Ken Vetrano’s Final Week Mock Draft: First Round

2014 NFL Draft

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

The Following mock draft does not include trades, and the only picks made are those acquired or assigned to teams before hand. More information regarding prospects can be found in Mike Loyko’s Draft Guide or another favorite resource of mine Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 NFL prospects.

Updated: 5/7

1. Houston Texans: Clowney, Jadeveon DE, South Carolina

In my opinion Clowney isn’t a sure thing. His lackadaisical demeanor at times during his final year as a Gamecock has me concerned. Granted he was commanding more attention than previous seasons, the effort and desire just didn’t seem present. I’m not sure he has that extra gear elite pass rushers possess at the next level. But with that said, his freakish athleticism and enormously high ceiling make him too alluring to pass over. The Falcons are reportedly interested in moving up, and may offer a package that could entice Houston. Such a scenario would be ideal for the Texans, since it would give them extra capital to play with, and potentially snag a top tier quarterback who slips on day one.


2. St. Louis Rams: Manziel, Johnny QB, Texas A&M

This is surely a pick Sam Bradford will take umbrage with, but Johnny Football offers a dynamic skill set that could light the Edward Jones Dome ablaze. Manziel’s ability to extend plays and buy receivers time should bode well for Tavon Austin and Chris Givens. They will have more opportunities to get loose down field, which will open things up underneath for Jared Cook, who struggled with separation last year.


3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Watkins, Sammy WR, Clemson

With the absence of Justin Blackmon in 2014, Jacksonville will be in the market for some talent at receiver. And there isn’t anyone better than Clemson stand out Sammy Watkins. He has everything you look for in a number one receiver, and doesn’t have to rely on his measurables to gain separation. Pair him up with Cecil Shorts on the other side, and Mercedes Lewis at TE, and all of a sudden Jacksonville has an intriguing offense on their hands. The quarterback situation may still be murky for them, but that’s something they can address later on. Watkins is as close as it gets to a can’t miss prospect.


4. Cleveland Browns: Mack, Khalil LB, Buffalo

Mack has one of the best motors in this year’s draft. His field acumen is second to none, and he always seems to be around the ball. With D’Qwell Jackson’s departure, the Browns need someone to replace his production. Mack has all the tools to mirror what Jackson was able to accomplish on the field, and then some. His range allows him to play effectively inside or outside, but his pass rushing skills and knack for causing chaos in the backfield are what make him such a special player.


5. Oakland Raiders: Evans, Mike WR, Texas A&M

Matt Schaub is going to need a replacement binky after leaving Andre Johnson behind in Houston, and Evans could quickly become his new best buddy. Evans has a catch radius that makes him appealing to throw to anywhere on the field, and the speed to get on top of most defenses. James Jones and Mike Evans could make for one heck of a tandem, which would open things up for Maurice Jones-Drew underneath.


6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson OT, Auburn

The Falcons may have ambitions to trade up, but they might be able to get one of the players they desire in Robinson at #6. Whether or not they move up, Atlanta needs to protect their franchise in Matt Ryan, so investing a high pick in the athletically gifted big man should be a priority.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mathews, Jake OT, Texas A&M

Whether Tampa decides to ride with Glennon or McCown, they’re going to have to keep them upright. Mathews has the pedigree to be a staple on Tampa Bay’s offensive line for years to come. He has phenomenal technique, and will be ready to contribute from day one. The Bucs have done a fantastic job adding talent across the board this off season, now it’s time to continue that trend inside the trenches.


8. Minnesota Vikings: Bridgewater, Teddy QB, Louisville

There has been a lot of hullabaloo regarding Bridgewater’s poor pro day. As disconcerting as a bad pro day can be, ultimately the tape doesn’t lie. And Bridgewater’s poise and pocket presence was undeniable this past season. Minnesota will be fine on the defensive side of the ball with Mike Zimmer at the helm, but an upgrade at QB is paramount if they plan on making any noise this season. Bridgewater could stand to pack on some muscle, but overall he’s more polished than Bortles, who some have started to rank over him.


