NFL Mock Draft 2014: Kevin Nogle's mock 1.0

Kevin C. Cox

The Super Bowl is almost upon us, but that doesn't mean there isn't enough time to slide in one more mock draft before the last two teams standing join the rest of the league in the offseason. So, I bring you my first mock draft of the year.

That's right. It's time for me to get in on the fun of the 2014 NFL Mock Draft. This is by far the earliest I have ever laid out my projection for the draft, with my first one of 2013 not happening until March. But, I did all this work to give Keith Beebe the fancy new layout for the Phinsider mock drafts, and I wanted to use it myself.

WIthout further ado, let's get mocking!

1_-_houston_texans_2014_draft_pick
Houston Texans
Battle Red Blog
Blake Bortles QB 6'4" 230 UCF
I went back and forth on this pick, but finally settled on Blake Bortles rather than Teddy Bridgewater for one reason - size. Bortles is bigger than Bridgewater, and I think Bill O'Brien will value that. Bortles is nearly identical in size to Tom Brady, and O'Brien seems to have done pretty well in developing Brady when he was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots. He's the same size as Penn State's Christian Hackenberg this past season, with O'Brien as the head coach. As long as Bortles performs like he should at the Scouting Combine, this pick makes a lot of sense.

2_-_st_louis_rams_2014_draft_pick
St. Louis Rams
Turf Show Times
Mike Evans WR 6'5" 225 Texas A&M
Remember last year, when the Miami Dolphins came into the NFL Draft as the wildcard, poised with a lot of draft picks and appearing ready to trade up to get the player they wanted? They threw that curveball early, trading up to the third overall pick to select defensive end Dion Jordan. Why do I mention that here? Because the Rams enter this year's draft as the favorite to throw that curveball. Sitting in the second overall pick position thanks to the Robert Griffin III trade, St. Louis is sitting in the power position, and they could do just about anything, including trading out of the position and picking up more selections along the way. But, since I am not mocking trades, I have them being aggressive and going to get a big bodied wide receiver to put on the outside with last year's pick Tavon Austin in the slot.

3_-_jacksonville_jaguars_2014_draft_pick
Jacksonville Jaguars
Big Cat Country
Jadeveon Clowney DE 6'6" 272 South Carolina
The Jaguars need a quarterback to get out of the Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert mess that has been the last couple of years. But, with Bortles off the board, and Clowney still available, they take a risk that they will be able to get a good quarterback at the start of the second round and take the top defender - and possibly the player - in this year's draft.

4_-_cleveland_browns_2014_draft_pick
Cleveland Browns
Dawgs by Nature
Johnny Manziel QB 6'0" 200 Texas A&M
This may be the most consensus fourth overall pick ever. The Browns and Manziel seem to be a perfect fit, and, even with Bridgewater on the board, the pick makes sense. Josh Gordon and Johnny Football could be a great combination to finally get the Browns starting to move in the right direction

5_-_oaland_raiders_2014_draft_pick
Oakland Raiders
Silver and Black Pride
Jake Matthews OT 6'5" 305 Texas A&M
The Raiders will absolutely be tempted to take Bridgewater at this point, but the team also needs to protect whomever is under center, and Matthews is too good of a prospect to skip at this point. The third Aggies player to come off the board in the first five picks, Matthews will slide in as the starting left tackle for the Raiders and the team could look to give another year of development to either Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin or look to answer the quarterback problem next year.

6_-_atlanta_falcons_2014_draft_pick
Atlanta Falcons
The Falcoholic
Anthony Barr OLB 6'4" 245 UCLA
The Falcons have two issues to address in this draft, pass rush and pass protection. With the draft board the way I have it projected, that comes down to a decision between Barr and tackle Greg Robinson. Barr is a versatile, fast pass rusher and would be a dream for Mike Nolan's attacking defense. That gives him the nod over Robinson.

