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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater & an unpredictable quarterback class

Predicting the 2014 NFL Draft isn't easy, but we took another crack at it with a collaborative mock draft this week.

The possibilities really are endless.

For our mock draft this week, Dan Kadar handled the odd picks and I handled the even picks. We threw in a few trades to keep things interesting, but things already got pretty interesting while running a mock draft with two people.

Here's our latest prediction with less than a month until the Houston Texans will officially be on the clock ...

1. Houston Texans - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

The Texans have a big need at quarterback, but the closer we get to the draft, the more it feels like Clowney is their choice. Well, this week at least. There are 17 days to change this choice to Khalil Mack, Greg Robinson, a quarterback and then ultimately back to Clowney.

2. St. Louis Rams - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The offensive line has been a big need for the St. Louis Rams over the last few seasons. Jake Long is coming off injury. Rodger Saffold is a guard now. Finding another top-notch offensive tackle may do wonders for Sam Bradford, who needs to stay healthy this season. Greg Robinson is a mauler on the offensive line with NFL strength. Give him some time to refine his pass-blocking technique, and Robinson could be a star.

Notebook: Greg Robinson wants your lunch money

3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

If the Jaguars aren't enamored with any of the top quarterbacks in the draft, Mack is anything but a fallback. He's a versatile linebacker who can be used successfully anywhere. A head coach with a defensive background like Gus Bradley would love Mack's wide range of skills.

Notebook: Kahlil Mack is ready to wreak havoc

4. Cleveland Browns - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

With two first-round picks, the Cleveland Browns can afford to be flexible at the top of the draft. If no quarterback jumps out at them with the No. 4 pick, they have the ammunition to move up from the 26th pick to get their guy. Meanwhile, a playmaker like Sammy Watkins would give Cleveland one of the most dangerous wide receiver tandems in the NFL.

Notebook: Sammy Watkins will make you smile

5. Oakland Raiders - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Even if quarterbacks slide in the draft -- as some now believe -- the Raiders are so desperate for a good one they could bite here. If it works out right, Oakland will have the first franchise quarterback since Rich Gannon.

6. Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

The offensive and defensive lines are the two biggest areas of need for the Atlanta Falcons. With the top two edge rushers off the board, Atlanta can go for an offensive tackle. Jake Matthews is capable of playing either left or right tackle. He has the athleticism and technique to start in the NFL from day one.

Notebook: Jake Matthews is the model of consistency

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

There should be temptation for the Buccaneers here to take a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater. After all, head coach Lovie Smith didn't draft Mike Glennon. Let's just continue with the assumption that quarterbacks are going to fall. Evans could be the young star receiver to pair with the second-year signal caller. He does do a lot of the same things Vincent Jackson can do, but there's never anything wrong with pairing big playmaking receivers. Just ask Chicago.

Notebook: The passion and volatility of Mike Evans

8. Minnesota Vikings - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

The Vikings are reportedly high on Khalil Mack, but they would have to trade up in order to get him. If they aren't able to move up, Anthony Barr would be a decent consolation prize. He has a similar set of skills, though he's not quite as polished off the edge.

Notebook: Anthony Barr and the importance of effort

9. Buffalo Bills - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

If there is one team in the top 10 that hopes quarterbacks don't slide, it's Buffalo. With the quarterbacks on the board here, Buffalo misses out on the two best offensive tackles and wide receivers in the draft. Ebron, whom the Bills brought in for a visit, is a joker tight end to the highest degree. He would provide mismatches for the offense and give the team the No. 1 receiver it does not currently have.

Scouting report: Is Eric Ebron the next game-changing tight end?

10. Detroit Lions - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

The Lions haven't been shy about their interest in the top wide receivers in this draft class. Good news and bad news. The bad news is Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans will likely be off the board. The good news is that Odell Beckham Jr. isn't far behind them in this draft class. If Detroit is serious about adding another weapon in the passing game, Beckham wouldn't be a bad pick at 10.

