2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Projections for Every First-Round Selection

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMarch 15, 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

With a flood of misinformation floating from teams in an attempt to manipulate the value of their pick, it is tough to identify a direction for the 2014 NFL draft.

Quarterback-needy teams dominate the top of the first rount, but it is hard to tell if any of those teams are confident enough in the quarterbacks in this draft to use a premium pick on the available signal-callers. 

There are countless possibilities, and it is going to be an exciting first round. 

Here is my latest attempt to project how it plays out. 


Langford's 2014 NFL Mock Draft

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

The Houston Texans need a competent quarterback. With question marks surrounding every quarterback in this draft, however, there is ample speculation that the Texans will go a different direction.

That's not going to happen. The Houston Chronicle's John McClain is in agreement with me: 

Blake Bortles is a wonderful mix of talent. He needs to work on his ability to read a defense and his accuracy, but there is enough potential there that Texans won't be able to pass on him considering their need at the position. 


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

With Chris Long and Robert Quinn, the Rams don't have a need for another defensive end, but Clowney is to enticing a prospect to pass on at No. 2.

Expect the Rams to listen to all trade offers, but in the end, I think they'll go a different route.

The Rams can draft Clowney and then trade Chris Long for draft picks. Long is a proven commodity, but Clowney's upside is through the roof. Plus, he would be cheaper and Long is 28. 


3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed quarterback Chad Henne. That doesn't mean they won't take a quarterback here, it just means they don't have to.

As The Jaguars tweeted, it gives the team "flexibility," which is a nice option with this lofty draft pick:  

In the end, this team still won't pass on Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater has an advanced mental approach to the game. That would give the Jaguars a solid presence to build the offense around and some much needed consistency.


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

The Cleveland Browns won't be able to pass on the exciting possibility of Johnny Manziel leading their offense. 

With weapons like wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron already in place, Manziel's playmaking ability would make the offense explosive. 


5. Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

After the Rodger Saffold debacle, the Raiders are now desperate for an offensive tackle.

Greg Robinson is a strong value here and a potentially dominant lineman in run-blocking and pass protection. 

The Raiders are also desperate for a quarterback, but with the top three signal-callers already off the board, that won't be an option at No. 5.


6. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

The Atlanta Falcons need help in the trenches on both sides of the ball. However, there is not good value available where they are picking.

Khalil Mack is the next best thing. He is strong at the point of attack, and he will be an excellent pass-rusher. He is also well-rounded enough to at times play coverage in the Falcons' defense. 


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

Sammy Watkins is a dangerous playmaker and the best receiver in this class.

His addition alongside Vincent Jackson and tight end Timothy Wright would give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a talented group of playmakers similar to what the Chicago Bears had last season when new Bucs quarterback Josh McCown flourished.


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

The Minnesota Vikings need a quarterback to build around.

Derek Carr's draft value has been wildly speculated, but quarterbacks with an arm like his have the tendency of being overdrafted.

The Vikings could wait until their second pick to grab a quarterback, but there's no guarantee that there will be a decent value on a quarterback then, either. 


9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Anthony Barr has the speed and size to dominate on the edge. He has to refine his game to be anything but a pass-rusher, but he will be able to pick up sacks the minute he steps onto the field.

The Bills have a solid defense up the middle, but they need more athleticism on the outside. 


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

If this selection happens, C.J. Mosley is my pick for NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The Lions have the kind of defensive line that will keep blockers off of linebackers. That will leave Mosley free to fly around the field and make tackles and impact plays. 


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

Greg Robinson's stock has skyrocketed and Michigan's Taylor Lewan stole headlines with a blazing 40 time. Jake Matthews has been the forgotten man.

He remains an elite talent, however, and exactly what the Tennessee Titans need.


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

Eric Ebron is an outstanding athlete. He has the size and speed to hit the seam for big plays. 

He will cause opposing safeties to pay extra attention to him, and that will help Eli Manning avoid so many awkward throws into double coverage. 


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

As I just mentioned, Taylor Lewan turned heads at the combine. 

The 309-pound tackle posted a time of 4.87 seconds in the 40. He was already considered a first-round lock, and now he won't get past No. 13. 

The Rams need a tackle, and Lewan's presence in this draft will be another factor in the Rams going with Clowney at No. 2.


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

The Chicago Bears have to pick defense here. That side of the ball needs young athletes by the handful.

Timmy Jernigan is a solid start. He does not have elite explosiveness, but he is a rock in the middle of the line. He will be a massive factor in the defending the run.


