The NFL Combine has come and gone, and it’s time to update the mock draft. While the performances in Indianapolis didn’t do much in terms of moving player draft grades, it did wonders to determine who teams value, what positions they’ll target in free agency and who they’ll consider on draft day
The Texans target a quarterback first overall, Johnny Manziel is still falling, and the draft’s offensive tackle value continues to stay high.
1. Houston Texans - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
As of now, this pick is down to three players: Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles. Clowney is the best player in the draft, and if the team can address quarterback in free agency, he’ll be the odds-on favorite. Manziel would strictly be an owner pick, something that seems unlikely but can never be ruled out. Bortles is the best fit for Bill O’Brien’s offense, and for now, he has the most control in the Texans front office.
2. Atlanta Falcons (via STL) - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
I don’t like projecting trades, but I’ve heard that there’s a loose trade agreement if Clowney is available at #2 overall between the Rams and Falcons. The Rams will still be able to get a top offensive tackle at the 6th pick, and the Falcons get the best player in the draft at easily their biggest need on their depth chart.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater has been the apple of the Jaguars’ eye since the middle of last season, and I highly doubt they pass on him. He’s the best quarterback in this class, and he’ll do wonders to accelerate the Jaguars rebuilding process.
4. Cleveland Browns - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
This is the expected landing spot for Johnny Manziel, and it’s certainly a place I could see him landing. However, I’ve heard too many times that a legitimate fall is possible for Manziel on draft day. Until I hear completely otherwise, I’ll think the Browns look for an impact player at the 4th overall pick. Watkins and Josh Gordon will make any quarterback successful.
5. Oakland Raiders - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Raiders would love to get their hands on Teddy Bridgewater, but I’d be a major surprise if he lasted until 5th overall. They need instant starters and impact players, and Mack fills a void at linebacker. With the best offensive tackles and Johnny Manziel potentially on the board, the Raiders could have some interest from teams looking to trade up.
6. St. Louis Rams (via ATL) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The dream scenario for the Rams if they trade down, they’ll potentially have their pick at offensive tackle whether or not they trade down. Robinson was our top offensive tackle before the combine, and he proved his remarkable upside in Indianapolis.
7. Tampa Bay Bucs - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Derek Carr above Johnny Manziel? Seems crazy, I know. But Manziel isn’t a fit for every team, so just because a team needs a young passer doesn’t mean they’ll be interested in him. Derek Carr and new Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford have a very strong connection. Carr is very under-appreciated at this point, though he’s still more of a second-round value.
8. Minnesota Vikings - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Finding a home for Barr isn’t easy because he’s such an unfinished product. However, his talent on film is undeniable, and in the top of the first-round, teams generally prefer upside over safeness whenever possible. For the Vikings, they need some young pass rushers, and Barr has the versatility to play defensive end or linebacker situationally.
9. Buffalo Bills - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
It’s a testament to how strong this draft class that Jake Matthews could slide all the way down to 9th overall. The Bills don’t have a glaring need at offensive tackle, but finding a franchise tackle who grades out equally, if not better, than the top two picks in last year’s draft is something they can’t pass on.
10. Detroit Lions - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
After cutting Louis Delmas, safety emerged as arguably the biggest need for the Lions. It’s a little high for any safety in this class to go top-10, and the Lions could consider trading down if there are any suitors. However, if they can get Clinton-Dix (or Calvin Pryor), they can quickly shore up a major need.
11. Tennessee Titans - Calvin Pryor, SAF, Louisville
The Titans have drafted well enough in recent years to be set at most positions offensively and defensively. The one hole they need to fill most is safety, where they could use a versatile secondary weapon. Enter Calvin Pryor, who can build to an already strong, young defense.
12. New York Giants -Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Deciding between a linebacker (a long-time need) or a top offensive tackle will be tough, especially with Taylor Lewan of Michigan on the board at this point. But, with William Beatty struggling as much as he did this year and David Diehl retiring, Lewan is too talented to pass on.