7_-_tampa_bay_buccaneers_2014_draft_pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs Nation
Greg Robinson OT 6'5" 320 Auburn
Whichever of the Barr/Robinson debate the Falcons end up selecting, the Buccaneers take the other, and will be very happy. In this case, they pick up a blind side protector for Mike Glennon and fill a need. While Lovie Smith may like to address the defense more than the offense with his first pick in Tampa Bay, but picking up a prospect like Robinson is too good to pass up.

8_-_minnesota_vikings_2014_draft_pick
Minnesota Vikings
Daily Norseman
Teddy Bridgewater QB 6'2" 220 Louisville
If Bridgewater is still on the board at this point, at least we won't have to worry about the Vikings not getting their card in on time. In fact, they may have the card turned in before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can announce the Buccaneers' pick of Greg Robinson. Bridgewater should be able to come in and start in Week 1, and would give new head coach Mike Zimmer the quarterback around which to build his team.

9_-_buffalo_bills_2014_draft_pick
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Rumblings
Khalil Mack OLB 6'2 245 Buffalo
The Bills will be looking to either find a linebacker or a tight end at this position, and they have their choice of both positions. Mack gets the nod here because he could be that dominant of a prospect, and the Bills are building a team based around their defense. Mack lined up next to Kiko Alonso should fix the problems against the run in Buffalo.

10_-_detroit_lions_2014_draft_pick
Detroit Lions
Pride of Detroit
Sammy Watkins WR 6'0" 205 Clemson
The fact that Watkins fell this far makes this a simple choice. While Detroit needs secondary help, adding another offensive weapon to balance the offense opposite Calvin Johnson should be a consideration, and Watkins provides exactly that.

11_-_tennessee_titans_2014_draft_pick
Tennessee Titans
Music City Miracles
Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix S 6'1" 208 Alabama
The Titans should be looking for a quarterback, but they have other needs and can wait, giving Jake Locker another year. Tennessee needs to look pass rusher or safety early in the draft, and with Clinton-Dix sitting on the board, they fill the need. Ha Ha has the speed and coverage skills to be all over the field, but has the toughness and tackling ability to be in the box against the run. Clinton-Dix is a pretty good consolation prize for missing out on the top 10 picks.

12_-_new_york_giants_2014_draft_pick
New York Giants
Big Blue View
Zack Martin OL 6'4" 305 Notre Dame
The Giants have to protect Eli Manning if they want to have anything better than their 2013 season. Adding Martin, who showed his versatility at the Senior Bowl, could give the Giants either a tackle or guard option, depending on how they decide to use Martin. Either option will help keep Manning upright.

13_-_st_louis_rams_2014_draft_pick
St. Louis Rams
Turf Show Times
Taylor Lewan OT 6'7" 315 Michigan
After selecting a wide receiver with their extra first round pick, the Rams come back with this pick and add an offensive tackle to protect Sam Bradford. Maybe it's a little ironic that Jake Long and Lewan end up on the same team, given they have both been #77 left tackles for Michigan, but the Rams have to consider selecting a tackle with the injury history to Long.

14_-_chicago_bears_2014_draft_pick
Chicago Bears
Windy City Gridiron
Louis Nix DT 6'2" 345 Notre Dame
Chicago was ransacked by injuries to the defensive line last year, and need to fix the break downs. At this point, just about any defensive lineman could be the right pick for the Bears, but the idea of taking a prospect like Nix, who can slide anywhere on the interior defensive line, from nose tackle on out, and who can be dominating at any of those positions, have Chicago taking a chance on a player who had knee surgery in November.

15_-_pittsburgh_steelers_2014_draft_pick
Pittsburgh Steelers
Behind the Steel Curtain
Cyrus Kouandjio OT 6'5" 310 Alabama
The Steelers should be looking offensive line early and often this year, desperately needing to protect Ben Roethlisberger. With that, Pittsburgh will simply look to take the best offensive lineman on the board, and that's Kouandjio.