11. Tennessee Titans - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame

The Titans are in the midst of a conversion to Ray Horton's 3-4 defense. A player like Nix can help Horton get the most out of his system. Sammie Hill obviously fits the mold as well, but he's nowhere near as talented as Nix.

12. New York Giants - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Giants' defensive line was once an area of great strength. Now, New York needs to do some retooling to keep the unit competitive. Aaron Donald would be an ideal fit inside in New York's 4-3 defense. Some are concerned about Donald's size, but his disruption from the interior makes him a valuable commodity at the top of the draft.

Notebook: Aaron Donald is a master technician

13. St. Louis Rams - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

In the long, illustrious history of mock drafts, has a pick this late into the first round ever been mocked so many times? Some Rams fan out there may already have an unfortunate Ha Ha Clinton-Dix tattoo. The need, fit and value of this choice are obvious.

Scouting report: Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix is the best safety in his class

14. Chicago Bears - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

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The Bears would be wise to focus on the defensive line early in the 2014 NFL Draft. Aaron Donald is believed to be one of their top targets in this draft, but with him off the board, Ra'Shede Hageman makes quite a bit of sense for them as well. Donald and Hageman are two entirely different players, but Hageman has the versatility to move around Chicago's line a bit.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Steelers have needs at several places on defense. Regardless of what player is brought in, he'll have to be able to make plays. Dennard is the choice for that reason alone. He can get physical with opposing wide receivers, but has the quickness and instincts to make a play on the ball.

16. Dallas Cowboys - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Kony Ealy and the Dallas Cowboys seem like a perfect match. Dallas has expressed interest in Ealy throughout the pre-draft process, and there is an obvious need at defensive end after letting go of DeMarcus Ware this offseason. Ealy can play a few different spots on the defensive line and gets after the quarterback in a variety of ways. He should come off the board within the first 20 picks of the first round.

Notebook: Is Kony Ealy really a first-round pick?

17. Baltimore Ravens - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Although a right tackle will be tempting with this choice, a safety to pair with Matt Elam can make a bigger impact. Like Elam, Pryor can deliver crushing hits. Pryor is much better in coverage, though.

18. New York Jets - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Even after drafting Dee Milliner in the first round last year, the Jets could use another cornerback. Kyle Fuller carries a bit of an injury risk, but he's arguably the most talented cornerback in this draft class. If he stays healthy, Fuller could be a capable starter across from Milliner on opening weekend.

TRADE 19. Cleveland Browns - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Browns trade picks 26 and 35 to the Dolphins for pick 19.

If there is a quarterback the Browns like, they have the ammunition to move up with picks 26 and 35. The catch is, no one knows exactly what Cleveland thinks about the quarterbacks in the draft this year. The Browns worked Manziel out on Saturday and will bring him to Cleveland for a visit. If he's their guy, jumping ahead of Arizona (and subsequently other teams needing quarterbacks) may be a good move to ensure that the Browns can get the guy they want.

20. Arizona Cardinals - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Yes, Derek Carr is the third quarterback off the board. It's mostly due to the fit. Bruce Arians has been outspoken about his desire to have a big quarterback under center, and the Cardinals' offense lends itself to a strong-armed passer. Carr's ability to operate within a vertical passing game could give him the edge over Teddy Bridgewater, who is falling for some inconceivable reason.

21. Green Bay Packers - C.J. Mosley, MLB, Alabama

The Green Bay defense needs help, whether it's linebacker, safety or even cornerback. Mosley could be the much-needed partner for A.J. Hawk in the middle of the defense. He can drop in coverage, get upfield, and has the athleticism and instincts to stop the run sideline-to-sideline.

