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CHRIS BURKE'S MOCK DRAFT

May 05, 2014
May 05, 2014

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May 5, 2014

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CHRIS BURKE'S MOCK DRAFT

ROUND 1

This is an article from the May 5, 2014 issue Original Layout

Scouts are calling this the deepest draft in NFL history—so SI's going deep too. Here are our 2014 projections, all the way through round 2

INSTANT STARTER

VALUE PICK

TRADE BAIT

STRETCH

OFF-FIELD RISK

SINKER

1 [INSTANT STARTER]

TEXANS

Jadeveon Clowney

DEFENSIVE END SOUTH CAROLINA

Rather than draft a QB out of desperation, Houston takes the top prospect. Clowney and J.J. Watt? Good luck, O-tackles.

2 [TRADE BAIT]

RAMS (from Redskins)

Jake Matthews

TACKLE TEXAS A&M

A move back makes sense if Clowney is off the board, but St. Louis might want the polished Matthews badly enough to stay put.

3 [INSTANT STARTER]

JAGUARS

Khalil Mack

OUTSIDE LB BUFFALO

Jacksonville joins Houston in passing on an early QB, here in favor of the explosive edge rusher Gus Bradley needs for his defense.

4 [OFF-FIELD RISK]

BROWNS

Johnny Manziel

QUARTERBACK TEXAS A&M

The ultimate boom-or-bust guy, he could be Cleveland's missing piece. He's definitely a good fit in new OC Kyle Shanahan's system.

5 [INSTANT STARTER]

RAIDERS

Sammy Watkins

WIDE RECEIVER CLEMSON

A legit No. 1 pass catcher to complement FA signee James Jones. Even if new QB Matt Schaub is shaky, Oakland will be far more dangerous.

6

FALCONS

Greg Robinson

TACKLE AUBURN

Atlanta may trade up to chase Clowney, Mack or Matthews, but staying here lands the Falcons a future Pro Bowler.

7 [INSTANT STARTER]

BUCCANEERS

Mike Evans

WIDE RECEIVER TEXAS A&M

Evans and Vincent Jackson can re-create the Brandon Marshall--Alshon Jeffery duo with which new QB Josh McCown thrived in 2013.

8

VIKINGS

Blake Bortles

QUARTERBACK CENTRAL FLORIDA

With Matt Cassel in place, Minnesota can take a QB in need of seasoning—and one who might wind up being the best of the bunch.

9 [OFF-FIELD RISK]

BILLS

Taylor Lewan

TACKLE MICHIGAN

His pending legal issues (assault)could pose a headache, but if everything works out, he would be an upgrade over Erik Pears.

10

LIONS

Anthony Barr

OUTSIDE LB UCLA

Receiver? Corner? Safety? Detroit needs them all—but Jim Caldwell lands a dynamic edge player in the mold of Denver's Von Miller.

11 [TRADE BAIT]

TITANS

Justin Gilbert

CORNERBACK OKLAHOMA STATE

Tennessee could dangle the rights to Aaron Donald before a few teams. If not, replacing Alterraun Verner is the right move.

12

GIANTS

Eric Ebron

TIGHT END NORTH CAROLINA

With the top three OTs off the board, New York addresses its depleted TE stockpile. Eli Manning ought to be pleased with the decision.

13 [INSTANT STARTER]

RAMS

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

FREE SAFETY ALABAMA

St. Louis's dominant pass rush creates opportunities for the secondary. In Clinton-Dix the team will be adding its playmaker.

14

BEARS

Aaron Donald

DEF. TACKLE PITTSBURGH

A perfect fit in Chicago. Donald's size (6'1", 285 lbs.) may drop him a couple of spots, but it did nothing to slow him down at Pitt.

15

STEELERS

Odell Beckham Jr.

WIDE RECEIVER LSU

Don't let the signings of Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey fool you: Ben Roethlisberger needs help at WR. He finds it here.

16 [STRETCH]

COWBOYS

Ra'Shede Hageman

DEF. TACKLE MINNESOTA

His motor ran hot and cold for the Gophers. When he's on, though, few can disrupt the pocket like this 6'6" monster.

17 [TRADE BAIT]

RAVENS

Calvin Pryor

FREE SAFETY LOUISVILLE

With the OT board thinned, Baltimore could trade back. If not, it doubles down at safety, adding Pryor to 2013 first-rounder Matt Elam.

18 [INSTANT STARTER]

JETS

Darqueze Dennard

CORNERBACK MICHIGAN STATE

Rex Ryan loves his cornerbacks to play with a physical, aggressive style. No other 2014 prospect better fits that mold.

19 [SINKER]

DOLPHINS

Cyrus Kouandjio

TACKLE ALABAMA

The Kouandjio roller coaster seems to have climbed back up after a disastrous combine. Miami, in need of a RT, will not wait to pounce.

