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

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