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2014 NFL Draft (1 Viewer)

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
With only six games left a few teams aren't seriously looking at the playoffs, they are looking towards next year's draft and the QB crop.

Just noticed this draft article that looks to next year's draft matching up the top college QBs to NFL teams.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1849127-2014-nfl-draft-where-do-top-qbs-fit-best

2014 NFL Draft: Where Do the Top QBs Fit Best?

By Matt Miller
(NFL Draft Lead Writer) on November 13, 2013The 2014 NFL draft will be heavy on quarterback prospects ready to step into the pros and run an offense. But who are these quarterbacks?

We all know about Johnny Manziel—maybe too much actually, thanks to his Heisman Trophy season and summer of off-field antics. But what do we know about his game? And aside from Manziel and perceived top quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who are the other top players at the game's most important position?

There are seniors, juniors and even redshirt sophomores who have caught the attention of the NFL this fall. Six of those quarterbacks carry a first-round grade as the college season comes to a close.

Let's learn who they are.

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

Junior | 6'3", 210 lbs | No. 1 overall prospect

Strengths: Bridgewater has all the tools you want from a quarterback prospect in today's NFL. He has exceptional field vision and a calm in the pocket that allows him to survey the field and find receivers in coverage.

Bridgewater can be a runner, but that's not all there is to his game. Unlike so many young quarterbacks, Bridgewater will use his mobility to set up passing lanes and evade a pass rush. He doesn't panic under pressure and forget his mechanics, either. His ability to put the ball on a line to an area where only his receiver can make a play on the ball is exceptional.

Feeling and reading the blitz is a strength of Bridgewater's, too. He does a great job recognizing coverages and pressures pre-snap, but he's also athletic enough to reverse out or scramble if a delayed blitz comes through.

It's also important to note that the Louisville offense won't put many players into the NFL. Bridgewater is doing more with less. There is not a more NFL-ready quarterback in college right now.

Weaknesses: The first thing you notice about Bridgewater is his lean frame. Ideally, he would put on weight before taking a snap in the NFL, but that is something he's improved in since arriving at Louisville. He'll continue to get bigger.

If we're being very picky, his deep ball isn't as strong, as accurate or as fiery as other big-armed quarterbacks. Bridgewater's arm is plenty strong enough, but it's definitely not as big as that of other prospects.

Comparison: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Best NFL fit: Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings

Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Redshirt Sophomore | 6'4", 214 lbs | No. 2 overall prospect

Strengths: The ideal dual-threat quarterback, Mariota has the arm and legs to take the NFL by storm. He's blessed with a quick-strike arm, field vision and the mobility to evade the rush, scramble or work as a runner from the backfield.

Mariota is also very good at keeping the ball out of the hands of the defense. He doesn't throw into traffic, instead showing poise and patience in working through his reads to the open man. And if no one is open, he can tuck the ball and run with equal ability.

In terms of accuracy and arm strength, Mariota is on point. The Oregon offense does allow him to throw to open receivers often, but those passes are on the mark—and that's important no matter the style of offense you're in. As for arm strength, the Ducks offense allows Mariota to throw deep and asks him to throw with velocity underneath. While he lacks a Colin Kaepernick-like fastball, his arm is plenty strong enough.

Weaknesses: At just barely 20 years old, Mariota is light on experience. When the season ends he'll have started 26 games in his college career, and that's something NFL scouts and general managers can be concerned about at times. There will also be questions about how well the Oregon offense translates to the NFL, but the success of Nick Foles in Philadelphia may quiet those critics.

From a physical and mental standpoint, there are no glaring weaknesses. Mariota will be tasked with proving he's experienced enough and that his college system isn't a gimmick.

Comparison: Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Best NFL fit: Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles

Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Redshirt Senior | 6'1", 225 lbs | No. 14 overall prospect

Strengths: Boyd plays in a pro-style offense at Clemson, and there he's enjoyed success without a ton of talent around him. The wide receivers have been talented, but the offensive line during Boyd's tenure hasn't been a strength. That's allowed him to show off his legs, his patience in the pocket and his feel for pressure. Boyd has the arm strength to sling the ball downfield, but he also shows nice touch on underneath routes and when asked to rock a timing route through traffic.

Weaknesses: Boyd lacks prototypical NFL size at 6'1", and that might be a generous listing. He'll also need to prove that his intermediate and outside-the-hashes accuracy is on point. Boyd has played the last two seasons with top-tier wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins, and that may hurt how NFL teams view his ability. Is Boyd responsible for Clemson's offensive production, or are his playmakers?

Comparison: Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

Best NFL fit: Minnesota Vikings, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns


Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Redshirt Sophomore | 6'0", 210 lbs | No. 16 overall prospect

Strengths: Turn on any Texas A&M game and pretend that you know nothing about Manziel—just watch what he does on the field. If you can get past the prejudices, you'll see an instinctive, athletic, smart quarterback in the Aggie offense.

Manziel is asked to make quick reads in the A&M offense, and he does so with limited mistakes in the running and passing games. He's an athletic wonder who can do things with his legs, feet and arm that few can.

And let's talk about accuracy: Manziel has improved in this area exponentially since last season. His ball placement and reads to get the ball to the open man are among the best in the nation.

Weaknesses: We know—or think we know—all about the off-field issues with Manziel: underage drinking, the alleged autograph scandal and his issues at the Manning Passing Academy.

Those perceived red flags may not bother NFL teams, though, especially given how well Manziel has played this season. The real red flags are his size and style of play. Manziel compares in size to Russell Wilson, but his style of play makes him susceptible to hits that Wilson avoids in the pocket.

Mechanically, Manziel has some bad habits. He too often throws flat-footed without stepping into passes and can hesitate midway through his throwing motion at times. Those are fixable issues, though.

No matter how big he measures, there will be those who see him running around in the backfield and think he'll never translate to the NFL. That may be the case in some offenses, and for some teams Manziel will be off limits.

Comparison: Robert Griffin III, Washington

Best NFL fit: Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams

Derek Carr, Fresno State

Redshirt Senior | 6'3", 215 lbs | No. 17 overall prospect

Strengths: Mature, experienced and highly productive, Carr could ultimately be the top senior quarterback in the class. He fits the prototypical mold of what NFL teams want at the position—tall, thickly built and square-jawed.

Carr's arm is his best asset, though. With a quick trigger and enough velocity to drive the ball all over the field, he possesses the type of passing game that scouts fall in love with quickly. Not only does he have the arm, but his mobility and athleticism are quality traits. He's mobile in and out of the pocket and isn't afraid of contact.

Weaknesses: Carr's biggest obstacle to overcome may be his last name. Brother of former No. 1 overall pick David, the younger Carr will undoubtedly have to convince NFL decision-makers that he'll be a better pro than his brother was.

The biggest weakness a scout will see in Carr's game is his penchant for struggling under pressure. He'll miss a pre-snap blitz key too often and can put the offense in trouble with his missed reads. Mechanically, you want to see him step through passes more and not rely on back-foot throws as much.

