From now until the day of the draft, each member of our staff will be releasing their very own mock draft. Each mock will be split up into five different sections, so that you get a part of it each week. Here’s how it will work:
Part 1: Picks 1-7
Part 2: Picks 8-14
Part 3: Picks 15-21
Part 4: Eagles’ Pick (No. 22 overall)
Part 5: Picks 23-32
Here are the first seven picks of my mock draft for 2014.
1. Houston Texans
Pick: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Why: Can you imagine J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney playing together? Yikes! Houston needs a QB, but can get one in the next round. Clowney is a virtual no-brainer pick with the unparalleled playmaking ability he has.
2. St. Louis Rams
Pick: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Why: In order to catch up to the rest of the NFC West, the Rams need to shore up their offensive line to keep QB Sam Bradford protected, and create lanes for RB Zac Stacey. Robinson’s dynamic athleticism is the perfect solution.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Why: The issue with projecting Kahlil Mack to the Jags is that they run a 4-3 defense, and Mack doesn’t fit that scheme. Having QB Chad Henne allows them to grab a QB later, while giving Henne’s heir a very dynamic receiver.
4. Cleveland Browns
Pick: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Why: The Browns are a playmaking QB away from being a contender in the AFC North. If the Browns add a WR at No. 26, they’ll be dangerous. There’s still one thing standing in Manziel’s way, though: Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
5. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Why: The Raiders can stick Matthews in the left tackle spot that was vacated by Jared Veldheer during free agency. Matthews can be penciled in as an immediate starter, and has the potential to play in the NFL for a long time.
6. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Kahlil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Why: The Falcons have lacked an elite pass rusher for some time now, and Mack would be the perfect scheme fit as they transition to a 3-4. He slips a bit in the draft, but he falls to a spot where a team that really needs him can take him.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Why: QB Josh McCown played at a high level in Chicago with two big receivers, so the Bucs will try to duplicate that blueprint. In adding Evans, opposing coordinators will have their hands full trying to game plan against the Bucs.