Join Date: Apr 2008
Re: CBS Sports 2014 Mocks -- Dane Brugler/Rob Rang
By Rob Rang
NFL MOCK DRAFT - 5/8/2014
1. HOUSTON TEXANS
(2-14) Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: The Texans' primary need is at quarterback not pass rusher but it appears that Bill O'Brien and Rick Smith have narrowed their choice to top pass rushers Clowney and Khalil Mack. Clowney isn't as polished out of the two-point stance as Mack but he's the premier talent of this class.
2. ST. LOUIS RAMS
(7-9) Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn: To compete in the ultra-physical NFC West division, priority No. 1 for the Rams must be to get tougher at the line of scrimmage. Robinson is a work in progress in pass protection but he's a dominant run blocker who could step in at right tackle or guard and be groomed to ultimately take over for Jake Long on the left side.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
(4-12) Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: After taking the safe route with offensive tackle Luke Joeckel a year ago, the Jaguars are on the prowl for a player likely to make a bigger impact with this selection. Mack (or Clowney, if available) offers immediate impact ability as a proven edge rusher who projects nicely as a LEO defensive end in Gus Bradley's scheme.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS
(4-12) Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Manziel would excite the fan base and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan had success with the similarly dynamic Robert Griffin III in Washington. General manager Ray Farmer may want to start his tenure with a safe pick first, however, and they don't come much safer than Matthews, who teamed with Joe Thomas and Alex Mack, would give the Browns the best offensive line in the AFC North.
5. OAKLAND RAIDERS
(4-12) Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: Taking a young quarterback here would make sense but aggressive spending in free agency is a strong indication that Raiders' general manager Reggie McKenzie is feeling the pressure to win now. Watkins' vacuum-like hands and first-step acceleration make him a big play waiting to happen.
6. ATLANTA FALCONS
(4-12) Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: The Falcons could certainly use a pass rusher and may make the bold trade up to get one but given the investments made in the skill positions, Lewan would be a terrific consolation prize here. He has the length and physicality to play on the right side and provide an insurance policy in case incumbent left tackle Sam Baker once again struggles with injury.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
(4-12) Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: No one attacked free agency like Tampa, which gives head coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht plenty of options with this pick. Wide receiver is probably the likeliest scenario given the jettisoning of Mike Williams. Evans is a virtual clone of current Tampa star Vincent Jackson and would provide the Bucs with a monstrous duo of pass-catchers similar to the Brandon Marshall-Alshon Jeffery pairing Josh McCown enjoyed great success with a year ago.
8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
(5-10-1) Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: Put yourself in new head coach Mike Zimmer's position. He inherited Adrian Peterson. How can is the head coach to convince the game's best running back that Minnesota is trying to win now by taking a rookie quarterback here? Adding Donald, who some compare to former Vikings' great John Randle, sends the right message and is more in line with Zimmer's aggressive style.
9. BUFFALO BILLS
(6-10) Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame: A four-year starter at left tackle for the Irish, Martin possesses the aggression, agility and versatility to start immediately in the NFL. Whether pushing Cody Glenn to the right side or switching positions, himself, his addition would provide an upgrade over current Bills' right tackle Eric Pears, providing young quarterback E.J. Manuel the bookend blockers to aid in his development.
10. DETROIT LIONS
(7-9) Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin inherits a unit that was terrible a year ago in creating turnovers. Safety Louis Delmas led the team with three interceptions and he's no longer on the roster. Veteran Chris Houston was the only cornerback on the team to intercept a pass. Gilbert is a proven playmaker who led the Big 12 with seven interceptions in 2013 and returned six kickoffs for scores over his collegiate career.
11. TENNESSEE TITANS
(7-9) Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: The Titans tied for 21st in the NFL with 36 sacks recorded in 2013 with defensive tackle Jurell Casey chipping in a disproportionate 10.5 of them. With the Titans expected to transition to a 3-4 defense under Ray Horton, Casey's numbers are likely to fall, creating a need for more pass rushers. Only two years removed from playing on offense, Barr lacks the polish to rank as a top 10 pick for everyone but his tremendous blend of size (6-5, 255), speed (4.44) and flexibility made him a star rush linebacker in UCLA's 3-4 scheme.
12. NY GIANTS
(7-9) Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: The Giants are looking for better protection and big play targets for Eli Manning and could see Ebron as capable of helping in both areas. With new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo expected to feature the position in his attack, Ebron's athleticism could make him an instant hit.
13. ST. LOUIS RAMS
(7-9) Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville: The Rams are expected to use their NFL-best three picks among the top 44 to fill their biggest areas of need - OL, WR, and FS. With the massive Greg Robinson added at No. 2 overall and the receiver class so deep, the Rams get their pick of the litter at safety. Pryor isn't quite as fluid in coverage as some of the other safeties in this class but to play for Jeff Fisher and in the NFC West, physicality is the priority.
14. CHICAGO BEARS
(8-8) C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: Given the additions of defensive linemen Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen and Willie Young via agency, the Bears are likely to focus on the back seven in the draft. Possessing rare read and react skills and fluidity, Mosley is capable of starring at virtually any of the three linebacker roles in Chicago's 4-3 alignment.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
(8-8) Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State: The once-proud Pittsburgh defense has fallen off in recent years and reinforcements are needed at all three levels. Given his polish, aggression and schematic fit, Dennard would make a lot of sense.
