Mike Loyko’s 2014 Mock Draft

Less than 3 weeks until the Commish takes the podium and announces the first pick.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Less than three weeks from the 2014 Draft and there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding who goes where. The first two rounds are expected to be more action-packed than ever. With supreme talent throughout the top 100, it will be interesting to see how teams position themselves to land the player they covet.

This year’s draft revolves around two players 1) Jadeveon Clowney and 2) Johnny Manziel, where they get selected will have an enormous trickle down effect on the rest of the first round and beyond. Here is my latest attempt to project how the 2014 NFL Draft will play out.

I’d appreciate it if everyone checked out my 2014 Draft Guide. I put a ton of work into it and if you are an NFL Draft fan I think you’ll really enjoy it. Check out the link for more information. “Mike Loyko’s 2014 NFL Draft Guide”

First Round

1) Houston TexansJadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
It’s really the only choice. Even though Houston needs a Quarterback there is no way they can pass up a generational talent for the caliber of Quarterback found at the top of this draft. Clowney is simply too special to pass up and the Quarterbacks they can pick at #33 won’t be significantly different than the Quarterback they’d pick at #1. If Rick Smith and the Houston brass do pass on Clowney, mark my words it will cost people their jobs down the road.

2) St. Louis Rams Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Robinson’s ceiling as a Left Tackle prospect is significantly high. His combination of size, power, and athleticism is exceedingly rare for a man of his size. He is a much better prospect than either Luke Joeckel or Eric Fisher from last year’s draft and he’s only a Redshirt Sophomore. If he went back to school for his Junior season, he would have created unrivaled hype for an Offensive Tackle prospect. The Rams Offensive Line has been a weakness for a long time and with Robinson in the fold they have the centerpiece to build around.

3) Jacksonville JaguarsJohnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
I’ve stuck by my guns since last fall and I’m not backing down now. Manziel will be a top selection in this draft and I know for a fact that teams in the top 5 are highly interested in him. The fit between Manziel, Jacksonville, and Gus Bradley is perfect. He’s the type of face of the franchise player that city needs and Bradley is the type of coach that will get the most out of Manziel. Bradley saw first hand the impact that Russell Wilson had on Seattle as a rookie and while Manziel is a different type of Quarterback, the excitement he can bring to the field is unmatched. If Jacksonville doesn’t take Manziel, he won’t have to wait much longer.

4) Cleveland Browns Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
It once looked likely that the Browns would take a Quarterback at pick #4 and if Johnny Manziel falls to them, there is a chance they still could. But with another pick in the first round it makes more sense to take the elite talent, creating a dynamic receiving tandem, and then get their future Quarterback at #26. The Cleveland franchise can’t bear to miss on another top five selection, especially if it’s on a Quarterback. The best strategy is to take the safe, high upside player first and then take the QB in the late first round, where the risk is minimized if he busts.

5) Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
GM Reggie MacKenzie is in a similar position to the Browns, he can’t afford to miss on another top draft pick and certainly not a Quarterback. With Matt Schaub in the fold it takes some of the pressure off GM Reggie MacKenzie to take a Quarterback at #5. The good news is the Raiders have holes all over their roster and despite spending a ton of money in Free Agency, they still have little young talent. A marriage between Khalil Mack and the Raiders is a perfect fit in my opinion. Pass rush is still a major need in Oakland and Mack brings the qualities of a Raider to the field.

6) Atlanta Falcons Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The easiest pick in the entire draft to project. Atlanta is either taking a pass rusher or an Offensive Tackle. With the top two (and only two) pass rushers worthy of this pick off the board, the choice is really made for them. Matthews is a skilled, technically proficient Offensive Line prospect and can start from day one. The Falcons Offensive Line has been a weakness of the team for quite sometime now and they have never really had a Left Tackle the caliber of Jack Matthews play for them. This pick should take all of ten seconds to make once Atlanta is on the clock.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
I have been immensely impressed with new GM Jason Licht (former Patriots disciple). Not only did he lay out an well-thought-out plan, his execution of that plan has been flawless. He’s made tough decisions, but all of his moves have been decisive, swift, and purposeful. This is a franchise headed in the right direction, although it may take a year or two for them to get all the pieces in place. At pick #7, the Buccaneers could go in a few different directions, but it makes the most sense to take the best player available in Mike Evans, who also fills a big need. The WR Evans is compared to most is Vincent Jackson and the two big, physical receivers can be paired up to provide downfield threats for whoever is the QB.

