Patric Schneider/AP :: Andrew Hancock/SI
Patric Schneider/AP :: Andrew Hancock/SI

The MMQB Mock Draft: Who Teams Will Select

More than in years past, the teams in the 2014 NFL Draft have done a good job of hiding their intentions. Here's our fearless leader's attempt to solve the jigsaw puzzle, complete with a handful of trades and a relative surprise choice at No. 1

Of all the years I haven’t known anything entering the draft, this is really the year I don’t know anything. I texted congratulations to a general manager with a top-10 pick Sunday, saying he deserved praise because no one around the league knew what he was doing at his pick.

“Ha!’’ this GM texted back. “Neither do we :)”

There’s another team that is practicing intentional misdirection right now. By that I mean this team knows some of its coaches and front-office officials talk to people around the league, and some of the employees have been told it wouldn’t be such a terrible things if you left the impression we might take so-and-so, or this-and-that. Earnestly. That’s why it’s so dangerous to trust everything you hear at this time of year. You’re best to go with your gut feeling, judging by what teams need.

More than ever this year, my strategy is to get as many first-round picks as possible correct. I won’t have many direct hits—that’s a guarantee. But if I do well, say 27 or 28 first-round picks actually getting picked in the round, I’ll consider it a success.

Also, if you want to see what teams should do in the first round, colleague Greg Bedard has you covered.

Style notes: Teams that I have trading, either up or down, are listed in italics. And teams that want to trade but weren’t able to find a deal in my mock are listed with an asterisk.

1. *Houston: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

While everyone talks about the immense athleticism of Jadeveon Clowney, let’s point this out: Mack’s 40 time at his Pro Day was 4.53 seconds. Clowney’s was 4.53 seconds. Mack vertical-jumped 40 inches, Clowney 37.5. GM Rick Smith must ignore the heat for bypassing Clowney.

2. St. Louis: Greg Robinson, T, Auburn

Biggest question for Jeff Fisher, obviously, is how he can not pick Jake Matthews, the son of a former great Oiler/Titan. But Bruce Matthews will understand. Robinson has the potential to be Orlando Pace II.

3. Jacksonville: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

All along I’ve thought it’d be Watkins or Mack here. One GM told me, “Take the safest guy here. David Caldwell will go safe.” Nobody truly is a safe pick in the NFL, but in the Watkins-versus-Clowney game, Watkins seems safer to me. And talk about a need pick.

4. Atlanta: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, S. Carolina

(Acquired from Cleveland for first- and third-round picks.)

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mack was higher-rated by the Falcons, but with Clowney still there at such a vital position of need, it’s worth the risk to jump up and ensure the Raiders don’t pick him.

5. Oakland: Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M

Raiders get their Texas A&M offensive star, just not the one lots of Raiders fans wished it was. But offensive line is a huge need for Oakland, and GM Reggie McKenzie can dip into the deep pool of second-round quarterbacks with the 36th overall pick.

6. ClevelandMike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

(Acquired from Atlanta, with a third-round pick, in the trade-down from 4 to 6.)

Browns get their Texas A&M offensive star, just not the one lots of Browns fans wished it was. But how about a trio of Josh Gordon, Evans and Andrew Hawkins, the former Bengals waterbug, in the slot? Browns need a lot. This is good value for the spot. It would also give the Brown a ridiculous seven of the top 110 picks.

7. Tampa Bay: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Wow. Three players in a row from A&M. Imagine that. If the Bucs do this, Manziel gets to learn for at least half the season behind Josh McCown (a very good player-coach), and the Bucs might be able to turn Mike Glennon into a late day-two pick.

8. Minnesota: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Not buying the Blake Bortles buzz here, as much sense as it makes. The Vikings just have too many quarterbacks rated too closely, and they know they can get one with the 40th pick. Donald has some freakish athletic traits. Not quite John Randle, but the man is quick and can get to the passer.

9. *Buffalo: Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan

Bills stunned that Lewan’s still hanging around, and they pass on tight end Eric Ebron, who could be a great security blanket for E.J. Manuel. Keep in mind that GM Doug Whaley is very much open for business here, and could trade down and still get another guy they love: Odell Beckham.

10. Detroit: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

I’ve heard just about every position possible here, and this could end up being Eric Ebron. But the Lions have to go corner. They just have to. Especially with the new defensive staff not seeing much talent to work with at the position.

11. Tennessee: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Ken Whisenhunt gulps hard when passing on a corner, and on Derek Carr. But the Titans need a pass-rusher badly. Barr has some limitations as a complete player, but he can get after the quarterback, and the Titans are going to need to threaten Andrew Luck to win the AFC South.

