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Memento's Final 2014 Mock Draft

Discussion in 'NFL DRAFT / COLLEGE FOOTBALL' started by Memento, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Memento Your (Somewhat) Friendly Neighborhood Authoress.

    Jul 30, 2010
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    Yes, you heard me right. This is my last mock draft for this year, so I'm going to put every bit of effort I can into it. But first, I need to show you three trades:

    Trade 1: #2 to the Browns for #4, #26, and #83. If the Browns front office was smart, they'd take the best quarterback available to them and not wait for one to fall to them. In my eyes, the only quarterbacks worth taking in the first round are Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. Now, the Browns know that they aren't the only ones who want a quarterback. The Jaguars, Raiders, and Vikings are all in desperate need of a signal-caller. For the sake of this mock, I'll give them a gift of Bridgewater, who is arguably 1a. when it comes to quarterbacks in this draft. In return, we get their two first round picks and a third. And before anyone says that I'm asking for too much, I'll reply with this: franchise quarterbacks do not come without a price.

    Trade 2: #13 overall to the Packers for #21, #85, and a 2015 second round pick. The Packers move up to take Ha'sean Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor and add a compliment to Morgan Burnett at safety. In return, we get their first round pick, their third round pick, and a future second. Fair deal for both sides.

    Trade 3: #153, #188, #226, and #241 to the Raiders for #107. Oakland is at the point where they need more picks and more chances to hit a diamond in the rough. We give up our non-compensatory sixth and seventh round picks, as well as our fifth, to move up into the fourth round.

    And now, without further ado, let me introduce you to one of the most highly-researched mock drafts that you will see on this site (or any Rams-site, really):

    4 - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M.

    6'5", 305 lbs., twenty-two years old, true senior. First Team All-SEC (2012, 2013), First Team All-American (2012), Consensus All-American (2013).

    Summary - Matthews certainly has the bloodlines of an NFL player. His father, Bruce Matthews, is in the Hall-of-Fame. His cousin, Clay Matthews, is one of the best linebackers in the league. Jake Matthews has the potential to be just as good as the ones who came before him.

    Positives - First and foremost, Matthews is extremely versatile. He is one of the rare linemen who can play anywhere on the line, even at longsnapper. He is strong, physical, uses every bit of his length to keep linemen at bay, mirrors the movement of pass rushers perfectly, has quick and violent hands, and rarely gets beat on a play.

    Negatives - It's unclear if Matthews benefitted a bit from Manziel's movements in the pocket. He doesn't always play to the whistle, and on the rare occasions where he does get beat, he gets visibly frustrated. Small for a top tier left tackle. May have reached his full potential.

    Player Comparison - Jordan Gross (except better).

    Conclusion - In my honest opinion, Matthews will be the best left tackle to come out of this deep class, and he is very arguably the best overall player in the draft as well. I see consecutive All-Pro selections in his future. I really do.

    21 - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State.

    6'5", 240 lbs., twenty-three years old, redshirt sophomore. Third Team All-ACC (2013).

    Summary - Known as the receiver who caught the winning touchdown in the NCAA Championship game against Auburn, Benjamin had an amazing season in his own right, with over 1,000 yards and eleven touchdowns. He became one of Jameis Winston's go-to targets along with Rashad Greene and Devonta Freeman.

    Positives - He's a huge, physical target who has a large catch-radius and great speed for his size. Huge hands. Almost impossible to cover at times with his size and length. Amazing at YAC. Very willing blocker.

    Negatives - Has a bad habit of running before he has caught the football, leading to drops. Still raw as a receiver. Needs to work on his route-running. Wasn't always the primary option on his team.

    Player Comparison - Plaxico Burress.

    Conclusion - Benjamin has all the potential in the world. If he can learn how to secure the ball before running, I could definitely see him becoming the number one wide receiver that we need to compliment Austin.

    26 - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota.

