Wednesday, April 16, 2014

NFL Mock Draft 5.0

Daniel House has formulated his recent mock draft, which holds a surprising trade from an NFC North opponent 

Here is Daniel House's latest NFL Mock Draft:

1. Houston Texans- Jadaveon Clowney- DE: South Carolina- I don't see how the Texans will be able to resist the temptation to select Jadaveon Clowney with the first pick. Character issues have been the discussion, but a player with freakish intangibles like Clowney, isn't something you will see everyday. Pair Clowney with an already solid defense and the Texans become very scary in the AFC. Instead of selecting a quarterback here, draft one later, or stick with Ryan Fitzpatrick as the leader of the team. Clowney simply provides too much upside, and you can't teach that. 

2. St. Louis Rams- Greg Robinson- OT: Auburn- This pick is very hard to project because the Rams have so many options with this selection. They could draft a speed pass rusher, a premier wide receiver, or draft value and a position of need with Greg Robinson. The most logical scenario appears to lean towards the Rams adding a solid offensive lineman. Robinson is a smooth and quick player who can run block with some of the best offensive lineman in this class. With the uncertainty surrounding Jake Long's knee, the Rams could be safe with Greg Robinson. 

3. TRADE: Detroit Lions (from Jags)- Sammy Watkins- WR: Clemson- The Lions are desperately attempting to bolster their offensive attack and they would significantly do so by making this trade. Sammy Watkins is one of the most explosive players to enter the draft in recent seasons and the Lions have been salivating. Pair Watkins with Calvin Johnson and recent free-agent signee Golden Tate, and Detroit becomes rather potent. The Lions need help on the defensive side of the ball, but will address this later in the draft by adding value in the late rounds.  

4. Cleveland Browns- Derek Carr- QB: Fresno State- The Browns have flexibility, especially since they own a draft pick late in the first round, as well. They could draft a play-maker on the defensive side of the ball, or select a quarterback they feel can lead the team for the future. The Browns reportedly love Derek Carr and see him as the best fit to run their offensive scheme. They must make a move at this selection because the Raiders have significant interest in Carr, as well. Cleveland played rather well on offense last season, but need a stable quarterback to throw the ball to Josh Gordon. 

5. Oakland Raiders- Khalil Mack- LB: Buffalo- The Raiders addressed the offensive line by signing Donald Penn and they evidently want to roll with Matt Schaub as their starting quarterback. Instead, they will improve their defense by adding Khalil Mack to their defensive front. Mack is a speed pass rusher and could fill the shoes of Lamarr Houston, who left for the Chicago Bears. The Raiders may be in the perfect position to make a trade with a team like the Vikings, but remember, Oakland has done crazy things to us before. 

6. Atlanta Falcons- Jake Matthews- OT: Texas A&M- The Falcons can't land one of the top pass rushers unless they trade up, which is a possibility, but seems unlikely at the cost. They instead settle for a player that provides great value and fills a position of need. Jake Matthews is a solid offensive lineman and can provide stability for the Falcons for the next decade. They need to adequately protect Matt Ryan, which was a definite problem last season. 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Mike Evans- WR: Texas A&M- The Bucs really need a dynamic playmaker to compliment Vincent Jackson in their offense. They won't draft a quarterback with the pick, especially since they just added Josh McCown and already have a young quarterback in Mike Glennon. Instead, they add Mike Evans, who may be one of the most sure-handed wide receivers in this draft class. He is a big-bodied player that has extremely precise footwork and great hands in traffic. The Bucs can't land Sammy Watkins, but they add the second best option in this draft. 

8. Minnesota Vikings- Blake Bortles- QB: UCF- I've had Johnny Manziel heading to the Vikings for the last two mocks, but this is seeming less likely. He doesn't fit what the Vikings are looking to do from a schematic standpoint at the quarterback position. The Vikings need a pocket passer who can throw the ball up the field. Bortles has a massive frame, but poor footwork has plagued him in moments of his college careers. He may arguably be the most talented quarterback in the class from a raw material standpoint. Blake Bortles just needs some extra coaching from Norv Turner and he could become a very special player. The Vikings would be adding great value at this pick and I think many fans could live with this pick.

9. Buffalo Bills- Taylor Lewan- OT: Michigan- Offensive tackle is a need for the Buffalo Bills as the right side of the offensive line was in ruins last season. They haven't addressed this in free agency and they will have the final chance at one of the top-three offensive tackles in this draft class. Taylor Lewan has tremendous athletic ability and is able to pass protect with stupendous footwork. With an extremely deep class of offensive tackles in 2014, it seems like the Bills will be striking gold, while filling a need at the same time.

 TRADE: Jacksonville Jaguars (from Lions)- Teddy Bridgewater- QB: Louisville- This trade makes great sense for both teams involved in the process. The Jags would be adding a franchise quarterback, while Detroit could land one of the best wide receivers to enter the league in recent seasons. The Jags were able to gain more picks, while drafting a player they covet. Bridgewater is from the state of Florida and is a dynamic player that is being heavily evaluated after a nondescript college career at Louisville. Many believe Bridgewater will plummet, but I believe a team will take a risk on Teddy before Johnny Football.

