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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Most Likely Selections for Every Team in 1st Round

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Most Likely Selections for Every Team in 1st Round
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We're less than a week away from the 2014 NFL draft. Soon, we'll be done trying to decipher between smoke screens and team's true indications of interest in the nation's top collegiate prospects.

Aside from the inevitable draft-day trade, this mock hones in on the most likely selections for each team in the first round.

Obviously, things could change with the very first pick. If the Houston Texans move their selection, it would alter a lot of things.

In the event they keep the top selection, we should hear: "With the first pick in the NFL draft, the Houston Texans select..."

 

1. Houston Texans, Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Despite concerns about Clowney's motor, the Texans won't be able to resist his enormous talent and upside.

Are the questions about his work ethic valid? It's too early to say for sure, but watching and listening to him speak about work and discipline can make potential coaches and general managers nervous.

Take a look at this interview done by Gillette. Whenever Clowney talks about the less fun parts of what has now become his job, he refers to them with disdain:

He's still a very young man who can mature, but this demeanor is part of the reason for his stigma.

 

2. St. Louis Rams, Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

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The Rams have needs at offensive line and safety, but neither should trump their thirst to add a dynamic playmaker in the passing game.

St. Louis took Tavon Austin in the 2013 draft. Watkins could be the legit No. 1 receiver that allows Austin to have a breakout season from the slot.

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars, Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

A team and city in need of a quarterback and star would get both if the Jags tab Manziel with the third pick. This selection makes sense from every angle. Jacksonville would be nuts not to pull the trigger on Johnny Football.

 

4. Cleveland Browns, Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Bortles' name has been mentioned as a possible No. 1 pick to the Texans, but he's more likely to go between No. 4 and No. 8.

I have him landing in Cleveland, as the Browns need a franchise quarterback who isn't already 28 years old, as Brandon Weeden was when the team drafted him in 2012.

 

5. Oakland Raiders, Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

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A team without a young quarterback might be tempted to go after Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville here or even Fresno State's Derek Carr.

But scouts have been inexplicably down on Bridgewater lately, and Carr could possibly be available in the second round. Instead, the Raiders can opt to take the offensive lineman with the most athleticism and upside of any prospect at his position.

 

6. Atlanta Falcons, Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo

Mack looks like an absolute terror waiting to explode on the NFL. His edge pass-rushing skills may only be inferior to Clowney's in this draft.

However, unlike Clowney, there are no concerns about Mack's motor.

He can make an immediate impact in Atlanta as a pass-rusher.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Bucs already have Vincent Jackson at wide receiver.

Adding another big, physical wideout would give Josh McCown two huge targets in the passing game. It's not a bad way to start off Lovie Smith's tenure as head coach. 

 

8. Minnesota Vikings, Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

With Jared Allen no longer wreaking havoc on the defensive line, the Vikings need another defensive playmaker.

As pure athleticism goes, Barr is one of the most athletic players in the draft who is projected to play in the front seven.

 

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

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Perhaps the best gift a team can give a young quarterback is a pass-catching tight end—a studly offensive line isn't bad either.

Ebron is easily the best receiving tight end in the draft. He could make an immediate impact with quarterback EJ Manuel and the Bills offense.

 

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

Gilbert has the potential to become one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL. He's 6'0" and a solid 202 pounds. He ran a 4.37 40-yard-dash at the NFL combine, and he's supremely confident.

From a physical and intangible standpoint, he's cut out to be an impact player against the pass.

 

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

With his father Bruce Matthews as a current coach and all-time great within the organization, it's hard to imagine the Titans not taking Matthews—considering tackle is a position of need.

Michael Roos will be a free agent at the end of the season. Matthews could step right in at right tackle this season and transition over to the left side in 2015.

 

12. New York Giants, Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The G-Men need a youth injection on every level of their defense. They may as well start the youth movement in the trenches.

Donald's motor and intangibles make him the best defensive tackle prospect in the draft.

 

13. St. Louis Rams, Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

One of the reasons the Rams can afford to take Watkins with the second pick is because they also have the 13th selection.

Taking Pryor helps to fill a void at safety. His physical style is a perfect fit for head coach Jeff Fisher's system.

 

14. Chicago Bears, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With Donald off the board in this scenario, the Bears can look to another position of need and still land one of the best players in the draft.

Chicago was woeful at safety in 2013. Clinton-Dix would start from Day 1 with the Bears. With the talented players in front of him, he'd have a good chance to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

 

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

The Steelers also need to get younger on defense. Dennard's physicality in man-to-man coverage and tackling ability against the run are perfect for the Steelers' defensive identity.

He could ultimately supplant 33-year-old Ike Taylor as the team's top cover corner.

 

16. Dallas Cowboys, Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

The only player who makes me hesitate to call Barr the most athletic linebacker in the draft is Shazier. The former Buckeyes standout is a bullet on the football field.

Dallas' defense was bad on every level in 2013. Taking the best player available on that side of the ball makes sense.