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

Ike Taylor will be 34 next season, and the Steelers need more depth at the position.

Darqueze Dennard is not as athletic as Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, but he is an excellent fit for Pittsburgh's physical defense and press coverage.


16. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Calvin Pryor has the range and instincts to help limit the deep pass. He is also a willing tackler in the run game.

NFL.com's Gil Brandt sums up his value well in this comment passed along by Bleacher Report's Zach Kruse:

The Cowboys also must look at defensive line, but Pryor is a strong value and a good fit. 


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

The Ravens are in trouble along the offensive line. They re-signed tackle Eugene Monroe, but starting right tackle Michael Oher signed with Tennessee on Day 4 of free agency. Besides, the offensive line was terrible last season. 

Zack Martin is a strong selection. His lack of length may limit him to guard, but wherever he winds up on the offensive line, he will produce.

NFL Network's Mike Mayock thinks he'll be able to succeed anywhere:  


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

The New York Jets signed wide receiver Eric Decker to boost a pitiful group at wide receiver.

That moves gives the Jets freedom with this pick, but New York could use even more help at the position and Mike Evans is a strong value here. 

Evans has wonderful size and the athleticism to be a threat all over the field.


19. Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

Like the Ravens, the Dolphins need help all over the offensive line. Signing tackle Branden Albert was a great start, but this team needs more.

Alabama's Cyrus Kouandjio has lots of big-game experience, but he also has a bit of a health concern. Pro Football Talk highlighted this issue:

His potential will be enough to have the Dolphins take a chance on his knee. 


20. Arizona Cardinals: Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

The Arizona Cardinals have a strong defense, but could use another athlete in the defensive trenches. 

Aaron Donald is an explosive player with the size to be a quality end in a 3-4 system.


21. Green Bay Packers: Louis Nix III, Notre Dame

The Green Bay Packers need added muscle and talent on the defensive line. 

Louis Nix III will bring good size and strength to the defensive front. He will help clog up running lanes and free up Packer linebackers to make plays. 


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 against the deep ball. 


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

When a team is led in rushing and receiving by the same player, that team either needs a new running back or receiver.

In this case, the Chiefs need a receiver. Dwayne Bowe is a solid option on one side, but the Chiefs need someone opposite him to help open up the field and to take some of the burden off of running back Jamaal Charles.

Marqise Lee is an excellent option. He doesn't have ideal size, but he is a good athlete with great ball skills. 


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

Justin Gilbert is a strong value here, which will have the Bengals decide it is worth adding to their cornerback corps. 

Terence Newman is coming off a solid season, but he's 35. A little depth is needed in case Newman remembers how old he is. 


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

Marcus Roberson is a physical corner. He doesn't have great top-end speed, but he provides a good bump at the line and strong coverage. 

The San Diego Chargers desperately need help in pass defense. 


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

At pick No. 4, I have the Browns taking Manziel. Cleveland will help Manziel's transition to the NFL by drafting a long receiver like he had at Texas A&M with Mike Evans. 

Benjamin is tall and has had good ball skills. He will be a quality possession receiver and a good fit on the other side of Gordon. 


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

The New Orleans Saints made a strong improvement on defense with the signing of safety Jairus Byrd

Ryan Shazier would help complete the defense by adding physicality and solid tackling to the front seven. 


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

With the Carolina Panthers releasing wide receiver Steve Smith and Ted Ginn Jr., the run-based offense needs even more help in the pass-catching department. 

It is only natural they would turn to Brandin Cooks. Checking in at under 6'0", Cooks plays with an explosiveness and strength that is eerily reminiscent of Smith. 


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

The New England Patriots signed Darrelle Revis, but this team could still use help in the secondary.

Jason Verrett will be a strong option to cover the slot right off the bat, and he has the potential to be a quality corner on the outside as well. 


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

The San Francisco 49ers need something to deter teams from stacking the box. In other words, they need a deep threat.

Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree are solid options in the passing game, but neither player is the kind of threat who will take the top off of a defense. 

Odell Beckham Jr. has the speed and ball skills to do just that. 


31. Denver Broncos: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

The Denver Broncos added the pass-rushing skills of DeMarcus Ware, but they can't stop there.

Kony Ealy's athleticism will make him an instant threat to get to the quarterback. He needs time to develop as a complete defensive end, but the Broncos could use his speed to pressure the quarterback. 


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

The defending Super Bowl champs need to bring in some talent to reinforce a depleted defensive line.

Ra'Shede Hageman is a good fit. He has the size and athleticism to be a huge factor in the run game, and that is exactly where Seattle needs help.


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