2014 NFL Draft: First Round Mock Draft

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17. Baltimore Ravens: S Calvin Pryor (Louisville)

My feeling is that the Ravens need a safety to play next to rising star Matt Elam, and Calvin Pryor is easily the highest rated player I have left on my board. Pryor kind of does it all, similar to what Clinton-Dix brings to the field. He’s a power hitting player, that is disciplined when dropping back into coverage, and is an adept playmaker. The Ravens would score big with Pryor here.

18. New York Jets: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (LSU)

The Jets have been linked to Beckham Jr for a good while now, but they’ve been talking about moving up to get him. In this mock draft, I think Beckham is waiting here to be taken at #18. The Jets need a dynamic playmaker to place opposite of the workhorse, and do it all player in Eric Decker. Beckham Jr. would instantly make this offense a little more quick and dangerous, along with the additions of Mike Vick and Chris Johnson.

19. Miami Dolphins: OT Zack Martin (Notre Dame)

The Dolphins need major offensive line, even before the whole Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito debacle. Zack Martin fits a big need, and happens to be one of the highest rated players on my board at the time of this pick. He instantly makes that line better, and could project to be one of the best right tackles in the game, or if need be, he can kick inside and be an All-Pro offensive guard.

20. Arizona Cardinals: QB Blake Bortles (Central Florida)

The Cardinals get their quarterback of the future, and someone who can truly go up against the likes of Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, in Blake Bortles. Honestly, Bortles could go anywhere from the Jaguars down to the Browns at pick #26 considering the various different opinions on the quarterbacks in this year’s class. Bortles could make this young team into a potential contender if he plays up to his billing.

21. Green Bay Packers: OLB Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)

Ryan Shazier might be one of the best pass rushers in the entire draft, thanks to his amazing god given speed. It is incredible to watch this man fly all over the field, delivering violent hit after violent hit to opposing quarterbacks. He might be a bit undersized, but he provides another pass rusher opposite of Clay Matthews. The Packers defense as a unit needs a lot of upgrades, and Shazier is a great start.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Kelvin Benjamin (Florida State)

I do have a higher ranked wide receiver than Kelvin Benjamin on my board, but I feel that Chip Kelly has his smaller weapons already, and they need a big, redzone threat of a receiver, much like Benjamin. Benjamin might be a bit of a raw player overall right now, but he’s entering an offense already loaded, and he won’t be asked to shoulder the burden right away. He could be a key cog in helping this Eagles team dominate the NFL East, and help Nick Foles transition into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)

I had Brandin Cooks ahead of Kelvin Benjamin on my board, but I feel that he fits perfectly in Kansas City, in Andy Reid’s offense. Last year we saw how the Chiefs used a very meticulous, dink and dunk kind of offense, that featured a lot of short throws and runs. Cooks should fit well here, and add a dimension of explosiveness that they were missing. He’ll be opposite of Dwayne Bowe, and playing with Jamaal Charles. Sounds pretty good to me.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: CB Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech)

The Bengals have a pressing need at cornerback, and with Gilbert and Dennard both gone already, Kyle Fuller is the next rated cornerback on my board. He should bring some much need youth and overall ability to a lacking secondary, most likely the weaker link of a stud defense. The Bengals could also look at a quarterback here, considering the value they’d get from him, and that faith in Andy Dalton is at an all-time low.

25. San Diego Chargers: DT Louis Nix III (Notre Dame)

Louis Nix III is an absolute monster, and fits in very well with the rising Chargers, and their surprisingly very good defense. Nose tackle is a big need for these guys, and Nix is probably the best pure most tackle in the draft. He’s nearly impossible to move in the middle of the defensive line, and can add some pressure here and there against the pass. Nix is just an all-around very good player, who probably should go a bit higher, but is awesome value here.

26. Cleveland Browns: QB Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)

The Browns hold off on taking a quarterback at pick #4, and their patience is rewarded with Teddy Bridgewater falling into their laps at #26. Already adding Sammy Watkins, Bridgewater is pretty much set in this offense, with three great weapons. Bridgewater despite all the criticisms that he’s faced as one of the top prospects in the draft, is still the smartest and maybe most technically sound quarterback in the draft. Getting him here is a major steal.

27. New Orleans Saints: CB Jason Verrett (TCU)

Many draft pundits have the Saints grabbing a player like Dee Ford at pick #27, but I’m going with a higher rated player on my board in cornerback Jason Verrett. The Saints could use a big time playmaker in their secondary to go along with emerging safety Kenny Vaccaro, and Verrett might be the best playmaking cornerback in the draft. He would replace Corey White as the second cornerback, and improve an already improving defense. Something that wouldn’t have been said a few years ago.

28. Carolina Panthers: OT Morgan Moses (Virginia)

The Panthers are in great need of offensive line help with Jordan Gross retiring, but are also in need of wide receiving help. In the end, I feel that offensive tackle is better value here, with a guy like Morgan Moses in play. Moses is one of my favourite prospects, because he is an absolute mountain. He should fit in well with the Panthers run heavy attack, and provide good protection as the anchor of the line, for Cam Newton. This Panthers team is very close, and Moses helps them solidify a big need.

29. New England Patriots: DE Kony Ealy (Missouri)

The Patriots have very few holes along with the final three teams in the first round, so they’re content to take whichever top player slides to them. In this case, it’s Missouri’s defensive end Kony Ealy. Ealy will provide some much needed pressure on third downs, and help to spell Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich throughout the season. The need for a rotation of defensive lineman is very important to the success of the Patriots this year.

30. San Francisco 49ers: DT Timmy Jernigan (Florida State)

The 49ers also are in need of some defensive line help, more specifically a nose tackle, and Timmy Jernigan is easily the best one of those left on my board. Jernigan falls a little here thanks to some conditioning and injury risks, but his talent is more than enough to make him succeed. Putting him in a situation with so much talent around him like there is in San Francisco, would be great for both sides.

31. Denver Broncos: OG Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA)

The Broncos don’t have any big time glaring needs, but I’m sure they’d love to solidify their offensive line after they lost former starter Zane Beadles to the Jaguars this free agency period. Su’a-Filo is the top ranked offensive guard on the draft board, and would become an instant star with Peyton Manning helping him out. The Broncos don’t need more flash, they’ve done enough of that this offseason.

32. Seattle Seahawks: DE Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame)

The Seahawks could go a number of ways here, including wide receiver, offensive tackle even in the secondary (kidding!), but I’m going to go with Stephon Tuitt, in hopes of bolstering their offensive line. Tuitt is a very versatile player, capable of playing 4-3 or 3-4 defensive end, and even playing some 4-3 defensive tackle. The Seahawks value their rotation of defensive lineman highly, and Tuitt would add nicely to it.

So that’s my one and only first round NFL Mock Draft. This draft is just so loaded, it really looks like every team is going to have a crack at some seriously good players, and not only fill in needs, but get that great talent if they’re smart enough to grab it. What do you guys think of my one mock draft? How excited are you for the NFL Draft? Let me know in the comments below.