Posted April 30, 2013

2014 NFL Mock Draft

NFL Draft
Jadeveon Clowney has 21 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss in two seasons at South Carolina. (Jim Dedmon/Icon SMI)

Jadeveon Clowney has 21 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss in two seasons at South Carolina. (Jim Dedmon/Icon SMI)

A few notes before we dive headfirst into this 2014 mock draft (despite being just days removed from the actual 2013 draft):

First off, the goal here is more to provide some idea for the top prospects heading into next year, rather than to nail down exact draft scenarios. Teams are placed roughly where I’d project them to land in the coming season’s standings, but the draft order is far from an exact science or a full-blown prediction.

You also might notice that, again, there is no running back in Round 1. That’s not a mistake. The 2014 RB class resembles this year’s — there is depth, with players like Lache Seastrunk, Damien Williams, Ka’Deem Carey and others capable of dominating at the collegiate level this year; but there does not appear to be a Trent Richardson or Adrian Peterson that teams will be desperate to take early.

The QB spot, as much as any, should be fluid in the coming months, too. That will be especially true if, say, Johnny Manziel flops or decides to head back to school for the 2014 season. Plus, a few quarterbackw should emerge, as they always do.

In other words, take everything below with a grain (or spoonful) of salt. Plenty will stay up in the air for the next 360 or so days. But let’s take a glance anyway at which players might crack Round 1 come the 2014 draft:

1. Oakland Raiders — Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Whichever team winds up picking No. 1 overall will be faced with quite the dilemma. Does that team nab a potential franchise quarterback or Clowney, the country’s best defender and a player that may have been taken first in the 2013 draft had he been eligible? I’ll stick with Clowney here, for now, because he’s the best 2014 prospect. Also, it’s a deep QB draft, so the Raiders (hypothetically) could land Clowney early, then possibly turn around with a QB like A.J. McCarron, Braxton Miller, Derek Carr or David Fales atop Round 2.

2. Arizona Cardinals — Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: We’re still four months from the college football season, but Bridgewater is the clear top QB prospect for 2014. That’s not to say that the QB crop is weak — several could justify first-round picks (assuming they don’t flop in 2013) and the class could have several players off the board on Day 1 or 2. But there is very little not to like about Bridgewater’s game, and the Cardinals would love to have him.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: As a guest analyst on the NFL Network’s draft coverage, LSU head coach absolutely raved about Boyd. Miles’ Tigers fell to Boyd’s … well, Tigers in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl last year, and Boyd threw for 346 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Miles said his team tried everything and just couldn’t stop the assault. Boyd has now had back-to-back sensational years, and he is the type of dual-threat QB teams are clamoring for right now.

4. Cleveland Browns — Marqise Lee, WR, USC: Lee is just 6-feet tall, so we’re not talking about a Calvin Johnson-type that’s going to win jump balls consistently. What Lee will do, though, is get open and make plays. He caught a whopping 118 passes last season for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. You’re looking at a Heisman frontrunner for 2013 and a player that could dramatically improve an NFL offense.

5. New York Jets — Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: The Jets again miss out on the top receiver, this imaginary draft matching 2013 reality. Watkins would be a terrific consolation prize. He split top duties with DeAndre Hopkins as a sophomore and still put up 57 catches for 708 yards. Given a full year to shine as the No. 1 target for Boyd, Watkins should soar.

6. San Diego Chargers — Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Because the talent elsewhere will be better at the 2014 draft, offensive tackles will not dominate as they did this year. It’s still a loaded position, and expect Matthews to be right at the top. He might be even better than 2013 No. 2 pick Luke Joeckel.

7. Buffalo Bills — C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: Oh, look, an elite player from Alabama. Mosley can do it all — he had 107 tackles and a pair of interceptions last season — and would give Buffalo another dynamite young player to pair with 2013 second-rounder Kiko Alonso.