    6'6", 311 lbs., twenty-three years old, redshirt senior. First Team All-Big Ten (2013), Third-Team AP All-American (2013).

    Summary - A former tight end in high school, Hageman converted to the defensive line in 2012 and recorded six sacks. Unfortunately, he did not have the year that most people expected from him in 2013, but in his defense, Minnesota's defense completely lacked anyone who could take the pressure off of Hageman. Facing double - and occasionally triple - teams, he still recorded two sacks and dominated games at times.

    Positives - Rare and gifted athlete. Elite explosion. Excellent speed and strength with vine-like arms. Great at stopping the run and penetrating into the backfield. Very good at both splitting double teams and eating up blockers.

    Negatives - Inconsistent as a pass-rusher; sometimes disappeared on the field. Lack of statistics is troubling. Needs to improve his stamina. Character issues stemming back to high school. Still a touch raw.

    Player Comparison - J.J. Watt.

    Conclusion - Hageman is a boom-bust pick, but under Waufle's tutelage, he should clean up his inconsistency issues and become yet another terrifying force on our defensive line next to Brockers.

    44 - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee.

    6'6", 336 lbs., twenty-two years old, true junior. Second Team All-SEC (2012, 2013).

    Summary - If not for the many great offensive tackles in the SEC, Richardson might have been a first team All-SEC two years in a row. The moment he stepped onto the Volunteers' football team, he kicked long-time starter Dallas Thomas from left tackle to guard. He never looked back and was a starter until he declared for the draft.

    Positives - Powerful run-blocker who has a violent initial punch. Competitive player with a nasty demeanor on the field. Ideal frame. Solid footwork and athleticism for someone his size. Long arms.

    Negatives - Struggles with the speed-rush at times. Waist-bender. Needs to work on conditioning. Struggles in space.

    Player Comparison - Donald Penn.

    Conclusion - We've spent resources on everywhere except for the offensive line. I think that it's about time that we went for long term solutions instead of short term bandages. I picture Richardson as our swing tackle at first before eventually moving to the right side.

    75 - Billy Turner, OG, North Dakota State.

    6'4", 315 lbs., twenty-two years old, redshirt senior. AP FCS All-American (2012, 2013), First-Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference (2012, 2013), FCS Offensive Lineman of the Year (2013).

    Summary - Quite possibly one of the most decorated offensive linemen in FCS history, Turner has come a long way from when he was a two-star recruit. The awards listed here are not even close to the amount of accolades he has received. He'll enter the NFL as one of the best small school prospects in this draft.

    Positives - Extremely powerful lineman; has the sheer strength to dominate and bowl over defensive linemen with a mere push. Great arm extension, fluid footwork, decent lateral movement. Gets to the second level quickly.

    Negatives - Level of competition is a concern. Lets pass-rushers bounce off of him rather than knocking them out of the play. Hesitates on pulling plays. Gets pushed back on passing plays when he comes up too high.

    Player Comparison - A rich man's Bruce Campbell.

    Conclusion - Yet another pick for our struggling offensive line, Turner has experience at tackle, but projects best as a guard. He's an amazing athlete who could easily back up both guard positions - and with Rodger Saffold as one of our guards, that is a necessity. In the future, though, he has the potential to be an All-Pro guard.

    83 - Deone Bucannon, FS, Washington State.

    6'1", 215 lbs., twenty-one years old, true senior. First-Team All-PAC-12 (2013), First-Team AP All-American (2013).

    Summary - Known as one of the hardest hitting safeties in the nation, Bucannon is easily the star on the Cougars' defense. A fearsome presence over the middle with surprising ball-skills to match, he looks to make an impact on whichever defense he joins.

    Positives - Amazing production against difficult competition; improved with every year. Great fluidity for a safety his size. Enforcer and a ballhawk at the free safety position. Very physical in pursuit of a runner with great instincts. Amazing ball skills; he will nearly always come up with the interception.

