2014 NFL Mock Draft: Best Draft Solutions for Every NFL Team

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
2014 NFL Mock Draft: Best Draft Solutions for Every NFL Team
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With Super Bowl XLVIII officially in the books, draft season can begin, which means we can begin to take a look at each team's needs and which prospects could fill them.

No team is perfect. Not even the Seattle Seahawks, although they did look close to perfect in their 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Every team can add depth, fix glaring needs or find instant playmakers in this year's draft, as it's littered with talent.

With that being said, let's take a look at the latest first-round mock draft, looking at the best solution for all 32 picks.

 

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

This team has a number of concerns after completely collapsing in 2013, but the Houston Texans still have talent on offense. They need a quarterback to help put points on the board, because Matt Schaub and Case Keenum aren't the answer.

Teddy Bridgewater is the obvious pick here as the No. 1 QB in this draft class. He has terrific accuracy and a solid arm along with the high football IQ to make the right reads. My biggest concern is that he tends to loft deep balls at times, but if he continues to make accurate throws like he did at Louisville, that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

 

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

If the St. Louis Rams don't trade down, they're going to have a really hard time passing on a tremendous defensive talent like South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney.

Clowney has been seen as a monster over the past year ever since that big hit against the Michigan Wolverines in the 2013 Outback Bowl, but he's done so much more than that one play. He's not just a strong pass-rusher, he's also a dominant force in the run game, and if you put him in a defense with players like Chris Long and Robert Quinn, the Rams could have one of the league's scariest defenses in a hurry.

 

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

The Jacksonville Jaguars had the league's worst offense in 2013, putting up just 293.8 yards and 15.4 points per game. There is some talent at wide receiver, but Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert aren't going to be able to get them the ball on a consistent basis.

If the Jaguars want to find a way to quickly turn their offense around, they're going to need an impact player at quarterback.

When it comes to playmakers at the position, there isn't a better choice than Johnny Manziel. He's not the most polished pocket passer in this class, but his accuracy and strength on the move as well as his ability to run around the field make him an intriguing prospect. The fact that he also improved in the pocket over his collegiate career is reassuring as well, making him definitely worth a first-round selection.

 

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

With a new head coach, the Cleveland Browns are going to be looking for a new face of the franchise under center, because I highly doubt Mike Pettine is going to trust Brian Hoyer to be the starting quarterback in 2014.

Central Florida's Blake Bortles is a guy who has seen his draft stock skyrocket over the past couple of months. Against some solid competition, he showed the ability to read opposing defenses and demonstrated a nice touch on most of his throws. He also has some good size and speed to escape or climb the pocket, making him a solid option for a team like Cleveland.

 

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

I don't like the idea of Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor being the starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, but I also think they need an impact receiver before they address their QB needs, which could be taken up in the second or third round.

There isn't an offensive playmaker in this draft class as impressive as Sammy Watkins. He's the ultimate vertical threat with solid speed and aggressiveness as well as the ability to break off big plays after the catch. He's not a huge guy, but he's not afraid to play physical when needed, and that's not something you always see from a young receiver.

 

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

I think there's a chance that Clowney falls to No. 6 and the Atlanta Falcons have a party as they select him. But with the Rams taking him at No. 2 in this mock, I think the Falcons look at possibly protecting Matt Ryan with this pick.

The skill set of Jake Matthews is quite impressive. He's spent his time at Texas A&M playing on both the left and right side of the offense, excelling wherever he lined up. His versatility both in pass protection and run-blocking could make him an instant asset to the Falcons and help get their offense moving in the right direction next season.

 

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

Depending on how the first six picks play out, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could go a number of different ways. However, it looks like they won't be looking for a quarterback with how well Mike Glennon played in his first season, so I think targeting an offensive tackle to protect him would be a smart way to go.

The first time I started watching film on Greg Robinson, I was blown away. He's a powerful tackle at 6'5'' and 320 pounds, and he uses that frame to engulf defenders. He has the physical tools to be a good player in pass protection, but his run-blocking already appears to be NFL-ready, if making huge blocks for Tre Mason and Nick Marshall this past year are any indication.

