FanPost

Blowfishes' First Mock Draft 2014...

There are many mock drafts circulating right now, and many of these simply throw out names without providing an explanation as to why a team would select a player. I also think that many mock drafts are conveniently created to allow certain players to fall to certain teams. I have restricted my first mock to the first ten picks, and feel that every draft needs to be broken down into different areas:

Main team need - kind of explains itself

Team would like to select - player available in the right position in an ideal world

Team trades up - what player brings value at expense

Team trades down - what player would team like, but value not there at original pick

I haven't allowed trades, and have also included the best player (in my opinion) who is still available in my scenario.

#01 Houston Texans

Main team need - QB

Best player in my scenario - Jadeveon Clowney

Team would like to select - Blake Bortles

Team trades up - N/A

Team trades down - Blake Bortles

Team selects (no trades) - Jadeveon Clowney

Explanation - the Texans would jump for joy for a team like the Jaguars to fall in love with Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater as QBs tend to have higher trade value. They won't get anywhere near what the Redskins paid for RG3, but a team like Jacksonville or Cleveland may be willing to part with their 2nd round selection for the chance to jump ahead of the Rams - who themselves will probably look to trade down.

I feel that Blake Bortles isn't worth being drafted higher than 10th, but being able to pick up your QB of the future, plus an extra high pick player more than makes up for the overspend. Teddy Bridgewater will be discussed, but the Texans have had their share of talented passers who didn't have the build to survive a full season. Bridgewater has a slimmer than ideal frame, whereas Bortles could get stronger with a full offseason in an NFL training facility.

If the team are unable to find a suitable trade partner, then they draft the best player available, Jadeveon Clowney. This will give their defense an edge against any offense, and the extra pressure created by the front line, will certainly provide the rest of the defense more opportunities to create turnovers.

#02 St Louis Rams

Main team need - OT

Best player in my scenario - Jake Matthews

Team would like to select - Jake Matthews

Team trades up - No value here

Team trades down - Jake Matthews

Team selects (no trades) - Jake Matthews

Explanation - The Rams seem set on living with Sam Bradford, and so need to protect him better to give him a chance to succeed. They would love for another bounty like they received from Washington two years ago, but with no "franchise" QB available this year, a smaller deal where they drop back one or two spots and get an additional high pick this or next year would seem likely. The Rams didn't get the game changing receiver they hoped in Tavon Austin - though that isn't to say he hasn't improved their team - and Sammy Watkins would be an excellent addition, but I feel that unless you're getting the next Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, #2 is too high for a receiver.

If the Texans go for a QB over Clowney, then Jeff Fisher would be seriously tempted to add him to his defense, but head should rule heart in this case, and Jake Matthews comes off the board and Bradford gets a chance to succeed.

#03 Jacksonville Jaguars

Main team need - DL

Best player in my scenario - Khalil Mack

Team would like to select - Jadeveon Clowney

Team trades up - Teddy Bridgewater

Team trades down - Khalil Mack

Team selects (no trades) - Teddy Bridgewater

Explanation - The first team who might seriously consider trading up this year. The Blaine Gabbert era seems over, but with several solid second tier QBs available later, their need at DL may take precedence. If Clowney somehow falls, then this becomes a moot subject. He would immediately upgrade a defense that seemed lifeless last year, plus bringing a "superstar" status to the team that will sell lots of merchandise.

Jersey sales will also be on the up if things work out the way I see them, and the Jaguars select Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater may scare fans who are reminded of the Gabbert selection three years ago, but he should prove to be a better leader and ultimately player for the Jaguars.

A trade down may also be considered, but unless they can convince the Browns that they need to give up something for nothing (see trade up for Trent Richardson), I see them standing put and selecting Bridgewater.

#04 Cleveland Browns

Main team need - QB

Best player in my scenario - Khalil Mack

Team would like to select - Teddy Bridgewater

Team trades up - Teddy Bridgewater

Team trades down - Khalil Mack (or Derek Carr if they trade back further)

Team selects (no trades) - Khalil Mack

So the Browns want to trade up for Johnny Manziel. The Browns see Manziel as their saviour. Personally, I see the Browns chuffing out a huge smokescreen in the hope to drum up interest for a trade down.

Outside of Bridgewater, I see Derek Carr as a much better fit for the Browns, as his passing performance in windy Senior Bowl practices demonstrated. The Bills showed last year that teams are starting to find players that can play in the conditions of where they play. Had E.J. Manuel not shown he could throw in poor conditions, then he would probably fall to the second round. With the team also holding #26 which is much better value for Derek Carr, I see them letting their cards fall as they are and taking the best defensive player available at #4, and in my draft that happens to be Khalil Mack.

#05 Oakland Raiders

Main team need - QB

Best player in my scenario - Sammy Watkins

Team would like to select - Teddy Bridgewater

Team trades up - Teddy Bridgewater

Team trades down - Johnny Manziel

Team selects (no trades) - Sammy Watkins

The Raiders are a hard team to gauge. Yes they need a QB, and Teddy Bridgewater would bring excellent leadership to a team, but he won't last past #4. The team could look at defense or offensive line where there is value to be had, but even though Al Davis is no longer around to call the shots on draft day, I see them taking the best offensive player available - Sammy Watkins - and looking for another retread at QB (possibly Matt Cassell) in free agency. Watkins has game changing ability together with good hands, both attributes should be enough to erase the bitter taste of drafting Darrius Heyward Bey.

