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Softli’s 2014 Mock Draft

This version of a mock draft is called “Sit and Pick,” which is based on a combination of NFL club needs and roster analysis. For teams to just sit and pick is not the reality of the draft process as we know it, of course; however, the order that follows serves to help paint a true picture each organization’s priorities given its existing makeup and depth.

How will the 32 teams attack a very capable free-agent class? Will there be a big splash early? Conversely, will teams prefer to add key players and fill hot spots late, potentially influencing how they approach May’s festivities in New York City? Building the roster with youth, especially through the yearly NFL draft, is the key to maintaining a successful NFL franchise. Throughout my years in the front office, the ultimate road to consistent excellence boiled down to drafting, developing and resigning your youngsters.

The 2014 draft is loaded with talent. It may be the most talented draft class in the last 20 years, in fact, with stars-in-waiting across the board. The 102 total underclassmen, including 98 juniors and four red-shirt sophomores, will provide quality value throughout all rounds. Most of the seniors will hear their names called as the three-day event winds to a close.

Here is my first mock draft version.

1. Houston – Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

2. St. Louis from Washington* – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

3. Jacksonville – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

4. Cleveland – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

5. Oakland – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

6. Atlanta – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

7. Tampa Bay – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

8. Minnesota – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

9. Buffalo – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

10. Detroit – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

11. Tennessee – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

12. NYG – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

13. St. LouisAaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

14.. Chicago – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

15. Pittsburgh – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

16. Dallas – Ra’shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

17. Baltimore – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama

18. NYJ – Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California

19. Miami – Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame

20. Arizona – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

21. Green Bay – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

22. Philadelphia – Calvin Pryor, DB, Louisville

23. Kansas City – Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

24. Cincinnati – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

25. San Diego – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

26. Cleveland from Indianapolis* – Ryan Shazier, CB, Ohio State

27. New Orleans – Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

28. Carolina – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

29. New England – Louis Nix, NT, Notre Dame

30. San Francisco – Jammie Ward, DB, Northern Illinois

31. Denver – Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame

32. Seattle – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

I’ll detail all 32 teams’ specific needs next Monday, March 10.

About Tony Softli

Tony Softli is 101ESPN’s NFL Insider. Prior to joining 101ESPN, Tony worked in the personnel departments for several NFL teams, including the St. Louis Rams.
  • racerx

    Tony, why Donald at 13?