9. Buffalo Bills: Lewan, Taylor OT, Michigan

Many have Eric Ebron pegged at this spot for Buffalo. However, I’m not totally convinced he’s worth a top ten pick. Ebron is an explosive playmaker who can hang six on the board at any moment, but inconsistent hands would keep me from selecting him until after #10. Many have compared him to Vernon Davis, but in my opinion he’s closer to Benjamin Watson. If Buffalo wants to fill a need at TE, Jace Amaro or Austin Seferian-Jenkins might be available when their on the board next at #41. At that point, either of those options presents more value in the second round than reaching on Ebron at #9 overall. Picking Taylor will help solidify the Bills offensive line, and add positional security going forward.


10. Detroit Lions: Pryor, Calvin FS, Louisville

I can see Detroit trading this pick if they feel equal value at a position of need exists later in the first round. But if they decide to use the 10th overall pick, Pryor makes a lot of sense. With the release of Louis Delmas, Detroit will be seeking a more durable presence in the secondary. Pryor is a tone setting safety that can lay the lumber, and make impact plays in the run game as well as the passing game.


11. Tennessee Titans: Gilbert, Justin CB, Oklahoma State

With Alterraun Verner jumping ship for the Buccaneers, Tennessee will need to address the corner back position early in this draft. Gilbert has the speed to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and encompasses very good ball skills. Attaching Gilbert to a secondary with Jason McCourty on the other side of the field will give Tennessee a formidable duo at CB. Alabama linebacker CJ Mosley is a possible consideration for this pick as well.


12. New York Giants: Martin, Zack OG, Notre Dame

The Giants offensive line play was horrendous last year, and really put Eli Manning in some dangerous situations. New York would like to see Lewan or Robinson still on the board with this pick, but with both gone, look for them to take the versatile guard from South Bend.  Martin showcased the skill set to play either guard or tackle at the Senior Bowl. The Giants would most likely want him to become a force at left tackle, and protect Manning’s blind side. But the ability to play multiple positions on the line gives New York some added depth at a position of need.


13. St. Louis Rams: Ebron, Eric TE, North Carolina

St. Louis will probably look to trade one of their first round picks in order to cash in on the abundance of value after round one. If they select at #13, and Eric Ebron is still on the board, he becomes an interesting possibility. Unlike the Bills, St. Louis has the luxury of a second first round pick, so taking Ebron with #13 isn’t as much of a reach compared to Buffalo at #9. If the Rams had their druthers, Manziel’s former target Mike Evans would be available, but unfortunately for them Oakland snatched him up at #5. With Tavon Austin and Chris Givens in the fold as deep threats, St. Louis could use some size in the middle. Receivers like Marquees Lee and Brandon Cooks are attractive, but St. Louis needs a bigger target that can streak down the field and cause matchup problems for opposing defenses. They made a sizable investment with Jared Cook last off season, but he under performed for the most part during his first year. Ebron has the size and explosiveness to exploit linebackers in coverage. Grouping him with Cook in two TE sets could pay off for Brian Shottenheimer’s offense, and give Manzeil the options he’ll need across the middle.


14. Chicago Bears: Clinton-Dix, Ha Ha FS, Alabama

The Bears injected a lot of fuel into the front end of their defense during free agency, now they need to invest similar talent into the back end. Clinton-Dix offers the size and range teams desire at the safety position, and he should contribute from the jump. Considering the age of Peanut Tillman, Darqueze Dennard is another option with this pick. Either way, I feel addressing the secondary will be a priority for Chicago at this spot.


15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Shazier, Ryan OLB, Ohio State

Originally I though the Steelers might try to trade back later into the first round, where they could potentially land Shazier while acquiring more picks. However, Shazier has begun to rise on people’s boards, and Pittsburgh might not want to risk losing out on selecting him. Shazier has some of the best end line to end line speed in this draft, and can cover TE’s as well as receivers out of the slot. Meanwhile his burst and rush ability make him a threat on third down. Pairing him up with Lawrence Timmons inside a 3-4 defense could rejuvenate a linebacking corps that just lost Lamar Woodley.


