2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – ‘Combine is Next Week’, 2 Rounds Edition

 

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Goit/Pro Football Spot.

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Goit/Pro Football Spot.

Jake Arthur
Associate Editor

In this latest edition of my 2014 NFL Mock Draft, I keep my foot in the dirt on my top overall pick. With the NFL Combine next week, players’ stocks are going to sore and plunge do to a bevy of factors. I also have added Round 2 of the draft.

So without further ado, the Houston Texans are on the clock…

 

ROUND 1

 

1. Houston Texans (2-14)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Tackle, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 21st Third Down Offense (35.9%), 30th Sacks (32.0), 32nd Turnover Differential (-20).
The Pick: Teddy Bridgewater | Quarterback | Louisville
Until proven otherwise, Teddy Bridgewater is the top quarterback available and the player that will help the Houston Texans get back to their winning ways the quickest. Lately, people have tried to slot Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel above Bridgewater. There are good reasons for both, but overall I think people are just getting bored of Bridgewater being at the top. It is the same thing that happened to Luke Joeckel last year. He broke his ankle, but I think most could agree he should have never had Eric Fisher picked over him.

 

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) (7-9)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Pass Defense (242 YPG), 27th Pass Offense (195 YPG), 28th Third Down Offense (34.4%).
The Pick: Greg Robinson | Offensive Tackle | Auburn
The St. Louis Rams have the luxury of having the second overall pick and then having another pick eleven slots later. That means they can afford to take a chance with one of the picks. This won’t be the one. They go ahead and lock up their offensive line with many people’s top offensive tackle.

Sam Bradford may not end up being the answer at quarterback, but they’ll never know if he isn’t protected.

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Line, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 28th Scoring Defense (28.1 PPG), 32nd Scoring Offense (15.4 PPG), 32nd Sacks (31.0).
The Pick: Jadeveon Clowney | Pass Rusher | South Carolina
Everything in me wants to give the Jaguars a quarterback here. However, I don’t believe there will be many quarterbacks taken in the first round outside of the big three. Also, I don’t see the defensive-minded Gus Bradley passing up on a once-in-a-generation type of pass rusher like Jadeveon Clowney. They do need someone to chase down Andrew Luck and Teddy Bridgewater, after all.

 

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Running Back, Offensive Guard
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Turnover Differential (-8), 27th Run Offense (86.4 YPG), 31st Third Down Defense (44.7%).
The Pick: Johnny Manziel | Quarterback | Texas A&M
The Cleveland Browns may have just turned over almost their entire front office again, but that doesn’t mean they still won’t love Johnny Manziel. They’ve got a stout-ish defense already and their chief concern is quarterback. They can go ahead and take their franchise signal-caller here in Manziel. Manziel and Josh Gordon sounds like a fun duo, doesn’t it?

 

5. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Tackle, Secondary
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 25th Pass Offense (209 YPG), 26th Third Down Offense (35.0%), 27th Turnover Differential (-9).
The Pick: Blake Bortles | Quarterback | Central Florida
The Oakland Raiders have needs all over the board and have arguably the league’s most incomplete roster. However, it has been proven lately that your team won’t go anywhere without a franchise quarterback. As long as the Raiders spend some money in free agency on some of their other needs, the move to get Bortles should be a good one.

 

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
Team Needs:
Tight End, Offensive Line, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Sacks Allowed (44), 29th Sacks (32), 32nd Rush Offense (77.9 YPG).
The Pick: Jake Matthews | Offensive Tackle | Texas A&M
Recently Tony Gonzalez said that Matt Ryan isn’t an elite quarterback yet, but he is almost there. Well, without some protection, he might never get there. The Falcons take my top-rated offensive lineman in the draft and keep Ryan’s blindside clean for years to come. We all saw what happened to Eli Manning this season without time to pass consistently.

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
Team Needs:
Tight End, Offensive Tackle, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 24th Sacks (35), 27th Sacks Allowed (47), 32nd Pass Offense (176 YPG).
The Pick: Sammy Watkins | Wide Receiver | Clemson
Tampa Bay certainly has bigger needs than wide receiver, but that doesn’t mean they ought to pass up on one of the best receiver prospects in the last few years. Putting Watkins into a group that already features Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams might just keep Mike Glennon around at quarterback for another year.