11. Tennessee Titans- Anthony Barr- OLB/DE: UCLA- The Titans addressed offensive line and inside linebacker in free agency and now have two definite needs. Tennessee needs a speed pass rusher and they can draft one while adding value at a position of need. The Titans are switching to the 3-4 defensive scheme, which would be the perfect scenario for them to select Anthony Barr at this pick. Barr is great at forcing turnovers and his size and athleticism are strong, but he has many raw tangibles as well. He isn't the most schematically sound linebacker, but with work at developing some of these raw facets of his game, the Titans will reflect happily on this pick in a few seasons.

12. New York Giants- C.J. Mosley- LB: Alabama- The Giants desperately need help at the offensive tackle position, but all of them have been selected at this juncture of the draft. The G-Men can't possibly want Joe Beason playing linebacker again in 2014, which means they will need to add a player in the draft. C.J. Mosley is the perfect candidate to play outside linebacker in the Giants 4-3 system. He is a solid tackler and has played against elite competition during his college career at Alabama. The Giants really need help at this position group and can immediately find a solid starter with C.J. Mosley. 

13. St. Louis Rams- Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix: S: Alabama- The Rams allowed an astronomical amount of easy completions on the back end of their defense. T.J. McDonald has developed into a solid strong safety and now they must find someone to play free safety alongside him. Clinton-Dix is the perfect candidate to fill that role. He has stellar balls skills, along with a solid combination of speed and size. The Rams will be able to address a position of need, while drafting for value at this pick of the draft. 

14. Chicago Bears- Calvin Pryor- S: Lousiville- The Bears need to draft the best possible defense player that can fill their needs on that side of the ball. Chicago has no greater need than at the safety position. Chris Conte was exploited on a frequent basis last season and Major Wright left in free agency. Calvin Pryor is a fearless safety that isn't afraid to lower his shoulder and make a big play. He has great ball skills for his size and can be a solid asset to a Bears defense that needs plenty of help. 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers- Justin Gilbert- CB: Oklahoma State- The Steelers need to upgrade the play of Ike Taylor and Justin Gilbert fits the mold perfectly. Gilbert is very experienced against physical wide receivers and he played within a scheme that required him to play in press coverage the majority of the time. Gilbert has been inching up draft boards and his size and physicality fit what Dick LeBeau would like to do with his defense. 

16. Dallas Cowboys- Aaron Donald- DT: Pittsburgh- The Cowboys just signed Henry Melton, but this won't prevent them from adding a versatile defensive lineman to the fold. Aaron Donald is one of the quickest defensive tackles in this class and will be an elite game changer in this league. If you watch the highlight tape, you will see the explosive plays Donald made inside the backfield in the run game. The Cowboys will draft a player that can make plays in the three-techinque for their defense. 

17. Baltimore Ravens- Zack Martin- OT: Notre Dame- With Michael Oher's departure in free agency, the Ravens must add an offensive lineman to fill his shoes. Zack Martin is the perfect candidate and has made a slow rise on many mock drafts. 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 and scouting combine performance will help his draft stock.

18. New York Jets- Brandin Cooks- WR: Oregon State- Brandin Cooks is rising up the draft boards as the month of May approaches. He has awesome hands and can make moves in tight spaces with the best wide receivers in this class. The Jets added Eric Decker, but will need another playmaker for Mike Vick to throw to this season. Cooks fills the mold and adds another dynamic edge to a Jets offense that just added Chris Johnson.

19. Miami Dolphins- Eric Ebron- TE: North Carolina- The Dolphins need a safety valve for Ryan Tannehill to rely on during a weekly basis. Eric Ebron is a freak athlete who has talents similar to a wide receiver, but in tight end form. He is extremely long, but smooth and has great hands in traffic. Miami needs a playmaker who can change the tides of a game, especially in the red zone. This is a huge value pick that fits a position of need, as well.

20. Arizona Cardinals- Johnny Manziel- QB: Texas A&M- Woah! Johnny Manziel took a massive slide in this mock draft. The Cardinals have Carson Palmer at the helm of their squad, but they could use a quarterback who is more than a game manager. Johnny Manziel is the perfect candidate to play within Bruce Arians' offensive scheme. Placing Manziel in this offense with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd would be a scary move. It also would pose an exciting matchup between the Seahawks and 49ers twice a season. The Cardinals could make a monster splash, while significantly upgrading their team.

