Only three days remain until the 2014 NFL Draft is slated to kick off, but there is still much uncertainty as to how it will all play out. Players like Teddy Bridgewater are watching their stocks dwindle, while rapid-risers like Tom Savage are (somehow) shooting up draft boards. There is no telling exactly how teams value each prospect relative to the media’s perception of their worth.
Let’s take a look at how the first three rounds are shaping up. This will be our final mock draft until the big day.
The 2014 draft class is one of the deepest of all-time. There’s plenty of talent available on both sides of the ball. So expect plenty of crazyness and uncertainty come Thursday evening. Here’s our best stab at how it’ll all play out:
1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
With so much uncertainty surrounding the quarterbacks, the safe play for the Texans is to take the best player available. Despite his overblown character concerns, Clowney is a once-in-a-generation talent that any team will regret passing up.
2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
With Jake Long recovering from an ACL injury, the Rams have a chance to solve their tackle position once and for all. Robinson has a lot of holes in his game but flashed dominance no offensive lineman is capable of matching in this class.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
With one pick, the Jaguars give their franchise the much-needed injection of energy they have lacked for years. Manziel is the ultimate risk-reward would could be a dominant player if his skills translate to the NFL.
4. Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Watkins and Josh Gordon instantly give the Browns a wide receiver corps that few in the NFL could match. All they need now is a quarterback to bring it all together.
5. Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo
Mack is simply the best player available at this point, giving the Raiders a blue-chip defender than can step in and be the best player on the roster from day one.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Arguably the safest pick in the draft, the Matthews is a plug-and-play starter from day one who will go a long way in rebuilding the trenches in Atlanta, even if he does not have the same upside as Greg Robinson.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Trading Mike Williams almost forces the Bucs to take a receiver here. Evans is the prototypical deep threat that can will give Josh McCown a pair of receiver that strongly resemble the group he had in Chicago.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater’s stock appears to be in freefall after a disappointing month of workouts, but he is only a few months removed from being the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback in this class.
9. Buffalo Bills: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Bills do have Scott Chandler in the fold, but they need more than a glorified receiver at the tight end position. Ebron is arguably the best tight end prospect since Vernon Davis and will give them a dynamic player the position that they have not had before.
10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Lions have gone far too long without adding a first-round talent to the secondary. Gilbert can be a big over-aggressive but he will be an excellent fit in the Lions all-or-nothing style of defense.
11. Tennessee Titans: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Titans will give Jake Locker at least one more year to prove he can be the franchise quarterback. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix can be their Cover 1 specialist that will allow their defense to be more aggressive.
12. New York Giants: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The Giants get a steal here with one the best defensive tackle prospect since Marcell Dareus, despite being a bit undersized.
13. St. Louis Rams: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
With Cortland Finnegan no longer in the picture, the Rams need a man-to-man specialist who can lock down a side of the field. Dennard can be that guy.
14. Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Hageman is a bit raw and not quite as consistent as most scouts would prefer, but he has the tools to develop into the run-stuffer the Bears need in the middle of their defense.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Any team willing to overlook a recent arrest and a disappointing 2013 campaign may wind up getting the best cornerback in this class. Roby has elite movement skills and can instantly start for the Steelers.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Barr, DE, UCLA
Barr slides down the board further than most would anticipate. Here, he provides great value to the Cowboys who were decimated on the defensive line last year.
17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Even after locking down Eugene Monroe, the Ravens still have a massive hole at the opposite tackle position that was once occupied by Michael Oher.
18. New York Jets: Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, LSU
Few teams need more help at the skill positions than the Jets. Beckham Jr. he would fit perfectly opposite Eric Decker as a receiver who can add an element of speed with polished route-running for whoever is playing quarterback this season.
19. Miami Dolphins: Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada
The Dolphins need to completely re-vamp their offensive line both on and off the field. Bitino allows the to completely move on from the Jonathan Martin era.
20. Arizona Cardinals: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Carson Palmer played relatively well last year, but the Cardinals need to start thinking about the future. A coach’s dream from the shoulders up, it remains to be seen whether or not Bortles can clean up his accuracy and overcome his average arm strength in the NFL.
21. Green Bay Packers: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Simply put, Mosley is the best player on the board. Mosley can play any linebacker position in any scheme, which is perfect for a Packers defense that will use more 4-3 looks next year.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Receiver becomes an even more pressing need after releasing DeSean Jackson. Injuries and turmoil at USC contributed to Lee’s disappointing 2013 campaign, but he can turn out to be a steal if he can return to his record-breaking 2012 form.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Chiefs don’t have many holes on their roster, but giving Alex Smith an extra toy to play with may be their top need. Cooks is an undersized speedster who also has value as a return man.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
The Bengals have been getting by with average safeties for too long. Pryor is a big-time hitter who will set a new tone for the Bengals’ secondary.
25. San Diego Chargers: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Chargers have used their last few first-round picks to shore up the defensive and offensive fronts—it is time to give their secondary an infusion of young talent.
26. Cleveland Browns: David Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Browns’ patience pays off, as they are able to get the quarterback they have been connected to for quite some time. Carr is a terrific competitor with as much arm talent as anyone in this draft class.
27. New Orleans Saints: Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
His senior season left a little to be desired because of nagging injuries, but Louis Nix could be a dominant player at the next level in the middle of the Saints’ defense if he can find a way to stay healthy.
28. Carolina Panthers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The loss of Captain Munnerlyn in free agency cannot be ignored. Verrett has a ton of ability, but his size may limit him to the slot, which is perfect for the Panthers’ needs.
