2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

St. Scholastica's Student Newspaper
The Cable
By: Alex Hennesey  - Student Journalist -
Photo credit to sportingnews.com

Photo credit to sportingnews.com

With the NFL combine finished and completed it's time for another mock draft to be completed. The first version of the mock draft just looked at the teams picking in the top 10 draft slots and was done with an unofficial draft order. This time around I will be doing a mock of the full first round analyzing team needs and potential trades. With that let's get started.

1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB University of Central Florida
Any of the top three QB's makes sense for Houston here, but Bortles is a guy who will heavily benefit from the combine and climb up draft boards. With Matt Schaub's self-implosion last season and neither T.J. Yates nor Case Keenum looking like the answer, Quarterback is the biggest need for the Texans. If the Texans don't go QB here or trade away the pick, DE Jadeveon Clowney is the other logical choice.

2. St. Louis Rams: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina State
It would not be a surprise if the Rams choose to move this pick with a lot of teams in desperate need of a QB behind them. Assuming St. Louis chooses to keep the pick, Clowney makes a lot of sense and would give them a fantastic D-line. Another option would be WR Sammy Watkins of Clemson to give Sam Bradford another weapon in the passing game. Ultimately, I think Clowney's talent and game changing potential is too much to pass up here.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
Jacksonville is a young team with holes everywhere on both sides of the ball, but Blaine Gabbert clearly isn't the answer at QB and Manziel brings a very dynamic game that could pay immediate dividends. However, Jacksonville would need to spend the rest of the draft finding weapons for Manziel in their non-existent passing game especially with Justin Blackmon's return in flux.

4. Cleveland Browns: Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville
Another team in need of a franchise QB and the top three QB's are gone four picks into the draft. Cleveland is a team that has some pieces in place on offense with Josh Gordon and they could look to add a WR with the 26th pick to give Bridgewater a pair of weapons or shore up their offensive line.

5. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson
The Raider's would love it if a QB fell into their lap with this pick, but that scenario is looking unlikely. In that case Oakland addresses a huge need on offense by grabbing a potential #1 WR. Watkins is a big time playmaker on the outside and gives the Raiders offense a legitimate passing threat if they can find someone to throw him the ball.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT Auburn
The Falcons have the luxury of picking in the top 10 despite being a very good team already that saw a rash of injuries ruin their season. In any case Atlanta grabs the best O-lineman on the board in Robinson. Jake Matthews of Texas A&M could usurp Robinson.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M
The Buc's grab the second best O-lineman available in Matthews in an effort to help protect 2nd year QB Mike Glennon. Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr is another possibility here if Tampa decides an edge rusher is greater need.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Khalil Mack, OLB Buffalo
The Vikings are in desperate need of a QB but they will not get one of the top 3 with the 8th pick. The Vikes are a team that could seriously consider trading this pick, but if they keep it they grab the best available LB, which is another big need. Mack would fits nicely in either a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme depending on what new head coach Mike Zimmer chooses to implement.

9. Buffalo Bills: Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M
Evans is a big, downfield receiver that would make a nice complement to Stevie Johnson and give E.J. Manuel another weapon in the passing game. Coming off of a huge combine Evans could pass up Sammy Watkins on teams draft boards, but if Evans is available here it's a no-brainer for the Bills.

10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State
The Lions secondary is in need of a serious overhaul and Justin Gilbert is the big, shutdown corner they have been lacking. If Sammy Watkins falls the Lions could look to grab him as well to put on the other side of Calvin Johnson.

11. Tennessee Titans: Kony Ealy, DE Missouri
The Titans are yet another team that would love to have one of the top QB's fall into their laps, but the only way they will get one is to trade up or reach on a Derek Carr. In this case the Titans grab the best edge rusher on the board to add to an already athletic, aggressive defense.

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
Lewan had a great combine that could very well push him up the board in front of a guy like Jake Matthews which is why the Giants would have no issue taking him with the 12th pick. Lewan gives interior help to the Giants O-line so they can hopefully keep Eli on his feet this season.

13. St. Louis Rams: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S Alabama
The Rams could use this pick to beef up their offensive line after going defense with their first pick of Clowney, however finding a safety is a big need too so Clinton-Dix makes a lot of sense here.

