Posted December 30, 2013

Top-10 Mock Draft: Projections for 10 worst teams after Week 17

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard (right) could help several CB-needy teams.

Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard (right) could help several CB-needy teams. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With the NFL’s regular season in the books and the majority of the draft order set, it’s time to take another look at how the top 10 might play out.

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville.

Even those who are skeptical of Bridgewater’s abilities had to be impressed with how he played against Miami in Louisville’s bowl game. He threw for 447 yards and accounted for four touchdowns — a dazzling performance that showed off everything he brings to the table. Included in that list of abilities: mobility, touch downfield and the awareness to roll through progressions in decisive fashion.

MORE COVERAGE: Week 17 Snaps | Previewing wild-card slate | Black Monday Tracker

2. St. Louis Rams — via Washington: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina.

I flipped Jake Mathews into this spot last week, but it’s honestly difficult to envision the Rams — or any team that might trade up to this spot — would pass on a player that could be dominant at the next level. Clowney is the best overall prospect in this class, and he would be more than capable of stepping into whatever role the Rams envisioned for him up front.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo.

Shooting Mack up several picks — had him to Buffalo in that 9ish range for the past few mocks — and it’s mainly because I still have questions about the other QBs in the mix. Plus, Gus Bradley is a coach with a defensive background … and he’s leading a team with a severe deficiency in playmakers off the edge. Mack is a little further along in his development at this point than Anthony Barr, a key for a team in need of immediate starters.

4. Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson.

All bets are off at the moment, with the Browns parting ways with Rob Chudzinski after one season. The next coach will want to place his guy in charge at QB, and at the very least will need an upgrade over the Brandon Weeden/Jason Campbell/Brian Hoyer triumvirate. Count Derek Carr, Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles among the possibilities here (if the latter two turn pro). Until more is set in place, though, the thought of adding Watkins to Josh Gordon in the passing game ought to excite Browns fans.

5. Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State.

It may not always be that apparent, but the Raiders have weapons who could excel in creating after the catch. Carr’s shortcomings were on display in a bowl loss to USC — off-balance throws, inaccuracies and so on. But he’s way better than he showed against the Trojans, perhaps enough so that Oakland could hand him the offense.

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

The notion of dropping Anthony Barr here was tough to ignore. The Falcons’ pass rush was nonexistent at times this season, and they never managed to replace John Abraham. That said, did you see them try to block Carolina’s front on Sunday? It’s a miracle Matt Ryan walked off the field at the end of the game. No reason to overthink this, then: Matthews is a top-five talent at a position of need for the Falcons.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA.

Like their division rivals in Atlanta, the Buccaneers simply were not talented enough on the edge of their defense. So hello, possible quick fix. This is another spot where a QB could come off the board, as well as a choice that will be dictated by what’s going on with the coaching staff. Barr would provide the Buccaneers some punch, either as a starting DE or as a dangerous situational pass-rusher.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State.

The Vikings used their first-rounder last year on Xavier Rhodes, so doubling down may not be all that attractive. On the other hand, they still finished 32nd against the pass, plus play in a division that features three dynamic aerial attacks. They clearly need more of a presence across the field from Rhodes.

But how about Manziel here instead? One way or another, the Vikings will be adding a quarterback this offseason. An offense centered around Manziel, Adrian Peterson and Cordarrelle Patterson would be mighty challenging to scheme against. (Bortles could be in play here, too.)

THAMEL: Dennard’s journey from rural Georgia to the Rose Bowl

9. Buffalo Bills: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama.

Mentioned above that this had been a spot reserved for Mack in most of my recent mocks. This would not be a bad consolation prize. Mosley projects more as an inside guy in the pros — either as a 4-3 MLB or 3-4 ILB — but he could do some damage out of a weakside position, which is where he’s played at Alabama. The Bills’ hybrid defense could take advantage of having both Mosley and Kiko Alonso, and it’s important to remember that teams increasingly use two-LB, nickel sets, so Mosley’s time stuck outside might be limited.