8) Minnesota VikingsBlake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Minnesota is in a tough position. I truly believe, they’d prefer not to take a Quarterback at #8, especially given GM Rick Speilman’s colosial whiff on Christian Ponder. Speilman simply won’t survive if he misses on another Quarterback, but the Vikings might not have a choice. If the top seven players are off the board Speilman will find himself in a tough spot. He filled some holes on defense this off-season, but still have holes throughout the roster. The Vikings won’t take a Wide Receiver and probably won’t take an Offensive Tackle. That leaves them with Bortles or a trade down. Trading the pick, is probably the best option, but for the sake of this mock I’ll give them the Central Florida QB. Bortles is far far far from a sure thing and will take at least 1-2 years to develop NFL caliber mechanics.

9) Buffalo BillsTaylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Cordy Glenn is a very good Offensive Lineman who is playing arguably his worst position. For as good as he’s been on the left side, he could be even better on the Right Side where the Bills have a void. Drafting Lewan will solidify the bookend tackles for the future and will help keep EJ Manuel upright. If the Bills opt to go in another direction, Eric Ebron makes a lot of sense.

10) Detroit Lions
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
The Lions could use help all over their defense and in the secondary specifically. This might be a little high for a safety, but the only way the Lions will get Clinton-Dix is by picking him here. There are at least 3-4 teams picking from 14-20 that would jump all over Ha Ha if he fell to them. I see this in a similar light to Mark Barron two years ago. He’s by far the best player at a position that is lacking premium players and the team can live with reaching for him a little bit. He’s a plug and play, day one starter, that will provide stability on the backend of a Lions defense which faces high-powered passing attacks each week.

11) Tennessee TitansAnthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
I know there is a lot of talk about Barr dropping in the draft and while that could be true, the fit for Barr in Tennessee is perfect. This is a team constantly on the lookout for additional pass rushers, Kamerion Wimbley and Shaun Phillips aren’t the long term answer. Anthony Barr has flaws in his game and may take sometime, but no one has as much upside. He could provide great production from a sub-package pass rush role as a rookie.

12) New York Giants Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Giants have dramatically turned their roster over this off-season, but Tight End is still one position with a huge hole. Ebron is by far the best player at the position and will provide fading QB Eli Manning another target to throw incompletions to. The Giants have rotated Tight Ends through the roster on 1-year deals, but Ebron is a long term solution with All-Pro talent. He creates mismatches in the passing game and will take some of the over the top Safety coverage away from Victor Cruz.

13) St. Louis RamsJustin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Rams could go a number of ways with their second pick including Receiver, Defensive Tackle or defensive back. With the top ranked corner falling into their laps, the Rams could come away from the 1st Round with their Left Tackle of the future and their #1 CB or the future. Two premium positions that are incredibly tough to fill the further in the draft you go. This is a huge draft for the Rams and I’m not sure QB can be ruled out at this selection either. If Sam Bradford fails to progress in 2014, regardless of who the Rams pick with these two selections, they will be back at the top of the draft again next year.

14) Chicago Bears Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
A perfect fit between player and team. The Bears were active in free agency signing two talented defensive ends, but are as soft as “Charmin” up the middle after losing Henry Melton. The Bears get an immediate chance to fill the void left by Melton with a very similar player. Combining Donald to Lamaar Houston and Jared Allen, will create a defensive line that can change games with disruption.

15) Pittsburgh Steelers Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
The Steelers secondary is aging quickly and this is probably the last season they can get out of Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu. Both Safety and Cornerback are major needs, so if Ha Ha Clinton-Dix gets this far, I’d expect him to be the selection. With HCD off the board the Steelers turn to Darqueze Dennard, who immediately becomes the most talented cornerback on the Steelers roster. Dennard doesn’t have the greatest speed, but he makes up for his with natural coverage instincts and physicality.

16) Dallas Cowboys Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Cowboys would love to get their hands on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Anthony Barr, but with both players off the board they opt to improve their terrible defensive line. Getting Henry Melton in the fold was big, but he’s coming off a torn ACL and can’t solve all the problems by himself. Jernigan is a disruptive interior presence that is just scratching the surface of his potential.

17) Baltimore RavensZack Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame
Re-signing Eugene Monroe to hold down the Left Tackle spot for the next few years was a major score for the Ravens, but they still need to upgrade the other side of the Offensive Line. If the season started today, the Right Tackle would likely be Jah Reid and that’s less than ideal. Zack Martin can play any position on the line and is one of the safest players in the entire draft.

18) New York Jets Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU
It’s no secret that the Jets are targeting a Wide Receiver in round one. Their work out list is a whose who of top receiver prospects and it’s no smokescreen. Even though they added Eric Decker, they need another receiver who can produce when Decker is getting shut down by Darrelle Revis twice a year. Beckham is a dynamic playmaker that can impact the passing game at all levels, it won’t be long before he is the #1 WR in the Jets offense.