14. Chicago Bears: Louis Nix, DT Notre Dame
The Bears are another team in need of a safety but with St. Louis grabbing Clinton-Dix just before them, the Bears address their D-line instead. Nix is a dominating presence at the DT position and will add a much needed to boost to the Chicago front four.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota
The Steelers take Hageman in this spot and get an incredibly athletic and disruptive DT. Hageman has had some inconsistency issues in college, but his physical ability and athleticism make him too good to pass up on.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, S Louisville
The Cowboys seem to always be in need of help in the secondary making Pryor an obvious selection if he's available here. Behind Clinton-Dix and Pryor the safety depth is very weak for this draft class so grabbing one of the top 2 should be a priority for Dallas.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Lee, WR USC
The Ravens choose to grab a complimentary receiver for Torrey Smith with Lee still on the board. Despite Lee having a weak combine, the Ravens have serious need for a WR. Flacco and the passing game has not looked the same since Anquan Boldin's departure.

18. New York Jets: Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State
The Jets would love to add a WR with this pick to help out Geno Smith, but with Watkins, Evans, and Lee all off the board already they turn to another big need at the CB position. Dennard is an extremely physical and aggressive CB that will fit well in New York.

19. Miami Dolphins: Antonio Richardson, OT Tennessee
The Dolphins don't waste anytime making this pick. Offensive line is by far their biggest need and Richardson is the top lineman available.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama
With offensive lineman flying off the board and upgrading the OT position being the biggest need, the Cardinals take a risk Kouandijio who has some health concerns.

21. Green Bay Packers: Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina
Green Bay could very easily take a LB here instead, but Ebron dropping to them at 21 is too good to pass up. TE is a pressing need for the Packers with Jermichael Finley's career up in the air after a series of concussions. Aaron Rodgers gets a big, athletic target in the passing game and especially the red zone.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Verrett, CB TCU
The Eagles are pretty well set on offense but the defense is another story. CB and OLB are the two biggest needs so it comes to best player available and that happens to be Verrett. Despite not having ideal size, Verrett is playmaker in the secondary.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandin Crooks, WR Oregon State
The Chiefs take a WR here to pair with Dwayne Bowe and hopefully upgrade their downfield passing game. Crooks is a very athletic WR with big playmaking ability.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Jimmie Ward, FS Northern Illinois
The Bengals are getting old in the secondary and Ward provides a playmaker at safety while also being the best player available for the Bengals needs on defense. If a CB like Verrett or Dennard slips to this pick they would likely be taken.

25. San Diego Chargers: Xavier Su'a'Filo, G UCLA
Chargers would love to add a CB here, but with Dennard, Gilbert, and Verrett already off the board they grab the top guard on their draft board. Not a perfect pick by any means, but Su'a'Filo will upgrade the Chargers O-line.

26. Cleveland Browns: Odell Beckham Jr, WR LSU
The Browns get their complement to Gordon by grabbing Beckham Jr with their second first-round pick. Beckham Jr is known as a sure pass catcher with very good hands.

27. New Orleans Saints: Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State
The Saints could use a CB and taking Roby with this pick isn't too much of a reach. Taking Roby's teammate and OLB Ryan Shazier is another strong possibility with this pick.

28. Carolina Panthers: Ryan Shazier, OLB Ohio State
The Panthers would ecstatic to take a WR here to give Cam Newton another weapon, but without a WR on the board worth taking here they instead decide to grab the best available OLB in Shazier.

29. New England Patriots: Scott Critchton, DE Oregon State
Without an offensive lineman to take with this pick the Pats decide to add some youth and energy to their D-Line. Critchton is a good pass rusher and is versatile.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State
WR seems to be an ongoing issue for the 49ers so they grab the best available wideout in Benjamin. While Benjamin is very raw and will take some grooming, San Francisco is a team that can afford to be patient with him.

31. Denver Broncos: C.J Mosley, ILB Alabama
Mosley drops much further than expected due to a lack of need by many teams at the ILB position. While Mosley doesn't fit a need for Denver they implement the philosophy of best player available and steal away a guy the Seahawks would surely pounce on.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Jace Amaro, TE Texas Tech
The Seahawks have a need for a TE and Amaro is a perfect fit. Although concerns were raised at the combine about his hand size, Amaro had no problem catching passes at Texas Tech and Seattle gets great value here.