When they tell the story of the 2014 NFL Draft, they'll start with the quarterbacks.
They'll talk about Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel, and they'll talk about which teams pulled the trigger on a signal caller, and which teams decided to wait. Will these quarterbacks develop into franchise passers, or will some of these franchises be going back to the well in a few years?
This class of players has a handful of elite talents at the top, but the quarterbacks will provide an interesting twist to the top of the order. There should be plenty of moving around on the first night of the draft as well.
Here's our latest guess at the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. And at this point, it's just that: a guess.
1. Houston Texans - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
This isn't so much a reaction to the pro days of Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater as it is a representation of the current feeling about the Houston Texans and the No. 1 overall pick. Bridgewater is our top-ranked quarterback, and that's not going to change because of something he or Bortles did while throwing in shorts and a T-shirt. However, Bortles has legitimate connections to Houston's coaching staff with the relationship Bill O'Brien and George O'Leary have. Bortles is also bigger and arguably has a higher ceiling than Bridgewater. Whether it's right or wrong, Bridgewater is losing momentum in the pre-draft process.
*The Rams receive a first and third round pick in 2014 and a second rounder in 2015 from the Falcons for the No. 2 overall pick.
After he dominated the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, it's tough to imagine Jadeveon Clowney falling out of the top three picks in the draft. The Rams are an obvious candidate to trade this pick, and there should be plenty of teams willing to move up ahead of the Jaguars to land the most talented player in this class. In this scenario, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimtroff uses his relationship with Rams general manager Les Snead to move up from the No. 6 pick and get the impact pass rusher Atlanta needs.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Jaguars brought back Chad Henne, but that certainly doesn't mean they won't be drafting a quarterback with the No. 3 pick. Bridgewater's pro day shouldn't affect him too drastically, especially with the number of quarterback-needy teams drafting in the top 10. Jacksonville already addressed the defensive line in free agency, so Bridgewater makes the most sense. He should be ready to start on day one. Bridgewater has a proven ability to read defenses both before and after the snap. Plus, he's skilled at moving around the pocket. Forget his hand size and weight, the skills Bridgewater brings to the table as a quarterback should help make him a top-five pick.
*The Browns receive a first and third round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015 from the Bills for the No. 4 pick.
Here's our second trade of the top five. The Browns already have plenty of picks in this draft but are able to pick up a few more so that the Buffalo Bills can move up and take advantage of some value at offensive tackle. Greg Robinson is one of the top prospects in this class and would immediately fill Buffalo's need at right tackle. If he improves in pass protection, Robinson could end up being the best NFL offensive tackle from this draft class.
5. Oakland Raiders - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Lamarr Houston leaving in free agency opens up another need for the Oakland Raiders. With Matt Schaub under center, the Raiders don't have to select a quarterback early if the right player isn't there. Instead, Oakland grabs one of the few elite players left on the board. Khalil Mack would be an excellent fit for Oakland's defense as well.
6. TRADE St. Louis Rams - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
The St. Louis Rams are in a great position to come away with two impact players early in the 2014 NFL Draft. Even after moving back four spots, the Rams still land the top wide receiver available. Sammy Watkins would be the second first-round wide receiver the Rams have picked in the last two drafts, but Sam Bradford needs all the help he can get if he's going to finally live up to expectations.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Jake Matthews seems to have trouble getting noticed. He played on an offensive line with last year's No. 2 overall pick, Luke Joeckel. He's also been stuck in the shadow of Johnny Manziel for most of his career. Now, Matthews likely will be passed over by Greg Robinson as the first offensive tackle off the board in May. Still, Matthews is the type of versatile offensive tackle who should be a top-10 pick. He's an outstanding technician and has a good combination of quickness and length. Free agency opened up a need at offensive tackle for Tampa Bay.
8. Minnesota Vikings - Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Figuring out which teams like Johnny Manziel won't be easy. Not every team will like him, and most that do won't show their hand. Manziel breaks the prototype at quarterback. He's undersized but has incredible field vision. He makes plays because of his creativity, but that same imaginative playing style has some skeptical about how he will translate to the NFL. If the Vikings decide to pass on Manziel, that opens them up to address other needs in the first round. Minnesota could certainly use an upgrade at safety, and one could make the argument that Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is the best player available.
9. TRADE Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills) - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Maybe between now and May, we'll get a clearer picture about how the NFL feels about Manziel. For now, it's safe to say some team will like him enough to take a chance on him in the top 10. Cleveland traded back to this spot and still lands a quarterback who could change the franchise.
