Trading has become a regular part of drafts. With that in mind this 2014 NFL mock draft will offer some speculation on how they could impact the action.
#1 – Jacksonville Jaguars (from HOU) – Jadeveon Clowney
Trade yield: Texans get JAX #3, 3rd round pick in ’14, 1st and 3rd in ’15
Gus Bradley made no secret of his growing fascination with Jadeveon Clowney and since his Jacksonville Jaguars have a wealthy of salary cap space and extra late round picks, they feel safe enough to aggressively pursue the highly talented defensive end.
#2 – St. Louis Rams (from WSH) – Greg Robinson – OT – Auburn
With all the quarterbacks still on the board and Clowney gone, the St. Louis Rams will have a hard time trading down. Instead they scoop up Greg Robinson. The Auburn left tackle is already dominant against top competition and will only get better.
#3 – Houston Texans (from JAX) – Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M
Johnny Manziel dared the Houston Texans to pass on him. In the end they don’t call his bluff. They scoop the young quarterback and keep him in the state of Texas. His mobility, leadership, confidence and poise will be welcome additions to their offense.
#4 – Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater – QB – Louisville
Ray Farmer said he had his eyes on one or two quarterbacks in draft. If Manziel was one, Bridgewater should be the other. Despite questions about his thin frame and quiet exterior, the Louisville quarterback is talented, polished, intelligent and a winner.
#5 – Oakland Raiders – Jake Matthews – OT – Texas A&M
Jared Veldheer is expected back at left tackle but that won’t solve the offensive line problems for the Oakland Raiders. Pairing him with Texas A&M star Jake Matthews just might. The Aggies product has plenty of experience to go along with talent.
#6 – Detroit Lions (from ATL) – Sammy Watkins – WR – Clemson
Trade yield: Falcons gets DET #10, 2nd round picks in ’14 and 2nd in ’15
Nobody would expect the Detroit Lions to be so aggressive but the facts are clear. Their roster is ready for a Super Bowl run. All they need a couple missing pieces. Putting the dynamic Sammy Watkins across from Calvin Johnson would solve one of those problems.
#7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Taylor Lewan – OT – Michigan
Lovie Smith is put into a dilemma. None of the remaining pass rushers fit his 4-3 system very well and it’s too early to take a tight end. So the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beef up their front with the strong and nasty Taylor Lewan.
#8 – Minnesota Vikings – Blake Bortles – QB – UCF
No words were minced when it came to the Minnesota Vikings. They fully plan to add a quarterback. Blake Bortles has the size, the arm but most importantly the coolness under fire to become a fixture at the position for the next ten years.
#9 – Buffalo Bills – Khalil Mack – OLB – Buffalo
Kiko Alonso could really use help up front while Mario Williams needs assistance carrying the pass rush. Khalil Mack is talented and versatile enough to help the Buffalo Bills solve both problems. Such players are very hard to come by.
#10 – Atlanta Falcons (from DET) – Anthony Barr – OLB – UCLA
Having gotten some extra picks the Atlanta Falcons knew they stood a reasonable chance of getting what they wanted, which was a tackle or a pass rusher. Anthony Barr is long, athletic, explosive off the edge and instinctive towards finding the football.
#11 – Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert – CB – Oklahoma State
If Ray Horton is planning a shift to the 3-4, and there is reasonable signs to think so then he is going to need reliable cornerbacks who excel in press coverage. Justin Gilbert made that his M.O. at Oklahoma State thanks to speed, fluidity and good hand-eye coordination to steal the football.
#12 – New York Giants – Darqueze Dennard – CB – Michigan State
Lost in the situation facing the New York Giants is they stand to lose three cornerbacks to free agency on the current roster. They need youth at the position. Darqueze Dennard has what they want which is agility and length but also a good degree of intelligence to never get caught out of position.
#13 – St. Louis Rams – Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix – FS – Alabama
Jeff Fisher has a good defense in place but he’s still lacking a true center fielder at safety who can take advantage of the St. Louis Rams pass rush. Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix has the range, height and savvy in coverage to provide exactly what the team is missing.
#14 – Miami Dolphins (from CHI) – Cyrus Kouandjio – OT – Alabama
Trade yield: Bears get MIA #19, 3rd and 7th round picks
With a big overhaul to accomplish on defense, the Bears need more picks. Surprisingly, the Miami Dolphins make a strong push to move up, claiming the last legitimate left tackle on the board. Cyrus Kouandjio is still very young and raw but his physical ceiling is near limitless with enough coaching.
#15 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Louis Nix – DT – Notre Dame
The corners are exhausted so the Pittsburgh Steelers instead look to solve their inconsistent run defense by adding nose tackle Louis Nix. The Notre Dame product is tailor made for their defense with the size to swallow up running space and the quickness to eat up double teams.
#16 – Baltimore Ravens – Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M
Joe Flacco did some of his best work when he had a big, strong target to throw to at wide receiver like Anquan Boldin. Mike Evans has a 6’5″ frame but also the bulk to go with it. He’s deceptively quick, can make tough catches and can explode up in the air for the football on money downs.
