By Matt Falk
FINAL | 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1st Round Projections
With the draftseason in full draft mode all draftniks have had the chance to get a good idea on who will be the top players in this years crop, and which teams will have their eyes on who. Which gives us more than enough to put together our 2014 NFL Mock Draft.
While it is still early we can already tell that this years draft class will be (at least at first glance) a lot more talented than the 2013 class. NFL Mock Draft order is based off the current NFL Draft order.
Updated May 7th
1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina
Final Analysis: The Texans will be looking for a dance partner to trade with, but if they stay at 1 they have to pull the trigger on Clowney. The defensive end has to much talent and hype to pass on, pairing him with Watt would be a nightmare for opposing offenses.
2. St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson OT, Auburn
Final Analysis: The Rams have questions at offensive tackle and at 2 they will have their pick of any of the big men in 2014. With Greg Robinson they walk away with a franchise caliber tackle for the next decade.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Johnny Manziel QB, Texas A&M
Final Analysis: I completely expect Manziel to go in the top 10 and rumblings are coming out that the Jags are very interested in the play-making quarterback. While the Jags have other bigger needs they have the chance to finally get the face of their franchise and I think they pounce on the opportunity.
4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins WR, Clemson
Final Analysis: Watkins is the best offensive weapon in the draft and will be ready to put up big numbers week 1. The Browns would be helping their future quarterback (see pick #26) by pairing Watkins with already top receiver Josh Gordon.
5. Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack LB, Buffalo
Final Analysis: Mack would be a gift at pick 5 and would be a great fit with fellow new comers Tuck/Woodley. The Buffalo linebacker has the chance to be one of the most dynamic defenders in the NFL early in his career.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews OT, Texas A&M
Final Analysis: Unless a defensive end falls to Atlanta I think this is a no-brainer. The Falcons took 10 steps back in 2013 and a large part of that was due to the offensive line play. Look for them to go best available lineman and in this case it is the well rounded Matthews.
7. Tampa Bay Bucs – Mike Evans WR, Texas A&M
Final Analysis: The Bucs are a wild-card to go quarterback but when all is said and done I think Mike Evans will be to temping to pass on. Pairing him with fellow big man Vincent Jackson would really help take Tampa’s offense to the next level.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Aaron Donald DT, Pitt
Final Analysis: While i’m not completely on board with this pick it is sounding more and more like a real possibility. The Vikings explored Henry Melton in FA and could look to fill that want with the over-powering Donald at 8.
9. Buffalo Bills – Odell Beckham WR, LSU
Final Analysis: The Bills need to give EJ Manuel weapons and Beckham is the hot name as of late. The LSU receiver can make big plays after the catch and can also make an impact day 1 as a return-man.
10. Detroit Lions – Justin Gilbert CB, Oklahoma St.
Final Analysis: Gilbert is still my top corner and could help re-vamp a sub-par Lions secondary. The Oklahoma St. corner has the potential to be a number 1 corner in the NFL and has the ability to run with some of the top receivers in the league.
11. Tennessee Titans – Kyle Fuller CB, Virginia
Final Analysis: The Titans lost Alterraun Verner in free agency leaving a good sized hole to fill at corner. Many see Fuller as the most complete corner in the draft and has huge upside. While the Titans will be tempted to get a quarterback Fuller makes a ton of sense at 11.
12. New York Giants – Taylor Lewan OT, Michigan
Final Analysis: The Giants number 1 goal for next year should be to protect Eli Manning. Lewan is a nasty offensive tackle and could lineup opposite Justin Pugh in hopes of getting the G-Men and Eli Manning back on track for 2014.
13. St. Louis Rams – Darqueze Dennard CB, Michigan St
Final Analysis: Dennard is a big physical corner that has shut-down ability. Has great ball-skills that would be welcomed for a Rams secondary looking for another corner and depth. Dennard is a perfect fit for an already up and coming Rams defense.
14. Chicago Bears – Calvin Pryor S, Louisville
Final Analysis: The Bears made some splashes on the defensive side of the ball but still need help in the secondary. Pryor is a hard hitting safety who can cover ground and also excels against the run.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brandin Cooks WR, Oregon St.
Final Analysis: I think the 15th pick will come down to the best value at either cornerback/wide receiver. In this case the Steelers grab the playmaking and reliable receiver Brandin Cooks. The Steelers have lost some receivers in the past few years and Cooks has the ability to be a potential number 1 receiver in the NFL.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Anthony Barr LB, UCLA
Final Analysis: Dallas needs to add more pieces on defense and get the athletic linebacker from UCLA. Nobody will argue that Barr isn’t a project, but his upside is through the roof. The Cowboys would have a field day lining Barr up in multiple spots on defense and find ways to get him to the quarterback.