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Steelers 101 – NFL Mock Draft – First Round

April 27th, 2014 at 7:23 PM
By Mark Mihalko

With the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, fans are starting to get antsy with the extra time the NFL added due to the scheduling conflict that moved the selection show until May. This is also happening for many reasons, with the uncertainty of the first round being to biggest factor. Unlike years past, this draft seems to have more questions than answers and teams are playing their draft strategies close to the vest. With that in play, it has become more difficult than usual to predict how things will fall.

'The red carpet at the 2010 NFL draft' photo (c) 2010, The Cajun Boy - license:
Here is our initial edition of the Steelers_101 NFL Mock Draft. As always, we would truly appreciate any and all feedback on this attempt at a mock draft or any of our articles at Steelers101. Feel free to interact with us on these picks by commenting on the post, on our facebook fan page or on twitter @Steelers_101.

Round One

1. Houston Texans – DE Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina – While a trade scenario is likely being worked out, Clowney will be the pick at number one by either the Texans or another franchise. Yes, they could pull the trigger on Blake Bortles, but he does not bring the value of Clowney.

2. St. Louis Rams – OLB Khalil Mack – Buffalo – The Rams would love to see Clowney fall, but will likely be happy with the selection either way. Mack is a playmaker that can come in and make an impact on the defense.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Sammy Watkins – Clemson – Even though they have issues across the board, they decide to play it safe and take Watkins, who could come in and be everything the expected from Justin Blackmon and more.

4. Cleveland Browns – QB Derek Carr – Fresno State – The Browns need a franchise quarterback and Carr has the arm strength to play by the lake. Blake Bortles also could be in play at this spot, but either way, it appears the Browns will attempt to find their quarterback of the future.

5. Oakland Raiders – WR Mike Evans – Texas A&M – The Raiders clearly need a top wide out, and Evans has the potential to make an impact from the start. They too could look at Bortles or even an offensive tackle (Greg Robinson) but decide to pull the trigger on a number one receiving option.

6. Atlanta Falcons – OT Greg Robinson – Auburn – If the Falcons stay put, they will likely select Robinson, who fills a huge void. At this point, they also appear poised to make a move up for Clowney. If that is the case, Blake Bortles is likely the selection that falls into this spot.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB Blake Bortles _ UCF – This pick could easily go many directions depending on what moves take place ahead of them. If they stay put and things fall as above, Bortles could be the pick. If not, it could be another quarterback (Johnny Manziel), possibly tight end Eric Ebron, or a trade down where wide receiver (their biggest need) becomes a value.

8. Minnesota Vikings – OLB Anthony Barr – UCLA -The Vikings could reach for a quarterback, but learned from past mistakes and go a different direction. Barr is a bit raw, but he is a pass rusher that could come in and make an impact.

9. Buffalo Bills – OT Jake Matthews – Texas A&M – The Bills could go some different ways with this selection, but decide to play it safe with Matthews, a player that could come in and help protect second-year quarterback E.J. Manuel.

10.Detroit Lions – S Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix – Alabama –The Lions must improve their secondary and Clinton-Dix could make an impact. A fluid safety with ball hawk abilities, he could start day one. Justin Gilbert or Eric Ebron could also be in play with this selection.

11. Tennessee Titans – CB Justin Gilbert – Oklahoma State -The Titans could go a few ways with this selection but decide to go with Gilbert who is the top rated corner in this draft. He is a talented and natural fit for their schemes

12. New York Giants – OT Taylor Lewan – Michigan -The Giants could use this pick on either their offensive or defensive lines and grab a player that can make an impact. Lewan or defensive end Aaron Donald would make sense.

13. St. Louis Rams – CB Darqueze Dennard – Michigan State – The Rams would love to see Lewan fall to this spot, but he is gone. Dennard is all over the board as a prospect, but may be the most game ready of all the corners in this draft.

