Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 NFL Mock Draft - Round 2


Half the fun of the NFL draft is seeing how differently various people can view the same player/data.

There are a lot of 'experts' who had Johnny Manziel going in the top 10, and another bunch who have him later in the first.  Myself, I just don't think there are that many QB starved teams out there, and I see the third QB in the draft lasting past the first.


1. HOUSTON TEXANS: Johnny Manziel QB

Houston needs a QB, so we are pretty well guaranteed that one of their first 2 draft picks will be a QB.  If Manziel is available here, they will snatch him up and look like geniuses for it.

Think of this pick more as the third QB in the draft, rather than as the spot that Johnny will absolutely be.  

2. WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Antonio Richardson OT

Richardson is a mountain of a man with a mountain of talent.  He will give the Redskins a right tackle to pair with Trent Williams.  They need to find a way to keep RGIII on his feet, and a pair of stud tackles is a good start.  

3. CLEVELAND BROWNS: Bradley Roby CB

Roby is a physical corner with legit speed.  He will give the Browns a running mate for Joe Haden and one more piece for their improving young team.  Most years, he may have been a first round pick, but being under 6 foot leaves him out of the 'big corner' party, though his size is not going to be an issue. 

4. OAKLAND RAIDERS: Hasean "Ha-Ha" Clinton-Dix FS

Ha-Ha is a classic center-field free safety, and he is pro-ready coming out of Bama's scheme.  He has the athletic ability to be a star and Oakland needs some stars.  He is the best available and should start from day one for Oakland.

5. ATLANTA FALCONS: Terrence Brooks FS

Brooks is a burner in the secondary who can play all over the backfield.  He spent a couple of years at corner before moving over to star at free safety for the Seminoles in their championship season.  The Falcons have been working to improve their defensive secondary for years, with only moderate success.  Brooks is a player who will fit, regardless of what the other pieces are.


6. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Jace Amaro TE

The NFL is about matchups, and winning them.  One of the positions that lends itself to that with the schemes currently in place is Tight End.  Amaro was, arguably, the best receiving Tight End in the nation last year.  He will be an advantage for whoever is playing Quarterback for Tampa Bay next year.

7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Derek Carr QB

The Jags finally gave up on the Blaine Gabbert experiment and are now sitting with Chad Henne penciled in as their starting quarterback.  After getting a new Left Tackle in the first round, it's time to address the position Greg Robinson will be paid to protect.

Derek Carr likely has the strongest arm in this draft.  He can fit the ball into very tight windows, having excelled at Fresno State without a great supporting cast.  The Jags are making moves to upgrade their skill positions and still hope that Justin Blackmon can be a star for them.  If he can stay on the field, the Jags might have the start of something with a connection between Carr and Blackmon.

8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Shayne Skov LB

The Vikings need to restock at several positions.  Linebacker is one of them, and more importantly, leadership.  Skov is custom built to play inside linebacker, and is Stanford-smart which makes him a solid candidate to quarterback a defense.

This is a solid follow-up pick that will give the Vikings a solid middle to work out from on the defensive side of the ball.

9. BUFFALO BILLS: Zack Martin OT

The Bills have needed to improve at Tackle for several years.  Martin is a great value in the second round, and can start wherever he is needed most.  Look for the Bills to plug him in at Right Tackle, giving them a bookend for Cordy Glenn.

10. TENNESSEE TITANS: Tre Mason RB

Simply put, Chris Johnson is not in Nashville anymore.  With him moving on to play for the Jets, the Titans need a new lead back.  Shonn Greene is not going to be that, he just doesn't have the wheels to be a lead back.  Tre Mason showed that he can carry a team, running inside and outside.  He will be a nice weapon to add to this young Tennessee team.

11. NEW YORK GIANTS: Carlos Hyde RB

Regardless of what we have seen out of the Giants the last few years, with Eli throwing the ball all over the field, Tom Coughlin is a run first coach who loves to have a big back.  Carlos Hyde fits that bill and will give the Giants the kind of down hill, punishing style that they have lacked the last few years.  

12. ST. LOUIS RAMS: Will Sutton DT

This is a value pick with huge upside.  Going into last year, Sutton was regarded as one of the most exciting players to watch for the upcoming season.  That's a very significant statement when you remember that he is a Defensive Tackle.  He has shown incredible burst for a man his size, and he can really penetrate the interior of an offensive line.  Pairing him with Michael Brockers might give the Rams an argument for having the best D-Line in the league.

