Ryan Talbot’s Final First-Round NFL Mock Draft

Jake Matthews lands with the Buffalo Bills in Ryan Talbot’s first-round mock draft. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Ryan Talbot

Just when I thought I was done with all forms of mock drafts, they pull me back in. The 2014 NFL draft is just one day away, so to celebrate in a sick and twisted way, I mocked the first round of the draft. Using the latest draft talk and look at team needs, I put together my first and only full first-round projection for the 2014 draft.

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

The Texans field offers but the team turns them all down. Houston takes the best player in the draft and the combination of Clowney and Watt will send chills down the spines of opposing quarterbacks.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Rams have sent out smokescreens about Johnny Manziel, but the team selects Greg Robinson to stabilize their offensive line. Sam Bradford may be on the trading block, but the team does not need to select a quarterback here.

3. Atlanta Falcons (from Jacksonville Jaguars): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

*Projected Trade

The Falcons might really want Jadeveon Clowney, but swap picks with the Jaguars for a nice consolation prize. Khalil Mack gives the Falcons defense an edge player who can get after the quarterback.

4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Yeah, I know what Jay Glazer said, but I’m sticking with this pick. The Browns want to add a quarterback and Johnny Manziel would add instant excitement for the team’s great fan base.

5. Detroit Lions (from Oakland Raiders): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

*Projected Trade

The Lions become the second team to trade up in the top five and give Matthew Stafford another offensive weapon. Calvin Johnson, Sammy Watkins and Golden Tate could be a special group of wide receivers.

6. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Atlanta Falcons): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

No Sammy Watkins? No problem. The Jaguars don’t expect Justin Blackmon to play in 2014 and the combination of Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders isn’t very worrisome for opposing teams. Mike Evans can be a legitimate No. 1 receiver for a team that lacks offensive firepower.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

The run on offense continues with the Buccaneers targeting Eric Ebron. LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. could also be a target here, but Ebron gives the team an athletic tight end who can stretch the field and create mismatches.

8. Minnesota Vikings: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

The Vikings could easily grab a quarterback here, but instead take the best inside linebacker in the draft. C.J. Mosley immediately fills one of Minnesota’s biggest needs.

9. Buffalo Bills: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Buffalo is looking to trade up, but might not feel comfortable paying the price that the Falcons and Lions pay. For their patience, the Bills could land Jake Matthews, the best right tackle in the draft. On paper, Cordy Glenn and Matthews could be one of the best young tackle combinations in the league.

10. Oakland Raiders (from Detroit Lions): Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Raiders are big winners here. The team trades back, picks up an additional pick or two and still gets Aaron Donald. Oakland needs someone who can make an immediate impact on their defense, and Donald can bring that.

11. Tennessee Titans: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Titans need a cornerback and Darqueze Dennard is the best one on the board.

12. New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

The Giants need Eli Manning to rebound after a rough 2013 season, and the best way of help him do this is to add an offensive weapon. Odell Beckham Jr. is rising up draft boards so the Giants should turn down any and all trade talk to draft him.

13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

The Rams come out of the first round with Greg Robinson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Getting two players who are supposedly the top prospects at their respective positions should help the Rams improve quickly in a difficult division.

14. Chicago Bears: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

I’m not too high on Calvin Pryor, but the Bears need a safety in a bad way.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

The Steelers need a cornerback and Kyle Fuller is the best one sitting on the board at the 15th pick.

16. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Barr is an interesting, yet smart, pick for the Cowboys. The team needs a pass-rusher and Barr is the best edge defender at the board at the 16th pick.

17. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

The Ravens need offensive line help, especially on the right side. Michigan’s Taylor Lewan could be in play here, but the Ravens should lean toward Martin as he is more versatile.

18. New York Jets: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

The Jets really want to upgrade their receivers and cornerbacks. Dee Milliner’s rough season could have the team shy away from cornerback position and instead, take Brandin Cooks. Cooks’ speed can be utilized by the Jets sooner rather than later in multiple ways.

19. Miami Dolphins: Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA

The Dolphins need offensive line help, but do they want Taylor Lewan? He’s talented but his main streak may remind the team a bit too much of Richie Incognito. Instead of a tackle, Miami takes the top guard in the draft in Su’a-Filo.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

There’s too much value here for the Cardinals to pass up. Arizona had a solid season last year and an immediate starter could put them over the top, but in this scenario, the Cardinals could add a quarterback to replace Carson Palmer in the near future.

21. Green Bay Packers: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

The Packers should sprint to the podium to select Ryan Shazier. He’s an immediate upgrade at the linebacker position for Green Bay.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Marqise Lee becomes the fifth wide receiver taken in the first round. The Eagles need a wide receiver to replace DeSean Jackson after claiming that he wasn’t a fit in their offense.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Dee Ford, OLB/DE, Auburn

Dee Ford can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense and the Chiefs should like Ford for his ability to rush the passer.

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

The fall of Taylor Lewan ends at pick 24. Offensive tackle is one of the Bengals’ biggest needs and landing Lewan is almost too good to be true here.

25. San Diego Chargers: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

San Diego looks to upgrade their secondary and select Justin Gilbert. You can never have too many cornerbacks when you go against Peyton Manning twice a year.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts): Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

The sixth and final wide receiver selected in the first round, Allen Robinson could form a formidable duo with Josh Gordon. Many people are underestimating Robinson’s skill-set, but he’s worthy of going in the first round.

27. New Orleans Saints: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Saints upgraded their secondary by adding Jairus Byrd and can continue to address this area in the draft by selecting Jason Verrett, who would see immediate playing time.

28. Carolina Panthers: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

The Panthers should go best player available at offensive tackle or wide receiver here. At pick 28, that leads the team to select Morgan Moses over Cody Latimer. Moses would start right out of the gate for Carolina.

29. New England Patriots: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame

The Patriots always seem to wheel and deal in the draft, but Louis Nix III is too good to pass up for New England. He fills a big need for the AFC East’s best team.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

The 49ers need help at the cornerback position and get terrific value here in Bradley Roby. The Ohio State product has all of the skills to develop into a shutdown cornerback.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Denver Broncos): Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

*Projected Trade

The Jaguars jump back into the first round and select their quarterback of the future in Blake Bortles. This is a massive drop for Bortles, but he would compete for the starting job immediately. Jacksonville’s reasoning for re-entering round one is simple: the team wants to jump ahead of the Texans.

32. Seattle Seahawks: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

The Seahawks don’t have too many pressing needs and Kony Ealy would strengthen their defensive line. Ealy could rotate in at defensive end or gain some weight and play defensive tackle for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Aaron Donald, Allen Robinson, Anthony Barr, Blake Bortles, Bradley Roby, Brandin Cooks, C.J. Mosley, Calvin Pryor, Darqueze Dennard, Dee Ford, Eric Ebron, Greg Robinson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Matthews, Jason Verrett, Johnny Manziel, Justin Gilbert, Khalil Mack, Kony Ealy, Kyle Fuller, Louis Nix III, Marqise Lee, Mike Evans, Mock Drafts, Morgan Moses, NFL Draft, Odell Beckham Jr., Ryan Shazier, Sammy Watkins, Taylor Lewan, Teddy Bridgewater, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Zack Martin

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