NFL Mock Draft 2014: Updated Projections for Entire First Round

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
NFL Mock Draft 2014: Updated Projections for Entire First Round
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the combine wrapping up, it's time to take a look at the updated projections for the entire first round of the 2014 NFL draft.

While the combine doesn't tell the whole story for these college prospects, it does give us a good idea of just how athletic some of these players can be. Keep in mind that while 40-yard dash times are exciting, the combine is more for the 32 NFL teams to interview key prospects and do medical evaluations, which are both very important.

With that being said, let's take a look at the latest first-round mock draft heading into the final day of combine workouts. 

Note: All combine results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.

 

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With a new head coach and a disappointing 2013 season, the Houston Texans need a new face of the franchise at quarterback. While this team has a lot of talent, it doesn't look like Matt Schaub or Case Keenum are the answer under center.

The rumors will continue to go around over the next couple of months as to which quarterback will be the first taken, but from an overall talent standpoint, Teddy Bridgewater is the best in the class. He has excellent accuracy and touch on the ball even when on the move. While he doesn't have the strongest arm, Bridgewater makes up for it with great instincts and the ability to run through his progressions.

 

2. St. Louis Rams: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

With the second overall pick, the St. Louis Rams are in a bit of a tough spot. They could trade down with a team looking for a quarterback or they could take the top player on their board at a position that might not be an immediate need.

If the Rams go with the latter, taking Jadeveon Clowney could give them one of the scariest front sevens in the NFL. At 6'5'' and 266 pounds, Clowney has a rare combination of size and speed, which he proved once again after running the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds. With Clowney, Robert Quinn and Chris Long, opposing offensive linemen would have a hard time dealing with this defense.

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

The Jacksonville Jaguars need a quarterback, plain and simple. Chad Henne may have shown glimpses of being a serviceable starter, but neither him or Blaine Gabbert should be starting under center for 16 games.

If the Texans end up taking Bridgewater, the Jaguars would still be quite happy with Blake Bortles. According to Dane Brugler from CBS Sports, Bortles shined during positional drills at the combine, saying:

Bortles' accuracy and footwork on his three-step drops were excellent, showing very good rhythm, timing and precision to rip it with very good target placement. He was a tick late with his seven-step drops and has room to improve his feet and balance in this area, but Bortles was still able to be accurate down the field, especially on deep bucket throws.

With ideal size for a QB and a strong skill-set, Bortles has the potential to finally give the Jaguars a long-term option under center.

 

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

Much like the Jaguars and Texans, the Browns need a quarterback more than anything. Brian Hoyer showed promise in 2013 before tearing his ACL, but I highly doubt that Mike Pettine will trust him to be their starter for an entire season.

The Browns had previously expressed interest in trading up for Johnny Manziel, but they won't have to in this mock. While Manziel is known as a great quarterback on the move, he doesn't get enough credit for his passing. Over the past season, he showed that he's capable of moving through his reads and tucking it when there's no other option.

The upside on Manziel is tremendous, and the Browns will likely take a chance on the undersized quarterback.

 

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Quarterback is a need for the Oakland Raiders as well, but with the big three names already gone before the No. 5 pick, this team can wait for a QB in the second round and focus on other needs with their first pick. 

If the Raiders want to bring in a player to help get their offense going, they won't have to think very long before choosing Sammy Watkins out of Clemson. Watkins is a serious game-changer due to his top-end speed, solid size and ability to pick up yards after the catch. By drafting Watkins, the Raiders could give whoever their starting quarterback is in 2014 a terrific weapon to help put up points.

 

6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

While the Atlanta Falcons may have struggled defensively this past season, protecting Matt Ryan was also an issue. Given how valuable Ryan is to this team, the Falcons should probably consider adding the top offensive tackle in this class to help keep Ryan upright.

Greg Robinson out of Auburn continues to impress as the NFL draft approaches. After terrific play throughout the 2013 season, Robinson opened up even more eyes at the combine after posting a 4.92 in the 40-yard dash along with 32 reps in bench press and a broad jump of 113 inches. Considering he's 6'5'' and 332 pounds, that's pretty scary.

