2014 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller's Updated First-Round Projections
If you're a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars or Houston Texans, you're already looking ahead to the 2014 NFL draft and wondering who your team will add to the depth chart. If you're a team like the Carolina Panthers, who are oh-so-close to a playoff run, the 2014 draft will be about grabbing the one or two players needed to become a consistent competitor.
Whether you're rooting for a team in major need of a rebuild or a team looking to merely upgrade its already loaded talent, the 2014 draft will be a big one. Who brings home Teddy Bridgewater to lead the franchise? Who's going to get lucky enough to nab defensive end Jadeveon Clowney?
Find out with a full two-round mock draft.
*Draft order courtesy of Over the Cap*
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
This should be a no-brainer for the Jacksonville front office. It desperately needs a franchise quarterback, and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is as close to a sure thing as this draft class (or last draft class) has to offer.
Bridgewater is just a junior for the Cardinals, but he's set to graduate in December. It would be the surprise of the draft season if the top quarterback prospect elected to return for his senior season. The Jaguars would gladly give Bridgewater a home next season.
This is the next in a series of steps the new regime has made to bring the Jaguars back to legitimacy. With Bridgewater leading the charge, expect the wins to come to Jacksonville soon.
2. Minnesota Vikings
The Pick: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
The quarterback play in Minnesota has not been good this season, which has led to few wins and many losses.
Former first-rounders Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman—acquired through free agency—haven't given the team the consistent performances to hand them the ball full-time moving forward. With a top-tier quarterback prospect available, and a change expected at head coach, a new quarterback to build around is the anticipated pick.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has played in 10 games this season, and he's yet to throw an interception. The redshirt sophomore has 25 touchdowns through the air, another nine on the ground and has proved he can run an offense as a dropback passer (vs. Stanford and Tennessee) or as a dual-threat runner (vs. Virginia and Washington).
Mariota is the type of athlete you can build your offense around. With Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph already on the roster, the team has weapons. Now they need a quarterback to match that skill set.
3. Houston Texans
The Pick: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
It's third down late in the fourth quarter. The Houston Texans are leading the Indianapolis Colts and need a stop. Now imagine J.J. Watt shifted inside to defensive tackle and Jadeveon Clowney flanking him at defensive end. That's a defensive line you can dominate with.
Clowney has been the subject of much criticism this season, but when you look at his impact over the last two seasons, it's clear that he is the best non-quarterback available in the 2014 draft class. Clowney's ability to rush from inside, outside or by going through offensive linemen also makes him more valuable in an NFL that's constantly focused on scheme-versatile players who can attack from multiple alignments.
That's Clowney, and in Houston, he would become an All-Pro-caliber rusher. Yes, the Texans may be looking at quarterback, too, but with the No. 3 overall pick, the best player and best value is Clowney.
4. Atlanta Falcons
The Pick: OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
The Atlanta Falcons losses may be a blessing in disguise. A team that won 13 games last season, the Falcons definitely have talent. Quarterback Matt Ryan, receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, defenders like Sean Weatherspoon, Desmond Trufant and Paul Worrilow are all building blocks. The 2014 draft will be about plugging holes and building for the future.
Anthony Barr is a hole-plugger—both literally and figuratively. Barr can rush the quarterback from the edge, playing a Von Miller-like role as a dynamic edge defender in a 4-3 scheme. On first and second down, he can stand up and play weak-side 'backer, but in passing situations on third down, he'll drop his hand in the dirt and terrorize the backfield.
The Falcons need to hit on this pick, and Barr is both the best defender on the board and the biggest impact player left after the first three picks.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: LT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to decide if quarterback Mike Glennon is their guy or not moving forward. That will largely depend on who is coaching the team next season.
If current head man Greg Schiano is still the coach, expect Glennon to parlay his 2013 season into the starting gig in 2014 with a developmental quarterback added later in the draft. If Schiano is out, and if general manager Mark Domenik goes with him, then Glennon could be looking at backup duty to a top draft pick.