19) Miami Dolphins Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Kounandjio took a beating at the combine for poor workout numbers and a potentially balky knee. His stock has corrected itself since then and with the top tier of Offensive Tackles off the board the Dolphins can either pick Kouandjio here or they risk missing out on the starting caliber OT entirely. Kouandjio could kick over to Right Tackle, where he’s probably best suited, and provide bookend protection for QB Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill has run for his life the last two seasons and it’s affected his development, adding two legitimate Offensive Tackles will limit the available excuses for Tannehill and Head Coach Joe Philbin.

20) Arizona CardinalsCJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
On the surface this isn’t a huge need as they have Kevin Minter, but the they just lost Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington has troubles off the field. Mosely can play any LB position and with defenses becoming more multiple, teams need more than just their starting 3-4 LB. Mosley is simply took good to pass up at this point.

21) Green Bay PackersBrandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Just when everyone thinks Ted Thompson will zig, he zags and pulls off a shocker. I didn’t plan on giving the Packers Cooks, but I am intrigued by the fit between player and team. Aaron Rodgers’ weapons have been pillaged over the last two off-seasons, but adding one dynamic playmaker like Brandin Cooks could change all that. A top three of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Brandin Cooks could make the Packers offense as dangerous as ever.

22) Philadelphia EaglesMarqise Lee, WR, USC
Marqise Lee’s stock has fallen a little bit, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he’s going to be a very good NFL Receiver. Adding a big play threat like Marqise Lee to the existing pieces on the Eagles offense further elevates them above everyone else in the NFC East. An offense consisting of Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, Marqise Lee, Riley Cooper, and Darren Sproles must be a scary thought for the rest of the NFC.

23) Kansas City ChiefsCalvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Everyone has the Chiefs pegged to pick a Wide Receiver, but with the top guys off the board, the Chiefs are better off waiting until the second or third round to get their receiver. Calvin Pryor can pair up with Eric Berry to create a dynamic, versatile Safety combination, providing some stability opposite the All-Pro. The Chiefs were hard hit along the offensive line in free agency, so a OG like Xavier Su’a-Filo wouldn’t surprise me either.

24) Cincinnati BengalsKyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Fuller is my top ranked Cornerback in the draft, as he possesses the most complete skillset. Cornerback is a major need area for the Bengals as they have an aging and declining group. Fuller has some injury questions, but he’s a potential lock down corner that with tremendous natural coverage skills. If Fuller is gone, Bradley Roby or a LB like Ryan Shazier makes sense.

25) San Diego ChargersLouis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
Nose Tackles have a tendency to drop on draft day and even though Nix’s stock has fallen in recent weeks, I believe he is going to be an impact player in the NFL. The Chargers Nose Tackle position currently consists of Sean Lissemore and Kwame Geathers, which is not going to cut it. Nix is a great fit in the middle of that 3-4 Defense and an immediate upgrade at a key position.

26) Cleveland BrownsTeddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Browns gamble of passing on a QB at #4 pays off and pays off big time. If the Browns pull off a 1st Round coup of Sammy Watkins and Teddy Bridgewater, consider it highway robbery. This tandem combined with Jordan Cameron, Ben Tate, and Josh Gordon would legitimize the Browns offense, making it one of the more dynamic attacks in the NFL.. until they leave in free agency.

27) New Orleans SaintsDemarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise State
Rob Ryan rejuvenated the Saints defense in only one season, but he did a lot of it with smoke and mirrors. The Saints don’t have many pass rushing pieces for the long term and Lawrence is one of the drafts fastest risers. He’s a versatile pass rusher that can play anywhere in the front seven and create pressure. If he went back to school for one more year, we’d be talking about him in the top 10 mix for the 2015 Draft.

28) Carolina PanthersKelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
I’m taking the easy way out by projecting a Wide Receiver for the Panthers. The Panthers took a step back this off-season and in my opinion are poised for a major fall back to earth in 2014, regardless of this pick. For Cam Newton’s sake (and his happiness) they need to get him a legitimate #1 Receiver. Jason Avant and Jericho Cotchery were #3 receivers in their primes. Neither is currently in their prime and neither is good enough to satisfy Cam Newton. Benjamin is a boom or bust prospect, but the thought of a 6’5″ 240 pound Wide Receiver catching passes from Cam Newton is a tantalizing thought.

29) New England Patriots Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
I still believe (and know) the Patriots are targeting defensive line help early in the draft. There is always the distinct possibility they trade out of the first round and accumulate draft picks. However, if Ryan Shazier is sitting there at pick #29 the Patriots have to think long and hard about selecting him. Adding a 4.38 Linebacker to Jamie Collins will transform the Patriots Linebackers from one of the slowest groups in the NFL to one of the fastest. The Patriots clearly had an off-season plan of improving their pass defense and while the back-end is as good as ever, the LB position is still lacking. When breaking down the Patriots roster Linebacker is by far the thinnest position with only 3 players I consider worthy of the 53 man roster. Whether it’s in the first round or on day two, this is a position that will be addressed at some point in the draft. If Shazier is gone, I expect Dominique Easley or Louis Nix III to get legitimate looks.

