Saturday, February 15, 2014

NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Vikings Corner analyst Daniel House unveils his 2nd NFL Mock Draft for the 2014 season. Which player does he have your favorite team selecting?

Here is Daniel House’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0:

1. Houston Texans- Johnny Manziel- QB: Texas A&M- How can Houston pass up a player like Johnny Manziel? The Texans have a solid defense and need to make an offensive explosion by adding Manziel. Not only will the play on the field be critical, but the marketing is going to factor into the decision to draft him. The Texans could make a huge splash and inject plenty of energy into the program of new head coach Bill O' Brien.

2. St. Louis Rams- Jadeveon Clowney - DE: South Carolina- Jadeveon Clowey is a mammoth and the Rams could easily select Jake Matthews with the uncertainty surrounding Jake Long’s knee, but you simply cannot pass up the talent Clowney provides. He has a skill-set similar to Lawrence Taylor and if he can keep his head out of trouble, he will dominate. Pair Clowney with Chris Long and Robert Quinn and the Rams easily have one of the most fearsome pass rushes in the game.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Derek Carr- QB: Fresno State- This pick will surprise the majority of people who read this mock draft, but it makes perfect sense. The Jaguars spent the Senior Bowl working with Carr and after having a great game and week of practice, rumors are swirling about how much the Jags like the Fresno State quarterback. Carr will face a pivotal next couple weeks and with a solid combine and pro-day, this pick could make even more sense. Carr has great arm-strength, his accuracy is decent, but his footwork and inability to play elite competition will shy teams away.

4. Cleveland Browns-Blake Bortles- QB: Central Florida- If Cleveland is awarded with the chance to draft Teddy Bridgewater, will they select him? This organization needs to make a big splash and if they swing and miss again, it will be a devastating blow to the Browns future. I think Cleveland will decide that Bortles will fit better into the scheme they will look to develop. Bortles has plenty of raw skills and his arm strength, along with an awesome frame are encouraging signs for the future. He needs to work with his accuracy, but he could provide the Browns with some stability at the quarterback position; however, it will take coaching.

5. Oakland Raiders- Teddy Bridgewater- QB: Louisville- Oakland’s passing game ranked with the worst in the league last season and it started with inconsistency at the quarterback position. One of the top quarterback prospects in recent seasons will fall into the Raiders laps at the fifth selection and this time they will make the right decision. Bridgewater could inject energy into the Raiders fan base and his pocket passing abilities, combined with his rushing skills, will be a huge help. He will need playmakers and time, but this could help the Raiders improve significantly.

6. Atlanta Falcons- Anthony Barr- OLB/DE: UCLA- The Falcons can't land Jadeveon Clowney, but they manage to add a dynamic pass rusher in Anthony Barr. Barr has great athleticism, is excellent in pursuit, and with some work on developing his instincts, he could become one of the top pass rushers in this league. The Falcons needs to upgrade a pass rush that has continually had trouble getting to the quarterback as their defensive line has aged. Barr makes this a reality and can help improve the Falcons defense.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Sammy Watkins- WR: Clemson- The Bucs need playmakers to help Mike Glennon and the best way to do so is by adding dynamic wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Watkins has size, speed, and raw athleticism that is some of the best in the entire draft class. He played very well in the Orange Bowl and he also could add a flair to the return game as well. Pair him with Vincent Jackson on the outside and the Buccaneers offense will be deadly for Lovie Smith and company.

8. Minnesota Vikings- Khalil Mack- OLB: Buffalo- In this scenario all three of the top quarterbacks have been selected and the Vikings will make the decision to address their defense. Mack is a dynamic pass rusher who has some of the best explosion off the line of scrimmage in this season's draft class. He needs to improve his coverage skills, but with some work in this avenue, he can be effective. Mack hasn't played elite competition, but his extremely impressive athletic skill-set will outweigh this concern. With the coaching of Mike Zimmer, he could improve a Vikings linebacker group that was very disappointing in 2013.

9. Buffalo Bills- Greg Robinson- OT: Auburn- Offensive tackle is a need for the Buffalo Bills as the right side of the offensive line was in ruins last season. Robinson’s stock rose after a great performance in the National Championship game and he could start immediately for the Bills, who are a team with plenty of young talent. He needs work as pass blocker, but his run blocking skills are very admirable when you evaluate his skill-set. With a combine and pro-day where he can show his pure athleticism and leadership abilities, Robinson could see his stock rise higher as draft day approaches.

10. Detroit Lions- Marquise Lee- WR: USC- The Lions realized what can happen when Calvin Johnson is injured and unavailable for contests. Detroit needs some insurance next to Johnson and Lee can provide just that. He is a brilliant route runner, which could help alleviate the amount of double coverage being placed upon Megatron. Marquise Lee is slightly undersized and questions about his durability have caused his stock to remain relatively stagnant. Nonetheless, he is an explosive athlete with an amazing skill-set. His combine performance could dictate how far he climbs up the board, but Lions fans should hope his stock stays where it’s at.