 

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Guard, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 23rd Pass Offense (209 YPG), 30th Third Down Defense (44.2%), 31st Pass Defense (287 YPG).
The Pick: Khalil Mack | Pass Rusher | Buffalo
The Vikings will want to turn this selection in so fast they may have Cordarrelle Patterson turn the card in. New head coach Mike Zimmer won’t bat an eye getting a defensive stud in the first round. Minnesota needs quarterback help still, but they won’t get the value at QB here that they will with Mack.

 

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Defensive End, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 28th Pass Offense (194 YPG), 28th Run Defense (128.9 YPG), 30th Pass Touchdowns (16).
The Pick: Anthony Barr | Pass Rusher | UCLA
Pass rusher really shouldn’t be at the top of the Bills’ priorities, but the option to add Anthony Barr with Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes is too good to pass up. The Bills are also a good candidate to trade back, as they could use the services of Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor, but it is just a little too early to call either name.

 

10. Detroit Lions (7-9)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Defensive End, Secondary
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 23rd Pass Defense (247 YPG), 28th Sacks (33.0), 30th Giveaways (34).
The Pick: Justin Gilbert | Cornerback | Oklahoma State
To my memory, the Lions haven’t had a reliable #1 corner since the days of Dre Bly. In the past few years, the Lions have been playoff-worthy but their defense has never met the tone that their offense has set. The Lions can’t keep wasting what they’ve got on offense by having a defense that doesn’t measure up. Bring in Justin Gilbert and find more ways to rush the passer and they just might get to where they need to be.

 

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Team Needs:
Running Back, Defensive End, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Run Defense (112.2 YPG), 20th Pass Touchdowns (22), 21st Pass Offense (219 YPG).
The Pick: Stephon Tuitt | Defensive End | Notre Dame
Rumor has it the Titans are switching to a 3-4 defensive front from the 4-3 defense they have had for years. That’s going to take some new personnel, so adding the draft’s top 3-4 defensive end is a big step in the right direction. Tuitt’s stock hit a little bit of a snag during the season, as he had offseason hernia surgery and his conditioning suffered afterward. He began to hit his stride late in the season, and is now losing some weight and getting back to the dominant form he had in 2012. Tuitt could very well become the next Cameron Jordan.

 

12. New York Giants (7-9)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 29th Run Offense (83.3 YPG), 31st Passer Rating (67.6), 32nd Giveaways (44).
The Pick: Zack Martin | Offensive Lineman | Notre Dame
This matchup of Zack Martin and the New York Giants is a natural fit. He can play tackle if they need him to, as well as guard. Two of the biggest issues the Giants had last year was their pass protection and run blocking. When the Giants have been at their best, they had good quarterback play from Eli Manning, a good run game and a fierce pass rush. This pick helps take care of two of those things.

 

13. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Pass Defense (242 YPG), 27th Pass Offense (195 YPG), 28th Third Down Offense (34.4%).
The Pick: Marqise Lee | Wide Receiver | USC
The Rams have been swinging and missing on wide receivers for a while now. After striking out on failed trade-backs to try and get Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd two years ago, the Rams have had to settle on guys like Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick. They have Tavon Austin, but he’s not the type of player you want being your #1, outside receiver. Stedman Bailey is buried on the depth chart, but could actually develop into a nice player for St. Louis.

Selecting Marqise Lee here is a fool-proof move that the Rams can assure themselves they won’t be striking out on.

 

14. Chicago Bears (8-8)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Defensive Line, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 30th Points Allowed (29.9 PPG), 31st Run Touchdowns Allowed (22), 32nd Run Defense (161.4).
The Pick: Louis Nix III | Defensive Tackle | Notre Dame
There is a good chance this stays my pick for the Bears throughout the entire draft selection. Unless they bulk up on the entire defensive line, then I’ll go somewhere else. The front seven is just in too much trouble to ignore, so the Bears get the top run-stopper on the board.

 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Defensive Line, Secondary
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Third Down Defense (39.6%), 27th Sacks (34), 28th Run Offense (86.4 YPG).
The Pick: Darqueze Dennard | Cornerback | Michigan State
The Steelers defense could be getting a little bit of a makeover this offseason, and they’ll need some more youth to fill in the gaps. This year’s draft has an interesting duo of corners at the top – Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard. With Gilbert already off the board, the Steelers turn to Dennard to fill their needs at corner. You can’t go wrong with either pick, as it would be similar to choosing between Darrelle Revis (Dennard) and Patrick Peterson (Gilbert) in terms of style.

