2014 NFL Mock Draft: Entire First Round With Trades, Twists

Mocking the Entire First Round With Trades and Twists

Jadeveon Clowney
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

In less than a month, the 2014 NFL Draft will commence. After months of speculation, film watching and sifting through endless rumors, it’s time for NFL teams to put up or shut up. While you may have an idea of what the media expects to happen on draft day, no one will know for sure considering how crazy the NFL Draft can get.

With that in mind, here’s my take on what the first round could look like – with several trades and twists thrown in.

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all of the talk about him being lazy and spoiled, Clowney still goes to the Texans at No. 1. When he’s driven and playing at full speed, the South Carolina is product is one of the most dominant players in all of football. He and J.J. Watt will create a terrifying duo.

2. Minnesota Vikings (via WAS through STL): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Khalil Mack
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

2. Minnesota Vikings (via WAS through STL): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Khalil Mack
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

According to recent reports, the Vikings are hoping to land Mack in the first round. The No. 8 pick won’t get it done, though. So instead, they trade up with the Rams to snag Mack at No. 2, and end up getting one of the best playmakers in recent history.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Sammy Watkins
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Sammy Watkins
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Assuming the whole Justin Blackmon thing never quite pans out, the Jaguars go for more receiver talent instead of a new quarterback. With so much uncertainty surrounding the passer prospects, it’s better to nab a top-tier playmaker who can make whoever is under center better.

4. New York Giants (via CLE): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Greg Robinson
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

4. New York Giants (via CLE): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Greg Robinson
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are tired of settling for inconsistent, average offensive line play. So they trade up with the Browns to snag Robinson, arguably one of the best offensive tackle prospects in recent history. They immediately upgrade at left tackle in an effort to give Eli Manning some better protection.

5. Oakland Raiders: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

C.J. Mosley
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

5. Oakland Raiders: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

C.J. Mosley
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

After missing out on Watkins, it’s time for the Raiders to turn their attention to the defense. They already upgraded the defensive line this offseason, so middle linebacker gets the next big upgrade. Mosley is a special prospect, and should help bring some stability to the Oakland defense.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Jake Matthews
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Jake Matthews
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

With several concerns along the offensive line, the Falcons take the best blocker still on the board. Matthews is a well-rounded, consistent blocker who can play several spots along the line. In Atlanta, he’ll be a Day 1 starter.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Mike Evans
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Mike Evans
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

After recently parting ways with Mike Williams, the Buccaneers are rather short at wide receiver. Bringing aboard Evans, though, will certainly help fix that issue. The former Aggie is big, physical and makes plays after the catch – teaming him and Vincent Jackson together will be deadly.

8. St. Louis Rams (via MIN): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Justin Gilbert
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

8. St. Louis Rams (via MIN): Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Justin Gilbert
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Having already moved down, the Rams now look to help their ailing secondary. Considered a legitimate shutdown cornerback, Gilbert should immediately step into a starting role in St. Louis. Teamed with Janoris Jenkins, Gilbert will give opponents even more reason to worry about passing the ball.

9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Eric Ebron
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Eric Ebron
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not very often an electric tight end prospect like Ebron comes along. Seeing as the Bills need to add more weapons to E.J. Manuel’s arsenal, the North Carolina product makes plenty of sense here. If he lives up to his potential, Ebron will be the next Vernon Davis for Buffalo.

10. Dallas Cowboys (via DET): Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

Aaron Donald
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

10. Dallas Cowboys (via DET): Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt

Aaron Donald
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys appear to be smitten over Donald, a disruptive interior force with rare pass-rushing abilities. In order to get him, though, they’re forced to leapfrog the Bears at No. 14. So they trade up and get one of the best interior defensive linemen of the 2014 draft class.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Anthony Barr
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Anthony Barr
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While I don’t agree that Barr belongs this high, it’s easy to see a team reaching for him based on athleticism and potential. The Titans recently made the switch to the 3-4, and need more personnel to fit the defense. Barr is a great fit who can wreak havoc on the outside given time and coaching.

12. Cleveland Browns (via NYG): Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Blake Bortles
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

12. Cleveland Browns (via NYG): Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Blake Bortles
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The first quarterback finally comes off the board to the team that needs one the most. After trading back with the Giants, the Browns snag the most well-rounded passer of the 2014 draft class. Bortles has some exciting weapons to work with in Cleveland, so the pieces are in place for him to succeed.

13. St. Louis Rams: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Kelvin Benjamin
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

13. St. Louis Rams: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Kelvin Benjamin
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

They’ve already addressed the cornerback spot, so now the Rams go wide receiver in hopes of giving Sam Bradford more options to throw to. While Benjamin is a boom-or-bust type of prospect, his size and productivity are too much for Jeff Fisher to ignore, even at No. 13.

14. Miami Dolphins (via CHI): Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Zack Martin
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

14. Miami Dolphins (via CHI): Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Zack Martin
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Only a year after trading up for Dion Jordan, the Dolphins do so again – this time to snag a legitimate left tackle in Martin. With so many issues last season along the offensive line, it makes sense for Miami to add a versatile blocker who can be a starter for the next decade.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Kyle Fuller
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Kyle Fuller
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers simply can’t continue to play with subpar coverage if they expect to compete in the AFC North. Adding Fuller to start opposite Keenan Lewis will not only upgrade the cornerback spot, but will also help revive the physical, relentless playing style that Pittsburgh was once known for.