20 [VALUE PICK]

CARDINALS

C.J. Mosley

LINEBACKER ALABAMA

Arizona scores a steal: Mosley has top 10 potential. He's needed in the desert too, with Daryl Washington facing suspension.

21

PACKERS

Ryan Shazier

LINEBACKER OHIO STATE

It's a win-win for Green Bay if Mosley and Shazier each last to No. 20. The rangy Buckeye provides exactly what this D lacks.

22

EAGLES

Brandin Cooks

WIDE RECEIVER OREGON STATE

Cooks says he can play DeSean Jackson's game. He'll get a chance as Philly swaps in the rookie for its departed Pro Bowler.

23 [TRADE BAIT]

CHIEFS

Teddy Bridgewater

QUARTERBACK LOUISVILLE

Kansas City should have trade options if Bridgewater falls this far. And if not, then Alex Smith's contract is up after 2014.

24 [VALUE PICK]

BENGALS

Jason Verrett

CORNERBACK TCU

When all is said and done, Verrett may prove to be the standout corner of this class. Cincy's secondary could use a youth infusion.

25 [INSTANT STARTER]

CHARGERS

Louis Nix III

DEF. TACKLE NOTRE DAME

The limited options for teams seeking a starting nosetackle push San Diego toward this surprisingly nimble 330-pounder.

26

BROWNS (from Colts)

Kyle Fuller

CORNERBACK VIRGINIA TECH

With Manziel (No. 4) and Fuller, Cleveland checks off two major needs. Fuller can handle the No. 2 CB job opposite Joe Haden.

27 [SINKER]

SAINTS

Marqise Lee

WIDE RECEIVER USC

Once a surefire top 10 pick, Lee endured a shaky 2013. Having Drew Brees toss him passes will prevent any future funk.

28 [TRADE BAIT]

PANTHERS

Zack Martin

TACKLE NOTRE DAME

Carolina has myriad needs, mainly on O, so acquiring another pick or two would help. But Martin is a fine consolation prize.

29

PATRIOTS

Kony Ealy

DEFENSIVE END MISSOURI

After Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones, New England is short on impact pass rushers. The unpolished but talented Ealy eases the problem.

30 [TRADE BAIT]

49ERS

Bradley Roby

CORNERBACK OHIO STATE

San Francisco has the ammo for a leap up the board but may stay patient if it anticipates a talent like Roby being around at No. 30.

31 [INSTANT STARTER]

BRONCOS

Xavier Su'a-Filo

GUARD UCLA

The defending AFC champs shore up one of their few clear weak spots with the gold standard at his position in the 2014 class.

32

SEAHAWKS

Jace Amaro

TIGHT END TEXAS TECH

Another athletic, mismatch-creating weapon for Seattle's O, he'll thrive if Russell Wilson just gets the ball in his hands.

CHRIS BURKE'S MOCK DRAFT

ROUND 2

INSTANT STARTER

VALUE PICK

TRADE BAIT

STRETCH

OFF-FIELD RISK

SINKER

33 [STRETCH]

TEXANS

Zach Mettenberger

QUARTERBACK LSU

We don't buy the Tom Savage hype. Mettenberger is more developed and fits the drop-back-passer mold coach Bill O'Brien favors.

34

REDSKINS

Chris Borland

LINEBACKER WISCONSIN

Immeasurable instincts put him right in Washington's wheelhouse as the team hunts for London Fletcher's replacement.

35

BROWNS

Kelvin Benjamin

WIDE RECEIVER FLORIDA STATE

Another smart gamble by Cleveland brass. The 6'5" star-in-waiting could play the Mike Evans role on Manziel's deep balls.

36 [VALUE PICK]

RAIDERS

Derek Carr

QUARTERBACK FRESNO STATE

It very well may take a trade back into round 1 for Oakland to land Carr. But if he falls this far, he's too talented to pass on.

37 [TRADE BAIT]

FALCONS

Jeremiah Attaochu

DEF. END/OLB GEORGIA TECH

Atlanta may sacrifice this pick for a move up in round 1, but Attaochu is exactly the type of player needed for the Falcons' new 3--4 hybrid D.

38

BUCCANEERS

Dee Ford

DEFENSIVE END AUBURN

Signing FA Michael Johnson put Tampa in a good spot at DE; nabbing the guy who claims he's better than Clowney is icing on the cake.

39

JAGUARS

Jimmy Garoppolo

QUARTERBACK EASTERN ILLINOIS

Jacksonville adds a QB whom it likes—and by doing that in round 2, the Jags lessen the pressure to play him immediately.

40 [INSTANT STARTER]

VIKINGS

Kyle Van Noy

LINEBACKER BYU

Van Noy's all-around game off the edge will serve defensive-minded new Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer very well.