10. Detroit Lions - C.J. Mosley, Linebacker, Alabama
Many have linked the Detroit Lions to offensive playmakers, but another linebacker would complete an already solid front seven. C.J. Mosley has the speed to play outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense. He moves through traffic efficiently and has more strength than most give him credit for. Add in his cover skills, and Mosley should have no trouble making an early impact in the NFL.
11. Tennessee Titans - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
The Titans need to find another cornerback after Alterraun Verner left in free agency. Jason Verrett may be a bit undersized, but he's still the best cornerback in this class. He has outstanding footwork and closes on the football so well.
12. New York Giants - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
The Giants need a big body on the outside after losing Hakeem Nicks in free agency. Mike Evans fits the bill. He had an outstanding showing at the combine and would likely be an upgrade over Nicks before long.
13. St. Louis Rams - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Safety is one of the few remaining holes on the Rams' defense. Calvin Pryor may be more of an in-the-box safety than a center fielder, but he still has value in the top half of the first round. Considering how many teams need safeties, it shouldn't be surprising if Pryor is drafted between picks 10 and 20.
14. Chicago Bears - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
The Bears invested a lot of money in the defensive line in free agency. Chicago could still use help on the interior, though. Louis Nix lost some value after an injury-plagued season in 2013, but he's lost a bit of weight and seems healthy for the first time in a while. If Nix falls to the back half of the first round, some team is getting a steal. In this scenario, the Bears don't let that happen.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Justin Gilbert is tough to figure out. On one hand, he has the ability to be a shutdown cornerback with his length and straight-line speed. On the other hand, he struggles with his footwork and was inconsistent in off coverage throughout his career. On talent alone, Gilbert should be a first-round pick. The Steelers have a big need at cornerback.
16. Dallas Cowboys - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Kony Ealy improved on almost all of his combine numbers at his pro day last week. His value is in his versatility. Ealy showed the ability to move in space during linebacker drills at the combine, but he can also play with his hand in the dirt on the edge and the interior. After letting DeMarcus Ware go, the Cowboys need a pass rusher.
*The Jets receive a first and fourth round pick from the Chiefs for the No. 17 pick.
Free agency wasn't kind to Kansas City's offensive line. The Chiefs now need multiple upgrades at offensive guard. With the Jets and Dolphins both possibly looking for offensive guards, the Chiefs may need to trade up to address the need. Xavier Su'a-Filo is the best guard in this class and worth trading up for. He moves well in space and has a lot of functional strength for the position.
18. New York Jets - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
Eric Decker was a nice score for the Jets in free agency, but Geno Smith still needs more weapons to take a step forward at quarterback in year two. Odell Beckham Jr. has some of the best hands in this draft, as well as the speed and body control to be a threat down the field.
19. Miami Dolphins - Zack Martin, G, Notre Dame
The Dolphins can't be picky about how they address their offensive line issues. A guard and a tackle would both be useful in Miami. Zack Martin can play either spot but would probably be best served at guard in the NFL.
20. Arizona Cardinals - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Not just throwing darts
Not just throwing darts
Anthony Barr falls to No. 20 in this mock draft because he's still such an unfinished product as a pass rusher. His talent is undeniable, and he's been dominating his workouts. Barr could go much higher than this, but the Cardinals won't complain if he's available at this juncture.
21. Green Bay Packers - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Green Bay Packers have needs on defense that trump the need for a tight end, but Eric Ebron would be too good of a value to pass up. He needs to attack the football a bit better in the air. Ebron is a vertical threat with solid body control for his size.
22. Philadelphia Eagles - Demarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise State
The Eagles need an edge rusher, and Boise State's Demarcus Lawrence is a dark horse to find his way into the first round. He's a perfect fit as an edge rusher in the 3-4 defense. Chip Kelly will appreciate his versatility and length.
23. TRADE Baltimore Ravens (via Kansas City Chiefs) - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Offensive tackle is still an issue for the Ravens, even after bringing back Eugene Monroe. Cyrus Kouandjio has injury issues that may scare some teams off, but the Ravens have enough of a need to take a risk on the Alabama offensive lineman.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
Losing Michael Johnson in free agency was a big blow to the Bengals. There aren't a ton of talented 4-3 defensive ends available in the 2014 NFL Draft, but Dee Ford is probably worth a late first-round pick. He doesn't have a ton of size, but he uses his speed well and shows surprising strength when rushing the passer.
