This latest update to the 2014 NFL mock draft now takes a dip into the 3rd round of action. How do boards shift for teams as more underclassmen enter the fray?
#65 – Houston Texans – Ahmad Dixon – SS – Baylor
Defense wasn’t the primary issue for the Houston Texans but they still need more stability at safety. Ahmad Dixon was lost in the midst of the Baylor offense hype machine but he has the size, athleticism and instincts of a playmaker.
#66 – Washington Redskins – Ed Reynolds – FS – Stanford
If not for a torn ACL in 2011 and playing on a defensively stacked roster, Ed Reynolds would get more recognition. He’s got everything from the length, speed, bulk and vision to man the back end of a defense. The Washington Redskins badly need it.
#67 – Oakland Raiders – Martavis Bryant – WR – Clemson
Third round picks can typically start focusing more on upside and few have more of it than Martavis Bryant. Not only is he big at 6’4″ but he boasts enough speed to take the top off a defense. The Oakland Raiders will enjoy breaking him in with Carr.
#68 – Atlanta Falcons – Billy Turner – OT – North Dakota State
Protecting Matt Ryan remains a top priority whether it be at tackle or guard. Billy Turner continues to be a favorite in the scouting community. Though still learning he has the athleticism and size necessary along with strong hands and technique.
#69 – New York Jets (from TB) – Loucheiz Purifoy – CB – Florida
Rex Ryan loves stockpiling cornerbacks and he will absolutely be giddy with the potential of a player like Loucheiz Purifoy. The Florida corner is still raw in his mechanics but his size-speed-athletic ration is as good or better than any other in this 2014 NFL mock draft.
#70 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Joel Bitonio – OT – Nevada
Luke Joeckel is due back at left tackle next season so it might be a good idea for the Jacksonville Jaguars to fortify the right side. Joel Bitonio isn’t the best athlete but his size, power and solid all-around technique could find a home there.
#71 – Cleveland Browns – Tre Mason – RB – Auburn
Tempted to go defense by this point, the Cleveland Browns are forced to divert when they realize Auburn running back Tre Mason is still on the board. Nobody had a stronger finish to the 2013 season. He’s low to the ground, strong, accelerates quickly and does the little things well.
#72 – St. Louis Rams (from MIN) - Will Sutton – DT – Arizona State
Trade yield: Vikings get STL 5th round pick
Minnesota strikes a deal to get back their fifth round pick from earlier while the ever active St. Louis Rams jump up to grab a surprise faller in Will Sutton. The Arizona State defensive tackle is undersized but his quickness, leverage and power make him one of the best interior pass rushers in the class.
#73 – Buffalo Bills – Troy Niklas – TE – Notre Dame
Tight end was a sore spot for the Buffalo Bills in 2013 and needs an upgrade. Troy Niklas didn’t have much production but like other recent Notre Dame tight ends his athletic skills set from the size to speed and hands are all in place.
#74 – New York Giants – Christian Jones – ILB – Florida State
One of the top priorities for the New York Giants going into the off-season was adding more speed and athleticism at linebacker. Christian Jones boasts plenty of both out of FloridaState along with the ideal length to play middle linebacker.
#75 – Minnesota Vikings (from STL) – Zach Mettenberger – QB – LSU
Norv Turner said outright that the Minnesota Vikings want to add a young quarterback. Zach Mettenberger fits the profile of types he’s had success with from the ideal size at 6’5″ to the strong body and elite arm strength.
#76 – Detroit Lions – Carl Bradford – OLB – Arizona State
The front seven remains the lifeblood of the Detroit Lions defense so adding another solid linebacker can only help. Carl Bradford is an instinctive, physical and versatile player out of ArizonaState who also has some pass rush ability.
#77 – San Francisco 49ers (from TEN) – Anthony Johnson – DT – LSU
The defensive line isn’t falling apart for the San Francisco 49ers so they can afford to take players who still need some polish. Anthony Johnson has the quickness and power of a disruptive lineman but he lacks the consistency. Some time learning under Vic Fangio will help.
#78 – Dallas Cowboys – Jimmie Ward – SS – NIU
Safety was woefully inconsistent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013. They need somebody on the back end who is tough, smart and reliable in coverage. Jimmie Ward has risen up boards a lot lately and his athletic potential is becoming obvious when watching tape.
#79 – Baltimore Ravens – Travis Swanson – C – Arkansas
The offensive line really hasn’t been the same for the Baltimore Ravens since they lost center Matt Birk. Replacing him should still be a priority. Travis Swanson is easily the highest rated in 2014 class due to his quickness, intelligence and technique.
#80 – Chicago Bears (from NYJ) – Kelcy Quarles – DT – South Carolina
How appropriate. The Chicago Bears got their run stuffer in the first round despite their trade with the Jets and now in the third they get an interior pass rusher thanks to the Jets. Kelcy Quarles has length, explosion off the snap and the technique to shoot gaps and get the quarterback on the ground, as he did 9.5 times in 2013.