41 [SINKER]

BILLS

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

TIGHT END WASHINGTON

At one point considered the top TE in this class, he checks off another need for Buffalo, which hasn't had a 700-yard end since 1967.

42 [SINKER]

TITANS

Carlos Hyde

RUNNING BACK OHIO STATE

Hyde opened 2013 serving a three-game suspension for poor conduct. He's back on track and, more important, the most talented RB available.

43 [VALUE PICK]

GIANTS

Morgan Moses

TACKLE VIRGINIA

Odd, given the 24-pick gap here, but Moses and Cyrus Kouandjio might flip draft spots. Either could justify a round 1 pick.

44

RAMS

Cody Latimer

WIDE RECEIVER INDIANA

One of the fastest draft risers, Latimer adds to—and may pull away from—a crowded St. Louis receiving corps.

45

LIONS

Allen Robinson

WIDE RECEIVER PENN STATE

Add the reliable Robinson to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and Matthew Stafford will be out of excuses in the passing game.

46 [VALUE PICK]

STEELERS

Jimmie Ward

STRONG SAFETY NORTHERN ILLINOIS

Off-season foot surgery slowed Ward, pushing him into round 2. Pittsburgh has to start prepping for life after Troy Polamalu.

47 [OFF-FIELD RISK]

COWBOYS

Demarcus Lawrence

DEFENSIVE END BOISE STATE

He served three one-game suspensions in college, but Dallas needs a high-upside DE and tends to take these risks.

48 [SINKER]

RAVENS

Stephon Tuitt

DEF. END/TACKLE NOTRE DAME

Once thought to be a first-round lock, he slides to a team that will put him to good use: The Ravens lost DE Arthur Jones in free agency.

49 [VALUE PICK]

JETS

Joel Bitonio

GUARD/TACKLE NEVADA

He could be drafted as early as the bottom third of round 1, mainly because he could slot in just about anywhere on the O-line.

50

DOLPHINS

Deone Bucannon

STRONG SAFETY WASHINGTON ST.

Louis Delmas's injury history makes finding another reliable safety option a necessity. Bucannon plays with Delmas-like aggression.

51

BEARS

Bashaud Breeland

CORNERBACK CLEMSON

Neither Charles Tillman nor Tim Jennings is getting any younger, and Breeland could become something special at corner.

52 [STRETCH]

CARDINALS

Ja'Wuan James

TACKLE TENNESSEE

Many prefer James to Vols teammate Antonio Richardson. With Arizona's Jared Veldheer at LT, James can anchor on the right.

53

PACKERS

Troy Niklas

TIGHT END NOTRE DAME

He's more of an old-school blocking tight end than Ebron (No. 12) or Amaro (32). That's perfect for Green Bay and QB Aaron Rodgers.

54

EAGLES

Terrence Brooks

FREE SAFETY FLORIDA STATE

An intriguing prospect, Brooks has speed and athleticism that coach Chip Kelly will note as he eyes defensive reinforcements.

55

BENGALS

Scott Crichton

DEFENSIVE END OREGON STATE

Free agency thinned out Cincy's defensive end ranks. Crichton has round 1 upside and a motor that always runs hot.

56 [VALUE PICK]

49ERS (from chiefs)

Jordan Matthews

WIDE RECEIVER VANDERBILT

Proof that this draft is chock full of receiver talent: Matthews is on the board at No. 56 after an SEC-record 112-catch season.

57

CHARGERS

Marcus Roberson

CORNERBACK FLORIDA

San Diego's corners were among the NFL's worst in 2013. The overlooked but immensely talented Roberson would be a godsend.

58

SAINTS

Trent Murphy

DEF. END/OLB STANFORD

Not the fastest or strongest or biggest prospect out there, Murphy is still a QB-seeking force in the pass rush.

59 [VALUE PICK]

COLTS

Weston Richburg

CENTER COLORADO STATE

Expect to see a few centers roll off the board in rounds 2 through 4. Indy strikes first, landing its new starter at the position.

60

PANTHERS

Davante Adams

WIDE RECEIVER FRESNO STATE

Maybe not the true No. 1 receiver that Carolina desires. Still, Adams could stuff the stat sheet with Cam Newton targeting him.

61 [SINKER]

49ERS

Dominique Easley

DEF. END/TACKLE FLORIDA

Like San Francisco's '13 round 2 DE, Tank Carradine, Easley won't climb much higher than this due to rehab from a serious knee injury.

62 [TRADE BAIT]

PATRIOTS

Lamarcus Joyner

CORNERBACK FLORIDA STATE

Given New England's history, pretty much any Pats pick is trade bait—but it would be hard to move if Joyner remains on the board.

63

BRONCOS

Jarvis Landry

WIDE RECEIVER LSU

A luxury pick of the best player left. He would be a No. 2 WR elsewhere. In Denver, he's a 50-catch guy and Wes Welker insurance.

