Just Blog Baby 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Round One 9.0

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Dec 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Taylor Lewan (77) walks off the field following the game against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Kansas State defeated Michigan 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

#15 Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Lewan, OT Mich

Rory’s Take: As I have said before, there is not an offensive lineman in the drat that epitomizes the Steelers more than Tyler Lewan and luckily for them they absolutely need to add a left tackle in this draft. Lewan is a big mauler and will fit well in an offense that still wants to run the ball consistently.

Chase’s Take: Lewan’s name gets mentioned less often than it should thanks in part to Michigan’s lacklustre two seasons to end Lewan’s career in Ann Arbor, but it doesn’t change the fact that Lewan is very likely one of the best offensive linemen in this draft. It would be a crime to see him fall to the second round and we have yet to project him to do so, putting him back in the Top 15 this week.

#16 Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Donald DE/DT PSU

Rory’s Take: It looks as if the Cowboys are doubling down on the cover two scheme with the addition of Rod Marinelli. He will establish a primarily zone defense banking on a disruptive three technique. I doubt they are able to resign Hatcher and Donald’s ability to penetrate is elite.

Chase’s Take: Donald is getting a ton of love pre Combine and he should be because he is a very valuable prospect in this class. Able to do some different things on the line Donald could be a solid defensive line talent for years to come and give Dallas some much needed (cheap) depth on their defense.

#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 Amaro is as precise a route runner as you get from a young tight end.

Chase’s Take: I love this move especially when you mix in that Amaro can block off the line which if he can at the next level will make him the best “true” tight end in this draft. Baltimore could easily let Pitta walk and save themselves some valuable cap space while getting a future franchise tight end in Amaro who thrived during Texas Tech’s surprising season.

#18 New York Jets: Davante Adams, WR Fresno

Rory’s Take: This is the fourth wide receiver off the board but it does make sense. Adams is a guy who has all of the physical ability but he needs to refine his game. He dominated in lesser competition but his size could be a great addition for a quarterback who struggles with deep accuracy.

Chase’s Take: This is a reach, but it is a good reach. Adams has a highlight reel that is a long watch and has made Derek Carr into one of the best QB prospects in this draft with his partnership and big catches. Adams grades out to the late first round to the mid second, but if you were going to reach on a playmaker there are few better options than Adams in this draft.

#19 Miami Dolphins: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Bama

Rory’s Take: The Dolphins will likely add one tackle in free agency and if they get the chance they will add a solid player like Albert. However, adding a right tackle will also be big for them protecting Tannehill and Cyrus can be a mauler for them.

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: Zach Martin, OT/OG ND

Rory’s Take: Zach Martin has gone shooting up my board for his performance at the Senior Bowl. He showed off how fundamentally sound he is and that could offset any of his other short comings.  It would be a natural selection for the Cardinals.

Chase’s Take: Martin’s Senior Bowl has done wonders to his value as he looked very impressive against the top pass rushers and defensive linemen in the country. With versatility to play anywhere on the line he would be a good fit for the Cardinals who need to bolster the offensive line to make the next step in the ultra-competitive NFC West.

#21 Green Bay Packers: Austin Seferian-Jackson, TE UW

Rory’s Take: This tight end is an understated prospect who has big play ability. He would be a natural fit in the Packers offense and could provide a consistent threat up the seam with solid hands.

Chase’s Take: Great pick that fits a need, but I think the Packers defensive problems are more pressing than at tight end.

#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: Speed kills and Chip Kelly can never get enough of it on both sides of the football. Dee Ford looked like the fastest pass rusher at the Senior Bowl and even if you have concerns about his lack of moves Ford has the potential to be a pass rushing weapon which is valuable even if he is one dimensional. That alone makes Ford a first round commodity heading into the combine stage of the draft process after a stellar final season and a breakout Senior Bowl performance.

#23 Kansas City Chiefs: Darqueze Dennard, CB MichSt

Rory’s Take: At this point the Chiefs just go with best player available and in this case it is Dennard. Adding him would free them up to move one of their veteran cornerbacks in the near future and help sure up a tight cap situation if need be in order to add the talent they want to add.

Chase’s Take: You can never have enough cornerbacks and you can never have enough cheap, physical and talented ones on your roster. Just ask Seattle. While the Chiefs may have bigger needs, Dennard would simply be too good to pass up come the #23 pick.

#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 the best run blocker in the draft and with Hue Jackson recently taking over the offensive coordinator position in Cincy there is going to be a newfound emphasis on pounding the rock. A mauler like Jackson fits what the Bengals offensive philosophy likely will be based upon going forward.

#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: San Diego has shown that they want to build around versatile and young linebackers by bringing in Manti T’eo during the 2013 draft. Van Noy is a talented pass rusher who as mentioned can play on either side of the line which will have many teams intrigued. He may be more of an early second round talent if teams cool on him at the combine.

#26 Cleveland Browns:  Blake Bortles, QB UCF 

Rory’s Take: At this point the Browns would have added another explosive weapon and can now take the quarterback of the future. To succeed in Cleveland a quarterback will have to be big enough to take a pounding and strong enough to throw through tough winds. Bortles can do both of those things.

Chase’s Take: This is a drop for Bortles, but it is realistically where he should go. Cleveland would be wise to see if the QB madness subsides through the early first round and hope that teams stay away from Bortles who has the type of intangibles that Cleveland succeeded with during this season with Hoyer. Top 5 might be a reach, but at #26 Bortles would be a good pick.

#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, a National Champion has a ton of range when it comes to projecting where he will go on draft day as he will likely land in the first round only if a team believes that they will fit their schemes. Recently Rory has had him late in the first round and he remains there by joining the Saints.

#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: Do the Panthers try to find their target of the future for Cam Newton or do they try to take their defense to an even higher level? Here we have them opting to load on defense by taking one of the better corners in the draft in Gilbert who makes plays and has the size that scouts love.

#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 is old and the Patriots need to start looking for his replacement. If Talib walks for free agency cornerback may become the Patriots biggest need so look for that after free agency settles out.

#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 in the Senior Bowl. 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: The more I think about it the more I see Trent Murphy fitting into what could be a perfect situation with the Niners. While his draft stock has taken a hit, his height and physical talents could be worked upon in a role where San Francisco could put him in situations suited to his strengths while he develops into an NFL body. A dominant player at Stanford this could be a home run pick for the Niners.

#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 as I have said in nearly every mock draft we have released and Mosley could pair extremely well with Miller like Rory mentioned so this is a pick to keep an eye on come draft day.

#32 Seattle Seahawks: Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT 

Rory’s Take: The Seahawks have said that they want to resign Bennett which makes sense, but that could mean a guy like Mebane or Bryant could be cut to make that space. Tuitt would be a versatile playmaker inside that could play many roles for the run defense in this versatile scheme.

Chase’s Take: Seattle won’t be prone to forget what got them to the Super Bowl when it comes to drafting the next wave of Seahawks to keep them both loaded with talent and depth while being cap flexible. Tuitt, a player who can either be an interior or an outside pass rusher if coached correctly is exactly the type of player who fits into the Seahawks vision.