25. San Diego Chargers - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Darqueze Dennard has gone as high as the top 10 in some mock drafts, but he's not quite as fast as the other corners in this class. The Chargers would likely rush to the podium if Dennard were still available this late in the first round.
26. Cleveland Browns - Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
Protecting Johnny Manziel should be a priority for the Browns after investing a top-10 pick in him. Gabe Jackson doesn't get a ton of love as a first-round player, but he probably should. Jackson plays with great technique and is a smart blocker. He could stand to get a bit stronger.
27. New Orleans Saints - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
How much will Taylor Lewan's most recent off-the-field incident affect his draft stock? It's tough to say. With two offensive tackle-needy teams sitting at the end of the first round, Lewan will likely still be a first-round pick. The Saints take a chance with this pick, but it's a chance that could result in a big reward down the line.
28. Carolina Panthers - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
Morgan Moses has a chance to sneak into the first round. He quietly had a strong senior season and grades out in this range of the draft. Considering the current state of the Panthers' offensive line, Moses could be on their radar.
29. New England Patriots - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
If there's one thing Bill Belichick loves, it's versatility. Aaron Donald can definitely wear a few different hats on the Patriots' defensive line. Donald has a chance to go much higher than this in the first round, but the Patriots would be fortunate if he were still available at this spot.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The 49ers desperately need speed at wide receiver. Marqise Lee has been knocked for his hands and inability to beat press coverage, but his speed is not an issue. Lee would have a ton of potential in San Francisco's offense.
31. Denver Broncos - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The Broncos are clearly in win-now mode. Decker left in free agency, so adding another wide receiver would help the offense. Brandin Cooks is an exciting playmaker who could at least contribute on special teams early.
32. Seattle Seahawks - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Tight end is one of the remaining missing pieces on the Seahawks' offense. Jace Amaro is worthy of a first-round pick and would be an excellent red-zone option for Russell Wilson.
33. Houston Texans - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
After finding their quarterback of the future with the first pick, the Texans add some depth to the offensive line, which was a weakness for them a year ago. Antonio Richardson is an athletic tackle who is a bit rough around the edges. Thus, he's available at the top of the second round.
34. Washington Redskins - Ra'Shede Hageman, DL, Minnesota
Defensive end is among the many holes on Washington's defense. Ra'Shede Hageman could go much earlier than this, but he has a long way to go in terms of developing technique.
35. Cleveland Browns - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
The Browns bolstered the offense with their first two picks in the first round, and their first second-round pick will likely turn to the defensive side of the ball. If not for injuries, Kyle Fuller would be a lock for the first round. Instead, the Browns get some value.
36. Oakland Raiders - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
The Raiders were well represented at Derek Carr's pro day, and the Fresno State quarterback performed well. Even with Matt Schaub in town, Carr would make some sense. Schaub is not a long-term answer, and Carr would be able to sit for a bit before starting.
37. Atlanta Falcons - Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State
Offensive tackle is just about as big of an issue for the Falcons as defensive end is. Jack Mewhort gets pushed down the board because of the strength of this class.
Note: For now, we're assuming this pick was not included in the first-round trade with the Rams.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Mike Williams hasn't done enough, on or off the field, to be counted on going forward. Jordan Matthews is a big-bodied wide receiver with the speed to be a vertical threat for the Buccaneers.
39. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
The Jaguars' defense should look a lot better after Dave Caldwell plugged a lot of holes in free agency. Another linebacker could still be added, though. Ryan Shazier would be a nice fit as a weakside linebacker in Jacksonville's defense.
40. Minnesota Vikings - David Fales, QB, San Jose State
Despite bringing back Matt Cassel, the Vikings are likely to take a quarterback at some point in the draft. David Fales is one of the best quarterbacks in the second tier of players at the position. He's one of the last quarterbacks available who has a realistic chance to develop into a starter.
41. Buffalo Bills - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
The Buffalo Bills need to add another weapon to the passing game, but rather than spend a top-10 pick to do so, Buffalo adds one of the most dynamic tight ends in the draft at pick 41. Austin Seferian-Jenkins has some injury issues, but he's still a talented pass catcher with impressive body control.
42. Tennessee Titans - Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Jake Locker's time is running thin with the Tennessee Titans. He hasn't shown enough to be considered the team's franchise quarterback, but he should get at least one more season. Tennessee would be wise to invest in another quarterback as an insurance policy.
43. New York Giants - Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Eli Manning would be happy with a two-round result of Mike Evans and Troy Niklas. Niklas is still developing as a tight end, but he would be an instant threat in the red zone as a rookie.
