With both the Senior Bowl and Combine in the books, we’ve reached a perfect time for an updated mock draft. As usual, we’ll go pick by pick to make sure we discuss each pick thoroughly enough, and as usual, we’re assuming I’m the GM, so I’m not making picks based off who I actually think will go where, but rather who I’d take with the slot. And no, no trade scenarios because they’re infinite. With the first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans selected Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina), the St. Louis Rams took Jake Matthews (OT, Texas A&M) second and the Jacksonville Jaguars took Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville) third.
With the 4th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, who do the Cleveland Browns select?
As the Grateful Dead gracefully put it, ‘one man gathers what another man spills’, so I’ll take Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M), whom the Jags just passed on at three. In the previous mock, I had the Browns taking Bridgewater, and since he’s off the board, I’m going with the second best QB in the draft.
Manziel brings a lot to the table. He’d immediately bring an element of excitement to the huddle and is a good leader, which this club sorely needs under center. Yes, many will point to his previous off-the-field antics as indicative signs he isn’t a good leader, but the guys in front and beside him would go through a wall for him, and that means something in my eyes.
He’s a playmaker who can make something out of nothing, which has been proven time and time again. He doesn’t have tremendous accuracy on deep balls (which is worrisome considering Josh Gordon’s skill set), and won’t be confused with Jeff George in terms of arm strength, but can still make all the necessary throws. To boot he has a marketable personality that will help sell tickets and generate new interest in the continually struggling franchise.
I mean, there’s just too many positives here to pass on him. Am I worried about his playing style and slight frame potentially leading to long-term durability concerns? Of course. But considering I have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL (especially after I lock up Alex Mack to a 5-year deal), I’m going to roll the dice.
Watkins or Evans would bring tantalizing big time playmaking ability to pair with Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron, and I could look at QB in round 2, or roll with incumbent Brian Hoyer for at least another year. Mack has to be considered here just from a talent/value perspective. Mosley has a ton of experience playing inside a 3-4 at ‘Bama, and there’s a huge hole there with D’Qwell Jackson (and his almost $10 million cap hit) released. Gilbert is an athletic freak who I would love to pair opposite Joe Haden. Haden, Gilbert and T.J Ward (who I’m also close to re-signing) would comprise a ferocious secondary.
With the 5th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, who do the Oakland Raiders select?