Main

April 13, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft (April 13th Update): Clowney Goes First Overall

Based (at least in part) on the (un)availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held a few weeks later than usual (May 8-10) this year.

From now until May 8th, I will make (at least) weekly updates to this mock and include additional rounds as we get closer. Ultimately, the goal will be to make this a full seven-round mock draft.

Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of my mock (and all other site) updates.

For a second opinion, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database for other mocks around the internet.

Without further ado, here is my updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans (draft history): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Possessing much more talent than last year's record suggests, the Texans were a popular pick to win the division and possibly get to (or even win) Super Bowl XLVIII. Instead, the Texans closed the season with a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak, fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub, who was traded to the Raiders this offseason.

When asked who the Texans will select with the first overall pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle previously tweeted: "Each day I get asked multiple times: Who are Texans drafting? I tell them 1 of the 3 top QBs. Forget about any other position."

Prior to this update, I've had the Texans selecting a signal-caller with the first overall pick. While quarterback clearly remains a position of need for the Texans, it's difficult to ignore the fact that Clowney, the top prospect on our consensus big board, is a much more talented prospect than any quarterback in this year's draft class as well.

So, would it make more sense to take someone like UCF's Blake Bortles at No. 1 and then the best available prospect at No. 33? Or would it make more sense to take the best player in the draft at No. 1 and then the best available quarterback at No. 33?

Viewed as a once-in-a-decade type of defensive line prospect, Clowney is a physical freak who ran an official 4.53 (unofficial 4.47) 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Clowney's motivation and effort was questioned by many last season and his on-field production dropped significantly — 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in 2012; only 10.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks in 2013. That said, opposing defenses schemed to slow down Clowney with double and triple teams.

Paired with J.J. Watt, the Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, Clowney should help the Texans get to the quarterback more consistently this year. Only the Bears and Jags had fewer sacks than the Texans last season.

[Related Poll: Vote here on which player the Texans will draft with the first overall pick.]

2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)(draft history): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

With the draft one month away, there is one thing that is certain: St. Louis will attempt to trade down from this slot to acquire additional picks.

If Clowney is off the board, as he is in this edition of my mock, the choice will likely come down to Clemson's Sammy Watkins, the top receiver in the draft, and Robinson, the top offensive tackle in the draft.

Not only is receiver extremely deep, the Rams have used numerous early picks on receivers over the past few seasons. In fact, they have five top-100 selections at the position in their past three drafts including Tavon Austin at No. 8 overall last season.

Meanwhile, 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.

His college teammate Avery Young said (via al.com): "Greg's a beast. He's so strong. At the same time, he's so athletic. The only person I know who can do backflips at his size."

FanDuel MLB: Win the $1 MILLION top prize in FanDuel's DFBC

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

While the new regime in Jacksonville has the franchise heading in the right direction, they still have a major need at the sport's most important position. With Clowney and Robinson going No. 1 and 2, however, the Jags have their choice of quarterbacks in this year's draft.

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.

4. Cleveland Browns (draft history): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback. Since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had a league-leading (or really a league-worst) 20 starting quarterbacks.

Before an ACL injury sidelined him last season, Brian Hoyer played well and he has a shot to be the team's starter in Week 1 even if they draft a quarterback like I'm projecting here.

One of the most exciting, improvisational and polarizing players in college football, Manziel, the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner (in 2012), threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013.

With the ability to avoid pressure and make plays on the run, Manziel also improved quite a bit as a passer from the pocket in 2013. In addition, Alabama coach Nick Saban called him one of the most competitive players he has ever faced. That said, Manziel will need to learn (a la Russell Wilson) to better avoid hits instead of seeking that extra yard or two.

5. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Possessing numerous needs on their roster, the Raiders could go in a variety of directions including quarterback with this pick. In previous updates, I've had the Raiders selecting Buffalo's Khalil Mack or A&M's Jake Matthews and both of those picks would also make sense here.

With Watkins, however, the Raiders get the clear-cut top receiver prospect in this year's draft class. Bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, Watkins had 101 catches for 1,464 and 12 touchdowns and closed out his collegiate career with a record-setting performance (16-227-2) in the Orange Bowl.

6. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Perhaps the Falcons will be the team that moves up in a trade with the Rams in order to secure a prospect like Clowney. In fact, Clowney is hoping for it.

Whether they do or don't trade up for Clowney, it's clear they need to improve their pass rush. Only two teams — the Bears and Jaguars (31 each) — had fewer sacks last season than the Falcons (32), who were tied with the Texans. The only player on the roster with more than five sacks in 2013 was Osi Umenyiora (7.5 sacks), who will be a free agent after the upcoming season.

One of college football's most productive players ever, Mack is the all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and is tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah compared Mack to Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Considering the Bucs have just traded away Mike Williams, Watkins would be a slam-dunk selection if he slips to the Bucs. Even if he doesn't, however, it wouldn't be too surprising to see the Bucs go with another receiver like 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 with a ton of production against Alabama and Auburn. In those two games combined, Evans had 18 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Evans would give new quarterback Josh McCown another big target.

8. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

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.

Some may question his frame and/or his level of competition while his disappointing Pro Day performance did himself no favors. In addition, ESPN's Chris Mortensen has reported that his private workouts haven't gone so well either. I've seen Bridgewater slipping to the very end of the first round in some mock drafts, and even into the top of the second round. While anything can happen on draft day, it's hard for me seeing that happening.

Not only is Bridgewater a highly accurate passer with the ability to make all of the throws, but he possesses the intelligence, intangibles and leadership you'd want in a franchise quarterback. The most polished quarterback in this year's draft class, Bridgewater remains my top-ranked quarterback prospect even if he isn't the first one off the board in this mock.

9. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

A first team All-ACC selection, Ebron set the conference record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end this year. In fact, he has been compared to San Francisco's Vernon Davis, who previously held the record, due to his size and athleticism.

10. Detroit Lions (draft history): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

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.

> Continue to picks 11-20 here
> Continue to picks 21-32 here
> Continue to Round 2 here

> Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

> Check out my 2014 NBA mock draft

> Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

April 08, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft: The One-Month-To-Go Update

Based (at least in part) on the (un)availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held a few weeks later than usual (May 8-10) this year.

From now until May 8th, I will make (at least) weekly updates to this mock and include additional rounds as we get closer. In fact, the plan is to add both Rounds 2 and 3 later this week. Ultimately, the goal will be a full seven-round mock draft.

Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of my mock (and all other site) updates.

For a second opinion, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database for other mocks around the internet.

Without further ado, here is my updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans (draft history): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Possessing much more talent than last year's record suggests, the Texans were a popular pick to win the division and possibly get to (or even win) Super Bowl XLVIII. Instead, the Texans closed the season with a franchise-worst 14-game losing streak, fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub, who was traded to the Raiders this offseason.

When asked who the Texans will select with the first overall pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle previously tweeted: "Each day I get asked multiple times: Who are Texans drafting? I tell them 1 of the 3 top QBs. Forget about any other position."

If they so choose, the new coaching staff will have their choice of quarterbacks with whom to begin the next era with the first overall pick in this year's draft.

As tempting as it may be to pair one physical freak, J.J. Watt, with another, Jadeveon Clowney, I agree with McClain that quarterback is going to be the pick. The question remains, however: Which one of the three?

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is the most polished quarterback in this class even if his Pro Day did not show it. That said, Bridgewater's slender frame has led to concerns about his ability to hold up to the pounding a quarterback can take.

On the other hand, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel had a stellar Pro Day performance and his improvisational style made him one of the most exciting players to watch in college football. From a marketing standpoint, Manziel is an in-state kid that would generate large appeal from the team's fan base. With that said, Johnny Football has his own share of concerns: his celebrity persona (although he has said the right things), his ability to win within structure of offense as opposed to relying on athleticism and improvisional skills, etc.

