2014 NFL Mock Draft Update: Manziel in the Top Three?

Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) walks off the field after winning the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Black Monday. Playoffs. NFL Draft.

This is a very intriguing time for NFL fans, no matter if your team made the playoffs or not. For those who didn’t, here’s a look at how the NFL Draft could go come time for your teams to pick in May.

1. Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Texans have hired Bill O’Brien as their new head coach. The former Patriots offensive coordinator and Penn State head coach will want a new QB with which to build this team. I think Bridgewater can help Houston contend for the playoffs next season.

2. St. Louis Rams (f/WSH): Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA

The Rams could take an OT or trade this pick, but I think the prospect of adding Barr to Chris Long and rising superstar Robert Quinn is too awesome to ignore. Barr can move around the defensive formation and give the Rams another dangerous weapon in the pass rush department.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Johnny Manziel’s hype is crazy right now, and it may well die down before the draft. I won’t compare Manziel to Russell Wilson because they are a bit different, but Gus Bradley knows exactly what shorter QBs with heart and playmaking ability are capable of. Plus, I don’t think Manziel’s height is an issue because he has big hands. The Jags need a new QB.

4. Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

The Browns, not unlike the teams in front of them, need answers at the QB position. Bortles went to UCF and took that program to heights even probably he never imagined. Bortles has the mental toughness and grit to help lead this Cleveland team back into the playoff picture.

5. Oakland Raiders: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

The Raiders have so many needs, and I don’t think they have a quarterback either. They might need to try and trade up with the Rams to jump in front of some other QB needy teams in order to satisfy that need, because it’s probably the most unclear position on the roster. That said, they missed out on what I feel are the top tier of QBs in this mock, so they take the best player on my board. Clowney is a big time talent who would give the Raiders a force off the edge.

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The Falcons would love to get their hands on Clowney, but taking Jake Matthews isn’t a bad consolation. As they retool for 2014, they need to make sure Matt Ryan is well protected and that they invest in their most prized asset.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

The Bucs aren’t far away from contending for a division title, and I think adding a big play receiver like Sammy Watkins could be just what the doctor ordered. We know Mike Glennon can sling it, and you already have Vincent Jackson opening things up for the Bucs’ #2 receiver. I would love to see Watkins’ big play ability in that Tampa offense.

8. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

The Vikings need to start over at QB, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they reach for one. Derek Carr had a huge season but stumbled in the bowl game against USC. It was a tough game for his draft stock, but fortunately for him, the demand for QBs is very high.

9. Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

The Bills upgrade their protection for E.J. Manuel by taking one of the most athletic and physically gifted tackles in the draft. Kouandjio is an absolute beast in the running game, and improving considerably in his pass protection. He’d be a great pickup for Buffalo’s front.

10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Lock-down corner coming from the best defense in college football. The Lions need to force more turnovers and get Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson on the field more often than not. The Lions’ collapse cost Jim Schwartz his job, and I think adding some playmaking ability on the back end of the defense can really help.

11. Tennessee Titans: Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

The Titans need to upgrade their pass rush, and Mack is capable of doing that. He can play DE or LB and move around the defense, wreaking havoc on opposing QBs.

12. New York Giants: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

The Giants have been looking for solutions at the LB position, and Mosley is a rangy kid who can take over games. He might be one of the safest prospects in the entire draft and would be a huge upgrade for the NYG D.

13. St. Louis Rams: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

This is a deep draft for tackles, which is why I mocked the Rams an elite defender first. Getting Ogbuehi is a great pickup for St. Louis after taking Anthony Barr, getting a very talented guy that can step in and start at right tackle.

14. Chicago Bears: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame

The Bears just need to upgrade their defensive front. Stephon Tuitt played on one of the most dominant defenses we’ve seen in college football two years ago, and could be a huge (literally) addition for them.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The Steelers get a steal here in Lewan, who was at one point projected as a top five pick. He’s a big, powerful offensive tackle that fits the mold of what the Steelers love in offensive linemen.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Big possession receiver who is a beast in the red zone and after the catch. The Ravens already have Torrey Smith to stretch the field, and here they get Mike Evans to add more size and playmaking ability.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

The Cowboys’ defense was a mess this year, mainly due to a horrid scheme for their personnel fit. I think adding a playmaker up front like Timmy Jernigan would be a great way to retool from the inside out.

18. New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Jets need offensive playmakers, and getting an ultra-athletic tight end prospect like Eric Ebron would be huge for them.

