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ESPN Beat Writers Final Mock Draft

Discussion in 'NFL DRAFT / COLLEGE FOOTBALL' started by RamBill, May 6, 2014.

  1. RamBill

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    2014 NFL Nation mock draft

    May, 6, 2014

    Our ESPN.com NFL experts played general manager for their divisions and executed a first-round mock draft.

    Here are the results of the mock draft and the explanations for each pick:

    Big Board Bar 1. Jadeveon ClowneyDE6-5266
    ANALYSIS: I traded the Bills' first-round pick (No. 9 overall), second-round pick (No. 41 overall), 2015 first-round pick, 2015 third-round pick, 2016 second-round pick for this selection. It's a steep price to pay, but the Bills can absorb the hit (the picks they give up are spread out over three years) and acquire a potential once-in-a-decade player in Clowney. The Bills want to win now, and this would put them a step closer. (Mike Rodak)

    2. Greg RobinsonOT6-5332
    ANALYSIS: As I would expect the Rams to do, I attempted to trade down within the top six here, but with Clowney off the board, there simply wasn't any interest in this pick. It's a tough call between the two top tackles and the top wideout, but Robinson is the best fit for what the Rams want to be offensively. (Nick Wagoner)

    3. Khalil MackLB6-2251
    ANALYSIS: The Jaguars need to improve the pass rush and find a playmaking linebacker. Mack fits the bill on both counts. You have to have versatile players on defense because teams are in sub packages more than base defense. They don't get more versatile than Mack, who can rush, cover and play the run. (Michael DiRocco)

    4. Johnny ManzielQB5-11207
    ANALYSIS: First, the Browns brass is chuckling at the Bills' imitation of Sonny Weaver. Second, since this is what the Browns will do and not what they should: They will bring the circus to town with Manziel. I say Sammy Watkins fits better, but the endless search for the quarterback continues -- though this time the Browns will try not to play him right away. (Pat McManamon)

    5. Sammy WatkinsWR6-0211
    ANALYSIS: The smile on Reggie McKenzie's cherubic face can be seen from the top of Mount Davis. The Raiders desperately need a playmaking, game-changing pass-catcher, and Watkins is the man. His explosiveness should make Matt Schaub's transition easier, and Denarius Moore is now trade bait. Had Watkins not been here, the Raiders would have traded back. (Paul Gutierrez)

    6. Jake MatthewsOT6-5308
    ANALYSIS: Trading up for a pass-rusher such as Clowney is tempting, but the Falcons understand protecting the quarterback has to be their top priority after watching Matt Ryan get thrown around all of last season. Robinson might be the tackle with the biggest upside, and Taylor Lewan might be the nastiest of the bunch, but Matthews is the most NFL-ready and should make an immediate impact as both a pass protector and run-blocker. (Vaughn McClure)

    7. Mike EvansWR6-4231
    ANALYSIS: The Bucs gladly would take Johnny Manziel or Sammy Watkins if they were available. But they're not in this scenario and probably not in reality. Instead, the Bucs will be happy with Evans, who will start right away opposite Vincent Jackson. (Pat Yasinskas)

    8. Blake BortlesQB6-5232
    ANALYSIS: The earlier trade with the Bills gives the Texans two picks in the top 10 of the second round -- a great place to fill out their defense. Bortles is a project, but one for which Texans coach Bill O'Brien and quarterbacks coach George Godsey are equipped. (Tania Ganguli)

    9. Darqueze DennardCB5-10199
    ANALYSIS: As tempting as it would have been to take Blake Bortles at No. 8, it's questionable whether he's appreciably better than some of the quarterbacks who would be available to the Vikings later in the draft. Drafting Dennard gives the Vikings another strong press corner to pair with Xavier Rhodes. Cornerback depth was a glaring need -- they've got it now, along with a couple more picks to maneuver for a QB later. (Ben Goessling)

    10. Ha Ha Clinton-DixS6-1208
    ANALYSIS: With no willing trade partners moving up or down, the Lions were somewhat forced to stay put. So they took a safety they brought in to look at early and who could be the future of the secondary in Clinton-Dix. He could play right away and end up as the starter next year. (Michael Rothstein)

    11. Eric EbronTE6-4250
    ANALYSIS: I think the Titans will be surprised if he's here, as I was. I was ready to take Anthony Barr or deal down for Barr, CJ Mosely or Kony Ealy. Ebron is too good to pass up. He will give Ken Whisenhunt (a former NFL tight end) a top-flight weapon for the new offense, and paired with Delanie Walker, they can create some real matchup issues when Tennessee goes with two TEs. (Paul Kuharsky)

