Nov 9, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron (10) looks to throw the ball against the LSU Tigers during the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft Update: Into the 3rd Round

Experts believe things will really start to get interesting around the third round this coming May.  Does the 2014 NFL mock draft bear that out?

Click below to review rounds one and two.  Enjoy!

Round 1

Round 2

#65 – Houston Texans – Antonio Richardson – OT – Tennessee

Protecting their new investment at quarterback is paramount for Houston.  Antonio Richardson has experience on the left side but the immense size, strength and length to play on the right.

#66 – Washington Redskins – Dakota Dozier – OG – Furman

A small school sleeper for certain.  Jay Gruden knows he has to protect RGIII and the guard position is not up to snuff.  Adding a sleeper like Dakota Dozier who can run and pass block very well would help a lot.

#67 – Oakland Raiders – Jarvis Landry – WR – LSU

Oakland has some receivers in-house with athletic upside but they still need somebody who can emerge as the go-to guy for Matt Schaub.  Jarvis Landry is polished, savvy, and remarkably consistent at making big catches in big situations.

#68 – Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE – Iowa

Tony Gonzalez is gone and the Falcons need to find a way to replace him at tight end for Matt Ryan.  C.J. Fiedorowicz is an accomplished blocker with big upside as a receiver provided he continues to work.

#69 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A.J. McCarron – QB – Alabama

Josh McCown is the starter for TampaBay but Lovie Smith can’t put his team in the hands of a 34-year old without some insurance.  A.J. McCarron is a smart, efficient and deceptively talented leader who did nothing but win at Alabama.

#70 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Joel Bitonio – OT – Nevada

Offensive blocking wasn’t up to snuff for Jacksonville in 2013.  Adding some punch on the edges, particularly the right side can help a lot.  Joel Bitonio has the size and the punch coupled with good fluidity to handle the edge.

#71 – Cleveland Browns – Tre Mason – RB – Auburn

A huge value pickup here.  Cleveland could use more punch from their running game and getting Tre Mason, the Auburn star who gutted defenses all the way into the national title game, in the middle of the third round is a steal.

#72 – Minnesota Vikings – Jaylen Watkins – CB – Florida

Mike Zimmer can use help at both the corner and safety positions.  Jaylen Watkins is considered a tweener coming out of Florida but has the capacity to play both positions.  He has the athleticism for corner and the toughness for safety.

#73 – Buffalo Bills – Telvin Smith – OLB – Florida State

Kiko Alonso was a huge steal last year for Buffal and they may have struck again in this 2014 NFL mock draft.  Scouts get on Telvin Smith for his size at just 218 lbs but the kid can fly around the field, tackling and shows plenty of instinct for a linebacker.

#74 – New York Giants – Marcus Martin – C – USC

Free agency was very good to the Giants offensive line but the group is still not completely out of the woods.  They have unanswered questions at center.  Taking the physically gifted Marcus Martin would provide those answers.

#75 – St. Louis Rams – DaQuan Jones – DT – Penn State

The defensive line drives the truck for the St. Louis defense and they could use more beef up front to help against the run.  DaQuan Jones is not only big and strong but also very quick, which makes him very difficult to get out of the way on run plays.

#76 – Detroit Lions – Travis Carrie – CB – Ohio

Travis Carrie is overlooked quite a bit because he’s not a pure cover corner but he is an outstanding athlete with great instincts and toughness.  Detroit will love having him on the depth chart, especially on special teams early on.

#77 – San Francisco 49ers (f/TEN) – Keith McGill – CB – Utah

The 49ers continue to load up their defense and here they take a page from division rival Seattle by adding a tall, long cornerback in Keith McGill who is strong in coverage and has a knack for playing the football.

#78 – Dallas Cowboys – Cyril Richardson – OG – Baylor

Interior blocking remains a work in progress for Dallas.  Adding more beef at the guard spots can go a long way.  Cyril Richardson is more athletic than many realize and he might be the best run blocking guard in this 2014 NFL mock draft.