12. N.Y. Giants: Zack Martin, T-G-C, Notre Dame

The offensive line is being overhauled and the Giants will pounce if Martin’s there. “Most versatile lineman I’ve seen come out in the draft in the last 10 years,’’ one assistant GM tell me.

13. *St. Louis: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Mich. St.                        

Too bad Martin didn’t fall just one little slot here; if so, Rams GM Les Snead could have made a good trade for this pick with desperate Miami at 19. Dennard is a luxury pick who can challenge Trumaine Johnson at left corner in camp. I don’t have a good feel for the Rams’ pick here, but I am pretty sure it won’t be Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

14. Chicago: Calvin Pryor, SS, Louisville

My bet is GM Phil Emery would have liked Aaron Donald a lot here, and he’d be happy to move down if a greedy team threw him a day two pick. The Bears need some secondary reconstruction, and Pryor could start it.

15. PhiladelphiaOdell Beckham, WR-KR, LSU

(Acquired from Pittsburgh for first- and second-round picks.)

A bit of a risky move, because the Eagles probably could have stayed at 22 and gotten Marqise Lee, another object of their affections. But the versatility of Beckham—who can play outside and slot and on returns—makes him a good replacement for DeSean Jackson. And cheaper.

16. Dallas: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Defensive coaches breathe a big sigh that Manziel’s off the board, because they know Jerry Jones was smitten with him. Jernigan will be day-one help for the league’s 30th-ranked run defense from last year. Not a giant, but a good run player because he plays with strong leverage.

17. Baltimore: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Party in the Ravens’ draft room. They love Ebron’s ability to be an instant force in the passing game and, combined with Dennis Pitta and perhaps Owen Daniels, the Ravens will have the best tight-end depth chart in football. Joe Flacco is very, very pleased.

18. N.Y. Jets: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Still smarting from the Stephen Hill bust of a pick two years ago, the Jets get it right this time with a player who is every bit as good and explosive as last year’s top receiver picked—Tavon Austin. He’ll be exciting to watch. Finally the Jets can be competitive in offensive weaponry after being awful for the past few years.

19. Miami: Cyrus Kouandjio, T, Alabama

Not the tackle the Dolphins wanted, but at this point, beggars can’t be choosers. The Dolphins’ need is so big that new GM Dennis Hickey just had to do this. I expect Hickey to try to move up for Zack Martin, but I also expect he’ll find the price way too high.

20. Arizona: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

I just get the feeling that GM Steve Keim looks at his draft board here and thinks, “Well, Ted Thompson took Aaron Rodgers when it wasn’t a crying need—and maybe Carson Palmer will give us two more solid years. But Carr’s too good, and too high on our board, to pass up.”

21. Green Bay: C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

I wanted to put Ryan Shazier here, and that could well be Ted Thompson’s pick. But the Packers have to like Mosley’s nose for the ball, and Green Bay’s need at inside linebacker is big. This is a logical pick, and Thompson’s a logical man.

22. PittsburghKyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

(Acquired from Philadelphia in the trade-down from 15 to 22.)

The Steelers are desperate to rebuild their cornerback depth chart, and this four-year starter in the ACC is a good way to begin. He’s physical too, the kind of player Mike Tomlin demands in the defensive backfield.

23. *Kansas City: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Alex Smith, you’ve got a weapon. Dwayne Bowe, you’ve got a running mate. Though I think the Chiefs are hungry to get out of the pick—they don’t pick again till 87, having surrendered two second-rounders to San Francisco for Smith—I also think Andy Reid knows he needs help at receiver to upgrade his offensive attack.

24. Cincinnati: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Safety’s not the biggest need for the Bengals, but this pick falls into the category of “I’ve got to find a spot for Ha Ha.” Cincinnati has replenished good positions in recent years, and that’s what this pick is about. The Bengals can use help in the back end.

25. San Diego: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers gave up 259 passing yards a game last year, and they face the reality of having to beat Peyton Manning for at least the next two years if they want to win the AFC West. A corner upgrade is vital. Verrett might be the best slot corner in this draft, and he’s good value here.

26. Cleveland: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Fla.

The crash-and-burn that was Bortles’ night in the draft green room ends as Ray Farmer wins his game of chicken with the rest of the league. Can this happen? I am dubious, but I do think a very good player or two will fall precipitously, and as I made my calls in the past few days, I couldn’t find a Bortles lover. One may be in hiding. We’ll see.