 

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

I don't think the Minnesota Vikings get enough credit for the talent they have on offense. The biggest problem has been finding a long-term QB to get their weapons the ball and open up the running game once again for Adrian Peterson.

But they might be able to find one in this draft.

While he didn't play in the biggest conference, Derek Carr might have the most impressive arm in this year's draft class. He has a cannon and can make all the throws, but my big worry is how well he can read opposing defenses. He has a tendency to lock on to his No. 1 read, and that'll be something he needs to fix at the next level.

 

9. Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

There's a lot of young talent on offense for the Buffalo Bills, and while rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso was terrific in 2013, the team is going to need more help on the defensive side of the ball.

Coming out of the MAC, Khalil Mack made a lot of noise early in the season at the University of Buffalo after a huge performance against the Ohio State Buckeyes. He's a terror in the backfield who can also make strong plays in the running game as an outside linebacker, and he could be just what the Bills need to add the necessary defensive talent to become a contender for the AFC East title.

 

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

The Detroit Lions have tried multiple times to draft impact players for their secondary, yet they've continued to struggle to defend the pass. With quarterbacks like Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers in their division, they're going to need to keep trying.

There are a number of first round-caliber cornerbacks in this year's draft, but Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State has been for some time my No. 1 player at the position. His terrific athleticism combined with his unreal ball skills make him capable of causing a number of turnovers, an ability that he showcased often this past season.

 

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

With new defensive coordinator Ray Horton on board, the Tennessee Titans are going to begin drafting defenders to run his hybrid scheme. The Titans are in good shape in the secondary, but adding some help at outside linebacker could go a long way.

I'm not the biggest fan of Anthony Barr as a pro-ready prospect, but I do see the ridiculous upside that he brings to the league. He has a terrific frame, long arms and the athleticism to set the edge or get to the quarterback. He's still raw and doesn't have the best technique, but with the right coaching and development, he can be an impact player.

 

12. New York Giants: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

The New York Giants have two areas that they need to address in 2014: protecting Eli Manning and getting to opposing quarterbacks. Given the fact that Matthews and Robinson have already been drafted in this mock, I think they try to address the latter in the first round

The Missouri Tigers had a couple of exciting pass-rushers on their team this past season, but the one who stands out as a sure first-round talent is defensive end Kony Ealy. If he's not discussed as a top-15 pick right now, he will be after the NFL combine. He has the combination of speed and strength that would make him an intimidating presence playing opposite of Jason Pierre-Paul.

 

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

The secondary was a major issue for the Rams last year. While it may be a bit of a reach at No. 13, the Rams may seriously consider grabbing a safety with their second pick in the first round.

This year's best safety is Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. He has incredible range that helps him make plays all over the field as well as the aggressiveness to deliver some big hits when needed. He can play in the box and help against the run or in pass coverage, making him an instant asset for the Rams in a tough NFC West.

 

14. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

The Chicago Bears were simply terrible against the run in 2013, allowing 161.4 points per game. While Henry Melton should be healthy entering next year, he's still a free agent, and there's a chance that the Bears don't re-sign him. Besides, even if they do bring Melton back, the Bears are going to need more help on that defensive line.

While not the biggest player at defensive tackle, Timmy Jernigan showed a ton of potential during the Florida State's national championship season. His technique is solid, showing off smooth hips and the ability to separate from offensive linemen and eat up running backs near the line of scrimmage. He needs to work on being more explosive off of the snap, but he looks like a legitimate NFL-caliber defensive tackle.

 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Steelers ranked 21st in run defense last year, and considering the run offenses they went against in the AFC North for six of theirs games, that's not acceptable. There are a few needs the Steelers need to address before they can be a playoff contender again, and one of them comes at defensive tackle.

Aaron Donald is a prospect coming right out of the University of Pittsburgh who made a lot of noise during a very strong Senior Bowl performance. He's quick off the snap and has some impressive pass-rushing skills along with the ability to plug up rushing lanes.

With a strong performance at the combine, he'll be an easy first-round pick.

