Patrick Cleary’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
1- Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE, South Carolina I am a firm believer in taking the best player in the draft with the first pick, that’s what Clowney is.
2- St Louis Rams Jake Matthews OT, Texas A&MThe Rams need helps in a couple of different areas, and while I don’t think they will actually be picking here on draft day, I think Jake Matthews fits nicely for now.
3- Jacksonville Jaguars Sammy Watkins WR, ClemsonThe Jags spent a high pick on Just Blackmon a couple of years ago, but he has gotten into some trouble as well as not performed how you would have liked to this point. Regardless, Watkins is a special talent and the Jags need offensive firepower in general.
4-Clevealand Browns Mike Evans WR, Texas A&MThe Browns already have Josh Gordon as well as bigger needs than receiver, but at this slot there isn’t anyone in my mind that makes more sense than Evans. Greg Little is average on his best days and giving their quarterback 2 dynamic options is never a bad thing.
5-Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack OLB, BuffaloThe Raiders could sure use some play makers on offense, but with no quarterback or remaining receiver worthy of going this high, they could choose to upgrade on defense just as easily.
6-Atlanta Falcons Greg Robinson OT, AuburnIf anybody trades up for Jadeveon Clowney, everyone expects it to be Atlanta, they have a heavy need at pass rusher but with none fitting here, they can also choose to upgrade their pass protection and get Matt Ryan some help.
7-Tampa Bay Buccaneers Eric Ebron TE, North CarolinaThe Bucs aren’t as bad of a team as their record indicates, and they made some nice acquisitions in free agency. They could use some help on the O line and at receiver, but I’ve seen Ebron draw comparisons to Jimmy Graham, and while that’s a pretty hefty comparison, Eric has a chance to be a dynamic play maker and that’s something everyone can use more of.
8- Minnesota Vikings Blake Bortles QB, UCFPersonally I am stuck on Bortles and Bridgewater as my top quarterback, but Bortles is bigger and many believe has a higher ceiling. A lot of people will be surprised if this pick isn’t a signal caller and while many quarterback needy teams may have the luxury of waiting until the 2nd round to pick one, I don’t believe Minnesota is one of them.
9- Buffalo Bills Taylor Lewan OT, MichiganThe Bills have Cordy Glenn slotted in at number 1 on the depth chart at left tackle, but as for another viable starting option at tackle, there isn’t much. I believe it is clearly their top need and they get a guy with a lot of potential and experience here.
10-Detroit Lions Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S, AlabamaThe Lions addressed safety in free agency, and have been linked to TE Eric Ebron with this pick, but he is already gone in my mock and they could still use some help at safety so getting the best one in the draft is a good grab here.
11- Tennessee Titans Justin Gilbert CB, Oklahoma State The Titans would be a great spot to look for a trade on draft day. They have needs in the secondary as well as defensive line. Getting a top corner in the draft here wouldn’t be a pick I’d disagree with, but they could still find great value at both positions by moving down.
12-New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. WR, LSU
The Giants need help just about everywhere so this will be a staple draft for them be it successful or unsuccessful. They could start off on the right foot by replacing Hakeem Nicks with the very explosive Beckham Jr. The LSU product would be a wonderful fit for the G men.
13-St Louis Rams Kelvin Benjamin WR, Florida State
I gave the Rams what should be a sure fire franchise tackle earlier in this draft, and here I continue the offensive trend by selecting Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State. Benjamin is a very big guy at 6’5″ and he’s a bit raw but has all the potential in the world to be a difference maker. I could have gone Linebacker or Safety here, but if Kenny Britt can recapture his old form, pairing Benjamin with Britt and Tavon Austin was just to tempting to pass up.
14-Chicago Bears Darqueze Dennard CB, Michigan State
The Bears need to get younger at cornerback and Dennard rivals Justin Gilbert as the top corner in the draft on some boards. Dennard would give the Bears the physical, play making defensive presence they like and would inject some youth as well.
15-Pittsburgh Steelers Aaron Donald DE, Pittsburgh
The Steelers have been much more active in free agency this year than in years past and are looking to continue making splashes. I have yet to see Aaron Donald mocked to the Steelers but it makes to much sense. The defensive ends in Pittsburgh are usually known for stopping the run and making lanes for the linebackers on passing plays, but Donald would give the Steelers more production on passing downs than they are used to while adding to Cam Heyward’s 5 sacks last season.
16-Dallas Cowboys Calvin Pryor DS, Louisville
The Cowboys desperately need safety help and to fix the identity crisis they have on defense. Calvin Pryor is a physical safety with all the tools to be a top guy in the league within a year or two and would go a long way towards fixing some of the issues Dallas has on defense.
17-Baltimore Ravens Zack Martin OT, Notre Dame
There were times last season when Ray Rice was having a hard time staying above 2 yards per carry last season and this team has a huge need at right tackle. Even if tackle doesn’t work out Martin is very versatile and can play guard or tackle and can play both well.
18-New York Jets Brandin Cooks WR, Oregon State
This pick is an interesting one to me and another prime example of where a trade could happen. The Jets still need to add to receiver even with Eric Decker joining the team. They could also use a cornerback here but I don’t see any available that wouldn’t be to much of a reach. Overall I went with value and decided on a versatile play maker on the offensive side of the ball.
