The latest 2014 NFL mock draft continues into the second round as the trades this time slow down and teams sort of reshuffle their boards.
#33 – Houston Texans – Louis Nix – DT – Notre Dame
Stopping the run wasn’t always easy for the Houston Texans in 2013. By adding Louis Nix to their defensive front, that job becomes easier while at the same time putting some in the middle who will draw blocks away from J.J. Watt.
#34 – Washington Redskins – Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
Getting better up front on defense is a necessity for the Washington Redskins. Stephon Tuitt is a big, strong 3-4 end out of Notre Dame who fits their scheme and qualifies as a classic disruptor. He’s big enough to anchor against the run and plays with the kind of motor that makes him a quarterback nightmare.
#35 – St. Louis Rams (from CLE) – Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
Having bolstered the offense in round one, Jeff Fisher is free to add to his already strong defense and he is delighted to find athletically gifted defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman still available. The Minnesota standout has every physical tool required to dominate. All he needs is some refinement and motivation.
#36 – Houston Texans (from OAK) – Morgan Moses – OT – Virginia
Bortles already has a pretty good cast of offensive talent around him but the Houston Texans must look to make sure he is and will be protected in the future. The tackle position could use some attention. Morgan Moses is a massive, strong kid out of Virginia. He has good feet, surprising nimbleness and can’t take on every type of rusher.
#37 – Atlanta Falcons – Scott Crichton – DE – Oregon State
Unable to go another round without seeking out a pass rusher, the Atlanta Falcons find a really good, if not sexy one. Most scouts agree the athletic potential for Scott Crichton is limited, but if asked to play defensive end in 4-3 scheme, he can become a serious pest for opposing offenses. The Falcons possess that scheme and the need.
#38 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jace Amaro – TE – Texas Tech
Surprisingly taken in the second round despite leading the nation among all tight ends, Jace Amaro should land with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a chip on his shoulder in this 2014 NFL mock draft. Lovie Smith won’t complain. He needs to get Mike Glennon more weapons and couldn’t find a better one than Amaro.
#39 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – Eastern Illinois
Gus Bradley got his pass rusher first, so now he can’t wait any longer to find help at quarterback. He takes a calculated risk here on Eastern Illinois star Jimmy Garoppolo. The kid came almost out of nowhere from the FCS and has played well in the Shrine and Senior Bowl games. The quick release, tall frame, footwork and accuracy are all there.
#40 – New York Giants (from MIN) – C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE – Iowa
Trade yield: Vikings get NYG 5th round pick
In an uncharacteristic move, the New York Giants make a move up the boards. Having survived on free agent tight ends for too long, they go after under-the-radar talent C.J. Fiedorowicz out of Iowa. The kid isn’t quite the athlete like Seferian-Jenkins, but he is arguably a better blocker and has the speed, quickness and hands to make plenty of tough catches for Eli Manning.
#41 – Buffalo Bills – Jack Mewhort – OT – Ohio State
Cody Glenn seems to have the left tackle spot locked down but the Buffalo Bills still need help on the right side. Jack Mewhort brings size, length and power to the equation. He was a dominant run blocker at OhioState and has the necessary tools to anchor the right side against any pass rusher.
#42 – Tennessee Titans – Deone Bucannon – SS – Washington
Safety suffered from too much inconsistency for the Tennessee Titans in 2013. Ken Whisenhunt will look to fix that early in the draft. Deone Bucannon is a big, hard hitter out of Washington who loves to set the tone with his physical style. Such a reputation also overshadows how good of a playmaker he actually is in coverage.
#43 – Minnesota Vikings (from NYG) – Ryan Shazier – OLB – Ohio State
Defensive line would be the bigger need but the Minnesota Vikings have to realize that Ryan Shazier is a first round talent who has fallen to the middle of the second round. His speed, length and ability to tackle would be tremendous assets to their defense. He will remind Mike Zimmer quite a bit of Vontaze Burfict.