The Buccaneers would be in much better shape long-term if they wait to see what Glennon can offer and focus instead on protecting him. Left tackle Donald Penn is solid but turns 31 after this season and has just two years left on his contract. He might also be better off at right tackle, where Demar Dotson could be replaced.
Those moves are possible if Jake Matthews is on the board. The blue-chip Texas A&M tackle prospect has the athletic ability and mean streak that few players possess. Combine Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher—the top two picks from the 2013 draft—and you have Matthews.
6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
The Pick: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
The St. Louis Rams trade-out of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft has netted them multiple first-round picks in the last three drafts. With the 2014 edition of the selection sent from Washington, the Rams can bolster a defense that's been rebuilt through the draft. And rebuilt well.
The Rams can look at Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins and Alec Ogletree as draft-day additions that are currently making large impacts on the team's defense. While there are few identifiable needs on the depth chart, adding a versatile linebacker to step in for Jo-Lonn Dunbar makes sense.
C.J. Mosley can play inside or outside linebacker and make it look easy. He's aggressive, fast, instinctive and nasty when attacking the ball. Mosley's three-down ability, versatility and athleticism make him a surefire top-10 pick and a future stud in St. Louis.
7. Buffalo Bills
The Pick: DE/LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
The Buffalo Bills have seen a high return on the investments made in the 2013, with EJ Manuel, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Kiko Alonso and Nickell Robey all making huge contributions this season. The Doug Whaley front office needs to hit another grand slam in 2014.
Looking at the Bills roster, where are the biggest needs? The team's hybrid defense could use another pass-rusher, and it doesn't have to look far to find one.
University of Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack has the tools to be a deadly edge defender. He's big, strong, active and fluid. Go back and watch him take on the Ohio State offense and single-handedly keep the Bulls in the game. Mack can bring that same tenacity to the Bills defense.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pick: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
No college wide receiver has dominated the landscape like Sammy Watkins this season. As a deep and short threat, he's been phenomenal. That's what the Pittsburgh Steelers need to get the Ben Roethlisberger-led offense back on track.
You could look at the team's depth chart and say the Steelers need an inside linebacker or offensive tackle, but the value here is much greater at wide receiver. Especially when you consider that Emmanuel Sanders is due to enter free agency (and almost left last year as a restricted free agent). If Sanders is gone, and all signs point to that, the Steelers must focus first on keeping targets available for Big Ben.
Watkins is a game-changing offensive weapon. While the line and linebackers need some attention, the Steelers can focus there in subsequent rounds. What they can't do is ignore a threat like Watkins.
9. Cleveland Browns
The Pick: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
The Brandon Weeden era has come to a close, and now the Cleveland Browns are looking for a quarterback of the future. The team has solid backups in Jason Campbell and a fringe starter in Brian Hoyer, but they need a lasting piece at the position to build around.
Enter Derek Carr. The Fresno State senior has quarterback in his blood—his brother David was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft—and has the maturity, smarts and raw passing ability of a long-term starter at the position. Carr is an ideal fit for the Browns' system, too, with his big arm and touch accuracy on intermediate routes.
The Browns can't afford to wait until late in the first round for a quarterback again. The last time they played that card, they netted Trent Richardson (now with the Indianapolis Colts) and Weeden—the guy they're trying to replace.
10. Baltimore Ravens
The Pick: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
The loss of Anquan Boldin wasn't the only back-breaking move for the Baltimore Ravens in the wake of their Super Bowl victory, but it certainty hurt an offense that seemed on the precipice of becoming a dangerous unit. Instead, we've seen a regression by $100 million quarterback Joe Flacco and a losing record.
Replacing Boldin is one of many moves needed, which allows the team to go with a time-honored "best player available" strategy. General manager Ozzie Newsome is notorious for landing draft-day steals because he's true to his board and isn't afraid to draft value over needs.
In getting Mike Evans, the team can check off value and need on their board. Evans has the size to replace Boldin as a big, physical threat in the passing game, but unlike Boldin, he brings a downfield threat to the offense. Evans' ability in the red zone, especially, will open up areas of the Baltimore offense that were closed down in 2013.
