April 25, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Donald, a Top 10 Pick?

#97, Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
(Friday, April 25, 2014)

A month later, I present to you my 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0. As expected, some major changes have been made. Two more updates should come within the ext two weeks, so stay tuned.

Records and needs have been added for each team, as well as the top 4 most realistic alternative options for each team in the first round. You'll also see "Reach/Value" listed below, which is based on where each player is slotted in my Top 50 Big Board. If a player is not ranked in my top 50, then a specific value cannot be determined, and you'll see N/A".

You can view my 2014 NFL Prospect Rankings here and my 2014 NFL Draft Big Board here.





1. Houston Texans
Jadeveon Clowney*, EDGE, South Carolina
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 266 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 2-14 | Team Needs: QB, OL, DL, LB, TE

Analysis: The Texans are prepared to select Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick. Though nothing is set in stone, barring a trade down, Houston will likely draft the best overall player in this year;s draft, while waiting until day 2 to address their quarterback need.

Reach/Value: 0

Other Options:

  1. Khalil Mack, EDGE, Buffalo
  2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
  3. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  4. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville



2. Saint Louis Rams
Khalil Mack, EDGE, Buffalo
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 252 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)
(via Washington)


2013 Season Record: 7-9 | Team Needs: WR, OG, OT, S, CB

Analysis: While everyone pencils in Greg Robinson here, the Rams may actually be targeting Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack with Clowney off the board. Mack projects as a SAM linebacker who can put his hand in the dirt on third downs. His versatility and ability to make an instant impact are just a few reasons why many teams love Mack.

Reach/Value: -1

Other Options:

  1. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
  2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
  3. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
  4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M



3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 214 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 4-12 | Team Needs: QB, OL, RB, DL, CB

Analysis: It's no secret that Jacksonville would prefer to target a pass rusher in round one, while targeting a signal caller on Day 2 (with Marcus Mariota being in their sights in 2015). However, with Clowney and Mack both gone, look for the Jaguars to select the best offensive play maker in the draft. Sammy Watkins has all the makings of a true number one receiver, and would form a lethal tandem with Justin Blackmon (should Blackmon stay clean off the field).

Reach/Value: -1

Other Options:

  1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
  2. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
  4. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA



4. Cleveland Browns
Greg Robinson**, OT, Auburn
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 327 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)


2013 Season Record: 4-12 | Team Needs: QB, OG, WR, DB, RB

Analysis: Cleveland needs a franchise quarterback, and to this point, none have come off the board. I don't see them pulling the trigger on a QB just yet. Instead, they select Greg Robinson. Robinson gives them an upgrade at right tackle (hopefully allowing Mitchell Schwartz to kick inside), and with Joe Thomas on the blindside and Alex Mack at center, they will have solidified their offensive line.

Reach/Value: -2

Other Options:

  1. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  2. Johnny Manziel, QB, Louisville
  3. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
  4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M



5. Oakland Raiders
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 287 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 4-12 | Team Needs: QB, OG, DB, LB, TE

Analysis: The real wildcard of the first round is the Raiders. Will they go quarterback? Offensive tackle? Pass Rusher? They addressed some needs in free agency, and while I would suggest taking a quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), don't be surprised if Aaron Donald is the pick. They traded back last April, passing on Star Lotulelei, Sharrif Floyd, and Sheldon Richardson. Donald's stock is going to likely push him in the top 10 since every NFL team could really use a disruptive interior pass rusher.

Reach/Value: -8

Other Options:

  1. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
  3. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
  4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M



6. Atlanta Falcons
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 308 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 4-12 | Team Needs: OT, OLB, TE, S, RB

Analysis: The Falcons are still a prime candidate to move up for Jadeveon Clowney, though Greg Robinson and Khalil Mack could also be on their radar. If they stay put, pencil in Jake Matthews here. If Atlanta intends to keep Sam Baker at left tackle, Matthews would step right in at right tackle, but he'll most likely be their long term answer on the left side.

Reach/Value: +1

Other Options:

  1. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
  2. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
  3. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
  4. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina



7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Johnny Manziel**, QB, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)


2013 Season Record: 4-12 | Team Needs: QB, OG, OLB, TE, WR

Analysis: The Buccaneers have the luxury of drafting the best player on their board. If I had to make a bold prediction, I would say the Bucs will definitely draft a quarterback in round one. Lovie Smith seems to have legitimate interest in Johnny Manziel, but is it enough to make him the first quarterback off the board? I believe so.

