The Sports Hound: 2014 Pre-Free Agency NFL Mock Draft

With free agents starting to be signed by their respective teams and released players signing with new teams, it’s time to make some updates to the 2014 mock draft.  Free agency starts soon and the rumors are already swirling.  It’s that time of the year and this is when fans really get into GM mode and want to make Madden rosters for their teams.

See also: My 2015 NFL Mock Draft in connection to my 2014 Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft.  Changes for the new 2015 coming soon as well as my first 3 round mock for 2014.

Also check out my list of NFL Mock Draft Databases to see what other people think about the upcoming draft.

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1. Houston Texans - Blake Bortles QB/UCF

Bortles stood out the most at the combine over the rest of the possible top picks.  He actually went out and competed, which raised his value.  The Texans are obviously in the market for a QB and as of right now Bortles may have jumped to the top of the rankings on their boards.  The allure of pairing Clowney and Watt is still heavy on their minds, but I think they go with the QB.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) - Greg Robinson OT/Auburn

I have a strong feeling that the Rams will make another trade this season for another team in need of a QB.  But for this scenario, I’ll just have them picking the best player available and at a position of need.  Jake Long is coming off an injury and Rodger Saffold is a free agent so they need to upgrade their offensive line.  Robinson wowed at the combine and has risen to the #1 OT on my board.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jadeveon Clowney DE/South Carolina

The Jaguars are rumored to be interested in Michael Vick and Josh McCown.  With that in mind, I can see Gus Bradley making a move on Clowney and drafting a 2nd tier QB in the second round or trading up to take one who may drop.  Bradley was a big part of that Seahawks defense and may look to bring in playmakers.

4. Cleveland Browns - Teddy Bridgewater QB/Louisville

It’s no secret that the Browns desperately need a QB and if Bridgewater is available, it’s an easy decision.  I’m really starting to believe that new GM Ray Farmer has the same board as I do.  Wouldn’t that be lovely?  I have Bridgewater and Carr at the top of my board and if Bridgewater is gone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Browns draft Carr or another prospect at #4 and hope Carr drops to #26.

5. Oakland Raiders - Sammy Watkins WR/Clemson

The Raiders are another team with a QB need, but that’s only if they aren’t high on Terrelle Pryor.  This is a toss up between Manziel and Watkins for me.  Watkins is a safer bet and would help whomever the QB is.  He’ll give whoever the QB is a big time weapon.

See also: What does the NFL Combine really mean?

6. Atlanta Falcons - Khalil Mack DE-OLB/Buffalo

Mack has made a name for himself during the pre-draft process at the combine and his pro day.  His name has been mentioned as the #1 overall pick so for him to be here at #6 for the Falcons is big.  They need to upgrade their defense and pray the offensive players stay healthy so they can again be a contender.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Anthony Barr DE-OLB/UCLA

With Lovie Smith coaching the team, I am starting to believe that he’ll just continue to build that defense.  They have plenty of talent and he’s a great defensive mind.  This defense has the potential to be scary.  I think he’ll ride with Glennon at QB….I mean he used Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton to make it to a Super Bowl in Chicago.

8. Minnesota Vikings - Derek Carr QB/Fresno StateJohnny Manziel QB/Texas A&M

With Adrian Peterson openly recruiting Vick to come to Minnesota, I can see them taking Manziel at QB.  The team’s best player just openly said the QB’s on the roster aren’t worth anything.  With that out there, they need to address the position to keep him happy and to avoid locker room issues.

Check out: Bridgewater Leads Group of Talented QB’s Heading into NFL Draft

9. Buffalo Bills - Hasean Clinton-Dix FS/Alabama

With Jairus Byrd possibly leaving town as a free agent, the Bills need to replace him.  Duke Williams is a good fit on the team, in my opinion, but Clinton-Dix may be too good to pass up.  The Bills can handle their offensive needs in a deep draft at WR and some solid talent at TE.

10. Detroit Lions - Mike Evans WR/Texas A&M

Megatron needs help and Stafford needs someone else to throw the ball up for grab’s too.  Evans is just as big as Calvin Johnson and gives Stafford another option in the passing game.  They could also look at CB here as well.

11. Tennessee Titans - Jake Matthews OT/Texas A&M

This is tough pick.  Matthews is the top player on the board.  I can see him stepping in and taking one of the starting tackle jobs right away.  The Titans would have a pretty good offensive line to protect their QB and give their RB great rushing lanes.

12. New York Giants - Marqise Lee WR/USC

The Giants need help all across the board on the defensive side of the ball.  They also will most likely be losing Hakeem Nicks to free agency.  I like Randle, but I think Lee gives Eli another weapon and is better.

13. St. Louis Rams - Calvin Pryor FS/Louisville

The Rams upgraded their offensive line with the first pick.  Now they look to upgrade their secondary.  They have a young and talented core already, but this pick makes them better.  Pryor starts from day 1.

14. Chicago Bears - Aaron Donald DT/Pittsburgh

With almost every one of their DT’s going into free agency, the Bears may have to make a move.  I’m sure many teams have a different ranking for the top DT’s, but Donald seems like the best fit for this team.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Taylor Lewan OT/Michigan

Big Ben can’t continue to run for his life.  He’s been in the league too long and has taken too many hits.  Lewan is the best OT left on the board and will come in from day 1 and protect Ben’s blind side.

