2014 NFL Mock Draft Updated: Jadeveon Clowney still the No. 1 pick
Although the 2014 NFL Draft is nearly a year away, we have updated our 2014 NFL mock draft. With our next update, we will add a second round to our mock.
For now, here is how we see the first round shaking out:
The nation's top high school recruit as a senior, Clowney would have likely been the No. 1 overall pick if he were eligible for the 2013 NFL draft. Provided the Raiders don't select a potential franchise quarterback here, Clowney should be a lock to go first overall in 2014.
Casual fans became aware of Clowney's talents on New Year's Day after his bone-crushing, fumble-forcing hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl, but Clowney has lived up to the hype ever since he stepped on campus at South Carolina.
A physical freak, Clowney was one of six players tied for third in the nation with 13.0 sacks as a sophomore in 2012. In addition, only Georgia's Jarvis Jones (24.5) had more tackles for loss than Clowney (23.5), who was tied for second with Arizona State's Will Sutton.
The only team with fewer sacks than the Raiders (25) last season was the Jaguars (20).
As much as I was surprised that the Jaguars did not draft a quarterback in 2013, I was just as surprised that Arizona quarterback Matt Scott went undrafted. The Jags signed Scott as an undrafted free agent and it wouldn't surprise me if he ends the year as the team's starting quarterback.
Either way, I don't expect them to pass on a potential franchise signal-caller in this year's draft.
Bridgewater, the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, led the Cardinals to an 11-2 record and a win over the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. At 6-3 and 218 pounds, the sophomore completed 68.5 percent of his pass attempts and finished with a 27:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Johnny Football might get more hype in college football, but Bridgewater should be the first quarterback drafted assuming he declares early for the 2014 draft.
It seemed possible that the Jets would draft a quarterback with one of their two first-round picks in 2013, but they used both on defense. Even though West Virginia's Geno Smith fell to them in the second round, the Jets lack weapons for Smith (or Mark Sanchez or David Garrard).
Lee, the Biletnikoff award winner, had a monster season. He led the nation in receptions (118), finished second in receiving yards (1,721) and scored 14 touchdowns.
Lewan surprised many when he decided to return to school for his senior season. Had he declared early for a draft that featured three offensive tackles selected with a top-four pick, Lewan might have been a top-five pick himself.
As a junior in 2012, he was a first-team AP All-American with Luke Joeckel. Lewan has the prototypical size (6-8 and 309 pounds) and athleticism to play left tackle at the next level.
The Chargers drafted their right tackle of the future in Alabama's D.J. Fluker in the first round and now they can address the blind side here.
Paired with Luke Joeckel as the bookend tackles protecting Johnny Football last year, Matthews will make the transition to the left side in 2013. The son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce Matthews, Matthews has a legitimate shot of being the first tackle off the board, but he should be a very high first-round pick either way.