16. Dallas Cowboys: Donald, Aaron DT, Pittsburgh

The Cowboys desperately need to address their defensive line in this draft after releasing DeMarcus Ware. And Donald possesses a motor that will serve the cowboys interior defense well. He has a short stocky frame that he uses to his advantage. Donald was able to get leverage on most guards, which allowed him to penetrate and disrupt backfields throughout his college career. He would be a welcomed addition to a waning pass rush in Dallas.

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28 Responses to “Ken Vetrano’s Final Week Mock Draft: First Round”

  1. Matt says:

    Did someone forget to tell Ken the last time the Pats took a WR in the first was back in 96.

  2. Bill Vermont says:

    This has been a very interesting season with all the possibilities. The Patriots have a 12 win team that made it to the final 4, but they really need to get better.

    They need a TE who can block and play “twin towers” when Gronk comes back.
    They need a pass rush to complement this new found “elite” secondary.
    they need more speed in backfield and a player who can come in if Vereen goes down.
    They need a QB to develop and maybe repalce Brady in 3-4 years

    1) J Attaochu DE/OLB
    2) CJ Fiedorowicz TE
    3) Logan Thomas QB
    4) David Yankey OG/OT
    4c) Khyri Thornton DT
    6a) Laderius perkins RB
    6B) Ben Gardner DE
    7) Lonnie Ballantine SS

    I’m sure there’s better drafts outr there, and pats will undoubtedly drop down and pick up anther pick or 2, but these are guys I really like. Attaochu is probably not much of a reach at #29. Lots of upside potential. CJF is a reach, but I can’t get him at 93 and the talent drops off alot after him. Niklas is really raw. Logan has very interesting upside and we take him in 3rd. Lots of higher rated QB’s go earlier.

    • steve earle says:

      You have some good names mocked here Bill but I have to question Attaochu with the 1st.
      Guy is a sub package player. !st pick I’ve always believed must be a 3 down capable guy which he isn’t imo. Besides this would be an unnecessary reach for him if you must have him.

  3. Ken W says:

    My Ideal draft would be as follows:

    1. Jace Amaro (TE)
    2. Kareem Martin (DE)
    3. Adrian Hubbard (OLB)
    4. Travis Swanson (C/G)
    4. Preston Brown (ILB)
    6. Antone Exum (CB/S)
    6. Trey Burton (TE)
    7. Trey Millard (FB)

    Heres to the Pats having a good draft.

  4. steve earle says:

    One day to go and like others I’m sticking with my last mock of 4/25. Just thought I refresh memories. I believe Bill trades down the 1st for a 2nd and 3rd this year and possibly another late rd’er next year. Also expect him to move about the draft as usual but no way to predict that so I’ll stick with what I had. I try to go with where value meets need.

    1 trade down for mid / high 2nd.
    2a Austin Seferon-Jenkins TE, Most likely and best fit of he, Niklas and Mairo
    2b DaQuan Jones DT Value to high to pass on
    3a Travis Swanson OC Likely still available at position after Richberg already taken
    3b Christian Jones LB Athletic ILB/OLB/ DE
    4a Ahmad Dixon SS, Likely still on board after Loston already taken.
    4 comp. Jerick McKinnon RB
    ( if BB gets a 5th I’d look for Marquis Flowers LB or Justin Britt OT here.
    6a Spencer Long OG High rated but had injury so slides.
    6b AC Leonard TE Red flag but at 6′ 2″ 250+ runs sub 4.5/40 & at low 6th what the heck?
    7. Colt Lyerla TE another red flag/ what the heck, prospect

    I believe this would be as strong a draft yield as could be had and that the prospects will be taken at or close to where I’ve mocked them. Had a great time this pre mock season. Thanks to all of you. Keeping fingers crossed until it’s over or fingers cramp, whichever comes first.