8. Kansas City Chiefs — Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame: Nix is a bit like Star Lotulelei, in that he’s massive (6-foot-3, 330) and yet still nimble enough to beat blockers at the line. Kansas City could drop him right in at nose tackle, but he could play DT in a 4-3 or slide out to DE in a 3-4 if needed.

9. Philadelphia Eagles — Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: Renowned QB guru Steve Clarkson said that Hundley would have been the top pick in the 2013 draft, had he been eligible. It’s hard to argue, given the skills on this 6-3 QB. Another year like his freshman campaign (3,745 yards passing, 38 total touchdowns) should push Hundley to the draft.

10. Tennessee Titans — Morgan Breslin, DE, USC: Breslin racked up 13.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his first season following a transfer from junior college. He could be the premier pass rusher in the 2014 class.

11. Detroit Lions — Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Maybe another year of getting torched by Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and others will convince Detroit to draft a CB in Round 1. And Roby looks like the best of the bunch. Like Dee Milliner (6-0), Roby is a bit small (5-11); also like Milliner, he has speed and just loves attacking the football.

12. St. Louis Rams — Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: Lewan might have leapfrogged Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel to be the No. 1 pick in 2013, if he had entered his name in the draft rather than returned to Michigan. He’s a clear high first-round prospect and, with Devin Gardner under center rather than Denard Robinson, will get a full year in a pro-style system.

13. Miami Dolphins — Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame: The yin to Nix’s yang, Tuitt dominated at DE in the Irish’s 3-4, chalking up 12.0 sacks and making life miserable for offensive linemen.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State: Sutton’s cut from the mold of Sharrif Floyd (a 2013 first-rounder for Minnesota) — undersized for DT (listed at 6-1, 288 and smaller than that), but a guy who continually makes plays.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers — Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: Seferian-Jenkins’ situation bears monitoring — he’s currently suspended from Washington for an offseason DUI arrest. If he gets things in order, the rising junior is a definite Round 1 pick. Think Tyler Eifert with even more athleticism.

16. Carolina Panthers — Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: Taking a stab at the WR spot here. Matthews, 6-3 and 205 pounds, flirted with the 2013 draft following a 94-catch year. He opted to return to Vandy for his senior year, which should help him polish up his game. He’s not a burner but, like a Keenan Allen, exploits weaknesses in defenses.

17. Dallas Cowboys — Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: Kouandjio could climb much higher than this. He was the starting left tackle last season for Alabama’s dominant line, and he could climb into the top five with another standout season.

18. Minnesota Vikings — Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Manziel’s a tough one to peg. He doesn’t have great size or an elite arm, and his live-it-up lifestyle might scare some teams away. And yet, if he dominates the SEC for a second straight year, it would be tough to drop him very far. And Minnesota, barring a Christian Ponder breakthrough, could be ready for another change at QB.

19. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) — Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: The Oregon defense is easy to overlook because of the dominance of its offense. Should you do so, however, you risk missing Ekpre-Olomu, who picked off four passes and batted down 20 more last season. Even at 5-10, he has lock-down corner potential.

20. Chicago Bears — Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: Barr, with 13.0 sacks off the edge last season, might be more suited for a 3-4 than Chicago’s 4-3. Or he’d be a Von Miller-type for the Bears here. Odds are, in the long run, that Barr might be off the board well before this next April. Also in consideration here: McCarron or Aaron Murray.

21. Indianapolis Colts — Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida: Roberson will have to work to stand out in Florida’s talented secondary. The soon-to-be junior has all the tools to emerge from the shadows, though, and set himself up for a long NFL career.

22. New Orleans Saints — Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU: The nation was introduced to Van Noy when he recorded 3.5 sacks in BYU’s bowl win over San Diego State — part of 9.5 sacks he had in the Cougars’ final three games. The Ziggy Ansah comparisons are inevitable, but Van Noy is more of a linebacker than his former teammate — and he’s also probably more NFL-ready.

23. Baltimore Ravens — Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers: Coleman emerged in 2012 with 43 catches and 10 touchdowns. A strong follow-up season for the developing 6-6 receiver would put Coleman on a lot of radars.