Comparison: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears

Best NFL fit: Cleveland Browns, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals

Zach Mettenberger, LSU

Redshirt Senior | 6'5", 235 lbs | No. 32 overall prospect

Strengths: No quarterback has improved as much from 2012 to now as Mettenberger. Now working under offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, Mettenberger has seen his accuracy, decision-making and awareness all jump way up the board.

The LSU senior looks like a player out of central casting. He's tall and strong and has the big arm to back it up. Mettenberger excels with any throw you ask him to make thanks to the strength, velocity and timing to do it all on the field.

His upside is perhaps the biggest advantage to his game. Mettenberger is still quite raw as a quarterback, and if his improvement in Cameron's system is any indication, he's poised to improve by leaps and bounds in the NFL.

Weaknesses: Is Mettenberger improved, or is he the product of Cameron's system? That's a big question for him to answer in film rooms across the country.

While Mettenberger has the size, the arm and the upside, he doesn't have great accuracy at times and still throws too many interceptions. He's a rhythm passer who can go through streaks of brilliance before coming back down and going through a bad streak. Finding his level will be a key for scouts, especially those who saw him dominate early in the year but maybe missed his late-season struggles.

A good quarterback coach will slightly alter Mettenberger's wide throwing mechanics, but like Philip Rivers, that may end up being a minor issue that teams aren't looking to change.

Comparison: Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Best NFL fit: Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans

======================================================

Lots of scattered QB prospect threads so this might be a good thread to gather them into one spot.

Gathering the impression that the 2014 QB crop may not be as top-heavy as 2012 but it seems like it will be a deep class.

 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
This week's mock action:

First up.

Dane Brugler from CBS Sports

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/nfldraftscout-DaneBrugler

 

By

Dane Brugler
NFLDraftScout.com Analyst

NFL Mock Draft - 11/19/2013

Round 1

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

(1-9) Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: The Jaguars are no longer winless, but they are still in the driver's seat for the No. 1 overall pick. And if Bridgewater decides to skip his senior season for the NFL, then Jacksonville fans can take a sigh of relief because he is the frontrunner to be the top selection and future of the franchise.

2. Houston Texans

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: After starting 2-0, the Texans have lost eight straight and are on pace for their first top-five draft pick since they selected Mario Williams No. 1 overall in 2006. The biggest issue for Houston has been the inconsistency from the quarterback position, making a talent like Mariota a real possibility here.

3. Minnesota Vikings

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Minnesota is stuck in quarterback mediocrity with Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and newly acquired Josh Freeman. Regardless if the head coach and/or general manager is back, quarterback has to be No. 1 on the offseason priority list and Manziel presents a risky, yet talented option.

4. Atlanta Falcons

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: The Falcons need to add speed and power on defense, especially in the front seven to pressure the opponent's backfield. Clowney is a special athlete for his size and has all the potential in the world, but can he harvest that ability and reach his NFL ceiling? He's worth the gamble.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: Time will tell if Greg Schiano returns as the head coach in Tampa, but regardless, there is no guarantee that the Bucs will target a quarterback in the first round. Barr is the top senior prospect in this draft class and will be able to fit whatever defense drafts him.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: St. Louis added Jake Long in free agency last offseason, but the other tackle spot has been an issue, whether Rodger Saffold is on the field or not playing due to injuries. Matthews is not overly flashy, but he is a model of consistency with elite football character.

7. Buffalo Bills

C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama: The Bills have found themselves an impact middle linebacker with Kiko Alonso and could upgrade the outside linebacker spot with the athleticism and heady instincts of Mosley.

8. NY Giants

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: One of the keys to the Giants' success over the years has been their ability to put pressure on the pocket off the edges, but New York currently ranks last in the NFL with 14 sacks over 10 games. Mack is a better fit as a stand-up rusher, but he would bring much needed speed and power to the Giants defense.

9. Oakland Raiders

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: The jury is still out on Terrelle Pryor as the long-term solution for Oakland at quarterback, but regardless if they stick with him or not, the Raiders need to add more weapons at receiver. Watkins has special burst with the acceleration to be a home run threat, as well as, a reliable possession target.

10. Cleveland Browns

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: Barring injury, there is a good chance Brandon Weeden never suits up for the Browns again. And while Brian Hoyer is still in the team's plans, he's coming off an ACL injury and Cleveland needs to add a young arm to the mix. Enter Carr who has special arm talent and could be the first senior quarterback drafted.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: The Steelers aren't a player away from seriously contending and need to rebuild at several key spots on the depth chart, including the offensive line. Lewan brings the nastiness and grit that Pittsburgh needs and will help rebuild the offense.

12. St. Louis Rams

Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame: Coach Jeff Fisher loves defensive linemen. The Rams could use depth on the interior behind Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford to improve their shoddy run defense.

13. Baltimore Ravens

Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson: The Ravens have a pair of talented pass rushers with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil, but both will be on the wrong side of 30 entering next season. Beasley needs a little more seasoning, but has a high ceiling and the Ravens could see this spot as a bargain for his talent.

14. Tennessee Titans

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri: The Titans defense hasn't been a strength this season and Tennessee could use more help at pass rusher. Ealy is overlooked at Missouri next to Michael Sam, but he is a talented defensive end in his own right and has the better NFL skill-set.

15. San Diego Chargers

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: The Chargers addressed the offensive line in the first round last April with D.J. Fluker, but San Diego still needs help in the trenches, specifically at left tackle. So it wouldn't be surprising if Fluker's former teammate in Tuscaloosa was a target here.

16. NY Jets

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: Although he's been a turnover machine, Geno Smith has done just enough to help the Jets stay competitive and will likely hold onto the starting gig for another year. To help him succeed, New York needs to add more targets for him and Evans brings a Vincent Jackson-like presence to the outside.

17. Miami Dolphins

Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State: The Dolphins might be able to get by with their patchwork offensive line for now, but no question an upgrade is needed. Erving has done an admirable job protecting Jameis Winston's blindside this season, boosting his draft stock higher and higher.

18. Dallas Cowboys

Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama: The Cowboys drafted the strong safety of the future last season with J.J. Wilcox, but free safety is a different discussion. Clinton-Dix would provide an immediate upgrade over Barry Church at free safety.

19. Green Bay Packers

Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: Incumbent Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is a free agent after this season so the Packers might be shopping for a new starter at the position next offseason.

20. Philadelphia Eagles

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: The Eagles need to get bigger, faster and more talented on defense, especially in the secondary where Philadelphia ranks 31st in the league. Coach Chip Kelly recruited Ekpre-Olomu to Eugene, so he knows the player - and he knows Ekpre-Olomu is a day one starter in the NFL.

21. Arizona Cardinals

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M: The Aggies have become somewhat of an offensive tackle factory. Although not yet a household name, Ogbuehi could be the third first round offensive tackle out of Texas A&M the past two years.

22. Detroit Lions

Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State: The Lions have used early round draft picks on the front four and the back four on defense in recent years, now it's time to address the linebackers. Shazier is as fast as advertised with the closing burst and initial power that could land him in the top 25.

23. Chicago Bears

Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame: The Bears depth at defensive tackle will be tested the rest of the season with Henry Melton and Nate Collins both done due to ACL injuries. Tuitt is an excellent athlete for his size and has a bright pro future.