30) San Francisco 49ers Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
The 49ers are blessed with a ton of picks and while they don’t have a lot of holes, this is an important draft for their franchise. The secondary has lost key pieces each of the last two seasons and this year lost both Donte Whitner and Tarrel Brown. Bradley Roby is a tremendous athlete that can be developed into a shut down cornerback. I love the way he plays the game and attacks the football in the air. He needs lots of technique work, but his pure talent is unmatched by any corner in the draft.

31) Denver BroncosXavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
Su’a-Filo is the best Guard in this draft and a player I think will be an All-Pro player in short time. He’s the rare Offensive Guard that can combine athleticism with power to complete blocks. He can play Offensive Tackle if needed, but his long term future is at Guard. The Broncos have a large hole at Left Guard with the departure of Zane Beadles and for as good as Beadles was during his time in Denver, Su’a-Filo becomes an immediate upgrade in my opinion.

32) Seattle Seahawks Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada
Bitonio is one of my favorite players in the entire draft. He’s extremely smart and can play multiple positions along the offensive line. Whether it’s Right Tackle, Guard, or Center, he will make the Seahawks a better team. His upside is lower than other OL, but he’s extremely safe and projectable. If the Seahawks don’t go Offensive Line here, I expect them to target the Defensive Line with someone such as Stephon Tuitt.

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33 Responses to “Mike Loyko’s 2014 Mock Draft”

  1. James Fedewa says:

    I’m a Chargers fan, and I see two things with your mock about SD. First of all, I like the Nix @ #25, but first round nose tackles have to have more than what Nix has to offer. If you’re a first round NT, you better be amazing at the combine, or have AMAZING game tape (and his tape OK, not great).

    SD would not pass on Aaron Donald either (in that trade scenario), but that trade to Dallas would be VERY tempting with offering two more 2014 picks, plus a 1st round next year? WOW.

    I don’t think SD will draft a CB in the first round either, but I think they draft the best defensive play maker OR a top tier WR. They have been looking for a left tackle since Marcus McNeil retired, so I can vision a OL in the 2nd round…

  2. Russell says:

    If there are Trade moves in the 1st round of the draft;
    1-Houston- LB Khalil Mack
    2- St. Louis- (trades with Detriot,… 2nd (1st) pick, for 10th (1st) pick, 76 (3d) pick and 2nd pick 2015 draft, Detriot takes WR Sammy Watkins
    3- Jags- QB Blake Bortles
    4- Cleveland (trades with Atlanta ,….4th (1st) pick, for 6th (1st) pick, and 68th (3d) pick Atlanta picks DE Jadeveon Clowney
    5- Oakland- OL Greg Robinson
    6- From Atlanta , Cleveland -OL Jake Mattews
    7- Tampa, – LB Anthony Barr
    8- Vikings- (trade with 49ers,…. 8th (1st) pick for , 30th (1st) pick, 77th (3d), 94th (3d), and 2nd pick in 2015 draft. 49ers pick, CB Justin Gilbert
    9- Buffalo- picks S Calvin Pryor
    10- from Detriot, St. Louis-OL Taylor Lewan
    11- Tennessee- TE Eric Ebron
    12- NY Giants- DE Stephon Tuitt
    13- St. Louis- S HaHa Clinton-Dix
    14- Chicago- DL RaShede Hagman
    15- Pittsburg- CB DarQueze Dennard
    16- Dallas- DE Kony Ealy
    17- Baltimore- OL Cyrus Kouandjio
    18- NY Jets- LB Ryan Shazier
    19- Miami- DT Louis Nix
    20-Arizona- trades with Patriots….. 20th pick, to Patriots for 29th (1st) , 93 (3d) . Patriots pick OL Zack Martin
    21Green Bay- TE Troy Niklas
    22- Philly- LB Dee Ford
    23- Kanas City- WR Odell Beckham Jr.
    24- Cinny- CB Bradley Roby
    25-San Diego- (trades to Dallas 25 (1st) pick to Dallas for 47 (2nd) 110 (4th) and 1st pick 2015 draft. Dallas picks, DT Aaron Donald
    26- Cleveland- QB Derek Carr
    27- New Orleans- WR Marquise Lee
    28- Carolina- WR Brandon Cook
    29- From Patriots, Arizona picks, OL Xavier Sua-filo
    30- From 49ers, Minnesota picks QB Teddy Bridgewater
    31- Denver, CB Kyle Fuller
    32- Seattle, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    • Matt says:

      Way too much for the lions to give up and it doesn’t match the value scale. No way the Lions move up and no way they chose Barr or Dix if they stay put. According to the Lions they have their safties and I see them trading back unless Watkins falls to 5 or Mack falls to 5. Then maybe trade up but doubt it. More likely they trade back and take Gilbert. Its Gilbert anyway you look at it to match him with Slay to form a good young CB duo.