21. Green Bay Packers- Bradley Roby- CB: Ohio State- The Packers are at a bad pick in this year's NFL draft. Many of the top players are off the board and the positions they need to upgrade are weak at this point of the draft. You can never have too many defensive backs in this league and the Packers will make this trend true. The Packers play against athletic receivers on a weekly basis, which means they need elite cornerbacks to matchup with these players. Bradley Roby is extremely raw, but has amazing athleticism for a cornerback that fits his mold. He could blitz off the edge for Green Bay in the slot and fits the mold of former OSU cornerback Antoine Winfield.

22. Philadelphia Eagles- Darqueze Dennard- CB: Michigan State- The Eagles were torched in the secondary last season and no answers to fix the problems. They added Malcolm Jenkins to the backend of their defense, but there is still more work that needs to be done. Darqueze Dennard is an extremely physical cornerback that plays very well in man coverage. His size and physicality play huge roles in his success and the Eagles simply cannot pass up the value that surrounds a player like Dennard. 

23. Kansas City Chiefs- Marquise Lee- WR: USC- The Chiefs swung and missed with Emmanuel Sanders and DeSean Jackson in free agency, but have another at-bat in the draft. Marquise Lee has plummeted down draft boards as questions of durability and work ethic surround his name. Lee runs solid routes, but his hands have been questionable at times during his college career. The Chiefs like the potential they see in a big-bodied wide receiver like Lee and will pull the trigger.

24. Cincinnati Bengals- Ryan Shazier- LB: Ohio State- The Bengals resigned Vincent Rey, but the release of James Harrison means the Bengals have a need at linebacker. Shazier is slowly climbing up draft boards and his size and stellar instincts fit the mold very well. He is a very physical player that can get after the quarterback, which is something the Cincinnati Bengals love in defensive players.

25. TRADE: Minnesota Vikings- Kyle Van Noy- LB: BYU- The Vikings really want a linebacker to play on the outside of the 4-3 defense. They have Chad Greenway on the strongside and Mike Mauti in the middle, but need a versatile and athletic player to play on the weak side. Kyle Van Noy is a playmaker and not only has solid pass rushing skills, but has a knack for creating turnovers. The Vikings become afraid when Ryan Shazier is selected in the slot before the Chargers and they make a move for a player they really covet, which is something Rick Spielman has notoriously done. 

26. Cleveland Browns- Jason Verrett- CB: TCU- The Browns need a cornerback to play opposite of Joe Haden in their defensive system. Cleveland took a risk by selecting Derek Carr with the fourth pick, which means they will play it conservative with this pick. Verrett doesn't have size, but he is a tenacious defender that can make plays for the Browns defense for many seasons to come. 
27. New Orleans Saints- Dee Ford- DE: Auburn- Rob Ryan will love a player like Dee Ford who can contribute in so many ways to his defense. He is a versatile edge rusher that stole the show during the Senior Bowl. He has struggled with injuries in his college career, but his athleticism and play-making abilities leave him as a nice prize for the New Orleans Saints defense.

28. Carolina Panthers- Kelvin Benjamin- WR: Florida State- The Panthers are in a very bad position and need to draft a wide receiver that can contribute immediately. They lost Steve Smith in free agency and with an already weak wide receiver corps, Carolina has a bare cupboard. The Panthers really need an offensive tackle, but Kelvin Benjamin is a receiver they simply cannot pass up. Benjamin is a big-bodied receiver who has speed and incredible athleticism for his size. The Panthers need targets for Cam Newton and can add one with Benjamin.

29. New England Patriots- Ra'Shede Hageman- NT: Minnesota- The Patriots resigned Vince Wilfork to a cheap contract this week, but it doesn't mean they wouldn't select an athletic player to replace him. Ra'Shede Hageman is a man on the football field and can dominate in so many ways. He single-handedly can take over games and his pass rushing abilities are on par with the best in this class. The Patriots are known for selecting a raw player such as Hageman and with some work, this pick could pay real dividends for the future of this football team.

30. San Francisco 49ers- Kyle Fuller- CB: Virginia Tech- The 49ers need help in their secondary and could see an instant starter available at their selection. Kyle Fuller has great size and speed, but his ball skills are the best part of his game. His stock is rising as the draft is approaching and this pick continues look more realistic for the 49ers. 

31. Denver Broncos- Kony Ealy- DE: Missouri- Kony Ealy has witnessed his stock rise and fall as the weeks have continued to roll towards the draft. I have him mocked at the bottom of this draft, landing with a team who played in the Super Bowl last season. He is a versatile pass rusher that has primarily pass rushed from the right side, but could have flexibility in that aspect. He could learn from DeMarcus Ware for a season, or challenge Derek Wolfe on the left side of the defensive line. 
32. Seattle Seahawks- Morgan Moses- OT: Virginia- Morgan Moses has excellent size and strength and his name is starting to intensify as the draft approaches. The Seahawks need someone to replace Breno Giacomini and Moses could instantly do so. He won't provide a massive amount of athleticism, but is a great pass protector. 

That concludes my fifth mock of the 2014 NFL Draft. We will have it covered for you and will post our latest mock drafts after they are formulated.

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