NFL Mock Draft 2014: Phinsider Mock 2.0

Kevin Jairaj

As the sun continues to set on the 2013 NFL season, we're getting closer and closer to the official start of draft season. And it should be a good one, thanks to the numerous quarterback, offensive and defensive tackle, tight end and cornerback talent available in this year's NFL Draft. Here's The Phinsider's take on how things will shake out during opening night of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8.

Welcome to the second installment of The Phinsider's 2014 NFL Mock Draft. If you're reading this, it's likely for one of three reasons:

1) You value my thoughts and projections when it comes to the NFL Draft

2) You're curious to see who I've mocked to your favorite NFL team

3) You hate my analysis, yet you're bored at work and need something to do for the next 10 minutes or so

If you're in either of the first two groups mentioned, hopefully you'll be pleased with NFL Mock Draft 2.0. Personally, I think this is my finest mock to date.

And if you subscribe to group No. 3, welcome aboard!

As always, a couple of things to note before we dive into 2014 NFL Mock Draft part deux:

1) Yes, it's still early for this stuff. However, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper will issue his debut 2014 NFL Mock Draft on Wednesday. So, in other words, misery loves company. Nevertheless, any complaints about the timeliness of this mock draft will result in Alpha being dispatched to your home.

2) I will answer draft/general Dolphins questions on Twitter beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST. And no, I will not tell you to check my timeline.

All right, let's get to it. Happy reading!

1_-_houston_texans_2014_draft_pick
Houston Texans
Battle Red Blog
Teddy Bridgewater QB 6'2" 220 Louisville
Bill O'Brien's first order of business as Texans head coach will be to find the team a franchise quarterback, and Bridgewater certainly looks the part of one. The Louisville product boasts a nice combination of accuracy, arm strength, vision and awareness, and he's isn't too shabby in the mobility department, either. Bridgewater doesn't possess the highest upside in this year's quarterback class, but he has the mental makeup and stability to start as a rookie, and that's exactly what the Texans need.

2_-_st_louis_rams_2014_draft_pick
St. Louis Rams
Turf Show Times
Jake Matthews OT 6'5" 310 Texas A&M
The thought of selecting an offensive tackle at No. 2 overall will give many Rams fans pause, as we're just five years removed from the team's disastrous Jason Smith selection. Still, the Rams haven't had a dominant blindside protector since Orlando Pace, and because the team's current Jake Long experiment is destined to be brief, it's up to Rams brass to find a left tackle who can anchor St. Louis' ever-so-iffy offensive line. Matthews can do that, thanks to his high-level technique, lower-base strength and advanced capability as a run blocker. You won't find a 2014 OT prospect who plays with better balance than Matthews, and he really came on as a pass protector for the Aggies last season.

3_-_jacksonville_jaguars_2014_draft_pick
Jacksonville Jaguars
Big Cat Country
Blake Bortles QB 6'4" 230 Central Florida
The Jaguars need a big change on offense, and they'll likely have their pick of Bortles or Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Bortles wins out because of his size, arm strength and mobility, but his lack of polish and inconsistent accuracy must also be taken into account by a team that absolutely needs to get it right at the quarterback position. Nevertheless, Bortles is built in the Ben Roethlisberger mode, and could actually increase his draft stock during pre-draft evaluations.

4_-_cleveland_browns_2014_draft_pick
Cleveland Browns
Dawgs by Nature
Johnny Manziel QB 6'0" 200 Texas A&M
The wild card in this year's quarterback class is undoubtedly Manziel. And while he'll lose points for height and character issues, his charisma, mobility and rare playmaking ability almost guarantee that he won't get out of the top 10 on draft night. It's been years (decades, really) since the Browns had a quarterback with Manziel's potential, and he'd have the services of knockout No. 1 receiver Josh Gordon right off the bat. Not a bad way to start your pro career.

