2014 NFL Mock Draft: Full First Round, Week 7 Edition
Week 7 First-Round 2014 NFL Mock Draft
The 2014 NFL Draft is only seven short months away, right? Does it seem a bit early for a mock draft or is it acceptable even though draft day isn’t until May?
Either way, mock drafts are a great way to gauge the stock of some of college football’s top talent as the season rolls along. It’s also an opportunity to see where the needs are of the entire NFL and where each team stands. On top of everything else, it’s exciting to imagine where your favorite NFL prospects will spend the next few years of their football careers.
Basically, they aren’t meant to be taken too seriously, especially at this point in the year.
Still, especially after last year’s intriguing class, it’s curious to see where this upcoming class will land in terms of overall talent. At this point, there appears to be a plethora of elite talent in the 2014 class, which would make it a much better year in terms of overall output. There are even supposed to be upwards of four quarterbacks taken in the first round in 2014 – only one was selected in the first round last April.
No matter what happens, though, it’s sure to be an exciting draft full of drama and outstanding talent.
Here’s a look at all 32 picks for the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft and what we could see unfold when draft day finally rolls around. Remember to not put too much stock into this – it is only October after all.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Teddy Bridgewater
Despite all of their glaring holes, the Jaguars desperately need a semi-capable quarterback under center if they plan on finding any sort of success in the future. Adding Bridgewater would be an enormous upgrade on Blaine Gabbert and would give them a solid building block.
2. New York Giants: DE Jadeveon Clowney
Simply due to his natural talent, Clowney goes early to the Giants seeing as they don’t have an immediate need at quarterback. New York has been missing their signature pass rush for some time, and Clowney will change that quickly assuming he decides that he wants to play hard.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OLB Anthony Barr
While the defensive tackle spot has been a highlight for the Buccaneers, they’re still missing a dominant edge rusher who can consistently pressure opposing passers. Barr, who is currently pushing Clowney for the top spot on draft boards, would pick up plenty of sacks in a hurry for Tampa Bay.
4. Minnesota Vikings: QB Marcus Mariota
None of the three quarterbacks the Vikings currently have on their roster are the answer moving forward. Instead, Minnesota needs to consider adding a dynamic element to their offense. Mariota is an obvious upgrade at quarterback and would make Adrian Peterson even deadlier.
5. St. Louis Rams (via WAS): OT Jake Matthews
Yes, the Rams signed Jake Long this offseason to help lock down the blindside. That’s not a long-term solution, though, and they still need help on the right side. Matthews is the best blocker of the 2014 class and could easily start on either side in St. Louis.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Brett Hundley
With the beating that he’s taken in recent years, Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t have much time left in Pittsburgh. Taking that into consideration, the Steelers need to put a plan in place once Big Ben is gone. Hundley is a similar quarterback who would help the Pittsburgh offense get back on track.
7. Atlanta Falcons: DT Louis Nix III
Throughout the first six weeks, the Falcons have failed to get any sort of pass rush going. Injuries certainly haven’t helped, but they still need more from the players actually available on game day. Adding Nix would upgrade the defensive tackle spot and bring a dominant presence to the middle.
8. Buffalo Bills: OLB Khalil Mack
The Bills have Kiko Alonso set in the middle, and now need to add a compliment on the outside who can bring some playmaking to the defense. Mack is an underrated talent who would immediately upgrade the linebacking corps, and hails from nearby Buffalo – fans love homegrown talent.
9. Houston Texans: ILB C.J. Mosley
Brian Cushing has one inside linebacker spot locked down, but Darryl Sharpton isn’t cutting it at the other spot. With a player like Mosley on board, the Texans would have a reliable tackler who would continue to advocate the hard-nosed attitude that J.J. Watt brought to Houston.
10. Oakland Raiders: OT Taylor Lewan
As we saw in Week 6, the Raiders’ offensive line is a wreck. Even if Jared Veldheer and Stefen Wisniewski were healthy, it would still be a rough situation for Terrelle Pryor. Oakland would benefit greatly from some upgrades up front, and Lewan would be an excellent addition.
11. San Diego Chargers: OT Cyrus Kouandjio
Every year, it’s the same story with the Chargers. The pass blocking is horrid, and that’s why Philip Rivers struggles. Fortunately, it’s been a better year for the veteran quarterback, but King Dunlap isn’t getting it done at left tackle. Teamed with D.J. Fluker, Kouandjio would be half of a pretty great tackle duo.
12. Carolina Panthers: WR Sammy Watkins
Steve Smith is no spring chicken and Cam Newton needs some new, young weapons to work with moving forward. Watkins is a sparkplug in the passing game, and makes his impact felt all over the field. Imagine the damage Newton and Watkins could do together if used properly.
13. Arizona Cardinals: QB Tajh Boyd
Let’s not beat around the bush – Carson Palmer certainly isn’t the answer in Arizona. The aging veteran hasn’t been good in 2013 and is dragging down the Cardinals’ offense. Adding an athletic passer like Boyd would bring a different dimension to the offense and keep Larry Fitzgerald happy.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
It’s no secret that the Eagles have a pretty awful secondary. Nate Allen hasn’t lived up to the hype and continues to hurt Philadelphia’s defense. By replacing him with Clinton-Dix, arguably the best defensive back of the 2014 class, the Eagles would be much better off against the NFL’s high-flying offenses.
