Just Blog Baby 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Senior Bowl Round One (8.0)
By Chase Ruttig
Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Lamarcus Joyner (20) is tackled by Auburn Tigers offensive linesman Greg Robinson (73) after recovering a fumble on an interception during the second half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
#15 Pittsburgh Steelers: Greg Robinson, OT AUB
Rory’s Take: Some people have Robinson as their top left tackle. For me, he needs to clean up his footwork and balance in pass protection a little, but as a run blocker there is no tackle better. He’s a mauler and a perfect Steeler.
Chase’s Take: It is amazing what a National Championship Game appearance can do for your draft stock, Robinson deserves to see a jump in his draft stock because he was so instrumental to Auburn’s outstanding and unstoppable rushing attack this season. I can see a team like the Steelers wanting to bring in a guy who was physically dominant over most competition in the SEC in his final college season.
#16 Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Donald DE/DT PSU
Rory’s Take: The fact Monte Kiffin is staying is startling, but with that in mind, if they will run anything close to the cover 2 scheme they will need a pure three technique and Donald is exactly that. He may be short but he plays with leverage extremely well and he gets a ton of penetration.
Chase’s Take: Like Hageman, Donald is one of the defensive players who has greatly improved his stock at the Senior Bowl practices. A player we had falling to the Raiders in the second round in earlier mocks is now likely a first round pick as it appears that his height will not hinder him from getting his pass rush against oversized offensive tackles.
#17 Baltimore Ravens: Jace Amaro, TE TTU
Rory’s Take: It is difficult to guess where the Ravens will go because they have so many issues coming into free agency and their tight cap situation. In this case the Ravens may be looking to replace Dennis Pitta who could very easily end up somewhere else. Flacco loves to rely on his tight end and Amarro is as precise a route runner as you get from a young tight end.
Chase’s Take: I love this move, but I love the move for Ebron more unless you think that Amaro can block off the line. If you think both have blocking issues, Ebron is likely the best potential gamechanger at tight end in this draft class. Nothing against Amaro, who might likely fit the Ravens system better than Ebron who would be more of a plan to get both a tight end and a wideout in one player.
#18 New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE UNC
Rory’s Take: Rex Ryan loves freakish athletes and Ebron is nothing if not a freakish althlete. He needs to work on his blocking and the consistency with his hands, but he has the potential to be a big time game changer.
Chase’s Take: With Kellen Winslow’s contract up and all of his Vaseline related antics to start the offseason, it would be a good move for the Jets to get an elite tight end who can also play some hybrid slot receiver. Ebron is a freakish athlete who would automatically be the best receiving option on the Jets.
#19 Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Bama
Rory’s Take: This pick has stayed the same for a while and I still think it is a natural fit. At least the position has been the same. The Dolphins have to address this aspect of their offensive line and keep Tannehill upright.
Chase’s Take: Miami should use their first two picks on offensive linemen, I think this is the best pick they could make in the first round.
#20 Arizona Cardinals: Taylor Lewan, OT Mich
Rory’s Take: The Cards are in need of a dominate left tackle and Arians was the offensive coordinator when the Steelers were winning Super Bowls. Lewan is a Steeler like left tackle and would fit in well with the Cardinals who want to be a mauling group.
Chase’s Take: Lewan has taken a pretty steep drop from the beginning of his senior season and that is partly due to how difficult Michigan’s year was. I still think he is a first round talent and he would do well in Arizona.
#21 Green Bay Packers: Kony Ealy, DE/OLB Mizzou
Rory’s Take: The Packers need to help Clay Mathews and although Ealy maybe slightly undersized as a 34 defensive end, he could learn some outside linebacker and be an edge setter in the run game. More importantly he could be a fantastic pass rush threat on third downs and allow the Packers to get some production outside of Mathews .
Chase’s Take: Ealy was one of the breakout stars of a surprise Missouri team that had the best pass rush in the SEC this season. Green Bay could use Ealy as either a defensive end or an outside pass rusher in the 3-4 and provide some insurance if Clay Matthews and AJ Hawk get hurt.
#22 Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Van Noy, OLB BYU
Rory’s Take: The Eagles are a team built to win with a lead and they need to continue to add depth to the pass rush if they see this many defensive snaps. KVN would be a nice addition.
Chase’s Take: This might be a bit high for Kyle Van Noy, but if he is going to land in the first round which he has the potential to do should his combine go smoothly it will be to a team like the Eagles who need to add depth to their linebacker corps.
#23 Kansas City Chiefs: Derek Carr, QB Fresno
Rory’s Take: Alex Smith is not under a long term deal and Andy Reid loves to add young quarterbacks and groom them. Derek Carr would fit amazingly well in his system and could be the quarterback of the future after sitting a year.
