Oct 19, 2013; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) calls a play behind the line against the UNLV Rebels during the fourth quarter at Bulldog Stadium. The Fresno State Bulldogs defeated the UNLV Rebels 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Natan’s Mid-Season 2014 NFL Mock Draft


The NFL season is sadly halfway through and we are getting a great picture of what teams’ needs will be heading into the offseason. This 2 Round Mock Draft illustrates what I would do if I was drafting for each NFL team.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville): It has been a foregone conclusion for a while that Jacksonville is going to pull the trigger on their franchise QB in May. Bridgewater is a perfect blend of passing ability, athletic ability, and most importantly, poise and intelligence. Bridgewater is a blue chip prospect who can lead this franchise into the future.
  2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina): Tampa possess a much more talented team than the win column suggests so they have the luxury of taking the best player available. Clowney is a once in a generation talent and he would add a serious presence to a defensive line that is having issues with edge pressure. This defense is stacked with talent at every level and adding as dangerous of a pass rushing threat as Clowney would put this group over the top.
  3. New York Giants: Jake Matthews (OT, Texas A&M): The Giants are a mess… All over. Worst of all is their inability to protect Eli Manning and therefore Manning is throwing under duress constantly. Matthews is an elite level pass protector with great technique and athletic ability to also prove helpful in run blocking. His addition would be an immediate boost to this maligned line and could make Eli Manning a very happy person.
  4. Cleveland Browns: Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State): Brandon Weeden has shown no signs of progression since being drafted and this team is in dire need of a franchise QB. Carr has phenomenal build, athletic ability and intelligence, but his arm talent is what is going to be coveted by Rob Chudzinski and Norv Turner. Carr is a great prospect who has enormous amounts of talent. His coming into a team that already has key offensive pieces and tons of talent all around could make Cleveland a major turnaround team.
  5. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon): The Eagles’ offense has been atrocious when the QB cannot threaten. Mariota not only has a wide range of tools to be a successful QB, but he is also familiar with Chip Kelly and his offense. The Eagles are in dire need of a QB who can consistently man its potentially explosive offense. Mariota has the speed to threaten as a read option threat to take pressure of Lesean McCoy and he also has the arm ability to push the ball downfield to Desean Jackson.
  6. Minnesota Vikings: Jason Verrett (CB, TCU): Despite a need at QB, taking any available passer this high would be a reach. The second biggest need on this team is in the secondary and Verrett is here to ease their woes. In a division with Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Jordy Nelson among others, a team can never have too many talented defensive backs. Verrett is a versatile corner who can shut down a receiver in man and zone, but also has the ability to come up and make a stop in the run game. He and former first rounder Xavier Rhodes will pair up to form a young and talented duo who can shut down the elite passing attacks in the NFC North.
  7. Oakland Raiders: Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson): Terrelle Pryor has flashed enough to prove that he may be the future at quarterback in Oakland and now it is time to build around him. Watkins is an amazing talent at creating after the catch and has the ability to turn even the shortest passes into big plays. His speed also makes him valuable down the field and, paired with Pryor’s arm strength, can be deadly out of the gate. Pryor needs dependable weapons and Watkins could be a major threat with Pryor for years to come.
  8. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anthony Barr (OLB, UCLA): The Steelers need to continue to infuse youth and speed into their team. Barr is an athletic freak of a pass rusher who has the upside to be a dominant every down player. Even with the recent drafting of Jarvis Jones, it is hard to pass up on a talent such as Barr’s, especially with Dick LeBeau’s defensive mind.