 

16. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Turnover Differential (-5), 29th Yards per Reception (10.8), 30th Run Offense (83.0 YPG).
The Pick: Mike Evans | Wide Receiver | Texas A&M
A big, playmaking receiver is just what the doctor ordered for Joe Flacco after his and the Ravens’ disaster of a 2013 season. The Ravens traded away Anquan Boldin and top tight end Dennis Pitta was hurt for the most of the year. Not to mention Flacco didn’t get much help from the rest of the receiving corps or the run game. Evans is the type of receiver that can just go up and get the ball just like Boldin did.

 

17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
Team Needs:
Defensive End, Linebacker, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Scoring Defense (27.0 PPG), 30th Pass Defense (287.0 YPG), 32nd Total Defense (415.3 YPG).
The Pick: Aaron Donald | Defensive Tackle | Pittsburgh
This is a brilliant move for the Cowboys to make. The defense was horrific last year and they need help all over. The ‘Boys are pretty strapped in terms of salary cap space, so they need to do their damage in the draft. Aaron Donald has been compared to Tennessee Titans’ defensive tackle Jurrell Casey – not a bad player to add to Dallas’ front seven.

 

18. New York Jets (8-8)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Guard, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 30th Turnover Differential (-14), 31st Pass Offense (183.0 YPG), 32nd Pass Touchdowns (13).
The Pick: Eric Ebron | Tight End | North Carolina
The absolute biggest need for the Jets is playmakers on offense. There is a good chance they add a receiver or two in free agency, and they have room to improve at tight end as well. Eric Ebron is as good of a tight end to come out in recent years, so the Jets can’t go wrong with this selection.

 

19. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
Team Needs:
Running Back, Offensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Run Offense (90.0 YPG), 27th Total Offense (312.9 YPG), 32nd Sacks Allowed (58).
The Pick: Cyrus Kouandjio | Offensive Tackle | Alabama
Missing in all of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin mess is how bad of shape the Dolphins’ offensive line is. They might have made the playoffs last year if they didn’t allow Ryan Tannehill to be the most-sacked quarterback in the league. Adding Cyrus Kouandjio gives them a much-needed solution.

 

20. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Outside Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Passer Rating (83.9), 23rd Run Offense (96.3 YPG), 29th Interceptions Thrown (22).
The Pick: Taylor Lewan | Offensive Tackle | Michigan
The Arizona Cardinals have had a weak offensive line since Kurt Warner left. Last year, Bradley Sowell and Eric Winston were their starting tackles, so that’s an obvious opportunity for improvement. They will also get guard Jonathan Cooper back from injury, which will give them a huge boost.

 

21. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
Team Needs:
Tight End, Linebacker, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 24th Pass Defense (247.0 YPG), 25th Run Defense (125.0 YPG), 27th Pass Touchdowns Allowed (30).
The Pick: C.J. Mosley | Linebacker | Alabama
The entire defense of the Packers is what they need to focus on first. Safety would be their first pick here if C.J. Mosley weren’t still available. Mosley will fit in well with the Packers’ young defense with Datone Jones, Clay Matthews, Casey Hayward and Micah Hyde.

 

22. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Team Needs:
Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Sacks (37), 24th Third Down Defense (40.3%), 29th Total Defense (394.2 YPG).
The Pick: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix | Safety | Alabama
The Eagles’ offense is set right now, so they need to focus on their defense – more specifically, their secondary. They truly get a gift with Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix falling to them at 22. He gives them a tough presence in the secondary with the ability to make some plays. Clinton-Dix can mean for the Eagles what Eric Reid meant to the 49ers this year.

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Defensive Line, Inside Linebacker
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Run Defense (120.2 YPG), 25th Pass Defense (248.0 YPG), 27th Average Attempted Pass (6.5 YPAT).
The Pick: Odell Beckham Jr. | Wide Receiver | LSU
The Chiefs defense is excellent when healthy, but their offense could use some upgrades. Donnie Avery, Dexter McCluster and A.J. Jenkins is an underwhelming trio of receivers behind Dwayne Bowe. Odell Beckham Jr. gives Kansas City instant playmaking for Alex Smith. Beckham’s style of play fits very well with quarterback Alex Smith’s style.

