2014 NFL Mock Draft - Kevin Hanson
While it's a big jump from FCS to NFL-level competition, it wouldn't be a surprise if Garoppolo was the fifth quarterback off the board and selected early in the second round (as my mock projects). From the same school as Tony Romo and Sean Payton, Garoppolo has put together an impressive offseason from the East-West Shrine Game to the Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine.
34. Washington Redskins (draft history): Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
While he lacks ideal size, there isn't much else that Verrett lacks. Verrett has sub-4.4 speed, excellent ball skills and plays more physically than his frame (5-9, 189) would suggest. If Verrett lasts until Day 2, he would be an excellent pick for the Redskins, who allowed 29 passing touchdowns last season.
* Projected Trade: Browns send their second first-round pick (No. 26 overall) and their second-round (No. 35 overall) to the Titans for the 11th overall pick.
35. Tennessee Titans (draft history): Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
After a dominant 2012 season, things did not go nearly as well for Nix in 2013 on multiple fronts. Not only did he begin the season a bit overweight, but he sustained a knee injury that forced him to miss the final three games of the season. That said, Nix has excellent quickness for a man with his size (331 pounds) and strength. As the Titans transition to a 3-4 scheme, adding a nose tackle like Nix would make sense here.
36. Oakland Raiders (draft history): Demarcus Lawrence, DE/OLB, Boise State
Despite the free-agent additions of Lamarr Woodley and Justin Tuck, both of whom signed two-year contracts, the Raiders lost Lamarr Houston, the team's leader in sacks (6.0), as well. Lawrence has had his share of off-the-field issues, but he is an explosive pass-rusher and adding another pass-rusher would make sense for the Raiders. Lawrence had 20.5 tackles for loss (sixth in the country) last year in addition to 10.5 sacks, which led the Mountain West Conference.
37. Atlanta Falcons (draft history): Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn
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. The Falcons take a step toward improving their pass rush by adding an explosive edge rusher like Ford.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (draft history): Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
After selecting Evans with the seventh overall pick, the Bucs add another weapon in the passing game. A first-team All-American choice, Amaro had 98 receptions for 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns for the Red Raiders last season.
* Projected Trade: Jags send their second-round pick (39th overall), fourth-round pick (105th overall) and fifth-round pick (144th overall) to the Patriots for their first-round pick (29th overall).
39. New England Patriots (draft history): Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
Coming off a torn ACL in September, Easley has now had a torn ACL in both knees over the past three years. If it weren't for the injury history, Easley would easily be a first-round selection. Even so, he's a nice value early in the second round.
40. Minnesota Vikings (draft history): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
While the Vikings gave Everson Griffen a big contract this offseason, they lost one of the league's all-time best pass-rushers in Jared Allen to free agency. Selecting someone like Ealy to provide pass-rushing depth would make sense for the Vikings, who had the league's 31st-ranked pass defense and allowed a league-worst 37 passing touchdowns.
At a minimum, the Vikings have to face Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler six times per season.
41. Buffalo Bills (draft history): Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
While Aaron Williams played mostly strong safety last year, the Bills may move him to free safety with the loss of Jairus Byrd in free agency. A physical and punishing tackler, Bucannon (6-1, 211) would then be able to step into Williams' old role at strong safety.
42. Tennessee Titans (draft history): Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
With the departure of Chris Johnson, who signed with the Jets after being released, the Titans will likely look for an upgrade over Shonn Greene. Once again, there will likely be no running backs selected in the first round of the draft as I project Hyde to be the first running back off the board here at No. 42. A big (6-0, 236), physical back, Hyde will be able to step in as the team's featured back on Day 1.
43. New York Giants (draft history): Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
While the team let Hakeem Nicks walk in free agency, they have some young but unproven options to potentially fill the void with Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan. Their leading receiver at tight end has been different over each of the past four seasons and will be different again this year since none of the previous four are still on the roster.
44. St. Louis Rams (draft history): Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
In my previous update, I slotted Robinson to the end of the first round. Due to the depth of the position, the Rams get a first-round talent in the middle of the second. Leading the Big Ten in receiving, Robinson (6-3, 220) had 97 catches for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns last season.
45. Detroit Lions (draft history): Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Lions declined the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley in part to motivate him. Another way to motivate him is by signing a talented player at his position, who could also replace him if the Lions don't get what they expect from Fairley. Jernigan has the agility and strength to be disruptive against the pass and run.
There are some concerns with Jernigan, however, that has allowed him to slip into the second round. Some have questioned his motor and he was one of several players that failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers (draft history): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
A player that could slip to the second round, Benjamin has something that can't be coached up: size. With a physically imposing frame for a wideout, Benjamin (6-5, 240) gives Big Ben an enormous red-zone target.
47. Dallas Cowboys (draft history): Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
There were some concerns about Kouandjio's knee, but the league didn't request a medical re-test so that is good news. Despite a less than stellar junior season and unimpressive workout in Indy, Kouandjio is unlikely to slip much further than this.
Even with Doug Free under contract for another season, they can kick Free inside to guard and use Kouandjio at right tackle.
48. Baltimore Ravens (draft history): Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
While last year was a disappointment for Tuitt, who played heavier (and slower) than he did in his sophomore campaign, he has plenty of upside and could be off the board at the end of Round 1. That said, Tuitt fits a need as the Ravens lost Arthur Jones to the Colts.
49. New York Jets (draft history): Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
With only 4.0 sacks as a senior, Van Noy had three of them in just one game, but he also had 17.5 TFLs in 2013 with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. In 2012, he had 13.0 sacks, 22.0 TFLs, two interceptions and six forced fumbles. While it should be unlikely that Van Noy slides this far, but if he does, the Jets will exploit the opportunity.
