Updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Jadeveon Clowney to the Jets
Based (at least in part) on the availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City next April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held from May 8-10.
This mock draft will be updated from now until draft day with changes, as needed, and additional rounds will be added as we get closer to the draft.
Next week, we will release our initial NFL Power Rankings for the 2013 season. Once we do, the draft order used in this mock draft will be the inverse order of our power rankings.
For this mock update, the draft order used is the inverse order of my prediction of final-year records. To arrive at those regular-season records, I predicted the outcome of all 256 regular-season games and tallied up the results.
[FYI: I have started to post my preseason predictions here.]
Here is my 2014 NFL Mock Draft:
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.
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 his enormous 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. Clowney is shooting for 20 sacks in 2013.
Only five teams had fewer sacks than the Jets (30) last season.
If the Jets had not selected Geno Smith with a top-40 pick last year, they would consider Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater with the No. 1 overall pick. If a team like the Jaguars or Raiders have the top pick, which many project, I have come to the belief that it would be Bridgewater as the top pick for such a quarterback-needy team.
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 next 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-to-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.
The Raiders are going into the 2013 season with Matt Flynn, Tyler Wilson and Terrelle Pryor as their quarterbacks. In other words, there is a strong chance that they draft a quarterback (earlier than Wilson) next year.
Boyd, the ACC Player of the Year, made nice strides as a junior. With an extra year of coaching and college football under his belt, he could wind up as a top-three pick next May.
Last season, his completion percentage increased to 67.2 percent (from 59.7 percent), his yards-per-attempt average increased to 9.12 (from 7.67) and his rating increased to 165.6 from 141.2.
A converted running back from his first two seasons at UCLA, Barr flourished as a pass-rusher and finished second in the nation in sacks (13.5) in 2012. In addition, he finished tied for seventh with Texas A&M's Damontre Moore in tackles for loss (21.0).
With another season of experience after the position switch, Barr has a chance to go in the top five of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Panthers need an upgrade opposite Steve Smith, who turned 34 years old earlier this offseason.
Lee, the Biletnikoff award winner, had a monster season as he led the nation in receptions (118), finished second in receiving yards (1,721) and scored 14 touchdowns.
Current Stanford head coach David Shaw had high praise for Lee saying that he is "the best receiver he's seen since scouting Randy Moss."
Meanwhile, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared Lee to Dez Bryant: "Raw route runner but incredibly strong, huge catch radius and build-up speed."
To view more mock drafts, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database.