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
Team Needs:
Outside Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Penalties (102), 25th Giveaways (30).
The Pick: Calvin Pryor | Safety | Louisville
The Bengals’ biggest areas of need dwell in their secondary. They’ve got some nice pieces, but they cannot seem to stay healthy. Safety Taylor Mays has been an underachiever in his time in the league and Reggie Nelson hasn’t been anything to write home about, either. Between corner and safety, I consider the Bengals to be in better shape at corner so safety is the choice here.

In Calvin Pryor, the Bengals will get a tough, hard-hitting safety that isn’t afraid to take chances. He’ll fit in quite nicely in the AFC North.

 

25. San Diego Chargers (9-7)
Team Needs:
Offensive Guard, Outside Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Third Down Defense (38.9%), 27th Interceptions (11), 29th Pass Defense (259.0 YPG).
The Pick: Bradley Roby | Cornerback | Ohio State
The San Diego Chargers could have easily found themselves playing in the Super Bowl this season, but they had to defend Peyton Manning. The Chargers have been working hard and doing an excellent job at building their defense, so adding another great piece to their secondary with Bradley Roby is a smash hit.

 

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis) (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Running Back, Offensive Guard
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Turnover Differential (-8), 27th Run Offense (86.4 YPG), 31st Third Down Defense (44.7%).
The Pick: Xavier Su’a-Filo | Offensive Guard | UCLA
Adding weapons for Johnny Manziel is a popular move for people to pick here at 26, but he’s already got Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, so let’s focus on Manziel’s protection first.

Xavier Su’a-Filo is an excellent, balanced prospect with the ability to play guard and tackle, although he is best suited for guard in the NFL.

 

27. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Outside Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 25th Run Offense (92.1 YPG).
The Pick: Dee Ford | Pass Rusher | Auburn
The New Orleans Saints did a phenomenal job at turning their defensive performance around in 2013 after their awful 2012 campaign. With Sean Payton, Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham at the helm, offense is still the Saints’ strong suit. Here, they continue to build their defense with one of the draft’s hottest pass rushers in Dee Ford.

 

28. Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Total Offense (316.8 YPG), 29th Pass Offense (190.0 YPG).
The Pick: Davante Adams | Wide Receiver | Fresno State
Wide receiver is the only way for the Panthers to go here in the first round. The only question is which receiver they take.

Davante Adams is one of the most underrated prospects in the entire draft, let alone among the receivers. He played in the spread offense with Derek Carr, but posted 131 receptions, 1,718 yards and 24 touchdowns in just 13 games. As a reference, his season would have shattered NFL records if he played as many games as NFL players do.

Current Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith won’t be around forever. They need someone to grow with superstar quarterback Cam Newton.

 

29. New England Patriots (12-4)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Defensive End, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 14th Pass Touchdowns (25), 18th Pass Defense (239.0 YPG), 30th Run Defense (134.1 YPG).
The Pick: Jace Amaro | Tight End | Texas Tech
This seems like one of the picks in this first round that makes so much sense that it might not happen. Tom Brady struggled last year without Aaron Hernandez and injuries to Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson.

They need a new reliable pass-catcher in town. Jace Amaro fits everything the Patriots need.

 

30. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Defensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 18th Third Down Offense (36.5%), 21st Penalties (103), 30th Pass Offense (186.0 YPG).
The Pick: RaShede Hageman | Defensive Lineman | Minnesota
The San Francisco 49ers need a boost on their defensive line and among the cornerbacks, but they get better value here by selecting defensive lineman RaShede Hageman. San Francisco has had one of the most formidable defenses of the last several years. Continuing to reload with physical players like Hageman is a great way to keep their defense relevant.

 

31. Denver Broncos (13-3)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Defensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Points Allowed (24.9 PPG), 27th Pass Defense (254.4 YPG), 29th Penalties (117).
The Pick: Jimmie Ward | Safety | Northern Illinois
The Denver Broncos had a rough time defending the pass last year, and it’s going to get worse if they don’t do something about it now. Seven defensive backs are free agents including Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (UFA) and Chris Harris Jr (RFA).