64 [INSTANT STARTER]

SEAHAWKS

Gabe Jackson

GUARD MISSISSIPPI STATE

Reminiscent of another recent SEC standout, Lions rookie Larry Warford, Jackson has what it takes to pave lanes for Marshawn Lynch.

PHOTOSCOTT CUNNINGHAM FOR SI (CLOWNEY)PHOTOMO KHURSHEED/TFV MEDIA/CSM (MATTHEWS)PHOTOKEVIN HOFFMAN/USA TODAY SPORTS (MACK)TWO PHOTOSJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SI (MANZIEL, EVANS)PHOTOJC RIDLEY/CSM (WATKINS)PHOTOJOHN GREEN/CSM (ROBINSON)PHOTOTOM DIPACE (BORTLES)PHOTOJAMIE RHODES/USA TODAY SPORTS (PRYOR)PHOTOZACH BOLINGER/ICON SMI (DENNARD)TWO PHOTOSAL TIELEMANS/SI (KOUANDJIO, BRIDGEWATER)PHOTOBUTCH DILL/AP (MOSLEY)PHOTOJAY LAPRETE/AP (SHAZIER)PHOTOJAIME VALDEZ/USA TODAY SPORTS (COOKS)PHOTOJIM COWSERT/AP (VERRETT)PHOTOCARLOS OSORIO/AP (LEWAN)PHOTOICON SMI (BARR)PHOTOSUE OGROCKI/AP (GILBERT)PHOTOJEREMY MCKNIGHT/ICON SMI (EBRON)PHOTORYAN A. MILLER/ICON SMI (CLINTON-DIX)PHOTOCHARLES LECLAIRE/USA TODAY SPORTS (DONALD)PHOTOGREG NELSON FOR SI (BECKHAM)PHOTOBRIAN EKART/ICON SMI (HAGEMAN)PHOTOROBIN ALAM/ICON SMI (NIX)PHOTOLEE COLEMAN/ICON SMI (FULLER)PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SI (LEE)PHOTOJOE CAMPOREALE/USA TODAY SPORTS (MARTIN)PHOTOKEVIN JAIRAJ/USA TODAY SPORTS (EALY)PHOTOJAY LAPRETE/AP (ROBY)PHOTOCHRISTOPHER TRIM/CSM (SU'A-FILO)PHOTOJOHN WEAST/GETTY IMAGES (AMARO)PHOTOBILL FRAKES/SI (METTENBERGER)PHOTOJOHN FISHER/CSM (BORLAND)PHOTOKEITH BIRMINGHAM/SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE/ZUMAPRESS.COM (BENJAMIN)PHOTOCARY EDMONDSON/USA TODAY SPORTS (CARR)PHOTOJEREMY BREVARD/USA TODAY SPORTS (ATTAOCHU)PHOTOKEVIN C. COX/GETTY IMAGES (FORD)PHOTOBRADLEY LEEB/USA TODAY SPORTS (GAROPPOLO)PHOTOBOYD IVEY/ICON SMI (VAN NOY)PHOTOORLANDO RAMIREZ/ICON SMI (BITONIO)PHOTORIC TAPIA/ICON SMI (BUCANNON)PHOTODOUG BUFFINGTON/ICON SMI (BREELAND)PHOTOWADE PAYNE/AP (JAMES)PHOTOJOE RAYMOND/AP (NIKLAS)PHOTOSTEPHAN SAVOIA/AP (BROOKS)PHOTOERIC GAY/AP (CRICHTON)PHOTODON MCPEAK/USA TODAY SPORTS (MATTHEWS)PHOTOGEORGE HOLLAND/CSM (SEFERIAN-JENKINS)PHOTOMIKE EHRMANN/GETTY IMAGES (HYDE)PHOTOANDREW SHURTLEFF/ZUMAPRESS.COM (MOSES)PHOTOMIKE DINOVO/USA TODAY SPORTS (LATIMER)PHOTORICH BARNES/USA TODAY SPORTS (ROBINSON)PHOTOTODD ROSENBERG FOR SI (WARD)PHOTORIC TAPIA/ICON SMI (LAWRENCE)PHOTOJOHN MERSITS/CSM (TUITT)PHOTOKIM KLEMENT/USA TODAY SPORTS (ROBERSON)PHOTOJEFF CHIU/AP (MURPHY)PHOTODEREK REGENSBURGER/CSM (RICHBURG)PHOTOTHEARON W. HENDERSON/GETTY IMAGES (ADAMS)PHOTOTOM DIPACE (EASLEY)PHOTOCHRIS KEANE FOR SI (JOYNER)PHOTOBILL FRAKES/SI (LANDRY)PHOTOMARK HUMPHREY/AP (JACKSON)