11. Tennessee Titans
The Pick: LT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
The Tennessee Titans face an uncertain future at offensive tackle. Smart team building would indicate they strike sooner rather than later to replace at least one of the impending free agents at the position.
Over the next two seasons, the Titans will face their top three tackles entering free agency. This year, it's reserve Mike Otto. Next season, they'll be losing or negotiating with David Stewart and Michael Roos. Keeping both bookends is unlikely given their age, injury history and the salary cap demands on defense and at wide receiver.
The smart money dictates drafting a replacement, and with the No. 11 overall pick, Taylor Lewan is a value. The Michigan man has a nasty streak and the power to step in as a rookie right tackle, but his experience, hand use and footwork are that of a quality left tackle. Wherever the Titans need him, Lewan has day-one starter tools.
12. Oakland Raiders
The Pick: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Enigmatic. Brash. Instinctive. Athletic. Unstoppable.
There are many words you can use to describe Johnny Manziel, and depending on where you stand concerning his NFL potential, there may be positive or negative meanings. When I watch the Texas A&M standout play, all I see is a playmaking quarterback with a never-quit mentality.
That's what you want from the leader of a football team. Manziel may not have the size or prototypical dropback traits of a 1980s quarterback prospect, but he makes plays few quarterbacks can.
Manziel's dual-threat ability is well-documented, and yet many sleep on his pure ability as a passer. It's that increase in footwork, touch and accuracy that has moved Manziel from an athlete to a legit starting-quarterback prospect.
The Oakland Raiders seemed to have an answer at the position a month ago, but Terrelle Pryor has struggled as NFL defenses started game-planning to stop him. Now the Raiders are back to square one, and the front office will need a quarterback who can come in and excite the offense. That's Manziel.
13. St. Louis Rams
The Pick: OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa
Signing Jake Long to a monster free-agent contract shored up one side of the St. Louis Rams' offensive line, but moving forward, they still face big question marks at right tackle.
Current starter Rodger Saffold will be a free agent after the season, and there's little hope he can be re-signed. As it stands now, the team will be looking for Saffold's replacement as it scouts college seniors and juniors. A potential upgrade can be found just north of St. Louis in the Hawkeye state.
Brandon Scherff is flying under the radar currently, but the minute the junior left tackle announces his intentions for the 2014 season, he'll be a hot topic. He's fundamentally sound but possesses the quick feet of a tight end and the nastiness of a 10-year veteran. Scherff is polished and ready to go as soon as he's ready for the NFL.
14. San Diego Chargers
The Pick: CB Jason Verrett, TCU
The San Diego Chargers enjoyed a solid draft under first-year general manager Tom Telesco in 2013, but his work is not done. Improving the roster's overall talent level will continue to be a focus, even as the scouting department hones in on need picks.
TCU cornerback Jason Verrett can do both. He's a physically, aggressive man-coverage candidate on the outside, and he's also a solid value at pick No. 14 as the first cornerback off the board. The Horned Frog doesn't have great size (5'10", 176 lbs), but he has the toughness, quickness and attitude to hold his own on the outside.
Add Verrett to a defense already loaded with Eric Weddle, Corey Liuget and the potential of Melvin Ingram and you have a core group worth building around.
15. New York Giants
The Pick: OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
The problems in New York are on both sides of the ball and point back to bad decisions on draft day and in free agency. While stewing about past mistakes is needed to determine where the front office went wrong, adding talent to get back to the team's Super Bowl ways has to happen, and happen fast.
Protecting Eli Manning has to become the priority of this team. Instead of adding band-aid solutions in free agency, the team must look to draft young, talented players it can build around. This worked when the Giants added Justin Pugh in the first round of the 2013 class, but they need more than one tackle to upgrade the talent on the offensive line.
While Pugh can lock down the right side, a protector at left tackle is needed. Will Beatty may have good intentions, but his performance isn't cutting it. The Giants would rather have the guy who shut down Jadeveon Clowney during his dynamic 2012 season and has shown all the tools to be a standout blindside protector.