10. Detroit Lions: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M.

There’s no denying that cornerback may be the Lions’ biggest need. There’s also no denying that this team has to upgrade its talent at wide receiver, both to give Calvin Johnson a little help and to guard against the offensive stalemates that occur when he’s been out of the lineup. If Dennard’s here (or whichever CB the Lions have atop their board at that position), that pick might be a no-brainer. In the event that he’s not, though, dropping in a physical 6-foot-5 receiver into the No. 2 role behind Megatron might leave Matthew Stafford doing cartwheels of joy.

49 comments
Mike133
Mike133

No way in friggin' hell that Oakland takes on another "project QB" with the #5 pick. Al Davis?  Maybe, but no competent GM would do something so stupid.  They may take a QB, but no way it's Carr.

Florencio
Florencio

Derek Carr is not a first round QB and the Raiders biggest problem is their defense.

BrianOlson
BrianOlson

Minnesota had three first rounders last year.

JamesD3
JamesD3

Is this Bleacher report?  What a moronic mock draft.

6marK6
6marK6

Derek Carr at #5? I just can't believe that is realistic.

rjfisher72
rjfisher72

Hopefully the Lions go LB or CB in the 1st round, maybe even trade down in the 1st round and pick up another pick. They need 2 corners, possibly a LB, 1 OL and 1 WR.

MavsMan
MavsMan

Just because he is paid to do this doesn't mean he is the smartest at it or that he is even remotely accurate.

John4
John4

How about Manziel at 8?  You cannot be serious.  Manziel will be drafted between 30 and 45.

ChadPatrick
ChadPatrick

This is far and away the worst mock I have ever seen.  Don't give up your day job.

areach1997
areach1997

best deal ever. rams get 3 first rounders for rg3 and now they could either grab one of the great talents this year or trade down and get another 2 or 3 which would end up with them getting 5 or 6 1st rounders for an injury prone running back who can throw

areach1997
areach1997

cmon robert manziel is the worst fit for houston at this point they need bridgewater not another tim tebow


PhillyPenn
PhillyPenn

So silly to mock draft at this point

Robert96
Robert96

If Houston doesn't get Manzel................I, or my family will never watch a Houston game again....................EVER!!!!!!!

j7apple
j7apple

Rams trade out of 2 for more picks

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

Teams 3-5 will all go qb . One would have to be an idiot not to see it .

MichaelDean1
MichaelDean1

Derek Carr played the USC game with a separated shoulder. I don't think he is first round talent (too much shotgun at Fresno St) but he would do well sitting behind someone for a couple of years like Aaron Rodgers did. He will play in the NFL. Oh and David still has a ring...

oldguy68
oldguy68

If I were selecting, I'd be wary of Clowney at the #2 spot. No question about the physical potential, but the questions about motivation would cause me to look elsewhere. Like to Jake Mathews

RioSports
RioSports

Worst Mock Draft I've ever seen!!

1.Rams get a DE because that's what they need! Even though quin has the most sacks in the league this year and long is playing opposite of him. They just gonna ignore the fact that their franchise QB has no protection and is constantly getting hurt!

2.Then here comes Jacksonville in desperate need of a QB but oh wait they are gonna draft a LB instead.

3.Cleveland with the 4th pick takes a WR because they already have a franchise QB in Brandon Weeden and their defense is stellar!(yeah)

5.Finally the Raiders take Carr because the fact that they play in a division with Peyton and Rivers means they need to be able to have a shoot out and not try to stop them on defense. They are fine with Houston leading the team with sacks at a whopping 6 sacks for the year!!

Big
Big

And who are the Rams going to use at Left Tackle? Clowney at #2 does them no good if their O line falls apart. and Jacksonville will take a QB, why would they go into next season with what they have which is terrible.

CamelClutch
CamelClutch

The Raiders are stupid. But they're not stupid enough to waste a TOP FIVE pick on David Carr's brother. Especially after that clunker of a bowl game he spun up.


If Barr or Matthews is available, either is a possibility. Especially with LT Veldheer a free agent.

wetmouse
wetmouse

My condolences for the GM dumb enough to either:

Take Clowney the clown.

Take any WR in the top 10.

