Please don’t be offended by the draft order. If the draft position of your team isn’t very flattering, just deal with it and bear in mind they will make the Super Bowl in reality.
My draft order is based on my power rankings only so obviously it isn’t in the correct format. I just didn’t have the time to work out the subtle differences that determine the real draft order.
I’ve included the juniors I feel will declare next year but have decided to leave out the potential of any redshirt sophomores. Guys like Brett Hundley would probably be a lock for the top ten but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
I’ve based this on my own opinions of prospects so there may be some players you expected to see left off my board. And in the same fashion, there are some lesser known athletes have included.
Look forward to some discussion!
1. Oakland Raiders: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (Junior)
The Raiders need help all over the field but I can’t help but think that they will go nowhere until they find their quarterback of the future. I very much like what they did in the 2013 NFL Draft but I think they will take time to develop and it is probably the case that the young nucleus they have will result in more success down the road. Bridgewater is a great talent and someone who has all the tools you look for in a franchise QB. He has an above average arm, good wheels and seems to be able to move from one read to another seamlessly. That awareness combined with the mental and physical toughness he showed last year playing injured down the stretch makes him my number one rated signal caller and the future of the Raiders. Is he good? Go ask Florida.
2. New York Jets: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (Junior)
Much like Bridgewater, Jadeveon is a guy who is considered a transcendent talent at the next level. Considered good enough to play in the pro game since his freshman season, the South Carolina superstar becomes a major player on this roster with or without Rex Ryan. At 6’6” and over 270 lbs, he has incredible speed but also great power that enables him to move all around the defensive line and reap havoc. One of the biggest college recruits in years and now one of the biggest draft prospects.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
The Jaguars need a quarterback. There wasn’t one worth their salt this year so waiting was the right move whilst also solidifying their offensive line. Neither Gabbert nor Henne is the answer and when it comes to quarterbacks, its go big or go home hence my selection of Boyd. I understand people may think this is a reach but Boyd has every desirable trait you look for. He has a big arm, moves around with ease and exudes leadership qualities. Gabbert is ridiculed because of his mental toughness, go watch Boyd in the bowl game win against LSU last season and ask yourself if he has the same problem.
4. Arizona Cardinals: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama (Junior)
I could just have easily gone for Taylor Lewan or Jake Matthews but went with the guy I think has the most upside. I never focused too heavily on him last season as he wasn’t draft eligible but I couldn’t help but come away enamoured with his skills when I should have been focusing on Chance Warmack and D.J Fluker. At 6’6” and over 300 lbs, he has prototypical left tackle size as well as feet. Much like with Luke Joeckel, if you show up well in the SEC, you should perform well anywhere.
5. Buffalo Bills: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Not bad for a school like BYU to have two top ten prospects in consecutive years. Whilst I felt like Ziggy Ansah was a major reach, I actually think Van Noy would have been a top 20 pick this year and has only given himself an opportunity to raise his stock even more. He has good size at 6’3” and around 240 lbs with a nice blend of explosion off the edge and coverage ability. BYU use him in a variety of ways and give him tons of opportunities to blitz because he is so good at it. He can get you sacks, make tackles and excel in coverage, all you can ask for in a linebacker who also happens to have lots more upside.
6. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (Junior)
Brandon Weeden is not the answer and the Browns have to do something to become a contender. Unfortunately, much like the Jaguars and Bills, the Browns have gotten stale and really have no selling point to excite the casual fan. Playing boring and winning (See Falcons, Atlanta) is fine but the Browns can be dire without getting the job done. Cleveland fans have suffered enough and deserve someone that will actually get bums in seats for the right reasons. Manziel might be small but he is bigger than Russell Wilson and barely smaller than Drew Brees so that isn’t an issue. He has a pretty good arm, incredible ability to scramble and just has a knack for making the impossible plays possible. He has fun on the field and rips up very good defenses as a result.
7. Carolina Panthers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC (Junior)
This would be the perfect spot for Lee, he could maybe learn from the great Steve Smith for a time before becoming Newton’s favourite weapon. Nobody can deny that Lee is the best wide receiver in college football. With incredible speed and great hands, Lee can be whatever you want whether that be a possession guy or a deep threat. Not to mention he runs like a maniac with the ball in a way that defies his 6’0”, 190 lbs frame.