19. Miami Dolphins: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Dolphins’ woes at offensive tackle are well documented. Greg Robinson has a chance to cement an even higher draft stock with the national title game on deck.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Cameron Erving, OT, Florida State

The Cardinals would love to see even more improved play from their offensive line, and adding a guy like Cameron Erving to play tackle and getting Jonathan Cooper back will be huge.

21. Green Bay Packers: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas A&M

Jace Amaro is one of the top playmaking tight ends in college football, and is exactly what the Packers’ doctor ordered. Jermichael Finley sadly may not play football again, and even if he does, this is an area the Packers could upgrade.

22. San Diego Chargers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Justin Gilbert is a playmaker at all levels. He can score on kick returns, he can take picks back for six, and he just flat out makes plays on the ball. The Chargers would love to add him to the back end of their defense.

23. Philadelphia Eagles: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

Beasley had a monster year rushing the quarterback. He is a bit small for a defensive end, but he could play OLB in a 3-4 defense and move around to upgrade a pass rush.

24. Kansas City Chiefs: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

No matter what way you slice it, I think the Chiefs’ top need is at wide receiver. Marqise Lee is a versatile wideout with big play ability.

25. Cincinnati Bengals: Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

If there’s one weak area or area that could be upgraded for the Bengals’ defense it’s the safety position. I think Clinton-Dix is the top player at his position in this draft, so this is a smart way to go.

26. Cleveland Browns: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

Robinson made known his intentions to declare for this year’s draft, and I think it was a smart choice. After taking Blake Bortles earlier, the Browns add another playmaker to their offense in Robinson, who gives them even more size to go along with Josh Gordon.

27. New Orleans Saints: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford

Murphy can play in multiple fronts and the Saints’ defense was much improved this year. If they continue to build that side of the ball you could see even more improvement next year. I really like what Murphy brings to the table and he could go even higher than this.

28. New England Patriots: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

The Patriots need another tight end, or at least another viable target in my opinion. They were so dominant with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and that has been seriously missed this year. ASJ is a big tight end who can be a matchup nightmare.

29. San Francisco 49ers: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Hageman is steadily rising after a great finish to his 2013 campaign, and he could be a great pickup for the 49ers’ defense, which is already capable of being dominant.

30. Carolina Panthers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

The Panthers get one of the most productive receivers coming out this year in Cooks. He is on the smaller side but plays with great toughness and grit, and has a very pro-ready game.

31. Denver Broncos: Trevor Reilly, DE, Utah

The Broncos add to their pass rush with the versatile Reilly, who can play DE or some LB if needed. Denver needs to continue to add talent to their defensive front seven.

32. Seattle Seahawks: David Yankey, OG, Stanford

The Seahawks get a highly graded interior lineman to help protect Russell Wilson and keep that power running game churning. Not a bad pick here at all.

Topics: 2014 Nfl Draft, 2014 Nfl Mock Draft, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL Mock Draft, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins

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  • Johnny

    5 OTs mocked to go in the first round???? … I think IF Miami doesn’t get a top 2 or 3 LT..(or maybe even trade up for a top LT)… Then they have to go Guard YANKEY.. Best at his position… Either get a LT in FA or trade for one… IF THEY WOULD HAVE GOTTEN A TOP LT LAST YEAR WE WOULDN’T HAVE THIS PROBLEM!!! No way Jonathon Martin was ever going to be even a decent NFL-caliber LT… Even I can see that… If Ireland couldn’t see that, then he really does need to go!!!!

    • Gary Stewart

      not a phins fan but your point is good a reach to get a guy that fits is ok as long as its within reason dont do as the cowboys do and draft a 3rd round talent in the 1st round but if you can get a late 1 early 2 at 19 and its a great fit i say it makes sense

  • Erik Lambert

    Not sure the Rams would take Barr over Clowney. St. Louis runs a 4-3 defense, which Clowney would be a perfect fit for while Barr is an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

    Stephon Tuitt is an intriguing talent but it’s just no clear whether he would fit a 4-3 defense. He’s used to playing outside at defensive end while his size would warrant the Bears move him to defensive tackle. Now, if the Bears were to switch to a 3-4, which has been hinted at recently, Tuitt would make an ideal selection.

    • Phil Mokate

      Rams want to trade out. That shows they think Bradford is their franchise QB so Clooney with Long on the other side is a good tandem.

      • Erik Lambert

        Has everybody completely forgotten about Robert Quinn, the guy who does nothing but sack quarterbacks?

        • Phil Mokate

          Not at all. There D line is growing stout. Rams 2011 1st pick 14th pick overall, all American, pro bowler with 34 sacks and active on the roster. What does he have to do with anything except I wish we had him? Our brass has shown the last 2 years that they can’t pick a impact player if they had the whole 1st round to themselves. Trent Richardson for hell sakes! That’s like Trump buying a 75 Volkswagon bug to drive.