#06 Atlanta Falcons

Main team need - DL

Best player in my scenario - Greg Robinson

Team would like to select - Jadeveon Clowney

Team trades up - Jadeveon Clowney

Team trades down - Ra'Shede Hageman

Team selects (no trades) - Anthony Barr

If there ever was a team need and player fit that would be a match made in Heaven, then Atlanta and Jadeveon Clowney would be it. The team has shown a strong willingness in the past to trade up for a player that they covet, and they have enough pieces in place for a single player to make enough difference to change their fortunes around.

The team could use some fresh legs at linebacker, and Anthony Barr may move above Khalil Mack with a strong outing at the combine. There are difference of opinions in who is the better player, but don't let that dilute the fact that both have excellent potential to become a leader on their respective teams.

In my scenario, Mack is off the board, but Barr should not be considered the consolation prize.

#07 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Main team need - QB

Best player in my scenario - Greg Robinson

Team would like to select - Blake Bortles

Team trades up - Jadeveon Clowney

Team trades down - Derek Carr

Team selects (no trades) - Blake Bortles

The Buccaneers could use quite a bit of help, but the chance to pick up a signal caller that has great potential should be too much to resist. I see them keeping Blake Bortles in state, which will hopefully give him an easier transition to the NFL as he will already have a local fan base. Unless the Titans jump in front of the Vikings, then there simply isn't any value to be had to trade back as far as #20 (Cardinals) - which is where the next team has need at QB.

If they stay put, then C.J. Mosley could certainly help, but #7 is too high for him.

Blake Bortles is the flavour of the month right now, with some even projecting him as high as #1. Personally I don't see him as a top 20 player, and even with the QB position being valued higher than any other, no better than #10.

But the Buccaneers need improvement behind center, and Bortles will deliver that and more.

#08 Minnesota Vikings

Main team need - QB

Best player in my scenario - Greg Robinson

Team would like to select - Teddy Bridgewater

Team trades up - Jadeveon Clowney

Team trades down - Derek Carr

Team selects (no trades) - Johnny Manziel

Explanation - The Vikings' need for a franchise signal caller should not blind their rebuilding project, and value needs to be found at #8. The team would love the accuracy of Teddy Bridgewater, but with QBs having such a high price attached to them in trades, the team would only be able to consider trading with as high as Atlanta without having to seriously overpay. If Clowney somehow drops to #5, then a bidding war may ensue, but in my scenario, both he and Bridgewater are gone by #3.

The Vikings have several needs and possible positions to upgrade, but unless they receive an outstanding offer to drop back, the team must consider Johnny Manziel. Several experts consider the baggage that will apparently follow Manziel will cause teams to second guess selecting him, but the Vikings have ridden this horse before when they brought in Brett Favre, and although Manziel is more compared with Fran Tarkenton, the team will be a great fit for him.

If things don't fall the way I predict, then the Vikings should take the best defensive player available, and the do as they have done the past two seasons, and attempt to trade back into the tail end of the first round if Derek Carr is still available. Even if the Vikings get their QB at #8, I still believe that Spielman will let every team know from #25 and lower that he is open to deal.

#09 Buffalo Bills

Main team need - S

Best player in my scenario - Greg Robinson

Team would like to select - Khalil Mack

Team trades up - Anthony Barr

Team trades down - HaHa Clinton-Dix

Team selects (no trades) - Greg Robinson

The Bills have a solid team, but several positions can be upgraded. Safety is a concern with both Jairus Byrd and Jim Leonhard free agents, and the team could seriously look at HaHa Clinton-Dix as he would be a much cheaper option. Thing is, #9 is too high (at the moment), and any team selecting in the top 10 should get the best value available. I see LB and OL as areas where value can be had, and both are areas that can be upgraded. With both Barr and Mack gone, C.J. Mosley could be considered, but he projects to be more of a late teens talent. The best value, both in talent and financial commitment, is clearly Greg Robinson. He is as good as anyone in the run game, and though he has a lot to learn in the passing game, he has demonstrated good instincts and the ability to learn. E.J. Manuel is an investment worth protecting, and had Robinson stayed another year at Auburn, then he would probably been in the conversation as the first player selected next year.

#10 Detroit Lions

Main team need - LB

Best player in my scenario - Justin Gilbert

Team would like to select - Khalil Mack

Team trades up - Anthony Barr

Team trades down - Darqueze Dennard

Team selects (no trades) - Justin Gilbert

Detroit should be a much better team than there results show. They have a great defensive line, an excellent QB, the best receiver currently in the game, and a better than average running back who is also excellent as a receiver out of the backfield. Although I see the team needing a true leader at linebacker, the also have a real need at defensive back. Justin Gilbert is my best player available, and with his height and talent, he should be at least competitive against the strong tall receivers in the NFC North. The team are unlikely to mortgage their future by trading up for one of the top linebackers, but may consider trading back and selecting Darqueze Dennard if their price is met. C.J. Mosley could also be in play, but I don't feel the Lions would see top 10 value in a middle linebacker.

I project the team selects Justin Gilbert, who could come on strong going against Calvin Johnson each day at practice.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a <em>community</em>, that view is no less important.

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