8. Philadelphia Eagles: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State (Junior)
I really wanted to give the Eagles a quarterback as I think there is a great chance that could happen but I don’t think A.J McCarron or David Fales are really the right fit for Chip Kelly. Instead they get my favourite player in the 2014 draft class and someone who has more talent than this year’s consensus number one CB Dee Milliner. Roby exudes confidence and shut down the Big Ten with ease whilst also being a force in the run game. I’ve seen him playing in press, man and zone and he has looked comfortable every time. My favourite pick so far.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
It seems to be a bit taboo to put a tight end in the top ten of a mock draft but I’m not sure why. The position is in-vogue right now and the best in the position are every bit as valuable as a great receiver. Jenkins has great size at 6’7” and over 260 lbs and is one of the most highly touted tight end prospects in a number of years. Whilst not quite as polished as a player like Tyler Eifert, he has much more impressive raw athletic ability and has the collegiate basketball background that seems to be the proving ground for many of the NFL’s top tight ends.
10. Detroit Lions: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Stafford needs a blindside protector and I’m not entirely sure the Lions have a great one on their roster. Lewan could have been a top ten pick had he declared in 2013 so I see no reason why he can’t be in 2014.
11. San Diego Chargers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Going tackle in back to back drafts may not be flashy but it ensures that Rivers will actually survive a season if he is the QB of the future. Fluker at right tackle and Matthews on the left side should be a dominant tandem for years.
12. Tennessee Titans: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
The Titans will have a few needs but Jeffcoat has as much upside as any DE in this class. Coming off injury, if he can live up to his potential he could add to an already talented and young Titans front seven.
13. Miami Dolphins: Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
Nix will be a dominant nose tackle at the next level and can replace Soliai easily on their defensive front. Nix is a mammoth who can play around the 350 lbs mark but he has nimbleness that shocks and could be a B.J Raji type space eater and pocket collapser.
14. Kansas City Chiefs: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (Junior)
I actually think KC could be playoff contenders but I’m reluctant to consider that too early. Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles need a top WR to compliment Bowe and Watkins could be that guy. Watkins will likely challenge Lee to be the first WR off the board and he is the type of do it all guy ala Percy Harvin that teams covet.
15. Chicago Bears: Ife Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon (Junior)
All of the Bears cornerbacks are getting on a bit and are out of contract very soon. Olomu is a top tier talent who may well go higher than this a year from now. He plays with the type of edge and physicality that Bears fans love and he isn’t too far behind Roby in my rankings of cornerbacks.
16. St Louis Rams: Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
I feel good about giving Brockers a partner in crime here in the shape of Sutton. He is good at stopping the run but he also offers rare pass rush ability to live in the backfield. Sutton should pick up many defensive accolades this coming season and prove returning to school helped him out. At only 6’0” he isn’t the biggest and his listed weight of around 270 lbs doesn’t sound good. But apparently he is up to about 290 now and has added some muscle so that shouldn’t be an issue.
17. St Louis Rams (Via Redskins): Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford (Junior)
I’d put money on Reynolds being the highest rated safety next year and it is for good reason. He fits a need and also happens to be one of the top guys left on my board. At 6’2” and over 210 lbs, he has good size but he is also plenty quick and has great ballskills. He carries with him the aggressive mentality we’ve come to expect from Stanford products.
18. Dallas Cowboys: Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame (Junior)
I thought Dallas would have been very interested in Sheldon Richardson this year but missing out on him could be a blessing in disguise if they land Tuitt. The premier five technique in college football offers great versatility and is a great pass rusher as well as run stopper. Only 19 years old, he has a lot to improve on but his raw physical traits are rare.
19. Indianapolis Colts: Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
Wayne is getting older and the Colts don’t really have another guy with the potential to step up as the number one receiver. Coleman is Calvin Johnson like with a 6’6”, 220 lbs frame and 4.4 speed. He has suffered from bad quarterback play but he has possibly the most potential of any WR and his blocking skills and good hands are a nice bonus.