Duke Ihenacho is also a free agent and Rahim Moore had some health issues in 2013. Snagging a safety in the first round is certainly a smart move for the Broncos.

 

32. Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Tight End, Offensive Line
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 23rd Sacks Allowed (44), 26th Pass Offense (202.0 YPG), 32nd Penalties (128).
The Pick: Austin Seferian-Jenkins | Tight End | Washington
I think we can all say that the Seahawks can afford to take a break on adding to their defense for a minute – at least to add to their offense in the first round. Tight ends Zach Miller and Luke Willson can be upgraded and receivers Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate are free agents. Russell Wilson needs pass-catchers.

 

ROUND 2

 

33. Houston Texans (2-14)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Tackle, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 21st Third Down Offense (35.9%), 30th Sacks (32.0), 32nd Turnover Differential (-20).
The Pick: Kyle Van Noy | Pass Rusher | Brigham Young
Now that the Houston Texans have locked up their quarterback of the future, they can focus on bolstering their defense. Kyle Van Noy is a top 15 talent that just slid due to no fault of his own. Van Noy can play inside and outside at linebacker, but could really help replace the void Connor Barwin left when he departed in free agency last year.

 

34. Washington Redskins (3-13)
Team Needs:
Secondary, Linebacker, Wide Receiver
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Pass Defense (243.5 YPG), 23rd Quarterback Rating (76.1), 31st Points Allowed (29.9 PPG).
The Pick: Telvin Smith | Linebacker | Florida State
The Washington Redskins are finally on the clock. Their offense has to just naturally be better next year, right? They focus on their defense here by replacing London Fletcher.

 

35. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Running Back, Offensive Guard
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Turnover Differential (-8), 27th Run Offense (86.4 YPG), 31st Third Down Defense (44.7%).
The Pick: Carlos Hyde | Running Back | Ohio State
So, the Browns already have receiver Josh Gordon, added Johnny Manziel and are now adding a run game with Carlos Hyde? Could the Browns be a legitimate contender in the AFC North next year with these moves? It seems as if their front office will do everything they can to keep that from happening.

 

36. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Tackle, Secondary
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 25th Pass Offense (209 YPG), 26th Third Down Offense (35.0%), 27th Turnover Differential (-9).
The Pick: Kony Ealy | Pass Rusher | Missouri
The Raiders scratch their head and then sprint to the podium with Kony Ealy’s name on it. They got Blake Bortles in the first round, and now they add a pass rush with Ealy.

 

37. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
Team Needs:
Tight End, Offensive Line, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Sacks Allowed (44), 29th Sacks (32), 32nd Rush Offense (77.9 YPG).
The Pick: Timmy Jernigan | Defensive Tackle | Florida State
The Falcons still need a presence on their defensive line. Defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux, Peria Jerry and Corey Peters are all unrestricted free agents. It’s safe to say there will be some spots to fill.

 

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
Team Needs:
Tight End, Offensive Tackle, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 24th Sacks (35), 27th Sacks Allowed (47), 32nd Pass Offense (176 YPG).
The Pick: Morgan Moses | Offensive Tackle | Virginia
The Buccaneers continue to build their offense by adding a starting offensive tackle, Morgan Moses. Doug Martin and Mike Glennon will more than welcome Watkins and Moses.

 

39. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Line, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 28th Scoring Defense (28.1 PPG), 32nd Scoring Offense (15.4 PPG), 32nd Sacks (31.0).
The Pick: Derek Carr | Quarterback | Fresno State
The Jaguars get lucky here by passing on a franchise quarterback in the first round and then getting a franchise-quality signal-caller to fall into their laps in the second round. The Jags offense will still be rough, but this is an excellent start.

 

40. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1)
Team Needs:
Quarterback, Offensive Guard, Defensive End
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 23rd Pass Offense (209 YPG), 30th Third Down Defense (44.2%), 31st Pass Defense (287 YPG).
The Pick: Jimmy Garappolo | Quarterback | Eastern Illinois
The Vikings likely won’t have Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman around the premises in 2014, so that leaves them with just Christian Ponder. He hasn’t proven to stay healthy or consistent yet, so the Vikings need another quarterback around to take the reins.

