2014 NFL mock draft: Texans take QB

2014 NFL mock draft: Texans take QB
December 4, 2013, 10:00 am
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1. Houston Texans: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M**

If you're the Texans in this situation, I think trading down is the best option out there. Attempting to strike a deal with a team wanting to move up for Clowney or Matthews, and getting a mid-first (to draft a QB), a second/third, and another first next season would be the best thing they could do. Should Manziel go first overall? Not ideally, but I do think he has the highest upside of all the quarterbacks in this class.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville*

Jacksonville has been looking for a new franchise quarterback since Mark Brunell. Bridgewater has all the tools you look for in a QB. Some questions remain as he's only had to subpar competition to play but the key is that he's found ways to win. If the Jags draft him, he would instantly become the new face of the team.

3. Atlanta Falcons: Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina*
 
The Falcons picked a good year for a total collapse... in this scenario, it couldn't have worked out better for them.

Clowney is exactly the type of player the Falcons have needed on defense. An immediate force on the field, who can provide pressure with the best of them.

4. St. Louis Rams (f/ WSH): Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

St. Louis has two first-round picks, this being the final year of reaping rewards from trading away the pick that ended up being RGIII.

This is where the draft really could take a lot of different turns. The big question is do the Rams still believe in Sam Bradford? If they decide he deserves one more year, getting him as much help as possible will be a necessity.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson*

The verdict is still out on whether Mike Glennon is the QB of the future for the Bucs, but if they want to find out for sure, giving him weapons will be vital.
Tampa could also look into drafting one of the offensive tackles, but Watkins possesses elite ability. Alongside Vincent Jackson, they could be a very effective duo.

6. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA  

The Vikings have needs all over, from quarterback to (insert any position on defense). Barr is far and away the best linebacker in this draft class, and would instantly help one of the NFL's worst ranked defenses.

7. Cleveland Browns: Marqise Lee, WR, USC*


Josh Gordon has emerged as one of the most dynamic offensive players in the NFL. No matter who the Browns move forward with at quarterback, after Gordon, they need to add more options around him. Lee is a speedster with good hands, adding a few pounds would make him a potentially elite option.

8. Oakland Raiders: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame*

A real impact player inside, Nix is a space-eater with top level quickness for a big guy. His presence on a Raiders defense that needs a real talent infusion would be instantly felt.

Oakland could also look to add weapons for Pryor, if Watkins falls or reach a bit for Lee or Evans.

9. Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama*

Their position in the draft may not suggest it, but the Bills have made big strides through the draft over the last several offseasons. Adding protection for E.J. Manuel moving forward will be important for his growth, and taking a player like Kouandjio who could grow alongside him would be a smart move.

10. New York Jets: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M**

The New York Jets have been in transition for several seasons now. They've done well, adding several nice pieces on the defensive side, and taking Geno as their potential QB for the future. What they really lack is offensive weapons right now. Evans is big, versatile, and would be a good possession receiving option.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Secondary is a real need for the Steelers. Keeping mostly the same unit together for a lot of years and without the infusion of youth and speed, they've become slow and vulnerable. Gilbert is the best corner in this class and has the potential to be a true shut-down corner in the NFL.

12. Tennessee Titans: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

Tennessee is missing a leader on defense and Mosley has been a staple of the Crimson Tide's defense since his freshman season. His addition could completely revamp the inside of the Titans' D.

13. San Diego Chargers: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon*

Another team in need of help in the secondary. After losing key members of their defense over the past few seasons, adding a playmaker like Ekpre-Olomu should be a necessity.

14. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama*

Everytime I see Clinton-Dix's first name, it's hard to not think of Nelson from 'The Simpsons.' All jokes aside though, he's the best safety in this draft. He's a ballhawk, and a leader among defensive backs.

The Rams' defense is quietly becoming one of the most talented in football, all they lack is a top-tier safety. This move would immediately elevate their unit.

15. New York Giants: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

A strong year for offensive tackles, Lewan would've been a stand-out last season but his decision to stay another year at Michigan has him falling. The Giants have been one of the most inconsistent teams year-to-year in recent memory. Bolstering the offensive line could do a lot to change that.

16. Green Bay Packers select: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn**

Robinson's stock has been soaring this season alongside Auburn's return to prominence. He may elect to stay another season, and could be the top tackle off the board in 2015. But if he comes out, he'd be another addition to this elite class of offensive linemen.

17. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State*

On talent alone, Jernigan shouldn't fall out of the top 10 but defensive tackle isn't a pressing need for a lot of teams right now and definitely not the sexiest pick out there.

For a team plagued with injuries on the D-line, the Bears lack of depth at the position has been exposed. Adding a player like Jernigan at this point in the draft would be a steal.

18. Miami Dolphins: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina*

Another stock on the rise this season, Ebron's athleticism has been off the charts this season. He may be the most diverse pass-catcher in this year's draft. He possesses the ability to be an elite tight end. The Dolphins haven't had a player of his caliber at the tight end position in a long time.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
 
Despite the emergence of Riley Cooper as a consistent option, the Eagles still lack a big-playmaker at the receiver position. With Jeremy Maclin about to enter free agency and his inability to stay healthy, adding a true No. 2 option next to DeSean Jackson could be a big need. Matthews has been one of the most productive players in college, Chip Kelly would find a lot of different ways to utilize him.

20. Arizona Cardinals: De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon*

The Cards need a game-changer on the offensive side. They took a flyer on Ryan Williams a few seasons ago, but along with a lot of their recent running back draft picks... he couldn't stay healthy enough to develop into an offensive option. Thomas has elite speed and elusiveness that has been giving opposing teams headaches since he's seen the field at Oregon.

21. Baltimore Ravens: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

Rebuilding isn't something the Ravens have had to do in a long time, but they've lost a lot of the defense over the past few seasons.

Thankfully, the addition of Dumervil has worked thus far for the unit, but if they hope to contend moving forward, bringing youth to the table will be key. Mack is a complete player that excels in all aspects of the game. He's fast and a very good athlete, he should be able to play in almost any scheme.

22. Detroit Lions select: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida*

Detroit's been looking to upgrade their secondary for a few seasons now, but it hasn't been a complete success. The addittion of Glover Quin hasn't been as successful as they'd liked and they're relying heavily on Rashean Mathis and Chris Houston, both of which have underperformed this season. Purifoy is a dynamic athlete that has value both as a defender and a return man.

23. Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa*

Jerry Jones has shown a lot of interest in improving the offensive line to help Tony Romo. And while they've added some talent, their biggest weakness is still at tackle. Doug Free has been a liability as a starter and Tyron Smith hasn't developed into the elite player they were hoping he'd be. Scherff is big, consistent and the exact sort of tough player the Dallas O-line has lacked.

24. Cleveland Browns (f/ IND): Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

Trading away Trent Richardson is looking like a stroke of genius. The Colts pick won't be the highest first rounder out there, but if it nets the Browns a potential QB for the future, who would argue with it? Mettenberger has the size, arm and intellect to be a stud in the NFL. When all is said and done with the combine and pro days, I wouldn't be surprised if he gets top 10 consideration.

25. Cincinnati Bengals: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor

The Bengals' defense has been stellar, but opposing teams have found the holes on their offense. Disrupting Andy Dalton proving an effective strategy.

If Cincinnati hopes to continue its offensive sucess, protecting Dalton by adding quality pass-blocker on the inside should be a big consideration. Richardson is the best interior lineman in this class and would fit their offense perfectly.

26. San Francisco 49ers: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame*

San Francisco is always in position to go with the best player available. They have a great balance of veteran leadership and youth on their roster at a lot of positions. One position they don't have much depth at is on their front-three. Tuitt is a versatile defender, that can be a disruptive force on the defensive line.

27. New England Patriots: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State*

Erving has top-10 talent, if he decides to return to Florida State, he'll likely find himself as one of the top tackles off the board in 2015.

However, if he comes out this season, he'd still likely get scooped up in the first round. Injuries have hampered several positions for the Pats, especially at tackle.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi*

Andy Reid and Alex Smith have completely changed the outlook of the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith's been one of the most consistent QBs in the NFL over the past several seasons. He has some talent around him in KC, but if they could add a potential No. 2 like Moncrief, it would be a great move on their part.

29. Carolina Panthers: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State

Jackson is one of the most powerful offensive lineman in college football. As long as he can keep his weight in check, he'll be a starter pretty quick after getting drafted. Cam Newton hasn't always been the most consistent quarterback, but adding more protection could do a lot to change that.

30. New Orleans Saints: Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford

A lot of scouts are in love with Murphy. A very intelligent player, with good intangibles that just seems to be involved in every defensive play at Stanford.