          • Erik Lambert

            What I mean is I doubt Clowney would be their target because they already have Long and Quinn. If they target anybody it will be Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M. Clowney would mean another heavy investment on a defensive line that is already one of the best in football. They need help on the offensive line, or at safety. They could also get Bradford another weapon like Sammy Watkins. Clowney, though talented, is towards the bottom of their needs list regardless of his immense talent.

          • Gary Stewart

            yeah so. car left clowney in coverage for one play in the bowl game result TD and it wasnt for so car. no clowney has to be part of a rotation which implies depth and no holes thats not the case with the rams they have less holes than 2 yrs ago but they still have holes can clowney play dt?? nope can long nope can quinn nope bad choice

          • Gary Stewart

            hey phil i got an idea for you, just give us a 2nd round pick and we will pick for you at #4 if as you say you couldnt pick a winner with the whole 1st round pay us a consultation fee of a 2nd rounder . snead and fish have been better than average at picking schools out on quick, pead looks not so good but brockers ogletree bailey tavon all look good and i believe barrett jones will wind up very servicable for the rams and tj mac even is gonna be good broke his leg but finished strong.

        • Gary Stewart

          erik, im with you i mocked barr to the rams at 4 if we traded down with cleveland still cant see us not taking haha at 13 its a reach but the neeed is so great and then grabbing an o lineman at 25ish with the other pick from clev otherwise i say if we cant get out of #2 take either clowney or matthews that depends on if we have resigned saffold

    • Gary Stewart

      the author touched on it i will expound further barrs ability to line up and rush from anywhere, the speed to drop back and cover, and most importantly the ability to force more 1 on 1s and less double teams on both long and quinn is a monster problem for offenses and we have not been getting enough sacks out of the lb corp barr could also significantly improve the chances of getting ogletree home for extra sacks and this all comes in my book, only in a trade down scenario where we get an extra pick.

  • Joseph Bulger

    Nope… swing and a miss Sayre. Ridiculously bad pick for the Giants. Top 10 defense that’s getting Jon Beason back and J. Williams ranked a top 5 cover linebacker per PFF. But the “offense is broken” per owner John Mara, shut out twice, with 31st ranked rushing attack, Eli on crutches due to worst O-line in the league, OC “retires” and you go… linebacker?! They have no O-line! The rookie RT Justin Pugh was their best lineman by a long shot, which means they don’t even have a good college line!! Give me a break! The last time the Giants drafted a linebacker in the 1st round you weren’t even born… (30 years ago…Carl Banks). The Giants will draft a linebacker with the 12th pick if Clowney falls that far… so WILL NOT HAPPEN!!

  • Dean Thomas

    If Reggie is really going to change the atmosphere in Oakland, he needs to draft a no-miss franchise QB. Since the @Raiders inception, they have drafted a QB in rounds 1 or 2 only 8 times. Only 2 have ever been worthy if that high a pick either.
    1962: 1. Roman Gabriel (great player for the Rams)
    1968: 1. Eldridge Dickey (original Terelle Pryor)
    1968: 2. Ken Stabler (best QB ever drafted by Oakland, 46 years ago)
    1976: 2. Jeb Blount (who?)
    1980: Marc Wilson (wow, 1st round?)
    1991: Todd Marinovich (weed)
    2001: Marques Tuiasosopo (decent back-up to Gannon)
    2007: Jamarcus Russell (no comment)
    So, to change the atmosphere. Draft a franchise QB!!

    • Phil Mokate

      Why do you think they called him the snake? TP is the or can be the best QB to ever play for this organization. We don’t need a QB we need trench men on both sides of the ball. That’s where championships are won. Clowney would be a great 1st pick! This regimes brass is showing no talent at evaluation of players and I’m terrified at who they are going to pick next. Trent Edwards? Are you kidding me? Child, PLEASE!

      • Gary Stewart

        wow terrell pryor is at best a gimmick qb cant make the throws too quick to run and makes way too many bad decisions when he decides not to run.

      • Dean Thomas

        I agree we need OL & DL, but in building a winning team a franchise QB is necessary. TP made great strides from last year at the beginning I the season, until the KC game. Sacked 10 times and I think the OL was responsible for maybe 4, he got the other six by regressing to where he was last season (running backwards and unable to go to his left). One thing that’s unable to teach or improve dramatically at the NFL level is accuracy. He threw maybe 3 good passes against Denver the last game.