 

41. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Defensive End, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 28th Pass Offense (194 YPG), 28th Run Defense (128.9 YPG), 30th Pass Touchdowns (16).
The Pick: Ed Reynolds | Safety | Stanford
The Bills quietly put together a smash hit of a draft in the first two rounds by selecting pass rusher Anthony Barr in the first round and then safety Ed Reynolds in the second. The Bills have got to continue to improve their defense. If Jairus Byrd leaves in free agency, they will need a replacement.

 

42. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
Team Needs:
Running Back, Defensive End, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Run Defense (112.2 YPG), 20th Pass Touchdowns (22), 21st Pass Offense (219 YPG).
The Pick: Ka’Deem Carey | Running Back | Arizona
Since the season ended, it has been rumored that the Titans will part ways with running back Chris Johnson. Ka’Deem Carey is arguably the most talented tailback in the draft, so the Titans find their replacement here.

 

43. New York Giants (7-9)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 29th Run Offense (83.3 YPG), 31st Passer Rating (67.6), 32nd Giveaways (44).
The Pick: Ryan Shazier | Outside Linebacker | Ohio State
Not only do the Giants need a resurgence to their pass rush, but they need starters in their linebacking corps as well. They kill two birds with one stone here by selecting Ryan Shazier.

 

44. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Pass Defense (242 YPG), 27th Pass Offense (195 YPG), 28th Third Down Offense (34.4%).
The Pick: Jason Verrett | Cornerback | TCU
The Rams already have a talented defense, but that is mostly in their front seven – their secondary could use some work. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan hasn’t panned out, so much so that he needs replaced. They are also in pretty rough shape at safety.

 

45. Detroit Lions (7-9)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Defensive End, Secondary
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 23rd Pass Defense (247 YPG), 28th Sacks (33.0), 30th Giveaways (34).
The Pick: Kelvin Benjamin | Wide Receiver | Florida State
Kelvin Benjamin is pretty raw, but he is as big as Calvin Johnson is. How successful will Matt Stafford be with two receivers that have Calvin Johnson size? The Lions have needed a receiver next to Johnson almost as long as they needed a good cornerback.

 

46. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Defensive Line, Secondary
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Third Down Defense (39.6%), 27th Sacks (34), 28th Run Offense (86.4 YPG).
The Pick: Antonio Richardson | Offensive Tackle | Tennessee
After addressing an aging defense in the first round, now they focus their attention to protect Ben Roethlisberger and to help clear running lanes for Le’Veon Bell.

 

47. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
Team Needs:
Defensive End, Linebacker, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Scoring Defense (27.0 PPG), 30th Pass Defense (287.0 YPG), 32nd Total Defense (415.3 YPG).
The Pick: Jeremiah Attaochu | Pass Rusher | Georgia Tech
The Cowboys aren’t done fixing their defense. They add Aaron Donald in the first and now Jeremiah Attaochu in this round. There is a real possibility the Cowboys will enter the 2014 season without DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer.

 

48. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Turnover Differential (-5), 29th Yards per Reception (10.8), 30th Run Offense (83.0 YPG).
The Pick: Will Sutton | Defensive Tackle | Arizona State
What would a Ravens draft be without some focus on their front seven? The Ravens could lose Arthur Jones in free agency, so they could use some quality insurance on their defensive line.

 

49. New York Jets (8-8)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Guard, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 30th Turnover Differential (-14), 31st Pass Offense (183.0 YPG), 32nd Pass Touchdowns (13).
The Pick: David Yankey | Offensive Guard | Stanford
The Jets continue to try and create a decent offense by adding some muscle on the offensive line. David Yankey out of Stanford is one of the best interior offensive linemen in the draft, which is something the Jets could use.

 

50. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
Team Needs:
Running Back, Offensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Run Offense (90.0 YPG), 27th Total Offense (312.9 YPG), 32nd Sacks Allowed (58).
The Pick: Marcus Roberson | Cornerback | Florida
As bad as the Dolphins’ offensive line is, their secondary could be in trouble, too. Brent Grimes, Nolan Carroll and Chris Clemons are all unrestricted free agents. Grimes may get the franchise tag, but they still need to add more defensive backs. Marcus Roberson is arguably the best available here, and wouldn’t be a bad fit for the Dolphins.