#79 – Baltimore Ravens – Jeremy Hill – RB – LSU

John Harbaugh isn’t afraid to take on head cases and Jeremy Hill qualifies.  The superb running back from LSU would give Baltimore a ton of insurance at a needed position provided his character flaws that appeared too often in college are in the past.

#80 – Chicago Bears (f/NYJ) – Bashaud Breeland – CB – Clemson

GM Phil Emery said the Bears are on the lookout for tough corners who play a complete style of game.  Bashaud Breeland is raw but quite athletic who looks good in coverage and doesn’t shrink from his tackling duties against the run.

#81 – Miami Dolphins – Ka’Deem Carey – RB – Arizona

Another value pick at running back.  Ka’Deem Carey has his own history regarding bad decisions but 2013 was a coming out party for him.  He runs less with power but determination, can break tackles, catch passes and doesn’t fear throwing a shoulder in pass protection.

#82 – Chicago Bears – Marqueston Huff – FS – Wyoming

Emery loves athletes, especially ones who show up at the Senior Bowl.  Marqueston Huff did exactly that coming out of Wyoming.  He is a rangy, fast free safety with good instincts but has the versatility to shift to corner.

#83 – Cleveland Browns (f/PIT) – E.J. Gaines – CB – Missouri

Joe Haden is the cornerstone on defense for Cleveland but the Browns must look to maximize him by adding another quality corner to the mix.  E.J. Gaines might be a tad undersized but he is smart and instinctive in coverage and helps against the run.

#84 – Arizona Cardinals – Logan Thomas – QB – Virginia Tech

Carson Palmer is 34-years old.  Bruce Arians can’t bank on him forever in Arizona.  He needs a project in the wings.  Logan Thomas is probably the most physically gifted QB in this draft.  The key issue is whether Arians can help him fix his accuracy problems.

#85 – Chicago Bears (f/GB) – Devonta Freeman – RB – Florida State

Don’t be fooled by his short 5’8″ frame.  FloridaState standout Devonta Freeman is a complete back.  He is a classic slashing type of runner with good vision and lower body strength to break tackles.  On top of that he is stout in pass protection and shows good hands receiving.

#86 – Pittsburgh Steelers (f/PHI) -  Trent Murphy – DE/OLB – Stanford

All the guy does is sack the quarterback.  Trent Murphy isn’t a premier athlete but he’s big, strong and utterly relentless at getting into the opposing backfield.  Pittsburgh should be able to find a place for him.

#87 – Kansas City Chiefs – Craig Loston – SS – LSU

Craig Loston is at his best when he’s playing next to a safety who’s better than him, which he would be in Kansas City.  The LSU standout isn’t a physical marvel but he hits and tackles well and brings a valuable vocal leadership to any secondary he plays in.

#88 – Cincinnati Bengals – Zach Mettenberger – QB – LSU

Andy Dalton is running out of mulligans with Cincinnati.  The team knows they are Super Bowl ready given their roster.  If Dalton can’t deliver, they will have to have somebody ready who can.  Zach Mettenberger has the size and the arm talent.

#89 – San Diego Chargers – Marcus Roberson – CB – Florida

Another corner helps bolster the Bolts secondary.  Where Verrett can dominate in the slot, Marcus Roberson has the length and athleticism to make a home on the outside.  He needs to get more physical though.

#90 – Indianapolis Colts – Marcus Smith – DE – Louisville

Pass rushers are pass rushers.  Robert Mathids isn’t the ideal outside linebacker but he still sacks quarterbacks for Indianapolis.  Marcus Smith won’t fly around the field but his 14.5 sacks in 2013 proved he knows how to do one very important thing really well.

#91 – New Orleans Saints – Billy Turner – OT – North Dakota State

The offensive line continues to undergo changes for the Saints.  They have to add more bodies to the mix.  Billy Turner is a major sleeper out of NDSU with the size and athleticism to not only fill in but start at left tackle.