        • Phil Mokate

          That’s my point is all I mean. No QB in history has been able to develop at this level with with a O line trashed as ours has been. We have a franchise QB in TP. Did you see Kap do with his legs with a good O line that TP has done with a horrible line? Yet TP is being labeled as a bust runner QB? Give TP solid protection so he can work through his progressions and learn to strengthen his game and watch What he can do! Championships are won first in the trenches. That’s what we need to address first and foremost. Not a rookie QB pocket statue.

    • Gary Stewart

      not a raider fan dean but i understand your frustration as a rams fan but what you never said is who is your cant miss franchise qb??? teddy? johnny ??bortles?? carr?? mc nair said hes willing to trade down from #1 and snead of the rams is willing to trade down from #2 but if you did trade up who would you take??

      • Dean Thomas

        Of the top QB’s (and I watched them all in bowl games, granted it was just one game) I’d prefer Bortles. I think he’ll be the best NFL QB. Just my opinion.

        • Gary Stewart

          dean, in case you missed it the pool just got shallower as hundley of ucla announced he is going back to school, so one more team that may have been willing to settle will now have to worry about all the qbs being gone before their turn comes up.!!

          • Dean Thomas

            I saw that this morning, I would hope if Bortles, Manziel, Bridgewater or Carr is not available (all are better than what we have). Raiders should trade out to get more picks and build depth. Just hope RM doesn’t reach agin this year with “Al like” picks that make people scratch their heads. We’ll see…

          • Gary Stewart

            i think reggie was in cap hell stuck with bad picks and the results. he didnt make the palmer trade did he?? he has cleared the cap space and if he feels like you that any would be better than what he has stand pat and draft at #5 cuz the rams most likely wont draft a qb so with 4 qbs avail at 5 you get one if however reggie has 1 or 2 he is uncomfortable picking he has to trade up and if the 4 qbs go 1 2 3 4 (dont see it happening but if it does ) you take barr or clowney ahead of atlanta and if atlanta trades up for clowney or barr a qb has to be there at 5

  • Gary Stewart

    i have had barr on my mocks for the rams , but only in a trade down scenario with say clev our #2 for their 4 and 25ish then i love barr at 4 would rather take haha clinton dix in a bit of a reach at 13 but the need is so great its worth it , then a solid tackle at 25ish the plan of course is to find a way to resign saffold otherwise i have us taking matthews if we cant trade out of #2

    • Zachery Klausman

      Gary- I have to respectfully disagree with you although Barr is an amazing athlete I think that the Rams must trade down and either pick up another pick this year or a 1st round next year. The Rams need then to take the best OL available at each of their next picks. I am tired of having Bradford on the ground we need to have a great smash mouth OL to compete in the NFC west we play 3 of the top 10 defenses 6 times a year! It’s time we give Bradford protection create running holes for Stacy and find out if Bradford is our franchise QB. In the trade down scenario I prefer the Rams getting a 1st round next year so that in a worst case scenario the Rams trade up for the best QB available in next years draft but we will never know if we don’t create a great OL even if we resign Saffold and Long is healthy that is only 2 good OL with 2 other rookies and Barrett Jones who I am hoping plays his behind off and takes the C roll that would give us a very young dominate OL with Saffold experienced to slide to LT when Long gets to old. Sorry I might be a bit old school but I firmly believe this game is won in the trenches period OL and DL win championships. The Rams have 2 great DEnds although I really question Long this year since he saw a ton of 1 on 1 match ups and Quinn was constantly getting double teams but that is another story! We need OFFENSIVE LINEMEN!

      • Gary Stewart

        zach go back and read mine again we are closer than you think i said id like to take barr but in a trade down where we go from 2 to 4 and get the mid 20s pick from cleveland, then take barr @4 dix @13 and an o lineman at 25ish but i also said resigning saffold has to be part of the equation and i am thinking we have not seen the last of barrett jones we shall see

        • Zachery Klausman

          Yeah I see what you’re saying but thats not really a need for St Louis in my opinion. I would personally rather give Boudreau 2 dominate offensive linemen 1st round talented OLmen. I understand he can coach them up but the impact he could do with 2 first round hogs plus Long. Jones and Saffold. I mean we could seriously blast some holes for Stacy and give Bradford time to make reads and throws. The Rams will never win the NFC West if we don’t establish a dominate Offensive Line.

  • Gary Stewart

    boy this is gonna be fun #2 and #13 with trade down scenarios it gets interesting as a ram fan rooting for a team that is on the rise and can only get better!! GO RAMS!!