  9. St. Louis Rams (From WASH): Ha’Sean Clinton Dix (S, Alabama): There is too much talent on the St. Louis defense for it to be as inconsistent as it has. The team needs to win on the back-end in order for the monstrous defensive line to be able to wreak havoc. For successful secondary play, the Rams need a rangy play like Dix to be able to cover over the top as well as come up and making plays in the run game. Dix’s presence will compliment TJ McDonald’s downhill style and allow the corners to be a bit more aggressive, improving the overall defense.
  10. Arizona Cardinals: Antonio Richardson (OT, Tennessee): Whoever is under center next year for the Cardinals, they are going to need consistent protection if they want their careers to last long. Richardson is a very strong pass protector and has the natural strength to be a good run blocker. His skill set will be key in a division with Cliff Avril, Aldon Smith, Chris Long and Robert Quinn rushing the passer.
  11. St. Louis Rams: CJ Mosley (LB, Alabama): At this point, St. Louis has a lot of talent everywhere on their team and might as well go best player available. Mosley is about as complete a linebacker as one could as for in a 4-3 defense. He can come up in the run, is a smart coverage linebacker and has the ability to be an effective blitzer. Putting him in the mix with James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree could give the Rams the best front 7 in the entire country.
  12. Atlanta Falcons: Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State): The Atlanta defense lacks playmakers upfront and they could use an influx of talent at the linebacker position. Shazier is a great athlete who has the ability to be a top-notch coverage linebacker. His coverage skills could be very useful when a team faces Jimmy Graham twice a year and Shazier’s on field intelligence makes him an every down ‘backer.
  13.  Houston Texans: David Yankey (OG, Stanford): For a long time, Houston’s success was predicated on their offensive line play. As that has deteriorated, as has their team. Adding a smart, versatile lineman like Yankey would be an immediate boost to this unit. Yankey’s ability as a pass protector and as a run blocker will rejuvenate an offense that has looked abysmal this year.
  14.  Buffalo Bills: Khalil Mack (OLB, Buffalo): There is a lot of talent on the Bills’ defense but the addition of a linebacker as versatile as Mack could push this unit over the top. Not only can Mack rush the passer, but he is athletic enough and smart enough to play the run and cover. His presence in Buffalo’s front allows Mike Pettine to be even more creative  on defense.
  15.  Tennessee Titans: Vic Beasley (DE, Clemson): The Titans defense has been very solid this season but lacks a true pass rusher. Beasley is an athletic freak off the edge and he could be eased in as a third down player a la Bruce Irvin or Aldon Smith. Beasley’s ceiling is immense and he could be a dangerous threat off the edge for a long time.
  16. Baltimore Ravens: Eric Ebron (TE, UNC): Joe Flacco has really suffered without a guy like Dennis Pitta or Anquan Boldin going over the middle and making tough catches. Ebron has shown this season that he has the ability to be a featured receiver in an NFL offense, but also has the size and strength to be a good blocker. Ebron is an incredible talent who could make the Raven’s offense a lot more dangerous and make Flacco look a bit more like a 100 million dollar QB.
  17.  Miami Dolphins: Dominique Easley (DT, Florida): Despite multiple offseason additions to the defense, the unit has actually regressed from where it was last year and some of that has to do with the fall off from the pass rush and  run defense. Sticking Easley in the middle of this line would do wonders for the overall front. Easley is strong, versatile defensive lineman who shoots off the ball like a cruise missile. Has ability to make his way into the backfield and can draw attention away from Cameron Wake and Dion Jordan.
  18.  Carolina Panthers: Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M): It is atrocious that the Panther’s organization has not built around Cam Newton the other way teams have built around their young QBs. The addition of Evans will make Newton a very happy man. Evans, a former basketball player, is dominating at the catch point and will make most in coverage look like school children. His possession ability is going to give Cam a huge target that he can rely on constantly.