 

51. Chicago Bears (8-8)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Defensive Line, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 30th Points Allowed (29.9 PPG), 31st Run Touchdowns Allowed (22), 32nd Run Defense (161.4).
The Pick: Trent Murphy | Pass Rusher | Stanford
The Bears continue to add to their front seven by bringing in pass rusher Trent Murphy. Putting Murphy in the mix with Louis Nix, Henry Melton and Julius Peppers (maybe) would be an excellent move.

 

52. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Outside Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Passer Rating (83.9), 23rd Run Offense (96.3 YPG), 29th Interceptions Thrown (22).
The Pick: Trevor Reilly | Outside Linebacker | Utah
The Cardinals addressed their biggest need in the first round by bringing in offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. Although they have a fantastic, young defense they still have needs. Trevor Reilly fills a big need of theirs at outside linebacker.

 

53. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
Team Needs:
Tight End, Linebacker, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 24th Pass Defense (247.0 YPG), 25th Run Defense (125.0 YPG), 27th Pass Touchdowns Allowed (30).
The Pick: Troy Niklas | Tight End | Notre Dame
The Packers still need to address their secondary, but they need to make sure they don’t miss a beat on offense. They could be without James Jones and Jermichael Finley next season. Adding Troy Niklas makes sure they have another playmaker in the middle of the field.

 

54. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Team Needs:
Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Sacks (37), 24th Third Down Defense (40.3%), 29th Total Defense (394.2 YPG).
The Pick: Brandin Cooks | Wide Receiver | Oregon State
The Eagles get a break here by having a Round 1-quality receiver fall to them late in the second round. Brandin Cooks fits in like a glove to Chip Kelly’s offense. Cooks can give Philadelphia the intermediate, run-after-the-catch threat they were missing last year without Jeremy Maclin.

 

55. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
Team Needs:
Outside Linebacker, Cornerback, Safety
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 19th Penalties (102), 25th Giveaways (30).
The Pick: Zach Mettenberger | Quarterback | LSU
So far, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton hasn’t done enough to show that he is the man to lead Cincinnati to the Super Bowl. He makes costly decisions, and sometimes it seems the Bengals win despite Dalton.

The Bengals bring in a starting-quality quarterback in Zach Mettenberger to put the pressure on Dalton, and take over for him if necessary. Mettenberger is less mobile than Dalton, but has a better arm.

 

56. San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City Chiefs) (12-4)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Defensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 18th Third Down Offense (36.5%), 21st Penalties (103), 30th Pass Offense (186.0 YPG).
The Pick: Loucheiz Purifoy | Cornerback | Florida
The 49ers went with defense in the first round, and they continue to add to it in the second round. By adding Loucheiz Purifoy after selecting Ra’Shede Hageman, they acknowledge their rival, Seattle’s success and tell them they are prepared to take back the NFC West.

 

57. San Diego Chargers (9-7)
Team Needs:
Offensive Guard, Outside Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 20th Third Down Defense (38.9%), 27th Interceptions (11), 29th Pass Defense (259.0 YPG).
The Pick: Cyril Richardson | Offensive Guard | Baylor
Cyril Richardson fills San Diego’s biggest need on offense by becoming their new stonewall guard on the offensive line. Philip Rivers got better protection last season and the Chargers’ run game flourished for the first time since the days of LaDainian Tomlinson. Richardson boosts both of those areas and makes San Diego’s offense even better.

 

58. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Outside Linebacker, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 25th Run Offense (92.1 YPG).
The Pick: Jack Mewhort | Offensive Tackle | Ohio State
People’s biggest gripe for the Saints on offense is their tackle situation, and rightfully so. Center Brian De La Puente is a free agent, but tackles Zach Strief, Charles Brown and Terron Armstead can all be upgraded. They may as well start here by adding Jack Mewhort from Ohio State.

 

59. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
Team Needs:
Center, Cornerback, Inside Linebacker
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 15th Third Down Offense (37.6%), 20th Run Offense (108.9 YPG), 26th Run Defense
The Pick: Jordan Matthews | Wide Receiver | Vanderbilt
Wide receiver is far from the Colts’ biggest need in the second round, but Jordan Matthews cannot be passed up by them. He is like a big-bodied Reggie Wayne. No one will accuse him of being fast, but he has impeccable route running ability. The SEC’s all-time leading receiver will develop behind Wayne for a season while the Colts decide the futures of LaVon Brazill, Griff Whalen and Da’Rick Rogers, but ultimately Matthews becomes Wayne’s heir apparent.