Besides combine numbers, Robinson is a strong tackle with long arms and does a great job overpowering defenders, making him this year's top offensive tackle prospect.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

While they may not have had the best season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have some very underrated defensive players with guys like Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy. But if they want to make a run in the NFC South, the Buccaneers should consider adding even more talent to stop players like Cam Newton and Drew Brees.

Khalil Mack was a dominant force in the MAC out of Buffalo, putting himself on the national spotlight after a dominant game against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Mack has a great first step along with the acceleration and athleticism to make plays in the backfield. The level of competition might not have been as strong in the MAC, but the dominance from Mack this past season proved he's worth a top-10 pick.

 

8. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Jared Allen is likely going to be a free agent. The Minnesota Vikings might also need a quarterback, but if Allen leaves, they're going to need to focus on that defense that ranked 31st in pass defense.

Drafting Anthony Barr to add talent on defense would be a smart idea for the Vikings. While he's still a raw prospect in terms of instincts and hand usage, he's a frightening athlete with a lot of speed and burst to rush the passer and his upside makes him worth the risk.

 

9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Buffalo Bills showed a commitment to building up their offense through the draft last year by taking players like E.J. Manuel, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin. But the offense still isn't great, although they could get even closer to greatness by adding yet another weapon in the first round of this year's draft.

It may seem like a reach to take a tight end with the No. 9 pick, but North Carolina's Eric Ebron is a game-changer at the position. Ebron is a great athlete and an even better receiver, showing some pro-ready route-running skills. He might not be the next Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski as soon as he enters the league, but he could be soon.

 

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

Drafting cornerbacks hasn't exactly been a strength for the Detroit Lions, but they need to keep trying given the current situation of their secondary. Luckily for them, this draft class is filled with a lot of talent at the cornerback position.

It's a tough choice as to which cornerback is the best in this year's class, but Justin Gilbert makes a strong case. He has such great size and speed at the position, but his ball skills are just as impressive, as he's capable of creating turnovers with ease.

 

11. Tennessee Titans: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Whoever plays quarterback for the Tennessee Titans in 2014 is going to need some help avoiding pressure, so the team should probably focus on finding a way to protect whoever is under center with their first-round pick.

Robinson might be getting a lot of attention right now, but Jake Matthews has been a top-tier prospect at offensive tackle since the beginning of the year and for good reason. He's a versatile tackle that's played on both sides of the line, and given his strength and size, he's bound to be an instant starter wherever he ends up playing.

 

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

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Given how last season went, the New York Giants will likely use their first-round pick to address the needs in either pass protection or rushing the passer. While there are still some nice offensive tackles available at the No. 12 pick, the Giants might want to take on one of the premier pass-rushers left on the board.

Missouri's Kony Ealy might have only posted a time of 4.92 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine, but he's still one of the more impressive athletes at the defensive end position in this draft. Ealy's skill-set would fit New York's 4-3 defensive scheme nicely, and he could help provide another option to rush the passer, which the Giants so desperately need.

 

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

With their second first-round pick, the Rams can address one of the more obvious needs and that's at free safety. The entire secondary struggled this past season, but adding a rangy safety to help break up passes and force turnovers could turn things around quickly.

After watching film on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, it's easy to see what the hype is all about. The former Alabama safety is so fast to react and isn't afraid to lay out to break up passes or force turnovers, as he has arguably the best range of any safety in this class. For the Rams, adding Clowney and Clinton-Dix could give them one of the better defenses in the league. 

 

14. Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

After giving up 161.4 rushing yards per game last season, it's easy to see why the Chicago Bears need help on their defensive line. While Henry Melton will be returning from a torn ACL, there's still no guarantee that the Bears re-sign him, making the need for an interior defensive lineman even greater.

While some scouts may knock Aaron Donald for being just 6'1'' and 285 pounds, his athleticism will be hard to ignore after his combine performances. Not only did he run the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds, but he also had 35 reps in the bench press and a 32-inch vertical. 

Donald is a premier pass-rush rusher that's also capable of plugging up the middle of the line of scrimmage, making him the ideal fit as a 3-technique defensive tackle.

 

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to try and add youth to a defense that is showing some serious signs of age and they will likely keep doing so through the draft this year. While there are several needs, adding a defensive tackle would be a smart move with this selection.