#92 – Carolina Panthers – Rashaad Reynolds – CB – Oregon State

Captain Munnerlyn was a big loss for the Panthers and they can’t afford to wait long on investing at the position.  Rashaad Reynold gets dismissed because he’s not very tall at 5’10″.  That makes it even more puzzling how he made so many plays and shut down receivers for OregonState.

#93 – New England Patriots – Brandon Coleman – WR – Rutgers

The average height of the Patriots receiving corps is hovering around 6’0″.  They really could use more size at the position.  Rutgers standout Brandon Coleman would obliger at 6’6″ and give Tom Brady another huge red zone target.

#94 – San Diego Chargers (f/SF) – Brandon Thomas – OG – Clemson

Considering Brandon Thomas played left tackle in school but has the size and strength to become a fixture at guard means he offers the Chargers loads of versatility.  That is something they need more of up front.

#95 – Denver Broncos – Jordan Zumwalt – LB – UCLA

Every defense needs a player like a Jordan Zumwalt on it.  Not only is he versatile and delivers good hits but he’s also fiery and brings an edge every time he steps on the field.  Denver needs more of that in their defense.

#96 – Minnesota Vikings (from SEA) – Russell Bodine – OG/C – North Carolina

Guard and center are soft spots for the Vikings that could use some attention.  So why not solve both problems with one player.  Russell Bodine has played each position out of North Carolina and is very gritty and nasty, which belies how effective he can be.

#97 – Pittsburgh Steelers (comp) – DeAndre Coleman – DT – Cal

Nose tackle has been a problem for Pittsburgh ever since Casey Hampton left.  Stopping the run is priority one for this defense, which makes that position so crucial.  DeAndre Coleman doesn’t do everything great, but he is a real headache to run against.

#98 – Green Bay Packers (comp) – Will Sutton – DT – Arizona State

Everybody gets on Will Sutton about his weight but the Green Bay Packers have good reason to let him keep it on.  Sutton is a big pass rusher who primarily plays defensive tackle but has the speed and quickness to kick outside to end in the Packers 3-4 scheme.

#99 – Baltimore Ravens (comp) – Weston Richburg – C – Colorado State

Protecting Joe Flacco remains an ongoing job for Ozzie Newsome and getting more out of the center position is at the top of the list.  Weston Richburg is not an overpowering type but he’s very smart, technically advanced and shows the mobility to pull.

#100 – San Francisco 49ers (comp) – Phillip Gaines – CB – Rice

Trent Baalke doubles down on the corner market by adding high upside talent Phillip Gaines from Rice.  He’s wily in coverage and a tremendous athlete but also very raw and in need of work.  A perfect stash-away pick.

Tags: 2014 Nfl Mock Draft Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants New York Jets Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans Washington Redskins

  • Kyle Showell London

    noooo i hate aj mccaron omg i would cry if that happend he’s just a game manager no better then glennon

    • Erik Lambert

      You don’t win two national titles being just a game manager, Kyle. Not even with Alabama.

  • Scott.

    I will be Estatic if the draft goes that way for the cowboys… Love the picks but Jerry is involved.

    • Erik Lambert

      A fan can dream though…

  • jojo2

    Two nice picks for the Vikes!

    • Erik Lambert

      Versatile picks for sure.

  • Craig Barker

    I think the browns draft has been very solid this far. Only wish we could make it happen. However I dont know anything about EJ Gaines

    • Erik Lambert

      Don’t take my word for it. Read the scouting reports. Kid can ball.

  • bk

    I like Pitt trading down, but, all 4 picks on Defense including 2 nose tackles?

    • Erik Lambert

      I understand but these are four quality picks. Having McCullers at nose and putting Coleman at DE would make running on them nearly impossible. This infusion will allows them to use Day 3 to sprinkle some depth onto the offensive side.

      • bk

        They need playmakers on O, not depth. They have 1 quality starter, a second year guy who never played and was injured, and 2FA’s no one else wanted as WR’s..I like Heath, but, he’s getting up there and that’s it for a receiveing corps… I thnk you can find a serviceable TE in rd 4, but, I don’t see much for impact wr’s left.. a bunch of possession guys…Maybe DeAnthony Thomas, but, I doubt he lasts to the end of rd 4.