    Negatives - Atrocious tackling form; needs to be retaught from the ground up. Will garner flags due to his style of play. Has been suspended for hits. Needs to learn where to hit his target. Occasionally loses track of the ball in the red-zone.

    Player Comparison - A poor man's Eric Berry.

    Conclusion - Bucannon already has the skills to be a fantastic safety. If you paired him up with McDonald, you'd arguably have the hardest hitting safety tandem in the NFL. If he can learn to tackle properly (and that can be taught), he has the potential to be an absolute steal at this point. And with McLeod, Daniels, and Davis backing them up, I see a lot of potential at the safety position.

    85 - Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman.

    6'4", 312 lbs., twenty-three years old, redshirt senior. SoCon All-Freshman Team (2010), All-SoCon Consensus Second-Team (2011), AP FCS First-Team All-American (2013).

    Summary - Were it not for the presence of Billy Turner, Dozier may have been the best lineman in the entire FCS. As it is, he ranks as one of the best guards in this class, and he is a lineman that I've been keeping my eye on. As with Turner, Dozier's award list was simply too long to put on here.

    Positives - Natural bender. Plays with leverage. Excellent athleticism. Powerful. Aggressive and plays through the echo of the whistle.

    Negatives - Relies on power and lets his feet get lazy at times. Mauler rather than a technician. Will get grabby when he thinks that he's beat.

    Player Comparison - Jonathan Cooper (when he was coming out).

    Conclusion - Dozier is yet another upgrade for our offensive line. He has experience at left tackle, but he projects best as a guard who should be taught how to play center. He takes the job that Shelley Smith had, and will immediately provide an upgrade over Smith.

    107 - C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa.

    6'6", 265 lbs., twenty-two years old, true senior. First-Team All-Big Ten (2013).

    Summary - While he may not have the stats of the top three tight ends (Ebron, Amaro, Seferian-Jenkins), Fiedorowicz has made the most out of poor quarterback play and an offensive scheme that requires its tight ends to block first. In any case, he is a big target that serves as a backup plan to Cook and insurance for Kendricks (who is a free agent next year).

    Positives - Huge target with a wide catching radius. Underrated straight-line speed with the ability to get open. Devastating run-blocker. Improved his receiving in 2013. Red-zone threat.

    Negatives - Has not had the production one would like coming out of college. Not a YAC threat. Not a deep threat. Needs to be more physical against defenders.

    Player Comparison - A poor man's Rob Gronkowski.

    Conclusion - Fiedorowicz is a pick made not only because of this deep tight end class, but as a pick for the future. If Cook has another lackluster year or if Kendricks leaves for free agency, Fiedorowicz will immediately step in as a short-to-intermediate target for our offense.

    110 - E.J. Gaines, CB, Missouri.

    5'9", 195 lbs., twenty-two years old, true senior. First-Team All-Big Twelve (2011), First-Team All-SEC (2013).

    Summary - Quite possibly the best cornerback to come from the Tigers program in recent memory, Gaines is our future nickelback. Having been matched up against the best that the Big Twelve and SEC has to offer, there's no doubt in my mind that he has what it takes to square up against the new wave of slot receivers in the NFL.

    Positives - Well-built for the position with fluid hips, a smooth backpedal, and quick lateral movement. Surprisingly physical for his size; seems to relish contact. Has experience in zone, man, and press coverage. A threat to blitz off the edge.

    Negatives - Short for a cornerback. Not the fastest cornerback. More of a hitter than a tackler. Has been nicked up in his career.

    Player Comparison - Antoine Winfield.

    Conclusion - Gaines may be a fourth-round pick, but he's more than capable of holding down the nickelback position to compliment Jenkins and Johnson. Either way, he'll be a complete upgrade over Finnegan and McGee, and he will be a solid nickelback for us.

    214 - Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming.

    6'1", 206 lbs., twenty-one years old, true junior. 2011 MWC Freshman of the Year.

