Nothing stands between football fans and the NFL draft. Well, time stands in the way. The draft won't arrive in New York's Radio City Music Hall until May 8-10.
That gives fans and general managers alike the chance to think, rethink and overthink every possible selection.
That is going to be especially true for this year's draft. This class is loaded with quality players, but there is a lot of uncertainty over who is the best prospect at almost every position. That is wildly apparent at the highlighted position of quarterback.
This makes a mock draft a difficult but far more interesting task. Take a look at how I see it all shaking out.
Langford's 2014 NFL Mock Draft
1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
If the Houston Texans want to take the best player available, the answer is not a quarterback. There are, however, several quality quarterback prospects in this class, and the Texans are starved for a long-term option at quarterback.
I like Teddy Bridgewater for Houston because he is a relatively safe pick. He is fluent in a pro-style offense. He can read defenses and make correct audibles at the line. He is too skinny, but that is the only real knock on him at this point.
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Jadeveon Clowney, DL, South Carolina
The St. Louis Rams are in an interesting position. They have quarterback Sam Bradford under contract for next season, and he has proved to be at least competent. Still, it wouldn't be a shock to see them take another quarterback and begin to move on from Bradford.
In the end, I see them going with the best player available, and that is Jadeveon Clowney. He is an athletic freak with the explosion to get to the quarterback and the size to handle the interior of the defensive line.
Jadeveon Clowney is head and shoulders above the rest. By far the rarest prospect of 2014. #NLFDraft— Ryan Riddle (@Ryan_Riddle) February 1, 2014
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
The Jacksonville Jaguars have no reason to believe that their quarterback of the future is currently on the roster.
Simply because he is from a small school and spent most of his time in college being relatively unknown, Blake Bortles will draw comparisons to Blaine Gabbert.
Bortles, however, has a much bigger frame, strong mobility and a great arm. In other words, he is not Gabbert.
4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
I actually hope this happens. I want to see the exciting Johnny Manziel play with wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron.
I'm not certain Manziel's body can hold up in the NFL considering the way he plays, but I have no doubt he could produce numbers and exciting plays with the weapons in Cleveland as long as he is healthy.
5. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The Raiders need more talent all over the field. They also have a boatload of cap space to work with. It would be wise to use that cap space to bring in more experienced options on offense and then use the draft to add talent to the defense.
Looking for a long-term answer at quarterback would be the exception here, but I don't think the Raiders will find the player they want at No. 5.
Head coach Dennis Allen is rooted in the defensive side of the ball. This allows him to mold players in his area of expertise. Also, it is easier for sheer athleticism to make an impact on defense, and Anthony Barr has that.
He would be a badly needed and instant upgrade to the Raiders' pass rush.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Next to Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson is the most physically dominant player in this class. The guy is a monster in the run game at the point of attack and has the movement to be a factor on the second level.
Auburn OT Greg Robinson now listed #2 ahead of Jake Matthews. http://t.co/S4C8KBQY27— EagleDamnWar (@EagleDamnWar) January 30, 2014
He is a bit raw in pass protection but has all the tools to excel in that area. The Falcons must get stronger in the trenches, and no player at No. 6 will help them more with that than Robinson.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Sammy Watkins could go higher than No. 7. He is widely regarded as the best player in this draft, and he is a threat all over the field.
Still, with the needs of teams and other talent in this draft, I see him lasting to pick No. 7.
The Buccaneers will gladly add him to a budding passing offense featuring wide receiver Vincent Jackson, tight end Timothy Wright and quarterback Mike Glennon.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Derek Carr has a great arm and can make all the throws. There is no questioning that. He does, however, have questionable footwork and may not hold up against an NFL pass rush.
The Minnesota Vikings will look to coach him through those weaknesses.
They are desperate for a quarterback of the future, and Carr's arm would help Minnesota open up the field.
9. Buffalo Bills: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
All of a sudden, the Buffalo Bills are menacing up the middle on defense.
With defensive tackles Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus and inside linebacker Kiko Alonso, the Bills have an excellent foundation.