Last but not least, Bortles has the prototypical size (6-5, 235), arm strength and mobility that teams covet in a franchise quarterback. Not only did Bill O'Brien get a firsthand view of Bortles as he led UCF to a win over O'Brien's Penn State team last year, but O'Brien was once part of George O'Leary's staff and that may lead to additional comfort and confidence in selecting Bortles to be the future face of the franchise.

[Related Poll: Vote here on which player the Texans will draft with the first overall pick.]

2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)(draft history): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

With the draft one month away, there is one thing that is certain: St. Louis will attempt to trade down from this slot to acquire additional picks. If the Texans don't select Clowney with the first pick (and he's still available here), that should improve the Rams' chances of moving down to acquire additional picks.

If they are unable to move down, however, it could be a difficult choice between Clowney, the top prospect on our consensus big board, or a prospect like Clemson's Sammy Watkins and Auburn's Greg Robinson, both of whom would fill a greater need for the Rams.

Although Clowney is a once-in-a-decade type of prospect, the Rams had 53 sacks (third in NFL) last year and already have a dynamic duo of Robert Quinn and Chris Long at defensive end.

Not only is receiver extremely deep in this year's draft class, the Rams have used numerous early picks on receivers over the past few seasons. In fact, they have five top-100 selections at the position in their past three drafts including Tavon Austin at No. 8 overall last season.

Meanwhile, 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.

His college teammate Avery Young said (via al.com): "Greg's a beast. He's so strong. At the same time, he's so athletic. The only person I know who can do backflips at his size."

FanDuel MLB: Win the $1 MILLION top prize in FanDuel's DFBC

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

If Clowney is still on the board at this spot, the Jags could be doing some backflips on their way to handing in their draft card.

Perhaps there would be some debate here for the Jaguars as they really need a franchise quarterback, but I can't see them passing up a talent like Clowney. If so, they could look for someone like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garropolo with their early second-round pick.

Clowney's motivation and effort was questioned by many last season and his on-field production dropped significantly — 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in 2012; only 10.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks in 2013. That said, opposing defenses schemed to slow down Clowney with double and triple teams.

As noted earlier, Clowney is viewed as a once-in-a-decade type of defensive line prospect that is a physical freak who ran an official 4.53 (unofficial 4.47) 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

The Jags were tied with the Bears for last in the league in sacks (31). Not only did the Jags make some solid moves via free agency, but Clowney would be a major step towards significantly upgrading Gus Bradley's pass rush.

4. Cleveland Browns (draft history): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback. Since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had a league-leading (or really a league-worst) 20 starting quarterbacks.

Before an ACL injury sidelined him last season, Brian Hoyer played well and he has a shot to be the team's starter in Week 1 even if they draft a quarterback like I'm projecting here.

One of the most exciting, improvisational and polarizing players in college football, Manziel, the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner (in 2012), threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013.

With the ability to avoid pressure and make plays on the run, Manziel also improved quite a bit as a passer from the pocket in 2013. In addition, Alabama coach Nick Saban called him one of the most competitive players he has ever faced. That said, Manziel will need to learn (a la Russell Wilson) to better avoid hits instead of seeking that extra yard or two.

5. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Possessing numerous needs on their roster, the Raiders could go in a variety of directions including quarterback with this pick. In previous updates, I've had the Raiders selecting Buffalo's Khalil Mack or A&M's Jake Matthews and both of those picks would also make sense here.

With Watkins, however, the Raiders get the clear-cut top receiver prospect in this year's draft class. Bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, Watkins had 101 catches for 1,464 and 12 touchdowns and closed out his collegiate career with a record-setting performance (16-227-2) in the Orange Bowl.

6. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Perhaps the Falcons will be the team that moves up in a trade with the Rams in order to secure a prospect like Clowney. In fact, Clowney is hoping for it.

Whether they do or don't trade up for Clowney, it's clear they need to improve their pass rush. Only two teams — the Bears and Jaguars (31 each) — had fewer sacks last season than the Falcons (32), who were tied with the Texans. The only player on the roster with more than five sacks in 2013 was Osi Umenyiora (7.5 sacks), who will be a free agent after the upcoming season.

One of college football's most productive players ever, Mack is the all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and is tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah compared Mack to Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

In my previous update, Watkins slid to the Bucs at No. 7. Considering the Bucs have just traded away Mike Williams, Watkins would be a slam-dunk selection if he does slip to the Bucs. Even if he doesn't, it wouldn't be too surprising to see the Bucs go with another receiver like 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 with a ton of production against Alabama and Auburn. In those two games combined, Evans had 18 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Evans would give new quarterback Josh McCown another big target.

8. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Despite drafting Christian Ponder in the first round a few years ago and re-signing Matt Cassell to a two-year contract, the Vikings long-term answer at quarterback is not yet on the roster.

Some may question his frame and/or his level of competition while his disappointing Pro Day performance did himself no favors. In some (other) mock drafts, I've seen Bridgewater slipping to the very end of the first round and even into the top of the second round. While anything can happen on draft day, it's hard for me to see that happening.

Not only is Bridgewater a highly accurate passer with the ability to make all of the throws, but he possesses the intelligence, intangibles and leadership you'd want in a franchise quarterback. The most polished quarterback in this year's draft class, Bridgewater remains my top-ranked quarterback prospect even if he isn't the first one off the board in this mock.

9. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Although I had the Bills selecting UNC tight end Eric Ebron in my previous update, Matthews would be a bigger value for the Bills if he were to slip to this spot. (In my last update, he was off the board before this point.)

Even though Cordy Glenn played extremely well last season, Matthews has the versatility to play either left or right tackle. Technically sound and the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, he is also an extremely safe pick.

10. Detroit Lions (draft history): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

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.

- Continue to picks 11-20 here
- Continue to picks 21-32 here

- Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

- Check out my 2014 NBA mock draft

- Fantasy football rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

March 29, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Free Agency Update

Based (at least in part) on the (un)availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held a few weeks later than usual (May 8-10) this year.

From now until May 8th, I will make weekly updates to this mock and include additional rounds as we get closer. Ultimately, the goal will be a full seven-round mock draft.

Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of my mock (and all other site) updates.

For a second opinion, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database for other mocks around the internet.

Without further ado, here is my updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans (draft history): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Possessing much more talent than last year's 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 closed the season with a franchise-record 14-game losing streak, fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub, who was recently traded to the Raiders.

With the first overall pick in this year's draft, the new coaching staff has their choice of quarterbacks with whom to begin the next era if they so choose.

When asked who the Texans will select with the first overall pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle previously tweeted: "Each day I get asked multiple times: Who are Texans drafting? I tell them 1 of the 3 top QBs. Forget about any other position."

As tempting as it may be to pair one physical freak, J.J. Watt, with another, Jadeveon Clowney, I agree with McClain that quarterback is going to be the pick. The question remains, however: Which one of the three?

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is the most polished quarterback in this class even if his Pro Day did not show it. That said, there are concerns about Bridgewater's slender frame and ability to hold up to the pounding a quarterback can take.

On the other hand, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel had a stellar Pro Day performance on Thursday and his improvisational style makes him one of the most exciting players to watch. Plus, being an in-state prospect is another positive from a non-football (i.e., marketing) standpoint. With that said, Johnny Football has his own share of concerns: his celebrity persona (although he's saying the right things this offseason), ability to win within structure of offense as opposed to relying on athleticism, lack of height, etc.

