John Harris's NFL 2014 Mega Mock Draft 1.0

By John Harris
March 10, 2014

Photo: Business Insider

John Harris breaks down the ultimate mega mock draft. What does your team need, and how will the address it? Harris weighs all the options.

 

  • 1.  Houston

    Offensive Needs: QB, G, T
    Defensive Needs: NT, DE, ILB, OLB, S
    Options:

    a.  Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
    b.  South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
    c.  UCF QB Blake Bortles
    d.  Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater
    e.  Trade down

    The last of the options makes the most sense for a team that doesn’t have as sufficient a roster as some want to believe.  That said, trading down, in theory, is optimal but it’s take two to tango, so finding a desperate partner is necessary to execute that plan.  Gut tells me that it’s Clowney here, but if it’s not, then any of the three quarterbacks works for me, to be honest.

  • 2.  St. Louis

    Offensive Needs: T, G, WR
    Defensive Needs: CB, S
    Options:

    a.  Trade down
    b.  Auburn T Greg Robinson
    c.  Texas A&M T Jake Matthews
    d.  Clemson WR Sammie Watkins

    I can’t honestly see the Rams sitting still in this spot, considering the fact that under GM Les Snead they didn’t stay static in either of the last two drafts.  They seem to want to ride the right arm of Sam Bradford, so we’ll leave QB out of this mix for now.  Watkins is intriguing as can be, but the Rams, at least, have options at WR in house, not to mention this WR draft class is loa-ded.  If the Rams re-sign T Rodger Saffold, then perhaps Watkins makes much more sense.  If not, Jeff Fisher has known Jake Matthews since he was a baby, but it’s hard to not think about Robinson’s potential as a road grader in the run game.  I believe it’ll be Atlanta here IF the Texans pass on Clowney and the Rams will move to six and take…Matthews or Robinson.

  • 3.  Jacksonville

    Offensive Needs: QB, C, T, RB (if Drew does not return), WR
    Defensive Needs: DE, DT
    Options:

    a.  Best QB available - Manziel, Bortles or Bridgewater
    b.  South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
    c.  Clemson WR Sammie Watkins

    The Blaine Gabbert experiment MUST be over, right?  Chad Henne is an unrestricted free agent.  Jacksonville HAS to come out of this draft with a QB, no?  Well, if Henne signs and they draft one at top of the second (Derek Carr?  AJ McCarron?), then the Jaguars can fire on one of the two most dynamic players on either side of the ball if Clowney and/or Watkins are/is still on the board.  GM David Caldwell was in Atlanta when the Falcons took Matt Ryan at No. 3 in 2008, so perhaps UCF QB Blake Bortles makes a ton of sense at this spot, regardless of Henne’s decision.  But, if for some reason, Clowney is still on the board, expect the Falcons to get in Caldwell’s ear.  Keep in mind, both Les Snead and David Caldwell worked for Thomas Dimitroff in Atlanta, the team thought to be most enamored with Clowney.

  • 4.  Cleveland

    Offensive Needs: QB, RB, WR, G
    Defensive Needs: ILB, S
    Options:

    a.  Best QB available - Manziel, Bortles or Bridgewater
    b.  Clemson WR Sammie Watkins

    New GM Ray Farmer may want to make a splash by making a move up or down the draft board, but as it looks currently, the options on the board at No. 4 should keep him from moving unless he’s just way in lust with a player.  The thought a few weeks ago was that the Browns loved Manziel and that may still be the case.  But, Watkins would be a great asset in this offense as he could get some touches in the run game and improve that aspect, as well as teaming with star WR Josh Gordon and opening up the airways for whatever QB lines up under center.