C.J. Mosley would help complete that group. He is an excellent athlete with range to make tackles in the run game and excel in coverage.
10. Detroit Lions: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
I have to believe Khalil Mack would welcome this fate. He'll have little problem making his way into the starting lineup of the Detroit Lions, and once he does, he'll see many blockers from the opposition.
Detroit's defensive line will allow him to roam free and make impact tackles. He will pick up a few sacks and help seal the edge in the run game.
11. Tennessee Titans: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
It's hard to mock Jake Matthews as low as No. 11. He is an excellent prospect and spent almost the entire year being considered the best offensive lineman in this class.
I believe Robinson will be the first lineman off the board, which leaves the possibility open for Matthews to fall to No. 11. He won't fall further.
The Titans need edge help on their offensive line.
12. New York Giants: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
In a class that is loaded with excellent talent at tight end, Eric Ebron will go off the board first due to his ability to stretch the field. He is an explosive athlete for his size.
This is a needed piece to the Giants offense. New York needs someone with the ability to fill the seam and take some of the attention off the outside.
Tight end Brandon Meyers, who is a free agent, is a solid option, but he is not much of a threat down the field.
13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The St. Louis Rams have some young talent at corner, but that group needs a star.
Darqueze Dennard has that potential. His slight lack of top-end speed will keep him from being drafted higher, but he has elite physicality and ball skills.
The Rams should consider taking a tackle here, but the value of Dennard should be too much for them to pass on.
14. Chicago Bears: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Defense. That has to be the single-word mantra in Chicago this offseason. The Bears defense was terrible last season, and that is no surprise. That side of the ball needs an infusion of young talent.
Stephon Tuitt is outstanding, but he is not without his question marks. CBS and NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang explains what might leave him on the board a bit:
Clowney isn't the only highly regarded defensive lineman who struggled under the burden of monstrous expectations in 2013.
After dominating as a sophomore, Tuitt began his junior campaign out of shape (after missing spring due to hernia surgery) and struggled with consistency all season. Highly athletic with the frame to star as either a 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end, Tuitt's upside is just too tantalizing to ignore.
That last part, about his upside, is exactly why the Bears cannot afford to pass on him. Still, Tuitt has a high ceiling, and he will be an instant upgrade for the Bears.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Once the offensive line began to perform up to NFL standards, the Steelers' season rapidly improved.
Pittsburgh must now use that fact to remind it how important a quality offensive line is. The Steelers cannot feel content about where they are with their offensive front five.
Right tackle Marcus Gilbert looks like a good answer at his position, but he is under contract for just one more season and due a big raise.
Meanwhile, left tackle Kelvin Beachum did an admirable job last season, but Taylor Lewan would be an instant upgrade.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
If you watched the past Sugar Bowl, you know who Cyrus Kouandjio is. That is not a good thing for the offensive lineman' he was terrible in that game.
Still, he has all the tools and plenty of quality tape against other top-notch opponents.
With both starting tackles from a terrible offensive line being free agents, the Ravens must take the best tackle available.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
In what has become an annual tradition, I'm mocking a free safety to the Dallas Cowboys. This team cannot let this need continue to go unanswered.
Calvin Pryor isn't the most hyped prospect, but he has an outstanding skill set. When it is all said and done, I expect him to be the first free safety off the board.
Momentum ... RT @MelKiperESPN: Don't assume Clinton-Dix of Bama is a lock to be the top safety taken. Calvin Pryor is ahead for some teams.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) February 4, 2014
18. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The New York Jets must address their toothless offense.
Mike Evans is a big and reliable receiver. He will instantly be a major factor on third downs and in the red zone. The Jets must give quarterback Geno Smith this kind of option.
19. Miami Dolphins: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
It is no secret that the Miami Dolphins have to revamp their offensive line.
With the amount of offensive linemen I have going off the board before them, the Dolphins aren't going to find a complete prospect here.
Antonio Richardson has all the potential, though. He 6’6″ and 330 pounds. He needs work on his mechanics, but he has the strength to dominate.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
The Arizona Cardinals are in the same boat as the Dolphins. They won't be able to find a complete prospect to help their weak offensive line.