16. Detroit Lions (via DAL): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Brandin Cooks
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

16. Detroit Lions (via DAL): Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Brandin Cooks
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

After moving a ways down the first round, the Lions opt to address the wide receiver position. The original target was Watkins, but Cooks is still a highly-productive pass catcher who can be a reliable option for Matthew Stafford. Some will see it as a stretch, but Cooks is a great get at No. 16.

17. Denver Broncos (via BAL): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Kony Ealy
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

17. Denver Broncos (via BAL): Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Kony Ealy
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

If the Broncos had a better pass rush in 2014, they might have won the Super Bowl. That’s why they trade up 14 spots to snag Ealy, a legitimate Top 10 talent who can create a dynamic pass-rushing duo alongside Von Miller. It’s a high-risk move, but the potential rewards are just as great.

18. New York Jets: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Jason Verrett
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

18. New York Jets: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Jason Verrett
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

With so many concerns at cornerback, it’s hard for the Jets not to address the position here. Luckily for them, Verrett is still available, and makes an excellent addition at No. 18. He’s small, but packs a punch and offers terrific instincts in coverage and as a run defender.

19. Chicago Bears (via MIA): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

19. Chicago Bears (via MIA): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Moving down works out well for the Bears, who grab the best safety of the 2014 draft class. After years of settling for subpar safety play, Chicago adds Clinton-Dix to the mix, who should immediately take over as the starting free safety and revitalize a once-proud Bears defense.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada

Joel Bitonio
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

20. Arizona Cardinals: Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada

Joel Bitonio
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

One of the most underrated offensive tackles of the 2014 draft class, Bitonio hears his name called earlier than expected. The Nevada product, however, is a great fit for the Cardinals, and should help improve an Arizona offensive line that has been in shambles for years.

21. Carolina Panthers (via GB): Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Marqise Lee
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

21. Carolina Panthers (via GB): Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Marqise Lee
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no way the Panthers can avoid spending a first-round pick on a wide receiver. In hopes of grabbing a legitimate No. 1 option, they trade up a few spots to snag Lee. The former Trojan is a sparkplug who should become Cam Newton’s favorite target before long.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Calvin Pryor
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

Calvin Pryor
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the addition of Malcolm Jenkins, the Eagles are far from done in terms of upgrading their secondary. That’s why they spend their first-round pick on Pryor, an aggressive, punishing tackler who has the potential to be great if he can improve on his coverage abilities.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

Allen Robinson
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

Allen Robinson
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Unless they want to depend on a suddenly-unreliable Dwayne Bowe in 2014, the Chiefs need to add more pass-catchers to the mix. Robinson is an explosive target who excels in picking yards after the catch. With him working in the middle, the Chiefs should see significant improvement on offense.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

In one of the biggest twists of the first round, the Bengals put Andy Dalton on notice by drafting Bridgewater, who some still see as the most NFL-ready quarterback of the 2014 class. It’s time for Cincinnati to find a more complete passer, and Bridgewater fits the bill.

25. San Diego Chargers: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra'Shede Hageman
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

25. San Diego Chargers: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Ra'Shede Hageman
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

For years, the Chargers have been searching for a legitimate playmaker along the defensive line. They take another first-round swing with Hageman, who has the potential to be a dominant force along their 3-4 front – if he can get focused and dedicate himself to the game, that is.

26. Cleveland Browns (via IND): Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

Charles Sims
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

26. Cleveland Browns (via IND): Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia

Charles Sims
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Now that they have their quarterback in place, the Browns should look to add more offensive weapons. Ben Tate is a great runner, but needs a complementary back to help keep him healthy. Sims is an explosive player who can create sparks either on the ground or through the air.

27. New Orleans Saints: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Taylor Lewan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

27. New Orleans Saints: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Taylor Lewan
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After sliding due to character concerns, Lewan finally finds a home with the Saints. Not only does he get an opportunity to steal a starting job from Terron Armstead, but lands in a strong locker room that should be able to keep the troublesome tackle in check.

28. Green Bay Packers (via CAR): Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Troy Niklas
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

28. Green Bay Packers (via CAR): Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Troy Niklas
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the Packers to find that legitimate tight end who can be a game-changer for Aaron Rodgers. Niklas is an underrated receiver with great hands and sneaky athleticism after the catch. Plus, he’s a dominant in-line blocker who can help open holes for sophomore runner Eddie Lacy.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (via NE): Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Jimmy Garoppolo
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (via NE): Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Jimmy Garoppolo
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Johnny Manziel being on the board, the Jaguars trade up with the Patriots (unsurprisingly) to select Garoppolo, one of their favorite prospects of the 2014 draft class. The small-schooler has some concerns about composure, but is a proven winner who has the tools to be a star at the next level.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Bradley Roby
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

30. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Bradley Roby
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a bit of a stretch considering his poor 2013 campaign, but the 49ers desperately need help at cornerback. Roby has all of the natural ability to be a starter in the NFL, but showed last season that he still has a lot of work to do. The potential is there for him to blossom into a Pro Bowler, though.

31. Baltimore Ravens (via DEN): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

31. Baltimore Ravens (via DEN): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The addition of Steve Smith didn’t alleviate the Ravens’ concerns at wide receiver. They still need to give Joe Flacco more top-tier options to throw to if he’s ever going to earn his huge contract. Matthews is as reliable as they come, and offers the size/speed combo Baltimore has been lacking as of late.

32. Detroit Lions (via SEA): Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

Louis Nix III
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

32. Detroit Lions (via SEA): Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

Louis Nix III
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

In the final shocking move of the first round, the Lions move up to draft – what do you know – a defensive tackle. With Nick Fairley headed for a contract year and concerns looming about his future with the team, bringing aboard an elite talent like Nix seems like a reasonable gamble for Detroit.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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