2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Week 11 Breakdown

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Week 11 Breakdown
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The exact order of the 2014 NFL draft may change from Week 11 through the rest of the season, but the areas teams will address come early May likely won't at this stage.

Take a look at a team like Pittsburgh—quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remains one of the most sacked players in the NFL at 36 and is currently in the midst of trade speculation.

Suffice to say the brass in the steel city will be looking to upgrade Roethlisberger's protection with a top prospect.

Here's an updated projection of the 2014 first round based on team needs, prospect performances and an estimated look at how the standings will shake out when all is said and done. Enjoy.

 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

This one is never going to change. As Bleacher Report's Matt Miller illustrates, Teddy Bridgewater is a rare type of prospect no team can afford to let pass by:

Jacksonville has plenty of holes to fill. Despite a recent win in Week 10, the Jaguars will remain at the top of the order. A franchise quarterback changes things quickly for any team—the Jaguars are no exception.

This pick will be in months in advance.

 

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

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Has Mike Glennon earned a shot as a long-term starter?

Perhaps, but his play may not be the only deciding factor here. With the train wreck Greg Schiano has managed to create, he may not be around to vouch for his quarterback.

If Marcus Mariota comes out (he'd be smart to—his stock will never be higher), he has to be the pick here. Potential at the most important position of all cannot be passed, and Glennon can be traded if need be.

 

3. Atlanta Falcons: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

An injury-riddled season can be a blessing in disguise.

Atlanta has had little success getting to opposing quarterbacks after John Abraham walked last season. Now the Falcons get arguably the most talented defensive prospect in the draft, and perhaps in years.

Jadeveon Clowney fits well and will help bump the Falcons back to NFC contenders in a hurry.

 

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

As detailed in the intro, Pittsburgh has little choice here. 

Sure, a prospect like Jadeveon Clowney or Louis Nix III would be nice (heck, maybe a quarterback), but the Steelers are now in a bad spot with Roethlisberger.

Big Ben is just over 30 but has been abused for most of his career. Jake Matthews is a surefire starter, and that's something the Steelers have missed out on in recent drafts. No-brainer.

 

5. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame

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St. Louis quietly has one of the most talented defensive lines in the NFL thanks to the defensive end combo of Chris Long and Robert Quinn. Michael Brockers has even shown promise on the inside. 

Now the Rams add a 340-pound juggernaut in Louis Nix. He sucks up multiple blockers on each down, which will free James Laurinaitis to work like never before.

Many a mock will have a quarterback or receiver here, but Tavon Austin has come on in recent weeks and Sam Bradford is the franchise quarterback. Nix boosts a lagging defense in a big (pun intended) way.

 

6. Minnesota Vikings: Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

Yes, Jared Allen is headed to free agency and the defense needs help, but Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman have done little to inspire confidence at quarterback. 

In the NFL, quarterback is the most important position of all. Minnesota may not be back in a position such as this for years. Quarterback purgatory is no fun—Brett Hundley has to be the pick because of his unlimited upside.

Look at it this way—star defensive end J.J. Watt and borderline playoffs, or potential top-five quarterback and Super Bowl contender?

Easy choice.

 

7. Houston Texans: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

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Too good to be true?

Maybe, but Johnny Manziel is a hard prospect to pass up. He's in the middle of a season better than last year's Heisman campaign and puts butts in seats as a local kid.

Case Keenum has shown some promise, but the above breakdown for Minnesota applies here. The only thing holding Houston back (outside of questionable coaching) is a quarterback. Manziel has enough upside to warrant a pick.

 

8 Oakland Raiders: Anthony Barr, OLB/DE, UCLA

Quarterback is certainly in play here, but one has to think Terrelle Pryor has given himself another shot despite a recent downward trend. 

With that in mind, one of the NFL's worst rosters gets a massive boost here with Anthony Barr.

Barr is an elite prospect in the pass-rushing sense, and in an NFL that now places a ludicrous amount of importance on that aspect (think Bruce Irvin at No. 15 in '12), Barr is the only option here.

 

9. New York Giants: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Right behind Barr in the elite pass-rusher category is Buffalo's Khalil Mack.

Forget that Mack has dominated sub-par competition—to fault a prospect for that is to miss out on elite upside and potential.

Jason Pierre-Paul has had a down year and needs a nice complement on the opposite side to be effective. Mack is just that and so much more.

