Early moves in the beginning of the 2014 NFL mock draft have created an interesting situation going into the 3rd round here.
#65 – Houston Texans – Bishop Sankey – RB – Washington
Arian Foster is facing injury concerns while Ben Tate is a free agent. The Houston Texans can’t afford to let their running back situation deteriorate. Bishop Sankey is a strong, versatile talent out of Washington who can run and catch equally well.
#66 – Washington Redskins – Ed Reynolds – FS – Stanford
The back end of the defense was a mess for the Washington Redskins in 2013. They need an overhaul badly. Ed Reynold was widely overlooked on a great Stanford defense but he has the great traits of range, size and power to deliver strong tackles as a safety.
#67 – Oakland Raiders – Will Sutton – DT – Arizona State
Getting more disruptive on the defensive line is a big must for the Oakland Raiders. Will Sutton may be a bit undersized but his quickness, natural leverage and overlooked power make him a handful for offensive lines to keep off the quarterback.
#68 – Atlanta Falcons – Telvin Smith – OLB – Florida State
Outside linebacker and safety are in need of help for the Atlanta Falcons defense. Telvin Smith is a special case in that he has the ability to play outside linebacker but thanks to his great speed and a light 218-lbs frame he might be even better served moving to safety.
#69 – New York Jets (from TB) – C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE – Iowa
The offensive boon continues for the New York Jets. This time they look to bolster their fledgling tight end position. C.J. Fiedorowicz will be viewed more as a solid blocker out of Iowa but that belies the athleticism, deceptive speed and solid hands of a pass catcher he has.
#70 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Martavis Bryant – WR – Clemson
Wide receiver could undergo some changes for the Jacksonville Jaguars and one thing they need is somebody with size. Overshadowed by Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant out of Clemson sports a solid 6’4″ frame, great hand-eye coordination and good athleticism.
#71 – Cleveland Browns – Davante Adams – WR – Fresno State
His numbers are impressive though they come out of a weaker conference. Still, Davante Adams has a good frame, underrated speed and very reliable hands that would make him an excellent #2 receiver for the Cleveland Browns opposite Josh Gordon.
#72 – Minnesota Vikings – Chris Smith – DE – Arkansas
Defensive end could be in trouble for the Minnesota Vikings thanks to free agency. Chris Smith is a muscular athlete out of Arkanas who brings power and explosion off the edge. He won’t win with speed or agility but he is a excellent fit for the Vikings 4-3 scheme.
#73 – Buffalo Bills – Billy Turner – OT – North Dakota State
Protection was good for the Buffalo Bills but it still needs work before it’s complete. Billy Turner is a fast-rising blocker out of North DakotaState with all the tools from size, to technique and strength to become a quality starter at left or right tackle.
#74 – New York Giants – Donte Moncrief – WR – Ole Miss
Wide receiver was once a strength for the New York Giants but that has change over the past couple seasons. With Hakeem Nicks on his way out the team needs a talent influx. Donte Moncrief has the big body offenses love along with a solid speed-to-route running combination that make him so effective.
#75 – St. Louis Rams – Victor Hampton – CB – Virginia Tech
Jeff Fisher never minds adding shorter defensive backs as long as they play physical and with a feisty mentality. That is exactly what Victor Hampton is all about. He’s got the athleticism and length to play press coverage but merely lacks height at 5’10”.
#76 – Detroit Lions – Ahmad Dixon – SS – Baylor
The secondary had its share of problems for the Detroit Lions in 2013, with the safety position included. Ahmad Dixon is a big, tough kid out of Baylor who constantly flashed playmaking ability to go along with tough tackling.
#77 – San Francisco 49ers (from TEN) – Stanley Jean-Baptiste – CB – Nebraska
Sometimes a team has to fight fire with fire. The San Francisco 49ers lost to Seattle in the NFC title game thanks in large part to the towering Seahawks defensive backs. So the 49ers choose to play that game by adding the 6’3″ Stanley Jean-Baptiste.
#78 – Dallas Cowboys – Kareem Martin – DE – North Carolina
The remodeling of the defensive line resumes in the third round as the Dallas Cowboys add defensive end Kareem Martin. Big, strong and fast for his size he’s a load for tackles to handle both running at him and trying to keep him off the quarterback.
#79 – Baltimore Ravens – Travis Swanson – C – Arkansas
The offensive line gets another huge upgrade when the Baltimore Ravens land standout center Travis Swanson. He possesses all the tools from the quickness, technique and good strength to the ideal pre-snap intelligence.
#80 – Chicago Bears (from NYJ) – Yawin Smallwood – ILB – Connecticut
Paul Pasqualoni, the new Chicago Bears defensive line coach, will certainly push them to take Yawin Smallwood. The Connecticut middle linebacker is a true athlete with sideline to sideline speed, tackles well, is durable and is an underrated blitzer.