16_-_baltimore_ravens_2014_draft_pick
Baltimore and Dallas will have their order finalized with a coin toss at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Beatdown
Kelvin Benjamin WR 6'5" 235 FSU
The Ravens have to find an answer for the hole left by Anquan Boldin. They have two options, either Benjamin or Marqise Lee. Benjamin has the advantage of being a bigger bodied wide receiver, which would fit perfectly with the Ravens needs.

17_-_dallas_cowboys_2014_draft_pick
Baltimore and Dallas will have their order finalized with a coin toss at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Dallas Cowboys
Blogging the Boys
Calvin Pryor S 6'2" 208 Louisville
Anything on the defensive side of the ball is an option for the Cowboys this year, especially along the defensive line or safety. There are a lot of options available for Dallas, and they could look to defensive end or tackle, but the chance to get a physical safety who plays with instinct could impress Jerry Jones and swing the pick that way.

18_-_new_york_jets_2014_draft_pick
New York Jets
Gang Green Nation
Marqise Lee WR 6'0" 195 USC
The Jets overperformed last year, and Rex Ryan earned a contract extension because of it. Now, Ryan and GM John Idzik have to reload a New York roster full of holes. The team does appear to have their new quarterback in Geno Smith, so the first move is to get him a wide receiver, and Lee accomplishes that. A great route runner and with the speed to stretch a defense, Lee could give Smith an option he didn't have last year.

19_-_miami_dolphins_2014_draft_pick
Miami Dolphins
The Phinsider
Eric Ebron TE 6'4" 245 UNC
Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line. Everyone knows, the Dolphins need offensive line help. So, why not take a tight end in the first round? Ebron is a dynamic pass catcher, and could be the perfect compliment to Charles Clay, giving the Dolphins the Dustin Keller/Charles Clay combination they wanted last year. Miami has to be considering an offensive lineman here, but Ebron sitting on the board is too tempting to pass up and the Dolphins pull the trigger.

20_-_arizona_cardinals_2014_draft_pick
Arizona Cardinals
Revenge of the Birds
Jace Amaro TE 6'5" 260 Texas Tech
The Cardinals took a giant step forward under Bruce Arians last year, and will look to continue that climb into NFC West contention. Carson Palmer showed he has enough left in the tank to last another year, so Arizona can wait until later in the Draft to find his replacement, so instead, they look to add another offensive weapon for Palmer - and someone to take some of the pressure off Larry Fitzgerald.

21_-_green_bay_packers_2014_draft_pick
Green Bay Packers
Acme Packing Company
RaShede Hageman DT 6'6" 318 Minnesota
Green Bay had to be hoping Ebron or Amaro would slip to them, but Hageman will simply destroy pockets at the NFL level, where teams will not be able to concentrate their offensive line protection solely on him, like what happened at Minnesota. Even with that, Hageman continued to improve throughout his college career, and that should continue into the professional levels. Hageman could be in position to be one of the players who helps himself the most at the Scouting Combine, so he may not be available for Green Bay if he dominates, but for now, a great fit.

22_-_philadelphia_eagles_2014_draft_pick
Philadelphia Eagles
Bleeding Green Nation
Darqueze Dennard CB 5'11" 190 Michigan State

The Eagles' offense is set, but their defense needs attention. They start that with a great cornerback prospect, who should have been off the board before now. Dennard is fast and isn't afraid to get physical, meaning he could be the Eagles answer to NFC receivers like Dez Bryant and Calvin Johnson.

23_-_kansas_city_chiefs_2014_draft_pick
Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Pride
Timmy Jernigan DT 6'2" 298 FSU
The Chiefs already have a ton of talent on their roster, so they could almost throw a dart at their draft board and take whomever it hits. The fact that Jernigan is still on the board at 23 simply does not make sense, and the Chiefs won't let him slip by. Sliding Jernigan to defensive end and lining him up next to Dontari Poe, opposite Tyson Jackson, and in front of Tamba Hali could just give the Chiefs the nasty offensive front seven to challenge Peyton Manning in the AFC West.