5_-_oaland_raiders_2014_draft_pick
Oakland Raiders
Silver and Black Pride
Jadeveon Clowney DE 6'5" 260 South Carolina
It's ridiculous to think of Clowney as a consolation prize for the quarterback-starved Raiders, but with no top-shelf signal-callers available, Oakland would be wise to use this selection to add South Carolina's world-class pass-rusher to its ranks. Fast, powerful and practically glowing with upside, Clowney is an impact defender regardless of scheme, and should make a splash the moment he takes the field. When was the last time one could say that about a Raiders defensive player?

6_-_atlanta_falcons_2014_draft_pick
Atlanta Falcons
The Falcoholic
Greg Robinson OT 6'5" 320 Auburn
The Falcons have considerable holes at left tackle and pass-rusher. And while a prospect like Anthony Barr would fit perfectly in Mike Nolan's defensive scheme, a left tackle of Robinson's caliber would shore up Matt Ryan's blindside in a hurry, allowing him to get Atlanta's once-potent offense back on track. That's an easy decision when you consider the beating Ryan took in 2013. And Robinson's remarkable ascent this season--from little-known redshirt sophomore to the No. 2 offensive tackle prospect in this year's draft--shouldn't be discounted. He's the real deal, boasting unbelievable strength, athleticism and technical polish for an underclassman.

7_-_tampa_bay_buccaneers_2014_draft_pick
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bucs Nation
Anthony Barr OLB 6'4" 245 UCLA
On the surface, Barr isn't an ideal fit for Lovie Smith's Tampa 2 scheme. But with the Buccaneers dire need for a top-flight pass-rusher, Barr's upside, length and insane closing speed should be enough to land him at this spot. His frame is also far from filled out, so he shouldn't have much problem adding the weight necessary to play end in a 4-3 scheme. An absolute freak pass-rusher with elite closing speed.

8_-_minnesota_vikings_2014_draft_pick
Minnesota Vikings
Daily Norseman
Derek Carr QB 6'3" 218 Fresno State
Is Carr a reach at this spot? Maybe right now. But even if he isn't regarded as a top 10 quarterback following the Combine, there's a chance the quarterback-starved Vikings take a chance on the Fresno State product. After all, Rick Spielman and Co. reached on a lesser prospect in Christian Ponder two years ago. Carr meanwhile boasts very good arm strength and a knack for hitting big plays downfield--a skill set that would bode well for the Vikings, given their current receiver stable.

9_-_buffalo_bills_2014_draft_pick
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Rumblings
Khalil Mack OLB 6'2 245 Buffalo
Mack would be the first defensive player selected if not for the presence of Clowney and Barr in this draft. No matter, as he's the total package at outside linebacker--a tackling machine who plays fluid in coverage and has immense upside as a pass-rusher. This is a no-brainer selection for the Bills if Mack falls this far, and he'd be an incredible addition to Buffalo's young, aggressive front seven.

10_-_detroit_lions_2014_draft_pick
Detroit Lions
Pride of Detroit
Sammy Watkins WR 6'0" 205 Clemson
Unless the Lions become enamored with a first-round cornerback prospect, this selection will likely be a wide receiver--more specifically, a big-play-capable No. 2 wideout who can take considerable heat off of star wideout Calvin Johnson. Watkins' performance in the Orange Bowl proved that he's much more a big-bodied vertical threat. Need a receiver to make tough catches over the middle on third down? Watkins can do that. Need a wideout who can go up and get the football in the red zone? Watkins has the lift and body control to make that happen. The rare receiver who qualifies as a steal in the top 10.

11_-_tennessee_titans_2014_draft_pick
Tennessee Titans
Music City Miracles
Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix S 6'1" 208 Alabama
With a new coaching regime in place, the Titans need to focus on adding a speedy, physical presence to the back end of its defense. Like most Alabama safeties, Clinton-Dix plays with an edge and physical presence, and he isn't afraid to mix it up with bigger pass-catchers. Clinton-Dix is solid against the run, but his coverage sensibility and natural ballhawk prowess are what make him a special talent.

12_-_new_york_giants_2014_draft_pick
New York Giants
Big Blue View
Taylor Lewan OT 6'7" 315 Michigan
The Giants simply cannot allow Eli Manning to continue taking the punishment he received throughout the 2013 season, and a big left tackle prospect like Lewan would bring great strength, run-blocking prowess and a downright nasty demeanor to NYG's offensive line. The rightful heir to Jake Long's throne at Michigan, Lewan can come in and play right tackle right away. However, once he fully develops his pass-protection skills, he's a starting left tackle all the way.

