NFL Mock Draft 2014: Most Likely Scenarios for Every 1st-Round Pick

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NFL Mock Draft 2014: Most Likely Scenarios for Every 1st-Round Pick
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With pro day workouts and player evaluations boosting and crushing prospects' stocks on a daily basis ahead of May's 2014 NFL draft, no one knows for sure how Round 1 will play out. 

But given team needs and the draft order, we can look ahead to the most likely scenarios.

Below, we'll run through the first 32 picks, highlighting the most likely scenario for each first-round selection in 2014. 

*All free-agent signing info according to NFL.com. 

 

1. Houston Texans (2-14): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

South Carolina uber-athlete Jadeveon Clowney wowed at his pro day, confirming what we already knew: He's a rare physical specimen with unrivaled upside. 

Following his eye-popping performance, Clowney discussed his high hopes and his goals moving forward (via Sports Illustrated's Chris Burke):

I want to be the best. I say to myself every morning, ‘Just be great today.’ I just want to be one of the best...to be talked about forever...I think I showed ‘em I’m a fighter, I’m going to push through everything they’re going to throw at me. That’s what it’s about: show ‘em that you got what it takes. You’re out here running around, they want to see how far they can push you before you break.

If Houston is going to stick with the top pick and draft the best player available, Clowney is the guy.

 

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington 3-13)): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

St. Louis already has a dominant defensive front and a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. Therefore, the Rams are best suited to bolster their offensive line by adding a stud tackle in Auburn's Greg Robinson. 

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Blake Bortles boosted his draft stock with a tremendous 2013 season that saw him lead Central Florida to an upset win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Considered by many to be the top quarterback available in this year's draft because of his prototypical size and strength, Bortles is likely to be the first quarterback off the board. 

 

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville 

With Bortles gone by pick No. 4, Cleveland will likely land Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, who is celebrated for his accuracy and poise in the pocket. 

 

5. Oakland Raiders (4-12): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Johnny Manziel has tremendous boom-or-bust potential as a former Heisman Trophy winner who blossomed into a star as a result of his gunslinger mentality and big-play ability. But for a team in desperate need of a quarterback and a spark, drafting Manziel makes perfect sense.

Many people, including NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, believe Manziel will figure it out at the next level:

 

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-12): Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

The Falcons will need to address their pass rush and offensive line in this year's draft. And with Buffalo's Khalil Mack still on the board at No. 6, Atlanta would be hard-pressed to find a reason not to take him.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Like many of the teams drafting inside the top 10 this May, the Buccaneers have needs up front on the offensive line. And if Texas A&M's Jake Matthews is available when Tampa Bay finds itself on the clock at No. 7, he'll more than likely wind up being the pick. 

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is another potential pickup for the Bucs at this spot.

 

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1): Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Minnesota can't be impressed with its quarterback options heading into training camp. It's possible that some of the top quarterbacks could still be available at this point in the draft, but in this scenario, they're all gone, propelling Fresno State's Derek Carr to the top of the Vikings' list. 

 

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

The first team in the top 10 with a legitimate need at wide receiver is Buffalo. And with Clemson speedster Sammy Watkins on the board in this scenario, the Bills would be wise to pick him up. 

In addition to possessing tremendous ball and separation skills, Watkins has a soft pair of hands that allow him to attack the football at its highest point and bring it down almost every time. 

 

10. Detroit Lions (7-9): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Detroit could address its needs in the secondary in later rounds of this year's draft. However, at No. 10 overall, the Lions could potentially have a shot to land the best cornerback available in 2014 in Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert.

The Lions already have a prolific offense when their stars are healthy; now, it's time to build a playoff-caliber defense. 

 

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9): Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

Linebacker isn't one of Tennessee's pressing needs this offseason, but UCLA's Anthony Barr is the best linebacker available in the eyes of many experts, according to NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, and he would provide a much-needed boost to the Titans' diminished pass rush.

 

12. New York Giants (7-9): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Giants lost a lot of talent up front on their defensive line and would be wise to address it by adding a dynamic defensive tackle in Aaron Donald. The former Pittsburgh star wouldn't solve all of New York's problems, but he would provide an anchor up front.

 

13. St. Louis Rams (7-9): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

After picking up a skilled offensive lineman early, St. Louis can continue its offensive overhaul by adding a big, physical receiver in Texas A&M's Mike Evans.

With Tavon Austin already there to provide speed on the edge, Evans could be the chain-moving possession receiver Bradford can look to on important downs.

 

14. Chicago Bears (8-8): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears defense was a huge disappointment in 2013, and it's safe to say Chicago will be adding plenty of pieces on that side of the ball come draft time. 

Chicago could use a safety, a cornerback and a defensive tackle in Round 1. But in this scenario, they'd likely go with Michigan State defender Darqueze Dennard, a hard-working player with tremendous instincts and recognition skills.

