SB Nation's Mocking the Draft published an updated projection from Matthew Fairburn today, and did something a little differently than some of the other mocks being posted lately. First, it's a two round mock this time, looking at the first 64 selections. Fairburn also projected trades in his mock.
And, maybe the most surprising was a change at the top of the board, with the Houston Texans selecting quarterback Blake Bortles from UCF. Bortles is a big bodied, drop-back passer, similar to the mold Bill O'Brien, the new head coach for Houston, likes, and the ties he has to UCF head coach George O'Leary could help. Add in a BCS win for the first time in school history, and Bortles is rocketing himself up draft boards. Could it be enough to jump into the top spot?
The first trade in Fairburn's eyes comes at the second overall pick, a position a lot of people could see the St. Louis Rams shopping this year. In this case, it's the Atlanta Falcons who jump into the position, selecting Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina's defensive end. In order to make the move from sixth to second, the Falcons package their second round pick in the shipment to the Rams.
Teddy Bridgewater, considered by most as the top pick this year and projected to go to Houston, obviously falls if Bortles is in that spot. However, he doesn't fall far as the Jacksonville Jaguars snap up the Louisville quarterback and move on from the Chad Henne/Blaine Gabbert era.
The fourth overall pick has the third quarterback coming off the board with the Cleveland Browns selecting Texas A&M's signal caller Johnny Manziel. Right behind them, the Oakland Raiders selecte Manziel's Aggies teammate, tackle Jake Matthews.
The sixth pick marks the other side of the Rams-Falcons trade, with St. Louis taking wide receiver Sammy Watkins. A lot of people could see the Rams selecting the Clemons product with the second pick, so moving back four spots, adding an extra pick, and still getting Watkins could be an exceptional move for the Rams.
The Dolphins' first round pick, the 19th overall selection, falls in line with exactly how everyone sees Miami addressing their needs this year. With the most commonly mocked pick, Fairburn has the Dolphins selecting Alabama offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. Of the pick, Fairburn writes:
The Dolphins just hired a new general manager, so it's tough to gauge what type of drafter he could be. However, it's plainly obvious that the Dolphins need to find an offensive tackle to help protect Ryan Tannehill. Cyrus Kouandjio was exposed a bit in the Sugar Bowl, but he's still growing as a player. Miami should be willing to take a chance on him at pick No. 19.
With their second round pick in Fairburn's prediction, the Dolphins continue to address the offensive line, selecting Baylor guard Cyril Richardson. Fairburn explains:
Cyril Richardson is another guard who struggled at the Senior Bowl, but he moves fairly well for his size. He just needs to learn to play with more balance and he could become a quality starter in the NFL. The Dolphins need multiple upgrades on their offensive line.
In an era when many fans are hoping the change in General Managers, from Jeff Ireland to Dennis Hickey, the team will drastically change their drafting style, looking to go after more dynamic players than offensive linemen, back-to-back linemen picks to start the 2014 NFL Draft may be hard to swallow. However, it does address the most pressing needs for the Dolphins this year. Of course, free agency could change everything, especially if the Dolphins go after players like re-signing Bryant McKinnie or signing Brandon Albert or Michael Oher this year.
How would you react to two offensive linemen with the Dolphins' first two picks?
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