13_-_st_louis_rams_2014_draft_pick
St. Louis Rams
Turf Show Times
Marqise Lee WR 6'0" 195 USC
With a franchise-caliber left tackle in place, the Rams can address their second-most pressing need: wide receiver. Lee might not have the big body or wide catch radius of a typical No. 1 receiver, but he stretches the field with ease and is one of the best route-runners in this year's wide receiver class. He also has considerably more upside than former USC receiver Robert Woods, who had success in his rookie season with the Bills this year.

14_-_chicago_bears_2014_draft_pick
Chicago Bears
Windy City Gridiron
Timmy Jernigan DT 6'2" 300 Florida State
The Bears are the owner of the league's worst defensive line, so this pick really comes down to BPA along the defensive line. That should be Jernigan, who was a one-man wrecking crew for Florida State in the BCS title game. Jernigan has the lower-base strength and frame to qualify as a run-stuffer, but his first-step quickness, violent hand use and non-stop pursuit are what really set him apart from the other defensive tackles in this year's class.

15_-_pittsburgh_steelers_2014_draft_pick
Pittsburgh Steelers
Behind the Steel Curtain
Cyrus Kouandjio OT 6'5" 310 Alabama
This year's offensive tackle group is an impressive one, so expect the Steelers to use this selection to upgrade Ben Roethlisberger's protection. Kouandjio is an absolute knockout as a run blocker, but he's still raw technically and needs to learn to play with more balance. With the right coaching, Kouandjio could become a franchise bulldozer--one that is worthy of a selection much higher than No. 15 overall. In the meantime, Kouandjio's stock is built squarely on his size, strength and immense upside. It will be interesting to see how he tests during pre-draft workouts.

16_-_baltimore_ravens_2014_draft_pick
Baltimore and Dallas will have their order finalized with a coin toss at the Super Bowl.
Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Beatdown
Mike Evans WR 6'4" 220 Texas A&M
Evans' size gets him typecast as a pure red zone threat, but don't be fooled--he's dangerous in the vertical game, and can do plenty of damage after the catch. If Evans slides this far in the draft, there's a good chance he'll land in Baltimore. The Ravens just don't have much across from burner Torrey Smith, and Evans' presence would likely take some heat off of tight end Dennis Pitta, as well.

17_-_dallas_cowboys_2014_draft_pick
Baltimore and Dallas will have their order finalized with a coin toss at the Super Bowl.
Dallas Cowboys
Blogging the Boys
Stephon Tuitt DE/DT 6'6" 315 Notre Dame
Dallas' defensive line is a mess outside of Demarcus Ware, especially with the future of the team's defensive scheme in doubt (will they remain in the 4-3, or return to more comfortable territory with the 3-4?). Tuitt can play just about anywhere on the defensive line in either scheme, save for maybe the 0-technique, and he brings a nice blend of pass-rushing and run-stuffing prowess. Fits best as a 5-tech in the 3-4, but is quick enough to wreak havoc inside in the 4-3.

18_-_new_york_jets_2014_draft_pick
New York Jets
Gang Green Nation
Eric Ebron TE 6'4" 230 North Carolina
Before the Jets can move on from 2013 second-round pick Geno Smith, the team needs to know what he can do with a stocked cupboard of pass-catchers. Ebron is a seam terror with the speed to make things happen after the catch, and he's also no easy tackle in the open field--willing to run around or through defenders. An ideal tight end of the flexed-out variety, but he's capable of becoming a very good in-line player, too.