  19.  New York Jets: Jordan Mathews (WR, Vanderbilt): Speaking of build around their QB, the Jets need to equip Geno Smith with weapons for the future. Matthews is a tough receiver who can win this size and downfield speed. He will be a reliable target for Geno to trust and the Jets need that more than anything.
  20. Chicago Bears: Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame): The Bears defense has suffered this year without Henry Melton in the middle and, seeing that Melton is a free agent after this season, the Bears should look for a new monster in the middle. Nix is a big man who can clog up the middle and push around the interior of the pocket. I am sure the city of Chicago the middle of their defense being monstrous again.
  21. Detroit Lions: Kyle Fuller (CB, Virginia Tech): As stated previously, there are a lot of talented offensive threats in the NFC North and stopping them is the first step to being successful. Fuller is a very smart corner whose overall game has few flaws in it. He has the ability to man up but also the range to work in zones. Shoring up the back of that defense will allow for the stud defensive line to wreak havoc.
  22. San Diego Chargers: Chris Smith (OLB, Arkansas): The Chargers are having a lot of issues getting to the quarterback and the entire defense is struggling because of it. Smith’s ability as a pure pass rusher is one of the best in the country. His first step combined by impressive closing speed and technique make him deadly off the edge.  He is not a great run defender, but his ability to get to the quarterback is beyond impressive and San Diego needs that dimension.
  23. Dallas Cowboys: Will Sutton (DT, ASU): Though he is not putting up the gaudy numbers he was last year, Sutton is still doing work to get into the backfield. Dallas is still in the process of rebuilding their defense and Sutton adds another dangerous piece to their defensive line.
  24. Green Bay Packers: Jace Amaro (TE, TTU): With Jermichael Finley‘s future an uncertainty in Green Bay, it is best for them to draft his replacement. Amaro is an incredibly physical Receiver who can dominate in contested situations and be a big time mismatch for Aaron Rodgers.
  25. Cincinnati Bengals: Sean Parker (S, Washington): It is a testament to how good Mike Zimmer is that the Bengals D has been consistently impressive without great safety play. However, that does not mean it is not a need. Parker is a big time hitter and loves playing the run, but also does a great job in coverage. Sticking him in that secondary will create a lot more opportunities to be creative on the back-end of that defense.
  26.  New England Patriots: De’Anthony Thomas (OW, Oregon): The Patriots have lacked a true “home run” player since Randy Moss and that needs to change. Thomas is an absolute speed freak and can take a simple screen pass to the house. His physical ability mixed with his role in college could translate to New England moving him all over the place, particularly to create mismatches in the slot or out of the backfield. Either way, Thomas could be a great addition to a team that needs to win in Tom Brady‘s twilight years.
  27. San Francisco 49ers: Brad Roby (CB, Ohio State): The current band in the 49ers secondary is not getting it done at a high level. Outside of Terrell BrownEric Reid and Tramaine Brock, it is obvious that the 49ers need help. Roby is a rangy corner who can play in man or zone and Vic Fangio will love his athletic ability and recovery speed. For a defense that has been so good the past few years, constantly keeping it young and fresh is the key to long-term success.
  28. Cleveland Browns (From IND) Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State): What better weapon to compliment your franchise quarterback than his favorite college target. Adams’ speed, leaping ability and body control make him a dangerous downfield threat and his pre-established chemistry with Carr is going to spark a Cleveland offense that already has Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron
  29. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Van Noy (LB, BYU): Rob Ryan has done a phenomenal job with the New Orleans defense (Crazy, I know!). However, the addition of a linebacker like Van Noy could give this defense a very good pass rushing weapon. Van Noy can really do it all and his intelligence at the position will be loved by Ryan and Van Noy’s ability to move all over a defense is going to frustrate a lot of offenses.
  30. Denver Broncos: Yawin Smallwood  (LB, UConn): The Denver defense has regressed mightily this season and adding a defensive leader in the middle could be a big step to fixing the group. Smallwood is an intelligent, instinctual linebacker who is aggressive coming down in the run and uses his smarts to operate in coverage. He will solidify the middle of the Denver defense and, mixed with Wesley Woodyard and Von Miller would give Denver one hell of a linebacking corps.
  31. Kansas City Chiefs: Gabe Jackson (OG, Mississippi): Andy Reid loves draft the hog mollies up front and realizes that winning in the trenches is how football is one. Jackson is a nasty blocker who excels in pass protection but brings his mean game to run blocking as well. This complete interior lineman is going to make whoever the QB of the future is in KC very happy.
  32. Seattle Seahawks: Cameron Irving (OT, FSU): The protection in Seattle has been atrocious and has Russell Wilson running for his life. Irving is a former defensive lineman who brings a violent nature to offensive line play. Even while being a bit raw, Irving has the ability to dominate as a pass protector and as a run blocker. Stick him wherever on a line and his natural ability will allow him to succeed.Round 2
  33.  Jacksonville Jaguars: Bishop Sankey (RB, Washington): With MJD on the outs, Sankey is a complete running back that can fuel this rebuilding offense.
  34.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ju’Wan James (OT, Tennessee): Is Mike Glennon the answer? He has played pretty well this year and James’ presence will give him better and more consistent protection than he has gotten.
  35. New York Giants: Telvin Smith (LB, FSU): When is the last time the Gians had a good linebacker? Smith is an all around talent and a great athlete who plays the run almost as he does the pass.
  36.  Houston Texans: Brett Hundley (QB, UCLA): While being a bit raw, it is hard to deny the talent level of Hundley. Even if he has to sit a year, he will make Texans fans very happy in the future.
  37. Minnesota Vikings: Brett Smith (QB, Wyoming): Think of a taller, smarter, and stronger armed Johnny Manziel as your face of the future… Yes, I thought you’d like that.
  38.  Philadelphia Eagles: Andre Hal (CB, Vanderbilt): Carey Williams has been god-awful this season and Hal has the ability to be a shut down corner in the future. A big need for an ailing defense.
  39.  Oakland Raiders: Cyril Richardson (OG, Baylor): Terrell Pryor is going to need a huge upgrade over the awful protection he is getting this year. Richardson is a great athlete who compliments the speed on this offense.
  40.  Pittsburgh Steelers: Marquise Lee (WR, USC): Lee is a great receiver after the catch and that is exactly what Big Ben needs if he has to dump off under pressure.
  41.  Washington Redskins: Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State): The Redskins secondary has been bad for a while now and someone who brings a sense of nastiness to pass coverage is exactly what they need in Washington.
  42.  Arizona Cardinals: Zach Mettenberger (QB, LSU): Bruce Arians needs a long-term quarterback who can go vertical for a good percentage of the plays… Have you seen Mettenberger sling it? Perfect fit.
  43.  St. Louis Rams: Sentreal Henderson (OT, Miami): Another best player available type situation. The Rams do have some protection issues so Henderson could give them more flexibility along the line.
  44.  Atlanta Falcons: Austin Sefarian Jenkins (TE, Washington): Gonzo gone? No problem. Jenkins is a huge possession tight end and former basketball player who is going to make Matt Ryan very happy down near the end zone.
  45.  Cleveland Browns: Lamarcus Joyner (S, FSU) Joyner is basically a Tyrann Mathieu clone except he plays a lot smarter. The kid flies all over the field and makes play after play. Ray Horton is going to love Joyner pairing with TJ Ward
