2014 NFL mock draft: Blake Bortles fends off Clowney momentum

Blake Bortles going No. 1 reflects the NFL's quarterback premium.  (USATSI)
Blake Bortles going No. 1 reflects the NFL's quarterback premium. (USATSI)

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Why can't I believe the idea that the Houston Texans will pass on a quarterback?

I just don't buy it ­­no matter how good many of us think South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be on the next level.

That's why I will keep Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles going in the No. 1 spot in next month's draft, despite the growing sentiment that the Texans might be leaning toward Clowney with the top pick. This is mock draft No. 9 for me, with three more to go. Will I change my mind down the road? Maybe. But the quarterback spot is way too valuable, and the Texans don't have one.

I also have three quarterbacks still going in the top 10, even though that is unlikely. That's the premium of the position. I don't buy the falling talk for all these guys. Quarterbacks are overdrafted, not underdrafted.

1. Houston Texans -- Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida: Yes, I am stubborn to keep him here.

2. St. Louis Rams -- Greg Robinson, T, Auburn: He could play right tackle or even guard for a year.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: He might go first, but if he doesn't the Jaguars would be dumb to pass him up.

4. Cleveland Browns -- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: They would pair him with Josh Gordon for a dynamic 1­2 punch.

5. Oakland Raiders -- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: They have to get a big-play receiver who can threaten down the field.

6. Atlanta Falcons -- Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: He would give the new-look defense that big­time pass rusher.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: People talk about the Jaguars needing to sell tickets. What about Tampa Bay?

8. Minnesota Vikings -- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: He fits with what Norv Turner wants to do on offense.

9. Buffalo Bills -- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: Their offense lacks that elite tight end to help take the pressure off outside. Ebron could do that.

10. Detroit Lions -- Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: They have to get better outside with their pass coverage.

11. Tennessee Titans --­­ Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: I still think they need to find an edge rusher, even if some say his stock is falling.

12. New York Giants -- Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M: You can never have enough good linemen as the Giants saw last season.

13. St. Louis Rams -- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama: Range, range and more range. They have to get better on the back end.

14. Chicago Bears -- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: I will keep him in this spot. It just fits.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers -- Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: He is athletic and can step in when Ike Taylor is done and play some nickel right away.

16. Dallas Cowboys -- Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: He would be a perfect fit in their defense. And they have a big hole inside on that line.

17. Baltimore Ravens -- Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan: They have problems on the right side. He would fix that.

Brandin Cooks could be the kind of outside weapon the Jets badly need.  (USATSI)
Brandin Cooks could be the kind of outside weapon the Jets badly need. (USATSI)

18. New York Jets -- Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: They have to get some playmakers outside.

19. Miami Dolphins -- C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: I will keep him here. They have to get more athletic at linebacker.

20. Arizona Cardinals -- Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville: He could be their Kam Chancellor, a big thumper on the back end.

21. Green Bay Packers -- Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State: Where is the speed on that defense? Shazier has it.

22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: With Desean Jackson gone, they have to get speed outside.

23. Kansas City Chiefs -- Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois: He would be a nice match to go with Eric Berry.

24. Cincinnati Bengals -- Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: They need a young player outside with age creeping into the position.

25. San Diego Chargers -- Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame: They need to get a power player in the middle of their defense.

26. Cleveland -- Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: He would be a nice complement to Joe Haden and if he can't beat out Buster Skrine, he could play the nickel.

27. New Orleans Saints -- Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn: They have to get help for that pass rush.

28. Carolina Panthers -- Morgan Moses, T, Virginia: He can play left tackle as a rookie, which they badly need.

29. New England Patriots -- Ra'Shede Hageman, DT/­DE, Minnesota: He has been compared to Richard Seymour, who they drafted in 2001.

30. San Francisco 49ers -- Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska: They have some concerns on the corner, and this kid is a big, physical player.

31. Denver Broncos -- Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU: They have to get more athletic at linebacker. He could help.

32. Seattle Seahawks -- Marqise Lee, WR, USC: Pete Carroll knows those USC kids and Lee would be a big help to the offense.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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