2014 NFL Mock Draft: Knee-Jerk Projections Following Week 3
Week 3 of the 2013 NFL season has allowed fans to get a better understanding of how their team will do, so here is an updated look at how the 2014 NFL draft will look.
The 2014 class has several players, on offense and defense, that are expected to be stars at the next level. Teams higher in the draft will be tempted to go with the best player available rather than need, but they shouldn't reach in order to make a risky pick.
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney are grabbing all of the headlines. Who will go first?
One thing is for sure: Quarterbacks will fly off the board.
Below is an early 2014 NFL mock draft.
*Note: Teams are ordered by current record (except Oakland and Denver). Teams currently tied are in random order.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Jaguars will finally admit that drafting Blaine Gabbert was a mistake and take a quarterback who gives them a chance to win in the future. Chad Henne has turned into a better option for the Jaguars, but he's not the future. Bridgewater is the easy pick here.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Josh Freeman's time in Tampa Bay is winding down. He put his team in position to win the first two weeks, but the defense was unable to get stops. Even with Clowney on the board, the Buccaneers address their quarterback situation.
3. Minnesota Vikings: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Minnesota has held leads late in its last two games only to see teams pull out late touchdowns. The defense has yet to hold any team below 30 points. Although quarterback may be an area that is addressed later in the draft, the Vikings will look at defense. They could go for a linebacker, but Clowney's talent is too much to pass up.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Steelers are learning that they need help on the offensive line. They have been unable to do much on offense because of the mess at offensive line, which is inexperienced. Adding a young lineman to the mix may not look like the greatest fit, but the team needs depth at the position.
5. New York Giants: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The New York Giants have pulled off late-season runs in past seasons, but there are many issues on this team. For starters, the defense has allowed more than 30 points in every game this season. Anthony Barr is a quick linebacker who can make an impact at the next level.
6. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
After last season, the St. Louis Rams expected to get a late-round pick from Washington. However, the Redskins haven't been able to stop any team's offense this year. Rodger Saffold will be a free agent after this season, and the Rams would love to find a young player to play opposite Jake Long. Taylor Lewan is a strong lineman who can come in and help protect Sam Bradford.
7. Cleveland Browns: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Interesting situation for the Browns: They have two first-round picks and need serious help at all of the offensive skill positions. They can try to package a few of their 10 draft picks to move up to get a top quarterback, or they can see who is around when they pick. Tajh Boyd is an electrifying player who would give the Browns some talent at the position. Brian Hoyer isn't a long-term solution, so getting Boyd would be a good option.
8. Oakland Raiders: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Terrelle Pryor has shown enough potential to get an extended shot at quarterback. Now the Raiders must surround him with talent. Marqise Lee has good speed with a pair of hands that will allow him to be a very good receiver in the NFL.
9. Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
The Bills got a quarterback in last year's first round, and this draft will be about protecting E.J. Manuel. Getting Cyrus Kouandjio will give Manuel a chance to throw the football, and the Alabama lineman has had plenty of experience playing on the big stage.
10. Carolina Panthers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
The Panthers have lost two games by a combined six points before finally winning a game in Week 3. They have some talent, like Cam Newton, on both sides of the ball. The defense is incredibly underrated, but they will add some talent in the secondary by taking Bradley Roby. He is a corner who can shut receivers down and take an interception back for a touchdown.
11. Arizona Cardinals: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
Carson Palmer may not be the quarterback for more than a couple of years, but the Cardinals won't be taking a quarterback in the first round. Instead, they will be looking to get the top available offensive lineman. In this scenario, that would be Antonio Richardson. He has experience of going up against future NFL defensive players in the SEC, so Arizona should feel comfortable with this pick.
12. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
The Rams addressed the offensive line with their first pick, so now it's time to look at improving the secondary. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix may be the top safety in the draft, and he would help St. Louis. The Rams would be getting a solid player in Clinton-Dix and cap off a great first round.
13. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
In arguably the biggest surprise of the first round, Chip Kelly will take his college quarterback. Michael Vick is only signed for this season, and the Eagles have a lot of competition at the position. Nick Foles hasn't done enough to show that he can lead this team to wins, and Matt Barkley may not be a great fit for Kelly's system. The coach knows how to use Mariota, and he would give Philadelphia a long-term answer at quarterback.
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14. San Diego Chargers: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama
C.J. Mosley is talented enough to go much higher, but the teams currently ahead of the Chargers will be addressing other needs. Mosley is a quick linebacker, and he can play anywhere in the middle of the field.
15. Green Bay Packers: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
There aren't many holes on offense, but the Packers need a tight end. Jermichael Finley is very talented, but he is in the final year of his contract and has been dealing with injuries this season. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a versatile tight end who could be a star in Aaron Rodgers' offense.
