This is my final 2014 NFL mock draft. I'm attempting to go for accuracy on this one but I will probably fail miserably. This draft has been a tough one to find out what direction the top 10 will go.
Off we go...
1. Houston Texans: QB- Blake Bortles, UCF
I will maintain Bortles at the No. 1 spot. This is the guy Bill O'Brien builds his offense around. Bortles is going to take time to develop but the promise of what he can become forces an offensive mind like O'Brien to take a shot. The Texans had a pass rush in 2013. Where did it get them? The first overall pick. Houston has a quarterback problem. Otherwise, you are putting this offense in the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
2. St. Louis Rams: OT- Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
From a technique perspective, Matthews is ready to compete in the NFL and not be overwhelmed. He can move in space very well. He is a very good pass blocker and has an athletic kick step. He keeps his body correctly positioned in pass protection sets. He shows good flexibility and bend. There will be some hiccups with his run blocking but they can be fixed. He has played both tackle spots and can do either effectively depending on Jake Long's knee. Jeff Fisher knows his father very well. You can trust the Matthews' name.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE- Khalil Mack, Buffalo
The Jaguars could go for a quarterback here but Gus Bradley tries to add a very talented pass rusher to his defensive line. Mack has one of the best punches I've seen in this class. The way the offensive lineman's head snapped back after that initial punch. You know the guy has some strength in his pop. At that point Mack just keeps coming and collapses the pocket. Mack is a playmaker. He has a high motor. He will jump routes. He will force a fumble coming around the corner. He will intercept a pass and has the speed to take it in for a touchdown. Mack fits this scheme. He provides the Jaguars with a playmaker that you don't have question marks about. Now go find the quarterback.
4. Cleveland Browns: WR- Mike Evans, Texas A&M
I'm sticking with Evans to Cleveland. His skill-set is something the Browns lack. They already have speed with Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin. Take the player who can be open even when covered. Evans' ability to catch a jump ball is fantastic. He has good speed for his size and understands the nuances of how to get open despite not being the fastest receiver. I see so much of Anquan Boldin in his play.
5. Oakland Raiders: WR- Sammy Watkins, Clemson
The Raiders need a dynamic receiver for Matt Schaub to throw the ball to. Watkins would provide them a deep threat as well as a player who can catch the ball over the middle and get solid YAC. The Raiders did a good job building up on the offensive and defensive lines.
6. Atlanta Falcons: DE- Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
I think the Falcons will try to use Clowney as a standup 3-4 outside linebacker and in sub-packages at defensive end. The Texans pass on Clowney because of his mindset. There is no disputing Clowney's athletic ability for his size. Athletically he can do things not many lineman can. Players are big, strong and fast at their position once you reach the NFL. It is the players that mentally strive for greatness and know how to tap into that obsession to dominate each play. That is what is separating Clowney is my opinion. I remember what Clowney said at the Combine that his speed and strength were his best skills. All he had to worry about was his pad level and he would be fine. He may want to add mental makeup to the list. How he responds mentally to the obstacles in his career will decide the outcome. Make no mistake, I believe the Falcons front office is fighting for their jobs; they need to hit on their draft picks. The team got soft last season and it showed, they need to add playmakers to this roster.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL- Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
I'm sticking with Donald to the Bucs. The guy would be very disruptive in their scheme. Donald has an explosive first step. He can get up the field quickly and he can beat his man with speed. I was impressed with his pass rush moves and how much disrupting he caused in the running game. When he is able to get under a lineman with his bull rush and speed combination. It is a huge problem for teams in both aspects of their game. Lovie Smith will find a spot for him on the line.
8. Minnesota Vikings: QB- Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
I hope Bridgewater drops to the Chiefs 23rd pick but I would be surprised if Norv Turner and the Vikings passed on him. He is the best quarterback prospect coming out of this class and the quarterback prospect I'm most comfortable with. He took enough snaps from under center and in shotgun while at Louisville, so the drops will be fluid for him. He knows how to manipulate a defense with his eyes and fakes. Bridgewater stands tall when the blitz is coming right in his face and he shows a mental and physical toughness that you want in a quarterback.
9. Buffalo Bills: TE- Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Doug Marrone knows how important an athletic tight end can be in your system. Ebron provides EJ Manuel an athletic safety blanket over the middle and down the seam. Ebron will help this offense create mismatches at the backer and safety position.
