Thursday, September 26, 2013

2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT-with player comparisons

Unlike last season the 2014 draft has the potential to be great . With anywhere from 4 to 8 potential franchise QB's , 3 possible top 10 OT's, and 2 pass rushers with top 5 ability, and at least one  legit # 1 WR. All of those players would probably have been more worthy of the # 1 pick in the 2013 draft . And yes we are predicting a Dallas/Cincinatti Superbowl right now.NFL Player comparisons have been added for the first time this year.So next to each player is the NFL player we feel they will most resemble in their prime if they are a hit. The comp is for on the field play only ,and the higher they are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison.

1.JACKSONVILLE-TEDDY BRIDGEWATER-QB-NFL COMP-LOUISVILLE-AARON RODGERS-GB-I no longer have any faith in Blaine Gabbert to be a NFL starter. If they brought in Tebow they would have at least won games and sold tickets. This year I doubt they do much of either.They even lost to the downtrodden raiders.  Bridgewater has all the elite tools you can want ,he loves to throw the ball down field , he is a natural leader , he is mobile when neccessary, he makes his reads smoothly, and he is extremely poised in the pocket.  All traits Gabbert lacks and that a franchise QB needs.

2.BROWNS-BRETT HUNDLEY-QB-UCLA-NFL COMP-ROBERT GRIFFIN The 3rd-WASH-Norv Turner is one of the all time great O Coordinators and QB whisperers. So Brandon Weeden has to make it this year, but we doubt it. If he doesn't Hundley has a higher upside than Bridgewater but lacks the same polish and experience right now. I still have them as a last place team in their division though. If Jacksonville wasn't so bad I would think the Browns trade of Trent Richardson to get the top QB might have worked. They have a lot of picks if they want to move up , and are reportedly trying to acquire more.

3.OAKLAND-NYJ-JADAVIAN CLOWNEY-DE/OLB-S.CAROLINA-NFL COMP-MARIO WILLIAMS-BUFF-Thanks to years of Al Davis mismanaging the team the raiders have the least talented roster in the NFL . New GM Reggie McKenzie finally got a chance to start rebuilding the roster in this draft , and even after a draft where young fresh bodies were provided we expect it's at least one more year until they are on the way up . Nothing against Tyler Wilson or Matt Flynn , but there is a reason they were both available (4th round and a FA for the second straight year)to the raiders . After watching week 1 it's pretty obvious that surprise starter Terrelle Pryor has enough athlectism & skill to win a few games. That might also cost them the #1 pick and Teddy Bridgewater. Unless he improves a ton though his best fit is still as a WR or TE. However the raiders are so far behind in overall talent that they will probably just go best player available and hope Pryor keeps improving as a passer.The Mario Williams comparison is actually a bit off. He's too angry to be Julius Peppers and faster than Mario, but since we like Mario better that's the closest comparison we can find.

4.BUFFALO-ANTHONY BARR-DE/OLB-UCLA-NFL COMP-DeMARCUS WARE-DALL-After spending a lot of money on Mario Williams to rush the passer he spent a injury plauged season being double teamed. The signing of Mark Anderson to play the other side was supposed to cut down on the double teams, but he was also hurt and has been cut. The recently acquired Jerry Hughes and Manny Lawson are more the situational pass rusher/ types. Barr is a freakish athlete that has already added 20 pounds since last year ,and would be the first defender off the board in almost any other non-Jadavian Clowney-year. He also has the abilty to play OLB in a 3-4 and weakside DE or sam OLB in a 4-3.

5.VIKINGS-TAJH BOYD-QB-CLEMSON-NFL COMP-DONOVAN McNABB-retired-(ret)Christian Ponders injury history and fragile psyche worries me. If he misses significant time, the Vikes have a bad record, or he doesn't play well I think Minnesota will be looking for a new QB. Boyd has a lot of the same abilities as Locker. However Boyd is also a more accurate passer , a proven winner in big games in college, and he doesn't turn the ball over. Boyd's lack of height (reportedly 6 foot 1 ) is the only reason we drop him down. Despite the loss to Cleveland word is out that the Browns are trying to trade other offensive playmakers and punt the seson. So we see them finishing behind a vikings team with a front office that won't give up on the season this early

6.ARIZONA-JAKE MATHEWS-OT-TEX A&M-NFL COMP-DUANE BROWN-While I expect the cardinals offense to be much improved ,with Carson Palmer , a improved O-line, the loss of DC Ray Horton, and the lack of pressure I expect them to get on the QB means their defense should be a problem. Even then they are a solid team... but the NFC west is now the most talented division in football. The 49ers and Seahawks are legitimate super bowl contenders this season and the young and talented rams would be a playoff favorite in every other division in my opinion. Unless they are running the ball a LOT Levi Brown is just a serviceable left tackle who would be a better fit at guard . Coming off a major injury and with a high price tag I would expect they would prefer a cheaper long term upgrade .The polished Mathews gives them( along with Bobbie Massie and the recently drafted/injured Johnathan Cooper) the foundations of an O-line that can be a plus group for a long time.This son of a Hall of Famer was better than any of the tackles in this years draft in our opinion, and they went 1rst, 2nd and 4th in the entire draft.

