The 2014 NFL Draft is upon us! Here’s my first and only mock draft this year, which includes trades, because, why not? Mock drafts should be fun, trades happen all the time, so I attempted to include some for entertainment. I also included the top five players at several positions after the mock draft. Are you questioning why I have someone at a particular spot, or why teams will trade? Let me know!
1. Houston Texans – Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: This will most likely be the pick no matter who has it come draft day.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from trade with St. Louis Rams, via Washington Redskins) – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The Rams find a trade partner and the Buccaneers waste the pick on Manziel. Maybe it’s not the Bucs, but I see Manziel being the pick here at number two no matter who is picking.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: This pick could easily be Watkins, but head coach Gus Bradley gets a defensive star and waits for the offensive one later.
4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: The Browns GM raved about having Watkins opposite Josh Gordon. I don’t think it was smoke.
5. Oakland Raiders – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: Big receiver for whoever ends up at QB.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn: The Falcons thank the football gods that the best lineman is somehow still available.
7. St. Louis Rams (from trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: And the Rams get the other top tackle to protect their overrated, made-of-glass quarterback and future picks from the Bucs.
8. Minnesota Vikings – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: The Vikings supposedly like Bortles a lot, but if Mosley is still here, he’s the better player and safer pick.
9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: The Bills get EJ Manuel’s new best friend.
10. Detroit Lions – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: The Lions are supposed to be high on Gilbert, despite Dennard being the better CB in my opinion.
11. Tennessee Titans – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: Again, the Titans are infatuated with Fuller. He’s the pick, but don’t rule out a surprise quarterback pick.
12. New York Giants – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas, A&M: The Giants need plenty of offensive line help.
13. St. Louis Rams – Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville: I could see the Rams trading here too, but if not, the hard hitting Pryor is the pick.
14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: Defensive line depth will help the team from collapsing at the end of the year.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: The Steelers get much needed secondary help.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama: The Cowboys could go a few different ways here, but maybe they’ll finally get the safety they’ve needed for over a decade.
17. San Francisco 49ers (from trade with Baltimore Ravens) – Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: Big brother Harbaugh gives Jim a break again, and the 49ers use some of their many draft picks to get a speedy receiver for Kaepernick.
18. New York Jets – Marqise Lee, WR, USC: With Beckham gone, the Jets settle for Lee. It’s just too bad Lee won’t have a good quarterback.
19. Miami Dolphins – Zach Martin, OL, Notre Dame: An offensive lineman named Martin; if you could get past the name, this is exactly what Miami needs.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF: Arizona has a good roster, and will be a force in the future if they can land a talented, young quarterback. Bortles fits the Bruce Arians offense.
21. Green Bay Packers – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: Amaro is versatile, and the Packers need a TE. With the position becoming increasingly important in the league, they Amaro for Rodgers.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: Chip Kelly gets a Pac-12 guy to improve his defense.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: Cooks could be dynamic in Andy Reid’s offense. If the rumors of the contract negotiations with Alex Smith are true though, this could be Teddy Bridgewater.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: This will be a statement about Andy Dalton either way. I say the statement is “time to move on”.
25. San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: When you face Peyton Manning twice a year, you need all the CB help you can get.
26. New England Patriots – (from trade with Cleveland Browns via Indianapolis Colts) – Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State: Shazier can be used in different ways. Who other than Belichick to take advantage of that?
27. New Orleans Saints – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Another toy for Rob Ryan’s defense.
28. Carolina Panthers – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia: This pick should be a receiver, but the trend of ignoring weapons for Newton continues. He gets protection instead.
29. Cleveland Browns (from trade with New England Patriots) – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: After passing on a quarterback at fourth overall and trading back from 26, the Browns finally get their quarterback of the future to get Watkins and Gordon the ball.
30. Baltimore Ravens (from trade with San Francisco 49ers) – Louis Nix, DL, Notre Dame: The Ravens always find value at their pick. This year will be no different.
31. Denver Broncos – Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska: After the Broncos saw what Seattle’s corners did to them in the Super Bowl, they go out and get a big corner for themselves.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: The Seahawks like to make strange picks in the first round. Here’s a possible one.
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
2. Blake Bortles, UCF
3. Derek Carr, Fresno State
4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
5-Tie. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
5-Tie. A.J. McCarron, Alabama
1. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
2. Tre Mason, Auburn
3. Bishop Sankey, Washington
4. Ka’Deem Carrey, Arizona
5. Jeremy Hill, LSU
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
2. Marqise Lee, USC
3. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
4. Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
5. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina
2. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
3. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Washington
4. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
5. Arthur Lynch, Georgia
1.Greg Robinson, Auburn
2. Taylor Lewan, Michigan
3. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
4. Zach Martin, Notre Dame
5. Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
1. Jadaveon Clowney, South Carolina
2. Louis Nix, Notre Dame
3. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
4. Dee Ford, Auburn
5. Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
2. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
3. Anthony Barr, UCLA
4. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
5. Shayne Skov, Stanford
1. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
2. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
3. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
4. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
5. Calvin Pryor, Louisville