2014 NFL Mock Draft: Volume 4

Round 1:

1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF – I still think Teddy Bridgewater is the superior draft prospect (and that won’t change), but I’m starting to think the Texans will select Bortles. I fully expect this pick to be a QB, unless the Texans surprise me and acquire one before the draft.

2. TRADE: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from St. Louis Rams, via Washington Redskins): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – With the trade of Mike Williams to Buffalo, the need for another wide out for Tampa Bay is even more critical. Watkins is the best receiver in the draft, and a much better fit alongside Vincent Jackson than Mike Evans. The Bucs should be able to move up for the seventh overall pick, their second this season and their first next year. That’s a step price, and it might be more than Tampa is willing to pay. The Atlanta Falcons (as I predicted in my last mock) are also a good candidate to move up.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – I expect this pick to come down to one of the top three QBs and Jadeveon Clowney. I don’t believe the signings of Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and re-signing of Jason Babin excludes Clowney. However, the Jaguars need a QB badly and they should snap up Bridgewater.

4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – With Watkins off the board, I expect the Browns to target a QB at No. 4. Don’t read into the Browns skipping Manziel’s pro day, as they seem to have some odd aversion to pro days. Plus, Johnny Cleveland has a ring to it.

5. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – That sound you hear? It’s the Oakland front office popping all the champagne. I’d be surprised if Clowney fell this far and even more surprised if he got past here. This would be a dream come true for Raiders fans.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo – The Falcons appear to be moving to a 3-4 defense, and Mack is a perfect fit as an outside linebacker. If the Falcons try to move up, don’t be surprised if they are targeting Mack and not Clowney as most assume.

7. TRADE: Rams (via Buccaneers ): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – This would be perfect for the Rams. They get more picks and the best lineman in the draft. Even with the re-signing of Rodger Saffold after he failed Oakland's physical, the team still needs another offensive tackle. Robinson would be a perfect fit as a run-blocking machine at right tackle.

8. Minnesota Vikings: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama – If Bridgewater or Mack are on the board here, I’d expect one of them to be the pick. Since they aren’t, and I don’t think the Vikings will take Derek Carr this early, Mosley makes sense. The Vikings cut Erin Henderson, and Chad Greenway was awful last season, based on his Pro Football Focus grade (subscription required). This may be a bit high for Mosley, but the Vikings’ hand might be forced with Bridgewater and Mack off the board.

9. Buffalo Bills: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – The Bills should be happy if Matthews slips to them at No. 9, as he would be a more than adequate replacement for Erik Pears at right tackle. The Bills could go several ways here, including tight end, wide receiver or linebacker.

10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – With the signing of Golden Tate, I don’t think the Lions will look at Mike Evans or a wide out this early. The Lions need a corner badly and Gilbert is the best one in the draft.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA – The Titans are switching to a 3-4 defense, and getting a pass rusher is key. Barr could go in the top 10, so getting him here is great value.

12. New York Giants: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh – The Giants need another defensive tackle with the loss of Linval Joseph to the Vikings. They could use some offensive line help, so a player like Taylor Lewan would make sense. It’ll be interesting to see if Donald can handle being drafted before No. 15 .

13. St. Louis: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – Evans might go before this, but he’d be a great compliment to Tavon Austin in St. Louis. A safety like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is also an option.

14. Chicago Bears: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama – The Bears did a solid job of addressing their defensive line needs in free agency, but they still need a safety. This is the right range for Clinton-Dix and he fills a need.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State – The Steelers have neglected the cornerback position for too long. Dennard would be an instant upgrade.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="Dennard has great coverage skills, as seen above. "][/caption]

16. Dallas Cowboys: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri – The Cowboys need help badly on the defensive line, especially after the losses of Jason Hatcher and DeMarcus Ware. They’ve taken the first step by signing Henry Melton, but still need additional help. Ealy is the best 4-3 defensive prospect outside of Clowney, and he fills a huge need.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – With Michael Oher now in Tennessee, the Ravens could use another offensive tackle. Lewan would be a great value selection here and might not last this long.

18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, UNC – The Jets need to find more weapons for Geno Smith, and this is solid value for Ebron. A corner is also a possible pick.

19. Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame – The Dolphins signed Branden Albert, but they need more help as they complete the overhaul of their offensive line. Martin is the best of the bunch after the Matthews/Robinson/Lewan trio.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Dee Ford, LB, Auburn – The Cardinals need someone who can get to the quarterback and that’s exactly what Ford does best. A quarterback like Derek Carr could also be in play since the Cards need to look for Carson Palmer’s replacement in the future.

21. Green Bay Packers: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville – The Packers need some help on defense, especially in the secondary. I’m not as high on Pryor as those that rank him above Clinton-Dix, but he’d be a solid addition to the Packers.

22. TRADE: San Francisco 49ers (via Philadelphia Eagles): Marqise Lee, WR, USC – The 49ers have a TON of picks this year, so don’t be surprised if they move up to get someone. Lee would be a nice addition in San Fran, and he won’t make it past the Chiefs. With Ford and Pryor off the board, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles tried to trade down. The 49ers can make this move for the 30th overall pick and the third round pick they have from the Titans (77 overall).

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU – The Chiefs would love to get Lee, but with the 49ers jumping them, they’ll probably have to settle for Beckham.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU – Verrett is decent value here and corner is the Bengals' biggest need. Don’t be surprised if the Bengals take the best player on their board, regardless of position.

25. San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix III, NG, Notre Dame – With the loss of Cam Thomas to the Steelers, the Chargers need a new nose guard. There isn’t a better one in this draft than Nix.

26. Browns (via Indianapolis Colts): Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA – Guard is really the only spot lacking on the Browns’ offensive line. Adding Su’a-Filo would allow for more time in the pocket for Manziel and more holes for new running back Ben Tate.

27. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier, LB, OSU – The Saints need more linebackers, especially ones with potential like Shazier. While he lacks a true position, he’s versatile enough to play inside or outside linebacker. Rob Ryan would find ways to get the most out Shazier.

28. Carolina Panthers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State – The Panthers desperately need a wide out, especially with the loss of Steve Smith. Cooks is the best one left on the board.

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech – With the loss of Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots need to find another tight end to pair with Rob Gronkowski. Amaro can fill that role perfectly.

30. TRADE: Eagles (49ers): Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU – Benjamin is raw as a receiver, but has the size-speed combination that only players like Calvin Johnson possess. He needs tons of work in route running, pass catching and consistency, but putting him on the Eagles could be dangerous.

31. Denver Broncos: Ra’Shede Hageman, DL, Minneosta – Hageman has incredible potential, but disappears at times and needs to refine elements of his game. He doesn’t fill a major need, but Denver can take the best player available.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama – Kouandjio’s stock has tumbled after a poor bowl game and poor combine. However, he is still very talented and would be a good fit in Seattle. A tight end or guard would also make sense.

Round 2:

33. Texans: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – This may be a tad high for Moses, but he’s a quality player that fills a need. The Texans could look for another pass rusher or trade down.

34. Redskins: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – The Redskins need help at corner. Despite his mouth, DeAngelo Hall is not an elite, or even a No. 1 corner. Fuller, however, has the potential to be just that.

35. Browns: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State – The Browns get another compliment to Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Andrew ‘Baby Hawk’ Hawkins. I’m a big fan of Robinson, who will be a quality No. 2 wide out at the next level.

[caption id="attachment_1082" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Don't be surprised if Carr goes before the Raiders can draft him in the first round. His draft range is huge."][/caption]

36. Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State – That sound you hear? It’s the Oakland front office crying in joy. Getting Clowney and Carr would be great for the Raiders.

37. Falcons: Austin Seferain-Jenkins, TE, Washington – The Falcons need a replacement for Tony Gonzalez, and Seferain-Jenkins can fill that role. Despite his red flags, he’s got the potential to be an elite tight end.

38. TRADE: Rams (via Buccaneers): Bradley Roby, CB, OSU – The Rams recently cut Cortland Finnegan, who struggled last season (Pro Football Focus subscription required). Roby is probably the top corner left on the board and represents a solid value here.

39. Jaguars: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State – The Jags got their QB in round one and now get their pass rusher. Even with the signing of Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, the Jags need more help for their league-worst pass rush. A guard or running back could be in play here as well.