19-Miami Dolphins Morgan Moses OT, Virginia
The Dolphins signed Brandon Albert to play left tackle but still have pretty big holes at right tackle and guard. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them double dip on the offensive line in the first 2 rounds and this would be a great start.
20-Arizona Cardinals Teddy Bridgewater QB, Louisville
Teddy Bridgewater is the top rated quarterback for Mel Kiper as well as Matt Miller. I like him a lot but regardless of my opinion I have to go off of what I think teams will do. If Bridgewater falls this far and the Cardinals pick him or he possibly goes 13 to the Rams, it’ll be exactly what the teams that passed on him were not hoping for. Things may get very interesting from around pick 12 to this spot at 20 if there is a belief that quarterbacks won’t last and all it takes is for 1 team to hit the panic button to make the dominos fall. Bridgewater would be in an Aaron Rodgers type situation here by being able to sit behind a veteran for a season or two before becoming a very solid starter.
21-Green Bay Packers C.J. Mosley ILB, Alabama
This would be the ideal situation for the Packers. Mosely would bring a solid player to put in the middle of their defense and automatically fill a hole. You can’t do much better than that no matter what round it is.
22-Philadelphia Eagles Marqise Lee WR, USC
If you are looking for a feel good story in this years draft, then you just found it. Marqise Lee came from hard times, made something out of it, and now is a virtual 1st round lock. The departure of DeSean Jackson as well as Jeremy Maclin coming off of an ACL tear makes this an absolutely dire need. Don’t be surprised to see the Eagles go receiver more than once.
23-Kansas City Chiefs Cody Latimer WR, Indiana
The run on receivers continues here. Latimer has rocketed up draft boards recently and makes sense for a team in the Chiefs that have not only a need to address the wide out spot, but also need to do everything they can to give Alex Smith a good opportunity to prove his value heading into a contract year by stabilizing the receiver position.
24-Cincinatti Bengals Kyle Fuller DC, Virginia Tech
Kyle Fuller has the ability to be a day one starter, and for a team that needs youth and talent at the position Fuller provides both.
25-San Diego Chargers Ryan Shazier OLB, Ohio State
Another draft and another defensive player in the first round for the Chargers. Corner is an option but Shazier just provides to much value at this point. Very solid pick and a very solid player.
26-Cleveland Browns Tom Savage QB, Pittsburgh
Every draft is unpredictable. But in that unpredictability there are a few certainties and here are a couple: There is always a team that has a crazy round 1 reach, always a player that free falls, and always a team that buys into hype that they shouldn’t buy into. I covered all of those bases here with Cleveland, you’ll notice that Johnny Manziel isn’t in my first round and Tom Savage is a pretty big reach here. Savage is all the rage at the quarterback position and well, let’s face it, Cleveland is Cleveland and not a whole lot of people understand their choices. Savage does have 1st round potential but where his is right now is more 3rd round worthy. Still, don’t be shocked to see someone do what I just did here.
27-New Orleans Saints Bradley Roby CB, Ohio State
Bradley Roby has been the subject of some shaky reporting recently when he had a minor run in with the law. Things seem to be cleared up now and history has shown us in multiple situations that talent overshadows character concerns. The Saints grew a lot on defense last season, I can see Anthony Barr as a fit here at pass pusher, but Roby has more potential in my mind and the Saints need to continue to feed a growing defense.
28-Carolina Panthers Cyrus Kouandjio OT, Alabama
Trade alert goes off here once again, the biggest need that the panthers have is at receiver, but with none good enough to select here I went with an offensive tackle instead. Don’t be surprised to see a quarterback needy team jump back into the first round right here and give the Panthers some extra picks.
29-New England Patriots Ra’Shede Hageman DT, Minnesota
The Patriots are getting long in the tooth in the middle of their D line, and Hageman is a pretty good value here, some teams are hit or miss on him but he has a pretty high ceiling and a great shot to be an impact player.
30-San Francisco 49ers Jordan Matthews WR, Vanderbilt
Jordan Matthews can struggle running routes but thankfully that can be taught. He has size and if he was more polished he’d be going long before this spot, but for now the 9ers are fortunate to get a guy with big potential and coach him up.
31-Denver Broncos Jason Verrett CB, TCU
Verrett is borderline round 1 on most boards. In my opinion he shouldn’t go before the middle of round 2 because of his size in an era where recievers are getting bigger. Verrett has great talent, the only thing slowing him down in this years draft, however, will the fact that he is only 5′ 9″.
32-Seattle Seahwaks Joel Bitonio OT, Nevada
Joel Bitonio is a name that I wouldn’t be shocked to see 10-12 picks higher than this, he is a very versatile guy that moves well and can start right away. The Seahawks have a big need on the O line and Bitonio can play any position on the line they need him to.
Thank you for reading! I hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. I’ll have 1 more before the draft but I really tried to have fun with this one and think outside the box and predict some out there stuff that we always see on draft night. Join us here at PSE for our live round 1 draft coverage the night of the draft as well as keep an eye out for our collective mock that will release the week of the draft. Our writers will be putting their minds together to come up with a round 1 prediction. Follow me on Twitter @ClearyPSE for more coverage leading up to the draft. Comment and let me know what you think