At 6'2'' and 345 pounds, size isn't an issue for Louis Nix out of Notre Dame. However, the issue for Nix is with injuries as he is still recovering from a torn left meniscus. Still, Nix has the size and strength to be the anchor that the Steelers need on the inside of their defense.

 

16. Dallas Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Defensively, the Dallas Cowboys have a number of holes, including some on the defensive line and in the secondary. Given how the first 15 picks have gone, the Cowboys would be smart to take the third consecutive defensive tackle with the No. 16 overall pick.

After a strong season at Florida State, Timmy Jernigan made a big impact during the BCS National Championship, helping his draft stock significantly. While he's listed at just under 300 pounds, Jernigan is still a great run stopper that has all of the tools to be a strong interior defensive lineman for Dallas.

 

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

Despite so many defensive players leaving after the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl two seasons ago, this team is still pretty solid on that side of the ball. However, the offensive wasn't the same in 2013, especially after losing Anquan Boldin.

Fortunately for the Ravens, there's a prospect that could fill Boldin's role perfectly in this year's class in Mike Evans. Evans is a terrific red zone threat at 6'5'' and 231 pounds, but he also has the speed and strength to be a consistent outside receiver for the Ravens.

 

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

Geno Smith had a very rough rookie year for the New York Jets, but he can't get all the blame. Smith had no one to throw to, so the Jets should seriously consider bringing in either a wide receiver or tight end with their first-round pick.

Marqise Lee's draft stock may have taken a hit after a knee injury this past season, but he's quickly recovered, especially after a nice combine workout where he posted a broad jump of 127 inches and a 40-yard dash time of 4.52 seconds. Lee is a clean route-runner and isn't afraid to make tough catches, making him a terrific potential weapon for Smith in 2014.

 

19. Miami Dolphins: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

I don't think I need to go into too much detail as to why the Miami Dolphins need help on the offensive line. Ryan Tannehill was knocked around constantly, and it seems very unlikely that Jonathan Martin or Richie Incognito return next season.

The smartest pick here would be taking Taylor Lewan. At 6'7'' and 309 pounds, Lewan was still able to post the fastest 40-yard dash time of any offensive lineman at 4.87 seconds, while posting a number of other impressive numbers in other drills. More importantly, Lewan is a great pass protector that can stay in front of even the most athletic pass-rushers.

If the Dolphins draft Lewan, Tannehill will likely be quite happy.

 

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

The Arizona Cardinals might have been one of the biggest surprises this past season, but they're still not perfect. Carson Palmer might not be the best option at quarterback, but he could be a lot more effective with a more dependable left tackle.

The next best option at offensive tackle would be Zack Martin out of Notre Dame. While his arm length isn't ideal, Martin is still a reliable pass protector thanks to his quick feet and strong technique and that will be enough for the Cardinals to pull the trigger on him.

 

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

This coming season will be a big one for Dom Capers and the defense for the Green Bay Packers. They have quite a few holes across the defense, including defensive tackle, linebacker and safety. With how Ted Thompson and company draft, they'll likely take the top guy on their board.

Given how this mock draft has gone, that player would likely be C.J. Mosley. Mosley has terrific instincts and reaction time, which usually results in him being the first player to the ball on almost every play. With Mosley and Brad Jones at inside linebacker, Green Bay's run defense could look much more solid next season.

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Garry Jones/Associated Press

After allowing a league-worst 289.8 passing yards per game in 2013, the Philadelphia Eagles clearly need help in their secondary, particularly at safety.

If the Eagles want an enforcer in the defensive backfield, Calvin Pryor would be the way to go. Pryor is a heavy hitter with terrific instincts, laying out some huge hits during college. Sometimes his aggressive mentality hurts him, but for the most part Pryor is an enforcer at safety that could quickly make a name for himself in the NFL.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

Despite a terrific start to their season, the Kansas City Chiefs fizzled out by the end of the year. Alex Smith looked solid, but he has a serious lack of weapons not coming out of the backfield. Dwayne Bowe isn't the same player he used to be and Donnie Avery isn't a starting-caliber receiver.

