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
May 5, 2014
1 [INSTANT STARTER]
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)
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]
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]
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]
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.
Atlanta may trade up to chase Clowney, Mack or Matthews, but staying here lands the Falcons a future Pro Bowler.
7 [INSTANT STARTER]
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.
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]
His pending legal issues (assault)could pose a headache, but if everything works out, he would be an upgrade over Erik Pears.
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]
CORNERBACK OKLAHOMA STATE
Tennessee could dangle the rights to Aaron Donald before a few teams. If not, replacing Alterraun Verner is the right move.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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]
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]
CORNERBACK MICHIGAN STATE
Rex Ryan loves his cornerbacks to play with a physical, aggressive style. No other 2014 prospect better fits that mold.
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]
Arizona scores a steal: Mosley has top 10 potential. He's needed in the desert too, with Daryl Washington facing suspension.
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.
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]
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]
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]
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.
BROWNS (from Colts)
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.
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]
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.
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]
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]
The defending AFC champs shore up one of their few clear weak spots with the gold standard at his position in the 2014 class.
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
We don't buy the Tom Savage hype. Mettenberger is more developed and fits the drop-back-passer mold coach Bill O'Brien favors.
Immeasurable instincts put him right in Washington's wheelhouse as the team hunts for London Fletcher's replacement.
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]
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]
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.
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.
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]
Kyle Van Noy
Van Noy's all-around game off the edge will serve defensive-minded new Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer very well.
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.
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]
Odd, given the 24-pick gap here, but Moses and Cyrus Kouandjio might flip draft spots. Either could justify a round 1 pick.
WIDE RECEIVER INDIANA
One of the fastest draft risers, Latimer adds to—and may pull away from—a crowded St. Louis receiving corps.
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]
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]
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.
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]
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.
STRONG SAFETY WASHINGTON ST.
Louis Delmas's injury history makes finding another reliable safety option a necessity. Bucannon plays with Delmas-like aggression.
Neither Charles Tillman nor Tim Jennings is getting any younger, and Breeland could become something special at corner.
Many prefer James to Vols teammate Antonio Richardson. With Arizona's Jared Veldheer at LT, James can anchor on the right.
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.
FREE SAFETY FLORIDA STATE
An intriguing prospect, Brooks has speed and athleticism that coach Chip Kelly will note as he eyes defensive reinforcements.
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)
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.
San Diego's corners were among the NFL's worst in 2013. The overlooked but immensely talented Roberson would be a godsend.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.
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]
GUARD MISSISSIPPI STATE
Reminiscent of another recent SEC standout, Lions rookie Larry Warford, Jackson has what it takes to pave lanes for Marshawn Lynch.