    • AM says:

      I’d be pretty thrilled with this draft, except for Lyerla. Among all the other legal, off-the-field, and personality issues, he’s also said some disturbing things about the Sandy Hook shooting. Hard to believe that Bob Kraft would okay bringing that guy to New England.

      • steve earle says:

        I confess I don’t believe Lyerla will ever be a Pat. Only mocked him is because of athletic football ability which no other name anywhere near that place in the draft comes even close to. A couple or 3 who might be around and taken by BB : Larry Webster DE, Franklin Qustch RB, Deshavor Everette CB.
        Really though if BB picks even two on my list I’d consider it a success. Been doing this since 1966/67 and that’s about what I’ve come to expect though many of those I’ve mocked have had great NFL success. Oh well just hope Bill makes the most of this draft. Goooo Pat’s!!!!!!!!!

  5. Todd Flair says:

    There is no way in the world the Packers take Amaro in the first round. He is NOT a first round pick and has been sliding on every board but this one. Their GM has never taken a TE early, and they have far too many actual needs on defense to waste a #1 on a 2-3 round talent. Their offense is one of the best in the NFL w/o a stud TE. Their defense is one of the worst in the NFL and needs help at SS-ILB-OLB.

  6. Troianosaurus says:

    Kenny V spits hot fire in this draft!

    • Troianosaurus says:

      But seriously you draft is hella lame and I’m an expert from behind a keyboard so trust me.

  7. Bill Spalding says:

    I don’t like the benjamin pick at all. I’m not convinced he has enough (or any) dedication to be a patriot WR. You can get Coleman later and get the same size. Benjamins only claim to fame is he palyed on a big stage.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree with Bill on this. This draft is deep in WR but short in TE. DE, and SS all positions of need where WR is not.

  8. Chris says:

    Trade 1st (29) for 2nd, 3rd and 6th round pick.

    Round 2 Niklas TE, Buchanon S
    Round 3 D. Jones DT, Tardiff OT/OG
    Round 4 Pierre Louis OLB, Gayle DE
    Round 6 Ikard OC, Janis WR, Gaffney RB
    Round 7 Lyerla TE

    G. Hoskins, Lobata UDFA …

  9. Tim D says:

    With the amount of time it appears to take to get a WR acclimated to the offense(proven veteran WRs, nevermind rookie WRs), if they even get acclimated at all, I do not like the Benjamin pick in the 1st round. As you said he’s already a raw prospect and add in his red flags and that’s more than enough for me. If his initial contribution is going to be a redzone target, that is something that can be had later in the draft with someone like Brandon Coleman or something that could be accomplished while drafting the need for a TE either early with one of the big names or later with someone like Gillmore. Benjamin’s potential is exciting to think about, but not a wise first round pick for the pats IMO. I agree that SF or Sea would love to have him. Being Anquan Boldin’s understudy might be exactly what he needs to reach his potential.

  10. Russell says:

    Don’t like Benjamin, feel better about Jeff Janis in the (4th) 6’3″ 218lbs runs a 4.36 40yd. No-way the rams take Manziel, and Baltimore needs Oline help. Bortles goes earlier, I have him to Jacksonville. I Like the Patriots to take;
    QB A.J. McCarron
    LB/SS Telvin smith
    TE Arthur Lynch
    RB Tyler Gaffney
    WR Jeff Janis
    LB Avery Williamson
    CB Aaron Colvin
    DT Zac Kerr

    • acm says:

      it seems LB Telvin Smith is one of several players (LB Cristian Jones, DT Jernigan, etc) whose blood tests at the combine had questionable results i.e. you could say they failed those tests for one reason or another (don’t know details).
      This may well be related to Jernigan’s decision to not attend the draft despite being among the invited players.

    • steve earle says:

      Like what I read about Janis WR. You may have found a gem among all the stones there Russell. I’ll keep an eye out for him in the next couple days. Though we disagree on our mocks let me say thanks for all your ideas, observations and inputs. You and acm, AC Maine Man, Nuf ced and everyone makes this the best draft site anywhere.
      GO PAT”S !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. jim r says:

    On board with Benji for the reasons you said. Makes a lot of sense.