24. San Francisco 49ers

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: San Francisco needs to get younger at cornerback and Verrett would be a good fit at nickel and also compete for a starting role as a rookie.

25. Cincinnati Bengals

Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California: The Bengals have received flashes from Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu, but are they confident in one of them taking control of the No. 2 receiver job opposite AJ Green? I'm not convinced, and if a talent like Lee is available here, he would be tough to pass up.

26. Carolina Panthers

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: Can the Panthers really go another off-season without finding more weapons for Cam Newton? Matthews isn't flashy and isn't a household name because he's done his damage at Vanderbilt, but his production speaks for itself and he has put himself in the late first round mix.

27. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)

Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: No one, not even the Browns, knows if Josh Gordon will be in Cleveland at this time next year, but regardless, the wide receiver position needs a boost. Robinson is a strong, athletic pass-catcher with size, speed and the instincts that should allow him to contribute as a rookie.

28. New England Patriots

RaShede Hageman, DT, Minnesota: Bill Belichick values versatile players, especially up front, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he really appreciates Hageman, who has played mostly zero and three technique in college but projects best to five-technique.

29. New Orleans Saints

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State: The Saints have spent money in free agency to boost the cornerback position, but addressing the position early in the draft wouldn't hurt either. After a streaky junior season, Gilbert has played focused and consistent as a senior and it wouldn't be surprising if some teams slap him with a first round grade.

30. Kansas City Chiefs

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: The Chiefs offense needs to add more playmakers that will help produce explosive plays. Since Tony Gonzalez left a few years back, Kansas City has struggled to find consistency at the tight end position, but Ebron would give them a talented athlete with a high NFL ceiling.

31. Denver Broncos

Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford: The Broncos have one of the best pass rushers on the planet in Von Miller, but the Broncos' depth at the position was tested with him dealing with off-field issues. Murphy is a stand-up edge rusher, but would fit the Broncos' hybrid defensive front.

32. Seattle Seahawks

Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame: The starting offensive guards in Seattle have produced inconsistent results so far this season. Martin, who lines up at left tackle for the Irish, projects best at guard where he could be worth a first round

 

 

 
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Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Next, Matt Miller also updated his mock.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1855668-2014-nfl-mock-draft-matt-millers-updated-first-round-projections#/articles/1855668-2014-nfl-mock-draft-matt-millers-updated-first-round-projections/page/2

 

1. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Pick: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

This should be a no-brainer for the Jacksonville front office. It desperately needs a franchise quarterback, and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater is as close to a sure thing as this draft class (or last draft class) has to offer.

Bridgewater is just a junior for the Cardinals, but he's set to graduate in December. It would be the surprise of the draft season if the top quarterback prospect elected to return for his senior season. The Jaguars would gladly give Bridgewater a home next season.

This is the next in a series of steps the new regime has made to bring the Jaguars back to legitimacy. With Bridgewater leading the charge, expect the wins to come to Jacksonville soon.

2. Minnesota Vikings

The Pick: QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon

The quarterback play in Minnesota has not been good this season, which has led to few wins and many losses.

Former first-rounders Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman—acquired through free agency—haven't given the team the consistent performances to hand them the ball full-time moving forward. With a top-tier quarterback prospect available, and a change expected at head coach, a new quarterback to build around is the anticipated pick.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has played in 10 games this season, and he's yet to throw an interception. The redshirt sophomore has 25 touchdowns through the air, another nine on the ground and has proved he can run an offense as a dropback passer (vs. Stanford and Tennessee) or as a dual-threat runner (vs. Virginia and Washington).

Mariota is the type of athlete you can build your offense around. With Adrian Peterson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph already on the roster, the team has weapons. Now they need a quarterback to match that skill set.

3. Houston Texans

The Pick: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

It's third down late in the fourth quarter. The Houston Texans are leading the Indianapolis Colts and need a stop. Now imagine J.J. Watt shifted inside to defensive tackle and Jadeveon Clowney flanking him at defensive end. That's a defensive line you can dominate with.

Clowney has been the subject of much criticism this season, but when you look at his impact over the last two seasons, it's clear that he is the best non-quarterback available in the 2014 draft class. Clowney's ability to rush from inside, outside or by going through offensive linemen also makes him more valuable in an NFL that's constantly focused on scheme-versatile players who can attack from multiple alignments.

That's Clowney, and in Houston, he would become an All-Pro-caliber rusher. Yes, the Texans may be looking at quarterback

4. Atlanta Falcons

The Pick: OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA

The Atlanta Falcons losses may be a blessing in disguise. A team that won 13 games last season, the Falcons definitely have talent. Quarterback Matt Ryan, receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, defenders like Sean Weatherspoon, Desmond Trufant and Paul Worrilow are all building blocks. The 2014 draft will be about plugging holes and building for the future.

Anthony Barr is a hole-plugger—both literally and figuratively. Barr can rush the quarterback from the edge, playing a Von Miller-like role as a dynamic edge defender in a 4-3 scheme. On first and second down, he can stand up and play weak-side 'backer, but in passing situations on third down, he'll drop his hand in the dirt and terrorize the backfield.

The Falcons need to hit on this pick, and Barr is both the best defender on the board and the biggest impact player left after the first three picks.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Pick: LT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to decide if quarterback Mike Glennon is their guy or not moving forward. That will largely depend on who is coaching the team next season.

If current head man Greg Schiano is still the coach, expect Glennon to parlay his 2013 season into the starting gig in 2014 with a developmental quarterback added later in the draft. If Schiano is out, and if general manager Mark Domenik goes with him, then Glennon could be looking at backup duty to a top draft pick.

The Buccaneers would be in much better shape long-term if they wait to see what Glennon can offer and focus instead on protecting him. Left tackle Donald Penn is solid but turns 31 after this season and has just two years left on his contract. He might also be better off at right tackle, where Demar Dotson could be replaced.

Those moves are possible if Jake Matthews is on the board. The blue-chip Texas A&M tackle prospect has the athletic ability and mean streak that few players possess. Combine Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher—the top two picks from the 2013 draft—and you have Matthews.

6. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)

The Pick: LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama

The St. Louis Rams trade-out of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft has netted them multiple first-round picks in the last three drafts. With the 2014 edition of the selection sent from Washington, the Rams can bolster a defense that's been rebuilt through the draft. And rebuilt well.

The Rams can look at Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, Janoris Jenkins and Alec Ogletree as draft-day additions that are currently making large impacts on the team's defense. While there are few identifiable needs on the depth chart, adding a versatile linebacker to step in for Jo-Lonn Dunbar makes sense.

C.J. Mosley can play inside or outside linebacker and make it look easy. He's aggressive, fast, instinctive and nasty when attacking the ball. Mosley's three-down ability, versatility and athleticism make him a surefire top-10 pick and a future stud in St. Louis.

7. Buffalo Bills

The Pick: DE/LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo

The Buffalo Bills have seen a high return on the investments made in the 2013, with EJ Manuel, Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin, Kiko Alonso and Nickell Robey all making huge contributions this season. The Doug Whaley front office needs to hit another grand slam in 2014.