16. DALLAS COWBOYS
(8-8) Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The Cowboys need lots of help on the defensive side of the ball but could Jerry Jones pass if the local hero was still on the board? Tony Romo's contract complicates matters but Jones hasn't been one to let finance (or logic, for that matter) ruin his flair for the dramatic on draft day.
17. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (FROM BALTIMORE)
(12-4) Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: With one of the league's deepest rosters and 11 picks to play with, expect the 49ers to be aggressive on draft. Moving up to add a dynamic pass-catcher and returner like Beckham to complement Colin Kaepernick's big arm and possession wideouts Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin would make a lot of sense.
18. NY JETS
(8-8) Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: The Jets could use a playmaker on the offensive side of the ball it is easy to envision Oregon State's Brandin Cooks or Southern Cal's Marqise Lee in New York. Rex Ryan's success is built on defense, though. Verrett lacks the height scouts would prefer but he's a top 20 talent in every other way, demonstrating the pure athleticism and tenacity Ryan loves.
19. MIAMI DOLPHINS
(8-8) Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama: With millions invested in free agents Branden Albert and Shelley Smith and the top four offensive linemen off the board, the Dolphins may elect to look elsewhere rather than reach for a strongside blocker, as most presume. Miami added talented but injury-prone former Detroit Lions' free safety Louis Delmas but Clinton-Dix is a more fluid athlete and would be a nice value selection at this point in the draft.
20. ARIZONA CARDINALS
(10-6) Demarcus Lawrence
21. GREEN BAY PACKERS
(8-7-1) Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State: Given how the Packers' lack of speed was exposed by San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick to end each of the past two seasons, GM Ted Thompson is likely to target a back-seven defender here. Bucannon would be a surprise, but he's an intimidating hitter with size (6-1, 211), ball skills (15 career interceptions), durability (four-year starter) and leadership (three-time captain).
22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
(10-6) Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: Chip Kelly's offense is built around speedy playmakers who can defeat opponents one on one. After releasing Desean Jackson, Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman are expected to make finding a similarly gifted athlete a priority in the draft. Half of the Eagles' 2013 picks came from the Pac-12. Kelly may once again rely on his experience in the conference to target another former rival in Cooks, the reigning Biletnikof winner.
23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
(11-5) Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA: With three blockers lost to free agency -- including Pro Bowl tackle Branden Albert -- former offensive line coach Andy Reid's top priority may be addressing the front wall. Su'a-Filo is reliable in pass protection and has the athletic ability to get out and block at the second level, traits that make him an ideal fit in Andy Reid's screen-heavy offense.
24. CINCINNATI BENGALS
(11-5) Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State: With one of the league's deepest rosters, the Bengals are one of the true wildcards of the 2014 draft and could go in a number of directions with this pick. Shazier's instincts, speed and athleticism make him an ideal candidate for the WILL linebacker role in Cincinnati's 4-3 alignment, prompting a potential shift of Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga, respectively, to their more natural middle linebacker and strong-side positions.
25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
(9-7) Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech: The Chargers boast young standouts at every level of the defense but cornerback is an obvious area of concern. Fuller is an instinctive, physical defender whose aggression and short-area quickness make him well-suited to defensive coordinator's zone-heavy scheme.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS (FROM INDIANAPOLIS)
(4-12) Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: If the board falls as I have it, the Browns' gamble that a talented quarterback would fall would certainly pay off. Carr's selection over Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater would surprise some but he has plenty of suitors around the league would love his arm, athleticism and experience in both spread and pro-style principles.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
(11-5) Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California: The advancing age of Marques Colston and surprising trade of Darren Sproles means that the Saints are in the market for playmakers. Lee doesn't have the momentum of other receivers in this draft but savvy scouts haven't forgotten his dynamic athleticism.
28. CAROLINA PANTHERS
(12-4) Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Adding weapons for Cam Newton would seem to be Carolina's top priority but that appeared to be the case a year ago and it didn't stop Dave Gettleman from investing top picks in defensive linemen Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. Roby has the athleticism and physicality to emerge as this year's top corner, an area of concern for the Panthers after losing top cover man, Captain Munnerlyn, to free agency.
29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
(12-4) Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: The Patriots attacked holes in their secondary via free agency and the offense has grown reliant on slot receivers and tight ends across the middle. With Rob Gronkowski proving unreliable, Amaro could offer a more immediate impact option at this point in the draft.
30. BALTIMORE RAVENS (FROM SAN FRANCISCO)
(8-8) Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois: With eight picks already at their disposal, the Ravens don't need to trade down but could take advantage of San Francisco's aggression to add more and still land a playmaker at a position of need. Ward's deep range and ability to cover up receivers in the slot would make him an ideal complement to last year's first round pick Matt Elam, a natural in-the-box safety.
31. DENVER BRONCOS
(13-3) RaShede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: Head coach John Fox is reportedly enamored with Hageman's raw tools and it isn't difficult to understand why as the 6-6, 310-pounder offers unbelievable athleticism and raw power. Forcing him to compete in a rotation like the one in Denver could be the best way to maximize Hageman's undeniable potential.
32. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (FROM SEATTLE)
(4-12) Blake Bortles, QB, UCF: The Seahawks only have six picks and with free agency chipping away at their roster, Pete Carroll and John Schneider will be looking to move out of this pick. The Jaguars, Texans and Raiders could each be willing to move up slightly to nab the talented, but raw Bortles. This pick, like all others in the first round, would come with a fifth-year option on the rookie contract.
1. HOUSTON TEXANS
(2-14) Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: While his slight frame could push him into the second round, Bridgewater's accuracy and intelligence fit in O'Brien's scheme.