7.TAMPA BAY-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-NFL COMP-COLIN KAEPERNECK-SF-Tampa Bay is internally imploding now that all the pre-season positive vibes are done . Their talented roster and once promising season is about to go down the drain . Unless they right the ship and come together soon they could be picking even higher. Josh Freeman seems to have lost it, and now rookie 3rd rounder Mike Glennon is getting a shot to start. Glennon has a strong arm , but he is also thin and immoble . Right now he may be better than Freeman  but thats not saying a lot. So lets just proceed as if they need a new QB . Mariota is an elite talent that could go much higher if he adds some more  muscle to his lean frame, shows he can consistently make more than 2 reads tops, and polishes up his mechanics. Marcus also possesses the confidence that a NFL QB needs to lead, but like Colin he is not as ready to immediately start as most 1rst round QB's are expected to do these days .

8.STEELERS-LOUIS NIX-NT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-Two thirds of the once elite front 3 of the Steelers have retired in recent years. With Brett Keisel in his mid thirties, the last of the mohicans could fall soon. The rarest species of player is the 3 down nose tackle.Nix fits that bill and is a special talent that could lead their line for years. A replacement for someone in their again secondary would fit as well.

9.NYJ-MARQUISE LEE-WR-USC-NFL COMP-TORRY HOLT-(ret)-If you want Geno Smith to succeed it stands to reason that he will need better receivers. While young Stephen Hill is immensely talented he is still raw .  Lee is the best WR in this class class right now. The only dependable receiver the Jets currently have is the injury prone, soon to be 30, high priced ,one more failed drug test away  from a long suspension Santonio Holmes. Lee would save them from all that crap and give Geno another long term playmaker to grow with.

10.RAMS(wash)-CYRUS KOUANDJIO-OT-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-Roger Saffold will be a free agent this off season. We are betting somebody else will pay him to play left tackle and he leaves the rams because of it. Cyrus can fill that void and he definitely has the feet to move to LT if Jake Longs injury woes continue, and slide over when Jakes time on the blindside is done.

11.EAGLES-KHALIL MACK-OLB-BUFFALO-NFL COMP-BRIAN ORAPKO-WASH-The eagles have switched to a 3-4 defense under Chip Kelly but lack anyone among their plethora of edge rushers who is a good fit in that system. Mack has the athleticism to play a similar role to the one Von Miller does in Denver. He has the size and speed to play the strong-side in a 4-3 and move down as a DE in obvious passing roles. If they are in a odd front he can play either rush linebacker spot. When a guy from a smaller school is the best player on the field against a powerhouse like Ohio St. everyone takes notice.

12.PANTHERS-SAMMY WATKINS-WR-CLEMSON-NFL COMP-TORREY SMITH-BALT- Like the Houston Texans before them the panthers seem destined to wait far too long to draft a top receiver. Steve Smith is past his prime & undersized, but he is still the best WR on this team . You would think they would want to do everything they can to help their young franchise QB succeed, but they sure are going about it in a weird way. 

13.CHARGERS-TAYLOR LEWAN-OT-MICHIGAN-NFL COMP-MICHAEL ROOS-TENN- King Dunlap probably isn't the long term answer at LT for the chargers . Drafting Lewan to pair with 2013 1rst rounder DJ Fluker as bookend offensive tackles makes a ton of sense though. This move would go a long way toward keeping a rejuvenated Phillip Rivers stay on the rebound to franchise QB form. Lewan has always held his own no matter the assignement . While he isn't as polished as Mathews he does find a way to get the job done one way or another.

14. TITANS-AJ McCARRON-QB-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-MATT RYAN-ATL-I have never believed Jake Locker can be a NFL starting QB because he lacks accuracy, but I hope I am wrong because he is reportedly a heck of guy and teammate . This years O-line should be elite in Tennessee and the run game should be able to take a lot of pressure off him. He has also had 2 years to learn & improve, and has a lot weapons around him.However, I still think he fails as a passer. If the Titans run the read option and take advantage of Jake's mobility he might buy himself a bonus season but I doubt it. Bottom line is he needs to complete 60% of his passes and show significant improvement as a passer to stick around. If he doesn't McCarron is a proven winner with the tools and leadership to be the guy long term in Tennesee.

