Mock draft for today’s first round, as well as Raiders second-round pick


Here is an in-depth look at how the first round of the 2014 NFL draft might play out today, with a bonus look at the Raiders and 49ers picks in the second round Friday:

1. Houston Texans
The pick: Jadeveon Clowney
College: South Carolina
Position: Defensive end
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/266 pounds
Comment: The Texans and first-year coach Bill O’Brien know that they can get a potentially top-flight quarterback with the 33rd pick. There isn’t another player in this draft class who measures up to Clowney, so the Texans don’t think twice.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
The pick: Sammy Watkins
College: Clemson
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot1/211 pounds
Comment: The Rams traded up to get speedy wide receiver Tavon Austin in the first round last year. They don’t need to trade up to get Watkins, who is the kind of big-bodied receiver the Rams missed in recent seasons. Quarterback Sam Bradford is all smiles with this pick.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Khalil Mack
College: Buffalo
Position: Linebacker
Height/weight: 6-foot-3/251 pounds
Comment: Jaguars coach Gus Bradley is a defensive-minded coach. He saw what the Seattle Seahawks, his former team, did with a stifling defense. Mack gives Bradley the kind of difference maker he needs to build around.

4. Cleveland Browns
The pick: Johnny Manziel
College: Texas A&M
Position: Quarterback
Height/weight: 6-foot/207 pounds
Comment: The Browns are in sore need of a quarterback, and long-suffering Browns fans are in need of a reason to watch their team this season. Manziel is just the guy to spur the Browns’ latest rebuilding movement.

5. Oakland Raiders
The pick: Greg Robinson
College: Auburn
Position: Offensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/332 pounds
Comment: Robinson has the potential to develop into a perennial Pro Bowl player. He might not be ready to start right away, but it won’t be long before he carves out a spot at left tackle and anchors the line for a long time.

6. Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Aaron Donald
College: Pittsburgh
Position: Defensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-1/285 pounds
Comment: The Falcons need a ton of help on defense. That compels them to pass on several top-flight offensive tackles and wide receivers in favor of Donald, who is lightning quick and knows how to blow up the pocket on a consistent basis.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Mike Evans
College: Texas A&M
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/231 pounds
Comment: Quarterback Josh McCown gets another 6-foot-5 receiver to throw to on an every-down basis, with Evans joining No. 1 receiver Vincent Jackson and running back Doug Martin in what now is a very potent offense.

8. Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Blake Bortles
College: Central Florida
Position: Quarterback
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/232 pounds
Comment: The Vikings aren’t sold on incumbent Christian Ponder after three seasons, as evidenced by their not picking up his fifth-year option (for 2015). Bortles can learn under Ponder in 2014 and then hit ground running next season, if not sooner.

9. Buffalo Bills
The pick: Jake Matthews
College: Texas A&M
Position: Offensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/308 pounds
Comment: Some view Matthews as the top tackle prospect in this draft, so the Bills are thrilled to see Matthews still available. They waste little time snatching up Matthews, who is versatile enough to play on the left or right side and talented enough to start right away.

10. Detroit Lions
The pick: Taylor Lewan
College: Michigan
Position: Offensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-7/307 pounds
Comment: The Lions stay in state and grab the kind of player that can keep quarterback Matthew Stafford’s blindside well protected for years to come. Lewan excels at pass blocking, and the Lions offense revolves around the passing game. As a bonus, the stories of in-practice fights between Lewan and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh are going to be priceless.

11. Tennessee Titans
The pick: Justin Gilbert
College: Oklahoma State
Position: Cornerback
Height/weight: 6-foot/202 pounds
Comment: The Titans find a potential replacement for departed free agent Alterraun Verner in Gilbert, who is regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in this draft. Gilbert is so good that he starts from the outset and makes people forget about Verner in a hurry.

12. New York Giants
The pick: Zack Martin
College: Notre Dame
Position: Offensive lineman
Height/weight: 6-foot-4/308 pounds
Comment: Versatile enough to convert to tackle, strong enough to dominate against NFL defenders. Martin is rushed into service right away as a means of giving quarterback Eli Manning some much-needed help. He also can play guard and center, if needed.