20. Cincinnati Bengals: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Barr made the switch from RB to OLB not so long ago and he hasn’t looked back. As a top class sack artist, this raw talent will only serve to improve a Bengals defense that already looks to have the makings of an elite group.
21. Minnesota Vikings: CJ Mosley, ILB, Alabama
I don’t think the Vikings really addressed their linebacker needs in the draft so they do it now. Mosley can play inside or outside but I like him in the middle of the Vikings linebacker group. He would have been a first rounder this year but another season to improve isn’t a bad thing. Unlike Nico Johnson, he is a three down guy who can be a pro bowler.
22. New Orleans Saints: Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama
The Bama boys go back to back and Hubbard can help a woeful Saints D. Hubbard looked very impressive last season and is the most natural 3-4 OLB I’ve seen in a while. He relies more on technique than power unlike a guy like Jarvis Jones. But he can also drop back in coverage and look quite accomplished in doing so.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida (Junior)
The Steelers lost Keenan Allen who looked like a new player last season. They will definitely need some secondary help very soon and Purifoy gives them a great player with a great name. He will actually play some WR for Florida this season and that is a testament to his athletic ability.
24. New York Giants: Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (Junior)
Johnson is an athletic freak who could be a nice fit with the Giants. He will get a chance to really establish himself this season and show that he deserves to go even higher than this. Not a huge need but I had to find a spot for him and thought the Giants would be nice landing spot.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Tiny Richardson, OT, Tennessee
I’m not sure what the SB champs plan on doing about Flacco’s blindside but they better protect the guy who was the highest ever paid player for a few weeks. Richardson came on my radar when he had a stellar performance against Jadeveon Clowney and South Carolina. He could tone up a bit but shows nice feet and has good size.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon (Junior)
Lyerla is an athletic specimen who Oregon use in a number of ways. You won’t find many tight ends that are treated like running backs but he runs the ball well. He is also very fast and has underrated blocking skills which make him a versatile weapon. Gonzalez can’t go on forever and Lyerla would be in the perfect situation.
27. Houston Texans: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State (Junior)
Certain players just flash on tape and Shazier is one of them. He appears all over the field and is one of college football’s most gifted tacklers. He has a slim but muscular body that may not be ideally suited in the NFL.
28. Denver Broncos: Andrew Jackson, MLB, Western Kentucky
Was a toss-up between him and Gabe Jackson but I wanted to help the defense in particular. I felt inside linebacker was not addressed this year so adding a tackling machine who should blow up big time seems wise. Think of Dant’a Hightower and Jackson is in a similar mold as a 260 lbs thumper who has speed and pass rush ability.
29. Seattle Seahawks: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State (Junior)
Seattle doesn’t have too many needs so I’ve just gone with BPA rather than reach for an offensive lineman. Jernigan will probably go higher than this but wouldn’t it be nice for him to settle into the league with this defense?
30. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
Will have chance to go top ten but I’ve yet to see him at his best. Lynch could be great across from Datone Jones and give the Packers a great piece for their defense.
31. New England Patriots: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Would have most likely been a day two pick this year so made right decision in returning for his senior year. I’m a massive fan of this guy and want everyone to check out this under the radar phenom. He has some character concerns and only switched from offense to defensive tackle a year
or two ago but he looks a find. At 6’5” and just over 300 lbs, he has the body of a five technique but he can also play inside like he does mostly with the Gophers.
32. San Francisco 49ers: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
A big cornerback who can be physical as well as hold his own in man coverage. Cornerback will be a need and it was a close decision between Colvin, Jason Verrett and DeShazor Everett.
Some very good players were left out including ( in no order):
1. David Fales, QB, San Jose State (Didn’t like him on Eagles and not another spot)
2. Daniel McCullers, NT, Tennessee (Could go very high if potential turns to production)
3. DeShazor Everett, CB, Texas A&M
4. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
5. Haha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
6. Vinnie Sunseri, S, Alabama
7. Xavier Sua-Filo, OG, UCLA
8. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
9. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
10. Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
11. David Yankey, OT, Stanford
Have a look, share and offer some thoughts too if you can.