 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Like Chicago, Pittsburgh's defense experienced a drop-off in 2013 and is need of some youth on the back end. If Gilbert or Dennard is still on the board at this point, the Steelers will likely go in one of those two directions. But Ohio State's Bradley Roby is another top-flight prospect with elite cover skills.

 

16. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

The Cowboys will have to address their needs on the defensive line at some point, but safety is another area of concern in Dallas. 

In this scenario, Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix would wind up being the best player available for Dallas at No. 16. It doesn't hurt that he fills a key need. 

 

17. Baltimore Ravens (8-8): Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Offensive line and safety are big areas of need for Baltimore this offseason. But the Ravens' biggest priority will be protecting their franchise quarterback. Therefore, Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin is a good fit in Round 1.

Martin is tough, displays exceptional awareness and is equally as good in the running game as he is in pass protection. 

 

18. New York Jets (8-8): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Jets are still in need of some speed on the outside. Signing Eric Decker from Denver will provide New York with an offensive boost, but Oregon State's Brandin Cooks is a smaller, quicker receiver who could help exploit opposing defenses in different ways. 

 

19. Miami Dolphins (8-8): Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA

Miami must improve up front on offense in order to reach the postseason in 2014. And if the Dolphins draft an offensive lineman in the first round, few would be a better fit than UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo, a versatile guard who could play multiple roles in Miami.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals (10-6): Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Louisville's Calvin Pryor is a hard-hitting safety who can set the tone and intimidate opposing ball-carriers. Arizona needs safety help this offseason and would likely jump at the opportunity to draft Pryor.

 

21. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1): Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

David Becker

Green Bay's defensive front was a disappointment in 2013. Although the Packers could go in a number of different directions with their first-round selection, Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman offers an athletic and powerful option on the defensive line. 

Hageman has an NFL body and excellent potential at the next level.

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6): Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

Ohio State's Ryan Shazier would fill a need for Philadelphia and provide the Eagles with a natural playmaker on defense. With the right coaching, Shazier has the potential to become the next great young linebacker.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5): Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

It's certainly no secret that the Chiefs will need to pick up some weapons on offense in order to contend with the AFC champion Broncos in the AFC West. 

LSU's Odell Beckham Jr. is one of the best wideouts available this year. In addition to delivering key blocks in the running game, he can separate from defenders and make the big play from time to time.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri 

With Michael Johnson signing with Tampa Bay in free agency, Cincinnati will need to fill the void. Missouri's Kony Ealy is a versatile pass-rusher who brings endless energy to the field.

 

25. San Diego Chargers (9-7): Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

San Diego must improve on defense this offseason, specifically in the secondary. Remember, the Chargers play in the same division as the Broncos and will need to be able to slow down the league's most prolific passing attack twice a year.

TCU's Jason Verrett isn't being talked about a whole lot, but he has the cover skills and instincts to become a big-time NFL defender.

 

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis (11-5)): Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State

If the Browns land their quarterback at No. 4 overall, look for them to draft someone who can protect him late in Round 1. Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson is one of the top guards available and is a monster in the running game, shooting off the ball and driving defenders backward more often than not.

 

27. New Orleans Saints (11-5): Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Auburn's Dee Ford burst onto the scene at the 2014 Senior Bowl last January and could blossom into a dynamic pass-rusher for a contender such as the New Orleans Saints. 

 

28. Carolina Panthers (12-4): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Carolina must find a way to replace Steve Smith on the outside. Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews is a talented possession receiver who could become a go-to receiver for Cam Newton.

 

29. New England Patriots (12-4): Marcus Martin, C, USC

Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix would have been an obvious choice for the Patriots at No. 29 had they not re-signed veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork. But with Wilfork agreeing to a three-year deal, New England is likely to go after someone who can help fill a need up front on offense. 

USC's Marcus Martin is arguably the top center available this spring and would an area of need for Bill Belichick's squad.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers (12-4): Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Although there are some concerns about Marqise Lee's knee injury and lackluster production in 2013, there's a strong possibility that a team will take a chance on him in Round 1. There's no doubt his speed would be a welcome addition to the 49ers.

 

31. Denver Broncos (13-3): Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Depth at the cornerback position will be key for the Denver Broncos if they hope to win a Super Bowl before the Peyton Manning era comes to an end. Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller would be a solid addition late in Round 1.

With Aqib Talib already on board, Denver would be on its way to fielding a much-improved defense in 2014. 

 

32. Seattle Seahawks (13-3): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Seattle is under the least amount of pressure to nail its first-round selection in 2014. But considering the Seahawks lost a key piece in Golden Tate in free agency, it's likely that the defending champions will go after a young wide receiver who can help relieve some of the pressure on Russell Wilson.

Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin can do just that. Plus, his upside is incredible at 6'5", 240 pounds.  

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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