13. St. Louis Rams - CJ Mosley, ILB, Alabama
Ideally, one of the top two safeties in this class will be here at 13, and the Rams can fill their two biggest needs in the top-15 of a loaded draft. However, with Clinton-Dix and Pryor gone at this point, Mosely can give this team a perfect set of young linebackers to play behind one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL.
14. Chicago Bears - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Bears made it clear at the combine that they’ll be focused on the defense in this draft, and they could use help at all three levels. Aaron Donald, CJ Mosley and Darqueze Dennard all make sense for Chicago, and they’ll likely take the best player on their board among those three players. Dennard gets the nod for now, and he’ll be the long-term shutdown cornerback for the team.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Steelers would certainly like if one of the top offensive tackles fell to them on draft day, but it seems increasingly unlikely after the combine. Louis Nix, however, can add to an aging defensive line that could certainly use a new nose tackle for the future. Nix is the best nose tackle in the class, and has Pro Bowl upside.
16. Dallas Cowboys - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Safety or defensive line. Those are the clear positions of need for Dallas to address, and I’d guess they double up at both positions in this draft. With the two top safeties gone and the best defensive tackle/inside speed rusher in this class available, Donald seems like a no-brainer here. Do not rule out Johnny Manziel if he starts to slip on draft day.
17. Baltimore Ravens - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Ravens are set to let Ed Dickson walk, and with the value they’ve placed on tight ends in the past, they won’t be okay with just having Dennis Pitta at the position. Insert Eric Ebron, who could go much higher in the draft, to fill the feature tight end role as well as provide Joe Flacco with a big target that he’s missed since the team traded Anquan Boldin away.
18. New York Jets - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Despite the receiver class being remarkably deep and teams expecting to wait at the position because grades are so similar throughout the position, Mike Evans likely earned a top-20 grade from most teams after his impressive combine workout. The Jets want to support and develop Geno Smith, and giving him an Alshon Jeffery/Jimmy Graham-type weapon can only help.
19. Miami Dolphins - Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Regardless of whether the Dolphins make a move in free agency to fill the gaping offensive needs or not, they still should address the position early and often in the draft. They’ll need to move up eight or nine spots if they hope to get one of the top three offensive tackles, they likely could stick at 19 overall and draft Zach Martin. Martin can be an immediate starter at right tackle and, at worst, could be a near-elite offensive guard in the NFL.
20. Arizona Cardinals - Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
The Cardinals don’t have a great need at the pass-rushing position, but Dee Ford is too good of a value to pass on at this point. Also, the Cardinals don’t have clearly big needs, especially since Bruce Arians has gotten more than anyone would have expected out of his make-shift offensive line.
21. Green Bay Packers - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Packers could look a variety of ways with this pick, with tight end, defensive tackle and cornerback being the most likely. At those three positions, Amaro is the best talent on the board, and he can fill the role that Jermichael Finley was in last season.
22. Philadelphia Eagles - Jimmie Ward, SAF, Northern Illinois
Philadelphia needs help across the defense after struggling mightily at times last year. Pass rusher and nose tackles are intriguing options, but I’ll lean towards Chip Kelly trying to shore up the secondary. Brandon Boykin is a plus starter on the outside, and they’ve already invested in other cornerbacks. Jimmie Ward can play strong safety, free safety and cornerback, and adds tremendous value as a rookie.
23. Kansas City Chiefs - Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Sammy Watkins is the best receiver in this class, and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans and Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin get a majority of the attention, but Odell Beckham could easily leave this class as the draft’s top receiver. Beckham fits perfectly into what Andy Reid wants to do offensively.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
After a highly impressive combine, Shazier is an immediate option in the late first round for NFL teams looking for 4-3 linebacker help. After drafting so well the past few years, the Bengals have few needs. But adding talent to their linebacking corps is a strong possibility, and Shazier is an in-state option to address one of their few needs.
25. San Diego Chargers - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Phillip Rivers had a strong rebound season with new head coach Mike McCoy, and the offense is in good position for the future. Defnesively, however, they still need ample help, especially in the secondary and in terms of pass-rushers. Gilbert could go as high as the top-15 after an impressive combine, so if San Diego can snag him here, they’ll give an instant upgrade at a key position.
26. Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Manziel could go a lot higher, and most reports are that he won’t leave the top-10. The Browns at 4th overall are the most obvious fit, but if signs are that he’ll fall on draft day, they’d be wise to consider waiting on Manziel to the mid to late first round. The Browns need a franchise quarterback, and Manziel, with time, can fill that void.
27. New Orleans Saints - Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Rob Ryan got the most out of the pass-rushers he had to work with this season, but the defensive coordinator needs help for the future if the defense hopes to take the next step in a strong offensive NFC. Attaochu hasn’t had a great post-season, but his athletic upside and raw pass-rushing ability is too intriguing for teams to pass on in the late first-round.
28. Carolina Panthers - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
If the Panthers hope to take the next step offensively with Cam Newton, they’ll need to find a new #1 receiver with Steve Smith’s career nearly finished in Carolina. Marqise Lee would generally be a top-10 prospect in most drafts, but thanks to an elite top-20 crop of talent and a loaded receiver class this year, Lee could fall right into the Panthers lap on draft day.
29. San Francisco 49ers – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
After drafting for straight value last year, the 49ers can afford to draft best player available for the second straight year with a majority of their starters still in the prime of their career. Aldon Smith has provided this team with an elite defensive talent two years ago, Kony Ealy can do the same for this defense for the future.
30. New England Patriots - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Vince Wilfolk is in recovery now, and based on his injury history and age, he can’t be expected to produce for the long-term in New England. An always proactive team in the draft, the Patriots likely will target his replacement in the draft, and despite his endurance question marks, Jernigan has the nose tackle upside to give this team a developmental starter a key position in their defense.
31. Denver Broncos - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Denver added to their defense last off-season, but they still need ample help across the depth chart, especially in the secondary. Kyle Fuller’s draft value has begun to gain some steam after a strong combine, and he’s a worthwhile late first-round option for teams in need of secondary help.
32. Seattle Seahawks - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
The Seahawks have drafted very well in recent years, showcased for the NFL to see as the Seahawks went on to win the Super Bowl with one of the NFL’s youngest rosters among starters. With the luxury to address whichever position has the most upside, finding a defensive tackle to replace the now-released Red Bryant makes the most sense, and the high upside Hageman is the best value at this point in round one.
Pryor is making a lot of sense for the Lions at number 10. Someone may want to trade up for Lewan or Pryor. Oddly if take a wr first you miss out on a quality safety. Quality safeties are pretty hard to find in the NFL. Cooks, Benjamin and others are better investments for the team as complements.
Carr will NOT be going to Tampa Bay with the 7th overall pick when he can be had in the 2nd round. Where do you people get this crap? Tampa needs a WR and a LB before a QB.
The Packers' gm has stated he will look at TE in the LATER rounds if he sees value there. NOT the first round. The Packers have one of the top offenses in the NFL w/o having a top-notch TE already. They also have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They cannot afford to waste a #1 pick on a TE. The Packers are deep at CB and won't draft another one early either. They are in the process of re-signing Shields and already have Williams-Hayword-House-Hyde. What they DO need are DTs and Safties. If Hageman or Jernigan are on the board and both Dix and Pryor are gone, they will take Hageman.
Jeez guys relax there is a lot that can happen between FA and the draft that will clarify a lot of what could happen. There will always be questionable picks.
what a joke, a mock draft is supposed to be about where you think the players will go, not about what you think a team needs and who they "should in your mind" pick
wow, this guys needs to be dragged out into the street and shot. I could have come up with a better mock draft.
I'm throwing a flag for "Delay of Comment" on the posters at the bottom of this thread left over from the 2013 Draft !! But I'm loving the comments on the 2014 Draft...good stuff.