Antonio Richardson needs to be coached up in terms of footwork, that's why he's here at pick No. 15, but from a strength and athletics standpoint, he has all the requirements of a Pro Bowler at the position.
16. Green Bay Packers
The Pick: FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
The Green Bay Packers have invested heavily in the secondary and along the offensive line in recent drafts, but more help is needed. Especially at free safety.
M.D. Jennings was an inspiring story during the 2012 season, but as time has gone on, it's becoming obvious that his best role is in a nickel or dime package. The Packers need a starter. They'll be wise to look to Nick Saban's Alabama defense and the nation's best safety to fill the hole in the secondary.
Hasean (Ha Ha) Clinton-Dix is the only safety given a first-round grade in this year's class and boy has he earned it. Clinton-Dix can hit, he can cover and when it comes to reading and diagnosing an offense pre-snap his experience and football IQ are off the charts. He's a day-one impact starter. And that is something the Packers cannot refuse.
17. New York Jets
The Pick: WR Marqise Lee, USC
The New York Jets have clearly identified needs heading into the 2014 offseason. Chief among them is a true No. 1 wide receiver for Geno Smith to connect with. While Stephen Hill has raw upside and Jeremy Kerley is a sneaky route-runner and third-down specialist, Smith needs a guy he can go to when all hell breaks loose.
USC players haven't fared well in New York, at least not with the Jets, but that's about to change. Wide receiver Marqise Lee has battled injuries, inept quarterback play and unrealistic expectations to get where he is. He's smart, fluid, competitive and the opposite of the entitled USC players who have come before him.
Lee will fight for playing time, catches and yards. And that mentality is what the Jets need a lot more of.
18. Miami Dolphins
The Pick: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
We all know about the Miami Dolphins' struggles on the offensive line. In one way or another, that's been a dominant headline in South Florida (and across the nation) all season. Whether it's Ryan Tannehill being sacked a league-high number of times or the dysfunction of the team's starters on the left side of the line, the Dolphins' front five has been an issue from Week 1.
It's time to fix that. Jonathan Martin shouldn't be expected to ever play another down for the Dolphins, and if we're being honest, his play at left tackle wasn't building confidence either. Martin was a right tackle or guard prospect playing left tackle, which made this a need before the season even began. Adding Bryant McKinnie may get the team through the season but no more than that.
Starting over at left tackle is needed, and with their first-round pick, the Dolphins can go get a blue-chip pass-blocker. Cyrus Kouandjio hasn't been a flawless left tackle at Alabama, but his strength, reach, run blocking and upside make him a no-brainer for the Dolphins' brass if he's on the board.
19. Dallas Cowboys
The Pick: OG Cyril Richardson, Baylor
The Dallas Cowboys are surprisingly good at admitting their flaws and attacking those areas in the offseason. Owner/general manager Jerry Jones isn't shy about replacing players and going after upgrades, and when he sees the film on his guards, he'll be focusing on the draft's best interior blockers.
Cyril Richardson is the draft's best offensive-guard prospect. The Baylor lineman can play in a spread scheme thanks to his athleticism and agility, but he's also strong enough to line up and push the pile in a power-blocking scheme. That duality is rare in a college guard, which is why Richardson is drawing rave reviews and comparisons to Mike Iupati of the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys would take that at left guard for the next decade.
20. Philadelphia Eagles
The Pick: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
You might see this pick and think Chip Kelly is just grabbing his former college players. That holds some truth, but more than anything, the Philadelphia Eagles must address the lack of talent at cornerback. That Ifo Ekpre-Olomu happened to play for Kelly is just icing on a damned good cake.
Ekpre-Olomu is what a cornerback must be like in today's NFL. He's dangerously quick, smart as a whip and can be aggressive when need be. While his 5'10", 185-pound frame isn't big enough to tangle with the bigger receivers in the game, he makes up for his lack of size with the technique and fundamentals to play the ball or the man no matter the size of his opponent.
Coming out of the Pac-12, Ekpre-Olomu is battle-tested. Stepping into a familiar scheme in Philadelphia, he'll be ready to go as a rookie starter.