  46.  Buffalo Bills: Taylor Hart (DE, Oregon): If Hart played to his full potential, he’d be JJ Watt, plain and simple. The Bills are going to love his athletic ability and even more what he is going to do to the interior of opposing offensive lines with Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus
  47.  Tennessee Titans: Ahmad Dixon (S, Baylor): Dixon is a very smart safety who does some of his best work closer to the line of scrimmage. Michael Griffin and Bernard Pollard are not long-term answers at safety and Dixon can be that enforcer the defense needs.
  48.  Baltimore Ravens: Antone Exum (CB, Virginia Tech): Outside of Ladarius Webb, the Baltimore secondary has been pretty bad. Exum is a physical corner who will immediately boost the quality of that defense.
  49.  Miami Dolphins: Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin): The Dolphins need a lot more from their linebackers and a guy like Borland will provide a multi-dimensional threat. He flies to the ball, he is a great athlete and he can blitz like nobodies business. Think Lavonte David in Tampa now.
  50.  Carolina Panthers: Craig Loston (S, LSU): An athletic cruise missile who will finally bring a physical presence to the Carolina secondary and make that defense even scarier.
  51.  New York Jets: Jeremiah Attoachu (OLB, Georgia Tech): Attoachu is the edge rusher New York has not had in a long time. Rex will love his abilities as a pass rusher but he also has the athletic ability to drop into coverage.
  52.  Chicago Bears: Blake Bortles (QB, UCF): Has all the physical features of Andrew Luck and is a pretty damn smart player as well. Trestman is going to love this kid.
  53.  Detroit Lions: Brandin Cooks (WR, Oregon State): Though he is a bit diminutive to Calvin Johnson, who isn’t? Cooks is a phenomenal receiver who will finally give Johnson a consistent running make.
  54.  San Diego Chargers: Lache Seastrunk (RB, Baylor): The San Diego offense has been great this season, but the addition of a speedster like Seastrunk would give this group its best back since LT was in town.
  55.  Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Lynch (DE, USF): With Anthony Spencer a free agent after this season and Demarcus Ware not getting any younger, the ‘Boys are going to love the Lynch coming off the edge for their defense.
  56.  Green Bay Packers: Taylor Lewan (OT, Michigan): Lewan is a strong, athletic blocker and can be molded into quite the pass protector for Aaron Rodgers for the rest of his career. Rodgers needs that.
  57.  Cincinnati Bengals: Christian Jones (LB, FSU): Jones is an athletic freak who can cover, play the run, and just recently has been moved to play as an edge rusher… Yeah, Mike Zimmer is going to love this guy.
  58.  New England Patriots: Daniel McCullers (NT, Tennessee): Vince Wilfork may be at the end of his career and McCullers gives the Patriots line a new monster in the middle. Try running through a 6’8″, 260 pound nose tackle.
  59.  San Francisco 49ers: Donte Moncrief (WR, Ole Miss): The 49ers need more speed at receiver and Moncrief is a big, athletic pass catcher who will can make plays after the catch or deep downfield.
  60.  Indianapolis Colts: Timmy Jernigan (DE, FSU): Chuck Pagano is building a very good defense in indy and adding a strong, high motor player like Jernigan to the trenches is going to make this front even better.
  61.  New Orleans Saints: Melvin Gordon (RB, Wisconsin): Darren Sproles is getting older and the Saints may need a new speedster out of their backfield. Gordon is as fast as you could want in a back and he is a very smooth runner. Drew Brees will be pleased.
  62.  Denver Broncos: DaQuan Jones (DT, Penn State): The rebuild of the middle of the Denver defense continues! Jones is another big man who adds a lot of pass rushing potential from the inside of that defensive line.
  63.  San Francisco 49ers (From KC): Stanley Jean Babtiste (CB, Nebraska): A value pick, Babtiste is a raw but talented corner. The big man and former wide receiver is a very smooth athlete and a very big man. He is not dissimilar to what Richard Sherman was in college.
  64.  Seattle Seahawks: Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers): At 6’6″, Coleman brings a dominant presence to the Seattle receiving corps and pairs with the shifty Percy Harvin quite nicely. Russell Wilson is going to love chucking it up for Coleman and almost knowing that Coleman can come down with whatever.