13. DETROIT LIONS: Ed Reynolds FS

Speaking of the best D-Line in the league; it lives in Detroit.  But, the players behind it haven't been up to the standard of that front line to this point.  Ed Reynolds is fast, agile, and  aggressive, and should be a natural fit for the scheme Detroit favors.  Pairing him with Darqueze Dennard gives this draft a real chance to turn their secondary into a strength for the future.

14. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Telvin Smith OLB

The Steelers are getting old on defense.  In their 3-4 defense, it's the Outside Linebackers that make it go.  Jarvis Jenkins was their pick last year, but they are still looking for the return on that investment.  Smith is a different kind of linebacker, but he is rangy and athletic, and will give the Steelers great scheme flexibility.

15. DALLAS COWBOYS: Dominique Easley DT

For a good part of the season, there was talk of Easley being a high first round pick.  Then this terribly explosive Defensive Lineman went down with his second ACL tear.

If he recovers from this one like he did the last tone, the Cowboys will have a steal at a need position.  Their line was decimated by free agency and, frankly, wasn't a strength before that.  Easley is player who can contribute up and down the line, and as the size and athletic ability to give them some scheme flexibility as well.

16. BALTIMORE RAVENS: Bishop Sankey RB

Sankey is a small-ish, do it all back.  Does that sound familiar?

Regardless of the status of Ray Rice's legal troubles, he is likely on the downhill slope of his career after carrying the Ravens' offense for several seasons.  Sankey brings a lot of the same kind of tools to the sport that Rice does as he runs well, blocks, and is an effective receiver.  At worst, he will give the Ravens depth in case Rice is unavailable for one reason or another.

17. NEW YORK JETS: Jeremy Hill RB

Hill is a phsyical presence as a running back.  He likes to get north and south and punish people, but has the accelerations to make some big plays.  He is the kind of running back that the Jets love.  There are some off-field concerns though

Compare him to LeGarrette Blount, good and bad.

18. MIAMI DOLPHINS: David Yankey OL

The Dolphins have to account for the decimation to their offensive line that was driven by their internal drama and strife.  Bringing in Branden Albert as your plug and play All-Pro left tackle, is a big step, but they lost 2 starting linemen, not 1.  David Yankey is regarded as one of the top 2 guards in the draft and could be an immediate upgrade over Richie Incognito.

19. CHICAGO BEARS: Scott Crichton DE

The loss of Julius Peppers is a big deal.  Crichton is not the superior athlete that Peppers is, but few outside of Clowney are.  What Crichton does bring to the field is a consistently high running motor and considerable strength and anticipation.  I see him as a player who can play up and down the line in a 4-man front, giving the Bears a solid 3 down linemen who can move inside as a pass-rushing tackle for obvious passing downs.

I still question Shea McClellin as a defensive end, but more as a rush specialist.  If you most him down to end on a passing down and Crichton inside, you have a chance for a very effective rush package.

20. ARIZONA CARDINALS: Xavier Su'a-Filo OL

The Cardinals have been collecting pieces for their Offensive Line and a probably a piece, or two, away from having an excellent unit.  Pairing Su'a-Filo with Jonathan Cooper has the potential to give the Cardinals the best interior lines in the league.  These guys have that much talent.  Xavier is more polished than the mauling Cooper was, but he is also very physically capable, and should give the Cardinals the ability to run the ball in a big way.

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS: Morgan Moses OT

It seems like the Packers have been looking for Offensive Tackles for a decade.  They seem to draft one every year, but each of the players has had a question mark, so was a 'tweener'.  What they have now is a very deep Offensive Line with the flexibility to move players around the line.  What they don't have is a lead tackle.

Moses is not a perfect tackle.  He is not a great moving blocker in spite of considerable agility and 'good feet'.  He is a very good pass blocker though, with the strength to handle bull rushes and the feet to handle speed rushers.  Considering what the Packers do with their offensive schemes, he may be just what the doctor ordered.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Louchiez Purifoy CB

The Eagles need to improve their secondary.  If you are going to score fast, like they plan to do, you had better be able to defend the pass better than they did last year.

