2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Week 7 Breakdown

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Week 7 Breakdown
USA TODAY Sports

It's that time of week again with another solid slate of NFL action in the books.

With Week 7 out of the way, now is a great time to examine the serious issues each NFL team has on its respective roster, contrast that with how the standout individual collegiate players have performed and concoct the perfect marriage between the two in a mock draft.

But enough procrastination, let's get right to it. Enjoy.

 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

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Despite jaw-dropping performances from other elite college quarterbacks and Louisville's upset at the hands of UCF, Teddy Bridgewater remains far and away the best quarterback prospect in the draft.

Jacksonville needs to find the answer at quarterback as journeyman Chad Henne continues to fail to get it done despite the presence of an elite weapon like Justin Blackmon.

It's the perfect marriage between need and prospect, so expect nothing less when the No. 1 pick rolls around.

 

2. New York Giants: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Justin Tuck is in the final year of his deal—not that it means much. Jadeveon Clowney is back on the minds of the nation after sexy statistics, but he never really left. 

In fact, pound-for-pound Clowney is the best prospect in the draft thanks to his contributions in all phases of the game. 

A defensive line with Clowney and Jason Pierre-Paul on the ends? Yes, please. 

 

3. Minnesota Vikings: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame

Josh Freeman cannot save the Minnesota Vikings, but he'll do enough to give the organization pause.

With the offense average thanks to the combo of Freeman and Adrian Peterson, the Vikings will be free to turn to the defensive side of the football.

There, Minnesota will find the 350-pound monster known as Louis Nix, who schematically fits right in next to Sharrif Floyd as Kevin Williams heads to free agency.

 

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

It's all bad in Tampa Bay, and the safe bet is on head coach Greg Schiano not being around to make this pick. 

Either way, the selection has to be a quarterback. Doug Martin is the definition of a sophomore slump thanks to the inability of Mike Glennon, and the offense as a whole could use a spark. 

Marcus Mariota is just that as the most dynamic quarterback in the draft. 

 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

A wild card here is Pittsburgh grabbing a quarterback to sit and learn behind Ben Roethlisberger, but with Mariota off the board, the front office will figure it can wait a few more years.

If Roethlisberger is going to make it that long, he's going to need the hogs in front of him to keep him upright.

There's not a better offensive lineman in the draft than Aggies star Jake Matthews. For the first time in a long time, Roethlisberger won't have to keep checking over his shoulder.

 

6. Houston Texans: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

While Case Keenum is an unknown and could turn out to be special, it never hurts to have too many quarterbacks in the NFL.

It appears Matt Schaub is on his way out, and the staff clearly has no confidence in T.J. Yates, so the safe bet is Houston grabbing a new quarterback.

There is an outside chance Gary Kubiak is on his way out if Keenum cannot save his job, so expect the new regime to want a quarterback of its own. If that's the case, Tajh Boyd is one heck of a way to start.

 

7. Carolina Panthers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

The days of Cam Newton not having a weapon to throw to come to an end here as Carolina lands the draft's best receiver.

Sammy Watkins is the definition of electric and provides a spark to an offense in desperate need. Steve Smith is climbing the age ladder, and the rest of the talent around Newton is subpar at best.

That's far from the case with Watkins on board.

 

8. St. Louis Rams: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

Sam Bradford was not playing well enough before Week 7 to make this pick go any other way, but a talented quarterback here is now all but guaranteed with Bradford seeming suffering a season-ending injury per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora:

Either way, the pick here needed to be a quarterback, and that's especially the case with St. Louis having an extra pick anyway after choosing to not go with a talented quarterback when the team passed on Robert Griffin III.

The Rams won't make the same mistake twice.

 

9. San Diego Chargers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

If San Diego wants to milk another few years out of quarterback Philip Rivers, which it should after the way he has played in 2013, he's going to need some help on the offensive line.

An offseason after allowing elite guard Louis Vasquez to walk, the Chargers do right by Rivers here and add another young stud on the line to help keep him upright. 

San Diego's tackle situation is set for a very long time.

 

10. Oakland Raiders: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Terrelle Pryor has taken it upon himself to ensure the Oakland Raiders don't draft a quarterback here, which they won't since it's plausible to go far with a quarterback like Pryor.

Instead, look for the Raiders to add the most talented player on the board here.

Said player would be C.J. Mosley. While an Alabama 'backer in the first has done more harm than good in Oakland before, Mosley is worth the risk on a talent-depleted roster.

 

11.  Arizona Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

It's hard to tell if Arizona will roll with Carson Palmer for another year, but the team is not exactly in a position here to be taking another quarterback.

