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Post-Free Agency Frenzy Mock Draft

Published: March 29, 2014

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Mock Draft Schedule

I’ll be mock drafting throughout the off-season to paint the latest picture for each team provide our thoughts on who each team should select in the first round to maximize their chances of success.

Below is a schedule of the mock drafts I’ll be providing up until this May’s draft.

With the First Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft…

1) Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
With talks of the Texans trying hard to trade out of the number one overall pick, the only safe projection is to give them the best player available. Without a doubt, that’s Clowney.

2) St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
One thing every NFL expert can agree on? Robinson is the most talented offensive tackle prospect in this draft class. While the Rams also may trade out of this pick, taking the large, athletic Auburn product is a no-brainer.

3) Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
I’m sorry, but the quarterbacks aren’t going to be falling that far. When the draft is months away we tend to “nitpick” in our analysis, and there’s no greater victim – in this year’s draft – than Bridgewater. He’s the most well-rounded quarterback in this class and is likely to be the first off the board.

4) Cleveland Browns – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The Browns have a lot of needs, but they could do worse than adding an excellent RT to their already solid offensive line. With this pick, they could then address the quarterback position with more confidence.

5) Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo,
Despite playing at the University of Buffalo, Mack’s stock has risen over the past few months, and even Oakland will take notice. After losing Lamarr Houston to Chicago in free agency, Mack arguably would become the Raiders best defensive player.

6) Atlanta Falcons – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA,
The Falcons opened up free agency with a bang, signing two huge, run-stuffing defensive lineman and an offensive lineman, but surprisingly did nothing to aid one of the NFL’s worst pass rushes in 2013. I fully expect them to address that position in the first round of May’s draft.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
New coach Lovie Smith is making his mark on Tampa’s organization with a litany of free agent moves. One of which included bringing in the journeyman quarterback Josh McCown. Not only does that show their lack of confidence in Mike Glennon, but it leaves the door open for Tampa to snag a quarterback early should their preferred prospect fall.

8) Minnesota Vikings – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The Vikings main need still is at quarterback. Manziel would energize the fanbase and immediately be thrown into the fire against other top-level and near top-level NFL quarterbacks in the NFC North division.

9) Buffalo Bills – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Buffalo’s offensive line continues to get re-built with the athletic, undervalued Lewan being plugged into one of their tackle spots.

10) Detroit Lions – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Gilbert has risen up the draft board all off-season long. With Detroit’s only large remaining need the secondary, the Oklahoma State product would be a perfect fit for the Lions already talented roster.

11) Tennessee Titans – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Tennessee is one of those NFL teams that seems impossible to predict. I’m still not entirely sure what their strategy is moving forward. However, if Watkins were to fall this far, he’d be the obvious selection.

12) New York Giants – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Giants have tried to fill the tight end position with a gritty veteran for years now. With Eli Manning struggling immensely in 2013, it’s time to get him an elite weapon at that position.

13) St. Louis Rams – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
After addressing the offensive line, the Rams add yet another weapon for Sam Bradford. Evans is the best deep threat WR in this draft and would be another tool at the Rams’ disposal. If Bradford doesn’t pan out after these two draft picks, it’s time to move on, St. Louis.

14) Chicago Bears – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
After losing the extremely talented DT Henry Melton to Dallas in free agency, the Bears could use another large man in the middle of their defense. They don’t get much larger than Nix, but don’t be fooled by his massive size: this guy can move well for his size and will be a force in the NFL’s trenches.

15) Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
I’ve been told the Steelers secondary is their primary weakness. After adding Dennard – arguably the best corner in this year’s draft – they can move on to other needs like wide receiver and the front seven.

16) Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Aaron Donald has had one of the best off-seasons of any draft-eligible player. After dominating at the Senior Bowl, Donald put together another amazing performance at the NFL’s combine. The Cowboys would be lucky to get him here at 16.

17) Baltimore Ravens – Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
The most versatile lineman in the draft lands with a team desperate for help along the offensive line. Martin could fill the hole left at right tackle when Michael Oher left Baltimore for Tennessee. Given the way Oher played in 2013, that’s an upgrade at RT for Baltimore.

