2014 NFL Mock Draft: Full 1st-Round Projections Following Super Bowl

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Full 1st-Round Projections Following Super Bowl
John Bazemore/Associated Press

The NFL season is officially over, which means it's time for fans to turn their full attention to the offseason, especially with the NFL draft in May.

The Seattle Seahawks completely dominated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, winning 43-8. It was a simply unbelievable performanceespecially on defense, where the Seahawks forced four turnovers and even scored on a defensive touchdown as well as a safety.

So, with the Super Bowl finished, let's take a look at a full first-round mock draft.

 

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

For those Houston Texans fans out there, do you really want Matt Schaub or Case Keenum to be your starting quarterback in 2014?

The Texans should be taking a quarterback here, and Teddy Bridgewater is the best quarterback in this draft class. He has terrific accuracy, especially on the move, and has the overall arm talent and intangibles to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL.

 

2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

I honestly think that the St. Louis Rams will trade their No. 2 overall pick, but if they don't, I think the best option would be taking Jadeveon Clowney.

There's a reason he was projected to be the No. 1 overall pick. Clowney is a physical monster that is explosive, showing a rare combination of speed and strength. He would be an instant asset that would make the front seven of the Rams defense the most fearsome in the league with players like Robert Quinn and Chris Long.

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Blaine Gabbert is not a starting quarterback in the NFL. Neither is Chad Henne. The Jacksonville Jaguars need a game-changing quarterback to quickly get them out of the bottom of the league.

Johnny Manziel is the perfect fit to not only make huge plays but to also draw in a crowd. He's an insanely mobile quarterback that has the ability to extend plays with his speed and impressive vision. He might not be the best passer inside the pocket, but his accuracy on the move could open the playbook for an offensive coordinator wide open.

 

4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

With a new head coach, I highly doubt anyone is going to count on Brian Hoyer to start at quarterback. I fully expect the Cleveland Browns to take whichever of the top-three quarterbacks is available with this pick and roll with it.

Blake Bortles is a pro-ready quarterback in terms of reading defenses and possessing a high football IQ. He has good size for a quarterback and does a great job of climbing the pocket to avoid sacks while not sacrificing accuracy. He doesn't have a rocket arm, but his accuracy certainly makes up for it.

 

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

I don't think Matt McGloin should start for the Oakland Raiders, but I also think the Raiders should focus more on other needs to help their offense. Luckily for them, there's a talented playmaker that they could take with the No. 5 overall pick.

Watkins is the ultimate vertical threat with quick acceleration and nice size at the position. He has the capability to quickly rack up yards after the catch, and that could make any quarterback look good.

 

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Atlanta Falcons

The defense may have struggled this past season, but adding an offensive tackle to protect Matt Ryan and help get the run game going could help this team quite a bit.

Jake Matthews is still the top offensive tackle in this class for me, and while someone else may be creeping up, Matthews' skill set is too impressive to pass up on. He's a great run-blocker with long arms and is one of the first players off of the snap on every single play.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could go a number of ways here, but since Mike Glennon looks like he has the tools to be a long-term starting quarterback, I think the team should focus on protecting him.

Auburn's Greg Robinson continues to impress me, and what he did in the national championship was enough to sell me on him. He has terrific size at 6'5'' and 320 pounds, but he also has the footwork and speed to stick with even the most athletic pass-rushers.

 

8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Adrian Peterson can't do things alone like he did last season if the Minnesota Vikings want to be a playoff team again. They have a lot of talent at receiver, but there is no one to throw them the ball.

That's where Derek Carr comes in. In terms of arm talent, he might be the most impressive player on the board. A real gunslinger, Carr doesn't often stray away from his No. 1 read, but if an offensive coordinator can teach him, he could be a dangerous threat in the NFL.

 

9. Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

This pick just makes too much sense to me. Kiko Alonso was a great addition last year, but the Bills still need help on defense. Adding another pass-rusher will add speed to the defense.

Coming out of Buffalo, Khalil Mack has been a monster in the MAC with his freak athleticism and speed. He showed up on the national radar after a monster game against Ohio State, and he's been terrific ever since. His ability to get into the backfield makes him worth a top-10 pick.

 

10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma States

The Detroit Lions have yet to find a true dominant cornerback to help bolster their secondary, but they shouldn't stop trying to get one. This draft is littered with top-tier cornerbacks that have a good chance at making an immediate impact on their respective teams.

Justin Gilbert is my No. 1 corner, showing unreal ball skills for a player at his position. He's the most athletic of the corners, and with his fluid hips and impressive speed, he can handle the vertical threat better than most. He would provide a huge lift to the Lions defense.

