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NFL Mock Draft By NFL Analyst Amy Pujara – Picks 1 Through 16

by Amy Pujara | Posted on Friday, March 14th, 2014

It’s that special time of year. With the Super Bowl fading away from our memories and the NFL Draft still about two months away, now is the time to read hundreds of NFL mock drafts until you find the one that matches your opinion! Though no pick is ever set in stone, here is my first-round NFL mock draft, picks 1-16:

Will Teddy Bridgewater be the first QB taken in the 2014 NFL Draft?  (USATSI)

Will Teddy Bridgewater be the first QB taken in the 2014 NFL Draft? (USATSI)

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Yes, the Texans have a glaring need at quarterback. However, Clowney is just too good of a player to pass on. He’s been called a “once-every-ten-years” type of talent. Adding Clowney to a line that already boasts Defensive Player of the Year, JJ Watt, would create the scariest defensive front in the NFL.

2. St. Louis Rams- Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Don’t be surprised if the Rams trade down and collect more picks. But if they do stay at #2, they will certainly address their need at offensive tackle. Matthews had a terrific Combine performance, solidifying his identity as the #1 tackle in this year’s draft class.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The first quarterback of the draft goes to the team in greatest need. The Jaguars are starved for a long-term option at QB to build a franchise around. Bridgewater is the safest pick here as he is the most NFL-ready of the class.

4. Cleveland Browns- Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Browns get an exciting player with Manziel, though his size worries some. He ran an impressive 4.68 40-yard dash, showing off his explosiveness. Johnny Football will have fun throwing to Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. As long as he stays healthy, he can take the Browns to the next level.

5. Oakland Raiders- Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

I’m sure the Raiders would love to grab WR Sammy Watkins here, but they just can’t. In a division with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, the Raiders need to have a solid QB if they want to compete.

6. Atlanta Falcons- Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

To say Atlanta’s defense struggled last season is a huge understatement. No team allowed a higher opponent QBR than Atlanta. Khalil Mack would instantly bolster this defense and finally get some pressure on the opposing QB with his pass rush.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

New head coach Lovie Smith would not pass up on Barr. He would add a physical presence to a team that struggled against the run last season.

8. Minnesota Vikings- Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

It’s clear that the Vikings need a QB. However, with the top three taken already, they will look to add a reliable receiver to start on the other side of emerging star Cordarrelle Patterson.

9. Buffalo Bills- Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St

The Bills certainly need help on offense, but Gilbert gives them the size they need to match up with big receivers. His explosive speed makes him excellent in man-cover and he can also help in the return game.

10. Detroit Lions- Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St

It’d be scary to imagine Calvin Johnson and Sammy Watkins together, but there is no way that happens unless Detroit trades up, which is always a possibility.

11. Tennessee Titans- HaSean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

The Titans need a playmaker on defense, so they might as well take the top safety of the draft.

12. New York Giants- Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The Giants just lost TE Brandon Myers to Tampa Bay. Ebron gives them a big and also reliable target for Eli in the red-zone, where the Giants struggled last year.

13. St. Louis Rams- Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Rams need more weapons for Sam Bradford. Mike Evan’s speed allows him to get more distance from defenders, which is perfect for Bradford who struggles against press coverage.

14. Chicago Bears- Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Bears were worst in the league against the run last year. The defensive line suffered many injuries. Donald is an instant starter.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Big Ben finally gets some help with this pick. Is it just me or does he seem to be knocked over on every other play?

16. Dallas Cowboys- CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama

Sean Lee’s inability to stay healthy leaves the Cowboys vulnerable at the position.  They can’t afford to pass up on him.

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  1. buljos says:

    Giants won’t take Ebron because they’ll sign a FA TE once the early feeding frenzy dissipates in FA, and they have Adrian Robinson “the JPP of TEs” per GM Jerry Reese, and also Larry Donnell on the roster. The Giants most desperate need right now at this point in FA is a starting caliber Corner. With your draft both Gilbert and Dennard are off the board, so that’s a problem, and really the only reason Ebron makes sense with the 12th. They need a starting Corner opposite Prince, and while McBride had done well when Corey Webster went down, he’s not the starter. With Webser now cut, Ross gone, T2 a FA, and Hosley still not stepping up, the Giants are really in a Corner bind. They’re not chasing the big $10M-$12M APY Corners with any serious intentions so far, but maybe as things die down they grab a starting caliber Corner to mitigate the risk of this very draft scenario. If they do land a Corner in FA, then I’d much prefer Reese trade down to gather a few more picks in this very deep draft for O-linemen and WRs than take Ebron with the 12th. The other factor you’re not considering with Ebron is that he’s reported to be an intermittently good, if only half hearted blocker. The Giants will not appreciate that after experiencing the excellent blocking of Martellus Bennett who escaped to Chicago, then the horrid blocking of TE Myers. They value blocking and pass protection very highly as Eli slides into the last few seasons of his career, so don’t think Reese will undervalue Troy Niklas from Notre Dame, the blocking specialist who’s universally regarded as the best blocking TE in college today. Niklas is a huge target, athletic with soft hands, and does a good job of finding soft spots underneath.

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