19_-_miami_dolphins_2014_draft_pick
Miami Dolphins
The Phinsider
Morgan Moses OT 6'6" 330 Virginia
The Dolphins cannot seriously expect quarterback Ryan Tannehill to fully develop when opposing defenses are dropping him on his head nearly 60 times a season. And with significant upgrades needed at both tackle and guard positions, Miami needs to hit right on the offensive linemen it selects in this draft. Moses is a huge, gifted left tackle prospect with excellent reach, naturally quick feet and a devastating punch, and he moves surprisingly well for a player of his size. He has some inconsistencies as a run blocker and will need to refine his pad level, but he's an absolute natural in pass protection, equally comfortable handling bull rushes and speed-oriented maneuvers. Moses may not be the biggest name in this year's offensive tackle class, but he's worthy of being selected at this spot. More importantly, Moses would represent Miami's first step toward rebuilding its offensive line--something former Dolphins general manager couldn't do during his tenure in South Florida.

20_-_arizona_cardinals_2014_draft_pick
Arizona Cardinals
Revenge of the Birds
Justin Gilbert CB 6'0" 200 Oklahoma State
This year's cornerback group is exceptional, so it's strange to see its best prospect, Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert, fall all the way to the 20th pick. Still, he has the size and ball skills to complement No. 1 corner Patrick Peterson, and is more than willing to step up and take on the run.

21_-_green_bay_packers_2014_draft_pick
Green Bay Packers
Acme Packing Company
Jace Amaro TE 6'6" 260 Texas Tech
Lost in the madness that was the Packers' 2013 season was the fact that the team really missed tight end Jermichael Finley's presence. Amaro is most comfortable when he's using his size and lift to work the seam, and his hands are outstanding, as well. He's ore than capable of picking up yards after the catch, but he lacks the straight-line speed of an Eric Ebron. Still, he's No. 2 prospect in an impressive tight end class, and he's just going to get better.

22_-_philadelphia_eagles_2014_draft_pick
Philadelphia Eagles
Bleeding Green Nation
Darqueze Dennard CB 5'11" 190 Michigan State
Philadelphia's secondary had some bright spots this season, but a top-shelf perimeter is still needed if the Eagles want to become a legitimate threat in the NFC. Dennard is one of the best cover corner prospects available in this draft, blessed with the physicality and speed necessary to compete against No. 1 wideouts at the NFL level. The knock on Dennard is that he gets a little too grabby in coverage, but his technique is otherwise solid.

23_-_kansas_city_chiefs_2014_draft_pick
Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Pride
C.J. Mosley ILB 6'2" 230 Alabama
Only in a quarterback- and offensive-tackle-needy draft can a knockout linebacker prospect like C.J. Mosley fall to the latter portion of round one. Mosley suffered more than his fair share of injuries while playing in Tuscaloosa, so his ability to stay healthy will come into question during pre-draft evaluations. There are no questions in terms of Mosley's on-field ability, however. His recognition skills and coverage ability are top notch, as is his range against the run. He isn't a great blitzer, and occasionally gets engulfed by larger blockers, but he's superb tackler and boasts excellent speed for the linebacker position.

24_-_cincinnati_bengals_2014_draft_pick
Cincinnati Bengals
Cincy Jungle
Kony Ealy DE 6'4" 275 Mizzou
This pick will depend on what the Bengals do with defensive end Michael Johnson. If he leaves in free agency, Cincinnati could bring in an upside-laden talent like Ealy, who was a big part of Mizzou's resurgence last season. The thing that jumps out about Ealy's game is its balance--he's equally sound as a run defender and pass-rusher. It's easy to see why Ealy's stock is soaring right now. Still, he needs to continue to develop his ability to finish off ball carriers, and he could use a bit more discipline as a run defender, too.

25_-_san_diego_chargers_2014_draft_pick
San Diego Chargers
Bolts from the Blue
Marcus Roberson CB 5'11" 195 Florida
The Chargers have some considerable talent in its front seven, but there just isn't any pop on the perimeter. And that's where Roberson--maybe the most naturally gifted corner available in this draft--comes in. A fluid, aggressive corner equipped with very good instinct for the position, Roberson certainly looks the part of a No. 1 cover man, and he's still developing as a ball hawk and run defender. The Chargers could use all of those skills and then some.

