)
Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State: Replacing Eric Decker with a similarly reliable route-runner and hands-catcher like Adams shouldn't be this easy.
32. Seattle Seahawks

(13-3)
Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: The Seahawks love to rotate their pass rushers and may be especially intrigued by Easley given that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn used to coach him.

Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
NFL Draft

CBSSports.com Shop

NFL Draft