Last but not least, Bortles has the prototypical size (6-5, 235), arm strength and mobility that teams covet in a franchise quarterback. Not only did Bill O'Brien get a firsthand view of Bortles as he led UCF to a win over O'Brien's Penn State team last year, but O'Brien was once part of George O'Leary's staff and that may lead to additional comfort and confidence in selecting Bortles to be the future face of the franchise.

[Related Poll: Vote here on which player the Texans will draft with the first overall pick.]

2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)(draft history): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

With the draft more than a month away, there is one thing that is certain: St. Louis will attempt to trade down from this slot to acquire additional picks. In an ideal world, the Rams, who own two top-13 picks, would like to move down a few spots to acquire additional draft picks.

If they are unable to move down, it could be a different choice between Jadeveon Clowney, the top prospect on our consensus big board, Clemson's Sammy Watkins and an offensive tackle like Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews.

Although Clowney is a once-in-a-decade type of prospect, the Rams had 53 sacks (third in NFL) last year and already have a dynamic duo of Robert Quinn and Chris Long at defensive end. Meanwhile, the Rams have used numerous early picks on receivers over the past few seasons. In fact, they have five top-100 selections at the position in their past three drafts including Tavon Austin at No. 8 overall last season.

Meanwhile, 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 a pass blocker: elite size (6-5, 332 pounds), arm length (35 inches) and athleticism (4.92 40-yard dash). And one of the biggest (literally) reasons that Auburn led the nation in rushing offense was Robinson.

His college teammate Avery Young said (via al.com): "Greg's a beast. He's so strong. At the same time, he's so athletic. The only person I know who can do backflips at his size."

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

If Clowney is still on the board at this spot, the Jags could be doing some backflips themselves.

Perhaps there would be some debate here for the Jaguars as they really need a franchise quarterback, but I can't see them passing up a talent like Clowney. If so, they could look for someone like Jimmy Garropolo with their early second-round pick.

Clowney's motivation and effort was questioned by many last season and his on-field production dropped significantly — 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in 2012; only 10.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks in 2013. That said, opposing defenses schemed to slow down Clowney with double and triple teams.

Viewed as a once-in-a-decade type of defensive line prospect, Clowney is a physical freak that ran an official 4.53 (unofficial 4.47) 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

The Jags were tied with the Bears for last in the league in sacks (31), but Clowney is a major step towards significantly upgrading Gus Bradley's pass rush to go along with some solid moves via free agency.

4. Cleveland Browns (draft history): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback. Since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had a league-leading (or really a league-worst) 20 starting quarterbacks.

Before an ACL injury sidelined him last season, Brian Hoyer played well and he has a shot to be the team's starter in Week 1 even if they draft a quarterback like I'm projecting here.

One of the most exciting, improvisational and polarizing players in college football, Manziel, the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner (in 2012), threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013.

With the ability to avoid pressure and make plays on the run, Manziel also improved quite a bit as a passer in 2013. In addition, Alabama coach Nick Saban called him one of the most competitive players he has ever faced. That said, Manziel will need to learn (a la Russell Wilson) to better avoid hits instead of seeking that extra yard or two.

5. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

In my pre-free agency update (and most mock updates prior to that), I had the Raiders selecting an offensive tackle. And there certainly is the possibility that they still do so. After losing Jared Veldheer in free agency, they signed Saffold, who then failed his physical. After that, they added tackles Donald Penn and Austin Howard.

Aside from losing Veldheer, the Raiders also lost Lamarr Houston, their leading pass-rusher (6.0 sacks) last season.

One of college football's most productive players ever, Mack is the all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and is tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah recently compared Mack to Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

6. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Perhaps the Falcons will be the team to move up in a trade with the Rams in order to secure a prospect like Clowney. In fact, Clowney is hoping for it.

In previous updates of my mock, I had the Falcons using this pick on Mack, but he's now off the board. The Falcons were tied with the Texans for 29th in the league in sacks so they will look to bolster their pass rush in the draft.

If Clowney and Mack are off the board, Matthews is a tremendous consolation prize. The Falcons are a pass-first team as they ranked third in the league in pass attempts so improving their protection of Matt Ryan should be another top priority for the team.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

While character concerns dropped Mike Williams in the draft three years ago, there was a report that Williams racked up more than $200,000 in fines for being late to meetings or missing rehab days last year. In addition, Williams was recently stabbed in the leg by his brother.

Even though Vincent Jackson has been highly productive (2,608 yards in his two seasons), he turned 31 years old last month.

With Watkins, the Bucs get the clear-cut top receiver prospect in this year's draft and he's an excellent value at seventh overall. Bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, Watkins had 101 catches for 1,464 and 12 touchdowns and closed out his collegiate career with a record-setting performance (16-227-2) in the Orange Bowl.

8. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Despite drafting Christian Ponder in the first round a few years ago and re-signing Matt Cassell on Saturday to a two-year contract, the Vikings long-term answer at quarterback is most likely not yet on the roster.

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. The most polished quarterback in this year's draft class, Bridgewater remains my top-ranked quarterback prospect even if he isn't the first one off the board in this mock.

9. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

I debated Ebron here with wide receiver Mike Evans, who was my previous choice for the Bills. Ultimately, I expect them to add a big red-zone target for E.J. Manuel.

A first team All-ACC selection, Ebron set the conference record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end this year. In fact, he has been compared to San Francisco's Vernon Davis, who previously held the record, due to his size and athleticism.

10. Detroit Lions (draft history): Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

One of the bigger winners at the Scouting Combine, Lewan (6-7, 309) ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.87) among offensive linemen. In fact, only four offensive linemen have posted faster times since 2006. In addition to his athleticism, Lewan possesses the size (6-foot-7, 309 pounds), length (33 7/8-inch arms) and demeanor to excel as he stays in state to continue his professional career.

- Continue to picks 11-20 here
- Continue to picks 21-32 here

- Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

- Check out my 2014 NBA mock draft

- Fantasy football rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

March 09, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Free Agency Update

Based (at least in part) on the (un)availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held a few weeks later than usual (May 8-10) this year.

From now until May 8th, I will make weekly updates to this mock and include additional rounds as we get closer. Ultimately, the goal will be a full seven-round mock draft.

With the start of the NFL free-agency roughly one week away (March 11th), however, team needs for many franchises could change significantly over the next couple of weeks. That said, this mock draft is based on what we know up to this point.

Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of my mock (and all other site) updates.

For a second opinion (sort of), check out a collaboration mock I did in early February with Sean Beazley, who picked for AFC teams, while I picked for NFC teams. For even more mocks, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database.

Without further ado, here is my 2014 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans (draft history): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Possessing much more talent than last year's 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 closed the season with a franchise-record 14-game losing streak, fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub.

While neither Schaub nor Case Keenum is the long-term answer at quarterback, the good news is head coach Bill O'Brien and the new Texans coaching staff own the top pick, which would allow them to potentially start the next era of the franchise's history with their own guy.

When asked who the Texans will select with the first overall pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle previously tweeted: "Each day I get asked multiple times: Who are Texans drafting? I tell them 1 of the 3 top QBs. Forget about any other position."

As tempting as it may be to pair one physical freak, J.J. Watt, with another, Jadeveon Clowney, I agree with McClain that quarterback is going to be the pick. The question remains, however: Which one of the three?

While Teddy Bridgewater is the most polished quarterback in this class and Johnny Manziel may be the most exciting (and polarizing), neither has the upside of Bortles, who possesses the prototypical measurements of the position.

[Related Poll: Vote here on which player the Texans will draft with the first overall pick.]

2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)(draft history): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

With the draft two months away, there is one thing that is certain: St. Louis will attempt to trade down from this slot to acquire additional picks. In an ideal world, the Rams, who own two top-13 picks, would like to move down a few spots and still get one of the top two offensive tackles while acquiring additional draft picks in the process.