21. Detroit Lions
The Pick: OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
The Detroit Lions defense badly needs help in pass coverage, but recent draft history shows that they've added quite a few bodies at cornerback. Instead of investing another high draft pick at the position, the Lions can allow youngsters Darius Slay and Bill Bentley time to develop. That gives general manager Martin Mayhew a chance to plug other holes while trusting his draft grade on former picks.
Ryan Shazier at face value may not seem like a fit in Detroit, but watch the Buckeye wreak havoc on Big 10 offenses and it's easy to project him as an impact player for the Lions.
His first-step quickness is the best of any college linebacker, and that allows him to be a force against the run or the pass. And in the Ohio State scheme, he's often asked to play inside and outside linebacker, so he's versatile enough to be a three-down threat for a Detroit defense that's on the rise.
22. Chicago Bears
The Pick: CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
The Chicago Bears have three big-time players entering free agency, and any expectation that they can keep all of them should be dismissed. Quarterback Jay Cutler, defensive tackle Henry Melton and cornerback Charles Tillman will all be looking for new deals this offseason, and with Tillman's age (33 in February) and late-season injury, it's easy to see him being the odd man out.
That leaves the Bears thin at one of the most important positions on the entire team. Tim Jennings is rock solid, and Zachary Bowman has upside, but they need depth, speed and talent in a bad way. A scouting trip to central Ohio will help them find a cornerback who can step in and provide relief immediately.
Bradley Roby entered the year as the No. 1 cornerback on my draft board but has slipped due to a few bad performances.
But take away the Wisconsin game and focus on his last two seasons and Roby still stands up as one of the best in the business. His size (5'11", 192 lbs), experience against top wideouts and tenacity in man coverage are that of a top-tier corner. Iron out his few wrinkles and you have a late first-round steal.
23. San Francisco 49ers
The Pick: WR Jarvis Landry, LSU
A casual observer could tell you the San Francisco 49ers need help at wide receiver, and while Michael Crabtree will soon be offering relief, this is more than a one-player fix. The Niners must buckle down and spend a first-round pick on an impact player.
That happened last season when the team traded up in the first round for LSU safety Eric Reid. The front office can keep with its LSU fixation and add the team's dynamic wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. Landry's speed before and after the catch would give the 49ers the yards-after-catch threat the team has lacked without Crabtree.
In a perfect world, with Crabtree and Vernon Davis on the field, Landry can then operate as a deep threat to take the top off defenses that creep up to stop the team's many running threats.
General manager Trent Baalke does a good job at not overthinking his draft picks. In looking at pick No. 23, Landry is the smart move.
24. Arizona Cardinals
The Pick: OT Cameron Erving, FSU
The current offensive tackle situation in Arizona provides no long-term answers. Right tackle Eric Winston is on a one-year deal, per Spotrac, and left tackle Bradley Sowell is on his third team in the last two seasons, as outlined by Ourlads. While the duo has outperformed all expectations, the Cardinals will look for longer-term answers through the draft.
The front office may be tempted by a quarterback here to replace Carson Palmer, but protecting the quarterback takes precedent given the way Palmer has played recently. Waiting until Round 2 for a quarterback the team can develop and drafting a bookend left tackle early is the better value play for the team.
At Florida State, Cameron Erving has earned high praise for his athleticism and also his individual blocking grades. His footwork, quickness and intelligence on the edge all translate well to him being a first-year starter on the blindside.
25. Cincinnati Bengals
The Pick: OW De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
What do you get the team that has everything? How about an offensive weapon?
Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas isn't just a running back, and he's much more than a slot receiver or return man, too. He's a game-changer. Thomas' ability to affect the game from the backfield as a runner, split out as a receiver and in the return game makes him a rare three-tooled threat with the ball in his hands.
Built in the mold of Randall Cobb or Darren Sproles, Thomas is the type of player who puts points on the board each week. While the Bengals could look to fill potential needs at cornerback here, their focus instead should be on giving Andy Dalton more threats on offense and keeping the Cincinnati Bengals one step ahead of their division rivals in the AFC North.