15. Cleveland Browns: RB De’Anthony Thomas
Plain and simple, the Browns need to add a dynamic difference-maker at running back who can create sparks with the ball in his hands. Thomas is exactly that. With Thomas in the mix, the Browns would be able to get plenty of production from the position while giving the passing game a boost.
16. New York Jets: WR Marqise Lee
While Stephen Hill should develop into a quality No. 1 receiver, the Jets are still going to need extra help in the passing game if they want Geno Smith to have long-term success. Lee is a reliable target who excels at picking yards after the catch – something the Jets could use a lot more of right now.
17. St. Louis Rams: WR Mike Evans
The Rams got their slot receiver in 2013 with Tavon Austin, and now get their flanker in Evans. The Texas A&M product can stretch the field and has one of the biggest catch radiuses in college football. If Sam Bradford can’t make it work with Evans on his side, St. Louis needs to find a new quarterback.
18. Baltimore Ravens: TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Who knew the loss of Dennis Pitta would be such a crippling blow for the Ravens? Even with Pitta back in the mix in 2014, Baltimore and Joe Flacco would love to implement a two-tight end attack. Seferian-Jenkins is a dangerous weapon who would be a definite upgrade on Ed Dickson.
19. Dallas Cowboys: DE Stephon Tuitt
DeMarcus Ware is hurt, Anthony Spencer is overpaid and Jay Ratliff is a waste of space. The Cowboys clearly need some help along the defensive line, and a player like Tuitt would be a huge get for Jerry Jones and Co. Especially at 19th overall, Tuitt would be a huge steal.
20. Tennessee Titans: DE Aaron Lynch
The Titans are certainly enjoying a dominant group of defensive tackles, but are still looking for a premier edge rusher to emerge from their roster. Derrick Morgan still hasn’t panned out as expected, which could make Lynch an ideal candidate to step up and steal the starting job.
21. Miami Dolphins: OT Antonio Richardson
If there’s any way the Dolphins can replace Jonathan Martin at left tackle, they need to go for it. While this hypothetical draft positioning isn’t ideal, Richardson is the best tackle still on the board and would likely be able to step in as the starter from Day 1. Anything to put Martin on the bench…
22. Green Bay Packers: OG Cyril Richardson
The offensive line woes are never ending for the Packers, who continue to struggle when it comes to protecting Aaron Rodgers. Adding one of the best offensive lineman in the 2014 class, though, could be just what Green Bay needs to keep their most valuable player upright.
23. Detroit Lions: CB Bradley Roby
It hasn’t been a pretty sight at cornerback for the Lions this season. They’ve watched Darius Slay and Bill Bentley struggle mightily to slow down opposing passing games, which could lead them to look for another cornerback in 2014. Roby is arguably the best of the class and would be a Day 1 starter in Detroit.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu
Throughout the first six weeks, the Bengals’ biggest weakness has been cornerback, where they consistently get burned. Leon Hall is always hurt and Terrence Newman is too old. Bringing in a young, athletic cornerback like Ekpre-Olomu would do wonders for their limping defensive secondary.
25. Chicago Bears: DT Timmy Jernigan
Injuries have decimated the Bears’ defensive tackle spot this season, and it’s showing in their ability to slow down the run – just ask Brandon Jacobs. With Henry Melton unlikely to return next season, Chicago will need to find a defensive tackle to fill the void. Jernigan looks like a more-than-capable replacement.
26. San Francisco 49ers: WR Jordan Matthews
Year after year, the 49ers spend high draft picks on wide receivers with the hope that one of them pans out. This year could be a different story, though, as Matthews is a relentless pass-catcher who has proven capable of producing big numbers. It’s another big risk, but San Francisco desperately needs help in the passing game.
27. Cleveland Browns (via IND): QB Johnny Manziel
It’s clear that Brandon Weeden isn’t the answer and Brian Hoyer will be coming off an ACL tear. With two first-round picks, the Browns have the firepower to take a high-risk, high-reward player like Manziel. If he keeps his head on straight and mouth shut, Manziel could evolve into an electrifying NFL passer.
28. New England Patriots: DT Anthony Johnson
While it has yet to prove a true crutch, losing Vince Wilfork is certainly going to hurt the Patriots at some point this season. The position lacks depth, and Wilfork is getting up there in age regardless. New England needs to find their nose tackle of the future and Johnson seems to be a great fit.
29. New Orleans Saints: OLB Kyle Van Noy
One of the biggest surprises of the 2013 campaign has been the Saints’ defense, which has been dominant in just about every one of their six games. The pass rush could still use a boost, though, and Van Noy would bring a dynamic quality off the edge from the outside linebacker spot in their 3-4 front.
30. Seattle Seahawks: OG Gabe Jackson
As proven by the recent rash of injuries along the Seahawks’ offensive line, depth isn’t a strong suit in Seattle. Seeing as they don’t have too many holes that need filling at this point, the Seahawks could go with Jackson, who could easily push for either of the starting guard spots.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: TE Eric Ebron
If there’s one thing the Chiefs’ offense is missing, it’s a playmaking tight end who can stretch the seam and take attention away from the other weapons on the field. No offense to Anthony Fasano or Sean McGrath, but Ebron would bring a more dynamic player to the position.
32. Denver Broncos: CB Jason Verrett
The Broncos’ only weakness so far has been their passing game, which is suffering mightily due to the lack of cornerback talent. Even with the aging Champ Bailey back in the mix, Denver needs an upgrade. Bringing Verrett aboard would help the Broncos field a much better secondary in 2014.