10. Detroit Lions: OT- Greg Robinson, Auburn
I know many have Robinson at the top of the draft. I don't see him being a tackle long term in the league. I think he will be a star at guard when it is all over with. Robinson is a big guy who has athletic ability. He will get bigger in the NFL and I expect him to lose some of that athletic ability, bend and flexibility to go with it. I have some concerns with his pass protection and his lean on run blocks. He is a tough player and will need some work. The promise is definitely there.
11. Tennessee Titans: CB- Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
He doesn't have the best technique and will allow a defender to beat him, which will cause the ref to throw a flag. There is no mistaking Gilbert's athletic ability. He has a smooth change of direction in his hips and knows how to make plays on the football. The work Gilbert puts into his technique will decide how big of a star he can be.
12. New York Giants: OT- Taylor Lewan, Michigan
When I watched Lewan the first thing that stood out to me was his athleticism in open space. He could pull and get to the second level quickly. I was impressed with how he maintains proper level on his kick steps. Lewan rarely gave up the edge in pass protection. He knew how to ride his defender out to allow his quarterback to step up in the pocket. The Giants need to infuse some attitude to their offensive line.
13. St. Louis Rams: CB, Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
Fuller reminds me so much of Brandon Flowers when I watch him. He can diagnosis a play very quickly. He doesn't hesitate in his reaction. Fuller will come up and help in run support. He fits the mentality of the Rams defense.
14. Chicago Bears: S, Calvin Pryor, Louisville
The Bears could use help at the safety position. Pryor is a player they could line up all over the middle in those NFC North match-ups. Pryor is a guy who will come in for the kill shot. He will blow up the block to make the play. Pryor has solid speed and his presence would be felt on that backend.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: OG- Zack Martin, Notre Dame
Martin isn't a sexy pick for the Steelers but he will help their record. What stands out about Martin is his flexibility. Similar to Jake Matthews, he keeps a good bend on his stance. His pads don't come up to high. His head isn't over his feet getting him off balance. He typically doesn't lean on a defender. I believe he will end up at guard in the NFL. He doesn't wow with his run or pass blocking but he does a solid job and doesn't make many mistakes. Just because Big Ben can run around doesn't mean you have to force him to do so. The Steelers need to protect their quarterback.
16. Dallas Cowboys: DE/DT- Kony Ealy, Missouri
The Cowboys need to get better on defense. Dallas lacked a pass rush last season and it cost them a run at the playoffs. Ealy allows the 'Boys to replace the pass rusher they lost in DeMarcus Ware. Ealy can play at defensive end or add some weight and play tackle long-term. Ealy has a wicked spin move when he sets a tackle up outside and a solid first step.
17. San Francisco 49ers (Trade up with Ravens): WR- Odell Beckham, LSU
With Ebron, Pryor and lineman off the board, this is the spot where the Ravens trade down and the 49ers get the apple of their eye. San Francisco doesn't have a ton of needs. They need a guy who can stretch the field and another player at corner. From there, the 49ers are just drafting for the future. They have 11 picks, two second rounders and three third round picks. They are trading up and making a play for somebody, and they need to move up in front of the Jets to do so.
18. New York Jets: WR- Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
The Jets need to find a speed option for this offense. With Odell Beckham Jr. off the board they need to move onto Brandin Cooks at 18. Cooks fits the scheme and would provide another weapon for the growth of Geno Smith. Cooks could potentially be similar to Tavon Austin.
19. Cleveland Browns (Trade up with Dolphins): QB- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
The Dolphins lost out on Zack Martin, so they can trade down to the 26th spot with the Browns, who need to get a quarterback before the end of day one. There are three schemes in which Manziel can thrive; the Browns under Kyle Shanahan, Chip Kelly in Philly and Andy Reid's West Coast Offense in Kansas City. The Browns can get Johnny Football already having picked up his favorite target at No. 4. Manziel could make Cleveland offense very interesting. They would be a running back away from having a really good foundation for the next three seasons.
20. Arizona Cardinals: OLB- Anthony Barr, UCLA
The Cardinals lost out on Blake Bortles and have to decide if they want to get an immediate need for their defense or their future at quarterback. Barr's potential can't be passed up at No. 20. When motivated, he has really good athletic ability coming around the edge. Once he gets a taste of his first sack, the motivation kicks in and he turns it on at a different level. The key for wherever Barr goes is to tap into what makes him tick. Find it and make sure he plays the whole game that way.