 

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

Remember how effective Joe Flacco was when the Baltimore Ravens had Anquan Boldin? Without him, the entire Ravens offense struggled, which makes it quite apparent that they should be looking for a physical wide receiver who can be a red-zone threat in the first round.

Luckily for Baltimore, Mike Evans might be the perfect option to replace Boldin's role in the offense. At 6'5'' and 225 pounds, he looks more like a tight end than a wide receiver, but he still has great leaping ability as well as impressive footwork to work the sideline. If Evans can be nearly as productive as he was with the Aggies, he'll be a great weapon for Flacco.

 

17. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

With how much they struggled to defend the pass in 2013, it's clear that the Dallas Cowboys need help in their secondary, particularly at safety.

I used to think that Clinton-Dix was the only first-round safety in this draft, but after I started watching Calvin Pryor, I quickly changed my mind. The Louisville product has excellent range along with the size and speed to make plays inside of the box. Like Clinton-Dix, he might be a bit of a reach, but the need at safety is great enough for the Cowboys to take him here.

 

18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Geno Smith was very bad, but I don't think the New York Jets are going to give up on him already. Smith doesn't deserve all of the blame for the team's offensive woes, because he didn't have any weapons to work with. 

The tight end position is an area that the Jets need to address immediately.

Despite possessing the ideal size for a tight end at 6'4'' and 245 pounds, Eric Ebron is still athletic and quick enough to make big plays on the outside in the passing game. He runs nice routes and does a nice job creating separation, making him a great target in the middle of the field for Smith.

 

19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

The offensive line for the Miami Dolphins is a mess right now, and if they want to help Ryan Tannehill continue to develop as a passer, they'll need to find a way to keep him from getting hit so often.

Although he struggled at the start of the year with Alabama, Cyrus Kouandjio turned things around later in 2013. While not the most technically sound player, Kouandjio's size and power could make him a strong pass protector in the NFL.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The Arizona Cardinals were a big surprise in the NFC West this season, and while they looked like a solid all-around team, they could have a much more effective offense if they were to add help to protect quarterback Carson Palmer.

Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has a lot of natural talent as well as the size at 6'7'' and 315 pounds. He has quick feet and a big frame to consistently stay in front of pass-rushers, making him an ideal left tackle prospect at the next level.

Penalties and inconsistency with technique are still issues, but his upside is well worth a first-round selection.

 

21. Green Bay Packers: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Defense is still a concern for the Green Bay Packers, and with a pick this late in the first round, they'll likely take the top defensive player on their board.

If he's available, C.J. Mosley makes a ton of sense here. A.J. Hawk needs someone to push him for the starting job; he was a big letdown this past season, as he struggled at times to carry out his assignments and provide support against the run.

Mosley is a versatile and athletic linebacker who can do it all, and he'd be a nice pick to play alongside Brad Jones.

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Ranking last in pass defense with 289.8 yards allowed per game, the Philadelphia Eagles need to add some help in their secondary. If they want a player to keep quarterbacks from constantly completing passes, Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard would be a smart pick.

Dennard is good at reading at anticipating where opposing quarterbacks want to go with the ball, and he does a great job jumping routes. He's a playmaker and a physical corner in man coverage who would help make the Eagles a more intimidating team in the NFC East.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

The Kansas City Chiefs need more than just Dwayne Bowe at wide receiver, and Donnie Avery isn't the answer. If they want to make a run in the playoffs in a wide-open AFC, adding another wide receiver is a critical next step.

Injuries kept USC's Marqise Lee out for most of the 2013 season, but he had an exceptionally productive sophomore season for the Trojans the year before. Lee does a great job running routes and can accelerate in a hurry. He does a nice job finding ways to get open, and while he isn't the fastest receiver in this class, he should still be a productive NFL player on the outside.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Quarterback may be the biggest weakness for the Cincinnati Bengals, but I don't think they bring in someone to challenge Andy Dalton this year. If they do, it's not in the first round. 

Instead, I think that the Bengals bring in some help for the secondary. Cornerback Leon Hall will be coming back, but they need to add more depth to slow down potent passing games in the playoffs.