Tags: 2014 Mock Draft 2014 NFL Draft Arizona Cardinals Atlanta Falcons Baltimore Ravens Buffalo Bills Carolina Panthers Chicago Bears Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns Dallas Cowboys Denver Broncos Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Houston Texans Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins Minnesota Vikings New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants New York Jets Oakland Raiders Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers San Diego Chargers San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tennessee Titans Washington Redskins

  • mccall316

    Raiders have to focus on the oline and getting pressure on the qb. Right now they are a make shift bunch working well. Barr is the guy they need in the 1st round. Like the 2nd round pick tho. I get Pryor is the guy to build upon but a defensive force and a few oline men are the way to go.

    • Ben Natan

      You have a good point, but my view is that building around a franchise QB is a team’s main priority. Also, the likes of Houston and Sio Moore are doing quite a job of getting to the QB this year.

      • mccall316

        Yeah I can understand where you were coming from when taking a look at the current roster. Those defensive players are on 1 or 2 year deals that is why I went with getting a long term beast. Still not opposed to them picking a big time wide receiver considering who they have on the roster.

        • Adam Ostermeier

          I think you guys would be better off sticking with what you have at the WR position. Moore and streater are two solid options and have developed great repore with Pryor. how bout some interior blocking help for Mcfadden finally.

          • mccall316

            They should let McFadden walk. He is a lost hope for the Raiders. Perhaps better off suited at a new team. Jennings and a cheap replace is fine with this fan. I do hope they add Alex Mack from the Browns to the center spot. Move Wiz to right guard, Watson at right tackle, Veldeer back at left tackle and either drafting a left guard as you suggested or try Mady or Nix at that position.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            considering the raiders have decimated mcfadden’s very promising career through never providing him with any help with blocking (helping to cause his long injury history) or any other offensive threat in general that would be a pretty significant dick move. hell his one saving grace was having bush to block for him and give him occasional breaks but they let him walk in FA! I don’t know whats more unfair ditching mcfadden just as they start to turn things around or keeping him in oakland to endure even more punishment for one season longer.

            that move for mack is a total fantasy friend. when the browns only have really 3 players they must retain on the offensive side of the ball they aren’t just going to toss them out to anyone who wants them.

          • Ben Natan

            Mcfadden is a liability to keep on the team. I think that McCall’s plan is pretty sound considering the boatload of Cap Space the Raiders have the offseason. Also they have solid runningbacks on their team in jennings and Murray. Murray has not played this year but once he recovers from his Training Camp injury I think he can be a stud.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            my comment was not about truly keeping mcfadden or not but simply on the utterly brutal way oakland has damaged his career. IMO they can afford to continue to keep him around in the short term simply because of his sheer talent and the fact that they do have such an absurd amount of cap space, however once the purse strings have to tighten a bit in the future then I think this will seriously need to be evaluated.

  • KevVc1

    im confused, first you have the Vikings picking after three teams that have better records then they do (2 of which actually beat them), then you have them taking a quarterback in the second round saying he is better than Johnny Manziel. CBS doesnt even have him ranked in the top 50 and ESPN doesnt have him ranked in the top 25…..

    • Ben Natan

      Well it is quite obvious that CBS, ESPN and I have different views on NFL prosepects.

      • KevVc1

        cleary, usually there is some disagreement but not that extent, and that doesnt explain why you have them picking at 6 instead of 3.

        • Ben Natan

          They are a better team at the level then they are playing and I see them winning a few more games. Just projections right now.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            I think saying that Brett Smith is a better version of Johnny Manzeil (the most recent heizman trophy winner) is pretty close to the stretch of the century. Last time I checked Wyoming’s strength of schedule isn’t exactly similar to that found in the SEC, lets see this guy consistently playing against good opponents before we start crowning him a superstar. being the starting QB of the 4th best team in the mountain division with a 500 record and a 30 point loss to colorado state does not impress me much. hell be lucky to see a bowl game let alone a draft board.

          • Ben Natan

            I will go on record saying that Wins by a QB is no way to judge a prospect. Football is a team sport. Troy Smith, Tim Tebow, and Kellen Moore all have a bunch of wins in college but it doesn’t translate. Smith is physically gifted and a very intelligent passer, he does his best to elevate a untalented team around him.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            fair enough, but if you are as talented a player as you suggest he is as well he should be able to put the team on his back and carry them to some better performances then they have had. if you are Manziel good your team doesn’t get blown out several times throughout the year, especially in one of the weakest division 1 conferences. theres only so much you can blame on the players around you before you realize he isn’t doing enough to elevate his team to the next level.

          • Ben Natan

            In all of Wyo’s losses, the defense gave up an average of almost 540 yards per game. We know that Johnny Manziel can’t play defense for his team, neither can Smith.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            true ill even concede that, but then why can’t he at least match that production against some weak defences? colorado st and texas st aren’t exactly Alabama and Florida, so how come he can’t even put up half the points? if you don’t think one player can carry a team then theres this guy named Jordan Lynch I should really introduce you to.