29. New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Patriots don’t have many needs, but they have not had certainty at the tight end position since the Aaron Hernandez saga unwound. Amaro would be a perfect complement to Rob Gronkowski, who is coming off an ACL injury.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
As Aldon Smith continues to find himself on the wrong side of the law, the 49ers must prepare for life without their stud pass-rusher. Ealy provides great value at this point in the draft.
31. Denver Broncos: Xavier Su’a Filo, G, UCLA
The Broncos are starting to age along the offensive line, and should spare no expense to keep Peyton Manning upright as often as possible. Su’a Filo is a great fit as a zone blocker in the Broncos’ scheme.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
The defending champs don’t need much, but a protypical two-way tight end could make them impossible to defend. There are some character concerns regarding Seferian-Jenkins’ blocking effort, but he has too much natural ability to pass up at this point.
ROUNDS 2 & 3:
|33||Houston Texans||Jimmy Garoppolo||QB||Eastern Illinois|
|34||Washington Redskins||Cyrus Kouandijo||OT||Alabama|
|35||Cleveland Browns||Carlos Hyde||RB||Ohio State|
|36||Oakland Raiders||Allen Robinson||WR||Penn State|
|37||Atlanta Falcons||Dee Ford||DE||Auburn|
|38||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Morgan Moses||OT||Virginia|
|39||Jacksonville Jaguars||Timmy Jernigan||DT||Florida State|
|40||Minnesota Vikings||Ryan Shazier||LB||Ohio State|
|41||Buffalo Bills||Jimmy Ward||S||Northern Illinois|
|42||Tennessee Titans||Jordan Matthews||WR||Vanderbilt|
|43||New York Giants||Donte Moncrief||WR||Ole Miss|
|44||St. Louis Rams||Troy Niklas||TE||Notre Dame|
|45||Detroit Lions||Davante Adams||WR||Fresno State|
|46||Pittsburgh Steelers||Kyle Van Noy||DE||BYU|
|47||Dallas Cowboys||Stephon Tuitt||DE||Notre Dame|
|48||Baltimore Ravens||Cody Latimer||WR||Indiana|
|49||New York Jets||Phillip Gaines||CB||Rice|
|50||Miami Dolphins||Gabe Jackson||G||Mississippi State|
|51||Chicago Bears||Deonne Bucannon||S||Washington State|
|52||Arizona Cardinals||Taylor Lewan||OT||Michigan|
|53||Green Bay Packers||Cyril Richardson||G||Baylor|
|54||Philadelphia Eagles||Kelvin Benjamin||WR||Florida State|
|55||Cincinnati Bengals||LaMarcus Joyner||S||Florida State|
|56||San Francisco 49ers||Kareem Martin||DE||North Carolina|
|57||San Diego Chargers||Pierre Desir||CB||Lindenwood|
|58||New Orleans Saints||Jackson Jeffcoat||DE||Texas|
|59||Indianapolis Colts||David Yankey||G||Stanford|
|60||Carolina Panthers||Robert Herron||WR||Wyoming|
|61||San Francisco 49ers||Martavis Bryant||WR||Clemson|
|62||New England Patriots||Dominique Easley||DT||Florida|
|63||Denver Broncos||Ego Ferguson||DT||LSU|
|64||Seattle Seahawks||Brandon Linder||G||Miami|
|65||Houston Texans||Jeremy Hill||RB||LSU|
|66||Washington Redskins||Marcus Martin||C||USC|
|67||Oakland Raiders||Tom Savage||QB||Pittsburgh|
|68||Atlanta Falcons||Ryan Groy||G||Wisconsin|
|69||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Antonio Richardson||OT||Tennessee|
|70||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jarvis Landry||WR||LSU|
|71||Cleveland Browns||Arthur Lynch||TE||Georgia|
|72||Minnesota Vikings||Weston Richburg||C||Colorado State|
|73||Buffalo Bills||Scott Chrichton||DE||Oregon State|
|74||New York Giants||Marcus Smith||DE||Louisville|
|75||St. Louis Rams||Paul Richardson||WR||Colorado|
|76||Detroit Lions||Andre Hal||CB||Vanderbilt|
|77||San Francisco 49ers||Preston Brown||LB||Louisville|
|78||Dallas Cowboys||Carl Bradford||LB||Arizona State|
|79||Baltimore Ravens||Trevor Reilly||LB||Utah|
|80||New York Jets||C.J. Fiedorowicz||TE||Iowa|
|81||Miami Dolphins||Terrance West||RB||Towson|
|82||Chicago Bears||Daniel McCullers||DT||Tennessee|
|83||Cleveland Browns||Jonathan Dowling||S||Western Kentucky|
|84||Arizona Cardinals||Telvin Smith||LB||Florida State|
|85||Green Bay Packers||Bryan Stork||C||Florida State|
|86||Philadelphia Eagles||Craig Loston||S||LSU|
|87||Kansas City Chiefs||Stanley Jean-Baptise||CB||Nebraska|
|88||Cincinnati Bengals||Christian Jones||LB||Florida State|
|89||San Diego Chargers||DaQuan Jones||NT||Penn State|
|90||Indianapolis Colts||Ahmad Dixon||S||Baylor|
|91||New Orleans Saints||George Uko||DT||USC|
|92||Carolina Panthers||Jared Abbrederis||WR||Wisconsin|
|93||New England Patriots||Ka’Deem Carey||RB||Arizona|
|94||San Francisco 49ers||Bashaud Breeland||CB||Clemson|
|95||Denver Broncos||Tre Mason||RB||Auburn|
|96||Minnesota Vikings||Dakota Dozier||G||Furman|
|97||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bishop Sankey||RB||Washington|
|98||Green Bay Packers||Rashaad Reynolds||CB||Oregon State|
|99||Buffalo Bills||Brandon Thomas||T/G||Clemson|
|100||San Francisco 49ers||E.J. Gaines||CB||Missouri|