11. Tennessee Titans- Jake Matthews- OT: Michigan- The Titans are faced with the perfect situation and will be able to draft the best player available, while filling a need in the process. David Lewis will likely be released this season as he is due $6.5 million in 2014, which opens the door for the Titans to choose offensive tackle with their first pick. Jake Matthews takes a plummet and grades out better than Eric Fisher did last year. Matthews will be a fixture of the Titans offensive line for seasons to come and it makes sense for a team looking for an offensive injection.

12. New York Giants- Taylor Lewan- OT: Michigan- The Giants offensive line was very disappointing last year and it resulted in Eli Manning getting sack an astronomical amount of times. They need help on the left side of their offensive line and can do so by adding Taylor Lewan. Lewan was a solid lineman for Michigan and comparisons have been drawn to former Michigan product Jake Long, which would bode well for the Giants, who need as much help as they can get.

13. St. Louis Rams- Mike Evans- WR: Texas A&M- The Rams have gotten really lucky the past few seasons and through trades have accumulated plenty of draft picks to select young talent. Again this season they have two first round picks and after the adding Jadeveon Clowney to the defense, they will add a player maker on the offensive side of the ball. Evans provides a excellent skill-set and his reliable hands are huge when considering him as a top-15 pick. He is a very physical player and by developing a sturdy wide receiver corps, along with building upon one of the best defenses in the league, the Rams are in the driver's seat.

14. Chicago Bears- Haha Clinton-Dix- SS: Alabama- The Bears simply cannot pass up the opportunity to improve the backend of their defense. Haha Clinton-Dix is a fearless safety who has excellent ball skills for a safety. He has the Alabama defensive back pedigree and with the continued struggles of Chris Conte and the absence of Major Wright in free agency, this is an easy selection for the Bears.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers- Darqueze Dennard- CB: Michigan State- The Steelers defense hasn’t reloaded since the days they had one of the greatest groups in the NFL. Darqueze Dennard could significantly assist the process of improvement and with Ike Taylor growing older, this move would make perfect sense. Dennard is the best coverage cornerback in the draft and his physical mentality, combined with his size and tangibles, are traits that simply won't be passed on by the Steelers.

16. Baltimore Ravens- C.J. Mosley- ILB: Alabama- The Ravens would be fools not to select Mosley at this spot in the 2014 NFL Draft. Daryl Smith is a free agent and the Baltimore defense wasn't the same force as they were in 2012. Baltimore already has Arthur Brown in the saddle and with the addition of a solid, versatile leader such as Mosley, the Ravens would significantly improve their defense in a hurry.

17. Dallas Cowboys- Calvin Pryor- S: Louisville- The Cowboys are in desperate need of help on the backside of their defense and they could improve quickly with the addition of Calvin Pryor. Pryor has some of the best range and ball skills in the draft and his fearless hitting ability is superior to any safety in this class. This is an instance of best player available, while selecting a position of need, which is important when drafting talent.

18. New York Jets- Eric Ebron- TE: North Carolina- The Jets really were looking to draft a receiver and it doesn't mean they won't trade up to select one, but at this position all three top prospects are gone. Instead, the Jets will get great value by adding an insane matchup threat in tight end Eric Ebron. Add him as a playmaker and the Jets finally have a red zone threat to throw the ball to. Rex and the Jets will look to add a wide receiver in the later rounds and look to improve an offensive attack that was rather anemic last season.

19. Miami Dolphins- Zack Martin- OT: Notre Dame- The Dolphins never recovered from losing Jake Long last season and it effected their play last season. Ryan Tannehill was on his back for the majority of the snaps last season and after the Dolphins fell flat on their face with Jonathan Martin, they need to redeem themselves. Zack Martin is a smart four-year starter and is able to get to the second level with the best of the offensive tackles in this class. He needs work as a pass blocker and needs to show more consistency in this avenue, but his awesome Senior Bowl performance will help his draft stock.

20. Arizona Cardinals- Dee Ford- DE: Auburn- Dee Ford will see his stock rise after dominating the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago. He has so much pure athleticism and with Darnell Dockett turning 33 this offseason, it makes sense to upgrade the defense with a pass rusher. He may not fit with the most ease in the 3-4 scheme, but if he is allowed to rush the passer, he can be a force for Bruce Arians. Look for Ford's name to intensify as the Scouting Combine approaches and his pro-day takes place.

21. Green Bay Packers- Ra'Shede Hageman- DE/DT: Minnesota- I know the Packers constantly take interior defensive lineman with their first round picks, but after several misses, they will land a stud in Ra'Shede Hageman. With 313 pounds of speed and athletic ability, he was an absolute dominate force for the Minnesota Golden Gophers last season. It seems likely the Packers would address an awful secondary, but with BJ Raji leaving in free agency, the Packers simply cannot pass on the athleticism Hageman brings to the table. Put him in the middle or speed rush him on the outside and it takes the pressure off the linebackers in the running game.