If they are unable to move down, it would be hard to pass up on Jadeveon Clowney, the top prospect on our consensus big board, but the Rams had 53 sacks (third in NFL) last year and already have a dynamic duo of Robert Quinn and Chris Long at defensive end.

Meanwhile, Robinson has the upside to be a dominant left tackle for the next decade and it's a position of need for the Rams. Not only is left tackle Jake Long recovering from a torn ACL, but right tackle Rodger Saffold will be an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday.

Although the Tigers did not throw often, Robinson has all of the physical tools to develop as a pass blocker: elite size (6-5, 332 pounds), arm length (35 inches) and athleticism (4.92 40-yard dash). And one of the biggest (literally) reasons that Auburn led the nation in rushing offense was Robinson.

His college teammate Avery Young, brother of Lions DL Willie Young, said (via al.com): "Greg's a beast. He's so strong. At the same time, he's so athletic. The only person I know who can do backflips at his size."

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

There would be some debate here for the Jaguars as they really need a franchise quarterback, but I can't see them passing up a talent like Clowney. If so, they could look for someone like Jimmy Garropolo with their early second-round pick.

Not only was Clowney's motivation and effort questioned last season, but his on-field production dropped significantly — 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in 2012; only 10.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks in 2013. That said, opposing defenses schemed to slow down Clowney with double and triple teams.

Viewed as a once-in-a-decade type of defensive line prospect, Clowney is a physical freak that ran an official 4.53 (unofficial 4.47) 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

The Jags were tied with the Bears for last in the league in sacks (31), but Clowney is a major step towards significantly upgrading Gus Bradley's pass rush.

4. Cleveland Browns (draft history): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback. Since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had a league-leading (or really a league-worst) 20 starting quarterbacks.

Even though they (a previous regime -- technically, multiple regimes ago) selected Brandon Weeden in the first round in 2012, he is not in the team's long-term plans. On the other hand, Brian Hoyer played well before an ACL injury sidelined him for the rest of the season and he has a shot to be the team's starter in Week 1 even if they draft a quarterback like I'm projecting here.

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. The most polished quarterback in this year's draft class, Bridgewater remains my top-ranked quarterback prospect even if he isn't the first one off the board.

5. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Left tackle Jared Veldheer is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Although the Raiders drafted Menelik Watson in the second round last year, Robinson could be the pick especially if the team doesn't re-sign Veldheer.

Matthews, the son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce, was a first-team AP All-American in 2013 one year after sliding over from right tackle to protect Johnny Football.

* DraftKings: Play Daily Fantasy Sports and get a 100-percent bonus (up to $600) on your initial deposit.

6. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Perhaps the Falcons will be the team to move up in a trade with the Rams in order to secure a prospect like Clowney. In fact, Clowney is hoping for it.

Whether they do or don't trade up for Clowney, it's clear they need to improve their pass rush. Only two teams — the Bears and Jaguars (31 each) — had fewer sacks last season than the Falcons (32), who were tied with the Texans. The only player on the roster with more than five sacks in 2013 was Osi Umenyiora (7.5 sacks), who will be a free agent after the upcoming season.

One of college football's most productive players ever, Mack is the all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and is tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah recently compared Mack to Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

While character concerns dropped Mike Williams in the draft three years ago, there was a report that Williams racked up more than $200,000 in fines for being late to meetings or missing rehab days last year. Even though Vincent Jackson has been highly productive (2,608 yards in his two seasons), he turned 31 years old last month.

With Watkins, the Bucs get the clear-cut top receiver prospect in this year's draft. Bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, Watkins had 101 catches for 1,464 and 12 touchdowns and closed out his collegiate career with a record-setting performance (16-227-2) in the Orange Bowl.

8. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Despite drafting Christian Ponder in the first round a few years ago and re-signing Matt Cassell on Saturday to a two-year contract, the Vikings long-term answer at quarterback is most likely not yet on the roster.

One of the most exciting, improvisational and polarizing players in college football, Manziel, the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner (in 2012), threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013.

With the ability to avoid pressure and make plays on the run, Manziel also improved quite a bit as a passer in 2013. In addition, Alabama coach Nick Saban called him one of the most competitive players he has ever faced. That said, Manziel will need to learn (a la Russell Wilson) to better avoid hits instead of seeking that extra yard or two.

9. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

In his sophomore campaign, Evans had 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns with a ton of production against Alabama and Auburn. In those two games combined, Evans had 18 catches for 566 yards and five touchdowns. A big target (6-foot-5, 225 pounds), Evans has been compared to Vincent Jackson and would give the Bills a big red-zone target.

10. Detroit Lions (draft history): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Even with two Day 2 picks at corner over the past couple of years, you can never have enough talented cornerbacks and the Lions ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing defense.

The first cornerback off the board in my mock, Dennard, the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's best defensive back, and he was a consensus first-team All-American.

While there was some concern about his long speed, Dennard ran a respectable 4.51 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine to help alleviate some of those concerns.

- Continue to picks 11-20 here
- Continue to picks 21-32 here

- Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

- Check out my 2014 NBA mock draft

- Fantasy football rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

March 03, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft: (March 3rd update)

Based (at least in part) on the (un)availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held a few weeks later than usual (May 8-10) this year.

From now until May 8th, I will make weekly updates to this mock and include additional rounds as we get closer. Ultimately, the goal will be a full seven-round mock draft.

With the start of the NFL free-agency roughly one week away (March 11th), however, team needs for many franchises could change significantly over the next couple of weeks. That said, this mock draft is based on what we know up to this point.

Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of my mock (and all other site) updates.

For a second opinion (sort of), check out a collaboration mock I did in early February with Sean Beazley, who picked for AFC teams, while I picked for NFC teams. For even more mocks, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database.

Without further ado, here is my 2014 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans (draft history): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Possessing much more talent than last year's 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 closed the season with a franchise-record 14-game losing streak, fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub.

While neither Schaub nor Case Keenum is the long-term answer at quarterback, the good news is head coach Bill O'Brien and the new Texans coaching staff own the top pick, which would allow them to potentially start the next era of the franchise's history with their own guy.

When asked who the Texans will select with the first overall pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle previously tweeted: "Each day I get asked multiple times: Who are Texans drafting? I tell them 1 of the 3 top QBs. Forget about any other position."

As tempting as it may be to pair one physical freak, J.J. Watt, with another, Jadeveon Clowney, I agree with McClain that quarterback is going to be the pick. The question remains, however: Which one of the three?

While Teddy Bridgewater is the most polished quarterback in this class and Johnny Manziel may be the most exciting (and polarizing), neither has the upside of Bortles, who possesses the prototypical measurements of the position.

[Related Poll: Vote here on which player the Texans will draft with the first overall pick.]

2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)(draft history): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

There is one thing that seems certain despite the draft being more than two months away: St. Louis will attempt to trade down from this slot to acquire additional picks. In an ideal world, the Rams, who own two top-13 picks, would like to move down a few spots and still get one of the top two offensive tackles while acquiring additional draft picks in the process.

If they are unable to move down, it would still be hard to pass up on Clowney even if he doesn't fill a position of need. In fact, the Rams ranked third in the NFL with 53 sacks last year. By adding Clowney to the talented defensive end tandem of Robert Quinn and Chris Long, the team's pass rush under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would be relentless as he rotates them in and out.

Not only was Clowney's motivation and effort questioned last season, but his on-field production dropped significantly — 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in 2012; only 10.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks in 2013. That said, opposing defenses schemed to slow down Clowney, the top prospect on our consensus big board, with double and triple teams.

Viewed as a once-in-a-decade type of defensive line prospect, Clowney is a physical freak that ran an official 4.53 (unofficial 4.47) 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine last month.