 

17. Baltimore Ravens, Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The sooner the Ravens get back to a bruising, run-oriented team that is anchored by a strong defense, the better.

Sure, they need to evolve somewhat with the times, but the current personnel are still best suited for that type of football identity.

That brand of physical football is rooted in players like Lewan. He could make an immediate impact in the run and passing games.

 

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

The Jets are going to need a receiver who can stretch the field—that'll be the case no matter who's under center.

Both Michael Vick and Geno Smith will struggle in 2014 if the front office doesn't bring in some offensive weapons.

Lee's speed, hands and experience in a pro-style offense at USC will serve him well in the NFL.

 

19. Miami Dolphins, Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Ryan Tannehill was sacked 48 times in 2013. That's a lot. The Dolphins must take measures to protect him in 2014, if they want him to still be their quarterback in 2015.

Martin's versatility and intangibles are just what Miami needs to stabilize its O-line.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals, Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA

Arizona took major strides in 2013 behind a stingy defense and the resurgence of Carson Palmer under center.

What the team didn't do well was run the ball. Arizona was just 23rd in the NFL in rushing last season. A dynamic running back can be had later in the draft, but grabbing a stud guard like Su'a-Filo to help the inside running game is the smartest move.

 

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

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Meet the next great Packers linebacker. His name is C.J. Mosley.

The value for inside linebackers in the NFL has dropped a bit in recent years, but Mosley is far and away the best in this year's draft.

He's mature and has experience in leading one of the nation's best defenses over the last two seasons.

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles, Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Replacing DeSean Jackson's production from scrimmage and in the return game might not take long.

Cooks is electric with the ball in his hands. He can make plays down the field as a receiver, and he also projects to be an impact player in the return game.

 

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

Because the Chiefs run an offense that is predicated on short passes, and because of Alex Smith's lack of elite arm strength, the team needs receivers who can pick up yards after the catch.

Beckham is one of those guys.

He's shifty in the open field and explosive on a straight line.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals, Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

The Bengals defensive line isn't as deep as it used to be. Particularly, the nose tackle position behind Domata Peko is looking thin.

Jernigan projects as one of the better run-stuffing tackles in the draft. He'd be a nice selection for Cincinnati at No. 24.

 

25. San Diego Chargers, Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Everyone not named Eric Weddle left something to be desired in the Chargers secondary in 2013.

Verrett doesn't have ideal size at 5'9", 189 pounds, but his 4.38-speed and competitiveness make him a potential starter in his first season.

He could push any one of the Chargers' current corners for a starting spot from Day 1.

 

26. Cleveland Browns, Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

With Joe Thomas entrenched on the left side of the offensive line, the Browns could use their second pick in the first round to solidify the other tackle spot.

Kouandjio is raw. But he is still just 20 years old. He has time to develop into a force.

 

27. New Orleans Saints, Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

The Saints missed Jermon Bushrod last season. Drew Brees was sacked 37 times and didn't look comfortable in the pocket most of the season.

Taking a potential bookend tackle in this draft isn't a bad idea. 

Moses has the potential to develop into a mainstay in New Orleans.

 

28. Carolina Panthers, Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Without question, the Panthers have the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL at the present moment. 

If the season began today, Ourlads' depth charts say the Panthers would start Jason Avant and Jerricho Cotchery at wideout.

That can't make Cam Newton happy. Benjamin is a big receiver who is capable of going skyward to pull down passes. He looks like a potential terror in the red zone.

 

29. New England Patriots, Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Why are people seemingly so down on Bridgewater? There are a lot of theories and reasons, but Bleacher Report's Matt Miller calls them all hogwash:

Whatever the reasons, Bridgewater's potential slide in the first round could allow him to fall in the lap of an unexpected team.

Tom Brady isn't going to play forever. He'll be 37 when the season starts. At some point, the Patriots have to grab his eventual successor. Bridgewater is talented and humble enough to wait his turn and hit the ground running when his name is called.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers, Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

Anquan Boldin is aging, and the 49ers need a receiver who can add a bit of verticality to their offense. Cooks would have been ideal, but Robinson will do.

He's one of the more underrated players in the draft, and he'd make a fine running mate for Michael Crabtree down the road.

 

31. Denver Broncos, Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

The Broncos spent a ton of money in free agency; now it's time to add talent through the draft.

Hageman reminds me of Marcus Stroud a bit. At 6'6", 310 pounds, he has the size to make an impact in the NFL.

He may not ever turn into a star, but being surrounded by the talent and veteran leadership in the Broncos locker room could help him quite a bit.

 

32. Seattle Seahawks, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

The defending champions have very few holes. One of the few positions where the team doesn't have a standout performer is at tight end.

That could change if Seattle tabs Seferian-Jenkins with the last pick in the first round. The local product could make the Seattle offense even scarier than it already is.

 

Combine results and measurables courtesy of NFL.com.

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