 

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The Tennessee Titans have some impressive cornerbacks, but they need help rushing the passer in order to have a more effective defense. There are a few places the Titans could go with this pick, but I think they should find an outside linebacker.

I'm not as high on Anthony Barr as others, but I do think that he can be a great pass-rusher at the next level. He has the perfect athletic frame along with the balance and strength to make big plays. I still think he's extremely raw from a technique standpoint, but he might be able to get by until he learns to be a more technical pass-rusher.

 

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Eli Manning seriously struggled in 2013, but I don't think it was all his fault. The New York Giants need to focus more on protecting Eli, as he was sacked 39 times and pressured countless more. 

Bringing in a strong left tackle like Taylor Lewan would be a big lift to protecting Eli's blind side. At 6'7'' and 315 pounds, Lewan has great size for the offensive tackle position. He's a tough competitor, and while he doesn't have the best footwork, his upside is enormous.

 

13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

I've mocked this pick a number of different ways, but the more I think of it, the more I believe that the Rams' biggest need is at safety, and they might need to reach a bit to take this year's No. 1 overall player at the position.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has better range than any of the other safeties in this class, showing off the combination of leaping ability and acceleration to break up passes out of nowhere. He's not afraid to make big plays in the run game, either, although he will need to work on making cleaner tackles before becoming a Pro Bowl-caliber player at the position.

 

14. Chicago Bears: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

The Chicago Bears are a mess in terms of run defense, which means they could go a number of different ways, but I think they go with a linebacker to add some help along with Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene.

C.J. Mosley would be an excellent outside linebacker with the Bears. He shows some great versatility to play either inside or outside because of his all-around skills. He could become a deadly pass-rusher, but he can also plug up holes against the run, which is something the Bears need a lot of.

 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

The Pittsburgh Steelers have few big needs, but given how the first 14 picks of this mock have turned out, I think that it would make sense for them to grab a stud at the defensive tackle position. The Steelers ranked 21st in rushing defense last season, and that's something they really need to address.

Bringing in Louis Nix from Notre Dame to plug up the middle of the defense would be a great addition to the defense. He has a high motor and the explosiveness to continue to get running backs in the backfield.

 

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

The Baltimore Ravens weren't the same without Anquan Boldin. They lacked a physical red-zone threat on offense, and they seriously need a new one in order to make a serious impact on that side of the ball.

Mike Evans is the best possible option to fill Boldin's role from two seasons ago. He's a monster receiver at 6'5'' and 225 pounds who has the vertical leaping ability to make contested catches in traffic, especially in the end zone. Joe Flacco struggled this past season, but having Evans would help him turn things around a lot.

 

17. Dallas Cowboys: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Dallas Cowboys have some real needs on defense, but given how bad their pass defense was in 2013, this team might need to bring in some help in the secondary.

Getting a player that can end drives early or cause turnovers would help the Cowboys make a major impact on the defense, and that player is Darqueze Dennard. He does a nice job of reading the eyes of quarterbacks and recognizing certain routes, helping him jump in front of the ball. He's not the best tackler in the run game, but he's physical enough to play in man coverage.

 

18. New York Jets: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Geno Smith was really bad this season, but he also had no weapons to throw to and had to force plays. With that in mind, it's pretty obvious that the New York Jets need to bring in a wide receiver to help get the offense going.

While he had issues with injuries during this past season, USC's Marqise Lee has proven before that he can be a top-tier prospect at receiver. He's a fluid route-runner with nice acceleration that helps him create separation from his defender, and that could make him Geno's No. 1 target in 2014.

 

19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

With how bad the protection was for Ryan Tannehill this past season, it's clear that the Miami Dolphins absolutely need to add help on the offensive line.

If the Dolphins are looking to keep Tannehill away from athletic pass-rushers, adding a pro-caliber left tackle like Cyrus Kouandjio would be a very smart pick. He's light on his feet and quick off the snap, helping him get the edge on defenders, and he also has the size to engulf them.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

The Arizona Cardinals took everyone by surprise this past season, but at the same time their offensive wasn't as effective as it could be, despite a ton of talent. Carson Palmer wasn't terrible, but he was pressured often, and now he needs help on the offensive line.

Adding Zack Martin could do the trick as someone who excels at pass-blocking and could make it as either a guard or tackle at the next level. With last year's first-round pick Jonathan Cooper also returning from a season-long injury, this could be a big upgrade for Arizona. 

 

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

The Green Bay Packers have a few needs defensively, but the most glaring weakness all year was the lack of an impact player at the safety position.

Much like Clinton-Dix, Calvin Pryor has excellent range to help break up big pass plays. He also has nice size for the position and isn't afraid to make plays inside the box. While he might be a bit of a reach at No. 21, he helps to address the biggest area of need right now in Green Bay.

 

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

The secondary was a big issue for the Philadelphia Eagles this past season, and while there was a lot to like about what Chip Kelly did in his first year with the team, he should focus on adding help on defense this offseason.

While Bradley Roby's stock has slipped since the beginning of this year, he's still a first-round-caliber cornerback. He has the speed to keep up with outside receivers and the aggressiveness to limit the separation.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carloina

The Kansas City Chiefs have a lot of talent, but they lack an impact weapon outside of Dwayne Bowe in the passing game. One player that could serve as a key target (and more) is North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron.

There are two or three top-tier tight ends in this draft class, but I like Ebron for the Chiefs. He's a tight end that's athletic and fluid enough to play on the outside, making him a mismatch against almost anyone on the field. He still has room to grow, which could make him one of the best tight ends in the league on the right team.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

There are few glaring needs on this Cincinnati Bengals team, and while quarterback might be one of them, I don't think any of the other prospects in this class are good enough to replace Andy Dalton. A good idea would be to bring in a player like Kony Ealy out of Missouri.

Kony Ealy is an impressive athlete that can quickly get off the snap and do a great job with his speed rush. He's not the best at staying low, but if he can fix that, it's hard to not see him being a formidable pass-rusher in the league.

 

25. San Diego Chargers: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida

The San Diego Chargers look just fine offensively, but the defense looks like it could use some work, especially in the secondary.

At 6'0'' and 195 pounds, Florida's Marcus Roberson has great size and length for a cornerback, helping him disrupt receivers on their routes. He's a physical cornerback that can make big plays when jumping routes. Sometimes that ends with penalties, but it's usually worth it with how he shuts receivers down.

 

26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis): Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

With a brand new quarterback, the Cleveland Browns should also consider adding a new weapon to go alongside Josh Gordon to make this offense a potential threat in the AFC.

Odell Beckham might be the most underrated receiver in this draft class, showing off some crisp route-running skills that help him create space to make plays. He's especially deadly in the intermediate passing game because of that, and he could generate a lot of big plays at the next level.

 

27. New Orleans Saints: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

The New Orleans Saints turned things around dramatically on defense this past season, but they're still not perfect. Adding a premier pass-rusher to put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks would go a long way to make them even better.

The top standout from the Senior Bowl, Dee Ford's draft stock has been skyrocketing lately. He has a strong burst and is able to explode off of the snap, and while he doesn't have the best size at the position, he can still make plays in the backfield.

 

28. Carolina Panthers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

The Carolina Panthers looked like one of the best teams in the NFL during the regular season, but they were still lacking another playmaker alongside Steve Smith to make big plays. The good news is that they should be able to find one this year.

If the Panthers want to get a physical option at receiver, Allen Robinson would be a great guy to turn to. He's a strong receiver that can make catches in traffic and run fluid routes. He's not the fastest player out there, but he can still get the job done.

 

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

A couple of years ago, the New England Patriots had one of the deadliest offenses in the league thanks to their impressive duo at tight end. Now, especially with Rob Gronkowski struggling to stay healthy, the Patriots need to bring in another tight end.

Jace Amaro is the other top-tier tight end in this draft class, and he looks like a great fit for New England. He's a solid receiver coming out of the slot thanks to his great body positioning and size at 6'5'' and 260 pounds. He's a dangerous player with the ball in his hands who is capable of breaking off big runs.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The San Francisco 49ers got a big lift in the secondary after bringing in Eric Reid at safety, but it might be a good idea to add even more depth at the position to stop some of these tougher offenses.

An all-around solid cornerback, Jason Verrett would be a good fit for the 49ers. He has smooth hips, solid footwork and excellent instincts, making him a potential starter in the near future.

 

31. Denver Broncos: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Terrance Knighton has been raved about over the past couple of weeks, but if the Broncos want to step up even more defensively next year, then they're going to need to bring in some more help on the defensive line.

Another standout from the Senior Bowl was Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald, who made a lot of noise during the week. He's almost always the first player off of the snap, and while he's undersized, his pass-rushing abilities are very underrated.

 

32. Seattle Seahawks: Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA

It was apparent during the Super Bowl that the Seattle Seahawks have few weaknesses, but if they want to be even more unstoppable, they could use some help at offensive guard.

Few offensive linemen are as strong as Xavier Su'a-Filo, who combines a strong core with great upper-body strength to dominate opposing defensive linemen. He doesn't have the best balance, but he does make up for it with surprising quickness and good hand placement.

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