2014 SpreeGoogs Fan-Sourced NFL Mock Draft Picks 25-32
Update on first 24 picks of the mock draft:
1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, University of South Carolina
2. St. Louis Rams: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
4. Cleveland Browns: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
5. Oakland Raiders: Johnny Football Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
8. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
10. Detroit Lions: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
11. Tennessee Titans: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St
12. New York Giants: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
13. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan
14. Chicago Bears: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
16. Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
18. New York Jets: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St
19. Miami Dolphins: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
20. Arizona Cardinals: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
21. Green Bay Packers: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
And the rest:
2014 SpreeGoogs Fan-Sourced NFL Mock Draft Part 4
25. San Diego Chargers (pick made by Nichol McVicker): Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
While the Chargers have come leaps and bounds since last year’s draft (can you believe they’re picking at 25??) there are still several areas where they need improvement, the most glaringly at CB. Anyone remember that 3rd-and-17 against the Broncos last season? I do. Or the fact that we had the worst pass defense in the league? I do. We fixed our offensive line in 2013, now time to fix our secondary.
Jason Verrett’s skill level is borderline top-10; however, he will be available this late as he only stands at 5’9″. While Verrett is not the typical body type you expect for this position, he compensates with his athleticism, speed and temperament. Think he’s too short to cover guys on the outside? Think again, Verrett tied for third-highest vertical at the combine at thirty-nine inches. He’s also stupid fast, running a 4.38 40-yard dash. The TCU alum will be able to line up outside and could end up dominating in the slot. He’s everything you want in a CB and hopefully the answer to the Chargers’ utter mess at the position. And besides, remember our last first round TCU alum? Worked out pretty well for us.
26. Cleveland Browns (pick made by Dan Klempay): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Jordan Matthews is 6’3, 212lbs, runs a 4.46 40 yard dash and is the all time SEC leader in receptions and yards. What more is there to say? I dare you to try to name a quarterback who suited up for Vanderbilt in the last four years. Jordan pulled in 112 receptions this season for 1,477 yards. The next highest receiver for Vanderbilt had 42 receptions! He was the entire offense on a mid-tier team and the supposed best conference in college football couldn’t contain him. The reception record was actually previously held by another Vanderbilt receiver, Earl Bennett, but he had Jay Cutler throwing to him. Matthews would look great lined up next to Josh Gordon, pulling down seeds thrown by Teddy Bridgewater.
27. New Orleans Saints (pick made by Adam Bonefeste) Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
This year, just like every year that I remember being a Saints fan, I want New Orleans to come away from the draft with a good cornerback. Keenan Lewis is great on one half of the field, but the other starting spot is so weak that Champ Bailey was signed to come in and provide some competition. The same Champ Bailey who was drafted in a year starting with a 1. The same Champ Bailey who was drafted during the Clinton administration. Champ Bailey was drafted when the top movie at the box office was the Matrix. Champ Bailey was drafted before anyone downloaded anything on Napster. Champ Bailey was drafted when there was only one volume of Now That’s What I Call Music. That’s how thin the Saints are at cornerback.
Unfortunately, the 27th spot is just a little bit too low to grab any of the truly elite corners in this class, and that leaves two options: trade up (this is probably going to happen, Sean Payton loves trading up for something stupid (like a wide receiver)) or draft something else and wait. The more I read about cornerback prospects, the more I prefer the latter. Stan Jean-Baptiste and Keith McGill will probably still be there in the second round and Shazier is too good to be available. The Saints have a monster of an inside linebacker (Curtis Lofton), but the outside positions (both in 3-4 sets and 4-3 sets) are still up for grabs. Shazier has the speed to keep backs away from the sideline and should be better in TE/RB pass coverage than any linebacker currently on the roster. He destroys the eyeball test, with production at Ohio State that was staggering. Shazier should be a pretty high-floor pro for a late first-rounder.
28. Carolina Panthers (pick made by Zach McVicker) Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
The first round is chock full of teams that could go a few different ways position-wise depending on who is available. The Carolina Panthers are not one of those teams. Take a look at their depth chart and the need becomes obvious – they have to take a WR or bad things are going to happen. Cam Newton might hold out. The fan base might break StubHub trying to get rid of their tickets. The Panthers would have to change their name to the Hornets to try and trick the good people of Charlotte into liking them.
Seriously take a look at these screenshots of the current depth chart:
If that’s not a flaming bag of poo, I don’t know what is. After losing Steve Smith, Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell to free agency, the Panthers did little to replace them. I’m not arguing letting them walk was a bad idea (that group wasn’t great to begin with), but Newton needs someone to throw to besides Tiquan Underwood and Jerricho Cotchery. Benjamin would be a great fit for the Panthers because his size would cover up a lot of Cam’s accuracy issues. Cam is used to throwing to a bunch of shorties (not like shorties in the way T-Pain says it, but like actual short people), so being able to just throw jump balls and let the 6’5 Benjamin go get them (like this) would make him very happy.