15.LIONS-ANTONIO RICHARDSON-OT-TENNESEE-NFL COMP-ANDRE WHITWORTH-CINC-HOU-2012 first rounder Reilly Reiff is probably going to be the LT for the Lions this season . I now think Reiff can handle it but at RT Corey Hilliard looks more like a backup to me . Either way Matt Stafford's new contract means protecting him is the top priority and having good bookend offensive tackles is the best way to do that. Richardson is a mammoth man that is hard to get around . Pairing him with rookie stud Larry Warford on the right side could get a big push in the run game for a long time.

16.RAMS-HA'HA CLINTON DIX-S-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-HARRISON SMITH-S-MINN-In the last 2 years under Jeff Fisher the rams have made a large jump in talent thanks to the RG3 trade and a few free agent deals. The area they have neglected is safety. Why they cut Quintin Mikel is beyond me and this will probably be a need . Dix has been a great player, in a great conference, against top competition.

17.NYG-CJ MOSLEY-ILB-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-DERRICK JOHNSON-KC-The giants have gotten by with low draft picks and veteran retread tri-hard guys at LB for the most part this last decade. Mosley is an elite athletic 3 down LB with high level instincts. He is also a disruptive force all over the field that would probably be even better when protected in a 4-3 . They need a playmaker at LB somehwere and GM Jerry Reese is a best player available guy .

18.RAVENS-CAMERON ERVING-OT-FLORIDA ST-NFL COMP-RYAN CLADY-OT-DENVER-Bryant Mckinnie is near the end and Michael Oher is a better fit at RT( although guard would be his best position). They need a young guy who is skilled in pass protection at LT.Erving could be Flacco's long term blindside protector if he comes out early . The Ravens are the kind of franchise that reloads instead of rebuiding, and I doubt they will be down for long.

19.FALCONS-JAMES HURST-OT-N.CAROLINA-NFL COMP-ERIC WINSTON-AZ-The Falcons are replacing the entire right side of their line . RT Tyson Clabo was their best lineman and he is one of the guys being replaced. LT Sam Baker is inconsistent and injury prone. Add the fact that 2 rookie corners are being counted on to be key players this year and I wouldn't be surprised if they actually missed the playoffs because of these 2 areas. If those players grow into their roles they may squeak in , but I don't see them as Superbowl threat at all this year. and wonder if Matt Ryan will survive the year .Hurst may be able to play LT, but he can defintely play RT or guard. He played decent in his high profile match-up against Clowney, although he didn't do as good a job when they were one on one . Clowney looked gassed and claimed sickness. If Hurst can continue to play well and show he can play LT he could rise into the top 10


20.MIAMI-BRADLEY ROBY-CB-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-LEON HALL-CINC-Vontae Davis was traded and Sean Smith is a chief. Throw in newly acquired Brent Grimes coming off a torn Achilles and a infusion is probably needed at corner. If Grimes is OK and resigns and Rookie Jamar Taylor plays well they would still need another young corner. Interior D-line is also a need with Paul Soliai and Randy Starks around 30 , and having big cap numbers.

21.SAINTS-TRENT MURPHY-DE/OLB-STAN-NFL COMP-PAUL KRUGER-CLEV-The saints switched to a 3-4 this season and the out-for-the-year Victor Butler was their best fit as an OLB. It should be a big need next year and Murphy has been playing the position at a high level for years at Stanford. The lack of needing to learn the position (unlike most guys coming from college)should help him in Rob Ryan's complicated scheme.

22.PATRIOTS-MIKE EVANS-WR-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-VINCENT JACKSON-TB-Bill Belichicks ego has bitten him in the ass so far this season. His refusal to pay Wes Welker ( or even Brandon Llyod)and the injuries/ incarceration of his tight ends has left Tom Brady with an inexperienced receiving core. Now Aaron Dobson may fulfil his potential, undrafted FA's Kenbrell Tompkins/Zach Sudfeld may end up as keepers. ,Gronk. Amendola/Edelman may get and stay healthy. Thats a lot of mays, if's ,and, buts there. Evans is the big, reliable outside target Brady has lacked since Randy Moss went off the reservation.