TRADE 22. Jacksonville Jaguars - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Jaguars trade picks 39, 70 and 115 to the Philadelphia Eagles for pick 22

The Jaguars definitely need to find a quarterback at some point during the 2014 NFL Draft. After passing on all of the top quarterbacks with the No. 3 pick, would Jacksonville entertain a trade into the back half of the first round if one of those same quarterbacks took a bigger-than-expected fall down the draft board? Well, the Jaguars have plenty of picks to work with in this draft, so trading a few of them away for the chance at a franchise quarterback wouldn't be the worst move in the world. Teddy Bridgewater probably shouldn't fall this far, but if he does, it would be wise for a team like the Jaguars to take advantage of it.

23. Kansas City Chiefs - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Kansas City should have its choice of several wide receivers with this pick. There's a healthy debate about who is better between Cooks and Southern California's Marqise Lee. Cooks offers the type of dynamic playmaking ability that isn't present in Kansas City's receiver corps. He's better than Lee at going over the middle and is elusive after the catch.

24. Cincinnati Bengals - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Justin Gilbert may be the most talented cornerback in this draft, but he's still a bit unrefined in his technique. The Bengals likely won't mind, considering they already have a few established cornerbacks in place. What Cincinnati really needs is youth and skill on the back end. Gilbert has that, but it just may take some time before he realizes his potential.

25. San Diego Chargers - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

We rate Verrett as the top cornerback in this year's draft, but he may slide a little because he's not the biggest or most physical at his position. What he is, though, is instinctual and he has a penchant for making big plays. Verrett fits perfectly in a zone system and could enter the starting lineup immediately.

TRADE 26. Miami Dolphins - Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA

Could this trade have worked out any better for the Miami Dolphins? They trade back a few spots, collect more picks, and still land Xavier Su'a-Filo, the best guard in the 2014 NFL Draft. Miami needs help all over its offensive line, and Su'a-Filo would be a great start.

27. New Orleans Saints - Marqise Lee, WR, USC

This is something of a luxury pick for New Orleans. The quality and value of Lee with the No. 27 pick is just too much to pass on. Lee could be the lead wide receiver of the future for the Saints, giving them a nice group with Kenny Stills and veteran Marques Colston.

28. Carolina Panthers - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Maybe it was his disappointing senior season, or maybe it's the list of off-the-field incidents he has been involved in, but it seems Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has a chance to slide down draft boards a bit. The Panthers are a team desperate enough at offensive tackle to take a chance, though.

Notebook: Deciphering Taylor Lewan

29. New England Patriots - Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn

Ford would give Bill Belichick options. The Patriots wouldn't have to rely quite as much on Rob Ninkovich, and they could also stack the pass rush with Ford, Ninkovich and Chandler Jones all on the field at the same time. Ford is somewhat limited to being a pass rush specialist, but there is value in that.

30. San Francisco 49ers - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

The San Francisco 49ers might need to trade up to land one of the top cornerbacks in this class, but in this mock, Bradley Roby is still available at pick No. 30. Many expected a much better season from Roby in 2013, but his talent is tough to ignore, especially this late in the first round.

31. Denver Broncos - Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

There is an open spot in the middle of Denver's defense, and Shazier can fill it. He's one of the most athletic defensive players in the draft. He can drop in coverage and get after the quarterback as a blitzer. Shazier is a true three-down linebacker who should be productive early in his career.

32. Seattle Seahawks - Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame

If there's an area where the defending Super Bowl champions need to improve, it's on the offensive line. The interior of Seattle's offensive line was a weakness at times last year. Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin has the skill set to transition to guard in the NFL and would be a nice value pick at this spot.


33. Houston Texans - Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

If Houston really does pass on a quarterback with the first pick, Mettenberger makes more sense than Tom Savage with No. 33. This doesn't require much overanalysis; Mettenberger is just the better player. He's a classic pocket passer who finds success driving the ball deep.

34. Washington Redskins - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

The only thing preventing Cyrus Kouandjio from being a first-round pick is the concern over his knee, which was flagged at the combine during medical evaluations. The Redskins are looking to add talent to their offensive line, so if Kouandjio passes a physical he would be a smart pick at 34.

