Looking through six prominent mock drafts that have been published since the end of the regular season, there is a consensus No. 1 in the 2014 NFL Draft. That would be Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who announced on Jan. 1 he was going pro.
However, Bridgewater's average draft position is 1.33. That's right, someone doesn't have Bridgewater first overall. In his most recent mock draft, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports has the Houston Texans going with Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles.
This isn't some shock-and-awe type of move either. If you look at the quarterbacks new Texans head coach Bill O'Brien has worked with in the past, Bortles fits the mold better. Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M don't have the size O'Brien may be used to when he worked with Tom Brady in New England and Christian Hackenberg at Penn State. It's also worth noting that Brugler was the first person last year to predict the Kansas City Chiefs would take left tackle Eric Fisher first overall.
Speaking of Manziel, the most buzz worthy player in the draft, he is in the top five of four of the six and in the top 10 of all of them. His average draft position is 5.33. The most popular landing spot for Manziel is the Cleveland Browns with the No. 4 pick.
Bortles' average draft position is ahead of Manziel's at 3.16.
Mock drafts used:
||1. Houston Texans||2. St. Louis Rams||3. Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Rob Rang, CBS||Teddy Bridgewater||Jadeveon Clowney||Blake Bortles|
|Dane Brugler, CBS||Blake Bortles||Jadeveon Clowney||Teddy Bridgewater|
|Matt Miller, Bleacher Report||Teddy Bridgewater||Sammy Watkins||Blake Bortles|
|Frank Coyle, Draft Insiders||Teddy Bridgewater||Jake Matthews||Jadeveon Clowney|
|Chris Fedor, Cleveland.com||Teddy Bridgewater||Jadeveon Clowney||Blake Bortles|
|Josh Norris, Rotoworld||Teddy Bridgewater||Jake Matthews||Jadeveon Clowney|
To illustrate how highly the quarterbacks could go in the draft, four of the six mocks had four or more quarterbacks in the top 10. The two that didn't – Coyle and Rang – had three quarterbacks in the top 10.
Another average draft position of 3.16 was for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Three of the mocks have Clowney getting taken second overall by the St. Louis Rams. The furthest Clowney falls in any of the mock drafts is seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Matt Miller's mock draft on Bleacher Report.
The only other player with an average draft position inside the top five was Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews, who came in with a 4.33. In none of the mock drafts does Matthews fall past the Atlanta Falcons and the sixth pick.
The following players were in only one of the six mock drafts: Mississippi State middle linebacker Benardrick McKinney, Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley, Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro and Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was in Miller's mock draft, but he's since announced he'll return for his senior season.
For this look at mock drafts, only the top 20 was considered since many haven't released a new mock draft following the first round of the playoffs.
Here is the average draft position of players in at least five mocks used:
Teddy Bridgewater - 1.33
Blake Bortles - 3.16
Jadeveon Clowney - 3.16
Jake Matthews - 4.33
Johnny Manziel - 5.33
Sammy Watkins - 7.16
Khalil Mack - 7.66
Derek Carr - 9 *
Anthony Barr - 9.5
Greg Robinson - 10.8 *
Darqueze Dennard - 11 *
C.J. Mosley - 12
Mike Evans - 14.5
Cyrus Kouandjio - 15.8
Cedric Ogbuehi - 15.8 *
* Only in five mock drafts