24. New York Giants — Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: Thanks to a 2011 redshirt, Evans, like Manziel, could enter next year’s draft after playing just two college seasons. He should go, too, if he can improve on an 82-catch, 1,105-yard debut. At 6-5, 225, Evans would intrigue any team looking at Coleman.

25. Green Bay Packers — Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford: The Packers finally land their safety in the ball-hawking and intelligent Reynolds, who led the FBS with 301 interception-return yards and three scores last season.

26. Cincinnati Bengals — DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville: Another potential underclassman, I’m guessing Parker would declare for the draft if he and Bridgewater dominated again. Parker stepped up as Louisville’s top option in 2012 (40 catches, 10 TDs) and brings a tantalizing mix of speed and size to the table.

27. Seattle Seahawks — Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon: Lyeria made headlines this offseason by suggesting on Twitter that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a government conspiracy. So, maturity could be an issue. His numbers won’t leap off the page — 25 catches for 392 yards and six scores last season — but Lyeria (6-5, 240) is perfectly built to be an option in a creative offense.

28. New England Patriots — Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida: I wanted to find somewhere to drop Purifoy in this mock, and the Patriots seemed a natural fit. Why? Well, the 6-0 Purifoy has shown the ability to stuff receivers one-on-one … and he’s practicing at wide receiver this offseason, so he can play both ways. A high-end Julian Edelman.

29. Houston Texans — Christian Jones, LB, Florida State: Something tells me Jones, who had 95 tackles last season, will ultimately be picked higher than this. He can get into the backfield, diagnose plays and track down running backs. Jones could develop into the total package.

30. Atlanta Falcons — David Yankey, OT, Stanford: Yankey slid out to tackle from guard for 2012. His NFL future might be back on the interior of the line. Either way, that versatility will only serve to drive up his draft stock. Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson is another tackle to watch.

31. Denver Broncos — Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama: Alabama’s track record of producing defensive backs won’t hurt “Ha Ha” next year. He stepped into a starting role in 2012 and picked off five passes, while showing the ability to play center field or shift down into the box or over slot receivers.

32. San Francisco 49ers — Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: With Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine gone, Jernigan should be the star of Florida State’s D-line in 2013. He’s a monster up front and could project to fit multiple defensive schemes.

133 comments
bmurray912
bmurray912

If Tavon Austin can go top 10, DeAnthony Thomas is a first round talent. 

rheffero
rheffero

Great, another underachieving Bama LB in the first round. It is becoming automatic over ranking of these bama defensive players who end up being pretty average in the NFL.

Johnny Football to the Vikes,,really. What makes you think that AP wants that sideshow?

kgill28
kgill28

I don't understand why this dude has St. Louis using a 1st round pick on a corner back. We have Finegan and Jenkins as the 2 starters with Johnson as the nickle back. Safety and another receiver are much bigger needs.

StefromBurnley
StefromBurnley

Jason Verrett will be the #1 CB in this class.  Revis MKII

BrianWalker1
BrianWalker1

How does AJ McCarron not get any 1st round attention? After he will be the 1st QB to ever win 3 National Championships in a row! He has a great arm, doesnt make bone head decisions and can make all the NFL throws.

BrianWalker1
BrianWalker1

How does AJ McCarron not get any 1st round attention? After he will be the 1st QB to ever win 3 National Championships in a row!

SpencerHaws
SpencerHaws

Really Chris Burke??? You think Colt Lyerla has a maturity problem bc his views about the Sandy Hook tragedy don't coincide your own or the mainstream? He has every right to speak his mind. You just shut up about his beliefs and stick to talking about his NFL talent.

John4
John4

Picking 32nd, which could happen, the 49ers select DT Timmy Jernigan from Florida State because Tank Carradine is already gone?  Huh?  The 49ers selected Tank Carradine in the second round of the draft about a week ago.  What in the world is this writer doing?

