2014 NFL mock draft: Version 2.0

2014 NFL mock draft: Version 2.0
December 10, 2013, 2:30 pm
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1. Houston Texans: Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina*
I used to think that the Texans needed a quarterback above all else. While that might still be true, after the team's second loss to the Jaguars, now I believe that they need to take the biggest impact player they can.

Clowney is hands down the most unique and talented player in this class. An immediate force on the field, who can provide pressure with the best of them. A defensive line of J.J. Watt and Clowney could be one of the greatest tandems the NFL has ever seen.

2. 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.

3. Atlanta Falcons: Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
Atlanta, a lot like Houston, expected to be a Super Bowl contender this season. Their lack of success has been partially due to injuries, but the Falcons defense has also fallen flat. Anthony Barr is far and away the best linebacker in this draft class, and would instantly help one of the NFL's worst ranked defenses.

4. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville*
The Vikings have needs all over, from quarterback to (insert any position on defense). 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.  

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Jacksonville has been looking for a new franchise quarterback since Mark Brunell. Derek Carr, the younger brother of David, has been sky-rocketing up the charts with elite play in his senior season. He may not have the arm you look for in a top pick, but he's pin-point accurate and has an elite work ethic.

6. Cleveland Browns: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame*
With two picks in the first round, the Browns have the luxury to take the best player available. Cleveland has a defense on the rise, and adding someone who can terrorize opposing offensive lines up front could be a nice addition.

7. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson*
Terrelle Pryor has shown enough without any real weapons around him, that the Raiders should feel pretty comfortable with him at the helm. Adding a threat like Watkins would make Pryor better and add them a top-level talent building toward the future.

8. 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.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marqise Lee, WR, USC*
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 Lee has elite speed and ability. Alongside Vincent Jackson, they could be a very effective duo.

10. 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.

11. Tennessee Titans: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina*
Tennessee's offense lacks a true playmaker at receiver. Ebron is a freak athlete and has been on the rise all season. His skill-set would create a lot more versatility in the Titans pass attack.

12. 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 should net him a top-10 selection. 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.

13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama*
Every time 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 amongst 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.

14. 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.

15. San Diego Chargers: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon*
Another team in need of help in the secondary. Losing key members of their defense over the past few seasons, adding a playmaker like Ekpre-Olomu should be a necessity.

16. Green Bay Packers: 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 select: 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. Dallas Cowboys select: 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.

19. Miami Dolphins: 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 2014. However, if he comes out this season, he'd still likely get scooped up in the first round.

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. Detroit Lions: 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.

22. Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
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. Mosley has been a leader for Alabama since his freshman season, he could help fill the void they've had since losing Ray Lewis.

23. 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.

24. Cleveland Browns (f/ IND): Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M**
Johnny Manziel's stock hasn't necessarily been on the decline, it's the other quarterbacks in this class that have been on the rise. Manziel possesses elite ability, and could have the highest upside of all the players in this draft but concerns about his durability and character may cost him the top-10 spot he deserves.

25. Carolina Panthers: Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
Cam Newton hasn't always been the most consistent quarterback, but adding more protection could do a lot to change that. 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 ... always in position to go BPA. 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. Cincinnati Bengals: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
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. 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.

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. New England Patriots: Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford
A lot of scouts are in love with Trent Murphy. A very intelligent player, with good intangibles that just seems to be involved in every defensive play at Stanford. The Pats 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.

30. New Orleans Saints: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo
Khalil Mack might be the most complete defender in this draft. He can cover in space, tackle at the line, and possesses good athleticism. He could go a lot higher than this. The Saints wouldn't complain much if he fell to them here though.

31. 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.

32. Denver Broncos: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Denver's once vaunted secondary is old and have been injury-riddled. They need to address the cornerback position at some point soon, it's been the only true weakness on their team this season.

33. Houston Texans select: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
With the Texans' taking Clowney first overall, they will need to look elsewhere to find their quarterback for the future. Mettenberger tearing his ACL should prevent him from rocketing up the charts. He has elite arm strength, depending on how his interviews with teams go and if he can get healthy in time for pro days. He could still find himself as one of the top QBs drafted.

*Non-Senior, **Redshirt Sophomore

Texans - Team News
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
Ryan Fitzpatrick - QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick completed just 19-of-35 passes for 227 yards, one touchdown, and zero... Fitzpatrick was pretty bad for most of the day, begging to be picked off, but the Texans rode Arian Foster's legs to victory. Fitzpatrick's lone touchdown went to Foster on...
Oct 26 3:45PM Read More
Arian Foster - RB
Arian Foster rushed for 151 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in the Texans' 30-16, Week 8... Foster managed just 36 yards on his first 10 carries, but broke a 34-yard touchdown and had no trouble finding holes in the Tennessee defense from there on. Foster caught a...
Oct 26 3:21PM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is active for Week 8 against the Titans. Clowney will play on a "pitch count," likely in pass-rushing and third-down situations. Good luck with Clowney and J.J. Watt, Zach Mettenberger. Inactive for the...
Oct 26 10:34AM Read More
Jadeveon Clowney - LB
Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is likely to play against the Titans, but will be on a... "I thought what he did what he had to do this week," coach Bill O’Brien said. "I think he’s got a good shot to play on Sunday." Clowney has been...
Oct 25 9:13AM Read More

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