22. Philadelphia Eagles- Justin Gilbert- CB: Oklahoma State- The Eagles still have one of the worst defenses in the league and it was proven in the playoffs. Chip Kelly’s offense can score as many points as they want, but if they can’t stop the opponent, it won’t matter. Justin Gilbert takes a bit of a slide in this mock draft and Philadelphia picks up a steal at this juncture. His size and superior athletic ability will be on display at the combine and with some work on his footwork, he could be a top-ten pick.

23. Kansas City Chiefs- Kelvin Benjamin- WR: Florida State- The Chiefs are the story of improvement and with the strides they made, Kansas City isn’t far from becoming dominate in the league. The Chiefs haven’t gotten great production from Dwayne Bowe and Kelvin Benjamin could provide Alex Smith with a playmaker. Benjamin has a monstrous frame, but knows how to use it to his advantage. He is very rough around the edges, which could be similarly compared to rookie Cordarrelle Patterson who was drafted by the Vikings last season.

24. Cincinnati Bengals- Bradley Roby- CB: Ohio State- With Mike Zimmer leaving for Minnesota, the Bengals may not be able to get the maximum potential out of Terrance Newman and PacMan Jones anymore. By adding a cornerback like Roby, athleticism and awareness would be on display. He has a pedigree coming from one of the top colleges who produce defensive backs and the Bengals may be willing to take a chance on him. His speed tends to get him in trouble and if he makes frequent mistakes at the scouting combine, the Bengals may shy away from selecting Roby.

25. San Diego Chargers- Louis Nix III- DT: Notre Dame- The Chargers will select the best available player in this instance and Louis Nix definitely lands in that category. He is a massive, versatile, defensive lineman who has great speed and hands. With a dazzling scouting combine, his ceiling could rise extensively. He perfectly fits the Chargers scheme and has the stamina and strength to be a three-down lineman for San Diego.

26. Cleveland Browns- Carlos Hyde- RB: Ohio State- It’s time to end the quandary the Browns face at running back. No more Willis McGahee, or Montario Hardesty’s of the past, it’s time for Ohio State product Carlos Hyde. This could be a bit of a reach, but the Browns need help at this position and with two first round picks it seems logical to make this move. Hyde is a powerful runner who can catch out of the backfield and create dynamic plays. Hyde is this year’s Eddie Lacy (possibly better) and it fills an immediate need as well.

27. New Orleans Saints- Jason Verrett- CB: TCU- Rob Ryan quickly turned the Saints defense around, but their secondary still leaves little to be desired. To add to that, Malcolm Jenkins is a free agent and that worries the defensive staff in New Orleans. The Saints face top-tier passing attacks every week in the NFC South and if their pass defense continues to regress, things could get out of hand quickly. Jason Verrett is very undersized, but his speed and athleticism are second to none for a player at his position.

28. Carolina Panthers- Allen Robinson- WR: Penn State- The Panthers need to find a replacement for an aging Steve Smith and with Brandon LaFell’s inconsistencies, it seems like this pick is very logical. Robinson has nice size, dynamite hands, and he is a very fluid route runner. He would fit in well with Cam Newton and would provide more weapons through the air, which has been a major problem for this team in recent seasons. He was poorly utilized at Penn State, but in an NFL system, he has all the tools to be a perennial wide receiver in Carolina.

29. New England Patriots- Timmy Jernigan- DT: Florida State- Jernigan is going to plummet as the draft approaches because teams are starting to look for versatility on defensive lines, especially with players who can provide hybrid looks. Jernigan has been very consistent in his play, but his athleticism is nowhere near some in this draft class. This will show at the scouting combine and with Vince Wilfork aging and coming off a season-ending achilles injury, this pick would make perfect sense.

30. San Francisco 49ers- Brandin Cooks- WR: Oregon State- The 49ers are so stacked on both sides of the ball that they can draft for value rather than need. Cooks would make perfect sense as a successor to Anquan Boldin, who is in his thirties. Cooks is a solid route runner, with explosive cuts and the ability to garner separation in traffic, he could be a nice weapon in the slot or on the outside in the dynamic 49ers offense.

31. Denver Broncos- Stephon Tuitt- DE/DT: Notre Dame- The Broncos defensive line is aging and Shaun Phillips turns 33 in May, while becoming a free agent, which means the Broncos will really need help in this area. Robert Ayers is a free agent as well and Tuitt could be a nicely versatile player for the Broncos. He is great at maintaing leverage and although he isn't the most speedy, he would be a very nice addition to the Broncos defense.

32. Seattle Seahawks- Odell Beckham- WR: LSU- Beckham won't blow you away with his speed, which has been a huge concern for him entering the draft, but he is such a crafty route runner, which compensates for this lapse. Seattle really needs to add a receiver for Russell Wilson to throw to and Beckham may not be a flashy name, but he could provide a significant upgrade to the wide receiver corps.

That concludes my second mock draft of the 2014 NFL Draft. Look for things to change after the scouting combine concludes. We will have it covered for you and will post our latest mock drafts after they are formulated.

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