  • 5.  Oakland

    Offensive Needs: QB, WR, T, potentially RB (although I expect Rashad Jennings to re-sign)
    Defensive Needs: Pass rusher
    Options:

    a.  Best QB remaining - Manziel, Bortles or Bridgewater
    b.  South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
    c.  Auburn T Greg Robinson
    d.  Texas A&M T Jake Matthews
    e.  Clemson WR Sammie Watkins
    f.  Texas A&M WR Mike Evans

    GM Reggie McKenzie has been scrubbing this roster for two years and now he has a house full of unrestricted free agents.  What the Raiders decide to do with Jared Veldheer, Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings, Khalif Barnes, Jacoby Ford etc…will determine the strategy at No. 5.  Ultimately, I have to think the Raiders aren’t enamored with either Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin.  But, there will be massive holes on both lines of scrimmage if the Raiders are unable to bring back key OL/DL UFA.  That might force the Raiders to look at T or DE no matter what QB are still on the board.
  • 6.  Atlanta

    Offensive Needs: T, G, TE
    Defensive Needs: Pass rusher, DT, LB, S
    Options:

    a.  Trade up
    b.  South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney
    c.  Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
    d.  Texas A&M T Jake Matthews
    e.  Auburn T Greg Robinson

    I think Atlanta is in a win-win situation without having to trade up.  If teams above them aren’t enamored with QB, there should be a team below them willing to trade up to No. 6.  If teams above them are enamored with QB, then there’s a possibility Clowney gets to 4 or 5, reducing the trade up price tag.  Also, if teams snatch up QB in the first five picks, more than likely, one of the two T will still be on the board at six if the Falcons choose not to trade up.

  • 7.  Tampa Bay

    Offensive Needs: T, TE, WR
    Defensive Needs: OLB, DE
    Options:

    a.  Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
    b.  Texas A&M T Jake Matthews
    c.  Michigan T Taylor Lewan
    d.  Clemson WR Sammie Watkins

    Former Bears head coach Lovie Smith’s defensive pedigree may trump the ultimate need at No. 7.  Khalil Mack, next to Lavonte David and Mason Foster, would be a major coup, even if it means some reshuffling in each player’s positioning.  Plus, he could bump down to a stand up rush end on passing situations to help the pass rush.  But, the Bucs can’t ignore the need at tackle opposite Donald Penn.  With Mike Glennon’s concrete feet, the Bucs have to keep him upright in the pocket for as long as possible.  Lewan is seemingly the type of nasty that Smith wants in Tampa and would make a tremendous option at RT opposite Penn.  That said, if Watkins is still on the board, can the Bucs pass, no pun intended, on the Florida homeboy who could team with Vincent Jackson?  Oh boy, lots of options for the Bucs at No. 7.

  • 8.  Minnesota

    Offensive Needs: QB, G, WR
    Defensive Needs: DE, OLB
    Options:

    a.  Any of the top three QB remaining
    b.  Fresno State QB Derek Carr (longshot)
    c.  Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
    d.  Clemson WR Sammie Watkins
    e.  Texas A&M WR Mike Evans

    The word is pressure.  No matter where it comes from, all NFL teams must be able to put that pressure on opponents to win games.  That’s why I could absolutely see the Vikings adding Watkins, if he makes it through to this point, even though they drafted Cordarrelle Patterson last season.  Redundant?  Maybe.  Does that duo then put pressure on every defense throughout the league? Yes SIR!  However, if one of the top three QB is on the board, the Vikings have to put the Christian Ponder experiment away for good.  Healthy, that would be one thing, but he never is.  Defensively, the Vikings NEED Khalil Mack at LB.  He can play all 3 downs, stand up, hand down, line up at any LB position.  I don’t think the Vikings can miss with this pick.  Then again…

  • 9.  Buffalo

    Offensive Needs: T, TE
    Defensive Needs: OLB
    Options:

    Options
    a.  Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack
    b.  Michigan T Taylor Lewan
    c.  Notre Dame T/G Zack Martin

    Honestly, I can’t see Mack getting to No. 9, but if he’s there, come on, that’s a no brainer, right?  I mean, he’s from Florida, but the University of Buffalo gave him a chance to shine.  Alongside MLB Kiko Alonso, opposite Mario Williams, there’s no better OLB fit for this defense, in my opinion.  But, if Mack is gone, the Bills OL needs an upgrade and there are no guards worth a selection at this point (unlike last year).  I’d anticipate Matthews and Robinson are long gone off the board, but Lewan?  There’s a chance.  This is way too high for Martin in my opinion, but given his T/G versatility, he’d start from day one.