21. Green Bay Packers: S- Jimmy Ward, Northern Illinois
I've heard Ward's name linked to Green Bay since the Combine. Supposedly the Packers are very high on the safety. I saw times where he was able to cover a slot receiver and he could line up on different parts of the field with little drop off. What impressed me about Ward are his pursuit angles. He took the proper route to limit the big play potential. He had good aggression in run support. The downside is he attempts to go for the kill-shot on most plays. Ward really needs to break down with proper form tackles.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: FS- Hasean Clinton-Dix, Alabama
The Eagles are going need to spend time on rebuilding this defense. They could use some pass rushers and cornerbacks but Clinton-Dix is on the board and should not be passed up. He is a smart player, who can also cover ground. What impressed me the most about Clinton-Dix is his decisiveness. When he recognizes the play, he is going to attack the ball.
23. Kansas City Chiefs: OG- Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
I know many Chiefs fans don't like this pick. It was my original pick and I'm going back to it. I think the Chiefs will be looking to trade down unless someone falls on draft night but Su'a-Filo makes an immediate impact. The Chiefs need a mauler at guard and Su'a-Filo provides that.
Donald Stephenson and Su'a-Filo would be a wicked combo block tandem on the right side of the line. If Bridgewater does not drop to 23, I would go Su'a-Filo. I believe one of Andy Reid's goals was to rebuild the offensive line. This provides another piece of that puzzle and alters the mentality. The Chiefs need to find some second and third picks in a bad way.
24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB- Justin Verrett, TCU
Verrett fits the style they play in Cincy. I see a lot of Pacman Jones in Verrett. I was impressed with his ball-tracking skills and ability to diagnose a play and react very quickly. He is a player who understands his responsibilities on a play and is in good position to make the play.
25. San Diego Chargers: CB- Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
The Chargers need to go defense throughout the entire draft; pass rush, secondary and nose tackle. Dennard is the first step. He is a tough and physical defender who is willing to come up in the run game and fight through blocks to make the tackle. He is a solid press cover corner. He doesn't look stiff in the hips and can turn well to run with the receiver. He has solid ball tracking skills. What I love most about him is his lack of fear. He doesn't become fearful if he isn't in the right position. He doesn't reach out for unnecessary pass interference. He just finds a way to make play.
26. Miami Dolphins: OT- Morgan Moses, Virginia
The Dolphins still need to make additions along their offensive line. I see some of Albert in Moses. They have similar setups in their pass protection. They keep the defender from the quarterback but don't jolt the defender. They are okay in their run blocking. The Dolphins were able to trade back and still find help for the line.
27. New Orleans Saints: OLB- Dee Ford, Auburn
Ford dropped in this mock draft but the Saints need a pass rusher who can hit the corner and close on the quarterback. Ford provides that for Rob Ryan.
28. Carolina Panthers: WR- Marqise Lee, USC
The Panthers need help along the offensive line but they need receivers as well. Lee would help Cam Newton from having to run on every play. He can take a routine catch the distance if given the space to work. What separates Lee is his ball-tracking ability. The guy knows how to find a football, correctly grab it and get YAC.
29. New England Patriots: TE- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
The Patriots need to get Tom Brady weapons for their last run. The team lost a lot of its ability to find reliable match-ups when Aaron Hernandez happened. Rob Gronkowski is starting to look injury prone. The Patriots need to get another tight end for the offense to start getting back into a championship flow.
30. Baltimore Ravens (Trade W/SF) : OT- Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
The Ravens need to find some offensive line help in the draft. The lack of ability to win at the line of scrimmage kept this team from making it back to the playoffs. Hand placement is a big part of Kouandjio's game. He uses correct placement to help create a run lane for his back and provide the jolt to knock a defender off balance. He has some athletic ability to get into space. The Ravens could use his aggressiveness on the offensive line.
31. Denver Broncos: LB- CJ Mosley, Alabama
The Broncos could use a backer like Mosley. He fits very well in Jack Del Rio's scheme and provides them with a smart player. He attacks the ball well and does a solid job getting off blocks. I like his fundamental breakdown on tackles and think he can be a nice presence on run defense.
32. Seattle Seahawks: TE- Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
The Seahawks need to continue to build on their offense. Amaro adds another dimension they didn't have in their Super Bowl run last season -- a mismatch at the tight end position. Amaro gives Russell Wilson a safety blanket. He has great size and a very good route runner. Once the ball is in his hands, he can cover a lot of ground very quickly. The issues he needs to improve upon are protecting the ball in open space and not losing his concentration.