As freakish as his on-field performance was, that wasn't a surprise and what happens behind closed doors during the interviews (and medical checks) is always the most important element(s) of the combine and especially so in Clowney's case.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

After an 0-8 start before the bye, the Jaguars went .500 in their final eight games and have a few reasons to be optimistic about the direction of the team. One of the reasons for optimism, however, is not their quarterback play. Whether or not Blaine Gabbert is back in 2014, he is not the long-term answer and he is scheduled to become a free agent in 2015.

[On a semi-related note, remember this song? Horrible but funny.]

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. The most polished quarterback in this year's draft class, Bridgewater remains my top-ranked quarterback prospect even if he isn't the first one off the board.

4. Cleveland Browns (draft history): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback. Since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had a league-leading (or really a league-worst) 20 starting quarterbacks.

Even though they (a previous regime -- technically, multiple regimes ago) selected Brandon Weeden in the first round in 2012, he is not in the team's long-term plans. On the other hand, Brian Hoyer played well before an ACL injury sidelined him for the rest of the season and he has a shot to be the team's starter in Week 1 even if they draft a quarterback like I'm projecting here.

One of the most exciting, improvisational and polarizing players in college football, Manziel, the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner (in 2012), threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013.

With the ability to avoid pressure and make plays on the run, Manziel also improved quite a bit as a passer in 2013. In addition, Alabama coach Nick Saban called him one of the most competitive players he has ever faced. That said, Manziel will need to learn (a la Russell Wilson) to better avoid hits instead of seeking that extra yard or two.

5. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

In a best-case scenario for the Raiders, they likely hope that one of the top-three quarterbacks or Clowney falls to them at No. 5. With many holes and areas of need, it's possible that the Raiders go with Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins or Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack here.

That said, left tackle Jared Veldheer is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Although the Raiders drafted Menelik Watson in the second round last year, Robinson could be the pick especially if the team doesn't re-sign Veldheer.

Although the Tigers did not throw often, Robinson has all of the physical tools to develop as a pass blocker: elite size (6-5, 332 pounds), arm length (35 inches) and athleticism (4.92 40-yard dash). And one of the biggest (literally) reasons that Auburn led the nation in rushing offense was Robinson.

His college teammate Avery Young, brother of Lions DL Willie Young, said (via al.com): "Greg's a beast. He's so strong. At the same time, he's so athletic. The only person I know who can do backflips at his size."

6. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Perhaps the Falcons will be the team to move up in a trade with the Rams in order to secure a prospect like Clowney. In fact, Clowney is hoping for it.

Whether they do or don't trade up for Clowney, it's clear they need to improve their pass rush. Only two teams — the Bears and Jaguars (31 each) — had fewer sacks last season than the Falcons (32), who were tied with the Texans. The only player on the roster with more than five sacks in 2013 was Osi Umenyiora (7.5 sacks), who will be a free agent after the upcoming season.

One of college football's most productive players ever, Mack is the all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and is tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah recently compared Mack to Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

While character concerns dropped Mike Williams in the draft three years ago, there was a report that Williams racked up more than $200,000 in fines for being late to meetings or missing rehab days. Even though Vincent Jackson has been highly productive (2,608 yards in his two seasons), he turned 31 years old last month.

With Watkins, the Bucs get the clear-cut top receiver prospect in this year's draft. Bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, Watkins had 101 catches for 1,464 and 12 touchdowns and closed out his collegiate career with a record-setting performance (16-227-2) in the Orange Bowl.

8. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Alternating between Christian Ponder, Josh Freeman and Matt Cassel last season, the Vikings clearly remain unsettled at the position heading into 2014 although they will almost certainly draft a quarterback early in the 2014 draft. In fact, Freeman is a soon-to-be free agent and Cassel has voided his contract to become a free agent.

It's been a phenomenal season for Carr, the brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr, as he led the nation in both passing yards (5,082) 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.

Despite the gaudy stats, Carr has the physical tools to potentially be the top quarterback in this year's draft class, but there are also concerns about the level of competition he has faced as well. Against the toughest competition he faced, however, Carr had his worst performance of the season in his last collegiate game: 53.7 completion percentage, 216 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

At the Senior Bowl, however, Carr had an excellent week. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah wrote, "Carr was clearly the top signal-caller during the week of practices and he played at a high level during the game on Saturday afternoon. He had plenty of arm strength to cut through a heavy wind early in the week and he threw the ball accurately both from the pocket and on the move. I talked to a few teams that interviewed him and they came away very impressed with his maturity and football intelligence."

9. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Matthews, the son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce, was a first-team AP All-American in 2013 one year after sliding over from right tackle to protect Johnny Football.

With Cordy Glenn having an excellent season in 2013, the Bills are set on the left side unless they move Glenn over for Matthews. That said, (current) starting right tackle Erik Pears is set to become a free agent after the 2014 season and Matthews has the versatility to play either spot.

10. Detroit Lions (draft history): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Even with two Day 2 picks at corner over the past couple of years, you can never have enough talented cornerbacks and the Lions ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing defense.

The first cornerback off the board in my mock, Dennard, the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's best defensive back, and he was a consensus first-team All-American.

While there was some concern about his long speed, Dennard ran a respectable 4.51 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine to help alleviate some of those concerns.

- Continue to picks 11-20 here
- Continue to picks 21-32 here

- Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

- Check out my 2014 NBA mock draft

- Fantasy football rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

February 25, 2014

2014 NFL Scouting Combine: Fastest DB 40-yard dash times

One of the concerns about Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard was his recovery speed and he ran well today in the 40-yard dash to help ease those concerns a bit.

While both of his 40-yard dash times were sub-4.5 unofficially (4.42 and 4.46), he was officially clocked at 4.51.

With both Dennard and Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert off the board in the first half of my mock draft, today's workouts only further solidified that to be a very likely scenario.

What is less clear now is which of the two cornerbacks will be selected first.

Gilbert ran the fastest 40 among the defensive back group, but he had the fourth fastest overall behind Kent State's Dri Archer (4.26), Oregon State's Brandin Cooks (4.33) and Pittsburg State's John Brown (4.34).

Here are the top 10 performances among defensive backs today in the 40-yard dash:

1. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State: 4.37
2. Phillip Gaines, Rice: 4.38
2. Jason Verrett, TCU: 4.38
4. Bradley Roby, Ohio State: 4.39
5. Brandon Dixon, NW Missouri State: 4.41
5. Jaylen Watkins, Florida: 4.41
7. Terrence Brooks, Florida State: 4.42
8. Kendall James, Maine: 4.44
9. Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State: 4.45
9. Jabari Price, North Carolina: 4.45

For full defensive back combine results, click here.

More Combine Results: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB

More 2014 NFL Draft Content: My mock draft | Our Big Board | Prospect rankings

February 24, 2014

2014 NFL Scouting Combine: Fastest LB 40-yard dash times

Earlier this morning, South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney led all defensive linemen with a 4.53 official 40-yard dash time.

If Clowney ran with the linebacker group, he would have finished third at the position.

While Alabama's C.J. Mosley did not run today, the other top-three linebackers Khalil Mack of Buffalo and Anthony Barr of UCLA did. The times and splits for both Mack and Barr were nearly identical and Mack officially edged Barr by one one-hundredth of a second.

Here are the top 15 performances among linebackers today in the 40-yard dash:

1. Kevin Pierre-Louis, Boston College: 4.51
2. Telvin Smith, Florida State: 4.52
3. Lamin Barrow, LSU: 4.64
4. Khalil Mack, Buffalo: 4.65
4. Ronald Powell, Florida: 4.65
6. Anthony Barr, UCLA: 4.66
6. Boseko Lokombo, Oregon: 4.66
6. Avery Williamson, Kentucky: 4.66
9. Jordan Tripp, Montana: 4.67
10. Adrian Hubbard, Alabama: 4.69
11. Khairi Fortt, California: 4.70
11. Devon Kennard, USC: 4.70
13. Prince Shembo, Notre Dame: 4.71
13. Kyle Van Noy, BYU: 4.71
15. Anthony Hitchens, Iowa: 4.74

For full linebackers combine results, click here.