Reach/Value: -15

Other Options:

  1. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
  2. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
  3. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
  4. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA



8. Minnesota Vikings
Blake Bortles*, QB, Central Florida
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 229 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 5-10-1 | Team Needs: QB, OG, OLB, S, CB

Analysis: The Vikings are another team that can go "best player available". While they would prefer to draft a linebacker here, I'm not sure they'll pass on Blake Bortles. He has some inconsistencies, but Bortles's upside is intriguing, and he has the tools to potentially blossom into a franchise quarterback. I think he's high on Minnesota's radar.

Reach/Value: -30

Other Options:

  1. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
  2. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
  3. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
  4. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama



9. Buffalo Bills
Eric Ebron*, TE, North Carolina
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 253 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 6-10 | Team Needs: OT, WR, TE, S, DE

Analysis: The Bills are another potential first round wildcard. They have several needs, but the most important thing they must do is put second year quarterback E.J. Manuel in the best position to succeed. This would be a little early for Eric Ebron to come off the board IMO, but he's the type of dynamic play maker Buffalo needs on offense.

Reach/Value: -20

Other Options:

  1. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
  2. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
  3. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
  4. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama



10. Detroit Lions
Mike Evans**, WR, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 231 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)


2013 Season Record: 7-9 | Team Needs: S, CB, DE, OLB, WR

Analysis: The Lions almost always draft the best available player. They won't take a corner in the first round. Instead, they'll likely target a receiver. If they don't (or can't) trade up for Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans would be a great pick. I think Matthew Stafford would be happy throwing to Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Mike Evans.

Reach/Value: 0

Other Options:

  1. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
  2. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
  3. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
  4. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State



11. Tennessee Titans
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 198 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 7-9 | Team Needs: QB, CB, NT, RB, LB

Analysis: Tennessee's is transitioning to a hybrid 3-4 defense, so adding the right personnel should be a priority. I don't get the sense that they will target a pass rusher here. Instead, they'll look at a guy like Justin Gilbert. The favorite to be the first corner drafted, Gilbert has the size, length, athleticism, and play making ability that NFL teams covet.

Reach/Value: -3

Other Options:

  1. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
  2. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
  3. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
  4. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State



12. New York Giants
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 312 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 7-9 | Team Needs: OT, OLB, WR, TE, DL

Analysis: Expect GM Jerry Reese to draft the best player on the Giants' draft board. That could be Taylor Lewan, who some people expect to fall come draft day. Lewan isn't far behind Robinson and Matthews, and could be the blindside protector the Giants desperately need.

Reach/Value: 0

Other Options:

  1. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
  2. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
  3. Kony Ealy, EDGE, Missouri
  4. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Louisiana State



13. Saint Louis Rams
Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix*, S, Alabama
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 7-9 | Team Needs: WR, OG, OT, S, CB

Analysis: "Ha Ha" Clinton-Dix won't get past the Rams. They desperately need a safety to pair with TJ McDonald, and Clinton-Dix is the premier safety in this class. Also, don't be surprised if they target a corner here.

Reach/Value: +5

Other Options:

  1. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
  2. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  3. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
  4. Kony Ealy, EDGE, Missouri



14. Chicago Bears
Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 190 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 8-8 | Team Needs: S, CB, DT, OT, OLB

Analysis: After bolstering their defensive line, expect the Bears to target a cornerback here, which makes sense considering that Charles Tillman only re-signed on a one-year deal, and could be moving to safety. Kyle Fuller would be a great fit for the Bears. Expect Fuller to go high in the first round, and he may even be the first corner drafted.

Reach/Value: -7

Other Options:

  1. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
  2. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Oklahoma State
  3. Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
  4. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri



15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 310 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 8-8 | Team Needs: WR, CB, DL, ILB, RB

Analysis: I expect Pittsburgh to target a corner early, but defensive end is a big need for them as well. Ra'Shede Hageman is generating some top 20 buzz, and the Steelers could covet him with the 15th overall pick. Hageman flashes dominance, but needs to be more consistent. He could be a stud 3-4 DE.