    Summary - One of the most underrated dual threat quarterbacks in the country, Smith is a potential diamond in the rough in this draft. Regardless of the fact that we signed Shaun Hill, we could definitely use a younger backup to provide competition.

    Positives - Dangerous dual threat quarterback. Surprisingly elusive in the pocket, good athlete, flawless mechanics when he has time. Tough, good decision-maker, leads by example. Progresses through his options well.

    Negatives - Small and slight. Sometimes gets happy feet in the pocket. Mediocre arm strength, below-average deep ball. Competition in his conference is questionable at best. Has likely reached his full potential.

    Player Comparison - A faster, smaller Alex Smith.

    Conclusion - I imagine Smith quickly becoming the backup quarterback to Bradford and being a capable starter if he goes down. Overall, he's a prospect well worth a sixth round pick.

    249 - Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas.

    6'0", 180 lbs., twenty-two years old, true senior. Second-Team All-Big Twelve (2013), First-Team All-Big Twelve (2011).

    Summary - As a sophomore in 2011, he had a breakout year, but Byndom has not had the same production since. However, he has the athleticism to be an intriguing late-round pick, and he has a lot of potential to be an effective NFL cornerback down the road.

    Positives - Very fast; was clocked at 4.37 at his Pro Day. Excellent coverage skills overall, is a playmaker, smooth feet, able to quickly flip his hips. Excellent character.

    Negatives - Slight build. Not a physical cornerback; needs to really work on his tackling. Occasionally gives up separation in man coverage. Is his sophomore season a fluke? Was arguably the third best cornerback on his team.

    Player Comparison - A poor man's Asante Samuel.

    Conclusion - Byndom immediately gives us quality depth at the cornerback position and someone else to develop. He may not be the biggest or most physical at his position, but he has a lot of speed, and he comes from a great school for defensive backs. At the very least, he can push McGee on the depth chart.

    250 - Henry Josey, RB, Missouri.

    5'8", 194 lbs., twenty-two years old, redshirt junior.

    Summary - Some thought that Josey's career was over when he tore his knee against Texas in 2011. Others thought that he would never regain the lethal speed that made him one of the most dangerous running backs in the nation. Josey disagreed...and he was right. He's well worth our last pick in the draft.

    Positives - Breakaway speed; clocked a 4.4 in the Combine, and is faster in pads. Excellent hands out of the backfield. Blocks with enthusiasm. Does not shy from physical contact. Elusive, finds the hole quickly and decisively, doesn't have too much tread on his tires.

    Negatives - Durability concerns stemming from a horrific knee injury in 2011, a mild concussion, and an upper back injury. Small for a running back. Can he run up the middle in the NFL? Comes out of a spread offense. Did wide receivers take pressure off of him?

    Player Comparison - Reggie Bush.

    Conclusion - Josey is honestly one of my favorite players to come out of Mizzou. He should be an inspiration to everyone to never give up and to be positive. I honestly think that he'll be a very successful third down back for us and provide a threat to take it to the house on any play.

    As always, please leave your thoughts and comments and critique here. All of it is welcomed, and I will do my best to answer your questions.
    Prime Time likes this.
  2. Tron Fights for the User

    Jun 1, 2013
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    Ok, here we go...

    1. Cannot see us using 4 out of the first 7 picks on linemen. I just cant. Thats overkill. Thats way to many backups drafted early.

    2. Benjamin....Not a big fan, to much of a project.

    3. I do like the Matthews, Hagemen, Turner, Bucannon, Gaines, Smith picks.

    Not the biggest fan of this mock, and thats mostly because of the overkill on linemen.
    Rabid Ram likes this.
  3. Rabid Ram Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2013
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    Agreed no way in heck we draft that many linemen that early
  4. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2013
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    I appreciate the effort and time you put into it but I must echo the sentiments that it's overkill on the OL. And I don't think I'd be that happy with the draft. We take on too many risks for my liking. I am more of the calculated risk type. I'm willing to take a shot on risky players at certain spots but I'm going to hedge my bets by taking some safe players to offset that risk.