26. Carolina Panthers
The Pick: WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
The Carolina offense is dangerous, effective and versatile, but what the passing game lacks is another wide receiver the defense must game-plan for.
Brandon LaFell is a nice option, but he's not keeping NFL defensive coordinators up at night. Steve Smith does, but slowing him down becomes a numbers game. With a top-tier wideout opposite Smith, Newton as a runner and as a passer becomes much more dangerous.
Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews worked his tail off in the summer to become faster, and it's paid off in big ways. He was always a good route-runner and a very good receiver in traffic, but now he's showing the speed to pull away from coverage and to outrun the defense to the end zone. Given his size (6'3", 206 lbs) and developed tools, he can step right in and make a difference for the Panthers offense.
27. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)
The Pick: WR Odell Beckham, LSU
With their second pick in the first round—this one courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for Trent Richardson—the Cleveland Browns can continue to rebuild an offense that lacks playmakers and long-term solutions.
The wide receiver corps isn't bad, but how long Josh Gordon and Greg Little can stay out of the doghouse remains to be seen. Gordon is incredibly talented but has off-field issues in his past. Another run-in with the NFL's drug program and he's out for a full season. Little has no off-field issues to speak of, but on the field, he continues to be inconsistent despite his physical gifts.
Neither player is a guarantee to be around for the long haul. What the Browns need is a young, talented wide receiver they can allow to grow with Derek Carr. LSU's Odell Beckham can be that guy.
Beckham plays the position like a small forward, executing with size, strength, speed and route-running savvy that make him tough to cover no matter what you throw at him. His solid on- and off-field abilities make him an attractive candidate in Cleveland.
28. New England Patriots
The Pick: WR Allen Robinson, Penn State
The wide receiver corps in New England has played better than expected this season, but the team's young pass-catchers are still a huge question mark moving forward.
Danny Amendola struggles to stay healthy. Aaron Dobson struggles to catch the ball consistently. Kenbrell Thompkins seems to be in Bill Belichick's doghouse. That leaves Julian Edelman as the team's most consistent option at the position. And now you see why they need to invest in a first-round wide receiver.
Allen Robinson is familiar with the Patriots offense, thanks to his time spent under former New England coordinator Bill O'Brien at Penn State. Knowing the offense is a plus, but Robinson's physical ability and big-play potential make him an even more likely candidate. The only negative is that Robinson's play may push him out of reach for the playoff-bound Patriots.
29. New Orleans Saints
The Pick: DE/OLB Trent Murphy, Stanford
The transition to a 3-4 defense has gone much better than anyone expected, but the New Orleans Saints are getting by with less-than-ideal talent at key positions. One such area of need is at outside linebacker.
Rob Ryan's defense doesn't always need All-Pro linebackers, as the scheme and play calls help mask talent deficiencies, but there's no replacement for raw ability. Finding a three-down pass-rusher off the edge would go a long way in adding legitimacy to this side of the ball.
Stanford's Trent Murphy plays in a 3-4 scheme, can stand up or put his hand in the dirt and rush the quarterback. Murphy is a big-play threat, but he's also crazy consistent against the run and the pass. Watch any Stanford game and you'll see big No. 93 making plays time and time again.
30. Denver Broncos
The Pick: DE Michael Sam, Missouri
The Denver defense has been held together with bailing wire and duct tape this season, and while they're getting enough production to win games, they need help.
That will come through the draft, and the first area of need is for more pass-rushers. Von Miller is great, but relying on Shaun Phillips isn't a long-term solution. He's fine for the short window of opportunity the team has with Peyton Manning at quarterback, but post-Manning, the team will likely be a defense-first unit.
Improving the pass rush means going after productive athletes. Like Michael Sam. The Missouri edge-defender can play standing up or down but has the profile of a 4-3 defensive end long-term. Give him an offseason to bulk up and a training camp to learn hand use and you have a future 10-sack player coming off the edge opposite Miller.
31. Seattle Seahawks
The Pick: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
There isn't much the Seattle Seahawks need. General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have done a masterful job in rebuilding the team's roster and turning them into an elite force. And that's not a short-term projection, this is a young team on the rise.