Palmer has been horrible in 2013, but it's not all on him. Much of the blame lies with the laughably bad offensive line, so grabbing the best player at the position here is the smart way to go.

 

12. Tennessee Titans: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

The Tennessee Titans just missed out on their guy, Cyrus Kouandjio, but another SEC powerhouse by the name of Antonio Richardson is not exactly a horrible consolation prize.

Tennessee seems to have figured out that Jake Locker is the answer, but names like David Steward cannot stay healthy and Chris Johnson is mediocre at best behind the current line (if he's even allowed to use that excuse anymore).

In steps Richardson, who provides another youthful boost to the trenches.

 

13. St. Louis Rams: Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With a new quarterback under center, St. Louis needs an elite prospect in the trenches to shore up what has been an underwhelming line in 2013.

There's arguably no better pound-for-pound player in the draft than Cyril Richardson, who is also likely the surest thing at the professional level.

Now that Jeff Fisher and St. Louis have learned their lesson about properly protecting their franchise quarterback, this is the only option that makes sense.

 

14. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Anthony Barr is a bit of a risk, but his seemingly unlimited upside eliminates any concerns at this point in the draft.

Barr is a hybrid player who can come in and rush from multiple spots, and he really upgrades the outside linebacker spots should the Bills choose to use him in that capacity.

Kiko Alonso is the next big thing at middle linebacker in the NFL, so why not grab an equally talented prospect to place next to him for the next decade?

 

15. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Khalil Mack is held back by the fact he plays in the, well, MAC, but on film he's one of the most talented prospects in the country.

That's great news here for Atlanta, a team in desperate need of some kind of pass rush. Mack fits in multiple spots and will immediately emerge as a leader on a defense lacking in anything of the sort.

 

16. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Oh boy.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has a report stating the Browns are down on Johnny Manziel:

While that may or may not be the case (what do we really know about the draft at this point?), by the time the draft rolls around and Cleveland realizes the top prospects are gone, Manziel is going to look like a good deal here.

Offensively, the Browns can adjust to Manziel's style and be better for it. If Tim Tebow can go in the first round, so can Manziel.

 

17. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Manziel's partner in crime won't be far behind after Mike Evans has gone a long way to solidifying himself as a first-round pick this season. 

Evans is a massive receiver in the form of a Vincent Jackson, and quarterback Geno Smith would love nothing more than to have a weapon in that same mold.

Smith is working miracles with the iffy talent around him right now, so the addition of a major weapon like Evans is huge for the franchise moving forward.

 

18. Dallas Cowboys: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

Stephon Tuitt's NFL future is up in the air (undecided on whether he'll declare), especially considering he's having a down year marred by injuries, but NFL scouts will see it best—Tuitt is an elite prospect who is more than pro-ready.

Tuitt fits well in Dallas if he kicks inside, so his coming off the board here makes sense. Dallas needs as much talent as possible on defense, so Tuitt means a better line in the trenches to further mask what has been a pathetic showing from the secondary this year.

 

19. Philadelphia Eagles: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles have a long way to go before they craft a competent defense, but a good way to start is by grabbing the best defensive back available.

Bradley Roby is the man here. Cary Williams has been a great signing for the Eagles so far, but he's been essentially the lone bright spot on a miserable unit.

It's fine if Kelly wants to have an explosive offense, but sooner or later he needs to reinforce his scheme change with some top talent.

 

20. Baltimore Ravens: Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson

The Baltimore Ravens have a long way to go before re-discovering the success the unit once had with big names like Ray Lewis.

A major step in the right direction here is Vic Beasley, a versatile piece who can immediately come in and start. Beasley has plenty to offer as a pass-rusher and will fit right in while being mentored by guys like Terrell Suggs.

Seems like a win-win.

 

21. Detroit Lions: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

Not much to say here. The Detroit Lions are an absolute joke against the pass, and Chris Houston needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Darius Slay has a long leash, so going with the top corner prospect here and fielding a young, promising duo at the position can't be any worse than what the team has now.

Right?

 

22. Cincinnati Bengals: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati is in no way happy to see Ifo Ekpre-Olomu gone, but Aaron Colvin is not a bad way to go, either.

With Terence Newman and Adam Jones getting up there in age and Dre Kirkpatrick having failed to live up to his first-round billing so far, corner is the only way to go. That's only further reinforced by the fact star corner Leon Hall is out for the year once more with a torn Achilles, per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora:

Combine the facts Hall is getting older and he's done this before, and a young prospect here is a no-brainer. 

