Todd McShay NFL Mock Draft 2014: Notable Picks from ESPN Guru's Fourth Mock

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Todd McShay NFL Mock Draft 2014: Notable Picks from ESPN Guru's Fourth Mock
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Todd McShay’s NFL mock drafts are some of the most respected in the business, as the ESPN analyst clearly puts in a lot of work doing research and making carefully curated selections for each team.

With under a month until the 2014 NFL draft begins, McShay decided to not only bless us with his first-round selections, but also clue us in on how he believes the second round will shake out. His 4.0 mock draft with full analysis can be viewed at ESPN.com (subscription required).     

Let’s take a peek at how McShay’s latest mock selections came together, followed by a closer look at some of the more interesting picks the guru made.

Todd McShay's 4.0 Mock Draft
Pick Team Player
Round 1
1 Texans Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
2 Rams Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
3 Jaguars Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
4 Browns Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
5 Raiders Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
6 Falcons Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
7 Buccaneers Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
8 Vikings Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
9 Bills Eric Ebron, TE, UNC
10 Lions Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
11 Titans Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
12 Giants Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
13 Rams C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
14 Bears Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
15 Steelers Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
16 Cowboys Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
17 Ravens Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
18 Jets Brandin Cooks, WR, Oklahoma State
19 Dolphins Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
20 Cardinals Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
21 Packers Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
22 Eagles Marqise Lee, WR, USC
23 Chiefs Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
24 Bengals Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
25 Chargers Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
26 Browns Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
27 Saints Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
28 Panthers Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada
29 Patriots Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
30 49ers Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
31 Broncos Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
32 Seahawks Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
Round 2
33 Texans Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
34 Redskins Cyrus Kouandijio, OT, Alabama
35 Browns Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
36 Raiders Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA
37 Falcons Dee Ford, DE/OLB, auburn
38 Buccaneers Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
39 Jaguars Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
40 Vikings Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State
41 Bills Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
42 Titans Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
43 Giants Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
44 Rams Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
45 Lions Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
46 Steelers Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
47 Cowboys Jeremiah Attaochu, DE, Georgia Tech
48 Ravens Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
49 Jets Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
50 Dolphins Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
51 Bears Keith McGill, CB, Utah
52 Cardinals Demarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise State
53 Packers Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
54 Eagles Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State
55 Bengals Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
56 49ers Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
57 Chargers Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
58 Saints Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
59 Colts Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin
60 Panthers Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
61 49ers Marcus Martin, C, USC
62 Patriots Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
63 Broncos Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
64 Seahawks Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State
Best Available
1 Bishop Sankley, RB, Washington
2 Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida
3 Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
4 AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama
5 Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida

ESPN.com

 

High Riser: Cody Latimer to Kansas City Chiefs

Doug McSchooler

One of the most eye-catching picks in McShay’s latest mock is the one that the Kansas City Chiefs are projected to make at No. 23. The draft specialist believes that the AFC West contenders will overlook more notable wideouts to select Cody Latimer of the Indiana Hoosiers.

McShay even acknowledged in his analysis that this selection would be a surprise:

This is the big surprise pick of the first round. He might not go off the board quite this early, but I was blown away by his game when I finally got to study his tape recently. He does a great job of getting off the press, has extremely reliable hands and is a threat after the catch -- three things that make him a perfect fit for a West Coast-style offense. He is dealing with a foot injury but his healing is ahead of schedule, and he recently ran in the 4.4-range at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds.

He went on to mention that the Chiefs would also consider Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State here, a player that has been consistently mocked by most experts around this draft position.

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Kansas City fans would be surprised if their receiver-starved club went for Latimer over Benjamin, especially after many of them watched the big Seminole star win the BCS Championship Game with a catch that showed off his incredible leaping skills and big-play ability.

Regardless, Latimer has flashed greatness during his three seasons in Bloomington and still had a productive season despite the injury. The junior hauled in 72 catches for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns on the season.

The prospect also lit up his pro day, running a 4.38 40-yard dash. NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline was in attendance for that and spoke about the impressive performance with Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star: “Scouts were surprised to the point of being impressed a 215-pound receiver was able to run so well so soon after foot surgery.”

It clearly impressed McShay and it now seems that Latimer is on the verge of becoming the biggest riser in the upcoming draft.

 

Falling Down: Justin Gilbert from No. 8 to No. 25

It’s been just over a month since McShay released his 3.0 mock (subscription required), but a number of players took some serious tumbles down the guru’s big board in that time.

One of those falling down is Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, who dropped from No. 8 all the way down to No. 25 in this edition of the mock.

McShay initially explained that the Minnesota Vikings would be an ideal candidate to scoop the prized defensive back in the event that the team could not find a suitable trading partner to move down.

Sue Ogrocki

He praised Gilbert as one of the best talents in the draft class and called him the “top corner prospect on our board who has excellent speed, size and playmaking ability.”

McShay still hails Gilbert as one of the best playmakers and athletes available, but explained the reasoning for the Pokes star’s fall down to No. 25, where the San Diego Chargers are projected to rescue him:

I'm not as high on Gilbert as some other evaluators are, but I still think he's worth a first-round pick, and the Chargers have a need at corner. He gives up too much separation in coverage and isn't very physical, so he needs to be used properly. He's at his best when the play is in front of him and he can attack the ball, and he has elite ball skills and straight-line speed. He also is a huge playmaker with the ball in his hands (he had two interception returns for TDs in 2013 and had six career kickoff returns for TDs).

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller does not agree with McShay’s stance on this cornerback, saying he is the top talent at the position he has seen in quite some time:

It is definitely worth monitoring Gilbert’s status in the weeks leading up to the draft and it will be interesting to see which analyst teams agree with come draft day.

 

Biggest Fall: Anthony Barr from No. 11 to No. 36

Gilbert’s tumble between mock editions may be significant, but at least the Cowboys product wasn’t bumped from the draft’s first day to the second.

That is exactly what happened to UCLA star pass-rusher Anthony Barr, who went from coming off the board to the Tennessee Titans at No. 11 overall all the way down to being the Oakland Raiders’ No. 36 overall pick.

McShay’s reasoning behind this was terse, bluntly stating that he isn’t as big of a fan of the Bruins edge-rusher when compared to other analysts: “I don't have Barr ranked as high as some others, but he is a good speed rusher of the edge who could help in Oakland.”

To be fair, McShay did offer Barr as an alternative draft pick for the Arizona Cardinals at No. 20, but then went on to push the pass-rusher into the second round. McShay did mention he wasn’t a huge supporter of Barr in his previous mock, saying: “I'm not someone who thinks Barr has enough upside to be an early first-round pick, but there seem to be a lot of guys in the league who do.”

Those who have been paying attention to McShay’s media rounds may have seen this coming, as he appeared on ESPN’s First Draft podcast (h/t Rotoworld) a few weeks ago and said he would “have a hard time” selecting Barr within the first 25 picks of the 2014 draft.

Kyle Posey offered an alternative viewpoint, pointing out that it is doubtful Barr gets past New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan at 27, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan at No. 18, the Chargers at No. 25, the San Francisco 49ers at 30 and the Seattle Seahawks to close the round at No. 32:

Barr is an intriguing talent that has the ability to play both outside linebacker and defensive end, depending on the scheme. It is hard to imagine so many teams passing on a talented prospect that can fit within almost any defense, but McShay is predicting a hard fall for the young man this May.

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