Anaytics Anonymous 2014 NFL Mock Draft (First Round)

If you’ve been recently patrolling NFL-related sites the past few months, I’m sure you’ve seen several interpretations of what will occur on the night of May 8th. And while exactly zero NFL fans know what will actually happen when Commissioner Goodell takes the podium, that doesn’t keep us from broadcasting our opinions, either through a camera, microphone, or keyboard.

Regardless, the months leading up to the NFL draft seem to be just as suspenseful, if not more, than the fateful night itself. For that reason, we are left wondering, waiting, jotting down our dream scenarios, and arguing about prospects with others in comment sections and through message boards.

Below you’ll find my selections; a mix of what I predict the teams will do, and what I believe they should do.

  1. Houston Texans: Jadaveon Clowney, Edge Rusher, South Carolina. Blake Bortles might be getting all of the ink right now, but Houston would be silly to pass on a guy like Clowney. The best defensive prospect we’ve seen in years, Clowney is also a good fit in a 3-4 defensive scheme as an outside linebacker.
  2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Auburn. The Rams have a tough choice between Jake Mathews and Greg Robinson here, but in the end I think they’ll lean toward the Auburn product with what is perceived to be a very high ceiling.
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback, Louisville. Despite a poor showing at his pro day, Bridgewater is still worthy of being the first quarterback selected in this draft. If his college days say anything about his future as an NFL quarterback, he should be a perennial pro-bowler.
  4. Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson. With Davonne Bess and Greg Little both finding their names in the bottom 5 league-wide in the Yards per Route Run statistic, Cleveland could use a solid contributor on offense to complement the outstanding Josh Gordon. A duo like Watkins and Gordon has the potential to bring success to the franchise, regardless of who is behind center.
  5. Oakland Raiders: Blake Bortles, Quarterback, UCF. While there are several routes the raiders could take here, a good quarterback could, in theory, hide some weaknesses Oakland may have. Enter Blake Bortles, a player who some view as the best quarterback in the 2014 draft class.
  6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Mathews, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M. Mathews is still viewed by many as the top offensive lineman in the draft, and he may even be the best player on the board at this point. Add in his family’s historic success in the NFL, and he would be hard for the Falcons to pass up.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Mack, Outside Linebacker, Buffalo. The player that Mike Mayock has said he would take with the first pick, Khalil Mack would be a wonderful value pick for the Buccaneers.
  8. Minnesota Vikings: Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M. Manziel is certainly not the safest selection for the Vikings, but he is one of the more unique talents in recent history. While linebacker is a greater need for the Vikings, Manziel has the potential to turn Minnesota’s offense into one of the most explosive in the NFL.
  9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, Tight End, North Carolina. Despite having recently re-signed Scott Chandler, Ebron would aid Buffalo’s offense immediately. Ebron possesses top-tier skill as both a blocker and a receiver, and would be the best player available at this spot.
  10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma State. Now that Detroit has added Golden Tate to their offense, their most glaring need has become the cornerback position. While some might prefer Darqueze Dennard, Gilbert’s versatility gives him the edge.
  11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, Outside Linebacker/Edge Rusher, UCLA
  12. New York Giants: Kony Ealy, Edge Rusher, Missouri
  13. St. Louis Rams: Hasean “Ha-Ha” Clinton-Dix, Safety, Alabama
  14. Chicago Bears: Calvin Pryor, Saftety, Louisville
  15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, Cornerback, Michigan State
  16. Dallas Cowboys: Louis Nix, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame
  17. Baltimore Ravens: Taylor Lewan, Offensive Tackle, Michigan
  18. New York Jets: Kyle Fuller, Cornerback, Virginia Tech
  19. Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, Offensive Tackle/Offensive Guard, Notre Dame
  20. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Shazier, Outside Linebacker, Ohio State
  21. Green Bay Packers: C.J. Mosley, Inside Linebacker, Alabama
  22. Philadelphia Eagles: Jeremiah Attaochu, Edge Rusher/Outside Linebacker, Georgia Tech
  23. Kansas City Chiefs: Marquise Lee, Wide Receiver, USC
  24. Cincinnati Bengals: Aaron Donald, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh
  25. San Diego Chargers: Ra’Shede Hageman, Defensive Tackle, Minnesota
  26. Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr, Quarterback, Fresno State
  27. New Orleans Saints: Jason Verrett, Cornerback, TCU
  28. Carolina Panthers: Odell Beckam Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU
  29. New England Patriots: Jordan Mathews, Wide Receiver, Vanderbilt
  30. San Francisco 49ers: Lamarcus Joyner, Cornerback/Safety, Florida State
  31. Denver Broncos: Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Florida State
  32. Seattle Seahawks: Xavier Su’a-Filo, Offensive Guard, UCLA

One comment

  1. If Minnesota picks up that stud from A&M, that will give them a chance of being just the 2nd worst team in the League. Snatching Manziel wouldn’t be a bad start for the Vikings though, they would just need to pick up 4 decent WRs, a RB, a TE, and an Offensive line.

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