2014 NFL Mock Draft: Volume 3

Round 1:

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – Blake Bortles has been showing up as the No. 1 pick in more and more mock drafts, but Bridgewater is the superior prospect. I will be one of the last to move away from Bridgewater as the top pick. This pick will be a QB, barring a trade.

2. TRADE: Atlanta Falcons (via St. Louis Rams, via Washington Redskins): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – I fully expect the Rams to trade out of this spot and the Falcons might be the most likely trade partner. Atlanta has shown a tendency to trade up in the past and the addition of Clowney would be a huge boon for its defense. The Falcons should be able to move up for the sixth pick, a first next year and their second rounder this year.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF – With Clowney and Bridgewater off the board, Bortles makes sense at No. 3. Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert aren’t cutting as starters on any team and Bortles would be an immediate upgrade.

4. Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – Watkins is the best playmaker in the draft and would form quite the dynamic duo with Josh Gordon. A quarterback like Manziel would make sense, but the Browns might be able to get Derek Carr with their other first round pick.

5. Oakland Raiders: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – Of all the teams in the top 5, the Raiders give me the most trouble. With a litany of needs, they can pick almost anyone. I’m not convinced the Raiders would take Manziel if he is on the board and they do need offensive line help. Robinson would represent solid value here and would be a cornerstone protector for whomever the Raiders tab as their franchise QB.

6. TRADE: St. Louis Rams (via Atlanta Falcons): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – This trade would work out perfectly for the Rams, as they should be able to snag either Robinson or Matthews. I expect Rodger Saffold to leave in free agency, so grabbing Matthews here makes sense.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo – The Bucs would like a defensive end, but there isn’t one left worth a top 10 pick. Mack is better off in a 3-4 defense, but has the speed to thrive in Lovie Smith’s Cover-2 defense as a linebacker. The Bucs haven’t ruled out taking a QB here, but I’d be surprised if they pull the trigger on one this early.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – The Vikings need a QB and Manziel’s potential might be too good to pass up here. If Manziel or any of the other top prospects aren’t on the board here, trading down and getting a defensive player could be an option.

9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, UNC – The Bills could go a number of ways here: tight end, wide out, safety, offensive line or even inside linebacker. Giving E.J. Manuel a weapon like Ebron would help speed up his development.

10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – The Lions need a corner and I think Gilbert cemented himself as the top one after his combine effort. The Lions would love to get Watkins if he’s available, but I’d be surprised if he slipped to No. 10.

11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA – The Titans are switching to a 3-4 defense and now need a pass rushing OLB. Getting Barr outside the top 10 would be a steal.

12. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – The Giants could take Lewan and shift Justin Pugh inside. Pugh is probably a better fit at guard and the Giants need to improve their offense line to give Eli Manning more time. Justin Gilbert could be an option if he slips.

13. St. Louis Rams: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – The Rams have Tavon Austin, but he is only a slot receiver. Getting a 6-foot-5 wide out like Evans would make for a dangerous one-two punch. A safety like HaHa Clinton-Dix makes sense here too.

14. Chicago Bears: HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama – The Bears need a safety badly and Clinton-Dix is the best one. The Bears could sign Jairus Byrd and take a tackle like Aaron Donald or Timmy Jernigan here.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix, NG, Notre Dame – Nix would be an ideal fit as a 3-4 nose guard and the Steelers are still looking for a good one to replace Casey Hampton. A corner, offensive lineman or wide receiver could make sense here too.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh – The Cowboys need at least one defensive tackle, even if they resign Jason Hatcher. Donald’s combine performance likely cemented him as a first round pick.

17. Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama – The Ravens could use another middle linebacker to pair with Arthur Brown for the future. Getting Mosley here is solid value and Ozzie Newsome likes to take SEC players.

18. New York Jets: Marqise Lee, WR, USC – The Jets need to find Geno Smith more weapons and Lee is the best one left on the board. If Evans or Ebron slips, the Jets could take them too.

19. Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame – Martin might be a better fit at guard than tackle, but the Dolphins desperately need line help. Everywhere. Martin has passed Cyrus Kouandjio, whose stock is plummeting.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Kony Ealy, DE/OLB, Missouri – Ealy is probably a better fit as a 4-3 DE, but is fast enough to make it as a 3-4 OLB. The Cardinals need a pass rusher and Ealy might be the best on the board.

21. Green Bay Packers: Ra’Shede Hageman, DL, Minnesota – B.J. Raji is a free agent, and might not be back. Hageman can play multiple spots on the line and can replace Raji right away. He has some red flags, but is talented.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn – Ford had a monster senior bowl and will likely garner some first round consideration. His combine likely helped his stock. The Eagles need a 3-4 outside linebacker and Ford might be the best one left.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville – I think Pryor will end up being a mid-to-late first round pick. He’d make a nice pairing with Eric Berry in the secondary.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State – The Bengals need another corner and Dennard represents good value here. Gilbert may have passed him up, but he is still a bona-fide first round pick.

25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU – The Chargers need a corner as well and Verrett might be the best of the bunch left. San Diego could look to invest in another pass rusher too.

26. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts): Derek Carr, QB, Fresno StateReports say the Browns like Carr more than Johnny Football and Carr might still be on the board here. Getting Watkins and Carr could make the Cleveland offense into a dangerous one.

27. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – The Saints could look for some offensive line help, but I don’t think there are any players worth taking here. I think Fuller has passed Bradley Roby as the fourth-best corner back.

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU – The Panthers need a compliment (and future replacement) for Steve Smith. Benjamin is still raw, but has the size and speed to make NFL scouts drool.

29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech – The Patriots need to get Tom Brady more weapons. Amaro can fill the Aaron Hernandez-type role in New England’s offense. A defensive player could make sense here as well.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State – Cooks would be a nice addition to the 49ers offense. He’s the perfect compliment to Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. With plenty of picks, the 49ers could be a candidate to move up as well.

31. Denver Broncos: Timmy Jernigan, DT, FSU – Jernigan doesn’t fill a major need for the Broncos, but represents great value here. A corner or trading down would also make sense.

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

Round 2:

33. Houston: 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. Washington: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame – The Redskins could go several ways here, including safety, linebacker or wide receiver. Tuitt might be a first round pick and fills a need. Don’t be surprised if Washington moves out of this pick.

35. Cleveland: Bradley Roby, CB, OSU – The Browns, assuming they retain T.J. Ward, are one corner away from having a lethal secondary. A running back could be an option here, but I expect the team to sign one in free agency.

36. Oakland: Ryan Shazier, OLB, OSU – Back-to-back OSU players here. It’s not clear what Shazier’s best position is, but he could make it as a pass rushing outside linebacker. He might not be on the board this late after his stellar pro day.

37. TRADE: St. Louis (via Atlanta): Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA – Remember, this pick belongs to the Rams thanks to the projected Clowney trade. Su’a-Filo is one of several guards that could be a second round pick. Adding him and Robinson to the offensive line would greatly help Sam Bradford and Co.

38. Tampa Bay: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington – Jenkins would give potential franchise quarterback Mike Glennon a needed intermediate threat. He’s a first round talent, but has some red flags.

39. Jacksonville: 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, the Jags need someone who can improve their league-worst pass rush.

40. Minnesota: Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU – The Vikings are thin at linebacker right now and Van Noy can help out right away. Van Noy might be a late first round pick.

41. Buffalo: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU – The addition of weapons for E.J. Manuel continues for the Bills. Beckham is a steal here and might give the Bills a true No. 1 wideout.

42. Tennessee: Antonio “Tiny” Richardson, OT, Tennessee – Richardson is anything but tiny: he’s 6-foot-6, 336-pounds. With the Titans likely looking to replace David Stewart, they might take a look in their own backyard. However, Richardson struggled at times last season and his knee issue is a major red flag. This might be too high for him.

