NFL Draft 2014: Latest Expert Mocks and Predictions for Round 1

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 7, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 22: Former South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney speaks to the media during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 22, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Pushing the NFL draft back by two weeks meant more speculation, more uncertainty and, of course, more mock drafts this year.

And why not? We all eat this stuff up, right?  

Below, you'll find the latest mock drafts from several experts (and one guy who lumped himself into that group) along with a breakdown of some of the more interesting picks and the latest buzz around this year's draft.

And yes, that buzz is starting to really crackle with the draft just a day away. Let's break it down. 

Note: The mocks chosen for this article were updated this week, so some well-known draft analysts may have been left out.   


Expert Picks

Expert 1st-Round NFL Mock Drafts
PickTeamMatt Miller (B/R)Todd McShay (ESPN)Daniel Jeremiah ( Rapp (B/R)
1Houston TexansJadeveon ClowneyJadeveon ClowneyJadeveon ClowneyJadeveon Clowney
2St. Louis Rams (via WAS)Sammy WatkinsGreg RobinsonGreg RobinsonGreg Robinson
3Jacksonville JaguarsTeddy BridgewaterSammy WatkinsKhalil MackKhalil Mack
4Cleveland BrownsJohnny ManzielJohnny ManzielJohnny ManzielJohnny Manziel
5Oakland RaidersGreg RobinsonKhalil MackSammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
6Atlanta FalconsKhalil MackJake MatthewsTaylor LewanJake Matthews
7Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike EvansMike EvansMike EvansMike Evans
8Minnesota VikingsBlake BortlesBlake BortlesC.J. MosleyBlake Bortles
9Buffalo BillsJake MatthewsTaylor LewanJake MatthewsTaylor Lewan
10Detroit LionsJustin GilbertDarqueze DennardJustin GilbertJustin Gilbert
11Tennessee TitansAnthony BarrJustin GilbertKyle FullerAnthony Barr
12New York GiantsEric EbronAaron DonaldZack MartinEric Ebron
13St. Louis RamsHa Ha Clinton-DixOdell BeckhamCalvin PryorCalvin Pryor
14Chicago BearsAaron DonaldHa Ha Clinton-DixAaron DonaldAaron Donald
15Pittsburgh SteelersTaylor LewanKyle FullerDarqueze DennardDarqueze Dennard
16Dallas CowboysKony EalyZack MartinAnthony BarrRa'Shede Hageman
17Baltimore RavensZack MartinEric EbronEric EbronC.J. Mosley
18New York JetsOdell BeckhamBrandin CooksOdell BeckhamHa Ha Clinton-Dix
19Miami DolphinsC.J. MosleyMorgan MosesRyan ShazierZack Martin
20Arizona CardinalsDerek CarrRyan ShazierBlake BortlesDerek Carr
21Green Bay PackersJimmie WardC.J. MosleyAustin Seferian-JenkinsLouis Nix III
22Philadelphia EaglesDee FordCalvin PryorHa Ha Clinton-DixOdell Beckham Jr.
23Kansas City ChiefsBrandin CooksMarqise LeeBrandin CooksBrandin Cooks
24Cincinnat BengalsKyle FullerJason VerrettBradley RobyKyle Fuller
25San Diego ChargersDarqueze DennardAnthony BarrJason VerrettTimmy Jernigan
26Cleveland Browns (via IND)Cody LatimerCody LatimerMarqise LeeCody Latimer
27New Orleans SaintsDavante AdamsDee FordMarcus MartinDee Ford
28Carolina PanthersMorgan MosesJoel BitonioMorgan MosesMarqise Lee
29New England PatriotsDominique EasleyStephon TuittRa'Shede HagemanJace Amaro
30San Francisco 49ersAllen RobinsonRa'Shede HagemanStanley Jean-Baptiste Jason Verrett
31Denver BroncosRyan ShazierXavier Su'a-FiloJoel BitonioRyan Shazier
32Seattle SeahawksJason VerrettKony EalyXavier Su'a-Filo Allen Robinson

Matt Miller's mock can be found here via Bleacher Report.

Todd McShay's mock can be found here via ESPN Insider (subscription required).

Daniel Jeremiah's mock can be found here via


Surprises, Storylines and Latest Buzz

The mystery of Teddy Bridgewater continues. While Miller thinks he should go at No. 3 to Jacksonville—and has him as his top overall player in this draft—many folks think he could drop out of the first round altogether.

The latest buzz puts him in Cleveland (though not at the pick you might think), per Mary Kay Cabot of

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report thinks that interest is feigned, however:

In general, the quarterback position is a question mark, though interestingly enough, all of the above mockers (myself included) believe the Browns will select Johnny Manziel. The fact that Kyle Shanahan, the team's offensive coordinator, worked closely with Robert Griffin III in Washington makes Manziel an intriguing fit in Cleveland.

Of course, it's silly season, and rumors emerged on Wednesday that Manziel could possibly be selected by Jacksonville, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle:

That could very well be true. The Jaguars could also be hoping that a team coveting Manziel will be willing to pay a steep price to jump ahead of the Browns to draft him. Who knows?

Meanwhile, the consensus in most mocks around the web is that Jadeveon Clowney will go No. 1 overall, but will he in fact be heading to Houston? It seems very possible a number of teams, most notably among them the Atlanta Falcons, could try to move up to that selection to draft the dynamic defensive end.

But if the Texans keep the pick, Clowney not only thinks he'll be selected there, but he's also excited by the prospect, per Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports:

If the Texans indeed can't or decide not to move the pick go with Clowney at No. 1, what the St. Louis Rams do at No. 2 will shape the rest of Round 1 entirely. As usual with this team, don't be surprised if they trade out of the selection, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports points out:

In general, it seems most folks consider Clowney, Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins to be the top five talents, in varying order. All five should be off the board in the first nine selections, at the very latest. 

As you go down the board, two things become clear—this is a very deep draft, and people begin to really disagree on which players deserve to be in the first round. Matt Miller has Kony Ealy going in the top 16 picks, and not only does he have Jimmie Ward going ahead of Calvin Pryor, but he also dropped Pryor out of the first round entirely.

Both McShay and Jeremiah think offensive linemen like Morgan Moses and Joel Bitonio will crash the first round. Jeremiah also thinks the New Orleans Saints will go with a center in the first round, USC's Marcus Martin (he also like Moses in the first round), while thinking the San Francisco 49ers will go after intriguing corner Stanley Jean-Baptiste in the first round.

To be clear, none of these are "bad" picks; they just veer a bit away from what you might see in the majority of mocks around the web right now. The actual NFL draft has a habit of doing that, too, as every team evaluates its own needs and the upside of prospects differently. 

The only certainty is, well, the uncertainty. It's going to be a very fun draft this year, that much is certain.



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