27. New Orleans: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

GM Mickey Loomis has gotten some very good value picks over the years, and this would be right up with the better ones in that class. I still think Loomis could go Darqueze Dennard in this scenario and be happy; Champ Bailey will be 36 in June. But Shazier is Rob Ryan’s kind of guy: disruptive (30.5 tackles behind the line last year) and tough, tough, tough.

28. Carolina: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

Now we get into the not-so-cream of the receiver crop. GM Dave Gettleman likes college experience and production out of his picks, so here comes the SEC’s all-time leading receiver, coming off a 112-catch season. Doesn’t hurt that he’s 6-3 and runs below a 4.5.

29. *New England: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame

Everyone I’ve talked to said some version of, “Oh, New England’s trading out.” Which I buy. I also would buy tight end Jace Amaro here. I do not buy Ra’shede Hageman. Too boom-or-bust. Tuitt’s a very strong Patriot kind of versatile tackle and 3-4 end with the ability to play outside, a la Vince Wilfork. 

30. *San Francisco: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

The 49ers lack speed outside, and that’s why I think it’s more likely they vault way up using their treasure trove of picks (56, 61, 77, 94, to name the next four) than it is that they’d stay put. But if they don’t find a partner, Latimer and his 4.4 speed could be a good compliment to receiving-game staples Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.

31. Denver: Ra’shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

“John Fox loves Hageman,’’ one GM told me Monday, and putting him in a three-man combo platter with Sylvester Williams and Terrance Knighton would be big trouble for the offensive coordinators of the AFC West … if Hageman can be the kind of consistent player he wasn’t always at Minnesota.

32. ClevelandXavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA

(Acquired in trade with Seattle for a second- and low fourth-round pick.)

The Browns have been trying to sneak into the lower first round, thinking they’d need to move ahead of Houston at 33 to get their quarterback. But if they get Bortles or Manziel, now they have the luxury of jumping up four spot to get the best guard in the draft, filling a big need.

Want more mock? Check out Greg Bedard’s Who Teams Should Select

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269 comments
bryoman
bryoman

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!   I told EVERYONE when this came out, check back cause Peter King is a JOKE!!  Dude isn't even close to the NFL inside news, lol.  This is priceless.  ZERO and I MEAN ZERO Knowledge on teams needs.  The stats of this MOCK Draft Speak VOLUMES. TEN guys who weren't even picked in the FIRST ROUND, lol.  Peter King isn't even close to knowing ANYTHING and is bringing Sports Illustrated down with him.  So I guess YOU need to go to Baseball or Bad mitten there pete.  LOL.  Priceless.

randrew24
randrew24

I am amazed that Peter King has a job. He is a terrible writer and he has zero insight into teams. He got 2 of 32 picks right and had ten guys that weren't even first round picks. What a clown.

Bill Smith3
Bill Smith3

Cowgirls defense Blowssssssssssssssssssssssss

Bee Vue
Bee Vue

Mr. Vue

I think Vikings will take Blake Bortles at 8th pick.

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

Think Lombardi had the Browns headed in the right direction, player-wise. If their mock worked out this well for them, IF Bortles is the guy who made his team mates better like his final season, etc. Scouts I've read for the most part don't buy Blake.

Evans has this Cujo effect and the last time Oakland was in position to add someone like that they got Jawalrus? Someone is going to get Evans a couple of notches ahead of where people saw him going. Think the Jags trade back or take him outright?

TellyBums
TellyBums

the worst mock i have ever seen! peter king needs to retire! 

gary7
gary7

Thank God to all NFL fans this guy is not your GM (tho it kills him he can't be one), lucky to get 3 maybe 4 of these right...geeezzzzzz

MatthewPieri
MatthewPieri

been saying it for a week...

Browns trade back with Minny and pick up Minny's 2nd Round pick. Browns select Gilbert or Evans, I lean to Gilbert, fix the D first. Now that we have an extra second, ship pick #26 and our second 3rd Round pick for 21/22 and take C.J. Mosley. Round 2 pick one take your pick of Latimer or Roby, depending on who we took at 8. Round 2 pick two take Yankey, G, from Stanford. That is 4 starters in two rounds at key positions, Gilbert, Mosley, Latimer, and Yankey with your 3rd rounder being for a tail back or QB project.

Buck2185
Buck2185

Peter, please tell us allhow you really feel - you think that teams should only pick players that believe gun rights should be taken away from american citizens, that believe that gay players should get prefrential treatment, and also players that want to play for NE....