#44 – St. Louis Rams – Carlos Hyde – RB – Ohio State
Though their running game made a good recovery later in the season, the St. Louis Rams still lack that workhorse back who can take and handle the majority of handoffs during a game. Carlos Hyde did all of that for OhioState and did it well. He is much like Marshawn Lynch: big, strong and a load to bring down once past the line of scrimmage.
#45 – Detroit Lions – Odell Beckham Jr. – WR – LSU
Matthew Stafford has a good offense in place but he still lacks a second receiver option opposite Calvin Johnson. So the Detroit Lions scoop up the versatile Odell Beckham Jr. Not only fast and quick, his underrated lower body strength makes him a danger with the ball in his hands. He should also be a big help in the return game.
#46 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Antonio Richardson – OT – Tennessee
The secondary got a nice boost in the first but the Pittsburgh Steelers still have work to do on their offensive line. Getting another tackle would certainly help. Antonio Richardson might be too big to play on the left side, but his power, heavy hands and solid balance make him an excellent option on the right.
#47 – Dallas Cowboys – Cyril Richardson – OG – Baylor
The offensive line wasn’t a big problem for the Dallas Cowboys compared to other areas but they still could use an upgrade at the guard position. Cyril Richardson didn’t have the greatest Senior Bowl but the Baylor product is an absolute mauler in the run game. He can blow open lanes for DeMarco Murray and has enough athletic skill to become a stalwart in pass protection.
#48 – Baltimore Ravens – Marcus Roberson – CB – Florida
The secondary had several bouts of inconsistency in 2013 for the Baltimore Ravens. It might need some more help in coverage to take proper advantage of the pass rush. Marcus Roberson lacks some bulk but his height, length and natural athletic makes him a tremendous asset when covering wide receivers. If he can add some muscle he can become a real problem.
#49 – New York Jets – Xavier Su’a-Filo – OG – UCLA
Losses to free agency really hampered the New York Jets offensive line last year, especially at the guard positions. Bolstering them should help Geno Smith improve. Xavier Su’a-Filo is often overlooked in 2014 NFL mock draft boards but the UCLA guard is for real. He shows an excellent power base with good hands and technique. He’s experienced and consistent too.
#50 – Miami Dolphins – Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Arizona
Aside from protection, the Miami Dolphins need more consistency from their running game. That will take a back who can tote the rock at least 20 times per game. Ka’Deem Carey came on strong in 2013 for Arizona, showcasing his downhill style but also flashing his improvement as a receiver as pass protector.
#51 – Chicago Bears – Jason Verrett – CB – TCU
Short cornerbacks get overlooked a lot in the NFL, but don’t count the Chicago Bears as one of those teams that will. Given what the 5’8″ Tim Jennings has done for them, they will look at TCU standout Jason Verrett as a potential steal. Though only 5’10”, the kid is an explosive athlete who excels in press coverage but shows the burst and recognition to play zone as well. He tackles, is durable and has natural playmaking instinct.
#52 – Arizona Cardinals – Bradley Roby – CB – Ohio State
Most of the pass rushers and tackles are taken, which means the Arizona Cardinals must see if they can get Patrick Peterson some help in the secondary. Bradley Roby had an uneven season in 2013 but the OhioState corner possesses the ideal athleticism and speed to lock down receivers once his technique is refined.
#53 – Green Bay Packers – Trevor Reilly – OLB – Utah
The search for a secondary pass rusher opposite Clay Matthews is ongoing for the Green Bay Packers. They also simply need more depth at linebacker anyway. Trevor Reilly has excellent athleticism and speed coming off the edge and shows the agility and recognition to track ball carriers through the muck.
#54 – Philadelphia Eagles – Ahmad Dixon – S – Baylor
They got their pass rusher in the first round and the Philadelphia Eagles next land their needed safety in the second. He isn’t a finished product but Ahmad Dixon is much further along than people realize. Size and range are key parts to his game, along with a physical nature that lets him clean up tackles and deliver big hits.