13. St. Louis Rams
The pick: Kyle Fuller
College: Virginia Tech
Position: Cornerback
Height/weight: 6-foot/190 pounds
Comment: Coach Jeff Fisher addresses the need to get the kind of cornerback that can hold up against the likes of Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Larry Fitzgerald in the rugged NFC West. Fuller has the mentality to succeed, too. He doesn’t back down from a challenge.

14. Chicago Bears
The pick: Anthony Barr
College: UCLA
Position: Linebacker
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/255 pounds
Comment: Some think Barr has the combination of size, speed, athleticism and instincts to have the kind of impact DeMarcus Ware had for the Dallas Cowboys for so many years. Barr isn’t without flaws, but he has enough potential to make defensive coordinators salivate.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
The pick: Darqueze Dennard
College: Michigan State
Position: Cornerback
Height/weight: 5-foot-11/200 pounds
Comment: Standout player on a top-notch defense at Michigan State last season. Coach Mike Tomlin adds another player to a defense in dire need of an infusion of youth, energy and playmaking ability.

16. Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix
College: Alabama
Position: Free safety
Height/weight: 6-foot-1/208 pounds
Comment: Well schooled by college coach Nick Saban in what to expect from NFL offenses. Dix’s arrival is a welcome sight for a Cowboys defense that was among the worst in the league last season, especially against the pass.

17. Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Calvin Pryor
College: Louisville
Position: Free safety
Height/weight: 5-foot-11/207 pounds
Comment: Pryor’s arrival allows the Ravens to move Matt Elam to strong safety and shores up the back end of their defense. He plays with a physical style that the Ravens covet.

18. New York Jets
The pick: Odell Beckham Jr.
College: Louisiana State
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 5-foot-11/198 pounds
Comment: Beckham Jr. is just what the Jets anemic offense needs; a receiver with game-changing abilities. There isn’t much Beckham Jr. can’t do. However, he needs to bulk up a little to compensate for a lack of height and so that he can hold up against physical cornerbacks.

19. Miami Dolphins
The pick: Cyrus Kouandijo
College: Alabama
Position: Offensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-7/322 pounds
Comment: The Dolphins have other glaring needs, but they are forced to go with an offensive tackle on the heels of losing left tackle Jonathan Martin last season. Kouandijo is very mobile and quick for a player his size.

20. Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Ryan Shazier
College: Ohio State
Position: Linebacker
Height/weight: 6-foot-1/237 pounds
Comment: The Cardinals lost Karlos Dansby to free agency and John Abraham is 36 this season. Adding Shazier bolsters the linebacking corps and gives the Cardinals another defensive weapon to help against physical divisional foes.

21. Green Bay Packers
The pick: Stephon Tuitt
College: Notre Dame
Position: Defensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/304 pounds
Comment: Tuitt has the rare blend of size and quickness for an interior lineman. He is precisely the kind of presence the Packers need in the middle of a defensive line that struggled against the run the past four seasons.

22. Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Brandin Cooks
College: Oregon State
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 5-foot-10/189 pounds
Comment: Half of coach Chip Kelly’s 2013 draft class came from Pac-12 teams. He also needs a replacement for jettisoned No. 1 receiver DeSean Jackson. Cooks might get lost in some NFL offenses but not Kelly’s wide-open scheme.

23. Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Marqise Lee
College: Southern California
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot/192 pounds
Comment: The Chiefs defense is loaded with consistent playmakers and Pro Bowl players. Coach Andy Reid gets quarterback Alex Smith another receiver to take pressure off No. 1 Dwayne Bowe. Lee also is an outstanding kick returner.

24. Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Jason Verrett
College: Texas Christian
Position: Cornerback
Height/weight: 5-foot-10/189 pounds
Comment: Verrett’s lack of height is a concern to some teams, but not the Bengals. Verrett showed in college that he can be left alone in man coverage, and he isn’t afraid to take chances. Neither are the Bengals.

25. San Diego Chargers
The pick: Louis Nix
College: Notre Dame
Position: Defensive tackle
Height/weight: 6-foot-2/331 pounds
Comment: The Chargers are set at both defensive end spots. Nix steps in right away and gives the defensive line a much-needed boost inside with his size and strength. This is how you improve your run defense with one good move.

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts)
The pick: Kelvin Benjamin
College: Florida State
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/235 pounds
Comment: The Browns got their quarterback at No. 4. Now they find a receiver to bookend with Josh Gordon. Wins might still be tough to come by in Cleveland for a while, but the Browns certainly are going to be more fun to watch.

