NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The first week of the NFL season is over – let us all start jumping to conclusions!
Reminder: at this point in the game, a mock draft is for entertainment purposes only. Don’t freak about where your favorite team is situated and don’t go crazy about team needs. Have fun and get to know the newest prospects!
Here is a list of our current top 2014 NFL Draft Prospects.
Updated September 9th
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater is the best quarterback prospect eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft and my #2 overall player. The Jaguars got obliterated by an improved Chiefs defense – they need to start over at quarterback.
2. Oakland Raiders
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Clowney hasn’t had the start to his season that he wanted, but the incredibly talented defensive lineman isn’t going to make it out of the top three.
3. Cleveland Browns
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Brandon Weeden is not very good at this quarterbacking thing. Mariota would give the Browns a much needed spark offensively with his dual-threat ability. If Mariota stays in school, Tajh Boyd, Stephen Morris or Brett Hundley could be good options as well.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Jake Matthews has NFL bloodlines – his dad Bruce was a HOF lineman – and plays like it. He should get to show his chops at left tackle this year, after dominating from the right side last year while teammate Luke Joeckel was holding down the left side.
5. San Diego Chargers
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
We saw the tackles rise to the top of the board in 2013 and I’d expect the top blockers to do the same in 2014. Lewan is technically sound and will only improve his technique and strength as a senior.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
Nix is one of the players that made Manti Te’o what he is today. A dynamic player that can eat up blockers or disengage and get after the ball, Nix is a rare bird.
7. Tennessee Titans
Stephen Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Tuitt does not move like a guy that measures in at 6’6″ and 305 pounds. He has some quick feet and abundant power. He is going to find a lot of suitors in the 2014 NFL Draft.
8. Tampa Bay Bucs
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Watkins sophomore season was dampened by a suspension and injuries, but he is poised to have another huge season this year. He’s got football speed and a QB – Tajh Boyd – who will deliver him the ball.
9. Carolina Panthers
Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Barr is the new prototype in the NFL – he can rush the passer as well as cover tight ends down the field. Barr could develop into a Dion Jordan-esque prospect.
10. New York Jets
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Lee was a dynamic presence for the USC Trojans the last two years and should thrive even without former QB Matt Barkley in town. Lee has excellent hands and is a good route-runner, although he could tighten up that area of his game. He and Watkins will battle it out for the #1st receiver crown.
11. Minnesota Vikings
Ra’Shede Hageman, DL, Minnesota
Hageman is unheralded right now, but I think he will develop into a top-flight defensive end / defensive tackle in the NFL. Watch him destroy the Big-10 this year.
12. Buffalo Bills
C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Mosley can do it all – he has the size, athleticism and Alabama pedigree to come in and contribute at nearly any linebacker position as a rookie.
13. Detroit Lions
Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
After deciding to stay for his redshirt-junior season, Roby instantly vaulted up a couple of rounds due to the talented 2013 CB class leaving. He isn’t big (5’11″ / 190), but he has elite recovery speed and finds ways to get his hands on the football, notching 18 pass deflections in 2012.
14. Dallas Cowboys
Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Behind Barr, Van Noy is one of the most dynamic edge defenders in college football. He can set the edge, drop in coverage and get after the quarterback. I’m surprised he came back for his senior season as I had him as a top fifty player last year.
15. Chicago Bears
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
Jay Cutler is a fine NFL quarterback, but I’m not sure if Marc Trestman wants him around long-term. Morris can make all the NFL throws and if he stays as consistent as he was in the first two weeks of the college season – he’ll be a first-round pick in 2014.
16. Kansas City Chiefs
Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
Clinton-Dix is the latest Alabama defensive back that is going to get first-round hype. He is sound in coverage and can make the hit when he needs to. The Saban pedigree won’t hurt him either.