    Taking Benjamin, Hageman, Richardson, and Turner is insanely risky. I don't think Matthews is enough to hedge all those bets.

    Turner has extremely porous technique despite his abundance of physical talent. Richardson also has poor technique and is extremely inconsistent. Hageman has character questions, is extremely inconsistent, and has had issues staying on the field and showing up every down. Benjamin reportedly struggled learning FSU's offense, is incredibly inconsistent, and didn't shine like expected in the measurables portions.

    I just said inconsistent way too many times on four guys we're going to draft in the first 75 picks. To be frank, I can get behind taking a risk on Hageman or Richardson or Turner individually...I do not want Benjamin. I could get behind taking the risk on two of those three. But I do not think it's a good idea to grab all three. And grabbing all three + Benjamin just seems to me to pressing your luck.

    Hell, it could pay off in a big way...or it could blow up in our face in the worst way possible.

    Personally, I'd do something like(in trying to keep 2 of the 4):
    21. Hageman
    26. Verrett
    44. Jordan Matthews
    75. Billy Turner
    Tron likes this.
  5. Memento Your (Somewhat) Friendly Neighborhood Authoress.

    Jul 30, 2010
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    Thank you all for taking the time to comment on this mock draft. I agree that I'm taking a lot of risks in this draft, and I can see why you all think that it's overkill on the offensive line. What about trading back into the late first round for Xavier Su'a-Filo (using the picks used on Turner and Dozier, as well as a future first) and using the 44th pick on David Yankey instead of Tiny Richardson? I do want to keep Benjamin in this mock, however, because I honestly think that he has just as much of a chance to become a number one wide receiver as Watkins and Evans. I know that you guys disagree, but I feel that if we don't pick him, San Fran or Seattle will, and we'll end up regretting it for a long time to come.

    Again, thank you all for taking the time to comment on this mock draft.
  6. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2013
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    I'd say pick one of the two. I don't think we need both. Saffold is here to stay. Barksdale...hopefully is here to stay. Matthews is here to stay. That's 3 of the 5. We have Barrett Jones behind Scott Wells. That's 4 of the 5. And hopefully Long will be here for another couple of years. I understand what you're doing but I wouldn't take Matthews and two OGs in the first 2-3 rounds. I'd take Matthews and one OG/OT. But I wouldn't be opposed if we took a developmental OL in the 5th to 7th rounds on top of that.
  7. Memento Your (Somewhat) Friendly Neighborhood Authoress.

    Jul 30, 2010
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    But that's the thing: are we going to pay Barksdale an insane amount of money just to stay when we have the contracts of Quinn, Kendricks, and Bradford, amongst others, to pay as well? What if Long gets hurt again or isn't ready to play at the start of the season? What if Saffold goes down? I'm not just looking for plug-and-play starters; I'm looking toward the future as well. We shored up the cornerback position two years ago with Jenkins and Johnson (as well as McGee one year later). We shored up wide receiver for the most part with Austin, Bailey, Quick, and Givens. Now I feel that it's past time that we shored up the offensive line - and Su'a-Filo and Yankey are the best guards in this year's class.
  8. jrry32 Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2013
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    An insane amount of money? No. But $5-6 million a year? Sure. That's why they have structured contracts a certain way.

    What if Long gets hurt or isn't ready? That's why you pick 1 of the 2. Matthews at LT, Yankey/Su'a-Filo at LG, Wells at C, Saffold at RG, Barksdale at RT.

    What if Saffold goes down? Same reasoning. What if both go down? That's why you have Barrett Jones, sign depth and have an additional 5th to 7th round OL.

    IMO, you're going a bit overboard on the future. We can use draft picks in the future as well. Matthews + A top OG + A developmental OG is more than enough shoring up the OL imo.