2014 NFL mock draft No. 7: Atlanta (Clowney), Raiders (Carr) make deals
The Falcons and Raiders make big moves in this mock first round for players like Jadeveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins and Derek Carr.
1. Houston Texans -- Central Florida QB Blake Bortles: He remains on top for another week and is the prototypical QB Bill O'Brien likes to coach. There is a long way to go before the draft and things could change.
2. Atlanta Falcons (mock trade from St. Louis via Washington) -- South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney: Atlanta moves up and St. Louis drops to No. 6. Clowney has a chance to be a great one and the Falcons need a pass rusher. They could easily stay put and take a left tackle.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars -- Auburn LT Greg Robinson: He is emerging as the best tackle in the draft and a potential 10-year starter. The Jags will consider Khalil Mack for this spot or move down. Look for them to take a QB in the second or third round.
4. Cleveland Browns -- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel: This is a very risky pick and I go back and forth about taking him here, but for now he remains for two weeks in a row.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (mock trade from Oakland) -- Clemson WR Sammy Watkins: Tampa moves up and Oakland drops to No. 7. Watkins is a local kid who has big-play ability. Go look at his touchdown catch against Georgia. The Bucs had to jump ahead of Saint Louis to insure getting him.
6. St. Louis Rams -- Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews: The Rams get a guy who is so NFL ready he plugs in at RT for now and moves to LT when Jake Long is done. Sam Bradford has all the protection he needs now. Watch who they get at pick No. 13.
7. Oakland Raiders -- Buffalo DE/OLB Khalil Mack: Mack is climbing up draft boards and could be gone by this spot but for now the Raiders get him plus they traded down and picked up an extra pick.
8. Minnesota Vikings -- Alabama S Hasean Clinton-Dix: The Vikings can grab a quarterback in a later round. Even though Teddy Bridgewater is still on the board they take a safety who can start on Day One. Moving down is a good option if they can find a partner.
9. Buffalo Bills -- Michigan OT Taylor Lewan: It's hard to find 6-foot-8 tackles who have athletic ability, and Doug Marone's a background is the offensive line. Lewan will help EJ Manuel and the running game.
10. Detroit Lions -- Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard: The Lions will find a complimentary WR for Calvin Johnson in a later round with such a deep draft at the position. Dennard could push Chris Houston into a backup role right away.
13. St. Louis Rams -- Texas A&M WR Mike Evans: The Rams get a 6-5 wide receiver with a 37-inch vertical leap and a starting offensive tackle (Jake Matthews), so this offense should be ready to make some noise.
14. Chicago Bears -- Florida State DT Tim Jernigan: Chicago needs a defensive tackle in the worst way. It may not be Jernigan when the draft rolls around but for now he holds down the spot. A safety can be had in the second round like Deone Bucannon or Jimmie Ward.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers -- North Carolina TE Eric Ebron: The Steelers will not reach for a corner, though they could consider a defensive lineman like RaShede Hageman, but Ebron is a matchup problem for defenses and a guy who would take pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger.
17. Baltimore Ravens -- Minnesota DL RaShede Hageman: The Ravens lost Arthur Jones in free agency and Haloti Ngata isn't getting any younger. It's hard to find 6-6 defensive linemen who can line up anywhere along the front.
18. New York Jets -- USC WR Marqise Lee: If the Jets trade or sign a wide receiver, this would not be the position they draft in the first round. Lee is a solid route-runner who has big-play ability and can block.
19. Miami Dolphins -- Miami OT Zach Martin: Some would think the signing of Brandon Albert means the Dolphins offensive line issues are solved, but Martin's versatility fills in the rest of the problems.
20. Arizona Cardinals -- Louisville S Calvin Pryor: The Cardinals still need a hard-hitting safety, especially with the way San Francisco and Seattle run the ball.
21. Green Bay Packers -- Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier: Since the last mock draft, the Packers signed Julius Peppers as an outside linebacker. Shazier gives them an inside linebacker with speed and good coverage skills. The Packers' defense wasn't up to par last season, but will be much better in 2014.
22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks: Has skills like DeSean Jackson, who was released. Cooks had 120 receptions last season. There are a few defensive linemen under consideration for this spot.
24. Cincinnati Bengals -- Auburn DE Dee Ford: He put on a clinic at the Senior Bowl and he could replace the departed Michael Johnson. Someone whispered to me that the Bengals could take a QB here, if the right one fell to them. I'm not buying it yet.
27. New Orleans Saints -- Missouri DE Kony Ealy: Rob Ryan will use this athlete many ways. Ealy is a guy who can play DE or DT in passing situations, or drop into coverage.
28. Carolina Panthers -- Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio: The Panthers need more receiver help, but also need a starting offensive tackle. Reports indicate Kouandjio is healthy after medical concerns were raised at the combine. Carolina can get a good receiver like Jordan Matthews in the next round.
29. New England Patriots -- Oregon State DE Scott Crichton: He's not a flashy player, but neither is Rob Ninkovich. Crichton has a non-stop motor. If a big defensive tackle were available here, that player would trump Crichton.
30. San Francisco 49ers -- LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.: Beckham is a first-class young man who has talent, and the kind of guy GM Trent Balke wants on his team. The 49ers could consider a corner or a defensive lineman, considering the age they have up front, with this pick.
32. Oakland Raiders (mock trade from Seattle) -- Fresno State QB Derek Carr: Oakland moves up and Seattle drops to second round, No. 36 overall. The Raiders need to get into the bottom of the first round before the draft breaks for the night, giving a number of teams a chance to position themselves for a QB like Carr or Bridgewater in the second round. Also, getting Carr in this spot gives the Raiders an extra year to develop him -- they can sign him to an extra year and have an option to hold him for a fifth.
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