  3. Mr Andrew M says:

    I know this Might appear to be a dream draft, but after a ton of up to date research, I truly believe this is in reach. All the trades make sense, and so do the draft picks.

    Feel free to let me know what you guys think.

    First off I think we should sign Will Smith in free agency. I think he could be signed for little to nothing, and could come in a be a great rotational asset, used for run stopping. He’s also a 12 year veteran and leader who would be another motivational addition to the team. Second I think BB should go to ED Reed, have a conversation about finishing out his career in New England trying to win another Super Bowl, as a back up. If they could get Ed Reed to mentor their younger safeties and DB’s, teaching them what he knows, it would be every penny of ed reeds million dollar salary.

    Round 1. Trade the 29th pick to the Jaguars in exchange for their 2nd round (pick 39) and 3rd round (pick 70) and their 5th round pick (pick 144)

    Round 2. With the 39th pick (from Jacksonville) NT Louis Nix III, Norte Dame

    Round 2. With the 62nd pick SS Deone Bucannon, Washighton State.

    Round 3. Trade both of our 4th round picks (130 & 140) To Tampa Bay for their 3rd round (pick 69). With the 69th pick (from Tampa Bay) WR, Jarvis Landry LSU

    Round 3. With the 76th pick (from Jacksonville) Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washighton

    Round 3. With the 93rd pick. ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford.

    Tampa bay only has 5 picks in this years draft, and may be willing to trade down to acquire more talent, due to the depth of this years draft class.

    Round 4. Trade Ryan Mallet to the Texans for 4th and 7th round draft pick. Draft QB Logan Thomas, Virgin Tech

    Round 5. With the 144th pick (from the Jaguars), OL Brandon Thomas, Clemson

    Round 6. With the 198th pick. TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon

    With the 206th pick. RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon

    Round 7. With the 244th pick(from Houston) RB Tyler Gaffery, Stanford

    Round 7. With the 244th pick. DE, Micheal sam, Missouri

  4. Mr Andrew M says:

    I know this Might appear to be a dream draft, but after a ton of up to date research, I truly believe this is in reach. All the trades make sense, and so do the draft picks.

    Feel free to let me know what you guys think.

    Round 1. Trade the 29th pick to the Jaguars in exchange for their 2nd round (pick 39) and 3rd round (pick 70) and their 5th round pick (pick 144)

    Round 2. With the 39th pick (from Jacksonville) NT Louis Nix III, Norte Dame

    Round 2. With the 62nd pick SS Deone Bucannon, Washighton State.

    Round 3. Trade both of our 4th round picks (130 & 140) To Tampa Bay for their 3rd round (pick 69). With the 69th pick (from Tampa Bay) WR, Jarvis Landry LSU

    Round 3. With the 76th pick (from Jacksonville) Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washighton

    Round 3. With the 93rd pick. ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford.

    Tampa bay only has 5 picks in this years draft, and may be willing to trade down to acquire more talent, due to the depth of this years draft class.

    Round 4. Trade Ryan Mallet to the Texans for 4th and 7th round draft pick. Draft QB Logan Thomas, Virgin Tech

    Round 5. With the 144th pick (from the Jaguars), OL Brandon Thomas, Clemson

    Round 6. With the 198th pick. TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon

    With the 206th pick. RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon

    Round 7. With the 244th pick(from Houston) RB Tyler Gaffery, Stanford

    Round 7. With the 244th pick. DE, Micheal sam, Missouri

  5. Russell says:

    My full 1st round draft;
    1- Jadeveon Clowney
    2- Khalil Mack
    3- Blake Bortles
    4- Anthony Barr
    5- Greg Robinson
    6- Jake Matthews
    7- Taylor Lewan
    8- Eric Ebron
    9- C.J.Mosley
    10- Sammy Watkins
    11- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
    12- Stephon Tuitt
    13- Xavier Sur’a-Filo
    14- Calvin Pryor
    15- Darqueze Dennerd
    16- Kony Ealy
    17- Cyrus Kouandjio
    18- Justin Gilbert
    19 – Louis Nix
    20- Zack Martin
    21- Troy Niklas
    22- Ryan Shazier
    23- Odell Beckham jr.
    24- Bradley Roby
    25- Gabe Jackson
    26- Derek Carr
    27- Dee Ford
    28- Marquise Lee
    29- A.J. McCarron
    30- Kelvin Benjamin
    31- Kyle Fuller
    32- Austin Seferian-Jenkins

  6. Ryan says:

    Here’s my idea of a draft where the Patriots opt to sign instead of draft a remaining pass catcher in hopes they will rebound and that their current corps will stay healthy and develop. Also, I have them trading away their 1st-rounder for a 2nd, 3rd and 5th in this year’s draft as well as a 7th in next year’s draft.

