2014 NFL Mock Draft: Projecting Each Team's 1st-Round Pick
It's never too early to assess the 2014 NFL draft class, as pro teams currently search for answers at various positions early in the season.
The 2014 class features a lot of promising players at several different positions. Few positions are overflowing with first-round prospects, just as few positions are noticeably low on talent.
So, who will go No. 1 overall? Will it be a quarterback from Louisville or a defensive end from South Carolina?
Here's a look at my first 2014 NFL mock draft.
*Note: Teams ordered by current record (except for 49ers and Seahawks). Teams in ties are in random order.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Chad Henne may give the Jaguars a better chance of winning than Blaine Gabbert. Teddy Bridgewater is an accurate, decisive quarterback. Enough said.
2. Cleveland Browns: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Brandon Weeden isn't working out in Cleveland and he turns 30 years old in October. Brett Hundley has a strong arm, is a tough leader and separates himself from Clemson's Tajh Boyd with his decision-making.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
After two quarterback-desperate teams select their signal-callers of the future, the Buccaneers add to their pass rush with the explosive Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney hasn't been as electric as he was in 2012 so far, but he's still considered the best defensive prospect in the class.
4. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
With a need at linebacker, the Vikings select Anthony Barr, who possesses great quickness to go along with the frame and length suited for the NFL.
5. Carolina Panthers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Possessing the bloodlines and experience to match, Jake Matthews is about as sure a thing on the offensive line as you'll find in the 2014 class. He'll help bolster the line in Carolina.
6. New York Giants: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
With a need at outside linebacker, the Giants will gladly take the experienced and well-coached C.J. Mosley out of Alabama. Mosley is versatile enough to play inside and outside, he plays with great leverage and he has the speed to run down ball-carriers.
7. St. Louis Rams (via Redskins): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Rodger Saffold becomes a free agent after this season, so the Rams will need to find someone else to plop opposite Jake Long. Plus, Long is getting toward the end of his career. Possessing the size and strength to stand up to the NFL's best, Taylor Lewan would be a solid pick here.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Steelers need offensive line help, but rarely do they seem to care. Marqise Lee will be an enticing pick as a replacement for the departed Mike Wallace. Lee doesn't have ideal size for a star wideout in the NFL, but his talent should push him past that disadvantage.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
This may be a little high for Stephon Tuitt, but he's still an excellent prospect. With Michael Johnson set to hit free agency, the Bengals will want to find a replacement. Tuitt has a great combination of size and speed.
10. New York Jets: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Khalil Mack possesses the quickness, strength and motor to make a big impact in the NFL. The Jets need help with the pass rush, among other things.
11. Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Experienced and tactical, the well-coached Cyrus Kouandjio would give E.J. Manuel more time to throw in the pocket. Manuel has already shown promise. The next thing he needs is better protection.
Should the Raiders draft Tajh Boyd if he's available in 2014?
12. Oakland Raiders: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
While the Raiders appear happy with Terrelle Pryor at the moment, if Tajh Boyd falls to them, it would be difficult to let him go. Possessing the arm strength, accuracy and athleticism to be a solid starter in the pros, Boyd will be looked at by several teams during the draft process.
13. San Diego Chargers: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
Cameron Erving not only has great instincts, he appears to glide across the field when blocking. King Dunlap is not the answer at left tackle for the Chargers.
14. Tennessee Titans: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Bradley Roby would have likely been a top-10 pick if he declared for the draft in 2013. He has excellent cover skills to go along with tremendous instincts. Quite simply, he's a playmaker who can change games. The Titans would love to add a playmaker in the secondary.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Not only does Ifo Ekpre-Olomu hail from Chip Kelly's former program, he's one of the top cornerbacks in the class. Ekpre-Olomu anticipates very well and is a huge hitter.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
If Louis Nix III lands here, consider the Cowboys lucky. A strong, quick player, Nix has been known to blow up opposing backfields. Dallas figures to continue adding to its defensive line, given its switch to the 4-3.
17. Arizona Cardinals: Stephen Morris, QB, Miami (FL)
Stephen Morris can make all the necessary NFL throws, first and foremost. Morris' consistency will need to improve, but he has the arm to be a solid NFL quarterback.
18. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
An all-around, solid player—that's how I would describe Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He won't "wow" you in any one area, but he's one of those guys who is simply dependable. The Rams could use that to tie up the back end.
19. Detroit Lions: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
It's no secret that the Lions have pass-coverage issues. Antonio Richardson is not only a giant human being (6'8", 327 pounds), he's extremely quick for his size. He could go even earlier than this in 2014.
20. Baltimore Ravens: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
It's entirely possible that the ultra-talented Sammy Watkins is drafted sooner than this, but I could also see teams addressing other top needs. If Watkins lands here, he instantly gives the Ravens another receiving weapon beyond Torrey Smith after the departure of Anquan Boldin. Watkins is a lightning-fast playmaker who can burn defenses.
21. Indianapolis Colts: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The Colts have yet to seriously address the cornerback position. Jason Verrett possesses the coverage skills, agility and football IQ to be a starter from day one.
22. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
The Falcons need to find someone to plug alongside Jonathan Babineaux. Peria Jerry isn't cutting it. Possessing the quickness and punch off the line to be a difference-maker, Anthony Johnson could be that guy in Atlanta.
23. Green Bay Packers: Morgan Breslin, OLB, USC
Adding Morgan Breslin to a linebacking corps that includes Clay Matthews and Nick Perry is too good to pass up. Breslin has the burst and motor to be a high-impact player in the NFL.
24. Seattle Seahawks: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Timmy Jernigan has the size to create leverage and blow up the run, while also possessing the quickness to play end. This would be a solid value pick for a Seahawks squad that has uncertainty at defensive tackle.
25. Kansas City Chiefs: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
The Chiefs could use some more playmakers for Alex Smith. Austin Seferian-Jenkins can be split out and worked into the seam and he adds another dimension to the Kansas City offense. He could develop into a star.
26. Miami Dolphins: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
Considered one of the top corners in the class, Loucheiz Purifoy would be a nice young piece to add to the secondary, particularly with Brent Grimes aging and Dimitri Patterson out of his league as a No. 2 cornerback.
27. Chicago Bears: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Aaron Colvin has displayed the versatility and coverage skills to be drafted as a cornerback at the NFL level. The Bears could use some help in the secondary.
28. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Kyle Van Noy could end up being a steal drafted this late. Smart and lightning-fast, Van Noy could be just the piece the Saints need in their 3-4.
29. Houston Texans: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
Aaron Lynch has the versatility to play as either a 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 defensive end. His versatility will make him a good fit among the playmakers in Houston's front seven.
30. New England Patriots: Ra'shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Ra'shede Hageman possesses great size, which Bill Belichick loves on the offensive line. He would be a nice piece to plug in there.
31. Denver Broncos: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Imagining Will Sutton's combination of power and quickness next to Von Miller is a scary thought. Those two working together could do big things in Denver.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
With the top cornerbacks selected, I could see the 49ers adding some weapons for Colin Kaepernick. Even though Anquan Boldin has been on fire, the rest of the receiving corps has been rather ordinary. Jordan Matthews not only has great hands and smooth route-running skills, his uncle is one Jerry Rice. It's too perfect.
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