Reach/Value: -16

Other Options:

  1. Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
  2. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  3. Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
  4. Kony Ealy, EDGE, Missouri



16. Dallas Cowboys
Anthony Barr, EDGE, UCLA
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 247 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 8-8 | Team Needs: DE, DT, S, OG, OLB

Analysis: Dallas will select Anthony Barr if he falls to their pick. Barr's upside is why teams will consider him in the top 10, but he could slip because a lot of teams would rather have a "sure thing". The Cowboys desperately need a pass rusher, and believe that Barr could be a fit in their 4-3 defense.

Reach/Value: +9

Other Options:

  1. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
  2. Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
  3. Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
  4. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama



17. Baltimore Ravens
Calvin Pryor*, S, Louisville
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 8-8 | Team Needs: WR, OT, S, TE, DL

Analysis: Adding a receiver in the first round is still an option, but I see the Ravens grabbing Louisville safety Calvin Pryor if he's still available. They need a big, play making safety to pair with last year's first round pick Matt Elam.

Reach/Value: -8

Other Options:

  1. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
  2. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Louisiana State
  3. Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California
  4. Kony Ealy, EDGE, Missouri



18. New York Jets
Odell Beckham Jr.*, WR, Louisiana State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 198 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 8-8 | Team Needs: WR, OG, TE, DB, LB

Analysis: The Jets love Brandon Cooks and are intrigued by Jace Amaro, but Odell Beckham Jr. could rank higher on their board. Beckham Jr. may end up being a top 15 pick, and some teams believe he is the second best receiver in this class. Either way, the Jets are desperate for play makers on offense.

Reach/Value: -1

Other Options:

  1. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
  2. Jace Amaro., TE, Texas Tech
  3. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  4. Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California



19. Miami Dolphins
Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 308 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 8-8 | Team Needs: OG, OT, LB, WR, DB

Analysis: The Dolphins reportedly love Zack Martin. I'm buying. I mocked Martin to the Dolphins in my last Mock, and it certainly makes sense. Looking to upgrade at right tackle, Martin would be a plug-and-play starter. He can also kick inside to guard.

Reach/Value: -5

Other Options:

  1. C.J. Mosley, MLB, Alabama
  2. Brandin Cooks., WR, Oregon State
  3. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
  4. Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri



20. Arizona Cardinals
Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 208 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 10-6 | Team Needs: OLB, OG, CB, TE, DL

Analysis: Arizona is in a position to draft the best player on their board, which could be a quarterback. If Teddy Bridgewater falls as expected (though undeserving), it would be hard for the Cards to pass. He may not be the big, strong armed passer Bruce Arians would prefer, but he is the best quarterback in this class, and that's all that matters.

Reach/Value: +18

Other Options:

  1. Kony Ealy, EDGE, Missouri
  2. Demarcus Lawrence, EDGE, Boise State
  3. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  4. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State



21. Green Bay Packers
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 234 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 8-7-1 | Team Needs: TE, S, ILB, C, WR

Analysis: As I stated in my last mock, it's no secret that Green Bay is likely going to focus on the defensive side of the ball in round one. Safety is high on their priority list, but C.J. Mosley could interest them. He's clearly the best non-pass rushing linebacker in the draft, and would be an upgrade over Brad Jones.

Reach/Value: +5

Other Options:

  1. Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
  2. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
  3. Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California
  4. Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame



22. Philadelphia Eagles
Brandin Cooks*, WR, Oregon State
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 185 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 10-6 | Team Needs: S, OLB, WR, DL, ILB

Analysis: The Eagles could go defense, but they also must replace DeSean Jackson. Who better to replace Jackson than dynamic wideout Brandin Cooks? He's high on their radar, and would be a great fit for Chip Kelly's offense.

Reach/Value: -20

Other Options:

  1. Kony Ealy, EDGE, Missouri
  2. Demarcus Lawrence, EDGE, Boise State
  3. Dee Ford, EDGE, Auburn
  4. Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California



23. Kansas City Chiefs
Marqise Lee*, WR, Southern California
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 192 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 11-5 | Team Needs: WR, OG, DB, ILB, DE

Analysis: Opinions vary on Marqise Lee. Some think he's still a first rounder, while others expect him to slide into the second round. If the Chiefs are fans of Lee, it makes sense for them to take him here, as receiver is their biggest need. A healthy Marqise Lee is still one of the top 5 receivers in this class.

