Mocking the Draft for the AFC’s Underdogs April 27, 2014

This is my first ever attempt at an NFL mock draft (everybody’s doing it – it’s all the rage), and in my previous post I shared the why and how of it. It goes the full seven rounds but only for four teams – with no trades.

my 2014 mock draft

Without further ado…


Round 1

Round one will be most exciting for Cleveland, with two picks in the top 26. In this scenario, I have Jadeveon Clowney and Kahlil Mack coming off the board in the first two picks. (Note: The more I think about it, the more I feel that Atlanta may trade up to the #2 position in order to secure either Mack or an elite offensive lineman: Robinson or Matthews. It’s a slippery slope factoring that trade, because then I’d start justifying more later on. For simplicity’s sake, no trades in my four-team mock.)
  pick #3 Jacksonville Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
  Manziel is a polarizing figure among draftniks, but it’s hard to deny the excitement he could bring to an organization in dire need of a quarterback. Arm talent, improvisation, athleticism and leadership are a few of the skills most recently sited for Johnny Football. With a porous offensive line, Manziel will certainly get that chance to use his feet and work off script.
  pick #4 Cleveland Greg Robinson OT Auburn
  With the Jaguars taking Manziel, the Browns are going BPA with an elite talent, shoring up the right side of their offensive line and setting up Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Robinson’s big presence should give RB Ben Tate a greater chance to succeed. I really have no idea if the Browns are in love with a specific QB this high; that would certainly change the tenor of the first round.
  pick #5 Oakland Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
  More so than Cleveland, Oakland needs to bolster their front seven, and Matthews can certainly fill this role. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Raiders will draft a QB somewhere in their six picks, but with Matt Schaub added to the roster, the team shouldn’t burn their first selection on a signal caller.
  pick #9 Buffalo Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
  At pick nine, both Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor are still available, and Buffalo would salivate over either of these safeties. I think they’ll go with the with the ball-hawking skills of Ha Ha to fill the void left by Jairus Byrd, securing this defense’s reputation as among the highest in the AFC.
  pick #26 Cleveland Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
  Only Manziel and Bridgewater (MIN) will be off the board at this point, and the Browns know they’ll have their pick of several very good prospects. With Brian Hoyer healthy, Bortles is not necessarily a guaranteed starter on opening day, though he looks the part of an AFC QB at 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds.

Round 2

Day two starts off with each of these four teams picking once in the first nine selections, and the Browns once again have an extra pick this day (round three, #83 from Pittsburgh). Plenty of starting talent is available throughout the day.
  pick #35 Cleveland Martavis Bryant WR Clemson
  Tall and fast, Bryant is a vertical threat and can help take coverage off of Josh Gordon.
  pick #36 Oakland Scott Crichton DE Oregon State
  pick #39 Jacksonville Dee Ford OLB/DE Auburn
  Both Crichton and Ford are known for upper body size and first step quickness, and they will each immediately contribute to their teams’ pass rush.
  pick #41 Buffalo Antonio Richardson OT Tennessee
  The right side of their offensive line is where the Richardson will slot in, giving second-year signal caller Manuel some additional security.

Round 3

  pick #67 Oakland Kelcy Quarles DT South Carolina
  An aggressive bull rusher who will contribute to the assault on AFCW quarterbacks.
  pick #70 Jacksonville Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State
  A strong runner who can go east-west through a busy LOS, Hyde should easily fill the void left by Maurice Jones-Drew’s departure.
  pick #71 Cleveland Jaylen Watkins CB Florida
  Watkins joins Joe Haden (CB1) and Buster Skrine (SCB) in a backfield that matches up against division rivals A.J. Green, Antonio Brown and Steve Smith.
  pick #73 Buffalo Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
  An incredible blocker, Troy’s size also gives Manuel a big target in the passing game.
  pick #83 Cleveland Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin
  Perhaps the best ILB in the draft, Borland could help Donte Whitner with his quick reads.

Round 4

Day four includes eight picks for Jacksonville who will look to bolster their offensive line.
  pick #105 Jacksonville Jack Mewhort OT Ohio State
  pick #106 Cleveland Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
  This small school gem is tall and has a knack for pulling the ball out of the air.
  pick #107 Oakland Tom Savage QB Pittsburgh
  pick #109 Buffalo Brett Smith QB Wyoming
  Both Oakland and Buffalo start trimming down the crop of remaining quarterbacks in the fourth round. Despite the fact that each team has a veteran starter, this is an uncertain and critical position for both teams.
  pick #114 Jacksonville Jon Halapio G Florida
  pick #127 Cleveland Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers

Round 5

  pick #144 Jacksonville Tyler Larsen C Utah State
  The Jaguars’ third straight selection aimed at improving their offensive line.
  pick #145 Cleveland Terrance West RB Towson
  pick #149 Buffalo Zach Fulton G Tennessee
  pick #150 Jacksonville Zach Kerr DT Deleware
  pick #159 Jacksonville Deion Belue CB Alabama

Round 6

  pick #179 Jacksonville Brock Vereen SS Minnesota
  pick #180 Cleveland Keith Wenning QB Ball State
  pick #205 Jacksonville T.J. Jones WR Notre Dame

Round 7

  pick #218 Cleveland Christian Bryant FS Ohio State
  pick #219 Oakland Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley
  pick #222 Jacksonville Marquis Spruill OLB Syracuse
  pick #224 Buffalo Chandler Jones WR San Jose State
  pick #235 Oakland Demetri Goodson CB Baylor
  pick #247 Oakland Ryan Groy G Wisconsin
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