          • Ben Natan

            Jordan Lynch is asked to very different things and make much different plays in the offense he is in. Smith is working as easily the best player on his offense and he can only do so much to elevate the team around him.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            hes not asked to do anything different at all. his job is to dramatically elevate the talent around him at a less then prestigious program and he does that with significant success. being a different type of player is irrelevant, the two still play the same position. Lynch is also easily the best player on his offence and unlike Smith does enough to carry them to an unbeaten schedule.

  • bk

    Lewan lasting until the end of rd 2? Dude, put the bong away at 3 hours before you write….

    • Ben Natan

      I am sorry you feel this way.

      • Adam Ostermeier

        agreed though, how in the hell do you have him ranked as your 6th best tackle when he is at least 2nd on almost every other big board…..

        • Ben Natan

          Good athlete but he is far to inconsistent and his work in the run game needs to get better at the 2nd level.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            fair enough, I don’t see that though i somewhat agree about his run blocking, but IMO that slides you down 1-2 spots not as far as you moved him. there aren’t 5 tackles in college football today better then him, (especially not both of the starters from Tenn) simple as that. hell, he was ranked as a top 5 tackle in last years draft let alone this one. His pass protection alone keeps him in the top 3.

  • http://sbpra.com/paulvsuffriti Paul V. Suffriti

    Pats will draft a TE or CB before they take a WR. Talib will be too pricey for the Pats when he becomes a free agent and BB is always looking for the next best TE…..there is no guarantee Gronk will stay healthy.

  • Joe

    The Bucs arent taking Clowney, they are taking Mariota

    • Ben Natan

      Possibly, but Glennon has shown quite a bit this year. A lot more than I thought he would. I would give him more time and just take the best defensive prospect of the last 15 years.

      • Adam Ostermeier

        agreed, and there is also the fact that Mariota might not even declare for the draft. the bucs could take a QB but I would rather have clowney right now and then work on the o-line to help get martin going again.

  • dan

    good think your not drafting for each team…49ers may need to draft CB due to personal leaving via FA, but the secondary has been fantastic this year which negates your comment.

    • Ben Natan

      5 members of their secondary is set for FA this offseason. Why pay a bunch of money when you can get younger, cheaper and possibly more talented through the draft?

      • dan

        Ben, I’m not debating your reply. Getting younger and cheaper through the draft is a fair statement. Of course, there is no guarantee the draft picks will pan out and the players on the current roster are proven. I do agree though, they won’t be able to sign each player. My disagreement was the reasoning you mentioned in the article…you stated “The current band in the 49ers secondary is not getting it done at a high level. Outside of Terrell Brown, Eric Reid and Tramaine Brock, it is obvious that the 49ers need help” – well, they have actually had a fantastic secondary this season and those three along with Rodgers and Hitner have all played very, very well. They are #8 in the NFL against the pass and have been even better than that on the current win streak. Your reasoning that the secondary has not been good is inaccurate. If they draft the corners for cost savings – then that would be a valuable reason. But, let’s not assume the draft picks will be more talented because the guys they would lose are very talented (Rogers, Hitner, Brock, and Terrell Brown). To be completely honest, the 49ers will likely go next year with Wright at one corner along with Culliver at corner #2. It remains to be seen if they can sign Brock, Brown, or Hitner – that will depend on their demands.

        • Ben Natan

          Very fair argument. Although, I strongly believe that the secondary succeeds more because of schematic reasons and the high performers i mentioned before. But you do have a strong point. Again, this is how I’d be drafting.

          • dan

            Thanks for putting your opinion out there – it’s still very early and a long way to go for the draft – it will be interesting to see how things play out

          • Ben Natan

            Thank you sir. I appreciate this opinion.