JosephGelis
JosephGelis

What??? No one from LSU??? Oh, that's right. They all bailed out as juniors this year!!!

drudown
drudown

Hundley at $9 oh man that's a whopper

bobinpowell
bobinpowell

The only comment this article needs is for someone to post "Yawn" and everyone else to click like.

pvs
pvs

So, the Broncos beat the Texans in the AFC championship game and the 49'S beat the Falcons in the NFC championship game and win the SB......not sure we will see that scenario play out 

Keith
Keith

Could someone explain to me exactly how Tajh Boyd goes from getting mid-round grades from the NFL and most analysts prior to this draft to getting top-10 projections for next year without playing any significant football. It isn't as if he is going to improve upon last year that much if at all this fall.

MICHAELF
MICHAELF

I'm fairly certain that Johnny Manziel will not be selected in the first round. Isn't he a much shorter version of Tim Tebow? In the pros, he compares to someone like Denard Robinson who was drafted in the third round and will not be a starting QB. At best, Manziel could be a pert-time QB in a "read-option" offensive set but would also have to be used as a third wide receiver.

RomarioDelLago
RomarioDelLago

I would LOVE for my Vikes to get Johnny Manziel aka "Fran Tarkenton 2.0"   


Man that would rock.

SandersonKramer
SandersonKramer

Chis,  I'm guessing you did the same  thing for 2013 a year ago. How bout posting it and commenting on it. Really curious particularly how you predicted the QBs to go. Thanks


StevenKeys
StevenKeys

"2014 NFL Mock Draft (Burke)" and "College Hoops Power Rankings (Winn)" in April '13.  SI serving up lots of pie lately, as in, pie-in-the-sky.  I'm a cake man myself, something with a few more calories.  But plenty of pie-lovers here gobbling it up.  Gotta' give the people what they want.

And 49ers at #32, Chris?  Kaep runnin' wild again & hoisting Lombardi?  Pie-in-the-sky, a la mode. 

Maybe it's a good time to take those vacations and re-charge the batteries.  

James114
James114

If Dallas really is picking in that range again, it means another bad year. Which to me means some major changes coming. I'd be very surprised if they'd pass up the hugely popular (in Texas at last) Manziel as the face of that new change. Even though, due o his contract Romo would probably remain starter for most of year.

MatthewMason
MatthewMason

We all know half of these guys won't be 1st rounders or draft eligible by the time it rolls around.  Check out last years draft, less than 50% were 1st rounders.

davidusc708
davidusc708

Lots of Pac-12 representation here. Nice

John4
John4

So, if the Cowboys get the 17 pick, it would mean that they are about .500 in 2013.  That seems very generous!

RudyMorris
RudyMorris

The Bengals as the 4th best record in the AFC? Maybe I will live long enough to see them win a playoff game again!

John4
John4

My favorite part of this article is the inclusion of NFL teams picking the players.  Not just "Jadeveon Clowney - first overall pick", but first overall to the Raiders.  This article has the Raiders, Cardinals, Jaguars, Browns, Jets, Chargers, Bills Chiefs, Eagles and Titans as the bottom 10 teams in the league.  

It also has Johnny Manziel at 18, not 1 or 2, because (as I have been saying for months) he does not have an NFL style body, and despite the Heisman, success for him in the NFL is far from guaranteed.  No hate, just telling it like it is.  If anyone disagrees, kindly state why.  

Mark90
Mark90

@BrianWalker1 He's been sending teammates to the NFL in droves. Do you really thin McCarron is the reason Alabama has won 2 national championships?

kwganz
kwganz

Read it again. The writer is saying Werner and Carradine are gone from FSU, allowing Jernigan to be noticed more.

kwganz
kwganz

Read it again. The writer is saying Werner and Carradine are gone from FSU, allowing Jernigan to be noticed more

j7apple
j7apple

@bobinpowell lol..half these people will not be drafted in the first three rounds.

drm166
drm166

@pvs  Are you sure of any scenario?