    12. Taylor LewanOT6-7309
    ANALYSIS: Goessling asked about trading down from No. 8, and I'd have done it if Matthews or Robinson had fallen. Rothstein offered 10 for 12 and 152, but by that point I knew I'd be able to get one of the offensive linemen I needed -- either Lewan or Zack Martin. The Giants like Martin's versatility and the idea that they could use him at guard or tackle as their needs dictate. But Lewan is the better player, and the Giants insist they always take that. And they desperately need an infusion of top-end, offensive-line talent after last year's meltdown. (Dan Graziano)

    13. Aaron DonaldDT6-0285
    ANALYSIS: Defensive tackle isn't the most pressing need, but the Rams are clearly interested in adding one, especially a 3-technique who can get after the quarterback. At this point, Donald is too good of a value to pass on here. The Rams would probably hate going a whole first round without a trade, but this is the NFC West: Control the line of scrimmage or get left behind. (Nick Wagoner)

    14. Calvin PryorS5-11207
    ANALYSIS: Too bad the Bears couldn't invest in the secondary in free agency the way they did along the defensive line. Chicago added safeties M.D. Jennings, Danny McCray and Ryan Mundy in free agency to compete for what general manager Phil Emery calls a "wide-open" competition for the starting safety jobs. Calvin Pryor locks down one of spots here and brings to the secondary a playmaking and intimidating presence. New Bears defensive line coach Clint Hurtt has plenty of familiarity with Pryor from their time together at Louisville. (Michael C. Wright)

    15. Anthony BarrOLB6-4255
    ANALYSIS: I'm very tempted by WR Odell Beckham Jr. and CB Kyle Fuller here. But I need pass-rushers, and the Steelers' defense is at its best when it has good outside linebackers. Barr has a ton of upside and can be eased into a starting role while contributing as a rookie. (Scott Brown)

    16. Zack MartinOT6-4308
    ANALYSIS: Maybe the Cowboys should have traded up to No. 13 with St. Louis, which I contemplated, but the Steelers snuck in and took Barr. A jarring move for Jerry Jones, who thought he had his right defensive end. Now I move on to the best player available despite the need for defensive help. The pick is Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin. He would be the third linemen picked in the first round in the past four years, joining Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. (Todd Archer)

    17. C.J. MosleyLB6-2234
    ANALYSIS: The prevailing thought is the Ravens will trade down because Ebron, Clinton-Dix and Martin are all off the board. But the Ravens will stay and take Mosley, a top-10 talent in this draft. Yes, offensive tackle and safety are clearly bigger needs. Mosley is too good to pass up for the Ravens. He can start immediately next to Daryl Smith and has Pro Bowl potential. This is a "best player available" choice more than a need pick. (Jamison Hensley)

    18. Odell Beckham Jr.WR5-11198
    ANALYSIS: I talked to three teams about moving up for a wide receiver or a cornerback but didn't push it when it became apparent that at least one of our target players would be available at 18. Despite signing Eric Decker, the Jets still need a home run hitter at receiver, and Beckham Jr. can be that guy. That noise you heard in the background was Rex Ryan screaming for cornerback Justin Gilbert. (Rich Cimini)

    19. Brandin CooksWR5-9189
    ANALYSIS: The Saints send a first (No. 27), third (No. 91) and sixth (No. 202) pick to Miami. I talked with a few people about moving up for either Beckham, Cooks or Marqise Lee, which I think is very realistic for the Saints. They've got a deep roster, and they're in win-now mode. They've been very aggressive in moving up in the draft during the Mickey Loomis-Sean Payton regime. The one type of player who could really make an immediate impact for them is a dynamic big-play receiver, and Cooks can develop into a future starter as Marques Colston is getting older. (Mike Triplett)

    20. Ryan ShazierOLB6-1237
    ANALYSIS: Arizona turned down a slew of trade offers to stay at No. 20, and the result was a linebacker for the future. Shazier can play inside or outside linebacker, according to Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, which could help while Daryl Washington is suspended. Shazier can also start preparing to replace 35-year-old John Abraham on the outside. A missing piece for the Cards was an edge-rusher, a role Shazier can fill. (Josh Weinfuss)

    21. Justin GilbertCB6-0202
    ANALYSIS: There were multiple teams interested in this pick, including one in the division. But no way can you let a division rival move up, presumably to take its quarterback of the future. With Ebron, Mosley, Shazier, Beckham and the top two safeties off the board, a move back was intriguing. Even though the Packers re-signed Sam Shields, cornerback will be a need down the road with Tramon Williams getting up there in age, and Gilbert is too highly rated to pass up. (Rob Demovsky)

