Jadeveon Clowney will be looked at as a top-five prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft until May, but is it possible that he could fall outside of the top-10?
Here’s a look at a scenario that might fall into place once team’s are able to take the stage at Radio City Music Hall.
1. Houston Texans: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
5. Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
8. Minnesota Vikings: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, EIU
9. Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
10. Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Is the above “mock draft” likely to happen? Probably not. The point is, it can…very easily.
Looking at 1-7, it all makes sense. Teams will draft according to need in this draft, and that’s exactly what happens here. Looking at Minnesota, do they really have another choice? Unless the Vikings trade up with St. Louis, it seems as though they have to reach for a quarterback. Don’t forget – Minnesota is no stranger to reaching for quarterbacks – they went after Christian Ponder very high in 2011.
Mack going before Clowney makes perfectly good sense, contrary to what many might believe. Is Clowney more talented? Yes. Is Mack a safer selection? Absolutely.
Mack’s skill-set isn’t as fine-tuned as Clowney’s, but it’s not as far away as many project. Teams are taking a risk selecting the South Carolina playmaker, something that might scare a team like the Bills away. Mack is a home-town guy, he absolutely lit up the highlight reels throughout his college career, and he doesn’t have the type of question marks that Clowney has.
If this does turn out to be a “draft by need” type of draft, Clowney might end up slipping down the list. Often times, team need will outweigh talent. Don’t look now, but it might be a long first round for the former South Carolina playmaker.