2014 NFL Mock Draft (12/22 update): Teddy Bridgewater to Texans
Earlier this morning, I updated my 2014 NFL Mock Draft and you can view the full mock here. Obviously, this mock will be updated from now until the draft in May, but I will add more rounds to the mock as we get closer to draft weekend.
Ultimately, the plan is mock all seven rounds.
Here are the first few picks from my updated 2014 NFL mock draft:
Loaded with much more talent than their record suggests, the Texans were a popular pick to win the division and possibly get to (or even win) the Super Bowl. Instead, the Texans have set a franchise record for their longest losing streak (12 games), fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub.
Even though Schaub will get another start in place of Case Keenum this week, neither is the long-term answer at quarterback and Schaub is unlikely to be back with the club in 2014 at his current salary.
While some may question his frame and/or his level of competition, Bridgewater is a highly accurate passer with the ability to make all of the throws and possesses all of the intangibles and leadership you'd want in a franchise quarterback.
For a second year in a row, an Aggies left tackle goes No. 2 overall in the NFL Draft — at least based on my mock. With Luke Joeckel departing a year early for the NFL Draft, Matthews slid over to Johnny Football's blind side.
Even though he has done well at left tackle, he's likely better suited to be a right tackle and that's where the Rams would need him to step in and replace Rodger Saffold, who will be a free agent after this season.
It's been a phenominal season for Carr, the brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr, as he leads the nation in passing yards (5,083) and passing touchdowns (50) with only eight interceptions. Helped by the style of his offense, Carr threw for 400-plus yards eight times and 500-plus yards twice this season.
Regardless of the gaudy stats, Carr has the physical tools to be the top pick in this year's draft even though I still expect that to be Bridgewater (assuming he declares). And coincidentally it was the Texans that drafted Carr's brother first overall in 2002.
It's possible that the Jaguars go quarterback here and they certainly need an upgrade over Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert, but Clowney is too good to pass up here. Heading into Week 16, the Bears (26) are the only team to record fewer sacks than the Jaguars (27) this season. The Jags ranked last in the NFL last year with 20 sacks.
Not only was his motivation and effort questioned, but Clowney saw his production drop significantly (10.5 tackles for loss and three sacks) from last year (23.5 TFL and 13.0 sacks). That said, he is a physical freak and opposing offenses specifically game-planned for Clowney.
A converted running back, Barr could very well be the first defensive player off the board in the draft. For a second consecutive season, Barr had at least 20 TFL and double-digit sacks. The Falcons currently rank 28th in the league in sacks and could use reinforcements to boost their pass rush.
The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback despite (the previous regime) selecting Brandon Weeden in the first round in 2012. Collectively, Browns signal-callers have thrown for more than 3,000 yards in only four seasons since 1990. All four of those 3,000-yard seasons were by different quarterbacks.
One of the best offensive tackles in this year's draft class, Kouandjio leads the Crimson Tide in knockdown blocks (14) and has allowed only 1.5 sacks in 286 pass attempts this year (via the school's website).
Alternating between Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel this season, the Vikings are unsettled at the position even though Cassel has played the best out of the group and will start for the rest of the season. One of the most exciting and polarizing players in college football, Manziel threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns this year.