23.CHIEFS-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-MICHAEL CRABTREE-SF-The best thing about Dwayne Bowe is his blocking. His hands are suspect and he is getting slower by the year. As a #2 in a run first offense he is a good fit though. Donnie Avery is injury prone and his best roll would be as a #3. Enter Mike Evans who has the ability  , size and hands to be a true # 1 in this offense .Add that Andy Reid has shown a willingness to draft WR's high and this is a good fit .

24.SAN FRANCISCO-STEPHON TUITT-DE/DT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-RICHARD SEYMOUR-(fa)-Justin Smith and Ray Mcdonald have been great bookends in the 49er 3-4 for awhile, but age catches up to us all. With injuries to both in recent years a infusion of youth is needed at the 5 technique. Tuitt is that rare player that can set the edge against the double team, but still provide a pass rush.

25.HOUSTON-JOHNNY MANZIEL-QB-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-FRAN TARKENTON-(ret)-Matt Schaub's guaranteed portion of his contract is about done. If the Texans don't win big this season I expect them to put some pressure on him by drafting a QB. "Johnny Football" would help narrow the gap in homesate fan base with the cowboys and would give the Texans offesne a whole new dimension. Love him or hate him (and I have found myself feeling both from time to time) Manziel makes plays at the best times on the big stage. If a team can trust him to stay out of trouble off the field he looks like a guy that can lead a team to victory.

26.CHICAGO-TIMMY JERNIGAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-JURRELL CASEY-DT-TENN-Henry Melton was playing this year under the franchise tag before an ACL tear, and who knows if he will be brought back next year . Even if he is resigned they are still running the Tampa 2 ,and front four pass rush is crucial to that defense. Another pass rushing DT next to Melton is a huge need even if they do keep him, AND . If Jermon Bushrod bombs at left tackle , or Jay Cutler leaves those positions could also be in play.

27.PACKERS-COLT LYERLA-TE-OREGON- NFL COMP-JORDAN CAMERON-BROWNS-An elite athlete to replace the elite athleticism of Jermichael Finley. Finley is as talented as they come but his mental errors. inconsistent hands, injury history, and lack of will to help out blocking make him expendable . Someone will pay him for his upside but unless he puts it all together this season we doubt it's the packers. Lyerla has the same type of ability but he sure looks like he's trying a lot harder than Finley.

28.BROWNS(indy)-GABE JACKSON-G-MISSISSIPPI ST-NFL COMP-BRIAN WATERS-DALLAS-RG John Greco has been really bad this tear after a down year in 2012. Jackson is the kind of big athletic lineman that can help a young QB keep his pocket clean. AJ McCarron has been used to a really good line at Alabama so it would be wise to avoid a culture shock for him. I really doubt the wisdom of giving up on Trent Richardson to get this pick though.

 29.SEATTLE-VICTOR BEASLEY-DE/OLB-CLEMSON-NFL COMP-CHRIS CLEMMONS-SEA-Pass rush is the entire key to the Seahawks defensive scheme .vin)-Beasley is th ekind of unersized pass rusher that Pete Carrol can find a use for (ala Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin)since neither Cliff Avril or Michael Bennet are signed long term.

30.DENVER-CHRIS SMITH-DE-ARK-NFL COMP-TRENT COLE-PHIL-The 2 best pass rushers in Denver last season were Elvis Dumervill and Von Miller. Between Dumervill's agent making a paperwork mistake that cost him his job and Von Miller's drug suspension they are sorely lackiong in this area right now. Will Miller be the same guy without the chemical help? Don't know but even if he is they need someone else that can rush the passer off the edge.

31.BENGALS-RYAN SHAZIER-OLB-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-LANCE BRIGGS-CHI-Rey Maualuga need to be replaced. Drafting an elite playmaker like Shazier would help 2 positions. Vontaze Burfict could move to the middle and Hazier could play outside. The affect on their pass defense alone would be tremendous.

32. DALLAS-DAVID YANKEY-T/G-STANFORD-NFL COMP- MARSHALL YANDA-BALT-Dallas has gone quantity over quality at the guard position the last 2 years, and the results haven't been pretty . Even if the injury prone Ronald Leary or Mackenzy Bernadeau work out this season an upgrade at one guard spot will be needed . Also the out for the year 31 year old Nate Livings is getting a salary bump next year, and we just don't see his level of play being worth what he is already being payed before the injury . Throw in the fact that they dragged Brian Waters out of retirement after a year off and it just goes to show you how little faith they have in their current guards . Yankey is an ideal fit for the new Dallas zone blocking scheme , and he can also play tackle if Doug Free forgets how to extend his arms again.

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