Scouting report: Cyrus Kouandjio is an enigma

TRADE 35. Miami Dolphins - Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

The benefit of dropping back in the first round scores the Dolphins an extra second-round choice which they can use on a big-upside wide receiver like Adams. Mike Wallace, Adams and Brian Hartline would give Miami one of the better wide receiver groups in the NFL. That is, of course, if Wallace isn't released first.

36. Oakland Raiders - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

Sometimes value trumps need. That's not to say Oakland doesn't need a defensive tackle. The entire defensive line could use a bit more talent, but there are more pressing needs. Still, Timmy Jernigan would fall under the best player available tag with this pick.

37. Atlanta Falcons - Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

If Atlanta targets the offensive line in the first round, adding a pass rusher in the second would fill the team's top two needs. Lawrence may not be the all-around player that Khalil Mack would be in the first round, but he's a good pass rusher who can play linebacker or with his hand in the dirt.

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State

While the Buccaneers have solidified their two tackle spots, they could use another guard on the offensive line. Gabe Jackson is a smart player with a ton of experience and excellent technique.

TRADE 39. Philadelphia Eagles - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

After releasing DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia could use another wide receiver. Matthews may not be the flashiest wide receiver, but he has very good hands and can high-point the ball.

40. Minnesota Vikings - Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

The Vikings' front office hasn't been shy about their need to address the quarterback position. Christian Ponder isn't the answer, and Matt Cassel isn't either. Jimmy Garoppolo has generated plenty of buzz due to his quick release and strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Nobody should be shocked if he's a top-40 pick on draft weekend.

41. Buffalo Bills - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

If Buffalo misses out on the top two offensive tackles in the first round and passes on Taylor Lewan, a right tackle can be had in the second round. Moses is one of the more physically imposing blockers in the draft this year. He's athletic enough as a pass blocker and can be dominating as a run blocker.

42. Tennessee Titans - Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

The Tennessee Titans are slowly putting the pieces in place for their new 3-4 defense. Kyle Van Noy would make a lot of sense at outside linebacker. While he's not the athlete some of the other linebackers in this class are, he's a well-rounded player who understands how to play in coverage.

43. New York Giants - Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

A Giants tight end has to be able to block. That's why Niklas is the choice over a player like Jace Amaro here. Niklas was used regularly and successfully at Notre Dame. He's still developing as a pass catcher, but has the tools to be a standout receiving threat.

44. St. Louis Rams - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

The Rams have bigger needs than wide receiver in the first round, but taking a chance on a wideout in the second round would be a smart move. Kelvin Benjamin would add size and physicality to a wide receiver group that lacks both of those traits.

Notebook: Is Kelvin Benjamin the next big thing?

45. Detroit Lions - Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech

With the quality of cornerback class in the draft this year, the Lions can find a good one in the second round. Before the 2013 season, Exum was considered a first-round player. The only thing that held him back is a knee injury which forced him to miss games last season. Exum is a hybrid defensive back, able to line up at corner or safety.

46. Pittsburgh Steelers - Donte Moncrief, WR, Ole Miss

The Steelers are another team that could use a wide receiver but shouldn't necessarily take one in the first round. The sweet spot for value at wide receiver will be in round two. Donte Moncrief had a great year for Ole Miss and projects well as a No. 2 receiver in the NFL with the upside to be a No. 1.

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47. Dallas Cowboys - Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame

At this point in the draft, Tuitt would be far too good of a player to pass up. Tuitt would give Dallas the freedom of switching back and forth from three- and four-man fronts.

48. Baltimore Ravens - Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Losing Michael Oher was a slight blow to the Ravens' offensive line. They should be in the market for an offensive tackle on the first few days of the draft. Antonio Richardson was underwhelming in 2013, but he's still developing. His length and foot quickness should make him a top-50 pick in this class.