 

60. Carolina Panthers (12-4)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 26th Total Offense (316.8 YPG), 29th Pass Offense (190.0 YPG).
The Pick: Kyle Fuller | Cornerback | Virginia Tech
Now that Carolina has given Cam Newton a weapon with first round talent, they can get some more talent in their secondary, which is their next biggest need. Kyle Fuller is an injury risk, but the reward will outweigh the risk if he stays healthy. Fuller is a physical corner that fits the mold of what Carolina does on defense.

 

61. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Defensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 18th Third Down Offense (36.5%), 21st Penalties (103), 30th Pass Offense (186.0 YPG).
The Pick: Ahmad Dixon | Safety | Baylor
The San Francisco 49ers continue to give defensive coordinator Vic Fangio toys to play with. Many may think they’d go with offense in these first two rounds, but they’ve got Michael Crabtree, Quinton Patton and Vernon Davis and will likely bring Anquan Boldin back.

They have a possible need at safety with Donte Whitner being a free agent, so they add another young safety here in Ahmad Dixon to go next to Eric Reid.

 

62. New England Patriots (12-4)
Team Needs:
Offensive Line, Defensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 14th Pass Touchdowns (25), 18th Pass Defense (239.0 YPG), 30th Run Defense (134.1 YPG).
The Pick: Travis Swanson | Center | Arkansas
You may have never heard of him before, but the New England Patriots have a decent center named Ryan Wendell. The problem for New England is that he is an unrestricted free agent and they will likely look to upgrade the position. They add the draft’s top center here in Travis Swanson from Arkansas.

 

63. Denver Broncos (13-3)
Team Needs:
Offensive Tackle, Defensive Line, Cornerback
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 22nd Points Allowed (24.9 PPG), 27th Pass Defense (254.4 YPG), 29th Penalties (117).
The Pick: Lamarcus Joyner | Defensive Back | Florida State
As mentioned before, the Broncos’ secondary could be in big trouble due to free agency, injuries and age. They added a playmaking safety in the first round, now they go with a defensive back that can play corner, nickel and safety.

Joyner is a small player (5’8”, 190lbs), but his motor never quits and he is constantly jumping off of your screen at you. Because of his effort, he is hard to miss.

 

64. Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
Team Needs:
Wide Receiver, Tight End, Offensive Line
Key Stat(s) from 2013: 23rd Sacks Allowed (44), 26th Pass Offense (202.0 YPG), 32nd Penalties (128).
The Pick: Gabe Jackson | Offensive Guard | Mississippi State
The Seahawks close out the second round with more focus on the offense – this time, trying to ensure their run game remains at a top-notch level. Gabe Jackson is quietly one of the draft’s best guards and will go a long way in shoring up Seattle’s line.

 

ISR’s NFL Mock Drafts
-CLICK HERE for Indy Sports Report’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
-CLICK HERE for Indy Sports Report’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
-CLICK HERE for Indy Sports Report’s 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

ISR’s NFL Draft Prospect Position Rankings
-CLICK HERE for Indy Sports Report’s 2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings 1.0
-CLICK HERE for Indy Sports Report’s 2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings 2.0
-CLICK HERE for Indy Sports Report’s 2014 NFL Draft Position Rankings 3.0

 

For more mock drafts around the web, check out the following 2014 NFL Mock Draft databases:
-Walter Football 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database
-DC Pro Sports Report 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database
-Sports Jabber 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database
-Hail Redskins 2014 NFL Mock Draft Database

 

Jake’s 2014 NFL Mock Drafts have been featured in WalterFootball.com’s Mock Draft Database, DCProSportsReport.com’s Mock Draft Database and SB Nation’s BehindTheSteelCurtain.com and BloggingTheBoys.com.

 

Jake Arthur is the Associate Editor at the Indy Sports Report covering the Indianapolis Colts and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts and has full media access. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. You can follow Jake and ISR on Twitter.

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Jake Arthur is the Associate Editor at the Indy Sports Report covering the Indianapolis Colts and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts and has full media access. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.

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11 Responses to “2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – ‘Combine is Next Week’, 2 Rounds Edition”

  1. Eric says:

    Reads article, remembers Colts dont have a 1st rounder. Cries

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