NFL Mock Draft 2014: Latest Updates on Entire First Round

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMarch 7, 2014

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

This is going to be a fun draft. For starters, there is plenty of exciting talent to be had, and the first round looks to be loaded with players who are ready to make an impact. 

But more than that, there is tremendous uncertainty regarding how things will play out at the top of the draft.

This draft figures to be ripe with moves no one could see coming. That, of course, will render all mock drafts useless, but it doesn't mean they aren't fun. 

Have a look at my latest effort.

Langford's 2014 NFL Mock Draft

1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida 

Houston is in need of a quarterback, but with the most dominant talent in the draft coming at other positions, the Texans are in a unique position. 

There is a thought that the Texans will opt for the rare talent of Jadeveon Clowney, but that's not going to happen. Just ask the Houston Chronicle's John McClain: 

This will lead the Texans to Central Florida's Blake Bortles. Bortles is not the most pro-ready quarterback available, but he has the most complete skill set. 

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

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

With defensive ends Robert Quinn and Chris Long, the St. Louis Rams do not have a need at that position. It is one of the team's strengths. 

Combine that with the fact that the Rams are not desperate for a quarterback, and there is a good chance this pick will be traded. In the end, I don't see the Rams getting enough value to make trading the pick worth it, though. 

They can draft Clowney and then shop Long for draft picks. 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Once widely regarded as the man who would go No. 1 overall, Teddy Bridgewater's draft stock appears to have slipped.

An odd combine certainly didn't help his stock, as's Dane Brugler point out:

Still, Bridgewater can turn things around with a strong pro day. 

In the end, Bridgewater is the most pro-ready quarterback in this class, and I wouldn't expect him to drop out of the top five. In fact, I believe the Jaguars will tab his advanced understanding of offense as a trait they must have while reshaping their offense. 

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

The Cleveland Browns need to identify their quarterback of the future, but if's Daniel Jeremiah has correct information, they aren't looking to identify that quarterback with this pick.

Jeremiah said the following on The Dan Patrick Show, per's Marc Sessler: "Their guy is (Fresno State quarterback) Derek Carr and they're going to take a different player with the fourth pick and they want to take Derek Carr with their second one (at No. 26). ...I heard that from several different places."

I don't see them using that strategy. Carr may not be around at No. 26, and Johnny Manziel is a dynamic talent. 

5. Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is a good option here. I have the Raiders siding with defense, however.

Khalil Mack is an elite talent, and he is a great fit in Oakland. He will give the team a needed boost in the pass rush and great flexibility in the hybrid defense.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Greg Robinson is a beast of a tackle. He has the strength, agility and footwork to be dominant in both the run and pass games. He is a bully at the point of attack, and the Falcons are desperate for that kind of presence. 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Sammy Watkins is an excellent prospect at wide receiver, but he is not so dominant that the teams who have already drafted won't be able to pass on him.

Although receiver is not Tampa Bay's biggest need, the Buccaneers could use another threat in the passing game to pair with receiver Vincent Jackson and tight end Timothy Wright.

That would help the offense spread out the field. 

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

It is no secret that the Vikings need a quarterback. That leaves them in a tough position.

They could trade down and hope to pick up quarterback Derek Carr when he is a better value. The problem is, though, that every team will know that is exactly what the Vikings are doing, and a team might look to trade up in front of them to land Carr.

Minnesota is best suited to just take Carr at No. 8.

9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Anthony Barr has an elite skill set. The converted running back needs to continue to develop as a linebacker, but he has the explosion to be an instant factor.

The budding Bills defense needs a boost of athleticism on the edge. 

10. Detroit Lions: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

I have no idea how C.J. Mosley would feel about calling Detroit home, but I have to believe he would be in favor of this scenario.

The Lions have the kind of defensive line that will keep blockers off of linebackers. Mosley would be free to make countless plays in this defense, and he has the ability, intellect and instincts to do so.

The Lions need that to build consistency. 

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

With the rise of tackle Greg Robinson and the blazing 40 time of Michigan's Taylor Lewan, it is easy to forget about Jake Matthews. 

But the Titans won't forget about him. 

Tennessee needs help on the edge of its offensive line, and Matthews is the complete package and a solid value at No. 11. 

12. New York Giants: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Giants must get quarterback Eli Manning back on track. The quickest way to do so is by drafting a tight end such as Eric Ebron, who can exploit the seam and stretch out a defense.

This will help prevent safeties from providing extra deep coverage on wide receivers, and that will help Manning not complete as many passes to the wrong team. 

13. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Taylor Lewan opened some eyes with his surprisingly fast 40. 

The 309-pound tackle ran the 40 in 4.87 seconds, which helped solidify his draft status. 

He is a good fit here for the Rams as an upgrade at the right tackle position and an insurance policy/future replacement for Jake Long at left tackle. 

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

Timmy Jernigan is a great fit for the Chicago Bears in that he can play competent defense. The Bears lack those kinds of players. 

Beyond that, Jernigan projects to be a consistent force in the middle of the defensive line, and he will help the Bears solidify their rush defense. 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

I'm sure Oklahoma State corner Justin Gilbert jumped ahead of Darqueze Dennard on many draft boards after the combine, but Dennard's physical style of play still makes him a better fit for the Steelers.