202FoLife
202FoLife

I love how these fools are outthinking themselves by taking Mack over Clowney, Charley Casserly said it best "How would Clowney do in the MAC conf" Boom! Roasted! 

D H2
D H2

I hope this plays out.  It would mean the Browns have avoided letting the hype of the draft influence their selection, like it did to he Jets in 2008 http://bit.ly/1nlrPhg

kabone
kabone

Let's see, in this scenario the 9ers have a choice between Louis Nix and the 6th best WR (I have him as the 16th best).  I hope the 9ers would pick the NT a 3-4 needs and that they don't quite have.  Robinson/Adams/Benjamin/Moncrief/Richardson/& Latimore will be there at 56 or 61.  On the db front, Roby/McGill/Ward/Bucannon are all there.

I don't think proofed his write-up.  He suggest the 9ers will trade up to grab speed on the outside.  Who might that be exactly?  Of the 5 already selected, only Cooks is faster than Latimer, and he wouldn't be on the outside.

FredFunStuff
FredFunStuff

The one that seems craziest to me is Seattle trading out of #32 so someone else can take the best guard in the draft. It's probably their biggest need, so I can't imagine them trading out in this situation. Crazy.

Mat X
Mat X

KC picks Kelvin Benjamin, not Lee, for WR in the first round.

magicvilas
magicvilas

Detroit is not taking a corner with their 1st pick. Not even if they trade down...


FAIL

Thomas15
Thomas15

With only 5 picks in the draft, trading up for the Eagles would be a ballsy move. Even IF you only had to give up your #22 overall and your 2nd rd. pick, you'd still only have 3 picks left for the entire draft. 

yummypeaches
yummypeaches

I love you Peter . Seeing you screw up your mock draft at the first team endears me to you even more ; ) 

Raiderforlife
Raiderforlife

I am sick of Browns fans will you guys get a clue you have no QB unless that changes you are going to be the Browns.You put a very good QB on that team and you are going to do some damage. I don't want to hear all the other crap we can do  this that this guy that guy, you need a QB no if and or buts, wake up is this thing on hello hello Cleveland are you thier?

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

Matthews playing alongside Wis would make perfect sense in Oakland. Get Garropolo or Fales in RD2-3.

markclevebrownsfan
markclevebrownsfan

Clowney falling to 4 pick  is highly unlikely .If Watkins or Mack are gone then i rather see  the Brown take Evens .If not him then  trade out if they can find a dance partner.

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

Seattle likely takes a stab at the Nebraska corner who is tall and fast as Sherman, he has the perfect mentor and is a playmaker in his own right. Might come in round two early, if they move back a little he's their first target.

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

Cleveland trading up for a guard? That sounds like a great way to finish Fourth in the North.

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

Cam Newton can't pass from his back, Carolina takes a tackle who can get movement off the ball for their run game and play action.

EricCole
EricCole

Absolutely no way chiefs take Lee if Hix is available.... Scott Paoli is no longer with the chiefs. 

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

Jets will move up on Ebron they finally stopped the Keller experiment, they will get in line Y and trade up and fans will Boooooo so hard it ruffles Kiper's hair.

mtnbiker971
mtnbiker971

@202FoLife  Regardless of where he played at, he had outstanding stats. The guy didnt start football till high school and went with the only scholarship he had. Think S Carolina wouldnt have offered him a scholarship in 2012 or 2013?


yummypeaches
yummypeaches

@202FoLife LOL . Casserly of the Manziel won't go in the first round fame ; ) He wouldn't be in NY if he wasn't a top half lock in round 1  . I agree they can't pass on Clowney unless they are giving a bounty in return .

FletcherValentine
FletcherValentine

@kabone I like how you think ... I'm still in the dark and can't wait for tomorrow night to at least get a small peek in to the minds of the 49er war room. We've got a red shirt rookie RB to watch, who if healthy and ready is gonna run that damn rock. On the defensive side of the ball we have a TANK to unleash and if he's back to FSU form we gone be a problem.  Speed kills I get that ... but that's never ... EVER been 49er football. So I would personally go with Jerry Rice's distant cousin first Jordan Matthews. he's has it all and if your looking for the complete WR in this draft he's the best there is. All year long All SEC teams knew they had to stop him and couldn't ... I would use this draft and all the picks to begin to weed out the 2011 draft class and all the guys who aint bought into the game plan on both sides of the ball. IE... James,Looney,Culliver etc etc   

bawgs
bawgs

@Raiderforlife Our projected starter, Brian Hoyer, was 3-0 last year. I'm not saying he's the long term answer, but he's better than anything the Raiders have at QB. And, as a side note, if you're going to tell Browns fans to get a clue, you should probably learn the difference between there, their, and your own made up word, thier.

siskie93
siskie93

lol raiders are garbage son.. sit down

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

@markclevebrownsfan would be weird but convincing to see Atl add the top WR, it was a hit with Julio. Double trouble for them to throw touchdowns at dome field advantage. Think they hope to have OL or pass rush there.