More Combine Results: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | DB

More 2014 NFL Draft Content: My mock draft | Our Big Board | Prospect rankings

2014 NFL Scouting Combine: Jadeveon Clowney runs 4.53 40-yard dash

South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney had previously stated that it was his goal to run the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds.

While Clowney ran the forty in less than 4.5 in both of his runs unofficially, his offical 40 time was 4.53, which was the fastest among the group.

On Sunday, Auburn's Dee Ford said he was a better prospect than Clowney and described him as a "a blind dog in a meat market."

With the defensive linemen on the field today, Ford was unable to run due to medical reasons.

"I feel fine. Everything is fine. It's what they call a medical precaution that they wanted to go through, and they don't want to risk anything here," Ford said (via NFL.com). "So I had the medical exclusion. It's very unfortunate. I'm very disappointed. I came to really compete in this combine but, you know, it's all good. I'm still going to stay here and support my peers."

Here are the top 15 performances among defensive linemen today in the 40-yard dash:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: 4.53
2. Larry Webster, Bloomsburg: 4.58
3. Howard Jones, Shepherd: 4.60
4. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas: 4.63
5. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh: 4.68
5. Marcus Smith, Louisville: 4.68
7. James Gayle, Virginia Tech: 4.70
8. Chris Smith, Arkansas: 4.71
9. Kareem Martin, North Carolina: 4.72
10. Jonathan Newsome, Ball State: 4.73
11. Will Clarke, West Virginia: 4.77
12. Kasim Edebali, Boston College: 4.79
13. Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State: 4.80
14. Scott Crichton, Oregon State: 4.84
14. Zach Moore, Concordia: 4.84

For full defensive linemen combine results, click here.

More Combine Results: QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | LB | DB

More 2014 NFL Draft Content: My mock draft | Our Big Board | Prospect rankings

February 23, 2014

2014 NFL Scouting Combine: Fastest 40-yard dash times for WRs

While he may not be the biggest of receivers (5-9 3/4, 189), Oregon State's Brandon Cooks followed up a very productive 2012 season with a huge year in 2013.

Cooks, the Biletnikoff award winner, finished with 128 receptions for 1,730 yards, the most in college football, and 16 touchdowns. He added two rushing touchdowns as well.

(Last season, he finished with 67 receptions for 1,151 yards and five touchdowns.)

This weekend, Cooks made himself some money with a strong all-around performance at the NFL Scouting Combine.

With a respectable 16 reps on bench press (at 225 pounds), Cooks was tied for ninth at the position despite being one of the smaller receivers. When it came to timed combine events, however, that is where Cooks really stood out.

Not only did Cooks run the fastest 40-yard dash among receivers, but he also demonstrated the ability to change directions quickly with the fastest shuttle times at the position as well: 20-yard shuttle of 3.81 and 60-yard shuttle of 10.72.

Here are the top 15 performances among wide receivers today in the 40-yard dash:

1. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: 4.33
2. John Brown, Pittsburg State (KS): 4.34
3. Donte Moncrief, Mississippi: 4.40
3. Paul Richardson, Colorado: 4.40
5. Martavis Bryant, Clemson: 4.42
5. Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State: 4.42
7. Odell Beckham Jr., LSU: 4.43
7. Sammy Watkins, Clemson: 4.43
7. Albert Wilson, Georgia State: 4.43
10. Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma: 4.44
11. Bruce Ellington, South Carolina: 4.45
11. Quincy Enunwa, Nebraska: 4.45
13. Mike Campanaro, Wake Forest: 4.46
13. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: 4.46
13. Tevin Reese, Baylor: 4.46

For full wide receiver combine results, click here.

More Combine Results: QB | RB | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

More 2014 NFL Draft Content: My mock draft | Our Big Board | Prospect rankings

2014 NFL Scouting Combine: Fastest 40-yard dash times for RBs

With the offensive players done, it will be up to a defensive player to break Chris Johnson's record in the 40-yard dash (if it's going to happen).

That said, Kent State's Dri Archer nearly beat the 4.24 that CJ2K ran back in 2008.

Here are the top 15 performances today among running backs in the 40-yard dash:

1. Dri Archer, Kent State: 4.26
2. Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern: 4.41
3. Henry Josey, Missouri: 4.43
4. Damien Williams, Oklahoma: 4.45
5. Ladarius Perkins, Mississippi State: 4.46
6. George Atkinson III, Notre Dame: 4.48
6. Tim Cornett, UNLV: 4.48
6. Charles Sims, West Virginia: 4.48
9. Tyler Gaffney, Stanford: 4.49
9. Bishop Sankey, Washington: 4.49
11. Tre Mason, Auburn: 4.50
11. De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon: 4.50
13. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor: 4.51
14. Terrance West, Towson: 4.54
15. Andre Williams, Boston College: 4.56

For full running back combine results, click here.

More Combine Results: QB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

More 2014 NFL Draft Content: My mock draft | Our Big Board | Prospect rankings

2014 NFL Scouting Combine: 40-yard dash times for QBs

Not only did several of the top quarterbacks in year's draft class not throw today at the NFL Scouting Combine, but some didn't even run.

Of course, the most important parts of the combine involve the parts that are not televised on NFL Network: the medical evaluations and team interviews.

That said, I share Tajh Boyd's sentiments when it comes to players not working out.

When asked by ESPN's Josina Anderson about Teddy Bridgewater not throwing or running, Boyd said, "I thought we were here to compete."

While Bridgewater didn't run, here are the official 40-yard dash times for quarterbacks that did participate today:

1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: 4.61
2. Stephen Morris, Miami (FL): 4.63
3. Connor Shaw, South Carolina: 4.66
4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 4.68
5. Derek Carr, Fresno State: 4.69
6. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois: 4.76
7. Tajh Boyd, Clemson: 4.84
8. Bryn Renner, North Carolina: 4.87
9. Blake Bortles, Central Florida: 4.93
10. A.J. McCarron, Alabama: 4.94
11. Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M: 4.95
12. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois: 4.97
12. Tom Savage, Pittsburgh: 4.97
14. David Fales, San Jose State: 4.99
15. Keith Wenning, Ball State: 5.00

For full quarterback combine results, click here.

More Combine Results: RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

More 2014 Draft Content: My mock draft | Our Big Board | Prospect rankings

February 20, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Big Board (Pre-Combine Update): Clowney still unanimous No. 1

Only a couple of days away from the on-field workouts at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, we have updated our consensus 2014 NFL Draft Big Board.

Based on top-50 rankings from both Brendan Donahue and myself, we average out the rankings to arrive at a consensus ranking.

Once again, we are both in agreement as who the No. 1 prospect is in this year's draft class and that's South Carolina junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Although his production declined in 2013 and some questioned his motivation and work ethic, Clowney is a physical freak and a once-in-a-decade type of prospect.

While his on-field performance at the combine matters much less than the impressions he leaves in the interview rooms, Clowney has stated that it his goal to run a 4.4 forty, which is insane for a defensive line prospect.

[Related: We will update all combine results here.]

After Clowney, Brendan and I differ on which prospect is next best. Brendan has Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater ranked second while I have Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews second.

