It's the time of the year when January NFL Mock Drafts suddenly seem pretty silly. That's right, the NFL Scouting Combine is here, and players that were high prospects last week are suddenly falling down boards while late round guys are skyrocketing up those same boards. Mocking the Draft's Dan Kadar took the early returns from the Combine, and updated his 2014 NFL Mock draft this morning.
In the top overall position, Kadar still sees the Houston Texans selecting UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. The Texans need a quarterback, and, while a player like South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney could have an impact with the team, the need for a starting quarterback is too great, with the team choosing between Bortles, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.
The second pick of the Draft sees the St. Louis Rams utilizing the extra pick they received fromn the Washington Redskins for Robert Griffin III to bring in the top offensive tackle prospect, Auburn's Greg Robinson. After all the talk about Jake Matthews leading the position this year, Robinson's sub-five second performance in the 40-yard dash at the Combine should elevate him into this spot.
Jumping back to Clowney, he does not sit in the green room very long, as the Jacksonville Jaguars eschew the consensus need for a quarterback and land the South Carolina pass rusher. Perhaps the team does fall in love with one of the quarterbacks in this class, but, if they do not, "settling" Clowney is an excellent consolation prize.
The fourth and fifth picks of the Draft belong to the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders, respectively. Both franchises need a quarterback, and two of the top three are still on the board at this point. It really is just a matter of which player is selected first. As would be expected, the Browns grab Manziel, which leaves Bridgewater for Oakland.For the Miami Dolphins, with the 19th pick, Kadar admits the pick may not be right any more. He projects the Dolphins to bring in offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio. However, he updates the selection, writing:
Admission: This mock draft was put together before the combine started so our video production team could get to work on graphics and whatnot. Kouandjio may not be a first rounder because of the medical condition that popped up in Indianapolis. Still, it only takes one team, and his tape is sound. Miami's need at offensive tackle is obvious.
Kouandjio looked extrememly stiff at the Combine, struggling in some of the drills. A report from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport yesterday indicated that several teams failed Kouandjio on his physical due to arthritis in his knee from a failed surgery. That would likely mean Kouandjio is no longer a first round prospect, and should keep the Dolphins from selecting him with the 19th pick.
I asked Kadar what his pick would have been, if the Kouandjio news had come out prior to his submitting the mock draft. He answered that he likely would have selected Antonio Richardson, the tackle from Tennessee, in that spot. He explained, "I'm pretty high on Richardson. He's more athletic on the field than his combine numbers are suggesting. If it wasn't an offensive tackle for Miami, I probably would have gone a defensive tackle like Aaron Donald. That's probably what I'll be weighing on the next mock."
What are your thoughts on Kadar's latest mock draft? Let us know in the comments below.