 

10. St. Louis Rams: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

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Now St. Louis can go out and get another weapon for quarterback Sam Bradford. 

Sammy Watkins is far and away the best receiver in the draft. Across from Tavon Austin, Bradford has no excuse—especially with breakout rookie star back Zac Stacy behind him.

This has all the makings of one of the NFL's best offenses.

It's rare to find an elite building block on each side of the football in one round, but that's exactly what St. Louis had in mind when it passed on Robert Griffin III

 

11. Buffalo Bills: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

It's time for Buffalo to find some closure at the safety position.

Jairus Byrd's status after the season is up in the air, and in recent weeks he has been splitting time on the field with others per Mike Rodak of ESPN.

HaHa Clinton-Dix is an instant starter who replaces the aging Jim Leonhard. Clinton-Dix is stout against the run and solid in pass defense, so he can rotate when necessary.

 

12. Miami Dolphins: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

The Miami Dolphins are another team pigeonholed into going offensive line in the first.

The line play for the Dolphins in 2013 has been horrid. Ryan Tannehill has been sacked over 35 times.

With the names on the offensive line in question by the time the offseason rolls around, Antonio Richardson is a safe pick. It does not get much safer than a guy who has easily dominated in the SEC.

 

13. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

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Joe Flacco continues to struggle after his big pay day.

Torrey Smith cannot do all the heavy lifting on his own, as the pass offense misses the injured Dennis Pitta and the departed Anquan Boldin.

Mike Evans is a great remedy for the situation. He's big bodied at 6'5" and 225 pounds in the Vincent Jackson mold—just the way Flacco loves his receivers.

 

14. Arizona Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Expect coach Bruce Arians to give Carson Palmer another year under center. The team has found an answer in rookie running back Andre Ellington and second-year receiver Michael Floyd is starting to come on across from Larry Fitzgerald.

Unfortunately Palmer has the mobility of a rock and enjoys throwing interceptions (15 this year), so Cyrus Kouandjio is the way to go for a team in need of an upgrade in the trenches.

 

15. Tennessee Titans: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

Per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, quarterback Jake Locker is out for the year:

This places the Titans in a tough spot. The offense is solid thanks to draft picks on the line last year, Chris Johnson in the backfield and dependable receivers such as Kendall Wright.

Sure, the Titans could use some help on a promising defensive unit, but Locker has played in 18 of a possible 32 games since the start of last season.

Dependability is a need, and a gamble on Zach Mettenberger and his impressive upside seems to be the best option.

 

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

It's official—Nick Foles has earned another year under center for the Philadelphia offense, which means Chip Kelly can look elsewhere for help.

Cary Williams was quietly one of the NFL's best signings last offseason, but he has little help in a porous secondary.

Bradley Roby is as NFL-ready as they come and a safe gamble here in the middle of the round. He far from fixes everything, but it's a step in the right direction.

 

17. New York Jets: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

Dee Milliner has had serious hurdles adapting to the NFL this year, and Antonio Cromartie has completely fallen off a cliff as the No. 103 ranked corner on a list that measures 107 players per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

Corner is truly the only option here with most other areas of the team adequate or still in development. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu can contribute right away.

 

18. Chicago Bears: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

The Chicago linebacking core has been inconsistent at best this season, with one consistent variable—Jon Bostic has all the makings of a future star in the middle.

So it only makes sense to give Bostic a Lance Briggs to his Brian Urlacher. 

With that in mind, Ryan Shazier is an instant starter and helps to improve what has been a disappointing defense in 2013. 

 

19. Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Derek Carr has catapulted himself into first-round relevancy with his nice pro-ready game and the success he has found this season (over 3,400 yards, 32 touchdowns and four interceptions).

With few options available but a clear need, Cleveland takes the risk here.

Worst case scenario, Carr sits for a year while the Browns remain somewhat competitive with Jason Campbell under center.

 

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

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Taylor Lewan has seen his stock drop in recent weeks, especially thanks to his penchant for being a hothead susceptible to personal fouls.

Alas, Lewan is an outstanding tackle prospect and San Diego won't complain at this juncture.

The Chargers need help on both sides of the football, but protecting franchise quarterback Philip Rivers must be of the utmost importance. Lewan is the best way to do so.

 

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

Jerry Jones is right to be embarrassed about his decision to fire Rob Ryan last offseason.

Now the Dallas defense is in shambles and needs play-makers to turn the unit around.