BryanCustard1
BryanCustard1

@Keith Yea cause another season of football, weight training, and the extended responsibility placed on a senior qb never helped anyone. Too much is put into the QBs who go back and lose draft status (Barkley) than the ones who improve their draft status in their senior year [like RGIII, although it may have been his redshirt junior year, but I'm not looking it up ;)]

Mark90
Mark90

@MICHAELF If he has another year like the last one, expect him to be top 5.

StevenKeys
StevenKeys

@RomarioDelLago "(FT) 2.0?"  Maybe, no.  Tark was a passer extraordinaire, scrambled to avoid the rush and improve his downfield vision, not a run-for-yardage QB like Johnny 'Wad' Manziel.

John4
John4

@James114 James - everything you said is true.  The worst part of the Romo contract?  It has over $50 Million guaranteed, so cutting him after a year or two (which is long overdue) unfortunately would be prohibitively expensive.  

John4
John4

@j7apple j7 - are you saying that Manziel plays like Russell Wilson?  Are you saying that QBs as good as Russell Wilson typically get drafted in the third round?  Did you happen to name a very good exception to the typical third round pick for a QB?  What does your response indicate?  

drudown
drudown

@John4 @drudown 

Well, I watched Hundley play 3 or 4 games. Having played QB in high school (enter Uncle Rico joke here), I'd like to think I have a decent eye for talent. By way of example, the very first time I watched Stafford play for Georgia, I said "that is a NFL arm"...maybe Hundley will show me something more next year. 

Of the QBs just drafted, paradoxically I give Matt Scott a better chance at succeeding that Manuel and/or Geno Smith. Scott has great instincts and could be a Kapernick (sic.) in disguise.

John4
John4

@drudown Wow - you really don't like that UCLA QB, I'm guessing.  Actually, I did see him play a few times in 2012, and he appeared to be quite good.  Is he top 10?  Earlier, I said that it could happen.  Of course at this point, who know?  Look at the slide by Barkley, Smith, the Tenn QB, the undrafted QB from Arizona.  They all appeared to go lower (or not drafted at all) than most would have thought.  For the 2014 draft, we'll see.  It's a little to take bets on the draft position for 2014, this list is just a mock, but I do think the future looks bright for Hundley.  Take care.  Dru Down - why do you think this is far too high for Hundley?

John4
John4

@KevinG Kevin - getting beyond the claimed height and weight of Manziel, both of which seem very generous, do you think that Manziel has an NFL type body?   If he does, why would he be at 18 in this mock draft?  (No disrespect, just my opinion).  Peace.  

John4
John4

@mjhellund I don't have anything against Manziel.  (Look at my previous posts.  Nothing negative there).  Just that he is about 6'0" and almost 200 lbs.  Things he can do at the collegiate level will be defended much better in the NFL.  The writer has Manziel at 18 of the first round, not the first or second overall pick, and I think the writer is correct.  Best of luck to Manziel in the future, just that the record for Heisman winning QBs as they transition to the NFL is not very good.  

mjhellund
mjhellund

@John4 @j7apple Manziel is a better candidate for AA than for the 1st round of the NFL draft. He's also arrogant and obnoxious.

John4
John4

@j7apple j7 - well Manziel has too much talent to be a one year flop, especially considering the talent leaving other SEC teams, and that Manzeil's OL managed to keep a very very good LT (LT for 2013).  Note also that I have nothing against Manziel.  I just think that he will face challenges in the NFL that he has not seen while at A&M.  

I also think that Wilson and Brees may be more athletic than Manzeil, but could be wrong about that.  j7 - thank you for the information and perspective on Manziel.  

j7apple
j7apple

@John4 @j7apple I was saying dont judge Manziel by his body type. Size is not always a predictor of success and to over rated. Look at Brees now Wilson, I wonder how many others were passed over for that one stat alone.

Manziel will either flop as a one year wonder, or goes top 10 in 2014 draft.