    Sign Danario Alexander, Santonio Holmes or Miles Austin
    2nd Round (Trade)- SS Deone Bucannon
    2nd Round- DE DeMarcus Lawrence
    3rd Round (Trade)- OT JaWuan James
    3rd Round- DT DaQuan Jones
    4th Round- OG/C Russell Bodine
    4th Round (Comp)- TE Marcel Jensen
    5th Round (Trade)- QB Aaron Murray
    6th Round- DL Jason Bromley
    6th Round (Sopoaga Trade)- ILB Avery Williamson
    7th Round- WR Quincy Enunwa

    I’d also like to see the Patriots sign a bruiser who can block and pass-catch, like Michael Bush or Ronnie Brown, but they don’t look to sign until after the draft. I understand that some would like to draft there, but I think that veteran leadership is a better avenue to look towards with the other three main backs being very young.

    I like this draft because it adds an impact player at SS who I believe can anchor the position for a long time in Buccanon. The pass rush looks like it needs to be revived and I can’t see a better way of doing this than adding Lawrence and Bromley to the mix while adding Jones as a future starter and current rotational big man. On the O-line, James and Bodine are 2 very versatile players who can start at multiple spots and are able to become future starters at Tackle and Center, respectively. From a receiving standpoint, I like Jensen as an athletic freak who can develop behind Gronk and see some snaps and I like Enunwa as a threat who can be effectively utilized in the red zone at the very least. Finally, I think that Williamson can replace Fletcher as an undersized but solid tackler from the LB position and that Aaron Murray can be an effective backup and potential future starting option that allows us to do what we please with Mallet while remaining comfortable depth-wise.

  7. Sergio says:

    What not Van Noy in the second, with Tuitt in the first (maybe in the second if they trade down)?

  8. Bobthebuilder says:

    Shazier in the 1st is a terrible pick. LB is a real need, but a depth need. You don’t draft depth (other than pass rush) in the 1st. Is Shazier a pass rusher? (I actually don’t know and if he is than it’s not that bad of a pick)

    • ugo says:

      Every position the Patriots might draft in the 1st rd in 2014 would be for depth. Whether it be OL, DL, TE, LB, DB, WR, or QB. No player that has been mocked to them would be an outright starter without having to fight for that position and beat out the entrenched starter in training camp. Every key starter returned, will be back from injury or was resigned minus Gregory, Spikes, and Talib. Even the OL resigned and returned their key backups. And the only question in their replacements is can Duron be a full time starter. So even if they draft a safety in the 1st, he could possible be a depth player that rotates with Duron. If they draft a TE they he might be a starter until Gronk returns from injury. But I expect them to sign a veteran to handle those duties to he returns and doubt that they even draft a TE in the 1st. And I don’t expect them to run their 2 TE sets til Gronk is healthy

      Shazier had 15 sacks in his career at OSU and 7 in 2013. He can definitely pressure the QB in addition to being a great coverage LB. And with pressuring the QB and covering other teams TEs being a nagging weakness for the Patriots the past few years. Also would be a great candidate for the hybrid LB/safety role. Plus if you rotate him with Collins, you constantly have a LB on the field that can pressure the QB. Or you can have packages where they are both on the field and opposing QBs don’t know which is coming or which is dropping in coverage. That type of versatility in a BB could be extremely scary.

      I fully expect Shazier or a similar player to be drafted early in the draft. But no matter who the Patriots draft, I don’t expect for him to start Day 1. He will be worked in slowly and then unleashed on the NFL when they deem he’s ready. It’s the luxury that the Patriots have that most teams don’t

      • Matty says:

        Safety is the only glaring exception, though a top center, DE, DT, or WR would step right in and start, too.
        I’d love to see a rookie take Tommy Kel toly’s spot, or push ninkivitch to a strictly 3rd down role. But safety is where they don’t have a proven starter

      • Bobthebuilder says:

        You can’t eliminate TE because they’ll just sign a vet. What vet? Why not a vet backup LB?