Good thing Stephon Tuitt is still on the board. Tuitt can play any spot on the line and provide a consistent rush while still stout against the run.

Just what the doctor ordered.

 

22. Green Bay Packers: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

In a tragic turn of events, it sounds as if Jermichael Finley's football career could be over thanks to the spinal injury he suffered weeks ago based on comments made by former Packers tight end Mark Chmura via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Finley's agent has since released a statement that says Finley wants to continue his career after a serious operation).

If that is truly the case, Green Bay needs to find an answer quickly. Brandon Bostick has nice upside and has shown promise in recent weeks, but he can't compete with Eric Ebron.

Ebron is an instant starter and brings consistent production to the table.

 

23. Detroit Lions: C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama

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Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy are in the middle of fantastic seasons, but an upgrade next to them is a must.

The secondary in Detroit also needs addressing, but it's hard to pass on a tumbling C.J. Mosley at this point.

Mosley brings a certain fire and play-making ability to the front seven that is as talented as any.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

With Leon Hall lost for the year and Dre Kirkpatrick coming on slow in his second season, cornerback is a must for Cincinnati in the first once again. 

Hall will likely attempt another comeback, but it's hard to gauge where he will be at after two torn Achilles. Terence Newman and Adam Jones are aging and inconsistent at best.

If need be, Jason Verrett can come in and start right away while Hall recovers.

 

25. Carolina Panthers: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma

Brandon LaFell has come on in recent weeks and Steve Smith appears as spry as ever, so Carolina can wait on giving Cam Newton another option in favor of the defense. 

The Panthers defense is elite, but more talent in the secondary is a must as the front seven will not always be able to cover for it.

Aaron Colvin makes the most sense here as he can come in and start right away, and really, he's a good option in comparison to the other names currently on the roster.

 

26. Cleveland Browns (via IND): Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor

Now that Cleveland has a new quarterback, it's time to get serious about his protection up front.

The Browns specifically struggle at the guard position, and while it is not the sexiest pick of all, an upgrade here with an extra first-round selection makes too much sense.

Cyril Richardson is as talented as it gets on the interior of the trenches this year and is quite the value near the end of the round. Not a bad trade-off with Trent Richardson floundering in Indianapolis.

 

27. New England Patriots: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

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Tom Brady appears to be back to his former self, while tight end Rob Gronkowski never really left.

What did leave New England is a second tight end to stretch defenses thin. Aaron Dobson has shown promise at receiver, but it makes sense for Bill Belichick to attempt to capture his two-tight end magic again.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, despite his wild fluctuations in stock, is the only option this late in the draft. 

 

28. San Francisco 49ers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Michael Crabtree or not, Colin Kaepernick has had his struggles through the air despite one of the NFL's best rush attacks.

With Anquan Boldin getting up there in age and Crabtree the only other viable option, the already-deep 49ers need to surround Kaepernick with more aerial weapons.

Marqise Lee remains a top option in the draft and is worthy of the spot here. He'll be pushed in slowly and given a chance to succeed.

 

29. New Orleans Saints: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

The New Orleans Saints have an elite pass defense on a unit that is a nice surprise with Rob Ryan calling the shots.

That said, we've likely seen the maximum Ryan can squeeze from the hand he was dealt talent-wise.

Now is the perfect time to grab an elite defensive prospect, and Vic Beasley fits the bill here. As a versatile piece in Ryan's amoeba defense, Beasley will wreak havoc from his first NFL snap.

 

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Kansas City is similar to San Francisco in that there are not many holes that require filling, but one is beginning to take precedence over all—wide receiver.

No. 1 wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has been a disappointment, but added to his recent troubles with an arrest per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:

Now would be the time for Kansas City to grab a receiver, and at this point none surpass the talent of Jordan Matthews.

 

31. Seattle Seahawks: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

Seattle has been in a seemingly never-ending bout with injuries along the offensive line this season.

It's the obvious choice here.

By the time the draft comes around, Cameron Erving may be taken much higher than this thanks to his impressive body of work in the ACC.

For now, he falls here to a team with a major need, and a Super Bowl contender gets that much better.

 

32. Denver Broncos: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

Kyle Van Noy is another prospect who may catapult up the board come next year once film junkies get their hands on his tape, but for now he fits.

That describes the situation well—Denver needs a presence opposite Von Miller, and Van Noy's set of skills when it comes to getting to the passer is hard to find this year.

 

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