#17 – Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan – DT – Florida State
Controlling the line of scrimmage is crucial if the Dallas Cowboys want their defense to work. Getting a defensive tackle who commands attention would be ideal. Timmy Jernigan did every bit of that for Florida State, stuffing the run and creating problems for blockers in pass protection.
#18 – New York Jets – Marqise Lee – WR – USC
A dynamic threat on offense was something the New York Jets were missing most of 2013. Marqise Lee can become that player for them. His speed, agility and polished route running allow him to beat corner with regularity and take seemingly simple passes to the house.
#19 – Chicago Bears (from MIA) – Kony Ealy – DE – Missouri
Not only did they get a couple extra picks but the Chicago Bears also did the right thing by taking Kony Ealy. Not only does he fill a big need on their defensive line with his athleticism and explosion off the edge, but it’s smart pick considering how thin the 2014 NFL mock draft is on defensive ends.
#20 – Arizona Cardinals – Dee Ford – DE – Auburn
The Arizona Cardinals can appreciate that sentiment too, but Dee Ford is much better suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker which the Cardinals badly need to help bring some pass rush off the edge. That is what Ford does best.
#21 – Green Bay Packers – Calvin Pryor – FS – Louisville
Expected to use free agency to improve up front, the Green Bay Packers can then use the draft to bolster their secondary. In need of a presence at safety, they scoop up Calvin Pryor out of Louisville. Know for his physical tackling and hitting ability, he’s also come on quite quickly in his coverage responsibilities.
#22 – San Francisco 49ers (from PHI) – Ra’Shede Hageman – DT – Minnesota
Trade yield: Eagles get SF 3rd (94th) and 6th round picks
With so many picks to spare the San Francisco 49ers were bound to move up eventually. They finally strike in a deal with Philadelphia to jump up and nab Ra’Shede Hagemen. The Minnesota defensive tackle is still a work in progress, but his athletic potential could surpass any of the several Pro Bowlers already on the 49ers defense.
#23 – Kansas City Chiefs – Brandin Cooks – WR – Oregon State
Speed rising in the draft and Andy Reid is one of those coaches who loves to have it on the field. Brandin Cooks exhibited plenty of it all of 2013 for Oregon State. He reminds many of All-Pro Steve Smith and it’s a piece the Kansas City Chiefs would love to add.
#24 – Cincinnati Bengals – C.J. Mosley – LB – Alabama
Once again the heady drafting continues for the Cincinnati Bengals who land a potential steal at #24 with C.J. Mosley. The Alabama linebacker is not only atheltic and versatile, he is a leader on the field with great intelligence who can help in a myriad of ways.
#25 – San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett – CB – TCU
Pass defense was a major problem for the San Diego Chargers all season and the main culprit was the cornerbacks. They need better ones, period. Jason Verrett is a little shorter than ideal but his natural skill in coverage shows up every time on tape.
#26 – Cleveland Browns (from IND) – Zack Martin – OT – Notre Dame
With their quarterback in house the Cleveland Browns have to make sure he’s protected in order to develop. Zack Martin is a skill blocker out of Notre Dame with the technique to play tackle but the bend and power to become a stalwart at guard.
#27 – New Orleans Saints – Kyle Van Noy – OLB – BYU
The linebacker position wasn’t terrible for the New Orleans Saints in 2013 but they still could use a better presence on the outside. Kyle Van Noy boasts loads of speed and elite-level instincts that make him an nuisance in coverage or rushing the passer.
#28 – Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Benjamin – WR – Florida State
Cam Newton needs a serious upgrade at wide receiver if his Carolina Panthers want to take that next step towards a championship. Kelvin Benjamin is not only huge at 6’5″ but he’s also sneaky fast and a serious danger at all levels of the field.
#29 – New England Patriots – Eric Ebron – TE – North Carolina
Tom Brady suffered a lot without having playmakers at tight end with the New England Patriots. With Rob Gronkowski iffy moving forward, the team looks to add insurance with the athletic and explosive Eric Ebron out of North Carolina.
#30 – Philadelphia Eagles (from SF) – Marcus Roberson – CB – Florida
Having gotten some additional draft help, the Philadelphia Eagles look to bolster their pass defense on the back end. Marcus Roberson is not the most physical corner but his ability to cover man-to-man is ideal for their 3-4 system.
#31 – Denver Broncos – Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
An inability to consistently rush the passer doomed the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Even with Von Miller due back they need to get more dynamic up front. Stephon Tuitt is both big and fast, boasting the ability to move all around the line to create pressure from different angles.
#32 – Seattle Seahawks – Jace Amaro – TE – Texas Tech
Zach Miller has been adequate at tight end for the Seattle Seahawks but if they want to stay on top they should think about adding more playmaking potential at the position. Jace Amaro has the size, speed and production to provide that.
To see the 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2nd round action, click here.
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