Purifoy gives the Eagles a big corner to match up with the bigger receivers who may also get a look at safety with his size (6'-", 190 lbs).  Some may view this as a reach, but big corners are in vogue and their value is going to be enhanced in this draft, and Purifoy is one that was clocked in the 4.5 range in combine, which means he doesn't have the limitations that Richard Sherman and some other taller corners do.

23. CINCINNATI BENGALS: Jackson Jeffcoat DE/OLB

The Bengals last several drafts have built a deep depth chart, which leaves them in a position to take the best available player.  Jackson Jeffcoat was high-regarded but played on an under-performing Texas team during his time in Austin.  It was through no fault of his own though, as he started for 3 seasons and was Big 12 defensive player of the year in his senior stanza.

He is going to have to either put some weight, or consider a move to Outside Linebacker to play at the next level, but he can be a situational pass rusher from day one.

24. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Trent Murphy DE

Murphy is a lot like Jackson Jeffcoat who I have being drafted just before him.  He is viewed as a player who is near his max potential, but they way he dominated in the PAC-12, that's no great slight.  He projects as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense.  He is a bit of a project, but there is room for muscle to be added on his frame, and if his upward trajectory continues, he has a shot to have a long career.

25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS: Anthony Johnson DT

The Chargers need to get bigger along their front line after losing their starting Nose Tackle to free agency.

Johnson is a raw athlete who has a tremendous burst, allowing him to penetrate easily against slower linemen.  That is a perfect recipe for demanding a double-team, which is what the Chargers are going to need.
26. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Marcus Roberson CB

Roberson is another big corner who is getting a higher value than he would in many years.  He is aggressive in coverage and his size gives him an advantage, but he does not have top-end speed.  But, then again, neither does Richard Sherman.

Worst case here is that you have a good coverage defender who can transition to Safety like Malcolm Jenkins did.  He is another piece for an improved New Orleans secondary.

27. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: De'Anthony Thomas RB/WR

The Colts need to continue surrounding Andrew Luck with playmakers and the 'Black Mamba' is the definition of playmaker.  He is not the kind of player who can get 20 carries a game, but he is the kind of player who can change a loss to a win with 10-15 touches a game.

Getting Thomas on the field with T.Y. Hilton would give the colts a considerably more dynamic offensive attack than they had last year.  For those of you who didn't see much of the Ducks and are questioning Thomas' creds as he was only a full time starter for one year, you just need to remember one thing: Thomas is the all time leader in all purpose yards, ahead of LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner.  He can return kicks, catch the ball, and carry it in traditional running plays.

28. CAROLINA PANTHERS: Seantrel Henderson OT

The Panthers need to reduce the number of hits that Cam Newton is taking.  Their are a couple ways to do that.  First, you find some other players to take some of those hits, like Odell Beckham Jr., which I mocked to them in the first round.  Second, you get better players to prevents the hits that he is exposed to as the quarterback.  That's where players like Seantrel Henderson come into play.

Seantrel is a first-round talent, with tremendous size and agility.  He has not translated his ability to the field like would be hoped and he has had some off field issues which may cause some to question this pick, but this is a player with cornerstone potential.

29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Jordan Matthews WR

The 49ers need more weapons on offense to give them balance as a team.  Jordan Matthews was a stud at Vanderbilt who has the measureables to make him a legit threat at the next level.  He is tall, strong, and fast.  Oh, and he has Jerry Rice in his bloodline.

30. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Jimmie Ward SS

Ward is so athletic at safety that some teams are projecting him at corner.  We all know how much Belichek loves player who can play multiple positions, and Ward may be the safety that they have been searching for in New England.

31. DENVER BRONCOS: Yawin Smallwood ILB

Smallwood is a fluid athlete who can play at any of the linebacker positions, showing such good agility that he was asked to cover wide receivers at times.  He has a chance to be a true 3-down player, which is rare at ILB in today's NFL.

The Broncos need to improve their defense, and players who can cover all over the field and just what is needed today.

32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Kelcy Quarles DT

The Seahawks lost some quality players to free agency after their championship run.  They need to restock up front and a player like Quarles is a good start to that.  He was overshadowed by having Clowney on his team, but he did plenty of damage, garnering all SEC first team consideration.

Simply put, he is a physical beast, and just the kind of player that Pete Carroll has built his team upon.
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