Let me also note that I know the state of their OT position is pretty dire after Jordan Gross retired, but I don’t think anyone here is a good value. The Panthers would do better to target someone like Morgan Moses or Joel Bitonio in Round 2.
*Editor’s Note: Zach isn’t actually a Panthers fan, just like he filled in for the Falcons at 6, he’s filling in again here. Apparently I’m just not friends with anyone who cheers for the other NFC South teams. Go figure. Go Saints.
Plagued by injuries, the New England Patriots run defense was at the bottom of the league in 2013. While the passing defense was decidedly average, the front line allowed over 134 rush yards per game. The only teams worse against the run in 2013? Atlanta and Chicago. Having a stellar offense can help cover poor defensive numbers, sure, but even the return of Vince Wilfork isn’t enough to solve the Patriots defensive problems.
Patriots fans will be happy to see Wilfork back on the field, and the same goes for Jerod Mayo. Even better? Brandon Browner and Darelle Revis playing their home games at Gillette Stadium. But new blood is desperately needed up front, which is why the Patriots will draft a defensive tackle in the first round.
Timmy Jernigan is one of the best defensive linemen coming out of college this year. Louis Nix and Aaron Donald round out the top three DTs available, but Jernigan’s larger frame (6’3”) and college experience (Florida State) make him all the more attractive. Donald is an exceptional athlete, but size is just as important as speed on a defensive front. Jernigan’s combine numbers: 27 bench reps, a 5.06 40, and a 102-inch broad jump – all good enough for top ten among draft-going defensive linemen.
If Jernigan comes off the board before the Pats pick at 29, Louis Nix could be taken instead.
30. San Francisco 49ers (pick made by Conor Driscoll) Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
The San Francisco 49ers are a team who have been on the brink of a championship for three years now. The 49ers’ roster is chalk full of talent, but two positions are in obvious need of help going into the 2014 season. The wide receiver position is one the 49ers have never been able to get right in the first round. In 1995 the 49ers selected J.J. Stokes, in 2004 they selected Rashaun Woods and in 2012 the 49ers again reached when drafting A.J. Jenkins. Michael Crabtree was drafted in 2009, but at this point, Crabtree has not lived up to expectations. A handful of analysts are insinuating the 49ers will take a WR and some are even suggesting they move up to make a play and Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee or Jordan Matthews, but the 49ers need to continue their recent string of success in drafting defense in the first round.
Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers both signed with the Oakland Raiders in the offseason which leaves a huge hole in the depth chart at cornerback. Baalke, Harbaugh and Fangio need a cornerback who can make an impact on their team immediately. Bradley Roby from Ohio State is a CB who should be on their radar. His skills are the kind the 49ers look for in a defensive player. Roby is quick, has above average ball skills and tackles well. Sound familiar? To me, those attributes sound similar to Eric Reid’s skill set, the 49ers first round pick from a year ago. When compared to Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver, Roby looks like a pro bowl caliber talent. In all honesty, it’s not so much Roby as it is who he’s challenging for the starting job. In fact, the 49ers would be lucky to get any of the CB talent projected to go in the first round.
31. Denver Broncos (pick made by Stephen Schmidt): Xavier Su’a Filo, OG, UCLA
Holding steadfast to the Broncos/ John Elway draft model as always drafting the best player available, under these circumstances, the Broncos would draft Su’a Filo. The Broncos have lost their weakest o-Lineman in the off season, so there is opportunity for one to step up. Their line holds a high salary with the titans of Clady and Ramirez at the helm, so no sign of signing any high dollar incumbent. And in FA, the Broncos already nabbed the best available in this year’s pool.
Physically believed to be pro-ready as his college career following two years as a missionary, Su’a Filo is athletic. Powerfully built and complemented by initial quickness, he can take on bull-rushes and is laterally agile. Both make for a happy Peyton Manning when he hollers out his famed “Omaha!”
***Elway stated that he is happy to welcome Su’a Filo to the team, but there is a clause that if Baby Marshall Manning enters the draft, all guarantees are off. In which case, the Broncos would be happy to have the 3rd generation Manning to the team, even if he is still teething.
32. Seattle Seahawks (pick made by Amy Brown): Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Whom do we choose? Well, let’s face it, we’re probably trading the pick. The Seahawks have 7 picks overall this year, and a typical John Schneider move would be to trade down and get more moves later on in the second and third rounds. But, for the sake of this draft, we’re grabbing Jace Amaro, TE out of Texas Tech. While I’m a big fan of Zach Miller, it’d be nice to get Jace in the mix. His off the field character leaves much to be desired, but I’m sure Pete “Silver Fox” Carroll can shape him up Eric-Taylor-style.
Editor’s Note: Amy voluntarily used “Whom” at the beginning of her piece, this mastery of language should be commended
That’s all for our mock draft this year. If you want to see the actual draft, it starts tonight.