Just Blog Baby 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Post Super Bowl Round One
By Chase Ruttig
Dec 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Auburn Tigers wide receiver Trovon Reed (1) and Auburn Tigers offensive linesman Greg Robinson (73) celebrate after the 2013 SEC Championship game against the Missouri Tigers at Georgia Dome. The Auburn Tigers defeated the Missouri Tigers 59-42. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-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 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. With Marinelli as the defensive coordinator they will play even more coverage looks than Kiffin did requiring them to rush with four. This is the best pure penetrating tackle in this draft.
Chase’s Take: Nix could help bolster the interior of the Cowboys defense, which is a key need of theirs. With the amount of cap tied to their start players Nix is a guy who can come in and play the majority of the downs right away if healthy.
#17 Baltimore Ravens: Anthony Barr, OLB UCLA
Rory’s Take: Barr falling this far is simply a matter of fits. Every draft has a guy that drops so maybe this is it. Besides that, Baltimore needs to add youth to its front seven and there are rumors they may move on from Suggs. Barr can play that versatile role on the outside and develop into a solid all around defender but his pass rush is his most valuable asset.
Chase’s Take: Every draft needs a guy that falls farther than expected, and so does every mock draft. I could see Barr going to any of the above teams that took defensive tackles as he is easily a Top 15 talent, but I don’t think he would be unhappy to carry on the proud defensive tradition in Baltimore.
#18 New York Jets: Eric Ebron, TE UNC
Rory’s Take: Rex Ryan loves freakish athletes and Ebron is nothing if not a freakish athlete. 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: I still think Ebron goes higher once we get into the combine portion of the draft evaluation process as even without the ability to block at an elite level, he is the next in the new wave of “hybrid” tight ends that are in reality just tall slot receivers on most downs. His selection here would be perfect for the Jets who need both an elite pass catcher and a new tight end should the let Kellen Winslow move on.
#19 Miami Dolphins: Tyler Lewan, OT Mich
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: Jace Amaro, TE TTU
Rory’s Take: There are some solid tackles in free agency and with that addressed they could turn to giving Palmer another dynamic weapon but this one roaming the middle of the field. Amaro is a solid route runner and solid hands catcher.
Chase’s Take: Arizona’s best teams had another dangerous target to pair with Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals have been lacking a second elite talent to keep defenses true to stopping more than just Fitz. Amaro is more well rounded than Ebron and while he might not be as much of a playmaker, he is equally as intriguing of a talent and because of Arizona’s need for a new future offensive threat with Fitzgerald aging and becoming more and more of an expensive luxury Amaro seems to be a name that will be high on the Arizona board.
#21 Green Bay Packers: Austin Seferian-Jackson, TE UW
Rory’s Take: Pass rush or tight end? Hmm…. Well in this case let us go with tight end. There are a ton of pass rushers in this draft and they can add depth there later, but the drop off at tight end is big.
Chase’s Take: With Amaro/Ebron goneity will be hard for the Packers to ignore their needs at tight end and hope that someone is left late in the second round, because of that we have the Packers taking Seferian-Jackson who is one of the tight ends who is highly regarded outside of the two biggest names in Ebron/Amaro.
#22 Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Ford, OLB/DE AU
Rory’s Take: To me Dee Ford is not a first round talent. Yes he is fast off the edge and can bend it, but he lacks pass rush moves, gets buried on run downs, and has limited linebacker experience. However, I heard at the Senior Bowl first practice Chip Kelly went to the field to watch Dee Ford. After five minutes he smiled and walked away commenting on Dee Ford’s explosiveness.
Chase’s Take: Dee Ford has a first round resume and will be going there. He is simply too explosive to not be taken in round one and I think that Philly is a perfect suitor for Ford based on their love for great athletes with Chip Kelly as head coach. If Ford’s athletic ability can truly translate to the NFL he could be a gamebreaker as an outside pass rusher in the same way he was this year during Auburn’s run where he was a breakout start in addition to his dominating week at the Senior Bowl.
#23 Kansas City Chiefs: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Bama
Rory’s Take: Whether Cyrus is a tackle or a guard he is a solid addition to an offensive line that will be losing at least two players. They need to add youth and talent to help protect Alex Smith.
Chase’s Take: I like Gabe Jackson more than Kouandjio, but he fits more of a need in pass blocking than Jackson does and will be a solid addition to a Chiefs team that is now looking to build championship depth after their breakout season and following Wild Card collapse to the Colts.
#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: Gabe Jackson is one of my favorite players in the 2014 Draft, I have loved watching this guy maul defensive players during his career at Miss. State and as long as he can avoid the injury curse for NFL offensive linemen (and stay in shape) I think he is on his way to a successful NFL career at guard. He makes his hay run blocking and in the proper situation with good motivation he should be a great late first round get.
#25 San Diego Chargers: Kyle Van Noy, OLB BYU
Rory’s Take: I continue to believe the biggest need for the Chargers is pass rush and adding an explosive young presence with versatility. KVN can rush form both sides and stands up well to the run.
Chase’s Take: Kyle Van Noy is similar to Manti Te’o in the sense that he is a guy who scouts either love or hate in the first round, but where KVN attracts is in his explosiveness and versatility. He might not have the most size or the fastest wheels of the linebackers in the draft, but the balance of the two allows him to fit in a variety of roles that could intrigue a team like San Diego.
#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 could be selected even higher than this if a team loved what they saw out of him enough at FSU and he fits a system. I think late first round is his calling and the Saints are a good fit for the overlooked Jones who was a leader at linebacker for the Seminoles.
#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: Gilbert is the second best cornerback available in this draft class and in more cornerback-heavy versions of our mock draft he has went much higher, but this week he will fall to #28 where he lands with the Carolina Panthers defense which is exactly the type of situation in which Gilbert could step in right away and thrive in a role where he won’t be relied upon too fast.
#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 looked like he was nearing retirement in street clothes on the New England sidelines during the playoffs and while he should be back to his old self by training camp it doesn’t mean the Patriots shouldn’t learn from this by taking a defensive tackle to boost their inside presence. Corner is another need for them and the Patriots actually are hurting for depth right now, but Nix looks like the best talent-to-need option at #29.
#30 San Francisco 49ers: Trent Murphy, DE/OLB Stan
Rory’s Take: Trent Murphy’s stock has taken a huge hit since the Falcons used him as a defensive end. He is a technician as a pass rusher and uses his hands very well. Most importantly, the Niners spent the most time interviewing him at the Senior Bowl and with a need to resign young talent in the next couple years they will have to replace vets with talent.
Chase’s Take: Murphy climbs to the first round this week and even with his poor Senior Bowl he could come into the 49ers and their Stanford connection while making everyone look foolish for overlooking him in a situation where he can play to his strengths on a deep winning team.
#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 fits a need for the Broncos in the linebacker position. I like this move. Denver might be more inclined to take an outside pass rusher based on Miller’s injury/suspension so look for that still as well.
#32 Seattle Seahawks: Kony Ealy, DE Mizzou
Rory’s Take: The Seahawks have to soon prepare for the extension that Wilson will command. In order to do that they must bring in young talent to replace some of their veteran pass rushers like Bennett. Ealy has the physical talent and size to move inside and rush as a tackle in a NASCAR package.
Chase’s Take: More pass rushers in Seattle just seems unfair, but they do need to bring in youthful players as even if they do get some hometown discounts from their expiring free agents they will have to let somebody go. A guy like Kony Ealy, who can play either on the end or as an undersized defensive end is exactly the type of player the Seahawks like to bring in.