Sorry, but as good as Jimmy Ward is he will not be an Eagles pick. The team is looking for taller players; they have mentioned size numerous times and even went as far as addressing bringing in an occasional shorter player who has exceptional talent but warned that if you do this enough, when you look up your whole team is short, therefore Boykin and Ward cannot be on the field together. In your scenario Attaochu, Van Noy or even WR Kelvin Benjamin would be their pick
I don't see the Bears taking Mosley. Actually, if Emery can sign or re-sign some DL in the UFA, and Ebron drifts down do not be surprised if he takes him. The Bears have no one backing up Bennett, and Ebron would be a great fit. There is loads of talent at DL/DB so Emery can load up 2-5 rounds. 6th round with two picks look for a RB and QB (back up potential). Now if nothing happens in the UFA, look for Hageman or David in the 1st.
I agree 1000% on the Jets taking Beckham Jr. at 18......I like his potential more than Sammy "Screen Pass" Watkins.
This guy is on a mission to do as much damage as he possibly can to Johnny Manziel.
He even wrote up some story for the Sporting News, in it this hack does some actual mind reading in an attempt to sound informed.
Former NFL players, current NFL GM's, and just about every mock draft has JFF going anywhere from number one and the Texans to Number eight and the Vikings.
This guy is infected with so much envy he is actually making things up and calling them facts.
I think you're right about Manziel falling. I see people spreading nonsense about Browns trading up to get him and want to punch my computer screen. Ridiculous. There are a bunch of "might be good" QB's in this draft, but there is no guaranteed great QB this year. I just pray they learned from the Redskins stupidity. Need quality throughout roster.
Descent pick for the Giants. There are other OTs worth considering, but at least the pick's a starting caliber O-lineman. So many mocks have Jerry Reese going Linebacker it's ridiculous... the Giants haven't take a LB in the 1st in 30 years, and they won't do it when the offense is broken, shut out twice, zero running game, with Eli on crutches. Descent pick.
Have you looked at Dallas' defense. A first round tackle is not what should be proposed in mock drafts as priority.
My Bucs are a hot mess. They would be smart to trade down and accumulate some early round picks. If this class is as deep as experts say it is, it won't be hard to find an upgrade for Mike Glennon. Anyone see the Bucs/Panthers game? Yikes.
Is this mock by numbers. Why would the Chargers take 2 CBs in the first 2 rounds? Millner at 11 is fine. But then another CB? With 2 good ILB prospect still on the board?
Help me understand. Dallas drafts 2 safeties in the first two rounds. Why not Warford in round 2 or Warmack in round 1?
Dee Milliner getting past Buffalo at #8? Buddy Nix will draft Dee Milliner before Ryan Nassib. That is how Buddy rolls.
Johnathan Hankins as the Steelers #1 Pick, 17th overall? Are you MAD?! NO WAY will this be their 1st rd pick, he won't even be picked in the 1st rd, get a grip man!
Eric Galko, have you ever been right about anything .....Well you are certainly way off base with your draft prediction. For example, It would not be completely wise for Detroit to take an offensive Tackle at the number five spot, because they already have plenty of depth just waiting to step in and perform at the left tackle position. Although it is true that Detroit could use a number two receiver on the outside opposite Calvin Johnson to help even further bolster one the leagues already high octane offenses, it remains clear that Detroit's most pressing need is on the defensive side on the ball, and in particular at the defensive end pass rush and cover corner positions.
Worst bear mock draft yet. wrong and wrong. I like arthur brown but... i don't see it in the 1 st round and I would break my t.v. if they took ertz in round 2. ARE you kidding me? Have you followed FA at all? My mock for the bears...1st round-tavon austin. 2nd round best O-lineman available probably OC like frederick , Barret jones or schwenke or best guard available... after that LBs and CBs.
I absolutely love this mock. I think it's a mock a lot of fans will hate, though. The QB's make sense. Teams overdraft them, and Geno Smith has had a good Combine and Pro Day to help solidify him in the Top 10 and maybe Top 5. JAC has been talking about how important the QB position is, so I'm not sure they believe in him. They probably won't give up on him, but 1st round competition makes sense. ARI passing on a QB to get their OT makes sense. Eifert to CHI is iffy because they did sign a young TE, but I agree that the signing doesn't mean they still can't go TE. Eifert has the talent to go in the 1st, and 2 TE sets is popular in the NFL. Johnthan Banks in the 1st shows a lack of overreaction to the Combine. Overall, it's a great mock that's different. There is a surprised pick or two in the 1st round of every draft. This mock accounts for those surprise picks.
