Chicago Bears mock draft: NFL picks 1-14
1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Best overall prospect. Freak athlete who is sure to take his game to the next level. Best upside of any player in this draft. Why is this even a discussion?
2. St. Louis Rams: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
St. Louis has needs all over their offense. Tackle and wide receiver are the two positions to look at for the Rams. I choose Watkins over a tackle due to the fact that he is a transcendent prospect at wide receiver and will be the focal point of that offense starting in 2014. Yes, they drafted Tavon Austin in 2013, but Austin will be more of a compliment to Watkins moving forward.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Jaguars are obviously in the market for a quarterback, but with the crop of talent at that position it might be time for them to draft a more effective player at a need position. Mack is another special talent, who will add legitimacy to a Jaguars line that struggles mightily at pressuring quarterbacks. Mack, like Clowney, has tremendous upside and will only improve from year-to-year.
The Jaguars could be waiting for Clowney to drop or looking at Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel.
4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Now, the Browns are definitely going to be drafting a quarterback and should have the entire field of quarterbacks to choose from. It will most likely come down to Manziel vs. Bortles, with other quarterbacks as a possibility. This pick will come down to how the Browns want to run their offense and their philosophy at quarterback.
Manziel seems to be the right choice for their specific fit. Bortles is a nice prospect but more of the same. Manziel has intangibles that no other QB in this draft has and will put people in the seats. He has the tools, in an unorthodox way, to be a solid starting quarterback in the NFL.
5. Oakland Raiders: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
The Raiders are in an odd situation with the fifth pick. It’s a position where they’ll most likely be looking to move down at least two or three spots (Tampa Bay and Minnesota are possible suitors) due to the fact that the first four picks will most likely be the four they were hoping to fall. If Watkins makes it past St. Louis, he would probably be the pick here.
Bortles is the second choice. I’m sure the Raiders are looking to draft Manziel, but Bortles is the consolation prize. He wouldn’t be ideal but would at least give Oakland something to work with. The ideal situation, if Watkins is off the board, is to trade down and draft a player like Mike Evans.
6. Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Falcons have a need for a pass rusher, but like the Oakland Raiders, they missed out on the top two, so they will most likely look to fill the next biggest need. The logical choice should be Greg Robinson, who is a special talent at tackle with a combination of size and elite skill. The reason I think Atlanta doesn’t reach for a pass rusher like Barr is because a talent like Robinson will fall to them.
Robinson is fantastic in both run and pass protection, which the Falcons struggled with in 2013, and would be a player who instantly makes an impact.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Buccaneers, like basically every other team in this draft, would love to get a pass rusher like Mack or Clowney but are stuck at pick seven. Evans is the safe choice here and an extremely talented prospect. Evans and Vincent Jackson would make a comparable duo at wide receiver. The Bucs, even with signing Josh McCown, could be in the market for a QB, but with Bortles and Manziel most likely gone, it’s unlikely.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Tampa move up if Mack is there at four or five.
8. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
I struggled with this pick. The Vikings lost their reported favorite in Bortles, and I had a tough time taking Bridgewater over a player in the secondary. If the Vikings weren’t so dead set on drafting a quarterback, I would have seen them going with Clinton-Dix or Gilbert. But Bridgewater is not a bad pick in my eyes. His drop in popularity is no indication of how good he’ll be in the pros.
Bridgewater has some concerns from his size and frame. He has the tools, and he’s a smart player who was dominant in college, but the concerns are with him at the next level. Bridgewater as a long-term answer is a big maybe, but the Vikings seem willing to take a chance on another quarterback.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
This one is a no brainer for the Buffalo Bills. Matthews isn’t quite the prospect Robinson is, but he’s close and will be a solid starter at tackle throughout his career. Buffalo would love to add play makers at WR and TE but with Watkins and Evans gone, they might as well take the sure pick. The logical choice after drafting a QB the year before is by following up with an OT, and that is what the Bills do here.
10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
The Lions could be all over the place with this pick. I don’t believe there is a particular player they are targeting, so this pick could go in any direction. I like Gilbert here as the best available player in the secondary over Clinton-Dix. Gilbert is a dynamic CB, who can shut down opposing teams’ top wideouts.
The Lions could easily change this pick to Aaron Donald if the reports of Suh being moved are true.
11. Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The Titans need secondary help desperately, but with Gilbert going to the Lions, Barr will have to fill another need. Barr is a player who will have to develop in the system, but he has good upside and looks like an impact player if he can become more of a productive pass rusher. Barr will fit in perfectly as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Tennessee.
It was difficult choosing Barr over Fuller, but Barr is absolutely the best player available and is also a need for Tennessee. It makes more sense than reaching for Fuller.
12. New York Giants: Aarond Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Best possible player for the Bears is gone at 14 to the Giants. Giants lost Linval Joseph to Minnesota and will replace him with the best defensive tackle prospect in this draft. Donald is a game changer, who will be productive throughout his career. He’s talented enough to be a top five pick, but the defensive tackle market dictates that he’ll go mid-to-early first.
Giants also need an offensive tackle, but with Matthews off the board I don’t believe they’ll reach for Lewan. Donald is the obvious choice here.
13. St. Louis Rams: Ha Ha Cinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
When is the last time Alabama had no picks in the top 10? The Rams need major help over the top and Clinton-Dix will provide that. He is still my top choice for safety in this draft, and he has all the skills to become a great NFL safety. Rams will also be in the CB market, so Roby or Fuller could also come off the board here.
The new debate is Pryor vs. Clinton-Dix. Pryor could end up in this spot if the Rams like him over Ha Ha.
14. Chicago Bears: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
The good ol’ Chicago Bears. I will get into more detail on this pick in other articles, but in short, the Bears biggest need is at safety, and Pryor is the best available at fourteen. I think we’d all love it if Donald fell to the Bears, but it’s unlikely, and I’m not in favor of taking Jernigan or Hageman at this spot over Pryor. The other likely scenario is taking a DT or even a CB and waiting for the crop of safeties in the second.
Bears have options and a trade could still be in play, especially if they could still grab Pryor.
Also, check out our own Dominque Blanton’s mock draft right here.
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