14. Chicago Bears – DT Aaron Donald – Pittsburgh -The Bears look at Donald as the perfect fit for their needs entering the draft. The undersized defensive tackle can come in and be the final piece to their revamped unit.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers– CB Kyle Fuller – Virginia Tech – The Steelers could go with a wide out (Odell Beckham Jr.), but decide to take a cover guy. Fuller is a solid athlete and experienced cornerback who is rising as the process is winding down.

16. Dallas Cowboys – DT Timmy Jernigan _ Florida State – The Cowboys want to build their defensive line and Jernigan is a talented performer who could have gone higher, providing the Cowboys with some value at this selection.

17. Baltimore Ravens – S Calvin Pryor – Louisville – The Ravens do what they always do and wait on a prospect to fall. In this case, they look at Pryor, who can come in and create an intimidating safety combination with Matt Elam.

18. New York Jets – WR Odell Beckham Jr. – LSU – The Jets must add some more offensive weapons and Beckham has the ability to be a game changer. Plus, he would be a great compliment to free agent signee Eric Decker.

19. Miami Dolphins – TE Eric Ebron – North Carolina – The Dolphins got lucky and had one of the higher ranked offensive players fall into their lap. Ebron may not come at a position of huge need, but he can be a weapon in that offense.

20. Arizona Cardinals – OLB Demarcus Lawrence – Boise State –The Cardinals must improve their pass rush and Lawrence could be just the player. A late riser in the draft process, it would not be a shock to see him come off the board around this point.

21. Green Bay Packers – LB C.J. Mosley – Alabama – The Packers were hoping to see a safety fall to this spot. Instead the grab a linebacker that could come in and help their front seven.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Jason Verrett – TCU – The Eagles can go many ways to add talent to their roster. Verrett is a talented cornerback and a player that could be a solid addition to their secondary.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – OT Zach Martin – Notre Dame – The Chiefs got lucky and had one of the higher ranked offensive linemen fall into their lap. Martin has solid feet and can come in and help solidify what many consider their biggest need.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Bradley Roby – Ohio State – The Bengals continue to build their defense with the selection of Roby, who is the top rated defensive back left on their board.

25. San Diego Chargers – NT Louis Nix – Notre Dame – The Chargers would love for one of the top cornerbacks to fall into their laps, but it does not happen. Instead, they grab the top rated nose tackle on their board.

26. Cleveland Browns – WR Marquise Lee – USC – The Browns have a true number one (Josh Gordon) on the roster, but add Lee to give them one of the more dynamic receiving corps in the league. Not as explosive as Brandin Cooks, but he is an elite route runner and a perfect compliment. 

27. New Orleans Saints – DE Dee Ford – Auburn – Ford is an interesting prospect that could come in and play multiple roles in the Saints defense.

28. Carolina – WR Brandin Cooks – Oregon State – The Panthers need help to find some young talent for Cam Newton and Cooks may be the most explosive player in the draft. With Steve Smith gone, Cooks could play that same type role in their offense.

29. New England Patriots – DT Ra’Shede Hageman – Minnesota – The Patriots can go many ways to add talent to their roster including adding one of the quarterbacks that are free-falling. Instead they grab a versatile defensive tackle with tremendous natural abilities.

30. San Francisco 49ers – WR Allen Robinson – Penn State – The 49ers would love a top corner to fall, but instead are forced to make some major decisions. They have the ammunition to trade up for a talent, but in this mock draft, they stay put. If they do, Robinson is a player that could come in and learn from Anquan Boldin and add depth to their receiving corps.

31. Denver Broncos – LB Ryan Shazier – Ohio State –The Broncos decide to add to their defense. Shazier is athletic and potentially a steal at this point of the draft.

32. Seattle Seahawks – DE Kony Ealy – Missouri – The Seahawks could go many ways with this selection, but decide to pull the trigger on Ealy. One of the top rated defensive ends in this class, he could come in and add to their rotation early on. 

Tags: Football, Kyle Fuller, Mock Draft, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers

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