No way the Bears take Ertz at 20 after spending all that cash on signing Bennett from the NYG. In your scenario, with Austin still on the board that is who they would take.
NO way that the Ravens pass on Tavon Austin.. He's a beast and a homeboy to boot. He's also had multiple visits with the Ravens. Ozzie's mantra is BPA. You can't find anyone who thinks that Arthur Brown is a better player than Austin.
I like your draft,,,, teams need QB's or they die.... Look at GB great qb but the OL needs lots of work,, still they produce big yards on offense ... with no running game... Answer QB. Jets wrong QB ',,,,,,,,, teams with no QB never make playoffs. . Period..... Paul t
What Lenny80 said. Brandon Mebane was a free agent last year, not this year, and will be entering year two of his 5 year $25mil contract. I'd recommend a more reliable source you're using to check for current free agents so you know better what team needs are. John Jenkins is not at all someone the Seahawks would draft.
no way no how jarvis jones & alec ogletree not in the top 32 hell in the top 10-15 picks c'mon man those two will be starters by the end of week 3 and for me im a falcon fan and if im the falcons i would trade up for jarvis cause you need the pass rusher and her has everything they need we know the need a tight end and dline and yes if the patriots or any team pass on robert woods i would get him over a tight end
I don't think you are very familiar with the Seahawks defense. Mebane was a free agent last year and signed a multi year deal. He is their 1tech so they need a 3tech. Also Red Bryant plays 5tech DE not DT. So Jenkins isn't a great fit. They stated they need better pass rush. Look for a DE or 3tech DT in the 1st. Other needs could be a weak side LB and play making recievers (WR and TE).
@Power_22 You wrote the rules.
@atretrioeciii I guess you didn't see any of the mock drafts last year where people mocked Geno Smith to the Chiefs at 1. Manziel isn't worthy of a top 8 pick, and no GM has said such a thing.
His game against Seattle was unreal though.
@CaryNW87 The Bucs are a mess, but I don't think it's about their talent. That's the biggest thing with that team that's so puzzling, how can a team that has names like Revis, Gholston, McCoy, David, Jackson, Williams, Joseph, Martin, Nicks (assuming he'll ever be the same) and Penn among others be THIS terrible? I think it's the coaching. Schiano is a bad NFL coach and it shows. Give this group to a good NFL HC and I think they're at least at .500 even with a rookie like Glennon, or for that matter if they still had Freeman there. They badly need a franchise QB as much as they need a new coaching staff. Plus they'll still be picking relatively high in each round (except the 3rd from the Revis trade) so they'll be able to pick up some guys later on.
@donnellbutler Too bad NFL teams don't draft for fan needs. Way to call a draft expert stupid, stupid.
@BenKellam Not even close to true. Ogletree is a late-first round talent without the character concerns, so he could definitely fall to round 2. If I were building an NFL draft board I wouldn't touch Jarvis Jones until round 2 at all. His stenosis is the same problem that limited Marcus McNeill to a 6-year career. Jones should fall just like Da'Quan Bowers fell.
@284518 Appearently you are not fimilar with the Lions at all. They do not have a LT on the caliber of Fisher. Reiff is a RT or RG according to the Lions. Fisher is a stud, and DE at this point is a project with boom or bust Jordan is weak, but a great athlete and Ansah is a great athlete strong, but not a lot of experience. They will chose Ansah if the three OTs are gone. The Lions are not going to chose a CB in the first three rounds nor will they draft a WR. They will be looking for the best DE or OLB in the second round and if they chose a DE in the second look of the best OLB in the third round.
Your mock for the Bears makes no sense because you're not allowed to draft players that have already been drafted. Saying "best O-lineman available" also shows you know nothing about the draft.
@thebeveler Ravens won't have the chance to take Tavon Austin unless they trade way up to get him and I doubt they will do that since they need players
The Ravens didn't have a chance to take Austin...
@PaulTribbettI present to you the Super Bowl XXXV winning QB, Trent Dilfer.