        • Erik Lambert

          There’s plenty of offensive talent still on the board and it should stay that way. Running back is still rich and there are some serious diamonds available at both receiver and tight end.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Too bad there’s plenty of defensive talent on the board and the scenario you laid out above is ridiculous. This team doesn’t have a red zone threat at the WR position, no post-Heath Miller exit strategy. Did you do any research whatsoever?

            I wouldn’t call 6’7” “ideal” height for a zero technique, especially one as raw as McCullers. He would likely need at least two years working with Mitchell, along with Coleman, to see the field. Plus, McLendon is still the team’s starting nose tackle.

            Better off looking at guys like Zach Kerr, Caraun Reid, Taylor Hart, Josh Mauro, Brent Urban, etc. if they want DL guys to groom and fight for spots with Brian Arnfelt & Nick Williams.

          • bk

            I just don’t see it, RB is not a need,,, Wr and Te are. I see a couple nice possesion types left, but thats it.

          • Erik Lambert

            Not true. Devin Street is still on the board. He’s a big, fast guy who’s extremely underrated. Cody Latimer and Cody Hoffman are both like that as well, boasting great speed and size with decent hands. If you’re willing to be a little patient there’s also L’Damian Washington who is 6’4″ and can take the top off a defense with ease but is raw. There’s plenty of explosive potential left to mine.

  • BlueBoltFan

    I think Rashaad Reynolds fits what the Chargers do better than Roberson, but I’d seriously consider trading up from the #89 pick to get Trent Murphy, since you already have us drafting Jason Verrett in round 1. Murphy’s skill set reminds me of Jared Allen and that’s never bad.

    And with the recent ACL injury to Brandon Thomas I’d switch the #94 pick to Russel Bodine. Nick Hardwick’s contract is up at the end of 2015 and he’s already talking retirement. (Maybe we could come back and pick up Brandon Thomas in the 5th round, I wouldn’t mind.)

    • Erik Lambert

      Keep in mind I published this before the Thomas news hit. Verrett is going to be an outstanding corner but his best spots will be in the nickel position. Reynolds is good too but like Verrett he’s only 5’10″. When you run a 3-4 scheme you need to have guys with good height and length on the outside who can play man coverage. Roberson fills all those requirements.

      • David Mallow

        Roberson as well as Purifoy struggled mightily at their pro day

        • Erik Lambert

          Which is why you take them late in the 3rd or early in the 4th. That’s when you favor talent over polish. Roberson has upside. He just needs time to bulk up and get some proper coaching.

  • Kirk Devries

    Thanks for making this juicy for Bear fans. Emery will get a key to the city if he lands Mosley, Truitt and three third round picks.

    • Erik Lambert

      We’ll see what happens.

  • Beer O’Clock

    Logan Thomas ahead of Zack Mettenberger????—absolutely ridiculous.

    • Erik Lambert

      Why? Thomas is just as big and has almost as strong an arm. He’s taller and a way better athlete. His big problem is accurate passing. Mettenberger is a little more polished but he doesn’t have near the upside Thomas does.

      • Beer O’Clock

        Erik, I want to preface my reply with the fact that I agree with you a very high percentage of the time. That said:

        If being a much better athlete and not giving accuracy the utmost weight in selecting QB prospects was a good metric, then Tim Tebow would be in the NFL Hall-of-Fame. In fact, Thomas’ skill set is very similar to Tebow in many ways, without the Tebow hype and that special thing (whatever you want to call it) that makes Tebow a perennial winner.

        It’s not just that Mettenberger has a stronger arm and much better accuracy, he can make all the NFL throws–and do it well. Logan Thomas has a strong arm, but needs a lot of work on long and medium throws outside of the hash marks. His accuracy even on fundamental throws is often fair at best. His numbers show it (56.5% comp, 16TDs, 13 Int). Against top defenses like Alabama and UCLA, Thomas was a disaster (5-26, 59yds, 0TDs, 1 Int vs Alabama—–3-11, 46yds 0TDs, 1 Int vs UCLA). By comparison, Mettenberger was 16-23, 241yds, 1TD, 0Int vs Alabama.