26_-_cleveland_browns_2014_draft_pick
Cleveland Browns
Dawgs by Nature
Kelvin Benjamin WR 6'4" 230 Florida State
With Johnny Football officially in tow, the Browns can go several directions with this pick. Do they add a workhorse to the backfield in order to reinforce the run game? How about another pass-rusher? Both of those options should be strongly considered, but if Cleveland has a chance to land a big-time receiver like Benjamin, it has no choice but to draft him. Benjamin was last seen hauling in the game-winning touchdown for Florida State in the BCS title game, but he's more than just a red zone terror. A dangerous open-field runner, Benjamin is equally at home working a vertical route or the middle of the field. Manziel had plenty of success throwing to Mike Evans (a player with measurables that are a mirror image of Benjamin's) at Texas A&M, so he'll have a good feel for Benjamin from day one.

27_-_new_orleans_saints_2014_draft_pick
New Orleans Saints
Canal Street Chronicles
Zack Martin OT 6'4" 308 Notre Dame
Martin is on the short side for a tackle prospect, and the buzz is that his arm length will be in the 32-inch range. Not great by any means, but the numbers don't tell the whole story with him--the former Fighting Irish left tackle is simply outstanding from a polish and athleticism standpoint, and his tape suggests that he's completely comfortable with taking on taller pass-rushers. The Saints place a high premium on athleticism and awareness when it comes to the tackle position, and Martin would have no problem satisfying that criteria. Also, keep in mind that Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown, arguably the best blindside protector in the business right now, is 6'4" with 32 3/8" arms. That isn't to say Martin will have similar success; rather, it just suggests that he shouldn't be booted from the left-tackle discussion just yet.

28_-_new_england_patriots_2014_draft_pick
New England Patriots
Pats Pulpit
Louis Nix III DT 6'3" 340 Notre Dame
It's unbelievable that a player of Nix's ability could fall this far, but stranger things have happened. And since this year's defensive tackle class is very competitive, there's a chance that Nix--a world-class talent at the 0- and 1-technique positions--doesn't hear his name called until the latter part of round one. That's hardly bad news if you're the Patriots--a team always looking to get younger, stronger and more athletic along the defensive interior. Nix could even be viewed as the heir to current Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.

29_-_carolina_panthers_2014_draft_pick
Carolina Panthers
Cat Scratch Reader
Jordan Matthews WR 6'2" 200 Vanderbilt
A big reason why tight end Greg Olsen gets so many looks in Carolina's offense is because the Panthers just don't have a lot of height at the receiver position. Matthews' presence would change that. He's big-bodied wideout prospect who can go up and fight for tough grabs, and he's ultra-reliable target in the red zone. He could use some work as a route-runner, however, and his wheels aren't much to write home about. Of course, speed isn't much of a concern when you play with receivers like Ted Ginn Jr. and Steve Smith.

30_-_san_francisco_49ers_2014_draft_pick
San Francisco 49ers
Niners Nation
Ra'Shede Hageman DT 6'5" 305 Minnesota
Hageman is an absolute steal at No. 30 overall. A proven pocket saboteur who has also gotten better and better against the run during his time at Minnesota, Hageman has the size and strength to play end in the 3-4 or defensive tackle in the 4-3. He'd get the former gig in San Francisco, and with good reason--his skill set is comparable to current 49ers defensive end Justin Smith.

31_-_denver_broncos_2014_draft_pick
Denver Broncos
Mile High Report
Scott Crichton DE 6'3" 260 Oregon State
This pick should come down either a pass-rusher or offensive lineman. Crichton is too good to pass up at this juncture, and he'd be a welcome addition to a Denver front that has suffered through more than its fair share of injuries this season. Crichton possesses good quickness and jarring upper-body strength as a pass-rusher, and he's even better against the run. A classic 4-3 defensive end on the left side.

32_-_seattle_seahawks_2014_draft_pick
Seattle Seahawks
Field Gulls
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE 6'6" 270 Washington
If there's one thing the Seahawks lack, it's height in the receiver corps. Seferian-Jenkins is an enormous tight end prospect who plays the position like a power forward. He's obviously a top-notch red zone asset, but what's surprising is that Seferian-Jenkins is dangerous after the catch. Not a burner, but he can haul for a big man. It will be a big surprise if he doesn't test well during evaluations this spring.
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