With Ike Taylor about to turn 34, the Steelers must address their secondary depth, and Dennard is a strong value here. 

16. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

The Dallas Cowboys have many needs on defense. The biggest priorities are along the defensive line and in the secondary.

Calvin Pryor is the best player available in this scenario in those areas of need. Check what's Gil Brandt had to say about Pryor, via Bleacher Report's Zach Kruse:

Although the Cowboys are desperate for help along the defensive line, they also need serious help in the defensive backfield, and Pryor is a strong value here.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

The Ravens must solidify their offensive line, and Zack Martin will help them do that. The question is which position will he do it from. 

For reasons explained by Rob Rang of, there are doubts about his ability to play tackle in the NFL: "Martin does not possess great height, arm length or foot speed."

Of course, not everyone expects that will hold him back. NFL Network's Mike Mayock certainly doesn't think it will: 

The Ravens can use him wherever he can help.

18. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Jets desperately need someone such as wide receiver Mike Evans. They need to provide quarterback Geno Smith with a reliable weapon.

With Evans' height and skills, he will be an excellent addition to the offense and make life easier for Smith on third down and in the red zone.

19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

With an intense need to reshape their offensive line, the Miami Dolphins should take the best offensive lineman available with this pick.

Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio has seen his draft stock tumble since a disastrous Sugar Bowl and some alarming news from the combine, which Pro Football Talk was kind enough to highlight:

Obviously, that could be a bit of a red flag. It doesn't mean he is doomed to failure, however. Kouandjio has played a lot of excellent football against tough competition. Considering the Dolphins' need for help along the offensive line, this is a reasonable pick.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

The Cardinals are in a position similar to that of the Dolphins. The franchise is desperate for improved play along the offensive line, but there isn't tremendous value among offensive linemen at this stage of the draft.

Morgan Moses is not a terrible reach, however. He has good size and feet, which you can see in this video, provided by the NFL:

Moses has the potential to be a starting tackle in the NFL for a long time. 

21. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

Aaron Donald has seen his draft stock rise. In fact, Mayock now lists Donald as his No. 1 defensive tackle.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

With the NFL's worst pass defense, the Philadelphia Eagles must find some help in the secondary. 

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is athletic and can cover a lot of ground. He will help the pass defense provide more resistance to opponents. 

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

After being led in rushing and receiving yards by running back Jamaal Charles last season, the Chiefs must find more offensive weapons.

Dwayne Bowe is a solid option at the No. 1 receiving slot, but the Chiefs must find someone to line up opposite of him who can also command the defense's attention.

Marqise Lee is an excellent option. He has the athleticism and ball skills to be a threat down the field. 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

After a strong combine, Justin Gilbert may not last until the Bengals make their selection at No. 24. With a deep crop of corners in the later rounds, however, I see him sliding a bit.

This will work out well for the Bengals. Terence Newman is coming off a solid season, but he's 35, so the Bengals must beef up their corner depth.

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

The San Diego Chargers have to make improving the pass defense their top priority. 

Marcus Roberson has solid size and athleticism. He can provide solid bump-and-run coverage, and he is a willing defender in the run game. 

26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Let's just go all-in on offensive skill positions for the Cleveland Browns in this draft. 

I have the Browns taking Manziel at No. 4 and following that up with Kelvin Benjamin. The Browns need a receiver to line up opposite of Josh Gordon, and Benjamin's length would be a nice asset.

Plus, this would give Manziel a weapon similar to what he had in college with Mike Evans. 

27. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

Ryan Shazier is athletic and strong. He can take on blockers and is a sure tackler. He needs to work on his consistency, but the Saints would benefit from Shazier's ability to make tough tackles. 

28. Carolina Panthers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Wide receiver Steve Smith may or may not be back in Carolina next season. Either way, the Panthers must get better in the passing game. 

Brandin Cooks conjures up memories of Smith. He is small and fast and can be a threat all over the field. 

It is imperative that the Panthers have a deep threat to help open up the running game. Cooks will be able to fill that role. 

29. New England Patriots: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Patriots are in a position at cornerback that is similar to the Panthers' situation at wide receiver. Aqib Talib is a free agent, and only time will tell if he remains a Patriot. 

Either way, the Patriots need help at corner. Jason Verrett lacks size but has wonderful coverage skills.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

The 49ers need a deep threat. It would help open things up for the running game and give Colin Kaepernick even more room to scramble.

There isn't a better deep threat on the board at this point than Odell Beckham Jr.

31. Denver Broncos: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Kony Ealy needs plenty of work to be a complete defensive end, but he does have a natural ability as a pass-rusher that will translate into instant results in the NFL. That is exactly what the Broncos need.

Denver needs a better pass rush and instant results before the championship window tied to Peyton Manning closes. 


32. Seattle Seahawks: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra'Shede Hageman is a phenomenal athlete, but he doesn't have the college production to match his tools.

This won't be a concern for the Seahawks. Seattle needs depth on the defensive line, and the current regime in Seattle has been able to get the most out of its players.


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