49. New York Jets - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

The Jets made a good move in free agency bringing in Eric Decker. After him, though, the team is still light at wide receiver. In this scenario, Robinson is the best one available. He's a physical pass catcher, similar in many ways to Anquan Boldin of the 49ers. He would give quarterback Geno Smith a good second option after Decker.

50. Miami Dolphins - Joel Bitonio, OT/G, Nevada

Drafting just one offensive lineman isn't going to cut it for the Dolphins. Joel Bitonio could either play right tackle or move inside to guard in the NFL. Either way, he would be an upgrade in Miami.

51. Chicago Bears - Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

The Bears would be incredibly fortunate to see a safety of Ward's quality drop this far in the second round. He's a pass-coverage specialist who can play deep or line up against a receiver in the slot.

52. Arizona Cardinals - Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB/DE, Georgia Tech

In the NFL, teams are always trying to find pass rushers. Pass rusher may not be the biggest need for Arizona, but with a player like Jeremiah Attaochu still on the board, the Cardinals may consider adding to their depth.

53. Green Bay Packers - Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

After Bucannon, there's a considerable drop-off in the quality of the safety class in the draft. He's a big hitter in the secondary who can come up and play the run and do just enough in zone coverage. While Bucannon is never going to be the kind of safety who will cover wide receivers in the slot, he can keep up with tight ends or running backs out of the backfield.

54. Philadelphia Eagles - Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood

After wide receiver, cornerback is one of the top needs in Philadelphia. At this stage, most of the top cornerbacks are gone, but Lindenwood's Pierre Desir has the potential to be a starter on the outside. That would allow Brandon Boykin to stay at nickel cornerback for the Eagles.

55. Cincinnati Bengals - Marcus Martin, C, USC

Martin is capable of playing any of the interior spots for the Bengals and is a good scheme fit. He's a powerful blocker at the point of attack and can handle defensive tackles on his own.

56. San Francisco 49ers - Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU

The 49ers made a run at DeSean Jackson, so they obviously think they could use another wide receiver. Jarvis Landry has been overshadowed a bit by his teammate (Odell Beckham), but he's still capable of getting separation and he may have some of the best hands in the draft.

57. San Diego Chargers - DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State

The Chargers need quality players in the middle of their defensive line. A player like Jones is able to occupy multiple blockers, but is also quick enough to get into the backfield.

58. New Orleans Saints - Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina

New Orleans has arguably the best pair of safeties in the NFL, but adding talent at cornerback will be the final step toward fixing the secondary. Victor Hampton has a few red flags off the field, but he had an impressive season for South Carolina this past year and should find a home on the second day of the draft.

59. Indianapolis Colts - Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

James was Tennessee's powerhouse right tackle who started 49 games for the Volunteers. While all of his starts were on the outside, he's a good enough blocker to move inside. He's a safer option than injured Clemson lineman Brandon Thomas.

60. Carolina Panthers - Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

If the Panthers don't leave the first two days of the draft with at least one wide receiver, they will have failed. Cody Latimer is the type of big, fast wide receiver that Cam Newton hasn't gotten a chance to work with yet in his career. It's long overdue.

61. San Francisco 49ers - Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State

If the 49ers keep their first three picks, it shouldn't be a surprise to see two of them used on defensive backs. Joyner played safety for much of his Florida State career, but showed last season he can handle covering the slot.

62. New England Patriots - Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

Bill Belichick has made a living off finding value in the NFL Draft. One could argue that no player has more value at this spot than Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley. He would have been a top-10 pick if he didn't tear his ACL for the second time last fall.

63. Denver Broncos - Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson

The Broncos have few needs on their roster, but depth at cornerback is always a necessity. Breeland is a high-upside cornerback who has the type of athleticism that gives credence to his potential.

64. Seattle Seahawks - Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

Defensive ends like Scott Crichton tend to be undervalued. He's not the type of edge player who will always show up in the stat sheet. He is, however, an excellent fit for what the Seahawks do on defense. Crichton has the strength to dominate the point of attack and create pressure in different ways.