The Saints need guys like that in their linebacking corps. Someone like Murphy that can cover laterally, as well as make plays at the line of scrimmage.

31. Denver Broncos: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida*

The other staple in Florida's secondary, Marcus Roberson, goes to the Broncos here. Denver's once vaunted secondary is old and has been injury-riddled. They need to address their secondary at some point this offseason, it's been the only true weakness on their team this season.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee*

The Seahawks are one team that has performed well at nearly every facet of the game this season. A lot due to injury, but one of the few spots for improvement for them would be on the o-line. "Tiny" Richardson, at times, looks like one of the most dominant players in NCAA. If he can improve his motor, and keep his focus level high, he could be dominant in the NFL too.

33. Houston Texans: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson*

Beasley could easily go in the first round, but he's exactly the sort of player the Texans should be looking into adding. He's been a defensive end for Clemson, in the NFL his best position would likely be a pass-rushing OLB in a 3-4 defense.

Not only could he add the dimension of the defense they lost when Connor Barwin left but he could develop into one of the league's most dominant sack artists. His durability may become a concern at the NFL level, adding some more size will be important.

*Non-Senior, **Redshirt Sophomore

Texans - Team News
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. He's ready to go as Arian Foster's caddie against the Eagles.
Oct 31 2:55PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) is listed as probable for Week 9. He'll be all systems go against the Eagles' solid run defense.
Oct 31 2:54PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) is listed as probable for Week 9. Johnson is a legitimate WR1 against the Eagles' inconsistent secondary.
Oct 31 2:53PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (illness) is expected to miss Week 9 against the Eagles. Updating a previous item, Clowney appears to be over his early-season knee injury. But he is dealing with an illness. Clowney's absence is an upgrade to Nick Foles'...
Oct 31 1:11PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) remained limited in Thursday's practice. Arian Foster's caddie is in no danger of missing Week 9.
Oct 30 3:41PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. Johnson was never in any danger of missing Sunday's game against the Eagles. With six teams on bye for Week 9, Johnson is a WR1.
Oct 30 3:40PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) returned to Texans practice Thursday, getting in a limited session. The Texans are just managing their superstar back's reps. With DeMarco Murray facing the Cardinals' elite run defense, there's a case to be made for Foster as Week 9's No. 1...
Oct 30 3:39PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue (ankle) was limited in Wednesday's practice. Blue got first-team reps with Arian Foster (knee) not practicing. The Texans also held out Andre Johnson (ankle) on Wednesday.
Oct 29 5:15PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The Texans are limiting Johnson's reps for rest purposes. He didn't suffer any setbacks last week and should be fine for Sunday's game against the Eagles.
Oct 29 3:43PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster (knee) did not practice Wednesday. It's a new injury for Foster. Coming off his three-touchdown performance, it's possible the Texans are getting him some rest. Foster will be a top-three running back in Week...
Oct 29 3:18PM Read More
Zac Diles - LB
Texans signed LB Zac Diles. CB Elbert Mack was waived in a corresponding roster move. Diles' addition is a sign the Texans aren't expecting Brian Cushing (knee) back for Week 9.
Oct 28 4:04PM Read More
Garrett Graham - TE
Garrett Graham was held without a catch in the Texans' Week 8 win over Tennessee. Graham was targeted just one time on the day, a seam shot from Ryan Fitzpatrick that predictably fell incomplete. Graham has been a very minor part of the offense, making...
Oct 26 4:53PM Read More
Andre Johnson - WR
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 55 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Johnson saw a team-high dozen targets. He was followed by Titans top CB Jason McCourty for much of the afternoon, leaving DeAndre Hopkins to work on sophomore Blidi...
Oct 26 4:44PM Read More
DeAndre Hopkins - WR
DeAndre Hopkins caught five passes for 95 yards in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Hopkins was targeted 11 times compared to 12 for Andre Johnson. Hopkins picked up chunk yards on all of his grabs, and was stopped at the five-yard line on one grab where...
Oct 26 4:24PM Read More
Alfred Blue - RB
Alfred Blue rushed for 42 yards on 14 carries in the Texans' Week 8 win over the Titans. Blue added a 22-yard catch. With the Texans clobbering the Titans late and Arian Foster having already piled up 173 yards and three touchdowns, Blue got plenty of run late...
Oct 26 4:11PM Read More

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