Wednesday, May 7, 2014

2014: A Draft Mockery

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

A come on, you know the deal.

Here is my one, and only, mock draft (I don't get 33 rough drafts, Mel Kiper), including each team's projected selection and mocking team needs.


1. Houston Texans
Team Needs: QB, OT, OLB, Ed Reed, Extension for Matt Schaub

Jadeveon Clowney, DE/OLB, South Carolina

Houston wouldn't mind trading this pick if the right offer comes along, but if they stand pat they certainly wouldn't mind locking up the Apex Predator that is Jadeveon Clowney.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
Teams Needs: OT, OG, WR, Transfer to NFC East

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Rams are convincing themselves that Sam Bradford is their guy, and honestly, even if they weren't, there's no quarterback worth drafting here. Instead, the grab the draft's best tackle. At least he can protect Bradford, or whoever is starting under center for the Rams in two years.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Team Needs: QB, WR, RB, OT, OG, C, DE, OLB, S… Just everything man

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Mack is a fantastic pure pass rusher, but has experience playing in space as an outside linebacker. That makes him the perfect fit as a "Leo" hybrid player in Jacksonville's defense. Could the Jags screw this up? Probably.

4. Cleveland Browns
Team Needs: QB, WR Other than Josh Gordon, ILB

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

This is the most Cleveland thing ever. It's like they just forgot Tim Couch ever happened.

Manziel could end up being a transcendent player, but if he ends up in Cleveland, I wouldn't count on it.

5. Oakland Raiders
Team Needs: QB, WR, DE

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

The Raiders draft a fast receiver? Well, at least Watkins can play. This isn't Darrius Heyward-Bey.

6. Atlanta Falcons
Team Needs: OT, DE, OLB, TE

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The Falcons, like the Texans, are far better than their horrendous 2013 season showed. Adding a franchise tackle to go with their top-flight quarterback and dynamic receivers should shoot Atlanta back near the top of the league in pass offense.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Team Needs: WR, OT, OG

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Vincent Jackson can be dominant, but he's not getting any younger. So, the Bucs snatch up Evans, making it three Aggies selected in the first seven picks.

8. Minnesota Vikings
Team Needs: QB, CB, OLB, Playmaker on Offense Other than AP

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Minnesota has had great luck with big UCF quarterbacks. Bortles may not have the athleticism of former Knight Daunte Culpepper, but he's a big dude with great pocket awareness and a live arm. They might throw him into the fire right away, considering Matt Cassel is the other option.

9. Buffalo Bills
Team Needs: DE, OT, TE, S

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

For the record, I think this dude will totally suck. I have him going in the Top-10, but from the times I've watched him, I think he's a total stiff that will become a turnstile for great pass rushers at the NFL level.

Oh Buffalo.

10. Detroit Lions
Team Needs: DE, CB, S, OLB

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Lions need help throughout their defense, and they get a rare chance to land a shutdown corner in either Dennard or Gilbert. They opt for physicality over athleticism, and stay in-state to take the aggressive Spartan corner.

11. Tennessee Titans
Team Needs: CB, OLB, RB, QB

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

The loss of Alterraun Verner is looming large for Tennessee, and they aren't more sold on any of the remaining quarterbacks than they are on their current guy, Jake Locker. They snatch up the other great cover guy in this draft and hope to address the offense later on.

12. New York Giants
Team Needs: OT, DT, DE, RB, Good Eli

Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Giants could use help everywhere (and a return to form from Eli Manning), but Donald brings a rare combination of strength and explosiveness to the interior of the defensive line. Guys that can get to the quarterback from the inside of the formation are rare these days, and it would make the Giants very tough to deal with when the weather turns for the worst in November and December.

13. St. Louis Rams
Team Needs: See Above

Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU

They've already got Tavon Austin, and they even sorta figured out how to use him near the end of last year. Beckham gives them another speedster and his addition, plus that of Robinson earlier in the draft, means Sam Bradford needs to produce now.

14. Chicago Bears
Teams Needs: DT, CB, S

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Monica Lewinsky breaks her 10-year silence with a column in Vanity Fair, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is drafted in the same week. Coincidence? I think not.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Team Needs: WR, CB, OT, Anybody Under 30 on Defense

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Pittsburgh has more pressing needs, but they need youth and a starter next to Lawrence Timmons on the inside of their linebacking corps. With all the corners, receivers and tackles they coveted off the board, the Steelers grab a guy that blends elite instincts with fantastic athleticism.

16. Dallas Cowboys
Team Needs: DT, DE, S, Secret Recording of Jerry Jones

Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Good luck guessing Dallas' pick, because Jerry Jones is crazy. Pryor makes as much sense as anybody though. The Cowboys need a safety, and need to add a guy with some swagger/toughness to a defense that is suddenly devoid of attitude and leadership.