  • 10.  Detroit

    Offensive Needs: T, WR
    Defensive Needs: CB, S, OLB
    Options:

    a.  Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert
    b.  Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
    c.  Michigan T Taylor Lewan
    d.  Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
    e.  Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks

    The Lions are interesting to say the least.  They have to stop the aerial attacks in that division so Gilbert should be a lock, right?  But, what if Lewan is still on the board?  I’m not all that enamored with the right tackle situation in Detroit.  And, the Lions can’t draft a WR at No. 10 can they?  That just plays right into the joke, with or without Matt Millen, right?  But, Evans is a freak and will see nothing but man coverage for a while opposite Calvin Johnson.  Cooks’ name may make no sense here, but he’s as explosive as Rams WR Tavon Austin is and can play the perimeter WR position, unlike Austin.  Considering Ryan Broyles can’t stay healthy and is a shell of what he was back in 2011 prior to his first ACL tear, Cooks might be a dynamic option worth examining at No. 10.

  • 11.  Tennessee

    Offensive Needs: QB
    Defensive Needs: OLB, S
    Options:

    a.  UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
    b.  Alabama ILB C.J Mosley
    c.  Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford
    d.  Pitt DT/DE Aaron Donald

    I’m of the opinion that new Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt won’t be all that enamored with Jake Locker at QB, but will try to live through it and keep him healthy for a full season to know for sure.  The Titans have no pass rush outside of Derrick Morgan and new defensive coordinator Ray Horton needs some edge players.  Not to mention, former UCLA defensive coordinator Lou Spanos took over as linebackers coach.  Connect the Anthony Barr to Tennessee dots pretty easily.  But, one wild card that could get Horton/Whisenhunt’s attention is Pitt’s Donald.  He can play in either scheme and disrupts from either a 3-technique spot or as a 4/4i player.  This will be high for Donald, but in the end, he has as much scheme versatility as anyone in the draft.

  • 12.  NY Giants

    Offensive Needs: G, WR, TE
    Defensive Needs: LB, S
    Options:

    a.  Alabama LB C.J Mosley
    b.  Notre Dame T/G Zack Martin
    c.  North Carolina TE/WR Eric Ebron
    d.  Texas A&M WR Mike Evans

    The Giants offense took a nose dive last year, for any number of reasons.  QB Eli Manning threw 27 interceptions.  RB David Wilson turned the ball, seemingly, at least once in each game he played, then got injured and missed the majority of the season.  The run game never got out of first gear, so adding Martin to an OL that includes last year’s first rounder Justin Pugh is seemingly a no-brainer.  G Chris Snee can’t have much more left in the tank, so the offensive line needs a jolt.  But, playmakers/pass catchers are scarce on this offense, especially so if WR Hakeem Nicks and TE Brandon Myers walk in free agency.  Ebron is a perfect weapon for Eli in this offense, mainly in the slot.  He won’t be a great addition to the run game but as a pass catcher, he’s dynamic in nearly every area on the field.  On defense, the Giants have no linebackers to speak of, so Mosley would be a fit at any of the three LB positions for the Giants.

  • 13.  St. Louis

    Offensive Needs: T, G, WR
    Defensive Needs: CB, S
    Options:

    a.  Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert
    b.  Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
    c.  Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
    d.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    e.  Alabama LB C.J Mosley

    I consistently fall in the trap of thinking that because a team has drafted a particular position or has acquired talent at a particular position it should avoid that position in the draft.  Case in point, the Rams have five receivers on the roster that they’ve drafted the last three drafts but no one has truly emerged as a consistent No. 1 receiver.  Enter Evans.  But, if Cortland Finnegan is cut, as has been rumored, adding Dennard opposite Janoris Jenkins is a smart and savvy move at No. 13.  Well, that is if Gilbert is off the board at No. 10 as expected.

