Posted December 08, 2013

Top-10 Mock Draft: Projections for 10 worst teams after Week 14

Houston Texans, NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
Texas A&M's Mike Evans caught 65 passes for 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013.

Texas A&M’s Mike Evans caught 65 passes for 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. (Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Almost another full week of NFL action in the books means more movement among the 2014 NFL draft order.

The latest full mock draft here on Audibles had Teddy Bridgewater leading four top-10 quarterbacks. How have things changed with some shake-up in the early picks?

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Texans are starting to pull away in the race for No. 1 overall — they have 11 losses, Atlanta and Washington have 10, and no other team has more than nine. The new coach here will get a shot to draft his go-to quarterback right away, even if having Jadeveon Clowney or Anthony Barr is a tempting proposition. Bridgewater remains at the head of the QB class.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

There definitely is an argument to be made here for a quarterback. Sam Bradford is coming off a major knee injury and is owed a ton of money over the next two seasons. If the Rams do not go that route, there are ample alternatives available — OT or WR, for starters. But getting another sensational DE to add to Chris Long and Robert Quinn would set St. Louis up to be dominant on defense for years.

3. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Clowney probably would be the pick here if he makes it to Atlanta’s spot. So, Anthony Barr ought to be under consideration as well. But Barr doesn’t seem like as much of a fit for Atlanta’s D as Clowney … and Matthews is plenty acceptable as a backup plan. This may not be the sexiest pick, but the Falcons are in rough shape on the offensive line.

4. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Carrying this pick over from Mock 3.1. The Vikings are almost certain to look QB at some point in the draft. Having a player like Barr still on the board at this point would make it tough to pull the trigger on Carr, but the Fresno State product likely could slide in as the starter from Day 1.

5. Oakland Raiders: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Raiders could fit Barr in somewhere if they had to; a player as talented as him can dictate complete changes in scheme and approach. The need for a dynamic receiver is so high here, though, that it really would be hard for Oakland to pass on either Evans or Sammy Watkins. I had Watkins ahead of Evans in Mock 3.1 (the former to Tampa Bay, the latter to the Jets). Here, I’m flip-flopping that order, especially if the Raiders have any plans to use the ad-libbing Terrelle Pryor in the future — Evans has done some of his best work at A&M freeing himself while Johnny Manziel scrambles.

Also, I had Johnny Manziel mocked to the Raiders last week at No. 8 overall. That’s a move that I’d consider very much possible even in the top five, but each additional decent Matt McGloin outing makes it less likely in my mind.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Merry Christmas. The Jaguars miss out on the top two quarterbacks — a disappointing outcome given their need there — but they land instead a player that might be this draft’s best when all is said and done. Barr’s athletic, multi-dimensional abilities off the edge would fit nicely in Gus Bradley’s system.

7. Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Another spot where Manziel (or Brett Hundley) could land. Watkins has been a sensational deep threat throughout his time at Clemson, which should make him very appealing for Cleveland’s vertical passing attack. Plus, current No. 1 WR Josh Gordon is but one slip-up away from being suspended for an entire season. Cleveland cannot gamble on him without some semblance of a Plan B.

8. Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Another copycat pick out of Mock 3.1, though the Bills are a spot higher now than they were in that endeavor. Mack has the potential to soar in a defense like the one Mike Pettine wants to play, even more so with Kiko Alonso next to him in the linebacking corps.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

A major adjustment for the Buccaneers, whom I had selecting Sammy Watkins at No. 5 overall when last we spoke of such things. Four spots lower, the focus is the same: A field-stretching weapon to pair with Vincent Jackson as QB Mike Glennon develops. Ebron may not add a ton as a blocker in the run game, but he can work up the seams and out of the slot, expanding the Bucs’ capabilities on offense.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

There are two ways the Steelers could go, as it stands here: Taylor Lewan to bolster an offensive line that basically fell apart in 2013. Or Nix, perhaps the type of piece missing from a D-line that’s often overmatched. There will be potential offensive line starters later in the draft, but I’m not sure that’s the case up front at the 3-4 DT spot. Nabbing Nix here would help the Steelers rebuild in the trenches (as well as possibly give them more flexibility in how they utilize Steve McLendon).

16 comments
JJman
JJman

Hey MORON the Rams would never take Clowney, they already have 2 stud DEs!!!!

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

The Rams will take Clowney only if Matt Millen (the kielbasa man) becomes their GM.

Jim70
Jim70

As is so often the case, #1 pick QBs often go down in flames while the likes of 5th round Brady, 3rd rounders Russell Wilson and Joe Montana, and 2nd rounder Drew Brees leave some notable forgettables behind [- Tim Couch, David Carr, and JaMarcus Russell come to mind.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

?!?! Plenty of needs elsewhere including probably QB, & you pick a 3rd defensive end when the Rams already have two studs?!? It's bad I want to read the rest of the article, but I kinda can't now on principle.

mikalrod
mikalrod

Rams need a QB bad! But not bad enough to pass over Clowney, if they have the chance.

MikeSchultz
MikeSchultz

After watching what EBRON did Vs. my MIAMI HURRICANES he's the next Great TE coming this Draft 

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

I think Mike Evans is a talent and should go fairly high, but when he runs a slow time in the combine, he will fall down the draft board even though everyone knows he'll run slowly.  


Teddy scares me as a #1 pick.  I don't get the sense that he is a can't miss prospect and that's what I'd be looking for in a #1 selection.

sg12
sg12

Louis "winthrop" Nix xxxxx1111v at #10. Have you watched him play? He dominated NO ONE this year. Short and fat does not do well in the NFL. Did you watch him in the BCS NCG game last year? Barrett Jones( 3rd round) ate winthrop for a snack. AND he only had one leg to work with. 

TheDistrict
TheDistrict

Rams will trade down. The trade to Washington just keeps looking better and better...

bowke28
bowke28

@Jim70 Yeah...we should ignore Elway, Stafford, Luck, Manning, and Jim Kelly. Moron.

GaryStewart
GaryStewart

i dont think it ever comes to the rams taking clowney but in this mock they didnt show trade scenarios and if the rams are at #2 there is no way they pick there unless bridgewater is there . and the management has decided to move on from bradford  (i dont believe that). my scenario has cleveland trading their number 7 their number 25 and their first round pick in 2015 for our pick if bridgewater is still there.  i am not convinced houston wont take clowney and from what ive seen the rams should have dance partners

bowke28
bowke28

@Sportsfan18 You haven't been watching him then...dude doesn't miss a pass or a read. 3 of his 4 picks are deflections and the other was a missed route by the WR. Of the 27% of his incomplete passes, more than half are drops.


Skins'Fan
Skins'Fan

The trade does keep looking better and better for the Rams but I am still totally fine with it. We haven't had a QB for 20 years... RGIII had a bum year and a knee injury but here's hoping our next coach will treat him right and get him in a position to succeed. Knowing what I know now, I'd still want them to make that trade.

eltex.tx
eltex.tx

@TheDistrict you better hope they don't fall into the Patriot way. They just keep trading down and down every year, and never seem to get any payoff for all those picks. I think Billy B in NE would give up half of his previous trades just to nab a quality corner. For years, people have called him the best defensive coach and personnel evaluator in the NFL, but his drafts have been most misses, and they haven't fielded a good D in a decade. 

aeronaut
aeronaut

@bowke28 @Jim70

Well, maybe we should ignore Stafford.  Good skills, but a turnover machine.  Lions would be 11-2 if they could protect the football.

Fifilo
Fifilo

Next season will be interesting. Was the first year an aberration, or was this year a sophomore slump?