16. Dallas Cowboys - Timmy Jernigan DT/Florida State

With Jason Hatcher headed to free agency and a big whole at DT, Jernigan would be a great fit.  Last year, Jerry Jones surprised everyone by taking a C early on.  As we saw, it was a great pick.  Jernigan would help DeMarcus Ware and George Selvie attack the QB.

17. Baltimore Ravens - Jason Verrett CB/TCU

Both Oher and Monroe are heading to free agency and it needs to addressed.  Yet, I see the Ravens going a different direction and getting a game changer back on the defensive side of the ball.  It was their staple for years and they need to get back to that.

18. New York Jets - Eric Ebron TE/North Carolina

The Jets need just about every position on offense.  They drafted Geno Smith last year, but it was obvious early that he had no weapons.  Ebron dropping to them gives Smith a big target to help a “healthy” Santonio Holmes.  Their upgrades on defense last season and surprise play this year could vault them into the playoffs next season.

See also: 5 Possible Destinations for Michael Vick in 2014

19. Miami Dolphins - Kelvin Benjamin WR/Florida State

The Dolphins let Jake Long walk last season and another starter is headed out as well, possibly.  The Dolphins need to allow Ryan Tannehill to continue his growth by giving him more protection.  I am pretty sure they’ll spend more money this offseason at LT, while getting Tannehill another weapon in the offense.  If they are unable to re-sign Grimes, then CB is the pick here, but if they do Benjamin’s combine performance will make them excited.

20. Arizona Cardinals - C.J. Mosley ILB/Alabama

Mosley is the #1 ILB on the board and fits a huge need for the Cardinals.  Karlos Dansby is in his 30′s and a free agent, so the Cardinals may look for the new guy.  Mosley will fit in perfectly on a strong defense.

21. Green Bay Packers - Louis Nix DT/Notre Dame

With Ryan Pickett going into free agency and his age, Nix comes in and takes over at the NT position immediately.  With the Packers working to re-sign B.J. Raji, he and Nix would form a scary front.  They have quite a few guys on the defensive line going into free agency, so it must be addressed.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Darqueze Dennard CB/Michigan State

The Eagles need to fix their secondary, even after a brand new unit last season.  I personally think the Eagles will either go secondary or pass rusher.  Dennard is possibly the BPA at this time and I’m not sold on Fletcher at the position.  He also will be a free agent next season.  They need to upgrade their defense with the best players.

See also: Surprise, Surprise, Chip Kelly has the Eagles on the rise

23. Kansas City Chiefs - Zack Martin OT/Notre Dame

Hearing plenty of rumors that the Chiefs are looking to trade back, I think they just go BPA.  Martin is the BPA and fills a need in the process with Brandon Albert most likely heading out and backup OT Schwartz possibly as well.

24. Cincinnati Bengals - Cyrus Kouandjio OT/Alabama

The Bengals need to upgrade one of their most important positions.  Andy Dalton is possibly on his last straw as the “franchise” QB.  They need to make sure he has no excuses on getting the job done.  Kouandjio makes a lot of sense with Anthony Collins going to free agency.

25. San Diego Chargers - Justin Gilbert CB/Oklahoma State

The Chargers had a breakout season.  They were one of the worst teams in passing defense though.  Gilbert fills a position of need and immediately upgrades a horrible secondary.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts) - Jordan Matthews WR/Vanderbilt

I’m very high on Matthews.  He’s #4 at WR on my board and I think he’d be a great fit with Gordon and Cameron.  Also would give Bridgewater another weapon in the passing game.  I can see either OG, OT and RB in the second round to solidify that offense.

27. New Orleans Saints - Kony Ealy DE/Missouri

There has been recent rumors swirling that the Saints may look at QB early in the draft to groom as Brees successor.  They top guys are all gone here, so maybe a second round pick.  Stills was a solid pickup at WR last year and outplayed his draft slot.  The Saints look at one of the top pass rushers in the draft in Ealy here.

28. Carolina Panthers - Odell Beckham, Jr. WR/LSU

The Panthers are on the right track to competing for a title.  They have made great moves on the defensive end.  Now it’s time to find more weapons for Cam Newton.  Beckham is a great fit for this team and could learn a thing or two from Steve Smith before his career is over.

29. New England Patriots - Jace Amaro – TE/Texas Tech

With Gronk’s latest injury history and lack of talent at the position.  Amaro quickly gives Brady another weapon at one of his favorite positions to throw to.

30. San Francisco 49ers - Brandon Cooks WR/Oregon State

Cooks made his way up many draft boards with his combine performance.  I think that may have snuck him into the first round of the draft.  He could be a big time weapon on this offense with their rushing attack.  Don’t forget that Marcus Lattimore is supposed to be ready this season.

31. Denver Broncos - Dee Ford DE-OLB/Auburn

Shaun Phillips had a strong season this past year with Von Miller missing time.  Ford gives the Broncos another pass rusher if Phillips leaves through free agency.  The Broncos have so many holes to fill on a defense that will be losing a lot of players to free agency.

Check out: 2014 Post Super Bowl NFL Power Rankings

32. Seattle Seahawks - Stephon Tuitt DT/Notre Dame

The Super Bowl champions have the luxury of picking the best guy they feel is available or reaching.  The could look to add more weapons to the offense, but Tuitt won’t be there in the second round so I love this pick.  Added to that defense, he can only help make them better.

  • Guest

    Bengals wouldn’t pass up Gilbert for a second round talent and injury concern in Kouandjio. Use your head

  • Guest

    Uh….. Manziel????