It is that time for wild speculation and educated guessing. A time for sports writers to take a stab at who logically would fit each team in the draft. This may be one of the deepest draft classes in recent years. But sadly, that has been said a lot throughout history. There is always at least one bust selected in the top five and even more in the top ten. But let’s all just believe that it won’t be our team and have some fun with this two round draft. Now, without further ado, the commissioner has the floor.
With the first overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans will pick…
#1 Houston- Blake Bortles, QB, UCF- Bortles went out this draft season with one goal: to show he is as good as any other quarterback in this draft class. He did that. The Texans are looking for a good-sized pocket passer and he fits the bill.
#2 St. Louis (From Washington)- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson- I expect a trade here, and I also expect that Watkins is going to be selected with this pick regardless. The Rams need help on the O-Line, but they are in need of weapons too. This pick (if they stay) is Watkins, otherwise the fan base might riot… or groan a lot.
#3 Jacksonville- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville- The Florida native may not be Tim Tebow in terms of fanfare in his home state. But he is a quarterback that can deliver a ball accurately and has some mobility to avoid the rush and get receivers open.
#4 Cleveland- Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina- How did he fall to this spot? Terrible work ethic doesn’t get you the top pick. I expect Cleveland to trade up with the Rams for Watkins, but adding help on defense isn’t a bad idea either.
#5 Oakland- Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo- Originally I had a quarterback slotted here. But trading for Matt Schaub made me think that they are just going to grab the best player available, and that would be Mack at this point.
#6 Atlanta- Greg Robinson, OL, Auburn- When you have one of the best quarterbacks and two of the top receivers and struggle as bad as they did, you can blame the offensive line. They are pieced together by an average cast at best. At least the blind side now is covered.
#7 Tampa Bay- Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA- I bet Tampa Bay would love to have Mack, but they land a nice second option in Barr. Barr will help them begin to shore up their front seven. They will be looking for someone who can take on tight ends and rush the quarterback as well.
#8 Minnesota- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M- They need excitement and a quarterback that can make plays happen. They lack a receiving core so Manziel will have to make a lot of plays.
#9 Buffalo- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina- A few years ago, this would be a crazy concept. Now, it’s just a stretch. Ebron will help what has been a lackluster offense in Buffalo.
#10 Detroit- Darqueze Dennard, DB, Michigan State- He was a part of a lockdown secondary in college and now will not have to move very far from his college campus to Detroit, where he will be tasked with dealing with the Packers and Bears’ pass-happy attacks.
#11 Tennessee- Justin Gilbert, DB, Oklahoma State- They aren’t sold on Jake Locker. But this draft does offer a lot of talented options to choose from at the quarterback position. So better get an impact player early like Gilbert and draft a quarterback later.
#12 New York Giants- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M- Adding more weapons to this receiving core will help this team greatly. Though they need a tight end, a 6’5 receiver is about the same thing.
#13- St. Louis- Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M- Even though Jeff Fisher has never taken a tackle in the first round, with Jake Long recovering from knee surgery they will need a versatile tackle who they can plug in right away.
#14 Chicago- Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt- Massive D-Tackle with a non-stop motor. How did he fall this far? Chicago needs to beef up its trenchmen and this is a guy who will stop the run game near single-handedly. They got the scoring down, they just need to add depth to their defense.
#15 Pittsburgh- Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan- The Steelers need to keep Ben Roethlisberger upright. It is as simple as that for this team. Though they need to get younger in a lot of spots, this is a good spot to start at.
#16 Dallas- Marqise Lee, WR, USC- I believe Dallas will pass up a few other wide receivers to go after Lee. He is my first stretch pick, however, I think Dallas needs to add another target besides Dez Bryant.
#17 Baltimore- Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville- Gone is Ed Reed, but hello hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor. This is just the type of player that this defense needs, especially when it starts getting colder and they need a safety closer to the line of scrimmage.