  12. AM says:

    I don’t particularly agree with or like the Benjamin pick (which means it probably is right on target), but on the whole this looks like one of the more plausible mocks I’ve seen of late.

    For my money, an ideal Patriots draft (without trades) would run like this:

    Round 1 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE (probably 10-15 spots early, but not really worried)
    Round 2 – Scott Crichton, DE
    Round 3 – Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB
    Round 4 – Caraun Reid, DT; AJ McCarron, QB
    Round 6 – Michael Sam, DE; John Urschel, OG
    Round 7 – Alden Darby, S

    Ideally, it would be nice to pick up an extra pick or two in the middle rounds to address RB and/or ILB. Of course, I’d also jettison all of these plans if Aaron Donald somehow miraculously dropped into the 20s–do what it takes to go get him.

    I’m also in the distinct minority of Patriots fans who thinks that if Teddy Bridgewater does precipitously fall to #29, he’s worth the pick. The team has few holes with eight picks in a deep draft; unless a king’s ransom in trades is available, snap up the franchise-level QB, knowing that there’s plenty of other talent to be had. (And there’s the added fringe benefit of knowing that the backup QB spot is set even with Mallett’s inevitable departure next year.)

    • acm says:

      I have serious doubts Attaochu, Reid and AJM are still on the board where you have them. Only Reid has some sort of chance falling there, imo, and even that would be a long shot.

      wouldn’t absolutely hate ASJ at 29 but there are way too many questions about him for me to love the pick. Would like to believe there would be better value still available at that point of the draft. ASJ is now just too rich for that spot.

      • acm says:

        oops, meant to say the 29th pick is too rich for ASJ.

      • AM says:

        I’d be significantly surprised if Reid was a top-100 pick, and I expect he’ll still be on the board at 130. McCarron seems to be undergoing a last-minute ascension, but I’m not sure I buy all the hype of him being a 2nd rounder, especially if other QBs get pushed down. Attaochu seems to be all over the place, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being an early 2nd rounder at the end of the day; still, I think there’s a chance he slips into the 90s.

        As to ASJ, I agree that 29 is a little rich for him, as I mentioned above, but he is a definite goner by 62 (probably by 42). There may be more horizontal value in another player, but the vertical stack of quality TEs in this draft is tiny–I think ASJ is head and shoulders above any other “Y” tight end in this draft, and I’d probably opt for him over even Ebron if given the choice. Given the slim pickings there and the slimmer pickings in free agency, I don’t mind a relatively shallow reach if it nets a great player (which I think he will be) at a position of (relative) need. That being said, if they can drop ten spots and pick up a 3rd Round pick, they should certainly go for it.

        • acm says:

          that’s where we disagree on ASJ – I don’t see him as a player whom the Pats should prioritize and spending a 29th pick on him, implies exactly that. I think they’d be better off getting a better value player at 29 and seeing how the board falls for their 62nd pick – if ASJ is there, for which I think there is a pretty decent chance right about now, then take him; if not, not too big a deal, other TEs will likely be there or within “shouting” distance of that pick. Just too many red flags for me and I am not sure I’d call ASJ a Y-TE, tbh.

  13. Nuf Ced says:

    I don’t like the Benjamin pick, he is just waaaaay to raw. If that is what is available at this point give me either of the lineman you have next selected

    • AM says:

      Agreed, on both counts.

    • acm says:

      me too and Su’a Filo and Bitonio aren’t the only players available I can see the Pats pick over KB at 29. no way in a WR class this deep, not to mention the quite a few red flags sticking out of him.

  14. Kevin says:

    The big boy Kelvin Benjamin would satisfy me very much at #29. As you said, Benjamin would probably be top 10ish if he stayed another year with Jameis. That’s what you call a serious value pick. I’ve got a feeling he could be one of the guys we look back on and say, “how in the world did he drop so far!!??!”

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