  • Adam

    would be nice if you mocked off of current records and not where you *magically* think teams will finish… dumb

    • Ben Natan

      Firmly believe records right now do not reflect how the teams will finish. How many more games are the Browns winning with Jason Campbell/Brandon Weeden at the helm? Steelers on an upward trend as well.

      • Adam Ostermeier

        i guess hindsight is 20/20 but i think sunday proved the steelers are NOT on an upward trend right now giving up the most points in the history of the franchise. if any team is trending up right now its the cleveland browns playing great defence and actually looking pretty competent on offence with jason campbell under centre. they could very well be in the hunt for a wildcard spot if they keep that up and weeden on the bench.

        • Ben Natan

          True. I am doing a 3/4 Season Mock, which will different.

  • daddeeekip

    This is the most asinine mock draft I have seen thus far. The Steelers problems are with the OL so no way they pick a OLB and then WR. Plus the fact the Browns have a better record than the Steelers so how they pick before Pittsburgh. IMO Tampa Bay will select Marcus Mariota before picking Clowney because if all these QB’s keep having a good college season, QB starved teams will be in line trying to get a franchise QB. The Steelers need a plug and play franchise LT.

    • Ben Natan

      Picking a LT with their draft position will be a big reach.

      • Adam Ostermeier

        you mocked a LT two picks later to AZ, how is it that big of a reach? thats no doubt the biggest need on the steelers right now unless they want to kill big ben, its something that needs to get done.

  • Adam Ostermeier

    regarding the lions: centre is a must draft position next year with Raiola in the twilight of his career, that should be a focus in the second. for the first round OLB is a much better option IMO, the talent there is so deep and we are rather devoid of talent for the position outside of our top 2. plus we have a ton of young corners developing right now, slay, green, bentley, greenwood, etc. lets see how they play further before continuing to pile on more players.

    • Ben Natan

      Center is certainly something to be upgraded, but easily something that can be done in the 3rd. 3 very good centers in this draft. As for the CBs, houston is aging and adding a possible immediate impact guy like Fuller will help while the very raw Slay develops.

      • Adam Ostermeier

        with picks at the back end of the pool though, it would be way to risky to wait for your franchise centre until close to the end of the third. all it takes is one jerry jones type to reach and suddenly you miss out on your guy or have to trade up to get him. I would much rather play it safe and snag bryan stork in the 2nd and play the CB lottery later.

        there is no such thing as a plug and play corner, Slay was picked about 10 picks away from where Fuller would be taken, you just have to wait and let guys develop at this position, hell dee milliner can’t even get on the field right now and he was supposed to be elite coming out of college. we already have bentley who has been great in the nickel, green, slay, and greenwood developing, bring in another mid round guy and lets see what we have on our roster, theres a ton of potential in those players. its also a position group with tons of value in the middle to late rounds, tell richard sherman that you have to take early round CB’s to make a significant impact.

        • Ben Natan

          My view is that when you are in a conference as pass based as the NFCN, the presence of great corners is a need. Slay is developing but after him there are no guys who could really seize the starting job. Fuller is a very sound corner and his skill set projects well to the NFL.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            The lions defence is specifically designed to be focussed on the defensive line, the area of least need in this system is CB as they are only required to follow their man long enough until the rush gets to the QB, its not like they are being asked to do what seattle does. sure Fuller projects well to the NFL but clearly as we have seen with countless corners over the last few years that counts for almost nothing in the grand scheme. Again it just makes no sense to me whatsoever to take that significant gamble over a much less risky option that is a far bigger need. keep in mind its the offence not the defence that runs this team.

          • Ben Natan

            In the past 2 classes we’ve had Casey Heyward, Stephon Gilmore and Marcus Cooper play incredibly well right off the bat.

          • Adam Ostermeier

            marcus cooper: 7th round pick

            Stephon Gilmore: most certainly did not play well right off the bat, granted he was playing as a #1 cb but was routinely exposed against top end receivers and has since improved.

            Casey Heyward: an exception to the rule

            there have been 27 CB’s selected over the first 3 rounds of the draft the last 2 years. this kind of proves my point.