      • ugo says:

        After all I said, the fact still remains that no matter what rookies they draft or sign, or veterans get added after the draft, that player still may not unseat the players already on the roster as starters for Day 1. And that’s true even for the player drafted in this years first round. In every position that is likely to be targeted the 2014 rookie class will at best be really good rotational and depth players

        • acm says:

          I see your point and generally would agree with it but think you are generalizing here a bit too much. Whether a rookie player starts or not in his first year would depend on the need at the position as well as the level of readiness/preparedness of said player. Even if a player isn’t an immediate day 1 starter, it doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have won the starting spot by say week 8-10 into the season.
          Off the top of my head, of the more recent rookies to start for the Pats are C. Jones, D. Hightower, N. Solder … Mankins and Volmer (became a strater as the season wore off) from past drafts too (I am making a case for OL-men here). What do these guys have in common? They are all first rounders.

          This year I think such picks would be players like Martin and Su’a Filo in the first. Even a layer like Bucannon in the 2nd would have a good shot at being a 1st day starter too, or at least win the role later into the season, due to a lack of a vet player who’s established himself into that position (I doubt it would take HoF training camp performance to beat out Harmon and Chung for the right to start next to DMac).

          Potential picks at LB – Shazier, Skov, Kirksey, etc – may also end up having big roles from the start as there is a lack of depth at LB position and Collins is still in the process of establishing himself there too; plus Collins may end up being pushed up to the line for snaps as a pass rusher if they can’t get that fixed in the draft/free agency.

  9. Jim R says:

    Drafting anybody from that Ohio State defense would worry me. Shazier could develop or become another Vernon Gholston

  10. Trevor says:

    Why are teams stupid enough to tell outsiders who they are interested in?

  11. HD Paulie says:

    Love the Shazier pick. Pairing him with Collins would give the Pats a very versatile and athletic duo. Drafting him will help out in more than one area of need. In addition to filling a need at LB, his ability along with Collins to rush the passer with help in that area as well. The ability of him and Collins to drop into coverage against TE’s and RB’s will also help protect our lack of depth at safety. I feel that he would provide a greater impact on our defense than any other player that might be available at # 29.

  12. acm says:

    Assuming no trades, here is my mock:

    1) Texans – DE JD. Clowney
    2) Rams – OL Greg Robinson
    3) Jags – QB J. Manziel
    4) Browns – WR S. Watkins
    5) Raiders – OLB K. Mack
    6) Falcons – OL J. Matthews
    7) Bucs – WR M. Evans
    8) Vikings – WR M. Evans
    9) Bills – TE E. Ebron (another way to help the QB, they got their RT in free agency)
    10) Lions – CB J. Gilbert (CB over SAF, imo)
    11) Texans – OLB A. Barr
    12) Giants – OL T. Lewan
    13) Rams – FS H. Clinton-Dix (FS over CB, depth at CB is better this year)
    14) Bears – DT Louis Nix III (need to stop the run; Donald will not help in that regard)
    15) Steelers – CB D. Dennard
    16) Cowboys – DT T. Jernigan
    17) Ravens – OL Z. Martin
    18) Jets – WR M. Lee (best and most NFL ready WR left on board)
    19) Dolphins – OL C. Kouandjio
    20) Cardinals – LB C.J. Mosley
    21) Packers – SS C. Pryor (need help on D; WR position is much deeper than SAF)
    22) Eagles – WR B. Cooks (replace DJAx with a similar player in Cooks)
    23) Chiefs – WR O. Beckham (have too many Ss already, need playmakers at WR or OG here)
    24) Bengals – CB B. Roby (Kyle fuller is the better player now, Roby has the higher ceiling)
    25) Chargers – DT A. Donald (better fit at 3-4 DE than a 4-3 DT in the NFL)
    26) Browns – QB T. Bridgewater
    27) Saints – LB R. Shazier (need more halp at LB more so than rushing OLB; better value too)
    28) Panthers – OT Morgan Moses (or CB Fuller; need to replace OT Gross; Wr is a need too but it’s a deep class)
    29) Patriots – OL X. Su’a Filo (a more pressing need for a starting caliber player than LB and even DL)
    30) 49ers – CB Kyle Fuller (best CB left on board although I expect them to trade up on draft day)
    31) Broncos – LB/OLB K.v. Noy (with Shazier gone, best player at position of need – can play both on and off the line; OT Franklin is moving to OG)
    32) Seahawks – OL J. Bitonio (versatile OL-man and a good fit for their zone-blocking even if OT Jawan James “looks” more like RT Giacomini; agree Tuitt could get looks here)

    • acm says:

      The Vikings pick at #8 should QB Blake Bortles, not WR Mike Evans.

    • Matt says:

      Pats can draft a good OL in the third or fourth round. And Donald is good at rushing the QB and stopping the run he can play end as well as DT. And the Pats need a good DT Wilfolk and Kelley are not getting any younger. Other that those two there only other good DT Chris Jones.