24_-_cincinnati_bengals_2014_draft_pick
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincy Jungle
Justin Gilbert CB 6'0" 200 Oklahoma State
The Bengals enter the Draft with secondary needs, both at the cornerback and safety position. They take the best available player at either position, which in this case is Justin Gilbert, a press corner who can run with most receivers. The Bengals could be looking defensive end at this spot, with Kony Ealy and Dee Ford both on the board, if Michael Johnson does not return.

25_-_san_diego_chargers_2014_draft_pick
San Diego Chargers
Bolts from the Blue
Jason Verrett CB 5'10" 176 TCU
The Chargers have two options with their first round pick: cornerback or guard. They go for the defender in this case, waiting to pick up the offensive lineman in the second. Verrett is small and may not be the best press cornerback because of that, but he could fit well in San Diego and he has good instincts to attack the ball.

26_-_cleveland_browns_2014_draft_pick
Cleveland Browns
Dawgs by Nature
Odell Beckham, Jr. WR 5'11" 193 LSU
The Browns have an extra pick thanks to hosing the Indianapolis Colts with the Trent Richardson trade. They've addressed the quarterback position with the Johnny Manziel pick earlier, so now they can do just about anything. They need to add some protection for Johnny Football, but enough linemen have fallen at this point that they can just wait until early in the second round to target someone. With that in mind, they take a flyer on Beckham, giving them another speedster receiver who can open up the field and let Manziel do what he does best.

27_-_new_orleans_saints_2014_draft_pick
New Orleans Saints
Canal Street Chronicles
Kony Ealy DE 6'4" 275 Missouri
The high school linebacker turned into a defensive end in college, and demonstrated that he was a great pass rusher, and solid against the run. Now, heading to the pros, Rob Ryan will look to turn him back into a 3-4 outside linebacker, and develop the potential he has already shown. Ealy should be ecstatic with heading to New Orleans.

28_-_carolina_panthers_2014_draft_pick__final_
Carolina Panthers
Cat Scratch Reader
Marcus Roberson CB 5'11" 195 Florida
The Panthers should be looking for a wide receiver early in the draft, but with all the top tier targets off the table, the team will instead look to shore up a secondary that Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers abused in the playoffs. Adding Roberson is the first step toward fixing that issue.

29_-_new_england_patriots_2014_draft_pick__final_
New England Patriots
Pats Pulpit
C.J. Mosley LB 6'2" 232 Alabama
The Patriots need to protect Tom Brady and provide him weapons. However, Bill Belichick is staring at his draft board at this point, trying to figure out if he is reading it correctly that C.J. Mosley is still sitting on the board. Linebacker may not be the biggest need for New England this year, but the Patriots won't miss making this pick.

30_-_san_francisco_49ers_2014_draft_pick__final_
San Francisco 49ers
Niners Nation
Aaron Donald DT 6'1" 288 Pittsburgh
Donald is small for a defensive tackle, but he could be a dynamic 3-4 defensive end. With a great Senior Bowl week behind him, Donald is rapidly moving up draft boards, and could be a steal for the 49ers, especially if he is given time to develop behind Justin Smith.

31_-_denver_broncos_2014_draft_pick
Denver Broncos
Mile High Report
Morgan Moses OT 6'3" 325 Virginia
Denver will likely be looking to add protection for Peyton Manning this year, trying to keep their record setting quarterback upright - and in the league - for as long as possible. With Moses still on the board, the selection is easy. He may not be the best run blocker as of yet, but he is a natural pass protector and will immediately be able to increase the safety bubble around Peyton.

32_-_seattle_seahawks_2014_draft_pick
Seattle Seahawks
Field Gulls
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE 6'6" 270 Washington
The Seahawks should be using the Draft simply as a way to improve their offense, after having the top ranked defense in 2013. They could address just about every position other than quarterback or running back, adding depth at a minimum. In this case, they are adding a big bodied tight end who should come in and contribute from day one, if not establish himself as the starter. ASJ could move up draft boards after the Scouting Combine, so nabbing him with one of the last two picks in May's first round would be a steal.

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