mock-draftWith the Super Bowl (or is it Superb Owl?) just around the corner, it’s time to turn our attention to the one event that demands so much attention and hype: the NFL Draft. In this first version of my 2014 mock draft, it’ll be just the 1st round with more rounds added later. One thing to keep in mind is that I’ve based picks on team needs right now. Obviously changes will happen as free agency occurs and certain prospects rise up due to workout performances, so they’ll taken into account in further updates.

1) Houston – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Remember when Schaub was the answer at QB for the Texans? Or for that matter David Carr? You can pretty much bet this will be a signallcaller. Clowney is enticing but a franchise signalcaller is more valuable. It could end up being any of the Top 3 guys, but for now it will be Bridgewater.

2) Atlanta(from St Louis) – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
This seems almost too obvious not to happen. The Falcons aggressively traded up for Julio Jones, so this isn’t so far-fetched. They need a pass rusher and Clowney’s ability there is unquestioned.

3) Jacksonville – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
Blaine Gabbert LOL. Hopefully Jags management realizes that they can’t continue on with their current QB situation.

4) Cleveland – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Well so much for Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer, since both are obviously not the answer and new regimes mean new QBs. Manziel would generate excitement for the team’s fanbase in addition to fixing a long standing problem.

5) Oakland – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Unless Da Raiduhs want to reach a bit here for Derek Carr, they’ll turn their attention elsewhere. They lack a dynamic receiver and Watkins is just that and more who finally provides them with a #1 WR.

6) St Louis(from Atlanta) – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
If the Rams do indeed move down and Matthews is still available, then this might be one of the smartest picks in thr draft and would instantly get them an A+ on it.

7) Tampa Bay – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The Bucs must get more sacks and while LB isn’t strictly a need, they won’t be able to pass on Barr. He’s a Top 5 talent who falls here because of all the QBs picked before him.

8) Minnesota – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Vikings took on Josh Freeman to see if he could solve their QB problem, so that’s how desperate they are for one. Unless they trade up, they’ll have to settle for Carr who would be a reach here.

9) Buffalo – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
While it could be argued the O-line is a bigger need, Mack is just too good to pass up. He’s a playmaker at LB who comes from the Bills’ backyard.

10) Detroit – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
This season was a clear indication of how the offense struggles when Megatron is taken out of the equation. Evans would not only be a solid receiver himself, but would draw coverage away from Johnson.

11) Tennessee – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Locker will likely get another chance to prove himself and one way to help that is get him more protection up front. Robinson has been shooting up draft boards and could easily go higher on Draft Day.

12) NY Giants – CJ Mosley, ILB, Alabama
All three of the Giants’ starting LBs are free agents, so expect the position to be an early focus. Mosley could help fill any holes left over as he could play from the start.

13) St Louis – Haha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
2 1st round picks fill their two biggest needs. The Rams some help at the safety position because they didn’t get much from it last season and Clinton-Dix is the top player at the position.

14) Chicago – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
The Bears could use upgrades at all levels of their defense and in this case they take Nix. While he has some injury concerns, his combination of talent is too enticing.

15) Pittsburgh – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Steelers had problems covering top recievers last year and that could be fixed with the selection of Dennard. He’s the top CB in the draft and has Top 10 skills.

16) Dallas – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
While their biggest beed is probably a general manager, that won’t happen. So they opt to address the pass rush opposite Demarcus Ware and take Ealy who will continue to trend upwards as the draft process continues.

17) Baltimore – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Joe Flacco sure missed Anquan Boldin this season and would definitely like a replacement. Enter Lee, who despite a down year still has all the tools that won him the Biletnikoff in his sophmore year.

18) NY Jets – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Jets need offensive playmakers period because Geno Smith needs all the help he can get and Kellen Winslow isn’t cutting it. Ebron is the top option with his mix of athleticism and physicality.

19) Miami – Cyrus Kouandijo, OT, Alabama
Miami needs multiple OL upgrades for reasons that should be obvious to even the most casual football fan. Kouandijo has all the physical tools to be a star at LT.

20) Arizona – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
The Cards must do something to upgrade their O-line. While Lewan had a down year of sorts, he still has the ability to be a great LT and pairing him with Jonathan Cooper could set up that side of the line for years.

21) Green Bay – Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
BJ Raji is a free agent and might not be back, so the Packers could find his replacement early. Hageman is physically imposing with the burst to cause havoc.

22) Philadelphia – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Eagles’ secondary was a mess at times and since no safety is worth taking here, they opt for a corner. Gilbert has the speed and athleticism to make big plays any time he gets his hands on the ball.

23) Kansas City – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
While WR is arguably a bigger need, Amaro lined up mostly in the slot at Texas Tech. So he could fill the #2 reciever role since Dwayne Bowe is the only reliable downfield target available to Alex Smith.

24) Cincinnati – Jason Varrett, CB, TCU
Leon Hall torn his ACL for the second time last season and Pacman Jones and Terrance Newman are getting older. Jason Verrett was a leader in the Horned Frogs secondary and would form a great duo with Dre Kirkpatrick.

25) San Diego – Zach Martin, OG/OT, Notre Dame
The Bolts have some issues in the interior of the offensive line with some guys hitting free agency. Zach Martin was great for the Irish last season and could help stabilize the position for SD.

26) Cleveland(from Indianapolis) – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Teams that draft QBs early usually draft a offensive compliment and Manziel will like throwing to a receiver with the beldn of size and speed of Benjamin.

27) New Orleans – Scott Crichton, DE/OLB, Oregon State
A pass rusher will be high on the Siants’ list of needs and Crichton is very underrated who is versatile enough to play either DE or OLB.

28) Carolina – Antonio Richardson, OT, Tenessee
Jordan Gross has a been a rock for the Panthers at LT but he may or may not retire. Richardson’s blend of size and skills could see him end up as a higher pick.

29) New England – Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Hernandez is gone and Gronk is injured, so finding another pass catching TE is in order. Sefarian-Jenkins would be a good option here, but of course may trade back and still land him.

30) San Francisco – Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford
Justin Smith can’t play forever and the Niners don’t have many needs so they’ll pick for the future. Murphy is already talented but could get even better under Smith’s tutelage.

31) Denver – Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
Neither Mike Adams nor Duke Ihenacho were that effective at safety, so it will be high on the Broncos’ needs. Pryor combines speed with hard hitting for an enticing package.

32) Seattle – Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
The Seahawks need an upgrade over what they have at the guard position. Richardson provides that with his large frame and ability to block for both the pass and run.