Well, that is not entirely true. Zack Martin is a complete prospect, just not at tackle.
Rob Rang explains: "Martin does not possess great height, arm length or foot speed."
Martin does have ample strength, good fundamentals and an outstanding work ethic. He is a solid value at No. 20.
21. Green Bay Packers: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Ra'Shede Hageman is one of the more interesting prospects in this class. This tweet helps highlight why:
The Packers haven't been shy about taking project picks in the trenches, and if nothing else, Hageman's 6'6", 311-pound frame will help clog holes in the running game.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
With a passing defense that was rated worst in the NFL, the Eagles have lots of work to do in that area. With the talent available on the board in this mock, no one will help them in that task more than Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
He has great range and the ability to make game-changing plays in the secondary.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
As last season progressed, the offense of the Kansas City Chiefs became more and more productive. That was largely due to Jamaal Charles.
He was wonderful in both the run and pass games. In fact, he led the Chiefs in receiving yards. Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was right behind him in that category, but they still need more legitimate options in the passing game.
Marquise Lee has the ability to get downfield and make plays. This will open up the rest of the field for Kansas City.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Cincinnati Bengals aren't desperate for help at corner, but this pick still makes sense.
Adam Jones has done a good job and is under contract for two more seasons. On the other side, however, Terence Newman is 35, and Dre Kirkpatrick has yet to show he is ready to be a full-time starter.
Justin Gilbert has a strong ratio of size to speed and good coverage skills. He has the potential to be the Bengals' best cornerback if he quickly adapts to the NFL.
25. San Diego Chargers: E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri
The only effective way that the San Diego Chargers played pass defense this past season was to dominate the ball with their offense.
E.J. Gaines has the size to jam receivers and the speed to run with them. He would be an instant upgrade for the Chargers in their starting lineup at their biggest area of need.
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
With some exciting young talent already in place on the Cleveland Browns defense, this franchise can afford to spend both of their first-round selections in this draft on offense.
With pick No. 4, I excitedly gave them Manziel, and now I'm giving him a tall target on the outside to help round out the team's receiving options.
At Texas A&M, Manziel had this kind of option with Mike Evans, and his development would be aided with a similar option in the NFL.
27. New Orleans Saints: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Jason Verrett may not have the size to handle playing on an island on the outside in the NFL. He is just 5'10" and 176 pounds.
His coverage skills should not be questioned, however. He has great quickness and instincts. Even if he can't hold up on the outside, he will be excellent in the slot.
This will help the New Orleans Saints fill out their improving pass defense.
28. Carolina Panthers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
This mock selection is so easy it probably won't come true.
But here is Brandin Cooks, who appears to be a good fit for the bottom of the first round and the Carolina Panthers, who badly need help in the passing game.
On top of that, I don't think I've seen a prospect who reminds more of aging Panthers star Steve Smith.
Cooks is only 5'10", but he has good strength for his size, and his explosion in and out of cuts makes him a threat all over the field.
29. New England Patriots: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
The New England Patriots are in need of some youthful talent in their defensive front seven. Ryan Shazier is a strong selection in that regard.
He isn't going to blow people away with his pass-rush skills, but he is fairly athletic, has wonderful instincts and is a well-rounded linebacker.
He will free up Bill Belichick to blitz with other players.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
The San Francisco 49ers would be wise to give a boost to the passing game with their first selection. Starting wide receiver Anquan Boldin is 33 and a free agent.
Allen Robinson would give quarterback Colin Kaepernick another reliable option in the pass game. He has good hands and already strong route skills.
31. Denver Broncos: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
The Denver Broncos have to continue their win-now mode. Kony Ealy fits into that vision. He has the athleticism to make an instant impact in the pass rush, and the Broncos could use that boost.
There are some concerns regarding the consistency of his effort, but he has all the tools to be dominant.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
Cornerback is far from the Seahawks' biggest need, and this group has done a wonderful job of getting production from that position with later-round picks.
All of that said, Marcus Roberson's physical style of play fits in perfectly with Pete Carroll's vision for defense.