2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

We’re two weeks out from the NFL Draft and the only thing for sure at this point is that nothing is for sure – and that goes double for mocks. This is my third mock leading up to draft day and I’ve projected at least two different players to every team but one. So before I change my mind again, here’s my 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0. These first-round projections are based on team needs as of April 24 and do not reflect any potential trade scenarios.

1) Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Clowney has cemented himself as the top prospect in the draft and will go first overall. The bigger question is whether the Texans will stay put and take him—or auction the pick off to the highest bidder.
Mock Draft 2.0: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Mock Draft 1.0: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

2) St. Louis Rams: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M
The Rams anticipate a run on offensive tackles early, so they elect to take the first one off the board in Matthews.
Mock Draft 2.0: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Mock Draft 1.0: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Mack has elevated his stock to become a surefire top-five pick. He’s the new crown jewel for a revamped Jaguars defense.
Mock Draft 2.0: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Mock Draft 1.0: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

4) Cleveland Browns: Greg Robinson, T, Auburn
The Browns can add a quarterback and a second receiver later in the draft. The same can’t be said for an elite offensive lineman. Robinson gives the Browns another bookend tackle to pair with Joe Thomas.
Mock Draft 2.0: Greg Robinson, T, Auburn
Mock Draft 1.0: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

5) Oakland Raiders: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Raiders have been known to chase speed in the draft, but the current regime has a history of favoring size on the outside. Evans gives them the best of both worlds.
Mock Draft 2.0: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Mock Draft 1.0: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

6) Atlanta Falcons: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Instead of reaching for one of the other remaining tackles here, the Falcons settle for the heir apparent to the retired Tony Gonzalez with Ebron.
Mock Draft 2.0: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M
Mock Draft 1.0: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Watkins steps in as an instant starter for the Tampa Bay offense, teaming with Vincent Jackson and replacing Mike Williams.
Mock Draft 2.0: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Mock Draft 1.0: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

8) Minnesota Vikings: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Minnesota takes the first quarterback off the board in Bortles, who projects to have the highest ceiling and doesn’t have to start right away.
Mock Draft 2.0: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Mock Draft 1.0: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

9) Buffalo Bills: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Buffalo needs a plug-and-play starter at safety and Clinton-Dix has seemingly pulled away from Calvin Pryor as the top safety prospect on the board.
Mock Draft 2.0: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Mock Draft 1.0: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

10) Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
If the Lions pass on a top-tier corner here, there probably won’t be one left by the time they pick again. They play it smart and stick with Gilbert.
Mock Draft 2.0: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Mock Draft 1.0: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

11) Tennessee Titans: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Titans need a starting-caliber cornerback to replace Alterraun Verner. Dennard is their guy.
Mock Draft 2.0: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Mock Draft 1.0: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

12) New York Giants: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The versatile Barr is the kind of long, rangy pass rusher the Giants love. He can stand up, move around or put his hand on the ground and get after the quarterback.
Mock Draft 2.0: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Mock Draft 1.0: Greg Robinson, T, Auburn

13) St. Louis Rams: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Pryor gives the Rams a ball-hawking enforcer in the secondary to support a very formidable pass rush.
Mock Draft 2.0: Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan
Mock Draft 1.0: Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan

14) Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The Bears take the stout defensive tackle to boost their interior pass rush and fortify their run defense.
Mock Draft 2.0: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
Mock Draft 1.0: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

15) Pittsburgh Steelers: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
With the top two corners and top two safeties off the board, the Steelers go with the big nose tackle Nix to anchor their defensive line.
Mock Draft 2.0: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Mock Draft 1.0: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

16) Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin, T, Notre Dame
The Cowboys miss out on Donald and the other top pass rush prospects, so they go younger and stronger on the offensive line with Martin, who can start at guard or tackle.
Mock Draft 2.0: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Mock Draft 1.0: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

17) Baltimore Ravens: Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan
The Ravens fill a void at tackle with Lewan, a tough, nasty blocker who is a prime candidate to play in the AFC North.
Mock Draft 2.0: Zack Martin, T, Notre Dame
Mock Draft 1.0: Zack Martin, T, Notre Dame

18) New York Jets: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Jets bypass another offensive weapon in favor of addressing a need at corner by taking Fuller.
Mock Draft 2.0: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Mock Draft 1.0: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

19) Miami Dolphins: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
Arguably the top interior lineman available, Su’a-Filo has been climbing up draft boards. He can also slide out to tackle to give the Dolphins flexibility up front.
Mock Draft 2.0: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
Mock Draft 1.0: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

20) Arizona Cardinals: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Arizona could grab a quarterback here to eventually succeed Carson Palmer, but they opt instead to grab Mosley to replace Karlos Dansby.
Mock Draft 2.0: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Mock Draft 1.0: Dee Ford, DE Auburn

21) Green Bay Packers: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
Green Bay needs help in their secondary, and with the top two safeties off the board, they reach slightly for Ward.
Mock Draft 2.0: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Mock Draft 1.0: Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, Minnesota

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU
The Eagles tap Beckham to replace DeSean Jackson as the explosive playmaker in their high-octane offense.
Mock Draft 2.0: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Mock Draft 1.0: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

23) Kansas City Chiefs: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Chiefs need more firepower for their offense and go with Cooks to be the game-breaker for their passing attack.
Mock Draft 2.0: Ra’Shede Hageman, DE, Minnesota
Mock Draft 1.0: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

24) Cincinnati Bengals: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
A solid pass rusher and run defender, Ealy replaces Michael Johnson on the edge for the Bengals
Mock Draft 2.0: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Mock Draft 1.0: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

25) San Diego Chargers: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Chargers jump at the chance to draft one of the top defensive tackle prospects, as the disruptive Jernigan slips to them late in the first round.
Mock Draft 2.0: Marquise Lee, WR, USC
Mock Draft 1.0: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

26) Cleveland Browns: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Roby is fast and tough, and gives the Browns a talented cover man to play opposite Joe Haden.
Mock Draft 2.0: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Mock Draft 1.0: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

27) New Orleans Saints: Marquise Lee, WR, USC
The Saints reload their offensive weaponry with Lee, a smooth route runner with dynamic playmaking ability.
Mock Draft 2.0: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Mock Draft 1.0: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

28) Carolina Panthers: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
The Panthers need an offensive tackle and a starting-caliber wide receiver. Matthews is the best player available at those positions of need.
Mock Draft 2.0: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Mock Draft 1.0: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

29) New England Patriots: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Hageman has the power, athleticism, and versatility to play in multiple fronts for the Patriots defense and provides good value here.
Mock Draft 2.0: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Mock Draft 1.0: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

30) San Francisco 49ers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
San Francisco could opt for an edge rusher or second-level help, but stick with Verrett to upgrade their secondary.
Mock Draft 2.0: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
Mock Draft 1.0: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

31) Denver Broncos: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
The Broncos add more speed to their defense with Shazier, a do-everything linebacker who can play inside or outside.
Mock Draft 2.0: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
Mock Draft 1.0: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

32) Seattle Seahawks: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Seattle adds another disruptive defender in Ford, arguably the top speed rusher available in the draft.
Mock Draft 2.0: Cyrus Kouandjio, T, Alabama
Mock Draft 1.0: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

011314-underclassmen-cpThanks for reading!

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