Based on our rankings, here are the top 15 prospects on our big board:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (AVG: 1.0, KH: 1, BD: 1)
T2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (AVG: 3.5, KH: 5, BD: 2)
T2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (AVG: 3.5, KH: 2, BD: 5)
4. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo (AVG: 4.0, KH: 4, BD: 4)
5. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn (AVG: 4.5, KH: 3, BD: 6)
6. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (AVG: 5.0, KH: 7, BD: 3)
7. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (AVG: 7.0, KH: 6, BD: 8)
8. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama (AVG: 7.5, KH: 8, BD: 7)
9. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M (AVG: 9.5, KH: 9, BD: 10)
10. Marqise Lee, WR, USC (AVG: 12.0, KH: 12, BD: 12)
T11. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (AVG: 12.5, KH: 14, BD: 11)
T11. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (AVG: 12.5, KH: 16, BD: 9)
T11. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (AVG: 12.5, KH: 10, BD: 15)
T11. Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina (AVG: 12.5, KH: 11, BD: 14)
15. Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida (AVG: 14.5, KH: 13, BD: 16)

- See rest of our top-50 big board here

More NFL Draft Content: My 2014 NFL Mock Draft - Our Mock Draft Database - Prospect Rankings

Keep track of our site's updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle

February 16, 2014

NFL Draft Poll: Who will the Texans select with the No. 1 pick?

With a couple of high-profile quarterbacks returning for their redshirt junior seasons in 2014, many would argue that next year's quarterback class is much more talented at the top than this year's group.

In some early 2015 mock drafts, I've seen Oregon's Marcus Mariota, UCLA's Brett Hundley and Florida State's Jameis Winston, the second consecutive freshman Heisman winner, all go in the top five -- and even top three -- picks.

No. 1 Pick in 2014 NFL Draft?
With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select ... ?
Teddy Bridgewater
Blake Bortles
Johnny Manziel
Jadeveon Clowney


view results

For the Houston Texans, however, next year's (quarterback) class (at the top) may not matter too much.

Loaded with talent, the Texans were the pick of many (including me) in the preseason to represent the AFC in Super Bowl XLVIII. Obviously, that prediction couldn't have been any further off as the Texans lost a franchise-worst 14 consecutive games to close the season.

For their troubles, however, the Texans have the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. And if there is a position in need of an upgrade for the Texans, it's quarterback.

When asked (or at least in a tweeted general response), John McClain of the Houston Chronicle expects the pick to be one of three quarterbacks: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel.

Manziel has said (via McClain): "I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front-office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, 'This kid is 100 percent, can't miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.' "

Johnny Football would make plenty of sense from a marketing standpoint, but I really don't see Manziel being the pick. (Considering my prediction track record, that probably means it's going to be Manziel.)

Of the other two, Bridgewater has more polish but Bortles has more upside. While some are worried about Bridgewater's frame and his ability to hold up to the pounding that NFL quarterbacks can take, Bortles has the prototypical size that many teams covet and some feel he'd best fit with what Bill O'Brien seeks in a franchise quarterback.

If the Texans decide to wait on quarterback, it's possible that they draft Jadeveon Clowney, the best defensive end prospect in many years and the top-ranked prospect on our consensus big board.

With the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, who will the Texans take?

Related: My 2014 NFL mock - our mock draft database

February 14, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft (Feb. 14th update)

Based (at least in part) on the (un)availability of Radio City Music Hall in New York City in April, the 2014 NFL Draft will be held a few weeks later than usual (May 8-10) this year.

From now until May 8th, I will make weekly updates to this mock and include additional rounds as we get closer. Ultimately, the goal will be a full seven-round mock draft.

With the start of the NFL free-agency period nearly a month away (March 11th), however, team needs for many franchises could change significantly over the next month. That said, this mock draft is based on what we know up to this point.

Follow me on Twitter (@EDSFootball) to keep track of my mock (and all other site) updates.

For a second opinion (sort of), check out a collaboration mock I recently did with Sean Beazley, who picked for AFC teams, while I picked for NFC teams. For even more mocks, check out our 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database.

Without further ado, here is my 2014 NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans (draft history): Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

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 closed the season with a franchise-record 14-game losing streak, fired their head coach and benched starting quarterback Matt Schaub.

Neither Schaub nor Case Keenum is the long-term answer at quarterback, but the good news is new coach Bill O'Brien and the new Texans coaching staff own the top pick to help start the next era with their guy.

When asked who the Texans will select with the first overall pick, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle recently tweeted: "Each day I get asked multiple times: Who are Texans drafting? I tell them 1 of the 3 top QBs. Forget about any other position."

As tempting as it may be to pair a tandem of physical freaks at defensive end with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney, I agree with McClain that quarterback is going to be the pick. The question remains, however: Which one?

While Teddy Bridgewater is the most polished quarterback in this class and Johnny Manziel may be the most exciting (and polarizing), neither has the upside of Bortles.

2. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)(draft history): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Not only was Clowney's motivation and effort questioned this season, but his on-field production dropped significantly — 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks in 2012; only 10.5 TFL and 3.0 sacks this year.

With that said, Clowney, the top prospect on our consensus big board, is a physical freak and once-in-a-decade type of defensive line prospect.

While Clowney recently stated that it's his goal to run a 4.4 forty at the combine later this month, it's his interviews, not physical workouts (as impressive as they may be), that matter the most in Indianapolis.

While some mocks may project an offensive tackle here (and I think that's the pick if Clowney does go No. 1), the Rams will likely try to trade down to acquire additional picks. If they are unable to do so, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will have a ferocious pass rush with the addition of Clowney to the talented tandem of Robert Quinn and Chris Long.

[Related: See list of NFL Scouting Combine invites here.]

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

After an 0-8 start before the bye, the Jaguars went .500 in their final eight games and have a few reasons to be optimistic about the direction of the team. One of the reasons for optimism, however, is not their quarterback play. Whether or not Blaine Gabbert is back in 2014, he is not the long-term answer and he is scheduled to become a free agent in 2015.

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.

4. Cleveland Browns (draft history): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns have several young talented players, but it's been a long time since they've had a franchise quarterback. Since the franchise returned to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had a league-leading (or really a league-worst) 20 starting quarterbacks.

Even though they (a previous regime) selected Brandon Weeden in the first round in 2012, he is not in the team's long-term plans. On the other hand, Brian Hoyer played well before an ACL injury sidelined him for the rest of the season and he has a shot to be the team's starter in Week 1 even if they draft a quarterback like I'm projecting.

One of the most exciting and polarizing players in college football, Manziel, the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner (in 2012), threw for 3,732 yards, 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and ran for another 686 yards and eight touchdowns in 2013.

With the ability to avoid pressure and make plays on the run, Manziel improved quite a bit as a passer in 2013. In addition, Alabama coach Nick Saban called him one of the most competitive players he has ever faced. That said, Manziel will need to learn (a la Russell Wilson) to better avoid hits instead of seeking that extra yard or two.

5. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

In an ideal world, the Raiders hope that one of the first four players off the board in this mock fall to them at No. 5. That said, left tackle Jared Veldheer is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Although the Raiders drafted Menelik Watson in the second round last year, Matthews (or Auburn's Greg Robinson) could be the pick especially if the team doesn't re-sign Veldheer.

Matthews, the son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce, was a first-team AP All-American in 2013 one year after sliding over from right tackle to protect Johnny Football.

* DraftKings: Play Daily Fantasy Sports and get a 100-percent bonus (up to $600) on your initial deposit.

6. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Tied with the Raiders, Vikings and Seahawks, the Falcons allowed the 10th-most sacks in the NFL last season. While Matthews is most pro-ready tackle in the draft, none have a higher ceiling than Robinson.

One of the biggest (literally) reasons that Auburn led the nation in rushing offense was Robinson. His college teammate Avery Young, brother of Lions DL Willie Young, said (via al.com): "Greg's a beast. He's so strong. At the same time, he's so athletic. The only person I know who can do backflips at his size."