Jason Verrett is a great option. He has a solid all-around skill set that should make him a nice upgrade in the secondary for Cincinnati.

 

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

Philip Rivers and company look just fine on offense heading into 2014, but the San Diego Chargers struggled at times against the pass, so bolstering their secondary makes a lot of sense.

Marcus Roberson is an interesting prospect to me. I like his size at 6'0'' and 195 pounds, along with long arms that he uses to keep receivers in check. He's an aggressive player who isn't afraid to make contact, but sometimes his aggressiveness results in penalties.

If he can cut back on some of the contact, he can be a very good physical corner in the league.

 

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

Thanks to a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, the Browns got a first-round pick for Trent Richardson. Looking back at it, at least right now, the Browns won that trade. With a new quarterback in Bortles, the Browns can look at bringing in another receiver to play opposite Josh Gordon and make this an exciting passing attack for the Cleveland fanbase.

One of the more underrated receivers in this draft, Odell Backham is a strong route-runner who can be a deadly weapon after the catch. He does a great job getting open on intermediate routes and could open up the rest of Cleveland's passing offense.

 

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

With the addition of coordinator Rob Ryan this past season, the New Orleans Saints were able to completely turn things around on defense in 2013. However, they still aren't perfect on that side of the ball and could stand more help in terms of getting to the quarterback.

Dee Ford was the biggest standout from the Senior Bowl, and his draft stock has been exploding for the past month or so. He shows a nice burst off the line along with the ability to make plays in the backfield despite his somewhat smallish frame.

In Ryan's defensive scheme, Ford could thrive as a pass-rusher.

 

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

Every time I watch the Carolina Panthers, I wonder how much more deadly their offense would be with another weapon at wide receiver. Steve Smith isn't going to play forever, and they need to focus on adding some more depth at the position.

Penn State's Allen Robinson might be ready to be the No. 2 guy for Carolina as soon as he gets there. He's a strong, physical receiver who has terrific body control and can make tough catches in traffic. He isn't a speedster, but he's a strong possession receiver who runs nice routes.

 

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

A couple of seasons ago, the New England Patriots had one of the best offenses in the league, thanks to their tight end combination of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronwowski. With Hernandez no longer playing and Gronkowski injured, adding a tight end would be New England's best move here.

Jace Amaro would do a great job filling the role of Hernandez in this offense. He's athletic enough to play in the slot and possesses the size at tight end to present serious mismatches downfield. Once Gronk returns, this could be a frightening tight end duo that could turn things around for Tom Brady and company.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

The San Francisco 49ers could go a couple of ways with this pick, and I've previously mocked them taking a wide receiver. But given how the first 29 picks have panned out, I don't see them taking a player like Oregon State's Brandin Cooks or Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin given their current group of receivers.

Instead, the 49ers could go for a corner like Bradley Roby. While Roby didn't have the best 2013 campaign, he's still a solid cover man with top-end closing speed and the aggressiveness to stick with receivers, and I think those traits will stand out at the next level.

 

31. Denver Broncos: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford

An immediate need for the Denver Broncos would appear to be on the offensive line, but keep in mind that Ryan Clady will be back next season. On defense, however, the Broncos need help at end, as Von Miller has struggled to stay on the field and Shaun Phillips has struggled in general.

If the Broncos want another option to rush the passer, Trent Murphy would be an instant impact player. He's explosive and has nice length that allows him to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. He has the versatility to set the edge or rush the quarterback, making him a strong late first-round pick.

 

32. Seattle Seahawks: Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame

The Seahawks have very few needs on either side of the ball, but if they want to make their offense even more efficient in 2014, adding some help on the offensive line couldn't hurt, especially at guard.

The versatility of Zack Martin is noticeable, as he could play either offensive tackle or guard in the NFL. He's a tough player in the trenches who can knock defenders off the ball in the running game yet still be very effective in pass protection, which would give Russell Wilson more time in the pocket to make big plays.

 

 

Load More Stories

Follow B/R on Facebook

Out of Bounds

NFL

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.