2014 NFL Mock Draft (Beazley/Hanson), 2.0
Earlier this offseason, Sean Beazley and I completed a collaborative first-round 2014 NFL mock draft.
Like in our first collaborative mock, Sean picked for all AFC teams in this mock while I picked for all NFC teams. In addition, both added comments for their picks.
To keep track of our updates, follow @EDSFootball on Twitter.
Here is our updated 2014 NFL collaborative mock draft:
[SB] I had Clowney as the No. 1 pick before the combine, and his pro day. I think those events cemented himself as the pick here for the Texans. There is so much depth at quarterback that the Texans could draft Clowney at No. 1, and then move back into the end of Round 1 to draft their future signal-caller.
[KH] Without question, the Rams will look to trade down from this spot to accumulate additional picks. If they are unable to find a willing trade partner, the choice would likely come down to Auburn's Greg Robinson and Clemson's Sammy Watkins.
As I noted in my 2014 NFL mock, the Rams have used five top-100 selections on receiver in the past three drafts. With receiver being the deepest position in this year's draft class, I'd expect the pick to be Robinson here.
Robinson has the upside to be a dominant left (or right) tackle for the next decade. While Jake Long is recovering from a torn ACL, the team re-signed Rodger Saffold only after he failed a physical with the Raiders. Either way, the Rams can move Saffold inside to guard.
Although the Tigers did not throw often, Robinson has all of the physical tools to develop as an elite pass blocker: great size (6-5, 332 pounds), arm length (35 inches) and athleticism (4.92 40-yard dash). And he's one of the biggest (literally) reasons that Auburn led the nation in rushing offense.
[SB] I think the Jaguars pass on QB as well especially after what Mack did at the combine and his pro day. There are some out there who believe that Mack is as equal to Clowney in talent, which absolutely sells this pick to me. The Jaguars pass rush last year was horrible as they ranked dead last in the NFL in sacks. The road to the playoffs still goes through Indianapolis in the South, and pressuring Andrew Luck will be vital to that path.
[SB] Manziel is not my top-rated QB, that goes to UCF's Blake Bortles, but I think Manziel's game is more fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense. Johnny Football also has that star power where he could revitalize the city just like Peyton Manning did in Indianapolis. I wouldn't be shocked to see Derek Carr go here either. Every year, a QB sneaks out of nowhere and is drafted ahead of everyone else (Christian Ponder are E.J. Manuel being recent examples).
[SB] The Matt Schaub move clearly tipped the Raiders hand. You don't go out and get Schaub for him to sit on the bench this season. You also don't spend the fifth overall pick on someone who is deemed "not ready" for snaps on opening day. The move tells me that the Raiders will be drafting another position in Round 1, and taking a flyer later in the draft on a Aaron Murray or A.J. McCarron. If things don't work out with them, they are in line next year for when the QB class is much better.
Watkins is one of the highest-rated WRs to enter the NFL since Calvin Johnson. While I hate to call someone a sure thing in the NFL, Watkins is as close to that as anyone in this year's draft. The Raiders have lacked an elite WR since Tim Brown retired. Long overdue, Silver & Black fans.
[KH] While it wouldn't surprise me if the Falcons trade up to address their need to add a pass-rusher, they need to make improvements in slowing down opposing pass-rushers. Last season, only Miami's Ryan Tannehill (58) and Baltimore's Joe Flacco (48) were sacked more often than Matt Ryan (44).
Technically sound and the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, Matthews has the versatility to play various spots on the line. Last season, he moved to the left side to protect Manziel's blind side, but he excelled at right tackle before that.
[KH] Considering the Bucs have recently traded away Mike Williams to the Bills, Watkins would be a slam-dunk selection if he slips to the Bucs. Even if he doesn't (and likely won't), however, it wouldn't be too surprising to see the Bucs go with Evans here.
Even though Vincent Jackson has been highly productive (2,608 yards in his two seasons), he turned 31 years old last month. Interestingly enough, the NFL comparison that Evans most often gets is Jackson. In his sophomore campaign, Evans had 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Evans would give new quarterback Josh McCown another big target.
[KH] Despite drafting Christian Ponder in the first round a few years ago and re-signing Matt Cassel to a two-year contract, the Vikings long-term answer at quarterback is not yet on the roster.
Bortles has the prototypical size (6-5, 235), arm strength and mobility that teams covet in a franchise quarterback. The American Athletic Conference's Offensive Player of the Year, Bortles threw for 3,581 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 272 yards and six touchdowns last year.
[SB] The Bills have made a number of moves to surround second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel with weapons. They re-signed Scott Chandler at TE, and traded a sixth-rounder away to the Bucs for Mike Williams. I don't think they are done.
There are two rules when building around a new quarterback: protect him and give him weapons. Either route is in play with this pick, but I think they go playmaker. Ebron is the best tight end prospect coming up this year. I'd compare Ebron to a TE like Jared Cook due to his size, speed and hands.
[KH] Even with two Day 2 picks at corner over the past couple of years, the Lions still ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing defense. Especially considering the Lions have to face the elite passing attacks of Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, etc.) and Chicago (Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, etc.) at least four times per year, you can never have too many cornerbacks.
With excellent size (6-0 1/8, 202 pounds) and speed (4.37 forty), Gilbert has the cover skills and ball skills to make big plays and he also had five kick returns for touchdowns in college as well.