#55 – Cincinnati Bengals – Lamarcus Joyner – S – Florida State
Another defensive back with height issues but proved quite the playmaker in college. Lamarcus Joyner has the track record of a first round pick and would be there if only he were four inches taller. The Cincinnati Bengals don’t require bigger defensive backs like other teams, and they have need for help at the safety position. Joyner is deceptively tough, able to make tackles and is also a keen asset in coverage.
#56 – San Francisco 49ers (from KC) – Will Sutton – DT – Arizona State
The front seven is the backbone of the San Francisco 49ers defense. Justin Smith is a cornerstone and he’s entering his mid 30s. They must look to bolster the depth behind him for the future. Will Sutton is somewhat undersized as a defensive tackle but his natural leverage, quickness and strength make him a disruptor. He would fit in well at defensive end for them.
#57 – San Diego Chargers – Trent Murphy – DE – Stanford
A future at defensive end doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Trent Murphy given his lack of bulk, but the nation’s sack leader clearly has a place in the pros. The San Diego Chargers need somebody at outside linebacker who can get pressure on the opposing quarterback. Murphy is not a great athlete but he is strong, lengthy and relentless until the whistle. He’ll find ways to create heat.
#58 – Indianapolis Colts – DaQuan Jones – DT – Penn State
Wide receiver is another area to consider but it was run defense that truly crippled the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs. They need to get bigger and stronger up front if they want to advance further. DaQuan Jones is not a pass rusher but he has great size and strength coming out of PennState. His added quickness should make him a great fit at nose tackle to help plug up running lanes.
#59 – New Orleans Saints – Keith McGill – CB – Utah
Big cornerbacks are sweeping the 2014 NFL mock draft, thanks in large part to what Seattle has accomplished. Among the more popular names of late is Keith McGill out of Utah. The 6’3″ corner has the size and length for sure, along with the required athleticism and speed to mirror receivers.
#60 – Carolina Panthers – Joel Bitonio – OT – Nevada
Both starting tackles are potential free agents for the Carolina Panthers, so they can’t afford not to address the position in the draft. Joel Bitonio was a revelation at the Senior Bowl. He showcased surprisingly good balance and footwork in pass protection and has the size and strength to run block. He could be a great fit for them on the right side.
#61 – San Francisco 49ers – Telvin Smith – LB – Florida State
The injury to NaVarro Bowman was a kick in the gut for the 49ers who also had to lose the NFC championship. He was their best overall player in 2013 and now is a question mark after tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee. Cold as it might sound, San Francisco must think about adding depth at linebacker in case he doesn’t return to his old self. Telvin Smith is somewhat light, but he is wicked fast and athletic out of FloridaState.
#62 – New England Patriots – Jackson Jeffcoat – DE – Texas
His stats don’t reflect much but the running theme with Jackson Jeffcoat is he’s an excellent athletic prospect with enough potential to become a dangerous pass rusher. What he needs is further coaching to improve his hand fighting and discipline. The New England Patriots can provide that, and he can provide them with more sacks.
#63 – Denver Broncos – Loucheiz Purifoy – CB – Florida
Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie both could be gone after the Super Bowl is over. That makes cornerback a need area for the Denver Broncos. Loucheiz Purifoy is a definite project at corner but he might be the best athlete at the position in the 2014 draft. He can run with any receiver, has good length and elite level athleticism. What he lacks is polish and improved instincts.
#64 – Seattle Seahawks – Gabe Jackson – OG – Mississippi State
Russell Wilson needs better protection regardless of what happens in the big game. The Seattle Seahawks can’t expect him to hold up under the frequent hits forever. Gabe Jackson is their kind of guy: big, powerful and an absolute mauler at guard. He run blocks with the best and has improved considerably as a pass protector.
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