Chase’s Take: I liked our Gabe Jackson pick for the Chiefs last week and I am sticking with that prediction for myself, but if the Chiefs pull the ultimate screwjob and grab an available Derek Carr it would be highly entertaining.
#24 Cincinnati Bengals: Gabe Jackson, G MissST
Rory’s Take: The Bengals consistently focus on winning in the trenches and at this spot they would go best player available. Some evaluators are not overly high on Jackson, but this guy is a beast inside and could be a fantastic road grater for the run game.
Chase’s Take: Imagine a Hue Jackson run game with Gabe Jackson at offensive guard bringing his elite run blocking to the pros. As long as Jackson can avoid the knee injuries that can plague run blocking guards he could be the piece to bring the Bengals run blocking game to the next level (just in time for Darren McFadden to join him).
#25 San Diego Chargers: Kareem Martin, DE/OLB UNC
Rory’s Take: Martin is a physical freak sort of pass rusher. He needs to refine his game, but as a huge upside pass rusher, this guy has it all. If he can become a consistent and sound technician with his hands he could be very good.
Chase’s Take: San Diego tried patching up their limited pass rush with Dwight Freeney before he got hurt, this year they will need to address that issue and Martin is the perfect fit to do so.
#26 Cleveland Browns: Loucheiz Purifoy, CB UF
Rory’s Take: The weakest point of this defense was the receiver that wasn’t covered by Haden. Adding another big corner could be a potential solution and would be a great addition for this defense which has some solid depth in the front seven.
Chase’s Take: Cleveland needs someone to match with Haden and build the Browns cornerback position for the future with two elite prospects who can be there for years. Purifoy may be underrated due to the Gators struggles, but he is a talent that could be one of the better values late in the first round or in the early second.
#27 New Orleans Saints: Christian Jones, LB FSU
Rory’s Take: I have never had Christian Jones this high, but I went back and watched more tape. I started noticing he has some understated pass rush moves and for a defense that puts a premium on versatility they could do a ton with Jones.
Chase’s Take: Jones is a late first round/early second round talent that is a proven winner, but I can’t see him going over CJ Mosley. Both are winners and extremely talented linebackers so it is a matter of preference, but I think Mosley will just edge out Jones unless a team is high on him.
#28 Carolina Panthers: Justin Gilbert, CB OkSU
Rory’s Take: Long arms, big body, and a playmaker. This defense really lacks talented defensive backs outside of Munnerlyn and adding this sort of talent would be exactly what Rivera and company need to get this team to take the next step.
Chase’s Take: Carolina’s defense thrives on depth and with the likes of Ebron/Amaro gone there is no reason for the Panthers to try to land an offensive talent. Loading up on the secondary with Gilbert, who could be the best corner in the draft would make one of the leagues best defensive units even stronger.
#29 New England Patriots: Louis Nix, DT ND
Rory’s Take: With Wilfork getting older and Kelly being himself, the Patriots need a potentially dominant defensive lineman on the inside to be the future of this defense. Nix would be an ideal fit.
Chase’s Take: Vince Wilfork didn’t look like he was in that great of shape standing on those Patriots sidelines during the playoffs, they need to find themselves a defensive tackle of the future and Louis Nix is a perfect fit for them.
#30 San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Matthews, WR Vandy
Rory’s Take: Kaepernick needs talented wide receivers in order to be successful. He does not read a defense well or go through his progressions which puts the focus on talented pass catchers. If the Niners want to beat the Seahawks, they will have to spread them out and get matchups against lesser defensive backs. That means more receivers.
Chase’s Take: A relative of Jerry Rice, this move not only is a good story but would make the Niners offense elite enough to outgun the Seahawks which is their ultimate path to winning a Super Bowl.
#31 Denver Broncos: CJ Mosley, ILB Bama
Rory’s Take: Adding a true stud middle linebacker would be a great addition. Mosley does a lot well and is physically able to roam sideline to sideline. Playing him next to Von Miller could prove to be a dominant tandem moving forward.
Chase’s Take: This pick is almost a lock to be spent on defense (barring a shock Manning retirement) and Mosley would get to go from annual National Championship favorites to Super Bowl favorites from college to pro which I am sure he won’t mind.
#32 Seattle Seahawks: Austin Seferian-Jackson, TE UW
Rory’s Take: This is the first time I have had Jackson this high, but the Seahawks need to add another pass catcher and for whatever reason Zach Miller has been a disappointment. He has a big cap number and is cut worthy soon, but adding a safety blanket in the middle of the field could be exceptional.
Chase’s Take: You can always improve from Zach Miller. Seferian-Jackson would be a slight reach, but fills a definite need for the Seahawks who need a young playmaker at wideout and tight end out of the draft/free agency. With their cap issues the draft may be the best option.