43. New York Giants: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford – The Giants won a pair of Super Bowls because of their dominant pass rush. Last year, the pass rush was not so dominant. Justin Tuck may leave and Mathias Kiwanuka received a terrible grade from Pro Football Focus (subscription required). A player like Murphy would help shore up the defensive line.

44. St. Louis: LaMarcus Joyner, S/CB, FSU – Joyner could play the Tyrann Mathieu-role for the Rams, doubling as a safety and nickel back. The Rams need help at both spots, so this might be killing two birds with one stone.

45. Detroit: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State – Getting Robinson in the middle of round two would be a steal for the Lions. He’d help take pressure off Megatron and make the Lions offense even more dangerous. A safety also makes sense here.

46. Pittsburgh: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – The Steelers are in the market for a big receiver for Ben Roethlisberger and that’s exactly what Matthews offers.

47. Dallas: Jimmie Ward, S, NIU – Ward is flying under the radar because he played in the MAC, but he’s a talented player. Dallas has needed a bona-fide starter since Darren Woodson left and Roy Williams forgot how to cover.

48. Baltimore: Marcus Martin, C, USC – Is it too early for a center? The Ravens need an offensive tackle and a center, but all the tackles on the board are reaches. Martin will probably be the first center taken and this is likely the upper echelon of his range.

49. New York: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame – The Jets continue to add weapons for Geno Smith. Kellen Winslow was ineffective for much of the season and needs to upgraded.

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

51. Chicago: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State – The Bears need an upgrade on the inside and Sutton showed flashes of first round talent in the past. He was dominant during his junior year, but struggled in his senior year.

52. Arizona: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU – Mettenberger fits what head coach Bruce Arians likes in his QBs: A big pocket passer with a cannon for an arm. Mettenberger is coming off a knee injury, but could sit a year or two on the bench since the Cardinals have Carson Palmer.

53. Green Bay: DeMarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise State – The Packers need another pass rusher and Lawrence fits the bill. A safety could also be an option here.

54. Philadelphia: Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State – The Eagles have a huge need at safety. They could solve that by taking Bucannon in round two and signing Jairus Byrd in free agency.

55. Cincinnati: Dominique Easley, DL, Florida – The Bengals seem set on the defensive line but Geno Atkins is coming off an injury, Michael Johnson might not be back and Domata Peko is likely on his last contract as a starter. Easley has battled injuries for much of his career, but would be a first round pick if 100 percent healthy. He can play multiple positions and the Bengals can ease him along like they did with Margus Hunt last season.

56. San Francisco (via Kansas City): Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson – The 49ers need another corner or two and this fits where Breeland should be drafted.

57. San Diego: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor – The Chargers could use a guard to help open up holes for the running game and that’s what Richardson does best. He might not be on the board here, but he’d be a nice fit in San Diego.

58. New Orleans: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU – With the release of Lance Moore, the Saints could use another wide receiver. Landry is a great value pick here and should fit in well with the Saints.

59. Indianapolis: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State – Andrew Luck makes the Colts look way better than they actually are. So it’s a good thing they got him a workhorse running back by trading their first round pick for Trent Richardson. The interior of the offensive line was terrible last season and Jackson should be able to start right away.

60. Carolina: Jack Mewhort, OT, OSU – The retirement of Jordan Gross hurts the Panthers. This is the likely range for Mewhort, but the Panthers might look to address the need in the first round or in free agency.

61. San Francisco: Dion Bailey, S, USC – Another secondary addition for the 49ers. Donte Whitner might leave, so the 49ers will need another safety. Bailey is still raw, having played linebacker for much of his time at USC, but is talented.

62. New England: DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State – The future replacement for Vince Wilfork.

63. Denver: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida – This might be a little high for Roberson, but Denver needs a corner.

64. Seattle: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State – Seattle has already cut Sidney Rice and might lose Golden Tate in free agency. Getting the dangerous Percy Harvin healthy will help offset the losses, but Adams would give Russell Wilson another dangerous weapon.

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