50. Miami Dolphins (draft history): Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
The Dolphins re-signed Brent Grimes and added Cortland Finnegan in free agency, but they lost cornerbacks Nolan Carroll, Dimitri Patterson, and Chris Owens. A four-year starter at Rice, Gaines has good size (6-0, 193) and excellent speed (4.38 forty).
51. Chicago Bears (draft history): Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
Over the past two seasons, Sankey rushed for more than 3,300 yards and 36 touchdowns, but he also added 61 receptions for 553 yards. That versatility would make him a solid backup to Matt Forte, who will turn 29 in December.
52. Arizona Cardinals (draft history): Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
With one of the strongest arms in this year's draft class, Savage could be brought in to become Carson Palmer's heir apparent in Arizona. Palmer has two more seasons on his contract, but the second of those seasons is voidable.
53. Green Bay Packers (draft history): Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
With an excellent receiving corps featuring Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Jarrett Boykin, the Packers don't have a need at receiver. In addition, Latimer is a player that may not be available this late in the draft. While Latimer may not play at a position of need, that won't stop Ted Thompson from scooping up a value here. A former basketball player with excellent size, speed and body control, Latimer finished with 72 catches for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
54. Philadelphia Eagles (draft history): Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Only three teams allowed more yards per game last season than the Eagles. While the Eagles have a lot of years and money tied up in Trent Cole and Connor Barwin, their fast-paced offense means the defense will be on the field for a large number of plays. Attaochu has racked up double-digit sacks for Georgia Tech in each of the past two seasons.
55. Cincinnati Bengals (draft history): Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Some reports have surfaced that suggest Teddy Bridgewater could be in play for the Bengals at No. 24. If they don't use that pick on a signal-caller, this pick could be used to add a quarterback that could push Andy Dalton, who is entering a contract year.
While Mettenberger tore his ACL last year, his recovery is going well as evidenced by his strong Pro Day performance. Mettenberger has as much arm talent as any of the prospects in this year's class and could turn into a bargain here.
That said, there are some concerns about a back condition and Mettenberger was one of the players that failed a combine drug test due to a diluted urine sample. Even if his agents offer a seemingly plausible explanation, there are a few red flags that could lead to a draft-day tumble beyond this point.
56. (Via KC) San Francisco 49ers (draft history): Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville
With the legal and/or league discipline issues pending for Aldon Smith, the 49ers could use some depth at outside linebacker as insurance. A former quarterback when he got to Louisville that converted to defense as a freshman, Smith was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 with 14.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss last season.
57. San Diego Chargers (draft history): Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
While Keenan Allen had a tremendous rookie season, the Chargers need to add reinforcements to their receiving corps with the injury uncertainty for both Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd. Moncrief is a tremendous size/speed guy (6-2, 4.4 forty, 39.5-inch vertical) that can stretch the field and would be a good complement to Allen.
58. New Orleans Saints (draft history): Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State
The Saints signed future HOFer Champ Bailey to a two-year deal in free agency this offseason, but Bailey will turn 36 years old next month. Not only can Joyner play cornerback, but he has experience at safety at Florida State as well.
59. Indianapolis Colts (draft history): Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
By trading for Trent Richardson, the Colts sent their first-round pick to the Browns and this is the first pick for the Colts. Protecting their biggest asset, Andrew Luck, should be one of their focuses in the draft and Richburg is arguably the top center prospect in this year's draft class.
60. Carolina Panthers (draft history): Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
Before the start of free agency, wide receiver was a position of weakness for the Panthers. Since free agency began, the Panthers have made it even worse. Not only did they release long-time veteran Steve Smith, they allowed several others to leave via free agency.
Based on their current roster, the team's starters are likely to be free-agent additions Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant. That duo won't strike fear into anybody other than Mike Shula, the Panthers' own offensive coordinator.
Waiting until the second round to draft a receiver has worked favorably for the Panthers as Adams is an excellent value at this spot. Considering how poor the team's receiving corps is, it wouldn't surprise me if the Panthers go with back-to-back picks at receiver.
61. San Francisco 49ers (draft history): Keith McGill, CB, Utah
If there is a level of their defense that could use reinforcements, it's their defensive backfield. The 49ers lost Tarrell Brown in free agency and released Carlos Rogers while Chris Culliver is coming off a torn ACL injury. Even though they re-signed Eric Wright and added Chris Cook in free agency, drafting McGill here would make sense.
62. New England Patriots (draft history): Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Considering that Rob Gronkowski has had six surgeries (forearm, back and ACL) over the past 18 months, adding one of the top four tight ends in this year's draft class would give the Patriots some insurance.
After playing outside linebacker as a freshman at Notre Dame, Niklas transitioned to tight end in his sophomore season and started this past year as a junior. The nephew of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews (and cousin of fellow prospect Jake Matthews), Niklas is one of the better blocking tight ends in this year's draft class.
63. Denver Broncos (draft history): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
The cousin of Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of all-time, Matthews has been highly productive in the SEC. One year after posting a line of 94/1,323/8, Matthews had 112 receptions for 1,477 yards and seven touchdowns last year.
One of the things for which Rice was famous was his unrelenting work ethic and it seems to be a family trait. One example is how Matthews asked Senior Bowl director Phil Savage for tape of the cornerbacks he'd face to study up.
64. Seattle Seahawks (draft history): Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
Jean-Baptiste fits the mold of the type of cornerback preferred by Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. Not only does he have great size (6-3, 218), but he led cornerbacks at the combine with a 41.5-inch vertical jump.
> Continue to Round 3
> Continue to Round 4
> Continue to Round 5
> Continue to Round 6
> Continue to Round 7
> Go back to picks 1-10
> Go back to picks 11-20
> Go back to picks 21-32
> 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.