#81 – Miami Dolphins – Anthony Steen – OG – Alabama
One good tackle won’t solve the blocking problems for the Miami Dolphins, so they go get help at guard as well. Prior to an injury Anthony Steen was one of the top interior blockers in the country with the size to open running lanes and footwork to handle pass rushers.
#82 – Chicago Bears – Shayne Skov – ILB – Stanford
Jon Bostic was a nice experiment but he clearly isn’t a middle linebacker. Shayne Skov on the other hand is. The Stanford product has the athleticism and explosion to man the middle but also the savvy head on his shoulders to get teammates in the right place before the snap.
#83 – Cleveland Browns (from PIT) – Michael Sam – DE – Missouri
The saying goes that no team can ever have enough pass rushers. After seeing to their needs on offense the Cleveland Browns enact this policy by scooping up Michael Sam. Though smaller than ideal he is a natural rusher who plays with speed and violence.
#84 – Arizona Cardinals – Keith McGill – CB – Utah
Patrick Peterson has helped the Arizona Cardinals solidify their pass defense but if they want to become a truly elite defense he will need a wingman. Keith McGill not only shows the speed and fluidity of a cover corner, his 6’3″ frame will be just as hard to get past for quaterbacks.
#85 – Green Bay Packers – C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE – Iowa
Jermichael Finley is no guarantee to return and Andrew Quarless is a free agent. The Green Bay Packers could use help at tight end. C.J. Fiedorowicz not only is athletic enough to be a primary target through the air with his size and hands, but he’s also one of the best in-line blockers at the position as well.
#86 – Philadelphia Eagles – Davante Adams – WR – Fresno State
Chip Kelly is an offensive coach so he’ll take every opportunity to add weapons when he can. Davante Adams is a definite target. He’s got good size at 6’2″ but deceptive speed and very strong hands to make the tough catches.
#87 – Kansas City Chiefs – Chris Borland – ILB – Wisconsin
Derrick Johnson is a fixture at inside linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs but they could really use somebody else to lend him a hand. Chris Borland is physical, tough and shows the kind of intelligence and discipline to never get caught out of position on runs or passes.
#88 – Cincinnati Bengals – Terrence Brooks – FS – Florida State
Safety was and remains an area of need for the Cincinnati Bengals. Like his teammate Joyner, Terrence Brooks is undersized but he makes up for it with instinct, range and agility to become a classic center fielder.
#89 – San Diego Chargers – Donte Moncrief – WR – Ole Miss
Philip Rivers loves big receivers and with Danario Alexander uncertain to return, the San Diego Chargers have to give him and Keenan Allen help on the outside. Donte Moncrief has a stout 6’3″ frame coupled with the quickness and acceleration to consistently beat defensive backs.
#90 – Indianapolis Colts – Jarvis Landry – WR – LSU
Sometimes seeking upside can make teams miss players who are just consistently good. Jarvis Landry won’t wow with his size or speed but his smooth routes, solid hands and toughness made him a constant producer for LSU.
#91 – New Orleans Saints – Jeremiah Attaochu – OLB – Georgia Tech
Getting pass rush from the outside linebackers could bring so much more to the New Orleans Saints defense. Jeremiah Attaoachu has the speed and athletic skill for it, not to mention an aggressive or what some might call violent temperament.
#92 – Carolina Panthers – Victor Hampton – CB – South Carolina
With the receivers taken care of the Carolina Panthers shift their focus to the secondary where cornerback needs some attention. Victor Hampton isn’t big but he makes up for it with speed, acceleration and a keen sense for what the receivers will do before they do it.
#93 – New England Patriots – Daniel McCullers – DT – Tennessee
Vince Wilfork suffered a tough injury last season and is well into his 30s now. The New England Patriots suffered without him in the middle of their defense. Daniel McCullers boasts similar size and strength, not to mention the required quickness of a classic nose tackle.
#94 – Baltimore Ravens (from SF) – Jeremy Hill – RB – LSU
Ray Rice seems like he’s starting to fade, so the Baltimore Ravens have to think about adding more punch to their running backs. Jeremy Hill has the look of a workhorse type: strong, tough, deceptively fast with excellent vision. He does have some character flaws that will need attention.
#95 – Denver Broncos – JaWuan James – OT – Tennessee
Pass protection was a primary reason the Denver Broncos fell apart in the Super Bowl. If they want any hope of getting one more shot they must bolster it. JaWuan James is a big, physical product out of Tennessee who can wall off pass rusher from the right side and then blow open running lanes.
#96 – Minnesota Vikings (from SEA) – Yawin Smallwood
The final pick of the Percy Harvin trade the Minnesota Vikings made with Seattle. They must put it to good use. With E.J. Henderson leaving, the linebackers are suddenly looking awfully thin. Yawin Smallwood was an all-around beast for Connecticut, showing his ability tackling ball carriers, sacking quarterbacks and playing coverage.
To see the 1st round, click here.
To see the 2nd round, click here.
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