2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0: Round 1

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13. St. Louis Rams
Zack Martin
OT/OG, Notre Dame

Felix’s Take: In order to continue pushing Bradford in the right direction, the Rams will need to add talent on the offensive line in addition to a big-play threat. Watkins gives him a target, while Martin helps solidify a variety of positions. His versatility doesn’t give you a jack-of-all-trades, master of none. Martin is a refined, technique-driven talent that can start right away at guard or tackle. Bradford will need that line to block well in a division featuring fearsome defenses, so Martin makes tons of sense with the other three top tackles gone. 

14. Chicago Bears
C.J. Mosley
LB, Alabama

Adam’s Take: After not participating in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, Mosley clocked a 4.65 time at Alabama’s Pro Day. Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout described him as “fluid” and “loose” during drills. In other words, he can hold his own in space. His versatility will allow him to meld into either a 4-3 (WLB) or 3-4 (MLB) defensive schemes. Mosley digests information quickly: reading formations, diagnosing plays and possessing an innate feel for down and distance situations. The Bears need playmakers at the second level, with D.J. Williams currently roaming the middle. 

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Odell Beckham Jr.
WR, LSU

Sebastian’s Take: The Steelers lost Emmanuel Sanders to free agency and with no true #1 receiver on the team, they add a playmaker in OBJ. While he isn’t the biggest receiver at 5’11, he is explosive and productive. He set a record at LSU for the most all purpose yards in a single season (2,315) as a versatile receiver, punt and kick returner. Big Ben isn’t getting any younger and they do not want another lack luster season like last year. Adding a threat to the offense will go a long way to boost offensive output.

16. Dallas Cowboys
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
FS, Alabama

Felix’s Take: The Dallas Cowboys have the offensive firepower to wait until later rounds for any offensive weapons. What they’ve suffered from is poor defense, setting the record last year for most yards allowed in NFL history. With the NFL more and more becoming a pass-first league, their secondary needs to be vastly improved. Ha Ha is the premiere safety in this draft, a ball hawking deep safety that can come in and support the run. They may finally have a solid safety after years of neglecting the position. 

17. Baltimore Ravens (per coin flip)
Justin Gilbert
CB, Oklahoma State

Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Adam’s Take: While not addressing an outright “need”, the Ravens can’t pass on Gilbert this deep in the round. He’s a ballhawk extraordinaire (33 1/8 arm length) with Patrick Peterson-like game wrecking ability – both on defense and special teams. He ran a “disappointing” 4.37 40-yard dash on Tuesday. This Poke is easily one of the most imposing athletes in the class. Gilbert has taken criticism for playing too conservatively off the line, but given his physical profile there’s little reason to believe he can’t take a more aggressive approach. 

18. New York Jets
Kelvin Benjamin
WR, Florida State

 
Sebastian’s Take: The Jets are obsessed with adding offensive threats this offseason, so it would make sense that they add another physical specimen to an offense that includes the likes of Michael Vick, Chris Johnson and Eric Decker. Benjamin, I believe, will be better than Eric Decker in time. Decker is a nice #2 receiver, but he in large part had Peyton Manning to thank for his otherworldly numbers.

19. Miami Dolphins
Ja’Wuan James
OT, Tennessee


Felix’s Take: This is a wild card of a pick, primarily going off of reported interest from the Miami Dolphins. There is no doubt that they need to and will focus on building their offensive line. Despite the lack of hype, James is a talented tackle that has a long starting résumé and solid ability. It wouldn’t be too bad for this pick to be used on James, especially with the drop off on tackle talent. The Dolphins enhance the line and help the offense keep on track.

20. Arizona Cardinals

Anthony Barr
OLB/DE, UCLA

Adam’s Take: This would qualify as the dream scenario for Arizona. They land a hyper-athletic pass rusher who melds perfectly into their defensive system.  Barr was a truly dominant collegiate edge rusher, racking up 23.5 sacks and 41.5 tackles for loss in four years at UCLA. Are reports of his freefall overblown? Concerns stem from technique flaws and inability to disengage from sturdy blocks. His 15 reps of 225 lbs. at the combine were the lowest among linebackers.
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  • Chad

    HHCD over Barr AND Donald for Dallas? I’m channeling every iota of Chris Berman’s being with this…..”C’MON MAN!!!”