#81 – Miami Dolphins – Ego Ferguson – DT – LSU
Paul Soliai and Randy Starks are both free agents. Losing either one will put the Miami Dolphins in a precarious position. Ego Ferguson is a big but agile interior man who can get upfield to harass the quarterback but has the strength to anchor against the run.
#82 – Chicago Bears – Charles Sims – RB – West Virginia
Two words draw the Chicago Bears to running back Charles Sims: Matt Forte. Those are the comparisons the West Virginia standout keeps getting. Indeed the skill sets are very similar in that both have great vision and cutting ability coupled with a knack for catching passes from a variety of areas on the field.
#83 – Cleveland Browns (from PIT) – Chris Borland – ILB – Wisconsin
Outside linebacker is set with Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo but the Cleveland Browns could use some help inside. Chris Borland is a tough-as-nails linebacker out of Wisconsin who attacks the line of scrimmage and is a sure-fire tackler.
#84 – Arizona Cardinals – Keith McGill – CB – Utah
Like the 49ers, the Arizona Cardinals mirror Seattle on the front of bigger defensive backs. They scoop up Utah corner Keith McGill who stands a rangy 6’3″ but maintains the athleticism to cover downfield and also matchup with tight ends.
#85 – Green Bay Packers – Carl Bradford – LB – Arizona State
He hasn’t really made his name as a pass rusher but Carl Bradford can do that if asked. His versatility is a big selling point as are his instincts and ability to shed blocks to stop the run. The Green Bay Packers have need of such a player.
#86 – Philadelphia Eagles – Bashaud Breeland – CB – Clemson
The secondary remains a work in progress for the Philadelphia Eagles and the cornerback position definitely needs attention. Bashaud Breeland is an overlooked player out of Clemson with good size, plenty of strength and a proven nose for the football in coverage.
#87 – Kansas City Chiefs – Terrence Brooks – FS – Florida State
Eric Berry could really use some help on the back end of the Kansas City Chiefs defense. Terrence Brooks is not the biggest safety in this 2014 NFL mock draft but his instincts, closing speed and athleticism overcome that minor issue.
#88 – Cincinnati Bengals – Marcus Smith – DE – Louisville
Michael Johnson is on his way out and the Cincinnati Bengals must prepare to replace him. Louisville sack master Marcus Smith is a good place to start. He’s fast, stronger than many think and displays a variety of moves as a pass rusher.
#89 – San Diego Chargers – Daniel McCullers – DT – Tennessee
Stopping the run is not the primary goal of the San Diego Chargers but Daniel McCullers is a special case. His sheer size and quickness allow him to swallow up blockers, which in turn will free up other Chargers to just rush the passer.
#90 – Indianapolis Colts – Paul Richardson – WR – Colorado
He’s not big but Paul Richardson boasts a long 6’1″ frame and makes up for his lack of bulk by being quick, agile and fast off the snap. He has the ability to go deep but also can change directions across the middle to make the tough catch.
#91 – New Orleans Saints – Pierre Desir – CB – Lindenwood
Cornerback injuries hampered the New Orleans Saints late in the season so it won’t be a surprise if they address the position. Pierre Desir is still a raw talent out of small Lindenwood but his athletic potential is too high to pass on for a third round pick.
#92 – Carolina Panthers – E.J. Gaines – CB – Missouri
Captain Munnerlyn is a free agent, leaving the Carolina Panther in a tough bind as they try to tweak their secondary. Missouri corner E.J. Gaines is undersized but he retains the athleticism and instincts to suffocate receivers and then steal the football.
#93 – New England Patriots – Anthony Steen – OG – Alabama
Having a dominant presence on the interior of the offensive line is what has made Tom Brady so deadly for so many years. The New England Patriots know this. That is why they take Anthony Steen, who was one of the best guards in the country prior to getting hurt during the season.
#94 – Chicago Bears (from SF) – Will Clarke – DE – West Virginia
Defensive end needs just as much attention as every other position. Will Clarke is a physical specimen at 6’6″ with 34-inch arms. He uses those traits to his advantage along with a good burst off the snap and the strength to finish his rushes to the quarterback.
#95 – Denver Broncos – Jeremy Hill – RB – LSU
Knowshon Moreno is expected to hit free agency, leaving the Denver Broncos will Monte Ball and the fumbling Ronnie Hillman left on the roster. So they decide to scoop up Jeremy Hill who is not only big and strong but has outstanding vision and sneaky speed.
#96 – Minnesota Vikings (from SEA) – Jaylen Watkins – CB – Florida
Their secondary is much in need of more help so the Minnesota Vikings add the overlooked but scrappy Jaylen Watkins. An athlete just like his other teammates, Watkins does his best work out in coverage where he can close with receivers and play the football.
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