Looking at the Bills roster, where are the biggest needs? The team's hybrid defense could use another pass-rusher, and it doesn't have to look far to find one.

University of Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack has the tools to be a deadly edge defender. He's big, strong, active and fluid. Go back and watch him take on the Ohio State offense and single-handedly keep the Bulls in the game. Mack can bring that same tenacity to the Bills defense.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pick: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

No college wide receiver has dominated the landscape like Sammy Watkins this season. As a deep and short threat, he's been phenomenal. That's what the Pittsburgh Steelers need to get the Ben Roethlisberger-led offense back on track.

You could look at the team's depth chart and say the Steelers need an inside linebacker or offensive tackle, but the value here is much greater at wide receiver. Especially when you consider that Emmanuel Sanders is due to enter free agency (and almost left last year as a restricted free agent). If Sanders is gone, and all signs point to that, the Steelers must focus first on keeping targets available for Big Ben.

Watkins is a game-changing offensive weapon. While the line and linebackers need some attention, the Steelers can focus there in subsequent rounds. What they can't do is ignore a threat like Watkins.

9. Cleveland Browns

The Pick: QB Derek Carr, Fresno State

The Brandon Weeden era has come to a close, and now the Cleveland Browns are looking for a quarterback of the future. The team has solid backups in Jason Campbell and a fringe starter in Brian Hoyer, but they need a lasting piece at the position to build around.

Enter Derek Carr. The Fresno State senior has quarterback in his blood—his brother David was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft—and has the maturity, smarts and raw passing ability of a long-term starter at the position. Carr is an ideal fit for the Browns' system, too, with his big arm and touch accuracy on intermediate routes.

The Browns can't afford to wait until late in the first round for a quarterback again. The last time they played that card, they netted Trent Richardson (now with the Indianapolis Colts) and Weeden—the guy they're trying to replace.

10. Baltimore Ravens

The Pick: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M

The loss of Anquan Boldin wasn't the only back-breaking move for the Baltimore Ravens in the wake of their Super Bowl victory, but it certainty hurt an offense that seemed on the precipice of becoming a dangerous unit. Instead, we've seen a regression by $100 million quarterback Joe Flacco and a losing record.

Replacing Boldin is one of many moves needed, which allows the team to go with a time-honored "best player available" strategy. General manager Ozzie Newsome is notorious for landing draft-day steals because he's true to his board and isn't afraid to draft value over needs.

In getting Mike Evans, the team can check off value and need on their board. Evans has the size to replace Boldin as a big, physical threat in the passing game, but unlike Boldin, he brings a downfield threat to the offense. Evans' ability in the red zone, especially, will open up areas of the Baltimore offense that were closed down in 2013.

11. Tennessee Titans

The Pick: LT Taylor Lewan, Michigan

The Tennessee Titans face an uncertain future at offensive tackle. Smart team building would indicate they strike sooner rather than later to replace at least one of the impending free agents at the position.

Over the next two seasons, the Titans will face their top three tackles entering free agency. This year, it's reserve Mike Otto. Next season, they'll be losing or negotiating with David Stewart and Michael Roos. Keeping both bookends is unlikely given their age, injury history and the salary cap demands on defense and at wide receiver.

The smart money dictates drafting a replacement, and with the No. 11 overall pick, Taylor Lewan is a value. The Michigan man has a nasty streak and the power to step in as a rookie right tackle, but his experience, hand use and footwork are that of a quality left tackle. Wherever the Titans need him, Lewan has day-one starter tools.

12. Oakland Raiders

The Pick: QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Enigmatic. Brash. Instinctive. Athletic. Unstoppable.

There are many words you can use to describe Johnny Manziel, and depending on where you stand concerning his NFL potential, there may be positive or negative meanings. When I watch the Texas A&M standout play, all I see is a playmaking quarterback with a never-quit mentality.

That's what you want from the leader of a football team. Manziel may not have the size or prototypical dropback traits of a 1980s quarterback prospect, but he makes plays few quarterbacks can.

Manziel's dual-threat ability is well-documented, and yet many sleep on his pure ability as a passer. It's that increase in footwork, touch and accuracy that has moved Manziel from an athlete to a legit starting-quarterback prospect.

The Oakland Raiders seemed to have an answer at the position a month ago, but Terrelle Pryor has struggled as NFL defenses started game-planning to stop him. Now the Raiders are back to square one, and the front office will need a quarterback who can come in and excite the offense. That's Manziel.

13. St. Louis Rams

The Pick: OT Brandon Scherff, Iowa

Signing Jake Long to a monster free-agent contract shored up one side of the St. Louis Rams' offensive line, but moving forward, they still face big question marks at right tackle.

Current starter Rodger Saffold will be a free agent after the season, and there's little hope he can be re-signed. As it stands now, the team will be looking for Saffold's replacement as it scouts college seniors and juniors. A potential upgrade can be found just north of St. Louis in the Hawkeye state.

Brandon Scherff is flying under the radar currently, but the minute the junior left tackle announces his intentions for the 2014 season, he'll be a hot topic. He's fundamentally sound but possesses the quick feet of a tight end and the nastiness of a 10-year veteran. Scherff is polished and ready to go as soon as he's ready for the NFL.

14. San Diego Chargers

The Pick: CB Jason Verrett, TCU

The San Diego Chargers enjoyed a solid draft under first-year general manager Tom Telesco in 2013, but his work is not done. Improving the roster's overall talent level will continue to be a focus, even as the scouting department hones in on need picks.

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett can do both. He's a physically, aggressive man-coverage candidate on the outside, and he's also a solid value at pick No. 14 as the first cornerback off the board. The Horned Frog doesn't have great size (5'10", 176 lbs), but he has the toughness, quickness and attitude to hold his own on the outside.

Add Verrett to a defense already loaded with Eric Weddle, Corey Liuget and the potential of Melvin Ingram and you have a core group worth building around.

15. New York Giants

The Pick: OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee

The problems in New York are on both sides of the ball and point back to bad decisions on draft day and in free agency. While stewing about past mistakes is needed to determine where the front office went wrong, adding talent to get back to the team's Super Bowl ways has to happen, and happen fast.

Protecting Eli Manning has to become the priority of this team. Instead of adding band-aid solutions in free agency, the team must look to draft young, talented players it can build around. This worked when the Giants added Justin Pugh in the first round of the 2013 class, but they need more than one tackle to upgrade the talent on the offensive line.

While Pugh can lock down the right side, a protector at left tackle is needed. Will Beatty may have good intentions, but his performance isn't cutting it. The Giants would rather have the guy who shut down Jadeveon Clowney during his dynamic 2012 season and has shown all the tools to be a standout blindside protector.

Antonio Richardson needs to be coached up in terms of footwork, that's why he's here at pick No. 15, but from a strength and athletics standpoint, he has all the requirements of a Pro Bowler at the position.

16. Green Bay Packers

The Pick: FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

The Green Bay Packers have invested heavily in the secondary and along the offensive line in recent drafts, but more help is needed. Especially at free safety.

M.D. Jennings was an inspiring story during the 2012 season, but as time has gone on, it's becoming obvious that his best role is in a nickel or dime package. The Packers need a starter. They'll be wise to look to Nick Saban's Alabama defense and the nation's best safety to fill the hole in the secondary.

Hasean (Ha Ha) Clinton-Dix is the only safety given a first-round grade in this year's class and boy has he earned it. Clinton-Dix can hit, he can cover and when it comes to reading and diagnosing an offense pre-snap his experience and football IQ are off the charts. He's a day-one impact starter. And that is something the Packers cannot refuse.

17. New York Jets

The Pick: WR Marqise Lee, USC

The New York Jets have clearly identified needs heading into the 2014 offseason. Chief among them is a true No. 1 wide receiver for Geno Smith to connect with. While Stephen Hill has raw upside and Jeremy Kerley is a sneaky route-runner and third-down specialist, Smith needs a guy he can go to when all hell breaks loose.

USC players haven't fared well in New York, at least not with the Jets, but that's about to change. Wide receiver Marqise Lee has battled injuries, inept quarterback play and unrealistic expectations to get where he is. He's smart, fluid, competitive and the opposite of the entitled USC players who have come before him.

Lee will fight for playing time, catches and yards. And that mentality is what the Jets need a lot more of.

18. Miami Dolphins

The Pick: OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

We all know about the Miami Dolphins' struggles on the offensive line. In one way or another, that's been a dominant headline in South Florida (and across the nation) all season. Whether it's Ryan Tannehill being sacked a league-high number of times or the dysfunction of the team's starters on the left side of the line, the Dolphins' front five has been an issue from Week 1.

It's time to fix that. Jonathan Martin shouldn't be expected to ever play another down for the Dolphins, and if we're being honest, his play at left tackle wasn't building confidence either. Martin was a right tackle or guard prospect playing left tackle, which made this a need before the season even began. Adding Bryant McKinnie may get the team through the season but no more than that.

Starting over at left tackle is needed, and with their first-round pick, the Dolphins can go get a blue-chip pass-blocker. Cyrus Kouandjio hasn't been a flawless left tackle at Alabama, but his strength, reach, run blocking and upside make him a no-brainer for the Dolphins' brass if he's on the board.

19. Dallas Cowboys

The Pick: OG Cyril Richardson, Baylor

The Dallas Cowboys are surprisingly good at admitting their flaws and attacking those areas in the offseason. Owner/general manager Jerry Jones isn't shy about replacing players and going after upgrades, and when he sees the film on his guards, he'll be focusing on the draft's best interior blockers.

Cyril Richardson is the draft's best offensive-guard prospect. The Baylor lineman can play in a spread scheme thanks to his athleticism and agility, but he's also strong enough to line up and push the pile in a power-blocking scheme. That duality is rare in a college guard, which is why Richardson is drawing rave reviews and comparisons to Mike Iupati of the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cowboys would take that at left guard for the next decade.

20. Philadelphia Eagles

The Pick: CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon

You might see this pick and think Chip Kelly is just grabbing his former college players. That holds some truth, but more than anything, the Philadelphia Eagles must address the lack of talent at cornerback. That Ifo Ekpre-Olomu happened to play for Kelly is just icing on a damned good cake.

Ekpre-Olomu is what a cornerback must be like in today's NFL. He's dangerously quick, smart as a whip and can be aggressive when need be. While his 5'10", 185-pound frame isn't big enough to tangle with the bigger receivers in the game, he makes up for his lack of size with the technique and fundamentals to play the ball or the man no matter the size of his opponent.

Coming out of the Pac-12, Ekpre-Olomu is battle-tested. Stepping into a familiar scheme in Philadelphia, he'll be ready to go as a rookie starter.

21. Detroit Lions

The Pick: OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

The Detroit Lions defense badly needs help in pass coverage, but recent draft history shows that they've added quite a few bodies at cornerback. Instead of investing another high draft pick at the position, the Lions can allow youngsters Darius Slay and Bill Bentley time to develop. That gives general manager Martin Mayhew a chance to plug other holes while trusting his draft grade on former picks.

Ryan Shazier at face value may not seem like a fit in Detroit, but watch the Buckeye wreak havoc on Big 10 offenses and it's easy to project him as an impact player for the Lions.

His first-step quickness is the best of any college linebacker, and that allows him to be a force against the run or the pass. And in the Ohio State scheme, he's often asked to play inside and outside linebacker, so he's versatile enough to be a three-down threat for a Detroit defense that's on the rise.

22. Chicago Bears

The Pick: CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State

The Chicago Bears have three big-time players entering free agency, and any expectation that they can keep all of them should be dismissed. Quarterback Jay Cutler, defensive tackle Henry Melton and cornerback Charles Tillman will all be looking for new deals this offseason, and with Tillman's age (33 in February) and late-season injury, it's easy to see him being the odd man out.

That leaves the Bears thin at one of the most important positions on the entire team. Tim Jennings is rock solid, and Zachary Bowman has upside, but they need depth, speed and talent in a bad way. A scouting trip to central Ohio will help them find a cornerback who can step in and provide relief immediately.

Bradley Roby entered the year as the No. 1 cornerback on my draft board but has slipped due to a few bad performances.

But take away the Wisconsin game and focus on his last two seasons and Roby still stands up as one of the best in the business. His size (5'11", 192 lbs), experience against top wideouts and tenacity in man coverage are that of a top-tier corner. Iron out his few wrinkles and you have a late first-round steal.

23. San Francisco 49ers

The Pick: WR Jarvis Landry, LSU

A casual observer could tell you the San Francisco 49ers need help at wide receiver, and while Michael Crabtree will soon be offering relief, this is more than a one-player fix. The Niners must buckle down and spend a first-round pick on an impact player.

That happened last season when the team traded up in the first round for LSU safety Eric Reid. The front office can keep with its LSU fixation and add the team's dynamic wide receiver, Jarvis Landry. Landry's speed before and after the catch would give the 49ers the yards-after-catch threat the team has lacked without Crabtree.

In a perfect world, with Crabtree and Vernon Davis on the field, Landry can then operate as a deep threat to take the top off defenses that creep up to stop the team's many running threats.

General manager Trent Baalke does a good job at not overthinking his draft picks. In looking at pick No. 23, Landry is the smart move.

24. Arizona Cardinals

The Pick: OT Cameron Erving, FSU

The current offensive tackle situation in Arizona provides no long-term answers. Right tackle Eric Winston is on a one-year deal, per Spotrac, and left tackle Bradley Sowell is on his third team in the last two seasons, as outlined by Ourlads. While the duo has outperformed all expectations, the Cardinals will look for longer-term answers through the draft.

The front office may be tempted by a quarterback here to replace Carson Palmer, but protecting the quarterback takes precedent given the way Palmer has played recently. Waiting until Round 2 for a quarterback the team can develop and drafting a bookend left tackle early is the better value play for the team.

At Florida State, Cameron Erving has earned high praise for his athleticism and also his individual blocking grades. His footwork, quickness and intelligence on the edge all translate well to him being a first-year starter on the blindside.

25. Cincinnati Bengals

The Pick: OW De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon

What do you get the team that has everything? How about an offensive weapon?

Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas isn't just a running back, and he's much more than a slot receiver or return man, too. He's a game-changer. Thomas' ability to affect the game from the backfield as a runner, split out as a receiver and in the return game makes him a rare three-tooled threat with the ball in his hands.

Built in the mold of Randall Cobb or Darren Sproles, Thomas is the type of player who puts points on the board each week. While the Bengals could look to fill potential needs at cornerback here, their focus instead should be on giving Andy Dalton more threats on offense and keeping the Cincinnati Bengals one step ahead of their division rivals in the AFC North.

26. Carolina Panthers

The Pick: WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

As great as Cam Newton has been this season, imagine if he had a wide receiver other than Steve Smith that he trusted?

The Carolina offense is dangerous, effective and versatile, but what the passing game lacks is another wide receiver the defense must game-plan for.

Brandon LaFell is a nice option, but he's not keeping NFL defensive coordinators up at night. Steve Smith does, but slowing him down becomes a numbers game. With a top-tier wideout opposite Smith, Newton as a runner and as a passer becomes much more dangerous.

Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews worked his tail off in the summer to become faster, and it's paid off in big ways. He was always a good route-runner and a very good receiver in traffic, but now he's showing the speed to pull away from coverage and to outrun the defense to the end zone. Given his size (6'3", 206 lbs) and developed tools, he can step right in and make a difference for the Panthers offense

27. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)

The Pick: WR Odell Beckham, LSU

With their second pick in the first round—this one courtesy of the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for Trent Richardson—the Cleveland Browns can continue to rebuild an offense that lacks playmakers and long-term solutions.

The wide receiver corps isn't bad, but how long Josh Gordon and Greg Little can stay out of the doghouse remains to be seen. Gordon is incredibly talented but has off-field issues in his past. Another run-in with the NFL's drug program and he's out for a full season. Little has no off-field issues to speak of, but on the field, he continues to be inconsistent despite his physical gifts.

Neither player is a guarantee to be around for the long haul. What the Browns need is a young, talented wide receiver they can allow to grow with Derek Carr. LSU's Odell Beckham can be that guy.

Beckham plays the position like a small forward, executing with size, strength, speed and route-running savvy that make him tough to cover no matter what you throw at him. His solid on- and off-field abilities make him an attractive candidate in Cleveland.

28. New England Patriots

The Pick: WR Allen Robinson, Penn State

The wide receiver corps in New England has played better than expected this season, but the team's young pass-catchers are still a huge question mark moving forward.

Danny Amendola struggles to stay healthy. Aaron Dobson struggles to catch the ball consistently. Kenbrell Thompkins seems to be in Bill Belichick's doghouse. That leaves Julian Edelman as the team's most consistent option at the position. And now you see why they need to invest in a first-round wide receiver.

Allen Robinson is familiar with the Patriots offense, thanks to his time spent under former New England coordinator Bill O'Brien at Penn State. Knowing the offense is a plus, but Robinson's physical ability and big-play potential make him an even more likely candidate. The only negative is that Robinson's play may push him out of reach for the playoff-bound Patriots.

29. New Orleans Saints

The Pick: DE/OLB Trent Murphy, Stanford

The transition to a 3-4 defense has gone much better than anyone expected, but the New Orleans Saints are getting by with less-than-ideal talent at key positions. One such area of need is at outside linebacker.

Rob Ryan's defense doesn't always need All-Pro linebackers, as the scheme and play calls help mask talent deficiencies, but there's no replacement for raw ability. Finding a three-down pass-rusher off the edge would go a long way in adding legitimacy to this side of the ball.

Stanford's Trent Murphy plays in a 3-4 scheme, can stand up or put his hand in the dirt and rush the quarterback. Murphy is a big-play threat, but he's also crazy consistent against the run and the pass. Watch any Stanford game and you'll see big No. 93 making plays time and time again.

30. Denver Broncos

The Pick: DE Michael Sam, Missouri

The Denver defense has been held together with bailing wire and duct tape this season, and while they're getting enough production to win games, they need help.

That will come through the draft, and the first area of need is for more pass-rushers. Von Miller is great, but relying on Shaun Phillips isn't a long-term solution. He's fine for the short window of opportunity the team has with Peyton Manning at quarterback, but post-Manning, the team will likely be a defense-first unit.

Improving the pass rush means going after productive athletes. Like Michael Sam. The Missouri edge-defender can play standing up or down but has the profile of a 4-3 defensive end long-term. Give him an offseason to bulk up and a training camp to learn hand use and you have a future 10-sack player coming off the edge opposite Miller.

31. Seattle Seahawks

The Pick: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

There isn't much the Seattle Seahawks need. General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have done a masterful job in rebuilding the team's roster and turning them into an elite force. And that's not a short-term projection, this is a young team on the rise.

Staying on top means thinking ahead. Russell Wilson and the offense look unstoppable at times, but against a good secondary, they can get bogged down. What Wilson needs is a safety valve to be his go-to when things break down or when the run game isn't going in the red zone.

Jace Amaro has been a dominant performer at tight end all season long. He fits the profile of the super athletic tight end and has the after-catch ability to tear apart those defenses that are forced to dedicate safety play to stopping Marshawn Lynch. Adding Amaro to this offense is almost unfair.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

The Pick: WR Paul Richardson, Colorado

The Kansas City Chiefs have ripped off an impressive start to the season, but for Andy Reid's team to be a consistent threat each year, they need more talent on offense. Plain-and-simple.

An attack featuring Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe alone won't get it done, and Reid knows this. He did a great thing in Philadelphia by adding DeSean Jackson and then keeping the theme going by drafting Jeremy Maclin. Barring a big free-agent signing—which doesn't fit the profile of general manager John Dorsey—the team will invest in the wide receiver position through the draft.

Paul Richardson might not be on the national radar yet, but if the Colorado junior enters the 2014 draft his name will become well-known. He's athletic enough to be an after-the-catch menace on defenses, but he's also refined as a route-runner and tough enough to play in traffic. Richardson is a surefire starter, not a developmental player. That's what the Chiefs need to keep their comeback story going in 2014.

===============================================

Go to link for second round

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1855668-2014-nfl-mock-draft-matt-millers-updated-first-round-projections#/articles/1855668-2014-nfl-mock-draft-matt-millers-updated-first-round-projections/page/34

Second Round

 

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
The Jaguars and the Texans play two times over the final six games and they face each other Sunday.

The outcome of this game 'could' have a big impact on who gets the first pick in the draft.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/11/21/jaguars-texans-a-battle-for-the-top-of-the-draft/

Jaguars-Texans a battle for the top of the draftPosted by Michael David Smith on November 21, 2013, 9:38 AM EST

By late November, a handful of NFL teams have accepted the fact that their playoff hopes are finished, and that what they’re really playing for is a high pick in next year’s NFL draft. Two of those teams are the Jaguars and Texans, who play each other twice in the next two weeks.

The 1-9 Jaguars have been widely regarded all season as the worst team in the league and the most likely owners of the first pick in the 2014 NFL draft. And if the draft order were determined today, the Jaguars would, in fact, have the first overall pick.

But the Texans are one of four 2-8 teams (along with the Vikings, Falcons and Buccaneers) that are hot on the Jaguars’ heels. And the Texans, who host the Jaguars on Sunday and then visit Jacksonville on Thursday, December 5, have an opportunity to move themselves ahead of Jacksonville in the draft order by choking twice against their division rivals....
The Texans are 10 point favorites Sunday and that is a pretty big spread for two teams who have only won 3 games combined between them and the Jags have one-less win today so it seems they will wind up with the first pick in the draft. Also if Houston both games they will drop down and that means the other teams listed above, Minnesota, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay, could get pushed up the draft board.

So the teams picking at the tip-top of the draft could be:

1. Jacksonville

2. Tampa Bay

3. Minnesota

4. Atlanta

Jacksonville and Minnesota have the most pressing need at quarterback. Tampa Bay 'might' wind up sticking with Mike Glennon and obviously Atlanta seems locked in with Matt Ryan.

if Jacksonville does wind up with the top pick then its likely they go with QB Teddy Bridgewater with the first pick. If Tampa Bay likes what they see of Glennon they could go with Clowney or trade-down to a team wanting-needing a quarterback like Cleveland.

So the top of the draft could shape-up like so:

1. Jacksonville -

- QB Teddy Bridgewater

2. *TRADE* Tampa Bay trades pick to Cleveland -

- QB Marcus Mariota

3. Minnesota -

- QB Johnny Manziel

4. Atlanta -

- DE Jadeveon Clowney
A similiar trade 'could' take plade if Atlanta winds up picking ahead of Minnesota.

I don't think the Browns would trade-up for Manziel and if Minnesota has a choice between Mariota and Manziel I think they would go with Mariota.

Still six games left so the above scenario is speculative at best right now but what happens this weekend could start to clear up the order of the top picks.

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Interesting new ranking of the top-32 prospects of the 2014 draft class.

Not a mock, a ranking, so it is interesting to see how players rank independant of where they might wind up going off the draft board.

http://www.businessinsider.com/2014-nfl-draft-big-board-2013-10#32-lache-seastrunk-running-back-baylor-1

Here's The Expert Consensus On The 32 Best Players In The 2014 NFL Draft

1. Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end (South Carolina)

2. Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback (Louisville)

3. Anthony Barr, defensive end (UCLA)

4. Jake Matthews, tackle (Texas A&M)

5. Louis Nix III, defensive tackle (Notre Dame)

6. CJ Mosley, linebacker (Alabama)

7. Cyrus Kouandjio, tackle (Alabama)

8. Taylor Lewan, tackle (Michigan)

9. Sammy Watkins, wide receiver (Clemson)

10. Brett Hundley, quarterback (UCLA)

11. Marquise Lee, wide receiver (USC)

12. Stephon Tuitt, defensive end (Notre Dame)

13. Antonio Richardson, tackle (Tennessee)

14. Khalil Mack, linebacker (Buffalo)

15. De'Anthony Thomas, wide receiver (Oregon)

16. Marcus Mariota, quarterback (Oregon)

17. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, cornerback (Alabama)

18. Ryan Shazier, linebacker (Ohio State)

19. Tajh Boyd, quarterback (Clemson)

20. Loucheiz Purifoy, cornerback (Florida)

21. Johnny Manziel, quarterback (Texas A&M)

22. Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle (Florida State)

23. Bradley Roby, (Ohio State)

24. Eric Ebron, tight end (UNC)

25. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, tight end (Washington)

26. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, cornerback (Oregon)

27. David Yankey, guard (Stanford)

28. Mike Evans, wide receiver (Texas A&M)

29. Jason Verrett, cornerback (TCU)

30. Will Sutton, defensive tackle (Arizona State)

31. Kyle Van Noy, linebacker (BYU)

32. Lache Seastrunk, running back (Baylor)

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
Updated USA Today mock, out 26 minutes ago.

Johnny Football didn't crack the 1st round this week.

http://q.usatoday.com/2013/11/26/early-mock-draft-13-bridgewater-back-to-no-1/

Early mock draft: Week 1326m

Teddy Bridgewater reclaimed the top spotBy Brent Sobleski

The Jaguars nearly lost the top spot in the draft with a victory Sunday over the Texans. Jacksonville still has a lower opponent win percentage, which gives them edge for the No. 1 pick. Yet, the win — the team’s second in three games — makes their decision far more interesting than it was a couple weeks ago.

The Jaguars are proving they can win games despite talent deficiencies throughout the roster. Thus, the team may be more likely to select the QB which is more ready to step in from day one and start instead of waiting to develop another top talent.

Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has the most upside of any QB (potentially) in the 2014 NFL draft class. But, Mariota is not the most prepared to enter the NFL ranks. Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is the most refined signal caller.

Bridgewater should be able to step in from Day 1, take over the starting spot and lead the Jaguars to potential victories. Plus, Bridgewater is a Florida native to help the Jaguars’ ticket sales.

Whereas Mariota may be a better fit for the Texans in this scenario. The Texans are a better fit schematically. Texans head coach Gary Kubiak prefers to get he QBs out on the edge with bootleg action. It also cuts down the QB’s pass reads. The Texans are a run first team to hide the deficiencies of a young QB.

There is another possibility. According to Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin would be a “prime candidate should Gary Kubiak be fired.”

While Johnny Manziel to the Texans would be a good story, Houston couldn’t pass on Mariota. His athleticism and previous history in a spread offense make him an ideal candidate for Sumlin’s offense — if he were to be hired.

Now on to this week’s NFL mock draft…

1. Jaguars
Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

2. Texans
Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon

3. Falcons
Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

4. Vikings
Derek Carr, QB Fresno State

5. Rams (from WASH)
Anthony Barr, LB UCLA

6. Buccaneers
Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

7. Browns
Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

8. Bills
Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M

9. Raiders
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

10. Giants
Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo

11. Steelers
Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

12. Ravens
Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina

13. Jets
Marqise Lee, WR USC

14. Dolphins
Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

15. Chargers
Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State

16. Rams
Brandon Scherff, OT Iowa

17. Packers
C.J. Mosley, LB Alabama

18. Bears
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota

19. Eagles
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon

20. Cardinals
Jace Amaro, TE Texas Tech

21. Titans
Vic Beasley, DE Clemson

22. Lions
Jason Verrett, CB TCU

23. Cowboys
Shilique Calhoun, DE Michigan State

24. Bengals
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama

25. Browns (from IND)
Zach Mettenberger, QB LSU

26. 49ers
Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame

27. Patriots
DaQuan Jones, DT Penn State

28. Panthers
Martavis Bryant, WR Clemson

29. Chiefs
Kony Ealy, DE Missouri

30. Saints
Kyle Van Noy, LB BYU

31. Broncos
Kyle Fuller, CB Virginia Tech

32. Seahawks
Antonio Richardson, OT Tennessee

*Draft order was determined by current record and strength of schedule. The Cardinals, Titans, and Lions were adjusted to fill out official draft order per the current playoff picture.

How did Derek Carr become a Top 5 pick? Carr has made appearances in this mock over the past few weeks. His stock has moved up and done primarily based on what teams needed QBs and where they drafted.