  • 14.  Chicago

    Offensive Needs: OL
    Defensive Needs: DT, DE, S, CB
    Options:

    a.  Pitt DT/DE Aaron Donald
    b.  Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
    c.  Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan
    d.  Missouri DE Kony Ealy
    e.  Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman

    The Bears offense under HC Marc Trestman/OC Aaron Kromer is solid, but the Bears defense that was so good for so long, showed significant cracks.  Sure, injuries (Henry Melton) and retirement (Brian Urlacher) both contributed to the Bears defensive failings.  So, at No. 14, the Bears have plenty of options on the board, especially if there’s a surprise pick in the top 13.  It may not make a ton of sense to add Donald if Melton is re-signed, same goes for Jernigan.  But, Hageman is a full-on beast that can play up and down the line of scrimmage.  His inconsistency worries me and he didn’t really dominate the Senior Bowl like I wanted to see him do.  But, he can play every position up and down the line of scrimmage from shade nose to the 5-technique.  Ealy has the burst to play the RDE spot but the 275 pounds to play the LDE spot.  All things considered, if the Bears don’t/can’t bring back any CB UFA, it may have to jump all over Dennard at No. 14 if he’s on the board.

  • 15.  Pittsburgh

    Offensive Needs: T
    Defensive Needs: NT, DE, CB, S
    Options:

    a.  Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III
    b.  Pitt DT/DE Aaron Donald
    c.  Minnesota DT/DE Ra’Shede Hageman
    d.  Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
    e.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    f.  Notre Dame T/G Zack Martin

    The Steelers defense was one of the eight worst in the league last year against the run, yielding 116 yards per game.  I’m not enamored with taking a NT this high and I’m not the biggest Louis Nix III fan in the world, but he’s the best, true nose tackle in some time.  Donald could be gone, but keeping the Panther at home would be a solid win for the Steelers.  The elderly secondary needs some young blood; perhaps the Steelers look to Verrett to play the nickel CB/slot CB spot for a year or two before taking over one of the perimeter corner spots.

  • 16.  Dallas

    Offensive Needs: G, T
    Defensive Needs: DE, S, DT
    Options:

    a.  Missouri DE Kony Ealy
    b.  Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
    c.  Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
    d.  Notre Dame T/G Zack Martin

    With Demarcus Ware soon to be released and Anthony Spencer an UFA, there’s a gaping hole at defensive end.  Ealy is a bigger Spencer clone.  Nasty and relentless with power, he can bump inside to 3-technique on third downs (although I don’t think that was truly effective at Missouri when he did).  Kouandjio will be interesting case.  I’m convinced that his arthritic knee was an issue in 2013 and it’s keeping him from top 10 consideration.  If he’s able to get it repaired now, perhaps he’s a future steal at No. 16.  If you’re a Combine-a-phile, you’re cringing because he didn’t workout exceptionally well, but I’ve seen that guy play nearly every game in his career.  He can play and has a ton of room to grow.  As such, he’s really the only tackle I anticipate being on the board, with the exception of Martin who may be there if the Zack Martin bandwagon has slowed a bit (trust me that thing picked up speed after the Senior Bowl!!)

  • 17.  Baltimore

    Offensive Needs: T, C, WR
    Defensive Needs: S
    Options:

    a.  Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
    b.  Notre Dame T/G Zack Martin
    c.  UCLA T/G Xavier Su’a Filo
    d.  USC WR Marqise Lee
    e.  Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks

    I hesitate to put Cooks on this list knowing full well that new OC Gary Kubiak never utilized a talented, slot receiver in his time as head coach/play caller in Houston.  But, Cooks can play on the perimeter, if necessary, and GM Ozzie Newsome and HBC John Harbaugh will force the issue if they fall in love with Cooks (as many have).  That said, Lee can play in the slot but would be a solid perimeter complement to Torrey Smith.  It won’t matter, though, if the Ravens don’t find some help on the OL.  Michael Oher is an UFA but the Ravens may have gotten all they could out of him the past five seasons.  Gino Gradkowski is, at best, average at center but there are no first round centers worth taking.  A pure wild card here might be UCLA’s Su’a Filo who has the athleticism to play tackle and the temperament to play guard.  He’ll be worth a look, even if No. 17 is a bit earlier than I’d expect for him.

  • 18.  NY Jets

    Offensive Needs: WR, TE
    Defensive Needs: OLB
    Options:

    a.  North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
    b.  UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
    c.  Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
    d.  Texas A&M WR Mike Evans
    e.  Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks
    f.  USC WR Marqise Lee

    This one seems simple; the Jets need a game changing pass catcher.  Cooks is the only one I hesitate mentioning due to the fact that he could be seen as Jeremy Kerley 2.0, just a bit sexier.  Evans should be off the board.  Lee might be.  Even if the Jets bring back Jeff Cumberland, adding a threat like Ebron or Amaro can open up a whole new world to the Jets passing game, no matter who is under center.

  • 19.  Miami

    Offensive Needs: Locker room harmony, OL
    Defensive Needs: DT, CB
    Options:

    a.  Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
    b.  Notre Dame T/G Zack Martin
    c.  UCLA G/T Xavier Su’a Filo
    d.  Pitt DT Aaron Donald
    e.  Minnesota DT Ra’Shede Hageman
    f.   Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan
    g.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    h.  Florida State CB/S Lamarcus Joyner

    Okay, a true smorgasbord for the Dolphins.  Former GM Jeff Ireland passed on former Oklahoma LT Lane Johnson after trading up to No. 3 last year as he took former Oregon OLB/DE Dion Jordan.  Hope Jordan pans out because passing on a tackle like Johnson could be a killer for another year if Kouandjio and Martin are off the board at No. 19 (and I wrote that comment before the news broke that the Dolphins are potentially shopping Jordan. Oy.).  This team has such a distinct need in the OL, the Dolphins could be forced to reach (ala the Cowboys with Travis Frederick last year).  If they satisfy that need in free agency, then perhaps they can turn this pick into the best available interior DT.

  • 20.  Arizona

    Offensive Needs: OT
    Defensive Needs: Pass rusher, CB
    Options:

    a.  UCLA T/G Xavier Su’a Filo
    b.  Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford
    c.  UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
    d.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    e.  Arizona State DE/OLB Carl Bradford
    f.  Ohio State CB Bradley Roby

    OLB John Abraham is old.  RT Eric Winston is a free agent.  So, flip a coin, right?  Well, not so fast.  The Cardinals pass rush could possibly survive another year with Abraham but that’s about it.  The offensive line, whether it brings Winston back or not, has needed help for years.  Su’a Filo is a solid piece to the puzzle here because he can play both tackle and guard.  Draft him and figure it out.  But, if the need for a pass rusher wins out in the room and Ford is on the board, it seems like the right fit.  He was held back from working out at the Combine but that particular issue from two years ago shouldn’t hold him back.  But, he’s had both back and knee issues the past three years.  The Wild Card in this mix is Arizona State’s Bradford, who is relentless, nasty and can rush the QB.  As I said, total Wild Card, but I fell in like with him the first time I saw him.

  • 21.  Green Bay

    Offensive Needs: TE
    Defensive Needs: ILB, NT, S
    Options:

    a.  Alabama ILB CJ Mosley
    b.  Ohio State ILB Ryan Shazier
    c.  North Carolina TE Eric Ebron
    d.  Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
    e.  Notre Dame NT Louis Nix III

    Mosley is the consummate inside linebacker for the NFL game, but Shazier can fly and has athleticism that Mosley doesn’t.  Either one would fit on this defense, for different reasons.  I’d say the chance that Mosley’s there is about 40% while Shazier should definitely be there at No. 21.  The team appears to be shedding BJ Raji at the nose and may not want to go “fat” again, but if Nix is on the board, he could definitely help the interior of this defense that was 25th against the run last year.  The Packers don’t make huge splashes in free agency but if they make some subtle moves to help the defense, GM Ted Thompson could be tempted by one of the two stud hybrid TE/WR in this class - Ebron or Amaro.  That would make No. 12 very happy.

  • 22.  Philadelphia

    Offensive Needs: OL depth
    Defensive Needs: CB, S, OLB
    Options:

    a.  Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard
    b.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    c.  Ohio State CB Bradley Roby
    d.  UCLA OLB Anthony Barr
    e.  Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
    f.  Louisville S Calvin Pryor

    32nd in the league against the pass.  With an offensive roster that is fairly solid, the defense should get reinforcements, especially in the secondary.  The Eagles re-signed Jeremy Maclin, Jason Peters and Riley Cooper but haven’t done anything with Nate Allen.  My gut says that’s a sign and that the Eagles have to look safety at some point early in the draft - either in round one or two - if they haven’t re-signed Allen or signed a capable starting safety at either spot.  Not sure I love a first round safety option at this point in the draft, but the CB that COULD be on the board are quite intriguing.  Any of the three would more than likely start from day one.  If it’s not secondary in round one, two and/or three, then it’ll be the other side of the argument - pass rusher. But, we’ll leave that one for another “mock” or after free agency.

  • 23.  Kansas City

    Offensive Needs: WR, G
    Defensive Needs: ILB, S, pass rushing depth
    Options:

    a.  UCLA T/G Xavier Su’a Filo
    b.  Ohio State ILB Ryan Shazier
    c.  Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
    d.  Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks
    e.  USC WR Marqise Lee

    Wide receiver seems like a slam dunk for the Chiefs.  But, looking at the roster, I see other holes that could be bigger issues.  G Jon Asamoah and T Branden Albert are both UFA so a T/G mix like Su’a Filo may be an adequate consideration here.  The defense could use some speed inside next to Derrick Johnson, so Shazier is also a thought.  He won’t thump like a 255 lb inside backer, but he can run, stay on the field for all three downs and is the perfect chess piece for Bob Sutton’s aggressive scheme.  The reason I don’t love receiver at this spot is that the depth at this position should allow the Chiefs to target another need early and get adequate value at WR on day two (rounds two and/or three).  Now, if Benjamin is on the board, he may force the Chiefs into a different way of thinking, given his downfield abilities.  There may not be a bigger (literally) or better downfield threat in this draft than the former Seminole.

  • 24.  Cincinnati

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier
    b.  UCLA T/G Xavier Su’a Filo
    c.  Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

    I’m sure there are plenty of Bengal fans that want a QB with all seven rounds of this draft, but there are so many reasons why that’s a “no” this year, I won’t get into them.  The OL is more than likely set, but it can always use depth and versatility.  That’s why Su’a Filo would be a viable option at either guard or tackle.  Furthermore, I’m not enamored with James Harrison in this defense but Shazier can only play the WLB position in a 4-3.  That would probably move Burfict to MLB and Maualuga to SLB or vice versa, but the former Buckeye would add some speed and young legs to that spot, as opposed to another year with Harrison.

  • 25.  San Diego

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    b.  Ohio State CB Bradley Roby
    c.  Florida State CB/S Lamarcus Joyner
    d.  Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford
    e.  UCLA T/G Xavier Su’a Filo

    The Chargers just re-upped with Donald Butler, should have Melvin Ingram back 100% for the full year so that’s the good news on defense.  The bad news?  The defense was 29th in the league having given up 259 yards per game and it needs a game changer at cornerback.  The other side of the argument is to supplement the pass rush, but with Ingram back and maybe one more year squeezed out of Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson, pass rush/OLB can be a later round priority.

  • 26.  Cleveland

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  (If no QB taken at No. 4) Fresno State QB Derek Carr
    b.  Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks
    c.  Minnesota DT/DE Ra’Shede Hageman
    d.  Louisville S Calvin Pryor
    e.  Missouri DE Kony Ealy

    It seems to make sense that the Browns must use one of these first round picks on a quarterback, no?  It’s hard to know whether Kyle Shanahan and the staff believe in Brandon Weeden, a rehabbed Brian Hoyer or Jason Campbell.  Collectively, they haven’t given the Browns new OC much ammunition to believe.  That said, if the Browns pass on QB at No. 4, then perhaps Carr makes the most sense at No. 26.  If Shanahan believes that he can make something out of Hoyer or Weeden, then Hageman replacing potentially released Ahtyba Rubin at defensive end, has legs.  Even if Rubin stays, Hageman can still be an option with his size, quickness and power at any defensive line position.

  • 27.  New Orleans

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford
    b.  UCLA T/G Xavier Su’a Filo
    c.  Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
    d.  TCU CB Jason Verrett
    e.  Ohio State CB Bradley Roby
    f.  Arizona State OLB Carl Bradford

    The Saints drafted Terron Armstead in the third round last year and by the end of the year, he was starting at LT.  There’s little depth behind him and there’s no one on the other side worth speaking of at this moment.  If the Saints make a push in free agency for a tackle, the defense could always use a dynamic piece in a deep draft.  DC Rob Ryan helped the defense make significant strides and he’d love to have a chess piece at OLB that could help set the edge against the run and heat up the QB.

  • 28.  Carolina

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
    b.  Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks
    c.  Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
    d.  Alabama T Cyrus Kouandjio
    e.  Ohio State CB Bradley Roby
    f.  USC WR Marqise Lee

    The Panthers are facing the possibility of replacing two mainstays in 2014.  Longtime starting tackle Jordan Gross retired last week, while there’s been plenty of noise about Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith not coming back.  Losing Smith may not be as crushing given the depth in this receiving class, but Gross will be difficult to replace, especially if the Panthers choose to find Gross’s replacement at No. 28.

  • 29.  New England

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  Oregon State DE Scott Crichton
    b.  Missouri DE Kony Ealy
    c.  Florida State DT Timmy Jernigan
    d.  Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro
    e.  Notre Dame TE Troy Nicklas
    f.  Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    You’d think sitting at No. 30, the Patriots wouldn’t like the options staring them in the face.  However, they couldn’t be in a better spot actually.  The only place where they probably miss out is with an interior OL option.  If all three of those TE are on the board and the Patriots have their pick, wow.  Not to mention, they could also look at WR options in the second/third round and snap up DL help.  I love Crichton and his motor opposite Chandler Jones, alongside Rob Ninkovich.

  • 30.  San Francisco

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  Arizona State DT/DE Will Sutton
    b.  Minnesota DT/DE Ra’Shede Hageman
    c.  Florida DT/DE Dominique Easley
    d.  Florida State CB/S Lamarcus Joyner
    e.  Ohio State CB Bradley Roby
    f.  Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller

    Three years under Jim Harbaugh, three years to the NFC Championship game.  Three years under Jim Harbaugh, zero Super Bowl rings.  Hard to know if this pick will play for Harbaugh for the next three years, but the 49ers have made great use of its first rounders the last three years.  Aldon Smith in 2011 and Eric Reid last year are stars well into the future.  Okay, so I won’t mention AJ Jenkins, but there’s a great chance that this pick will need to have the impact of Smith and Reid for the 49ers to get over the hump and finally win a Super Bowl.  Easley’s health will be at issue, but he should be 100% by July.  Regardless, the 49ers have taken “redshirt” candidates in past year with future upside (Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore).  When 100%, the former Gator is one of the quickest DL off the ball in any draft, much less this one.

  • 31.  Denver

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  Florida State CB/S Lamarcus Joyner
    b.  Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller
    c.  Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier
    d.  Florida State LB Christian Jones
    e.  Arizona State DT Will Sutton

    The Broncos may be gluttonous and look at a WR at this spot in the draft if Eric Decker takes his talent and Jessie James to a new city.  But, this team needs as many playmakers on the defensive side of the ball as possible.  This statement becomes even more true if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie walks in FA.  The good news is that Von Miller will return in 2014, as will DE Derek Wolfe.  Those two additions, alongside a capable rookie like any of these five, will adjust the look of the 2014 Broncos defense under DC Jack Del Rio.  Yes, that’s what I meant…in a good way.

  • 32.  Seattle

    Offensive Needs:
    Defensive Needs:
    Options:

    a.  Florida DT/DE Dominique Easley
    b.  LSU WR Odell Beckham Jr.
    c.  Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin
    d.  Clemson OT Brandon Thomas
    e.  Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    The World Champs have needs, believe it or not.  Now, their needs are a little less overt than other teams’, but there are some potential potholes that must be addressed.  There’s a need at WR if Golden Tate leaves.  There’s been a need at TE, although Luke Willson, last year’s fifth round selection, proved to be capable.  There’s been a need in the OL for a while that must be filled.  And, with DE Red Bryant cut, there’s a small need at DE.  Now, there isn’t one of these that’ll create a huge chasm on the squad, but there are items for GM John Schneider and HBC Pete Carroll to address on Thursday night.

 

Comment

Fantasy This or That?

Check out Fantasy Polls on LockerDome on LockerDome