    22. Marqise LeeWR5-11192
    ANALYSIS: Eagles GM Howie Roseman has maintained that he won't draft for need, but the Eagles have a clear need at WR after they released DeSean Jackson, and Lee will fill it. Pair him with Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and the tight ends in Chip Kelly's offense and this pick makes sense. (Ashley Fox)

    23. Ra'Shede HagemanDT6-5310
    ANALYSIS: This isn't the ideal scenario for the Chiefs, who would have preferred a receiver. I had some trade offers but nothing suitable, so I went for the best player available. The Chiefs have some bodies on their defensive line, so Hageman can have some time to develop. Andy Reid gets another defensive lineman who has a load of ability. (Adam Teicher)

    24. Kyle FullerCB5-11190
    ANALYSIS: Cornerback is a position of need for the Bengals, and in Fuller they would be getting a good one. He's as regarded the No. 3 corner in the draft, and with Dennard and Gilbert already gone, it makes sense for the Bengals to go this direction, taking the best available player. In a pre-mock poll, Bengals fans overwhelmingly agreed with me here, saying they thought the Bengals would select Fuller. (Coley Harvey)

    25. Louis Nix IIIDT6-2331
    ANALYSIS: The Chargers gave up 4.59 rushing yards per carry last season, No. 27 in the NFL. Nix fills an obvious need up front, reuniting with former Fighting Irish teammate Manti Te'o. His presence in the middle should help keep Te'o and fellow inside linebacker Donald Butler clean. (Eric D. Williams)

    26. Cody LatimerWR6-2215
    ANALYSIS: The Browns will go with some combination of WR-QB-CB in the first three picks. I go Latimer here to give them a big, strong guy opposite Josh Gordon. (Pat McManamon)

    27. Morgan MosesOT6-6314
    ANALYSIS: OT Zack Martin and MLB C.J. Mosley were my desired targets at No. 19. But with neither on the board, it was best to pick later and get two extra draft picks. Moses is a player who can still help the Dolphins immediately at right tackle. I also feel much better taking Moses at No. 27 and now having eight more picks at my disposal. (James Walker)

    28. Jason VerrettCB5-9189
    ANALYSIS: The top wide receivers and offensive tackles on the board are gone, so the Panthers go with an undersized (5-foot-10) cornerback they believe is the best pure cover guy in the draft. He'll step in and be an immediate factor at the nickelback position and possibly an every-down starter at a position that needs an upgrade for the league's No. 2-ranked defense to take the next step forward. The team is comfortable with the depth at WR and OT in the second and third rounds to get impact players there. (David Newton)

    29. Teddy BridgewaterQB6-2214
    ANALYSIS: New England received Jacksonville's second-round (39th overall), fourth-round (114 overall), fifth-round (150 overall) and seventh-round (222 overall) choices in this deal. The most pro-ready quarterback just kept dropping, and the Jaguars couldn't pass him up and couldn't risk another team making a move. Bridgewater doesn't have to play right away, but he fills the team's biggest need. A second workout eased the Jaguars' concerns about his poor pro day. The Jags still have three picks remaining in the fourth and fifth rounds. (Michael DiRocco)

    30. Kelvin BenjaminWR6-5240
    ANALYSIS: Better luck to the 49ers than I had. I tried to trade up nine times. No takers. Benjamin is the final player on my board -- cornerbacks and receivers -- who was available. There are questions about him, but he has the tools to help now and in the future. (Bill Williamson)

    31. Derek CarrQB6-2214
    ANALYSIS: The Vikings get the 31st pick; the Broncos get No. 40, No. 108 and No. 177. The Vikings were deep in talks to move up to 29 for the second year in a row, but instead they come back into the first to take Carr, who should be able to develop for a year while Matt Cassel starts. He gives them a young QB who can make the throws required in Norv Turner's offense, and taking him in the first round gives the Vikings an extra year of control. (Ben Goessling)

    32. Xavier Su'a-FiloG6-4307
    ANALYSIS: I had a trade worked out with the Vikings for their second-round pick and getting back the third-round pick the Seahawks gave them for Percy Harvin last year, but Denver stepped in and nixed it at the last minute. Su'a-Filo fills an obvious need on the O-line for Seattle, a player who can challenge for the starting job at either guard spot. (Terry Blount)
  2. diehard99

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    Dec 6, 2013
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    Good picks , just hope to snag a premium cb and safety.