18) New York Jets – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Jets mean business this year, boys and girls! Marqise Lee is an excellent wide receiver to add and would be a perfect compliment to Eric Decker. Geno Smith or Mike Vick – whoever starts at quarterback – may be able to have decent fantasy seasons after all.

19) Miami Dolphins – Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
This UCLA lineman has shot up draft boards thanks to size, athletic ability, and a track record of success. One of the most OL-needy teams get a fantasy guard to help rebuild their line on the fly.

20) Arizona Cardinals – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Mosley is a tough guy to project because he could fit with so many different teams. The Cardinals would love to sign him to fill the ILB hole left after Karlos Dansby fled for Cleveland.

21) Green Bay Packers – Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
The Packers rarely make big moves in free agency, so their biggest need hasn’t changed one bit: to get faster, younger, and better on defense. Shazier will help them do that.

22) Philadelphia Eagles – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Jernigan isn’t much of a pass rusher, but Chip Kelly would have fun plugging his large frame into a defense that relied on a bit of smoke and mirrors last season. The Eagles run defense would immediately improve drastically.

23) Kansas City Chiefs – Kony Ealy, DE/OLB, Missouri
The versatile, “tweener” pass rusher the Chiefs add another athletic defensive player to their rotations. Ealy could have a really productive rookie season in Kansas City.

24) Cincinnati Bengals – Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
The offseason’s favorite speed rusher lands in Cincinnati, continuing their annual trend of adding key defensive players through the draft. While the Bengals offense is a bit of a question mark, their defense should continue to thrive, especially after adding Ford.

25) San Diego Chargers – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Getting Rivers more weapons should be the priority. Cooks just looks like an NFL receiver and has potential to click with Rivers in 2014 similar to how Keenan Allen did in 2013.

26) Cleveland Browns – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Browns lost their Pro-Bowl level safety T.J. Ward in free agency, but Clinton-Dix isn’t looking to fill that role. Instead, he could pair with newly signed Donte Whitner to form a strong safety tandem. He could also be preparing to take Whitner’s job in a couple of years.

27) New Orleans Saints – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Despite having absolutely no cap room, the Saints made some big moves in free agency. However they didn’t address the corner position. In fact, they lost some veterans and need to address the position early in the draft. Verrett is a small, physical corner that would fit Rob Ryan’s defensive system well.

28) Carolina Panthers – Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
The Panthers continue to add key talent to an already excellent defense. Pryor is a big hitter, athletic, rangy, and is probably the best safety in this draft class.

29) New England Patriots – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
With Aaron Hernandez LONG gone and Rob Gronkowski’s long-term health in serious question, adding a tight end early makes a lot of sense for New England. Amaro had a unique role as a tight end at Texas Tech, so why can’t he come in and play that same role for the Pats?

30) San Francisco 49ers – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Jim Harbaugh loves his strong defense, and Hageman would only make it better. Long, large, and quicker than you think, Hageman would disrupt a lot of offenses in 2014 with a “SF” helmet on.

31) Denver Broncos – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Sure, the Broncos splurged big to add CB Aqib Talib, but he’s older and isn’t exactly a beacon of health. Roby is a big corner who could learn a thing or two from his veteran teammate and begin the process to becoming Denver’s number one corner.

32) Seattle Seahawks – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
At this point, it’s all about value. Kouandjio has fallen off a cliff due to medical concerns, but the Seahawks haven’t been afraid to take “the guy they want” regardless of draft position (see Irvin, Bruce). The Alabama alum would plug one of the few holes the defending Super Bowl champs have and maybe even start at RT to begin the season.

About Brady D. Callahan

Brady is happily married, learning how to be a new dad, and trying to dominate fantasy football leagues as frequently as possible. He started playing fantasy football in his senior year of high school, but his enjoyment of it didn't grow into a hobby until 12 months later, when the university he attended paired him with a roommate as passionate about sports and fantasy football as he was. Brady proudly states he's never played in a non-PPR league, and probably never will. When he's not watching, reading, or playing sports, Brady works as an aspiring professional in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry at a small content marketing and SEO agency and serves as an elder at a local church.

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