      • Dylan.C says:

        There is no way Donald falls to the Pats, but he would be a great fit in terms of both need and scheme. I agree that there is better value for interior O-Line in the 2nd, 3rd, or even later but I wouldn’t be upset if they took someone like Sua-Filo at 29 if they are unable to trade down and the defensive lineman of equal or greater value are already taken.

        Sua-Filo has said in interviews that he models his game after Logan Mankins. I think the pats would benefit greatly from adding a younger guy with some nastiness to that line. Just imagine the blocks Mankins and Filo could lay down when they get to pull and run down-field

      • acm says:

        they could. they could also do so in the 7th or UDFA but what are the chances? For immediate contributors, they’d have to make that pick in the top 3 rounds and if they can’t make a trade, which is the scenario here, it’s unlikely that any starting caliber OGs or OCs would fall to late 3rd even, let alone further. So, they’d have to take OL in the 2nd, instead of the 1st where players like Martin/Richburg at OC and Dozier/Fleming (at OG) are likely to be the best available. Would that be better value than Su’a Filo at 29? Really depends on the grade the Pats have on those players and how strongly they feel about improving the OLine.

        If I have to go back and look at what type of player they are likely to pull the trigger on in the 1st, I’d think OL, considering the need for revamping the position, would be at the top of their list. So much so that I think there is distinct possibility they trade up for someone like Zack Martin if he falls within a reasonable reach (say beyond 22-23rd pick or so).

  13. Matty says:

    I want shazier, Dee Ford, Mosley,or jernigan
    Then we need any one if the top 5 TEs. We need a safety. We need a DE if we don’t get Ford round 1. We need a tackling/fast LB if we don’t get one in the 1st.

  14. steve healey says:

    I understand trading down to acquire more picks but how many rookies can make the roster? If they do trade down really want to see them grab one of the top QBs, a DL that can get to passer and something I’ve been wanting for years an undersized speed LB with good cover skills(I loved LaVonte David) This is one position the Pats have not drafted or seem to even look for in FA but its pretty obvious its something they lack. Anyway what do I know..In BB I but I want a speed LB

  15. acm says:

    Pretty good mock, Mr. Loyko.

    I do agree that LB is a position of need, an under estimated one at that; considering the Pats didn’t get any LBs in free agency, I think they draft at least two players in that position. I like Shazier as a good fit for where I hope the Pats go with the position but I think taking a LB like him, at 29 no less, would suggest a major shift in their philosophy for the position. Hence, why I have big doubts they go with Shazier in the first – I like the player and think the Pats D can benefit greatly from such a player but have a hard time seeing them pass on someone like Su’a Filo considering the state of the Pats O line lately. If they miss a starter somewhere, it’s O-line more so than LB. Depth at LB they can find later in the draft. It comes down to balancing priorities, here, not Shazier being a bad player/pick
    Now, if several players – among whom Su’a Filo – are already gone and they can’t trade out of the 1st, I can see them go with BPA and that may well happen be Shazier but not in this scenario where Su’a Filo is still on the board.
    If they have to make that 29th pick, I think it comes down to OL (Z. Martin, Sua’ Filo maybe even Bitonio) or DL(Nix, Tuitt and possibly even J. Attaochu) being priority over a pure LB like Shazier.

    Even considering, let alone taking Easely in the first would be a sign BB has lost his marbles, completely and irreparably, imo. He might be a good idea for a risque value pick later down the line but in the 1st? No way.

  16. Dan Sullivan says:

    Excellent draft and Ryan Shazier would be a excellent addition.
    Patriot Predictions
    1 This pick will be in great demand as it will be traded for 2,3 and 5th round selections.
    2 Ego Ferguson DT LSU
    2 C.J. Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
    3 Cyril Richardson G Baylor
    3 Jackson Jeffcoat DE Texas
    4 Robert Herron WR Wyoming
    4 Josh Huff WR Oregon
    5 Max Bullough ILB Michigan State
    6 Rajion Neal RB Tennessee
    6 Kevin Graff OT USC
    7 Daniel Sorenson SS BYU

    Congratulations to all runners in Boston Marathon as you all are Hero’s.

  17. Josh says:

    Ra’shede Hageman isn’t in the first round? This seems like the perfect year to trade down, I expect the Pats to be moving. My only hope is that they don’t waste a first rounder on a qb.

  18. Matt says:

    Pats need a DT or a DE in the first round not a LB. they can draft one in the third or fourth round.

  19. Karnak says:

    Shazier on film looks like a super athletic player with poor instincts who too often over pursues the play or gets fooled. I cannot see the Patriots taking him, instead of a solid interior lineman like Su’a-Filo.

  20. Peanut says:

    Umm Kony Ealy? Hello – he will be drafted in the first round……

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