Odell Beckham Jr. could provide the spark the Chiefs need on offense. He's a true speedster that also has the ability to create separation and make plays out of the slot. Perhaps Beckham's biggest asset is his ability to pick up yards after the catch and that could make him a true impact player for the Chiefs as soon as he's drafted.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the hardest teams to predict where they'll go with their first-round pick, but given the fact that Leon Hall will be returning from a torn Achilles while Adam Jones and Terence Newman are getting older, taking a cornerback might be the best pick for the future.

Darqueze Dennard would be a terrific pick for the Bengals. He's an aggressive corner that can shut down opposing receivers in press coverage, but he also has great instincts and reaction time to help him jump routes and come up with big interceptions.

 

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

Pass defense wasn't exactly a strength for the San Diego Chargers last season, and while things turned around as the regular season came to a close, adding help in the secondary would be a smart move for the organization.

Marcus Roberson heads to the NFL with nice size and length at 6'0'' and 191 pounds. He has solid ball skills and can limit separation due to his aggressive nature. He's not the fastest or biggest defensive back, but Roberson knows how to use his length to his advantage.

 

26. Cleveland Browns: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

With a new quarterback, the Browns can use their second pick in the first round to add another weapon to go along with Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron.

He may not be the biggest player in the draft, but Brandin Cooks is definitely one of the fastest, running the fastest 40-yard dash of any wide receiver at 4.33 seconds. Cooks uses his speed to blow by defenders or make quick cuts in his routes to get open. Coming out of the slot, he could give Manziel yet another terrific weapon to help open the field for the rest of the offense.

 

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

The New Orleans Saints made the transition to a 3-4 defense quite successfully this past season under Rob Ryan, but rushing the passer was still a relative weakness. The Saints still lack pass-rushers, but they could quickly change that with this pick.

Senior Bowl standout Dee Ford has made a name for himself because of his quick burst off the snap along with his constant aggressiveness and high motor. He is flexible enough to get low and beat offensive tackles, making him a great prospect at rush linebacker for the Saints in that 3-4 scheme.

 

28. Carolina Panthers: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

There may be needs at wide receiver and cornerback for the Carolina Panthers, but making sure Cam Newton has enough time in the pocket should be priority No. 1 for this team over the offseason.

One of the biggest offensive tackles in this draft is Antonio Richardson at 6'6'' and 336 pounds. He has long arms at 35 inches and is strong enough to push even the biggest defenders back. While he's a solid pass blocker, Richardson is an even more effective run blocker, making him a nice fit with the Panthers.

 

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

A big part of the offense for the New England Patriots a couple of seasons ago was the tight end position, as they had the league's best duo with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Gronkowski will be back at some point, but the Patriots need to find another tight end to give them depth at the position and possibly a deadly duo once Gronk comes back.

Jace Amaro could fill Hernandez's old role quite nicely. He's a big target at 6'5'' and 265 pounds, but he's also an excellent athlete that could make big plays in the middle of the field coming out of the slot.

 

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

Given the consistent success they've had over the past few seasons, the San Francisco 49ers don't have a ton of glaring needs. However, if they want to find a way to keep in front with the rest of the NFC West, adding some help in the secondary could go a long way.

Jason Verrett isn't a big corner at 5'9'' and 189 pounds, but he's still surprisingly strong and has a solid all-around set of skills, especially in man coverage. Verrett doesn't excel in any category, but the upside is there for him to be a potential starter.

 

31. Denver Broncos: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford

Even with Von Miller hopefully returning at some point in the 2014 season, the Denver Broncos will still have a pretty big need at defensive end. Shaun Phillips had a solid season, but he's 32 years old and won't be playing forever.

Trent Murphy might be the best option for the Broncos at defensive end near the end of the first round. As a senior, he led the FBS with 15 sacks thanks to his motor, size and speed. He may need to bulk up a bit to play defensive end in the NFL, but given what he did in the Pac-12, Murphy should be a solid player at the next level.

 

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

As arguably the NFL's most complete team, the Seattle Seahawks don't really have a ton of needs, but one of the areas where they could improve is at offensive guard.

Coming out of UCLA, Xavier Su'a-Filo translates best as a guard at 6'4'' and 307 pounds. He's an effective pass blocker that is one of the first players out of their stand. He doesn't have ideal arm length and sometimes gets over-extended, but he has the potential to be a starting-caliber guard for the Seahawks.

 

 

 

Load More Stories

Follow B/R on Facebook

NFL Draft

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.