44. St. Louis Rams - Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
The Rams need to bolster the offensive line a bit during the NFL Draft. If Rodger Saffold kicks inside to guard permanently, Ja'Wuan James could play right tackle.
45. Detroit Lions - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
With the depth of this wide receiver class, the Detroit Lions will likely try to add some talent on day two. Kelvin Benjamin has a few serious flaws to his game, including route running and hands, but his physical talent is enticing enough to make him worth this pick.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
Markus Wheaton and Antonio Brown are the Steelers' best two options at wide receiver right now. Both are a bit on the small side. Jarvis Landry isn't much bigger, but he gives the Steelers a little bit of size on the outside.
47. Dallas Cowboys - Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State
After addressing the defensive line in the first round, the Cowboys need to add some talent to the secondary. Lamarcus Joyner can play a bit of safety and corner, two areas of need for the Cowboys.
48. Baltimore Ravens - Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
The Ravens drafted Matt Elam a year ago, but more help is needed in the secondary. Deone Bucannon is a hard-hitting safety with plenty of range.
49. New York Jets - Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Without Darrelle Revis, the Jets' cornerback group was subpar in 2013. Dee Milliner wasn't great as a rookie, but even if he improves, New York needs to find another corner. Pierre Desir should be the first small-school player off the board after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.
50. Miami Dolphins - Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame
The interior of both lines have been an issue for the Miami Dolphins. Stephon Tuitt would be a nice upgrade at defensive tackle in Miami.
51. Chicago Bears - Bradley Roby, Cornerback, Ohio State
The Bears' defense was a bit of a mess in 2013. The front seven was the focus of free agency, and the secondary will likely be a focus in the NFL Draft.
52. Arizona Cardinals - Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
The Cardinals landed Jared Veldheer in free agency, filling the need at offensive tackle. Why not draft a quarterback to develop under Carson Palmer? Logan Thomas has the size and arm strength Bruce Arians is looking for.
53. Green Bay Packers - Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU
The Packers need quite a few upgrades to their front seven. Adding another pass rusher behind Clay Matthews would be a smart move. Kyle Van Noy is versatile enough to play a few different linebacker spots, but he would definitely upgrade the pass rush.
54. Philadelphia Eagles - Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
With the Eagles shopping DeSean Jackson, wide receiver could become a need. Davante Adams is in the mold of Michael Crabtree, though his speed is a bit underrated.
55. Cincinnati Bengals - Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State
Free agency opened up a few needs for the Cincinnati Bengals, and offensive tackle is one of them. Billy Turner is a bit of a project, but he has the skill set to be either a right tackle or a guard in the NFL.
56. San Francisco 49ers - Marcus Martin, C, USC
Marcus Martin was a bit of a surprise entrant into the 2014 NFL Draft, but his addition bolsters the center class. The 49ers could look for a center early on in the draft to push Daniel Kilgore.
57. San Diego Chargers - Jeremiah Attaochu, LB, Georgia Tech
It seems like the Chargers have been trying to find an impact pass rusher for years. Jeremiah Attaochu is at his best when rushing the passer from the outside linebacker spot. He could be what the Chargers have been looking for.
58. New Orleans Saints - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
The Saints brought Jimmy Graham back, but they still need more weapons in the passing game. Allen Robinson is a big receiver with some downfield ability.
59. Indianapolis Colts - David Yankey, OG, Stanford
For a team like the Colts that needs multiple upgrades on the offensive line, a player with David Yankey's versatility is even more valuable. He could play all over the offensive line.
60. Carolina Panthers - Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi
Offensive tackle and wide receiver are the two most obvious needs for the Panthers entering the 2014 NFL Draft. They attempt to fill one in the first round, and the other in the second round.
61. San Francisco 49ers - Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech
With a wide receiver and a center added with the first two picks, the 49ers turn to the secondary. Antone Exum dealt with tons of injuries during his college career, but the talent is there for him to be an NFL starter.
62. New England Patriots - Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
With the Patriots' need at wide receiver, and Belichick's connection to Rutgers, this pick feels almost too obvious.
63. Denver Broncos - Joel Bitonio, OL, Nevada
After losing Zane Beadles, the Broncos could use another offensive lineman to add a little depth. Joel Bitonio could play tackle in the NFL, but he's likely going to end up at guard.
64. Seattle Seahawks - Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
All of a sudden, the Seahawks need some depth on the defensive line. Scott Crichton is a perfect fit for their defense, too.