27. New Orleans Saints
The pick: Davante Adams
College: Fresno State
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot-1/212 pounds
Comment: Drew Brees can make just about any receiver look like a Pro Bowl player. He won’t need to do much with Adams except throw the ball in his vicinity. Adams gives the Saints explosive offense another legitimate option.

28. Carolina Panthers
The pick: Eric Ebron
College: North Carolina
Position: Tight end
Height/weight: 6-foot-4/250 pounds
Comment: The Panthers don’t have to look far to find quarterback Cam Newton a safety blanket, both as a receiver and extra blocker. Ebron helps fill the offensive void created by the release of veteran wide receiver Steve Smith. He contributes right away.

29. New England Patriots
The pick: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
College: Washington
Position: Tight end
Height/weight: 6-foot-6/262 pounds
Comment: Coach Bill Belichick restocks a position that went from a strength to a question mark after Aaron Hernandez’ arrest and Rob Gronkowski’s latest career-threatening injury. Seferian-Jenkins should have no trouble adjusting to the NFL with a quarterback like Tom Brady, in a tight end-friendly scheme.

30. San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Bradley Roby
College: Ohio State
Position: Cornerback
Height/weight: 5-foot-11/194 pounds
Comment: The 49ers cut Carlos Rogers and let Tarell Brown walk via free agency. They need someone else to play alongside projected starters Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver. Roby has above-average speed and the mentality to succeed at cornerback in the NFL.

31. Denver Broncos
The pick: Cody Latimer
College: Indiana
Position: Wide receiver
Height/weight: 6-foot-3/215 pounds
Comment: The Broncos lost Eric Decker to free agency, but they signed Emmanuel Sanders as a replacement. They throw Latimer into a receiving corps that also includes Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Andre Caldwell. Somehow, Peyton Manning will find a way to keep all of them busy and happy.

32. Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Joel Bitonio
College: Nevada
Position: Offensive lineman
Height/weight: 6-foot-4/302 pounds
Comment: Versatile offensive lineman whose stock soared in the run up to the draft because of impressive workouts for teams. The Seahawks address the depth on their offensive line by snagging Bitonio. Offensive line coach Tom Cable is thrilled as much as anyone.

36. Oakland Raiders
The pick: Tom Savage
College: Pittsburgh
Position: Quarterback
Height/weight: 6-foot-4/228 pounds
Comment: Matt Schaub might be the short-term answer for the Raiders, but the Raiders still lack a long-term, franchise-type quarterback. Savage has the size, the arm strength and the accuracy. This is a good spot for the Raiders to take the plunge and gamble on finding a quarterback for the long haul.

56. San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City Chiefs)
The pick: Jace Amaro
College: Texas Tech
Position: Tight end
Height/weight: 6-foot-5/265 pounds
Comment: Is just what the 49ers are looking for at the tight end position; an accomplished receiver who also is adept at blocking. He’s already a polished receiver. The 49ers get him up to speed as a blocker in no time and give Colin Kaepernick another viable option in the passing attack.

61. San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Marcus Martin
College: Southern Cal
Position: Center
Height/weight: 6-foot-3/320 pounds
Comment: With veteran Jonathan Goodwin no longer around to anchor the offensive line, GM Trent Baalke adds Martin in hopes of there being a seamless transition. Returner Daniel Kilgore is the leading candidate to replace Goodwin in 2014. However, Martin gives the 49ers more depth and competition at a key position.


Steve Corkran

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Raiders wanting a certain ‘type’ of QB caused Teddy to slip out of the first round! All Right! We’re trendsetters now, baby!

  • The Ghost of Dave Casper

    In your world, no African-American should be fired for inadequate performance, otherwise it’s a racist decision. And the only quarterbacks who should be drafted are African-American ones, otherwise it’s a racist decision. And the only coaches who should coach are African-American ones, otherwise it’s a racist decision. Mmmmm…. Paranoid self-righteousness is so warm and toasty!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    No, not unusually so compared to everybody else I’ve been looking at.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Return was starting to ease up and fraternize with the enemy, so it was necessary to come fire him up again.

  • DJ Johnny

    I am so frigging pizzed about drafting a left tackle and we haven’t even done it yet. I HATE it. It totally exacerbates the Veldheer fiasco.