 

23. Chicago Bears: Ryan ShazierOLB, Ohio State

Chicago could go defensive lineman here, but that's not a smart move as bringing back tackle Henry Melton (who tore his ACL early in the year) would allow the team to address another area of need on defense.

One major area is outside linebacker, which Chicago can shore up rather easily with Ryan Shazier out of Ohio State.

Shazier is the perfect fit and will slide next to Jon Bostic, giving the Bears an elite linebacking corps for a decade or more yet again. Simply unfair.

 

24. New England Patriots: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

New England could go offense here and grab a tight end to recreate the Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski magic before, well, yeah, but a better route is addressing the defense.

While New England's defense has been much better this season, it's hard to imagine Bill Belichick is done rebuilding the unit.

Interior depth on the inside is especially necessary after Vince Wilfork's season-ending injury, so Ra'Shede Hageman is a safe bet. Belichick loves underappreciated studs, and Hageman is certainly one.

 

25. Miami Dolphins: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

The Miami Dolphins have spent all of 2013 to this point being little more than an up-and-down team that enjoys getting its quarterback killed on a consistent basis.

Jonathan Martin desperately needs out of the left tackle spot, so Cameron Erving as a potential left tackle works here.

It's not a sexy pick, but the Dolphins made all of their sexy moves last offseason while failing to properly address their shortcomings in the trenches. Ryan Tannehill's health needs to be the priority.

 

26. San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

It's a toss-up which way San Francisco decides to go here, especially with the secondary struggling. While that is a legit concern, a bigger issue seems to be the play of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

In order to turn things around in that regard, San Francisco will look to Jordan Matthews here for help.

Matthews has a big frame at 6'3" and can learn a thing or two from Anquan Boldin before he hangs up the cleats.

 

27. Cleveland Browns: Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

Popular consensus says the Cleveland Browns won't draft a running back here. After all, the team just gave up a former first-round back in Trent Richardson.

The problem with that notion is simple—there is a new regime in town with its own specific ideals as to the schematics it wants to execute.

As far as the running back position goes, it doesn't get much better than Lache Seastrunk this year. He also just so happens to fit what the Browns are doing offensively well. With an extra pick, Seastrunk is a genius move for the future with Willis McGahee on his last legs.

 

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

Anthony Fasano is not getting it done in Kansas City for a team looking to continue to milk the game-managing (not a bad thing) skills of quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith is getting little help from any position on the offense outside of running back, so giving Smith an elite prospect like Austin Seferian-Jenkins as a security blanket will work wonders for the offense.

Heck, Seferian-Jenkins is such a high-caliber prospect he'll immediately give the folks at Arrowhead Stadium flashbacks to a guy named Tony.

 

29. Green Bay Packers: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young

Words cannot describe how irritated Mike McCarthy and Co. are that Austin Seferian-Jenkins is off the board here with Jermichael Finely headed to free agency.

On the bright side, that leaves Green Bay with an opportunity to add another talented pass-rusher to the roster.

Not that it is a major need, but Kyle Van Noy brings plenty to the table in all phases, and in this pass-happy NFL, teams can never have too many quality rushers.

 

30. Seattle Seahawks: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU

By this time next year, Anthony Johnson may already be a household name thanks to his elite skill set.

Seattle seems like the perfect fit for one of the SEC's best linemen thanks to talented ends like Cliff Avril.

Johnson plugs holes with relative ease and has enough quickness hidden in his massive frame to apply consistent pressure. An already elite defense does nothing but improve if Pete Carroll and Co. make the right call here.

 

31. New Orleans Saints: De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon

De'Anthony Thomas is tiny by NFL standards at 5'9" and 176 pounds, but in that small frame is the draft's most explosive player.

With the outside linebacker woes in New Orleans shored up thanks to Junior Galette, Parys Haralson and others, the Saints are free to give Drew Brees another weapon on offense.

Thomas can play a similar role to Darren Sproles and really be used all over the field as an "OW" (offensive weapon) like Jacksonville attempted to do with Denard Robinson—except New Orleans will actually do it right.

 

32. Denver Broncos: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Few things are a given in today's NFL, but Denver will absolutely be addressing the defensive side of the football next year.

Offensively the Broncos are set, so an athletic defense that can keep up with the pace is the best move here.

As far as safeties go, they don't get any better than Alabama (surprise!) product HaHa Clinton-Dix, who has an elite blend of athleticism and football smarts to make an impact right away.

At the end of the first round, that's all teams really ask for from their selection.

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling

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