17. Baltimore Ravens
Team Needs: OT, DT, DE, S, Good Flacco

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Tight end is a luxury the Ravens think they can afford due to Ebron's game-changing skills in the passing game. If the Ravens are going to make another championship run, they're going to need to give Flacco some help.

18. New York Jets
Team Needs: WR, TE, CB, S, QB?

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

The Jets added Eric Decker, but still lack explosiveness from their receivers. Cooks give them elite speed, and the ability to create separation over the middle out of the slot.

19. Miami Dolphins
Team Needs: Nicer Offensive Linemen, S, New GM

Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

The Dolphins added Branden Albert, but Martin looks to be versatile enough to play any position along the line, except for center. With bullying knocking out nearly half the Dolphins' line, he may need to play more than one spot.

20. Arizona Cardinals
Team Needs: QB, WR, DE, S

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Finally, somebody grabs the guy we all thought would be a Top-5 pick just two months ago. Bridgewater is as talented as any quarterback in this draft, and his production and accomplishments at the college level cannot be denied. I think strength and durability concerns about Bridgwater are overblown, giving the Cards a future star with pinpoint accuracy and unbelievable anticipation.

21. Green Bay Packers
Team Needs: TE, DE, ILB, S

Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

Shazier is probably a better fit as a weakside 'backer in a 4-3, but his athleticism and versatility make him an ideal fit on the inside in Green Bay's 3-4. Shazier is a great coverage linebacker, but also doesn't give up a whole lot against the run. Should be a great fit next to fellow Buckeye A.J. Hawk in Green Bay.

22. Philadelphia Eagles
Team Needs: DE, OLB, CB, S

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

The Eagles cut ties with DeSean Jackson recently, so they decide to get an even bigger playmaker for Chip Kelly's wide-open offense. The 6-foot-5 Benjamin should draw extra attention from defenses right away, and provide a consistent red zone threat for the already dangerous Eagles offense.

23. Kansas City Chiefs
Team Needs: OG, OT, WR, S

Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Kansas City was grindingly effective and efficient on offense, but at some point you need some splash plays. Lee has had injury issues, but he can pick up yards in chunks, and should fill in nicely for Kansas City in the slot.

24. Cincinnati Bengals
Team Needs: OG, DE, CB, QB?

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Fuller is as technically sound a corner as there is in this draft, and the defensive-minded Bengals feel like they have enough on offense to win, assuming their defense continues to play at a high level. Much like Sam Bradford, the pressure is now on Andy Dalton.

25. San Diego Chargers
Team Needs: WR, CB, DT, OLB

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Barr has been incredibly productive, and looks like an instant starter on the edge for the Chargers. There are some technical issues against the run, mostly because Barr grew up playing running back and fullback, but a 4.41 Pro Day 40 time and 23.5 sacks over the last two years make him impossible to pass on.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts… Lol Trent Richardson)
Team Needs: See Above

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

I've watched Latimer a bunch throughout his career and always been impressed with his toughness, especially over the middle downfield. He didn't get a lot of attention playing in Bloomington, but was a big part of the underrated Hoosiers offense. He does a bunch of the same things that Josh Gordon does, but that could make Cleveland flat-out scary on the outside.

27. New Orleans Saints
Team Needs: OT, "Space Player," CB

Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Off the field issues have teams running away from Roby, but he's the last "elite" corner talent. The Saints need an immediate starter opposite Keenan Lewis, and Roby should be that guy.

28. Carolina Panthers
Team Needs: OT, WR, CB, S

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Verrett lacks Roby's size and potential, but is probably the better player right now. He plays bigger than the 5-foot-9 he's listed at, and Carolina needs an injection of speed into its secondary.

29. New England Patriots
Team Needs: TE, Pass Rusher, DB

Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn

Change up pick! The Patriots grab a great speed rusher that can play on the edge in whichever scheme Bill Belichick draws up. If they stay in the 4-3, guys like Notre Dame's Stephon Tuitt don't really make sense, so the quicker Ford can come in as a situational player, while working his way toward becoming New England's great pass rusher of the future.

It's also a pick the Patriots can't pass up, as Atlanta has been rumored to be considering Ford as early as No. 6. But, his free fall and the great Pro Day of Anthony Barr land him in Foxboro.

30. San Francisco 49ers
Team Needs: CB, OLB, WR

Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Defensive tackles aren't exactly flying off the board, but San Francisco wants to own the trenches on both sides of the ball. The brutally strong Gopher lineman gives them a 3-technique that can hold up against the run, and push the pocket against the pass.

31. Denver Broncos
Team Needs: OG, ILB, CB

Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA

The Broncos are in "win now" mode after a busy offseason, so picking an offensive guard that can start right away makes a ton of sense. If anybody else did it, it would be really boring.

32. Seattle Seahawks
Team Needs: OG, OT, WR

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

The Seahawks love big defensive ends that can move, so Tuitt makes sense for the defending champs. The rich get richer, as Tuitt possesses Top-15 talent, but questions about his motor, along with schematic fit, cause him to drop to the bottom of round one.

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