Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

1. Houston Texans: DE Jadeveon Clowney: There has now been movement atop our mock draft: instead of having a quarterback being selected first overall, we believe the Houston Texans will take Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds, the fastest of any defensive lineman. Plus, alongside former Defensive Player of the Year JJ Watt, the Texans could have the best pair of defensive ends in recent memory.

2. St. Louis Rams: OT Greg Robinson: Everyone seems to have offensive tackle Greg Robinson penciled into the second spot in the draft ever since his team made it's way to the National Championship. Scouts saw the holes he created for star running back Tre Mason at Auburn, and this skill set will certainly help in the NFL.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blake Bortles: The Jacksonville Jaguars have not had an above average quarterback since their last playoff appearance in 2007 under David Garrard. The Jaguars passing game ranked 2nd to last in the league last season, and they are definitely going to be looking for a quarterback other than Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert.

4. Cleveland Browns: QB Johnny Manziel: The debate taking place among football fans throughout the country is who is the better quarterback: Johnny Football, or Blake Bortles. We believe Bortles will end up being taken ahead of Manziel, but it's not like the Browns will be getting a mediocre quarterback with Manziel. After a great combine and pro-day, it would not come as a surprise if Manziel was even taken first overall in the draft.

5. Oakland Raiders: WR Sammy Watkins: Sammy Watkins is the most talented player in the NFL Draft. His combination of speed, height, hands, and jumping abilities makes him the most lethal offensive weapon of this draft class. Also, it has been reported that the Oakland Raiders will not draft a quarterback in the first round, even though last year's quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, left the team.

6. Atlanta Falcons: OLB Khalil Mack: Even though Mack is coming from a college with absolutely no reputation for producing solid football players, Mack's draft stock has been soaring upwards. His 10 sacks, 100 tackles, as well as 2.5 sacks in the season opener against Ohio State attracted attention from NFL scouts, and his 40-yard dash time (4.65), broad jump distance (10'8"), vertical jump (40.0), and 20-yard shuttle time (4.18) all ranked within the top 5 among linebackers. Mack is the real deal.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans: We believe that for the first time since 2011, two wide receivers will be taken within the top 10 picks of the draft: the last time it happened, AJ Green and Julio Jones were taken 4th and 6th overall, and both became Pro-Bowl wide receivers. Evans was Manziel's primary wide receiver last season at Texas A&M thanks to his size (6'5"), speed (4.53), and jumping ability (37.0 inch vertical). Evans is an incredible red-zone target, and the Buccaneers are looking to enhance their offensive unit.

8. Minnesota Vikings: QB Teddy Bridgewater: If I was the Houston Texans, I would spend my first overall pick on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater; however, for whatever reason, Bridgewater's stock has quickly fallen ever since he was the early favorite to be selected first overall at the beginning of the season. Bridgewater's arm strength, elusiveness, and ability to throw on the run would be a great way to take some pressure off of Adrian Peterson offensively.

9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jake Matthews: Even though Jake Matthews is projected to be taken ninth overall in this mock draft, it is possible that he is selected as high as the first overall pick. The Buffalo Bills are in need of young talent on the offensive line, seeing that they ranked 28th overall in sacks allowed last season.

10. Detroit Lions: CB Darqueze Dennard: It seems apparent that the Detroit Lions will draft a cornerback with the 10th overall pick, but there is a question of what cornerback will be selected by the Lions: Darqueze Dennard or Justin Gilbert? Gilbert may have recorded the fastest combine of any cornerback in this year's draft class, but Dennard served as one of Michigan State's key defensive leaders in their quest for a national title. 

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