GaryStewart
GaryStewart

clowney at #2 to the rams is interesting if he could play all over and cover as an olb that rushes the passer maybe but i dont see matthews or barr getting past the rams at #2     that said the rams will likely trade down as we did 2 years ago when we traded the rights to rg3 (#2 overall in 2012) for what turned out to be  brockers jenkins pead ogletree bailey and stacy so far and now we again have #2 wow thats alot of holes filled for the one pick!!!!

sportsGuy12
sportsGuy12

if marriotta would have declared, this draft would be more interesting

R11R
R11R

I would hate this draft if this actually happened. No way I want the raiders to draft Derek Carr. I expect a big time trade in the top 10. But I'm hoping the draft doesn't turn out like this. I'd be extremely disappointed.

scottdetfan
scottdetfan

Lions need to get Evans or Watkins.  They can get a really good CB in round 2.  Also, if you watch the Lions closely you'll see that it's a scheme issue, not necessarily a lack of talent at CB.  Green, Slay, and Bentley all played really good down the stretch when they were allowed to play aggressive man to man coverages; which the Lions rarely do.  A new scheme that plays to the strengths of the CBs they already have on the roster is the best thing they can do for their secondary.

dte421
dte421

It's tough to see a team as thin at offensive line as the Rams taking Clowney when they already have 2 Pro Bowl caliber DE's.  Wouldn't taking an OT or trading down make more sense?

Mike133
Mike133

@John4 Yeah, Manziel will DEFINITELY be gone by 22-23, without a doubt.  I'd be surprised if he's still there at 15

AttacPack
AttacPack

@ChadPatrick this is his job you idiot. you just spent your time reading then replying to someone who gets paid to write this stuff.


John4
John4

@areach1997 the RG3 trade was great for the Rams, Now they HAVE to take Clowney.  He will be a disruptive pass rusher for the next 10 years.  A DeMarcus Ware type of player.  

John4
John4

@PhillyPenn No it's not.  The regular season is over.  The non-playoff teams have to plan and improve.  A better mock would be cool, though.

John4
John4

@Robert96 Robert - do you REALLY think that Manziel is worthy of the number one pick?  I have NEVER seen a mock with him that high.  Manziel will NOT be going to Houston.  Will you consider becoming a Cowboys fan?

j-hood
j-hood

@Robert96 I'm sorry but teddy bridgewater is far and away a better prospect for the NFL with a great work ethic.... manziel to me tends to depend on his athleticism this advantage won't be there as much in the NFL.

JoyWells
JoyWells

Welp thats one Houston fan down, 1 million to go, I'm pretty sure they'll be fighting to get you back.

Ryan19
Ryan19

@yummypeaches One would have to be an idiot to assume that none of those teams would address their QB issues in free agency.  Most likely all three of them will not take a QB in those spots.  

John4
John4

@oldguy68 Have you not seen Clowney's play for the past two years?  He is the number 2 pick.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@RioSportsIt's December.  Come in from the ledge.  In April, May, June, or whenever the draft occurs, this mock, and your whiny take on it, will be ancient history.

Ryan19
Ryan19

@RioSports Quinn did not have the most sacks in the league this year.  Quinn had 19, but Robert Mathis had 19.5.   

Chessmaster
Chessmaster

@BigBecause since their start-up days with Brunell, the Jags have put priority on QB time after time, and all have come up FAILS. They have other needs as well. This draft is rich at QB, so no need to go there in round1.

tootallgoof
tootallgoof

@Ryan19@yummypeachesor a team can trade for Cousins with a lower pick.   I would take Cousins over almost all the the QBs in the draft.

Hendo
Hendo

@Ryan19 @yummypeaches  Who would be a good QB acquisition in free agency? Hopefully your team doesn't end up with Josh Freeman.

rjfisher72
rjfisher72

@John4 Have you not seen his immaturity and inconsistency? He only plays hard when he wants to, is that likely to change once he signs a $20+ million contract. I'd be weary, I can see Haynesworth 2.0 happening with him.

John4
John4

@Mulva Does your avatar name rhyme with a female body part?  Sounds like a Seinfeld episode.