JakeMeulink
JakeMeulink

@Mr.MurderMurphy  mmmm.. I don't think so.  They have a bunch of guys that they really like that are behind Maxwell.  

SethTWilson
SethTWilson

@Mr.MurderMurphy  Trading up for "the best guard in the draft" when they are weak at guard, and have already made TWO first round picks, doesn't sound like a disaster to me. That would be three starters (by the end of the year anyway, if Bortles doesn't start immediately) from the first day of the draft alone, with more picks to come. I'm not sold on Bortles yet, but I like the scenario Mr. King suggests.

EdwardKirby
EdwardKirby

@Mr.MurderMurphy Its not a bad choice, especially in that division where the three other teams have traditionally strong defenses.

EdwardKirby
EdwardKirby

@Mr.MurderMurphy As a Jets fan, I'd like to see CAR trade up to the 1-18 pick with the NYJ -- maybe the CAR one, two and five for the NYJ one and a four -- and then CAR can go for Martin or Moses or whomever is rated highest on their depth chart.

I *don't* want to see the Jets draft a WR (despite the need there), and would rather see the OL get some first round attention. A trade with CAR would allow them to pick the guard that King has going late to CLE.

Barring that, I want some secondary help. Rex is famous for placing a high value on CBs and a low value on safeties (a philosophy I wish he'd reconsider; what would he have done in Baltimore without Reed?; and the INT rate of that defense is real low -- I think -- for that very reason: no real FS to ball hawk incoming deep throws).

Another option is an ILB to learn the ropes from an aging Harris; so I wouldn't object if they took CJ Mosley for that role. Finally, I'd like an edge rusher to spell aging OLB Pace (although Barr reminds me of Gholston).

So my wish list for the NYJ first round pick is: trade down for OL (G); else CB/FS, ILB (if CJ Mosley is available), and if all other options are gone, OLB (but not Barr).

But *no* WRs, please. Not until at least the third round, thanks. [And I'd rather have DL help for Wilkerson and Richardson first.]

SethTWilson
SethTWilson

@Mr.MurderMurphy  Cam Newton needs linemen, but you think the Cleveland QB (whoever it may be) won't??? Hmm, real consistent.

EdwardKirby
EdwardKirby

@Mr.MurderMurphy I think the fans would respond favorable to the NYJ trading up for Ebron. [I wouldn't, but that's just me.]

It appears that MIA has also stopped the Keller experiment; and NE doesn't seem interested either:

http://bostonherald.com/sports/patriots_nfl/new_england_patriots/2014/04/ex_jets_te_dustin_keller_visits_pats_leaves_without

Maybe the NYJ might be interested in re-signing him? [Personally, I'm not all that sold on TEs that are big WRs that lack blocking skills; I'd much prefer to have them resemble OL that can catch a ball from time to time. But I'm an old-fashioned ground-and-pounder, I suppose...]

donald5
donald5

@EaspenJones @Buck2185  And peter needs to post some of his stuff on the huffington post.  Peter is the guy who brings politics up a lot.

202FoLife
202FoLife

@mtnbiker971 @202FoLife  No knock on Mack at all, but Clowney is just different level freakish. I wish them both well but think there's no comparing the two. We'll see tomorrow night and in the future how it all plays out.

202FoLife
202FoLife

@yummypeaches @202FoLife couple of things: 1. Johnny "sandlot" Manziel hasn't been taken in the 1st yet. 2. Casserly has overseen an NFL draft for 17 years so I'm more inclined to go with his opinion than say, umm Peter King and MMQB. Just saying.

Mr.MurderMurphy
Mr.MurderMurphy

@EdwardKirby @Mr.MurderMurphy having two other picks secure, and moving up a little for a quality player who starts would be a trifecta. Doubt Xavier lasts that long on the boards. Would mirror safe selections like Matthews or Martin. Moneyball makes for solid gains, but Sua' probably has kind of core power that moves up on draft day. Not bench press, but movement power, lower body, calves and hips measure line potential.

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