Reach/Value: -3

Other Options:

  1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  2. Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
  3. Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
  4. Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech



24. Cincinnati Bengals
Kony Ealy*, EDGE, Missouri
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 265 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 11-5 | Team Needs: CB, C, LB, DE, WR

Analysis: Their most pressing need may be corner, but Darqueze Dennard may not be that high on their board. I believe they would prefer to target a pass rusher early. Kony Ealy is expected to be a top 20 pick, so he would be hard to pass up if he slips to their pick.

Reach/Value: +7

Other Options:

  1. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
  2. Demarcus Lawrence, EDGE, Boise State
  3. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
  4. Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State



25. San Diego Chargers
Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 9-7 | Team Needs: CB, OG, OLB, NT, WR

Analysis: If Darqueze Dennard fell to them, I don't know if they could afford to pass. He's arguably the best corner in the draft, and corner just happens to be the most pressing need for the Chargers.

Reach/Value: +10

Other Options:

  1. Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
  2. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
  3. Demarcus Lawrence, EDGE, Boise State
  4. Dee Ford, EDGE, Auburn



26. Cleveland Browns
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)
(via Indianapolis)


2013 Season Record: 4-12 | Team Needs: QB, OG, WR, DB, RB

Analysis: If the Browns indeed pass on a quarterback with the 4th overall pick, they would be thrilled if they can still land their guy with the 26th pick. Their guy seems to be Derek Carr, who is seen as the consensus #4 QB in the draft.

Reach/Value: +15

Other Options:

  1. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
  2. Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
  3. Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
  4. Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA



27. New Orleans Saints
Demarcus Lawrence*, EDGE, Boise State
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 250 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 11-5 | Team Needs: CB, OLB, ILB, WR, C

Analysis: A receiver will be in play for the Saints, but I expect them to target a pass rusher in round one. They've shown interest in Dee Ford, but Demarcus Lawrence is the more complete player. Lawrence is starting to get the love he deserves, and will likely be a day one impact pass rusher for New Orleans.

Reach/Value: +7

Other Options:

  1. Dee Ford, EDGE, Auburn
  2. Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
  3. Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State
  4. Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian



28. Carolina Panthers
Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 311 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 12-4 | Team Needs: OL, WR, CB, S, OLB

Analysis: Who is Cam Newton going to throw to? More importantly, who's going to keep him upright. Both receiver and left tackle are pressing needs, but left tackle is more important. Morgan Moses has been gaining steam for months, and looks like he'll "sneak" into the first round.

Reach/Value: NR

Other Options:

  1. Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
  2. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
  3. Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
  4. Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian



29. New England Patriots
Jace Amaro*, TE, Texas Tech
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 266 lbs. | Class: Junior


2013 Season Record: 12-4 | Team Needs: DT, C, WR, TE, S

Analysis: New England could end up trading out of the first round, but I think they have very high interest in Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro. There's absolutely nothing wrong with giving Tom Brady another weapon.

Reach/Value: +11

Other Options:

  1. Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
  2. Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA
  3. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
  4. Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois



30. San Francisco 49ers
Louis Nix III*, NT, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 331 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 12-4 | Team Needs: CB, WR, C, DL, LB

Analysis: The 49ers are expected to target a receiver or corner here, maybe even a pass rusher. However, they may not be able to pass on Louis Nix, who in the long-term, could be a dominant nose tackle for them.

Reach/Value: +7

Other Options:

  1. Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian
  2. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
  3. Dee Ford, EDGE, Auburn
  4. Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State



31. Denver Broncos
Bradley Roby*, CB, Boise State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)


2013 Season Record: 13-3 | Team Needs: CB, MLB, DT, DE, OL

Analysis: They could still look at a pass rusher if one falls, though I believe cornerback is the position Denver will target here. Bradley Roby was recently charged with OVI, though details are still not known. Despite this, he's still talented enough to warrant first round consideration.

Reach/Value: -15

Other Options:

  1. Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian
  2. Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
  3. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
  4. Dee Ford, EDGE, Auburn



32. Seattle Seahawks
Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 288 lbs. | Class: Senior


2013 Season Record: 13-3 | Team Needs: WR, OL, TE, DL, CB

Analysis: Seattle is one of the teams targeting Dominique Easley. If they don't have concerns about his durability, he could be their first round choice. He's my #9 overall player, and grades out as the best interior defensive lineman in the draft.

Reach/Value: +23

Other Options:

  1. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
  2. Dee Ford, EDGE, Auburn
  3. Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
  4. Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian