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2015 Free Agency
With the 2014 NFL Draft about a month away, let's take a look at how I think the 2014 NFL Draft could possibly play out. A lot will change over the next few weeks, so my mock will change as well.
1) Houston - QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida - John McClain of the Houston Chronicle is pretty plugged in to what the Texans look to do, and he thinks the pick will be Bortles. They certainly have a need at the position with former starting QB Matt Schaub having been traded to Oakland. South Carolina uber talented DE Jadeveon Clowney is also a major consideration, and I would not be surprised if he is the pick. That said, new HC Bill O'Brien is knows as a QB guru, and Bortles fits the mode of QB he likes.
2) St. Louis - Greg Robinson, OLT, Auburn - OLT Jake Long tore his ACL in December, and there is a major question of his availabilty for the Rams for the 2014 season. This is also the 3rd straight season that Long has suffered a serious injury. With QB Sam Bradford coming off a torn ACL, protecting his blindside is crucial.
3) Jacksonville - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina - HC Gus Bradley is a defensive minded coach, and the Jaguars were last in the NFL in sacks with 31. The Jaguars have a need at QB, as 2011 1st round pick and disappointment Blaine Gabbert was traded to San Francisco, leaving Chad Henne as the starting QB. With that said, I believe Clowney is the pick.
4) Cleveland - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson - This is another team that could very well go quarterback, but they have very little talent at the skill positions as well, as WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron are the only legitimate playmakers. Watkins has the hands, size and speed you want at the wide receiver position. He and Gordon would give the Browns a potent duo.
5) Oakland - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M - The Raiders have a need at QB even with the trade for QB Matt Schaub. Manziel is not your prototypical quarterback from a size standpoint, but he is a playmaker, and the Raiders OL is very much a work in progress, so his mobility could be a plus for him.
6) Atlanta Falcons - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo - Atlanta could easily go OLT here, and Texas A & M OLT Jake Matthews has to be a prime consideration as well. But like the Jaguars, the Falcons have struggled generating a consistent pass rush, and Mack ranks very high on a lot of boards.
7) Tampa Bay - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A & M - Tampa Bay just traded the talented but troubled Mike Williams to Buffalo. While they have Vincent Jackson on one side, the Bucs have little else. They could go OL here as well and I have seen Michigan OLT Taylor Lewan mocked here as well.
8) Minnesota - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville - The Christian Ponder experiment has been a failure, and the clock is winding down on THE Elite RB in the NFL, Adrian Peterson. The Vikings have to address the QB position. Bridgewater has been considered the most NFL ready QB, and I am not going to let a sub-par Pro Day showing deter my thoughts on Bridgewater.
9) Buffalo - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina - The Bills just traded for talented but troubled WR Mike Williams of Tampa Bay. The Bills are looking to add a playmaker, and Ebron is considered to be THE top TE in the 2014 NFL Draft. Ebron has the ability to be a threat down the seams of a defense and can makes plays after the catch. He is a work in progress as a blocker.
10) Detroit - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama - Detroit lost S Louis Delmas to Miami, and Dix can be that player to come in and fill an immediate need for the Lions. Dix along with Louisville S Calvin Pryor are considered the top safaties in this draft.
11) Tennessee - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State - The Titans just lost All Pro cornerback Alterraun Verner to Tampa Bay. Gilbert is a talented cover corner and a very good punt and kickoff returner as well. He fills an immediate need for the Titans.
12) New York Giants - Jake Matthews, OLT, Texas A & M - The Giants are coming off a season of struggles from their offense. A lot of those problems can be traced to the offensive line. Matthews is certainly considered one of the top 2 offensive lineman in this draft, along with Auburn OLT Greg Robinson.
13) St. Louis - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville - With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix off the board, the Rams select Pryor to add to the secondary. Big, aggressive and a big hitter.
14) Chicago - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh - The Bears defensive line has taken and hit with DT Henry Melton off to Dallas and DE Julius Peppers cut and signing with rival Green Bay. The Bears add the explosive Donald to help rebuild their defensive front.
15) Pittsburgh - Taylor Lewan, OLT, Michigan - The Steelers offensive line has been an area of concerns for years. Lewan would be an immediate upgrade at the OLT position.
16) Dallas - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State - Dallas defense was a disaster in 2013. They also have lost DE DeMarcus Ware to Denver and DT Jason Hatcher to Washington. The Cowboys have a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball, and they start up from with Jernigan.
17) Baltimore - Zack Martin, ORT, Notre Dame - The Ravens lost ORT Michael Oher in Free Agency and fill that void with perhaps the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft in Martin. NFL Network Mike Mayock thinks Martin can be an All-Pro OG.
18) New York Jets - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State - While I don't think WR Eric Decker is a #1 wide receiver, the Jets certainly paid him like he is a #1. HC Rex Ryan saw CB Antonio Cromartie leave via Free Agency and the Jets were not involved in the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes. Ryan is a defensive coach and the Jets need a cornerback, and Dennard fits the bill.
19) Miami - C.J Mosely, ILB, Alabama - The continued talk around Miami is their interest in OL personnel and possibly having to trade up to get Taylor Lewan or Zack Martin. Miami now only have 6 picks, so I just don't see this happening. Not much buzz has been mentioned about Mosely to Miami, but he certainly would fill a position that the Dolphins have interest in addressing and Mosely is a candidate for BPA at #19. Also, the Dolphins DL played solid up front last year, but the linebackers for the Dolphins were HORRID against the run. Mosely has the physical and mental makeup to be a Day 1 starter and Pro Bowl ability.
20) Arizona - Kony Easely, DE, Missouri - The Cardinals could easily go with LB Ryan Shazier, as they lost LB Karlos Dansby to the Cleveland Browns in Free Agency.
21) Green Bay - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame - Green Bay took a step back last year and the Packers look to reinforce the DL with Nix. B.J Ragi only signed a 1 year deal also.
22) Philadelphia - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State - Philadelphia released one of, if not the most explosive wide receiver in the NFL in DeSean Jackson a few weeks ago. Chip Kelley has knowledge of Cooks during his time at Oregon and Cooks is very explosive.
23) Kansas City - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU - Kansas City needs a weapon opposite of WR Dwayne Bowe. Beckham has gotten better every year while at LSU, and had his most productive year in 2013. He is a dangerous return man as well.
24) Cincinnatti - Dee Ford, DE, Auburn - The Bengals lost DE Michael Johnson in Free Agency and fill that void with Ford.
25) San Diego - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU - The Chargers address the secondary with Verrett.
26) Cleveland - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State - I have seen some mocks with Carr in the top 10, so it would not surprise me to see him go off the board early. That said, if he is here for the Browns, they will take what they hope is the QB of the future.
27) New Orleans - Marquise Lee, WR, Southern Cal - The Sains let WR Lance Moore leave via Free Agency and look to fill that void with Lee.
28) Carolina - Moses Morgan, OLT, Virginia - OLT Jordan Gross retired this offseason, and the Panthers look to provide QB Cam Newton with blindside protection. They could go wide receiver as well as the Panthers lost their 3 top wide receivers, including WR Steve Smith, who they released.
29) New England - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech - TE Rob Grownkowski is coming off a torn ACL and has had a bevy of injuries. New England lost TE Aaron Hernadez as well and this has become a TE based offense. Tom Brady needs weapons, and Amaro fits the mode of what New England wants from their Tight Ends.
30) San Francisco - Ra'Shede Hagerman, DT, Minnesota - The 49ers try to recover from losing to division rival Seattle in the NFC Championship game and look to add to their defensive front with Hagerman. Hagerman has HUGE boom bust potential.
31) Denver - Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA - Protecting QB Peyton Manning is a MUST, and the Broncos lost OG Zane Beadles in Free Agency.
32) Seattle - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State - Seattle lost WR Sydney Rice early in the 2013 season and lost WR Golden Tate in Free Agency. The Seahawks give QB Russell Taylor a big WR and red zone threat in Benjamin.