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

While character concerns dropped Mike Williams in the draft four years ago, there was a report that Williams racked up more than $200,000 in fines for being late to meetings or missing rehab days. Even though Vincent Jackson has been highly productive (2,608 yards in his two seasons), he turned 31 years old last month.

With Watkins, they get a guy that has the potential to develop into a second No. 1 type of receiver. Bouncing back from a disappointing sophomore campaign, Watkins had 101 catches for 1,464 and 12 touchdowns and closed out his collegiate career with a record-setting performance (16-227-2) in the Orange Bowl.

8. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

In my previous update, I had the Vikings going with Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr. And with Christian Ponder being the only quarterback under contract, that is certainly still an option here.

One of college football's most productive players ever, Mack is the all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and is tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah recently compared Mack to another linebacker within this division: Green Bay's Clay Matthews.

9. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

A first team All-ACC selection, Ebron set the conference record for most receiving yards in a season by a tight end this year. In fact, he has been compared to San Francisco's Vernon Davis, who previously held the record, due to his size and athleticism.

10. Detroit Lions (draft history): Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Even with two Day 2 picks at corner over the past couple of years, you can never have enough talented cornerbacks and the Lions ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing defense.

The first cornerback off the board in my mock, Dennard, the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation's best defensive back, and he was a consensus first-team All-American.

- Continue to picks 11-20 here
- Continue to picks 21-32 here

- Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

- Fantasy football rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.

February 10, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Collaboration, 1.0

With the 2013 NFL season officially in the books, Sean Beazley and I have once again (like last year) completed a joint mock draft.

Sean picked for all AFC teams while I picked for all NFC teams and both of us made comments for our own picks.

As we move through the offseason, we will update this "collaboration" mock and also switch things up — alternating odd and even picks, Sean picking for the NFC, etc.

[For more mocks, check out my 2014 NFL mock and/or our 2014 NFL mock draft database. To keep track of our updates, follow @EDSFootball on Twitter.]

Here is how the first round shakes out in our first collaboration mock for the 2014 NFL Draft:

1. (Sean) Houston Texans (draft history) - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

[SB] I expect Clowney to put up some pretty sick numbers this month at the Combine at Indy. The Texans already have one horse at defensive end in J.J. Watt; now they will have another. This tandem will make this defense one of the fiercest in the league again. The Texans pass on QB until Round 2, where someone should fall to them.

2. (Kevin) St. Louis Rams (draft history) - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

[KH] No matter who the Texans select at No. 1, the Rams will likely try to deal this pick and move down. If the Rams are unable to find a suitable trade partner, the Rams would prefer for the Texans to draft a quarterback (as John McClain of the Houston Chronicle projects) and then be able to select Clowney here, but obviously that's not what happened in our mock.

A starter at left tackle last season, Matthews started on the right side earlier in his Aggies career and has the versatility to play either spot. With left tackle Jake Long coming off a torn ACL and right tackle Rodger Saffold scheduled to become a free agent, Matthews is a talented yet safe pick at a position of need.

3. (Sean) Jacksonville Jaguars (draft history) - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

[SB] I'm not a huge fan of any quarterback in this draft class, but Bortles has the most upside of any of them. I truly do think the best move for the Jags is to draft an elite pass rusher and then solve their quarterback situation on Day 2, but that would be too risky for a franchise that needs a new identity.

4. (Sean) Cleveland Browns (draft history) - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

[SB] Watkins teamed with Josh Gordon would be a great combo for any quarterback. The Browns hold the 26th pick thanks to the Trent Richardson deal, and I think they can either stand pat at 26 for their future signal-caller, or move back up if Manziel or Bridgewater slips. Watkins is also great insurance if Gordon slips up and gets a full-year suspension.

5. (Sean) Oakland Raiders (draft history) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

[SB] Robinson is the best player available (BPA) on my board and I expect left tackle Jared Veldheer to test free agency and sign elsewhere. Oakland needs to solidify their offensive line before spending a first-round pick on a quarterback.

6. (Kevin) Atlanta Falcons (draft history) - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

[KH] Only two teams had fewer sacks than the Falcons (32) last year, but the Falcons only had one more sack than the Bears and Jaguars (tied with 31). To make matters worse, Osi Umyeniora, a player with declining skills and a free agent after 2014, was the only Falcon to record more than 5.0 sacks last season.

A converted running back, Barr had at least 20 TFL and double-digit sacks for a second consecutive season.

7. (Kevin) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history) - Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

[KH] Starting strong-side linebacker Dekoda Watson will be a free agent in March and Mack was one of college football's most productive players ever. The all-time leader in forced fumbles (16) and tied for the most tackles for loss (75) in NCAA history, it wouldn't surprise me if Mack is the first linebacker off the board.

8. (Kevin) Minnesota Vikings (draft history) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

[KH] Last year, the Vikings started Christian Ponder, Matt Cassell and Josh Freeman in various weeks. While none played great, Cassel played the best and he has opted out of the final year of his contract. While I think it's unlikely that only one quarterback is off the board by this spot, especially with so many quarterback-needy teams picking in the top five, new offensive coordinator Norv Turner is certainly not going to complain.

While some may question his frame (i.e., ability to hold up to the pounding an NFL quarterback can take) 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.

9. (Sean) Buffalo Bills (draft history) - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

[SB] I'm all for surrounding my young QB with weapons. It wouldn't shock me to see them draft Marqise Lee either, but I think having a good receiving tight end is just as important, and Ebron is the top tight end in this year's draft. Ebron should step in and replace Scott Chandler, who is expected to go elsewhere this offseason.

10. (Kevin) Detroit Lions (draft history) - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

[KH] Even with two Day 2 picks at corner over the past couple of years, the Lions ranked 23rd in the NFL in passing defense last year. Dennard, the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award, is a physical corner that led a Spartans pass defense that ranked sixth in the country (167.4 passing yards allowed per game).

- Continue to picks 11-20 here - Continue to picks 21-32 here

- 2014 NFL Mock Draft from Kevin Hanson

- Mock Draft Databases: 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database | 2014 NBA Mock Draft Database

- Fantasy football rankings: Quarterbacks - Running Backs - Wide Receivers - Tight Ends

To keep track of our updates: (1) follow us on Twitter, (2) LIKE us on Facebook and/or (3) add us to your Google+ circle.




Previous 15 Entries

2014 NFL Mock Draft (Feb. 1st update): Bridgewater still going No. 1 Feb 1, 2014
UPDATED: 2014 NFL Draft Consensus Big Board Jan 26, 2014
2014 NFL Mock Draft: 1/7/14 Update Jan 7, 2014
Report: UCLA QB Brett Hundley to return in 2014 Jan 5, 2014
USC WR Marqise Lee to enter the 2014 NFL Draft Jan 3, 2014
Teddy Bridgewater to enter 2014 NFL Draft Jan 1, 2014
2014 NFL Draft Big Board - Dec. 24th Update Dec 24, 2013
2014 NFL Mock Draft (12/22 update): Teddy Bridgewater to Texans Dec 22, 2013
2014 NFL Mock Draft Update: Teddy Bridgewater to the Jaguars Oct 5, 2013
Johnny Manziel being investigated by NCAA for selling autographs Aug 4, 2013
Updated 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Jadeveon Clowney to the Jets Aug 2, 2013
Ohio State CB Bradley Roby arrested this weekend on battery charges Jul 22, 2013
Florida LB Antonio Morrison arrested for barking at a police dog, resisting arrest Jul 21, 2013
Johnny Manziel kicked out of Manning Passing Academy Jul 14, 2013
2014 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Top 10 Draft-Eligible Quarterbacks Jun 10, 2013





Play 2013 Fantasy Football: