Nov 23, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins (2) carries the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Citadel Bulldogs at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Early 2014 NFL Draft Lock Picks for the First Round

Every draft year there is typically a point in the process where it becomes fairly clear that certain teams have a strong chance to end up with specific players.  Here are five such scenarios that could come true in the 2014 NFL draft.

Teddy Bridgewater to the Houston Texans

Unless somebody else makes a big run during the combine process, nobody is going to unseat Teddy Bridgewater as the best quarterback in the 2014 class.  He put that to bed once and for all with his latest bowl performance for Louisville.  There isn’t a mental or physical tool he lacks to excel at the next level, and the Houston Texans need a quarterback far more than anything else on their roster.  Regardless of who takes over as the new head coach, he must understand that Bridgewater is the pick, end of discussion.

Sammy Watkins to the Detroit Lions

The only team in the top ten that could go after a wide receiver is Oakland but they have bigger needs to address at quarterback and on defense.  That means dynamic Clemson star Sammy Watkins should have a clear line to the Detroit Lions who would jump at the opportunity to pair him with Calvin Johnson.  It would give Matthew Stafford yet another weapon to work with and somebody who can get deep to take the top off a defense.  Watkins also has a powerful lower body that allows him to catch it in traffic and take it the distance.  Detroit can’t pass that up.

C.J. Mosley to the Chicago Bears

He may not rate as the best linebacker in the 2014 NFL draft, but he deserves to.  Based on decorations and accomplishments alone, C.J. Mosley is the best in his class but it goes beyond that.  Either way there really aren’t many teams in the top 13 picks that would consider a linebacker save maybe for Buffalo and the Giants.  That means if he gets past those two, and he should, then the Chicago Bears will gleefully be waiting for him.  They have needs all over their defense and getting a versatile linebacker who is also lauded for his leadership could solve several of their problems up front, especially against the run.

Taylor Lewan to Miami Dolphins

Jake Matthews is going in the top five or six to somebody.  After that most boards agree that Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio has established himself as the second best in the draft given his athleticism and nasty streak.  Once those two are off the board, in all likelihood the only team left that might conceivably take Taylor Lewan is Pittsburgh but they might have their focus on the defense.  The Miami Dolphins know they must take an offensive lineman regardless of what position.  Lewan is the last true left tackle who could start right away.  He’s big, mean, plays with strength and is technically sound.  It’s a match in every way.

Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix to St. Louis Rams

He’s the best safety in the draft.  The St. Louis Rams have a need at safety in their developing defense.  They are one of just two teams with multiple first round picks.  If anybody will have the ability to get Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix at a time of their choosing, it will by St. Louis.  There are lingering doubts about his draft stock given his recent knee surgery but the kid is big, athletic and a proven center fielder for one of the best programs in college football.  If his knee checks out during the pre-draft process there is no reason to think he won’t go somewhere in the middle of the first round, where St. Louis should be waiting.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Chicago Bears Sammy Watkins Taylor Lewan Teddy Bridgewater

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