Staying on top means thinking ahead. Russell Wilson and the offense look unstoppable at times, but against a good secondary, they can get bogged down. What Wilson needs is a safety valve to be his go-to when things break down or when the run game isn't going in the red zone.
Jace Amaro has been a dominant performer at tight end all season long. He fits the profile of the super athletic tight end and has the after-catch ability to tear apart those defenses that are forced to dedicate safety play to stopping Marshawn Lynch. Adding Amaro to this offense is almost unfair.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
The Pick: WR Paul Richardson, Colorado
The Kansas City Chiefs have ripped off an impressive start to the season, but for Andy Reid's team to be a consistent threat each year, they need more talent on offense. Plain-and-simple.
An attack featuring Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe alone won't get it done, and Reid knows this. He did a great thing in Philadelphia by adding DeSean Jackson and then keeping the theme going by drafting Jeremy Maclin. Barring a big free-agent signing—which doesn't fit the profile of general manager John Dorsey—the team will invest in the wide receiver position through the draft.
Paul Richardson might not be on the national radar yet, but if the Colorado junior enters the 2014 draft his name will become well-known. He's athletic enough to be an after-the-catch menace on defenses, but he's also refined as a route-runner and tough enough to play in traffic. Richardson is a surefire starter, not a developmental player. That's what the Chiefs need to keep their comeback story going in 2014.
The 2014 draft class looks to be a strong one and not just in the first round. Much like the 2013 class, there is depth here, and many teams will find starters in the second and third rounds. Here's a look at the talent available in Round 2 and where each team may be looking at this point in the year.
|1||Jacksonville Jaguars||Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma St.|
|2||Minnesota Vikings||Louis Nix||NT||Notre Dame|
|3||Atlanta Falcons||Will Sutton||DT||Arizona St.|
|4||Tampa Bay Bucs||Vic Beasley||DE/LB||Clemson|
|5||Houston Texans||Tajh Boyd||QB||Clemson|
|6||Washington||Stephon Tuitt||DE||Notre Dame|
|7||Tennessee Titans||Jackson Jeffcoat||DE||Texas|
|8||Pittsburgh Steelers||James Hurst||OT||N. Carolina|
|9||Cleveland Browns||Melvin Gordon||RB||Wisconsin|
|10||Baltimore Ravens||Shayne Skov||ILB||Stanford|
|11||St. Louis Rams||Michael Bennett||DT||Ohio State|
|12||New York Giants||Eric Ebron||TE||N. Carolina|
|13||Oakland Raiders||Ra'Shede Hageman||DT||Minnesota|
|14||San Diego Chargers||Adrian Hubbard||OLB||Alabama|
|15||Buffalo Bills||Cedric Ogbuehi||OT||Texas A&M|
|16||New York Jets||Kyle Van Noy||OLB||BYU|
|17||Miami Dolphins||Gabe Jackson||OG||Miss. State|
|18||Dallas Cowboys||Lache Seastrunk||RB||Baylor|
|19||Green Bay Packers||Austin Seferian-Jenkins||TE||Washington|
|20||Philadelphia Eagles||Craig Loston||SS||LSU|
|21||Detroit Lions||Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon St.|
|22||Chicago Bears||Dominique Easley||DT||Florida|
|23||San Francisco 49ers||Aaron Colvin||CB||Oklahoma|
|24||Arizona Cardinals||Zach Mettenberger||QB||LSU|
|25||Cincinnati Bengals||Kyle Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech|
|26||Carolina Panthers||La'El Collins||OT||LSU|
|27||Indianapolis Colts||Brandon Coleman||WR||Rutgers|
|28||New England Patriots||Hronnis Grassu||C||Oregon|
|29||New Orleans Saints||Seantrel Henderson||OT||Miami (Fla.)|
|30||Denver Broncos||Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan St.|
|31||Seattle Seahawks||Zack Martin||OG||Notre Dame|
|32||San Francisco 49ers (from KC)||DaQuan Jones||DT||Penn State|