Carr, meanwhile, has continued to play at an elite level for Fresno State. Carr’s 39 touchdown passes currently leads college football. His 3,943 passing yards are second. Carr is a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender and a talented NFL draft prospect.

The Vikings desperately need a QB. Carr is generally considered the next best behind Bridgewater and Mariota. Yet, he isn’t simply a consolation prize. Carr’s arm talent is as good as anyone, and he’s considered the most mature QB prospect in the class. The Vikings have the ability to win football game with an upgrade at QB. Carr be that upgrade.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
I don't know where to put this but Gus Bradley might need his own thread at some point.

he has done a fantastic job with the Jags.

Gabbert has not been brought back all year.

The team has not quit and instead the Jags have won what, 4 out of 5 after starting 0-8? Amazing.

The Jags defense is playing better and better, very cohesively which might be better than say "lights out" performances. They are becoming together and disciplined.

I say this all here because the next step for the Jags is obviously the 2014 draft. I am extremely intrigued by what direction they go in. Yes, QB must be their draft priority but I bet they want to keep adding to their defense. They have a lot of needs on offense too besides QB. This will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in April.

We know now they won't get Brdigewater (barring a trade up), but I wonder if Manziel might be in their sites.

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
SaintsInDome2006 said:
I don't know where to put this but Gus Bradley might need his own thread at some point.

he has done a fantastic job with the Jags.

Gabbert has not been brought back all year.

The team has not quit and instead the Jags have won what, 4 out of 5 after starting 0-8? Amazing.

The Jags defense is playing better and better, very cohesively which might be better than say "lights out" performances. They are becoming together and disciplined.

I say this all here because the next step for the Jags is obviously the 2014 draft. I am extremely intrigued by what direction they go in. Yes, QB must be their draft priority but I bet they want to keep adding to their defense. They have a lot of needs on offense too besides QB. This will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in April.

We know now they won't get Brdigewater (barring a trade up), but I wonder if Manziel might be in their sites.
This is pretty remarkable.

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfoFollow

The @jaguars have won 3 straight games, the longest win streak in the AFC.

9:47 PM - 5 Dec 2013

 

Bracie Smathers

Footballguy
New week, new mock by USA Today.

http://q.usatoday.com/2013/12/03/early-mock-draft-14-auburn-greg-robinson-alabama-cyrus-kouandjio/

this week’s mock draft…

1. Texans
Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville

2. Jaguars
Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

3. Rams (from WASH)
Anthony Barr, LB UCLA

4. Falcons
Jake Matthews, OT Texas A&M

5. Buccaneers
Greg Robinson, OT Auburn

6. Vikings
Derek Carr, QB Fresno State

7. Browns
Sammy Watkins, WR Clemson

8. Raiders
Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M

9. Bills
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama

10. Steelers
Taylor Lewan, OT Michigan

11. Jets
Khalil Mack, LB Buffalo

12. Titans
Eric Ebron, TE North Carolina

13. Chargers
Justin Gilbert, CB Oklahoma State

14. Giants
C.J. Mosley, LB Alabama

15. Rams
Marqise Lee, WR USC

16. Packers
Stephon Tuitt, DE Notre Dame

17. Bears
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT Minnesota

18. Dolphins
Brandon Scherff, OT Iowa

19. Eagles
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB Oregon

20. Cardinals
Trent Murphy, LB Stanford

21. Ravens
Jace Amaro, TE Texas Tech

22. Lions
Darqueze Dennard, CB Michigan State

23. Cowboys
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S Alabama

24. Bengals
Bradley Roby, CB Ohio State

25. Browns (from IND)
Brett Hundley, QB UCLA

26. 49ers
Jason Verrett, CB TCU

27. Chiefs
Kony Ealy, DE Missouri

28. Patriots
DaQuan Jones, DT Penn State

29. Panthers
Davante Adams, WR Fresno State

30. Saints
Travis Swanson, C Arkansas

31. Broncos
Shilique Calhoun, DE Michigan State

32. Seahawks
Gabe Jackson, OG Mississippi State

*Draft order was determined by current record and strength of schedule. The Ravens, Lions and Cowboys were adjusted to fill out official draft order per the current playoff picture.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Oregon QB Marcus Mariota was removed from this mock after the school announced he would return for his junior campaign. The mock was adjusted accordingly.]

The game is won in the trenches. A total of 13 linemen are slotted in the first round of this week’s mock draft. Seven offensive linemen — including four tackles in the Top 10 — were chosen.

It would be the second straight draft class heavy on offensive linemen. Last year’s class had nine taken in the first round, including five in the first 10 picks and a No. 1 overall selection.

This shows a trend in the NFL to improve up front on both sides of the ball and the value placed on on those big bodies. It also shows the strength of the draft class.

The 2014 QB class isn’t as strong as it was initially believed to be, but a team can certainly find talent to protect or harass a QB.

 

SaintsInDome2006

Footballguy
About the Saints, I don't think they take a center, like Swanson, they are very happy with De La Puente - but they definitely badly need a tackle though. They could also go NT or speed-rush OLB/DE.

 

Donnybrook

Footballguy
6. Vikings
Derek Carr, QB Fresno State

He reminds me too much of his brother. It not so much about playing style but I question whether he has a deep passion for the game like successful QBs ie Manning and Brady. After a couple of years in Houton, it looked to me like David Carr was just happy to be a starting QB in the NFL. He didn't want to be the best QB in the NFL. I am not convinced that Derek Carr is different than his brother in that department.

I hope the Vikings look elsewhere.

 

Vincesanity

Footballguy
I don't like Johnny Manziel in many situations but if he can play in a dome stadium, with some talent on OFF and a good DEF I think he can succeed....perfect match is ST LOUIS RAMS.

 

Donnybrook

Footballguy
Atlanta plays Washington in 2 weeks so this draft order will change dramatically over the last few games of the season.

 
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Mr. Brownstone

Footballguy
I don't know where to put this but Gus Bradley might need his own thread at some point.

he has done a fantastic job with the Jags.

Gabbert has not been brought back all year.

The team has not quit and instead the Jags have won what, 4 out of 5 after starting 0-8? Amazing.

The Jags defense is playing better and better, very cohesively which might be better than say "lights out" performances. They are becoming together and disciplined.

I say this all here because the next step for the Jags is obviously the 2014 draft. I am extremely intrigued by what direction they go in. Yes, QB must be their draft priority but I bet they want to keep adding to their defense. They have a lot of needs on offense too besides QB. This will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in April.

We know now they won't get Brdigewater (barring a trade up), but I wonder if Manziel might be in their sites.
:goodposting:
 

Mr. Brownstone

Footballguy
6. Vikings

Derek Carr, QB Fresno State

He reminds me too much of his brother. It not so much about playing style but I question whether he has a deep passion for the game like successful QBs ie Manning and Brady. After a couple of years in Houton, it looked to me like David Carr was just happy to be a starting QB in the NFL. He didn't want to be the best QB in the NFL. I am not convinced that Derek Carr is different than his brother in that department.

I hope the Vikings look elsewhere.
I think he seems like a pretty fiery competitor.David Carr was probably happy to not be in a wheel chair after the beating he took in Houston.

 

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