        Mettenberger is the best X’s and 0′s QB in this year’s draft, and some scouts say by a large margin. Every NFL player, coach or writer that has sat down and interviewed him on football has walked away very impressed.

        Mettenberger has deficits, no doubt. His mobility before his injury was average at best, who knows how mobile he’ll be after rehab. He’s not as consistent as some scouts would like to see. Still, he’ll go in the mid-to-late second round–top of the 3rd at the latest and that’s mainly because it’s a very deep draft at QB this year.

        Thomas is a project that will get drafted in the 5th or 6th. He will need at least two years behind a solid QB with a good QB coach–even at that, he’s a roll of the dice. Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers would be a perfect landing spot for him. He’s a nice combination of tall, big (very big, in fact) and athleticism. Some, including ex-teammates, say he’s better suited to be a TE (where have we heard that before, oh yeah, Tebow).

        Hope this helps. Love your columns though. Just don’t agree on this one.

        • Erik Lambert

          That’s fine, BOC. We’re not going to agree on everything. I just feel Thomas is better than his 2013 tape suggests and I have the utmost confidence it Bruce Arians’ ability to develop.

  • David

    If you just replaced Pryor or Dix for Dallas in the 1st round it would be my dream draft I have been preaching..

    • Erik Lambert

      Dix won’t be there but Pryor might be if somebody doesn’t trade up to get him.

  • Old Frog

    Old Frog finally gets his guard. Better late than never…

  • Letterman007

    Not a big fan of the 83rd pick, They don’t need an undersized corner, quite the opposite, they need someone who can cover the larger receivers!! They already have a smallish corner in Skrine!! I like Roberson from Florida better!!

    • Erik Lambert

      Gaines is stronger and tougher in coverage. Even though he gives up a couple inches he has the athleticism to stick to receivers downfield and is also a benefit against the run.

      • Letterman007

        Whatever, I still like a corner with some size because of the bigger receivers in the league now! You could see the taller ones getting over Skrine and making catches with their size advantage!! What makes you think this guy will be any different with his lack of size?

        • Erik Lambert

          Because he’s tougher, more physical and can jump. On top of that, this isn’t the pure 3-4 defense run a year ago. Mike Pettine sprinkles elements of the 4-3 into his scheme which requires a kid who can play man AND zone. Gaines can do both.

  • [email protected]

    Erik, just to be sure I’m clear – you have the Steelers taking TWO nose tackles, one each in rd2 and rd3?

    I applaud you for understanding that the NT is critical for our 3-4D, but we wouldn’t do this given all the rest of our needs.

    • Erik Lambert

      Coleman has the quickness and size to shift outside to defensive end. The key to the pick is getting him and McCullers on the field at the same time. Who’s running against that? Nobody.

      • [email protected]

        Oh, OK, you mean take Coleman (who is shown as a DT), and move him to five tech DE. OK, that works – this move wasn’t clear to me when I read your article.
        BTW, I had to click on your profile picture because it looks almost identical to one my son and I took at a Steelers game last year!!!

        • Erik Lambert

          That’s wild. That’s me and my father at a Bears game in 2010 when they faced the Eagles at Soldier Field. What a blast. Terrific game. Two great teams. Cold as a bitch. Football at its finest. Yes, I believe Coleman teaming with McCullers would shut down every running attack they face, allowing LeBeau to unleash his blitz packages at will.

  • TommyT

    IMO, Cards take Mettenberger over Logan Thomas and if Trent Murphy is available in the 2nd, they take him there.

  • Chad

    Good lookin out Erik ;) ! On a side note, pretty crazy how far Trent Murphy has fallen the last month or so. Seems like it was yesterday that he was considered a solid Day 1 selection.

  • Dewight Mitchell

    you having Detroit Lions taking Travis Carrie over Keith McGill