16. Atlanta Falcons: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
The offense is set in Atlanta, so the Falcons will look to address the defense. Louis Nix III is a strong player who can force his way into the backfield. The Falcons would be crazy not to take him at this point in the draft, and he would be able to solidify the defense.
17. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Sammy Watkins is still on the board in this mock draft, but the 49ers will take Mike Evans a little bit higher than most would expect. The receiver hasn't played football his entire life like other prospects, but he has plenty of room to grow into a very good playmaker. The 6'5" receiver would give Colin Kaepernick a big weapon with great hands.
18. New York Jets: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Most fans will look at this and wonder how the Jets are at No. 17. Remember, this is based on current records. Are they going to finish with a better record than Green Bay? Probably not. Khalil Mack may be the best player in the draft that nobody has heard of. He let the entire country know who he was when Buffalo played at the Horseshoe against Ohio State to start the season. The Buckeyes knew how good he was, but he was still able to put up big numbers. Mack had nine tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pick-six in the game. The linebacker has big-play ability.
19. Tennessee Titans, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Oregon's offense gets all of the attention, but Ifo Ekpre-Olomu has the defense playing at a high level. The hard-hitter will begin to receive more attention as the Ducks make a run at a championship, and his skills will make it tough for opposing receivers to do anything.
20. Detroit Lions: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
Detroit has a lot of talent at skill positions. One of the team's biggest needs is improvement on the offensive line. Grabbing Cyril Richardson would improve the team's line and allow the playmakers to put up points.
21. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
This has nothing to do with their first pick. The Browns grabbed a quarterback with their first pick, which happened to be Boyd. Now Cleveland will address one of its most glaring holes. The Browns haven't had a big-play receiver since Braylon Edwards. That will change when the team takes Boyd's college teammate. Sammy Watkins is an explosive receiver who can beat teams deep with his speed, which is something the team lacks.
22. Houston Texans: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
With J.J. Watt on the defensive line, Stephon Tuitt could come into Houston and be a sneaky defensive end. He might be a bit of a reach at this point in the draft, but his talent would be a nice addition.
23. Baltimore Ravens: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Joe Flacco needs help on offense. The Ravens could go with either a receiver or a tight end in the first round. Allen Robinson will be the best receiver available at this point in the draft, and the Ravens will add him to team up with Torrey Smith.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU
Dallas will need to look at adding to its defensive line. Anthony Johnson uses his strength and quickness to beat offensive lines, and he could be a good interior lineman at the next level.
25. Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
The Bengals are one of the deepest teams in the league, but they could use some help at linebacker. There's no better option than in-state prospect Ryan Shazier. He is a strong tackler and can create turnovers. His athletic ability will be a welcomed addition in Cincinnati.
26. Kansas City Chiefs: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
Kansas City has a lot of talent on defense, but the offense could use some work. Alex Smith could use either a receiver or a tight end, and Colt Lyerla will be the best available option. The tight end can line up just about anywhere on the field. Although he's not the biggest player, he is a strong blocker. Lyerla would give Smith an athletic target in the middle of the field.
27. Miami Dolphins: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State
Miami continues to improve this season, and it could be headed to the postseason. Cameron Erving would be a good pick as he would give Ryan Tannehill time to throw and allow his running backs to have some holes to run through.
28. Chicago Bears: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Cornerback is the obvious choice for the Bears. It's just a matter of who is on the board when they pick. Jason Verrett is good in coverage, and he would be a good fit in Chicago. Charles Tillman's future with the team is uncertain, so Verrett has to be the pick.
29. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
After finishing with the league's worst defense in 2012, New Orleans will continue to look to improve its defense. Kyle Van Noy's versatility makes him an attractive fit in Rob Ryan's defense.
30. New England Patriots: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
New England has lacked a big-play receiver for a while now. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are good possession receivers, but Brandon Coleman gives the Patriots a receiver who can gain yards in bunches. The receiver has averaged 19.6 yards per reception in his three years at Rutgers and would be a nice fit with Tom Brady.
31. Seattle Seahawks: Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami (FL)
Seantrel Henderson will be under the spotlight more as the Hurricanes continue to win games. The offensive tackle was highly touted out of high school, and he has turned into one of the best tackles in the nation. He does a good job of protecting the quarterback, so the Seahawks should take him. They win with a strong running game and keeping Wilson on his feet. Henderson fits the description.
32. Denver Broncos: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
Aaron Lynch doesn't get much attention, but he is a talented defensive end. He gives it his all on every play and is an excellent pass-rusher. Lynch is going to push himself until the play is over, and the Broncos would love someone who pushes himself so hard.
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