#19 Miami- HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama- Miami has one goal in mind: beat New England. They will draft according to who they think will be able to help them stop Tom Brady and company. A ball hawk safety with great coverage skills is just what the doctor ordered.
#20 Arizona- Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame- They love Jonathan Cooper (last year’s 1st round pick), but adding Martin will add depth to an O-line that will have to face some of the toughest front sevens in football (Rams, 49ers, Seahawks) and will need all the quality linemen they can get.
#21 Green Bay- Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State- One thing Green Bay has lacked recently is depth upfront. Ryan Pickett is not getting any younger, and behind him and B.J. Raji there isn’t much, so depth is needed.
#22 Philadelphia- Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State- Yes they have depth at wide receiver; however, this is Chip Kelly. Benjamin is just another weapon to add to the arsenal and will be a great asset for Nick Foles.
#25 San Diego- C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama- San Diego was another team that did well despite a lackluster roster, largely thanks to their good coaching. Now they will add a linebacker that I believe will be versatile and smart enough to move between the inside and outside positions if needed.
#26 Cleveland (From Indianapolis) – Jason Verrett, DB, TCU- Cleveland knows it needs help scoring, but that will be addressed after they do something equally as important: stopping their opponent from scoring. With Clowney and now Verrett, the Browns greatly improve their defense and can focus on their needs elsewhere.
#27 New Orleans- Kony Ealy, DE, Mizzou- It seems every year that Mizzou churns out another great defensive player. New Orleans would like to cash in on one of those Mizzou prospects and add a pass rusher who can get near 12 sacks a season and be able to chase mobile quarterbacks if they move out of the pocket.
#28 Carolina- Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss- The only knock on Moncrief is that he played at Ole Miss. With Steve Smith gone and the other top talents at this position gone, Moncrief sneaks into the first round and will be the replacement for Smith. Good luck filling those shoes.
#29 New England- Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame- While Vince Wilfork may seem immortal, he is not. Nor is Tommy Kelly. Adding Nix will give more beef and depth to a team that hasn’t needed to address DT in a long time.
#30 San Francisco- Kyle Fuller, DB, Virginia Tech- He is aggressive, he is quick, he is perfect for what the 49ers want on the corners.
#31 Denver- Ryan Shazier, LB, (The) Ohio State- Von Miller can’t stay healthy and in the middle they have Nate Irving, who isn’t exactly a star. Shazier is a pass rusher at heart and if Miller or any other linebacker on this roster slacks off, he will outwork them in a heartbeat.
#32 Seattle- Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA- The perks of being the best team in football and having few glaring needs: you can pick what you like and here they would like another guard to challenge for a starting spot against James Carpenter or J.R. Sweezy.
#33 Houston- Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
#34 Washington- Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
#35 Cleveland- Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
#36 Oakland- Bradley Roby, DB, (The) Ohio State
#37 Atlanta- Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
#38 Tampa Bay- Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
#39 Jacksonville- Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
#40 Minnesota- A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
#41 Buffalo- Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
#42 Tennessee- Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
#43 New York Giants- Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame
#44 St. Louis- Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
#45 Detroit- Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
#46 Pittsburgh- Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
#47 Dallas- Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
#48 Baltimore- Marcus Martin, C, USC
#49 New York Jets- Marcus Roberson, DB, Florida
#50 Miami- Carlos Hyde, RB, (The) Ohio State
#51 Chicago- Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
#52 Arizona- Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
#53 Green Bay- Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
#54 Philadelphia- Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State
#55 Cincinnati- Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State
#56 San Francisco (From Kansas City)- Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford
#57 San Diego- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
#58 New Orleans- Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State
#59 Indianapolis- Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson
#60 Carolina- Jack Mewhort, OT, (The) Ohio State
#61 New England- Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
#62 San Francisco- Pierre Desir, DB, Lindenwood
#63 Denver- Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
#64 Seattle- Stanley Jean-Baptiste, DB, Nebraska