2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.4 (Three Rounds)
2014 NFL Draft: May 8th, 2014
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UCF QB Blake Bortles – Head Coach, Bill O’Brien, has said that the Texans will be taking a QB somewhere in the 2014 NFL Draft. Don’t let the attempt at a smokescreen throw you off, Blake Bortles is his guy. Bortles has the size O’Brien likes and was coached at UCF by his old mentor George O’Leary. Blake Bortles is not the most pro-ready QB in this draft class, but he has the fewest roadblocks in the way of him reaching his potential.
Clemson WR Sammy Watkins – The Rams are here thanks to the RGIII trade with the Redskins two years ago and find themselves with one of the most desired picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. The most likely scenario here is another trade down with a team that finds themselves enamored with Jadeveon Clowney or Sammy Watkins. If the Rams stay put, Auburn LT Greg Robinson is more of a Jeff Fisher-type of selection, while Sammy Watkins is the best player available for their biggest need.
South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney – The Jaguars have needed a QB since Mark Brunell left. They tried Byron Leftwich, David Garrard, and Blaine Gabbert, but those have had mixed results with no long term solution. With that said, Jadeveon Clowney is a once in a generation talent and Head Coach Gus Bradley is a defensive guy who has made an effort to build a better defense this offseason with some underrated free agent signings. This pick will be held up for auction and if the right price comes along the Jaguars could trade down, but that price depends on how much they value Clowney. If a team (the Atlanta Falcons) trades up to #2, Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel could be the alternative pick here.
Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel – The Browns were rumored to be in love with Johnny Football early in the draft process and, more recently, they have come out and said they will likely draft two QBs in the upcoming NFL Draft. This franchise needs a spark more than any other franchise in the league and a rookie QB has been the latest trend to rejuvenate a team. With top QB prospect Teddy Bridgewater still on the board, the Browns could take Johnny Manziel in an attempt to find a face of the franchise. The 2nd QB they could select in the draft would be an insurance policy to Manziel, similar to what the Redskins did with RGIII and Kirk Cousins.
Auburn LT Greg Robinson – The Raiders find themselves in a great position here with the top Tackle falling past the top 4 and right into their lap. After trading for Texans QB Matt Schaub, they believe they have a QB on par with the other AFC West QBs (despite how delusional that sounds) and they need to protect him. Jared Veldheer escaped to Arizona and they sign Donald Penn trying to stop the bleeding, but if they try to start Penn at LT all season then bleeding is exactly what Schaub will be doing. Greg Robinson is a slam dunk at #5 if he is still available for the Raiders.
Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack – The Falcons are making a change to the 3-4 defense with DC Mike Nolan. They are the most likely candidate to make a move up in this draft to get their edge rusher to complete the transition. In this scenario, they can stay put and still get a comparable talent to Clowney in Khalil Mack, who some actually prefer due to less “warts.” Although after the trade up for Julio Jones was greatly successful, don’t be surprised to see the Falcons at #2 with Clowney as the pick.
Texas A&M WR Mike Evans – The Buccaneers have had one of the best offseasons in recent memory and could pick the best player available at #7, but wide receiver becomes their top need after the trade of Mike Williams to the Bills. Mike Evans paired with Vincent Jackson would provide Lovie Smith a WR duo similar to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery: two big, strong playmakers who can make great deep catches or go across the middle for possession catches to move the chains.
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater – The Vikings become the lottery winners #8 if Teddy Bridgewater falls to them. In this scenario, they get the best QB prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft because other teams were selective in their QB prospect rather than take the best overall player at the position. Don’t read too much into the Louisville Pro Day, Bridgewater is a smart, tough QB and could benefit from having a running game featuring Adrian Peterson while he gets acclimated to the NFL with plenty of offensive weapons to throw to.