40. Vikings: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU – This might be too high for Mettenberger, but he’s exactly what offensive coordinator Norv Turner wants in his QBs – a pocket passer with a rocket for an arm. Mettenberger is coming off an ACL tear and might be best served sitting on the bench for a season.

41. Bills: Jimmie Ward, S, NIU – The loss of Jairus Byrd leaves a big hole in the back end. Ward is no Byrd, but he’s an underrated player who I think will go higher than most expect.

42. Titans: Carlos Hyde, RB, OSU – With the release of Chris Johnson, the Titans need a new running back. Hyde, in many ways, is the opposite of Johnson: a bruiser who loves contact.

43. Giants: Antonio “Tiny” Richardson, OT, Tennessee – The Giants need help on the offensive line. This seems like the right range for Richardson, despite his lack of production this season and knee injury.

44. Rams: Deone Bucannon, S Washington State – The Rams need some safety help, and Bucannon has the potential to provide that help.

45. Lions: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford – Never a team to avoid loading up on the defensive line, the Lions could use some help replacing the departed Willie Young.

46. Steelers: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – The Steelers signed Lance Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey, but they aren’t consistently effective wide receivers. The Steelers need a big target for Ben Roethlisberger, and that’s exactly what Matthews is.

47. Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan, DT, FSU – In a draft as deep as this one, there will be a few talented players that fall farther than they should. Jernigan could be one of them and that’s what happens here. Even with the signing of Henry Melton, Dallas needs another starter at DT. This would be a huge steal and I’d be surprised if he actually slipped this far.

48. Ravens: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame – This might be too low for Tuitt, but he’d be a great fit in Baltimore. The Ravens need to replace the departed Arthur Jones.

49. Jets: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State – It’s a deep wide out class, and Adams is a better fit across from Eric Decker than a Jordan Matthews-type. Even with the Decker signing, the Jets need another wide out.

50. Dolphins: David Yankey, OG, Stanford – The Dolphins overhaul of their offensive line continues. Yankey represents good value here and fills a need.

51. Bears: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida – If Easley didn’t have injury problems at Florida, I think he’d be in play for the Bears first round pick. The Bears did a nice job addressing needs at defensive end, but could use some help at defensive tackle.

52. Cardinals: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame – The Cardinals need a tight end for Carson Palmer. If Niklas is still on the board here, this pick makes a lot of sense.

53. Packers: Marcus Martin, C, USC – Since the Packers let Evan Dietrich-Smith leave for Tampa, they need a new center. Martin is the best prospect by far in the draft.

54. Eagles: DeMarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise State – The Eagles need another pass rusher and this is the right range for Lawrence.

55. Bengals: Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU – If the Bengals can get Van Noy this late, they should be ecstatic. Van Noy would be a great fit as a 4-3 OLB, but there is a good chance he’s gone before this pick.

56. 49ers (via Chiefs): Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska – I’m not that high on Jean-Baptiste, but NFL teams will fall in love with his 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. The 49ers could use another corner.

57. Chargers: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida – This might be a bit high for Roberson, but the Chargers need corner help.

58. Saints: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson – The other Clemson wide out is no slouch. Adding a player with Bryant’s size-speed combo would make the Saints offense even more dangerous.

59. Colts: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor – The Colts need to do a much better job of protecting Andrew Luck.

60. Panthers: Brandon Thomas, OT, Clemson – The loss of Jordan Gross to retirement hurts. Thomas might be better suited to play guard, but the Panthers need to find someone to play left tackle.

61. 49ers: Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech – Attaochu isn’t a big name right now, but he’s a talented player. Smart teams know you can never have too many pass rushers.

62. Patriots: Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss – The Patriots have plenty of tiny wide outs, but no big red zone threats. Taking Moncrief would fix that.

63. Broncos: LaMarcus Joyner, CB/S, FSU – The Broncos can basically take the best player on their board, since they have few needs. Joyner has some Tyrann Mathieu elements in his game.

64. Seahawks: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado – With the loss of Golden Tate, the Seahawks need another receiver. Richardson is flying under the radar, but he has potential.