2014 BTB Writers' Mock Draft: First Round

Our mock draft process is underway, here's how the first round shook out.

At the same time that we are conducting our Community Mock, the front page writers here at BTB are holding our own little exercise. As has been the custom for each of the past four offseasons now, I have secured the help of my fellow scribes in an exercise of mockery.

Each writer, O.C.C., Rabble, Tom, Joey and myself, we assigned multiple teams to be in charge of. Our mission, to study those team's needs and chart the best plan of action to go about helping them build themselves into a winner. Unlike the Community Mock, trades are allowed as our mock will go three rounds deep, at least. This way, there is an opportunity to build a vision for a team, not just the usual routine of trying to fill a team's biggest need with the first pick, as so many mocks end up doing.

For the first time in the four years, I've taken control of the Cowboys War Room. I paid my dues, letting Dave, Rabs and OCC hold the throne before me.. but now I'm in the big chair.

We've completed Round One, so without further ado, take a look at what we've put together over the course of the last few days.

The columns are sortable (click on the headers in the light-blue columns), so you can get a good look at the overall haul of each GM, each team, where certain positions went, etc. etc.

Team & GM
Selection Details
Pick Team GM Player Position School Justification Trade Details
01 HOUSTON RABBLE Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina Although they need a quarterback, the Texans cannot allow a once-in-a-generation defensive talent like Clowney slip through their fingers so that they can take a chance on a solid but not "franchise"-level college signal caller. The thought of pairing Clowney with All-Universe J.J. Watt has Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel salivating..or it could be that he's thinking of sandwiches.
02 ST LOUIS JOEY Sammy Watkins WR Clemson With former #1 pick Sam Bradford on what is likely his last breath efforts to prove himself as a franchise QB, Jeff Fisher and Co. select a dynamic WR for the 2nd year in a row. Having the chance to move from catching passes from Tajh Boyd to a legitimate NFL QB like Bradford will be a welcome change for Watkins, and teaming him with TE Jared Cooks, and last years 1st round pick, Tavon Austin gives the Rams a solid group of weapons for Bradford to distribute the ball.
03 JACKSONVILLE TOM Blake Bortles QB S Florida There are no sure things among the quarterbacks this year, but the Jags needing a quarterback is certain. They elect to go with Bortles in a very close decision between him and Teddy Bridgewater. They are banking mostly on his upside and the fact he decided to throw at the Combine as an indication of his competitive fire.
04 BUFFALO KD Greg Robinson OT Auburn Buffalo makes the move to snare the mauler they need along the offensive line, giving EJ Manuel some protection. Robinson is a nasty, nimble tackle that will transition from the right side to the left, like Dallas' Tyron Smith. BUF gets 4 & 83 | CLE gets 9,41,105
05 OAKLAND RABBLE Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M After mulling offers to trade back, the Raiders stay put and secure their quarterback of the future. Manziel is a dynamic playmaker, with the potential to revive a moribund franchise, much like he did at A&M. After bolstering their offensive line in free agency (Donald Penn, Kevin Boothe, Austin Howard), Oakland has the beef up front to allow JFF to do his thing in and out of the pocket.
06 TENNESSEE JOEY Khalil Mack LB Buffalo After trying like mad to move up to #5 overall Tennessee is ecstatic to be able to jump to #6 and get potentially the best over all defender in the draft. Mack gives new DC Ray Horton a great movable piece in his attacking defense that will be a difference maker. TEN gets 6 & 135 | ATL gets 11 & 42
07 CHICAGO TOM Darqueze Denard CB Michigan State Chicago's secondary was horrid, and da Bears decide to get proactive in grabbing the best corner on the board before Detroit comes along and takes him. Besides, they have him rated as the best defensive player since Deion Sanders. CHI gets 7 | TB gets 14 & 51
08 MINNESOTA RABBLE Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville After getting outbid for the sixth pick, the Vikings are ecstatic that they were able to stand pat and still get the guy they really wanted. Although he's been out-hyped recently by other first round QB candidates, Bridgewater is the most NFL-ready signal caller in this class, and offers an immediate upgrade to the players Minny currently has at the position. The Vikings feel confident that renowned QB guru Norv Turner will turn the former Louisville product into a star.
09 CLEVELAND KD CJ Moseley LB Alabama The Browns weren't completely sold on either Bridgewater or Manziel as their QB savior, so after Bortles came off the board (lucky for them), they decided to drop back. What they fell into is a truly instinctive player ready to fly all over the field for them. Replacing Craig Robertson, one of the league's worst 3-4 ILB will be a snap, and paired with Karlos Dansby the Browns defense just got a whole lot stronger. Can this be? Competency in Cleveland? See Pick 1.4
10 DETROIT TOM Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M Matthews is considered one of the lowest-risk players in the draft, with outstanding technical skills, and has played both right and left tackle in the past two seasons. The Lions could have used secondary help here, but given how far they would have had to go down to find a DB, Matthews is an easy choice who should have absolutely no problems starting from the day he arrives in Motor City.
11 ATLANTA OCC Eric Ebron TE North Carolina The Falcons had a plan in place to move up into the third spot if DE Jadeveon Clowney would have been available. After that fell through, they were hoping for OT Greg Robinson to fall their way, but when he was picked early, they traded into TE Eric Ebron’s range and secured an extra second round pick in return. Ebron is by far the best TE in the draft, and his size and athleticism will make the Falcons forget all about Tony Gonzales. The Giants of course are thunderstruck when their No. 1 target is snatched away right in front of their faces. See Pick 1.6
12 NY GIANTS KD Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh That's right, I did it. The Giants have several needs, but thanks to the free agent defections of Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph, their once proud defensive line rotation is in need of a major overhaul. In steps Donald, the best DT in the draft and an award winner through and through. His ability to penetrate from the middle of the line will give the revamped New York secondary the opportunity to jump routes and at least try and break even in the turnover department, since you know Eli is handing out footballs like lollipops at bank openings. They thought hard about receiver here, but the depth at that position is much greater.
13 ST LOUIS JOEY Taylor Lewan OT Michigan After adding the best legitimate playmaking WR in the draft in Sammy Watkins at #2 overall, the Rams look to bolster their offensive line with this pick. Lewan is an athletic player with a mean streak who finishes plays, and that type of physicality will be a breath of fresh air for the Rams offense, and will again help in St Louis' efforts to provide Sam Bradford with an opportunity to succeed.
14 TAMPA BAY OCC Mike Evans WR Texas A&M The Bucs started out with just four picks in this draft and jumped at the opportunity to trade down a few spots to gain an extra second round pick. Mike Evans gives the Bucs a big-bodied red zone target to pair with Vincent Jackson and Josh McGown. After shoring up the defense in free agency, Lovie Smith adds a home run hitter who will make his offense more explosive than the offense he coached in Chicago. See Pick 1.7
15 PITTSBURGH TOM Marqise Lee WR SoCal They need CB or DT help, but things are getting a bit picked over there, so Steelers go for a fast playmaking WR, hoping his injury issues are behind him. Lee will let them stretch the field, and once he gets the ball in his hand, he is very good at picking up extra yards. Also a good downfield blocker.
16 ARIZONA KD Derek Carr QB Fresno State The Cowboys were auctioning the pick and prepared to take a small loss when a bidding war for the rights to the last first round quarterback ensued. Cleveland moved back earlier in the draft thinking it would still get a Top 3 guy but missed out. Now, they wanted Carr. The Cards caught wind, gave Dallas a offer it couldn't refuse and now has its franchise QB of the future. ARI gets 16 & 78, DAL gets 20 & 52
17 BALTIMORE JOEY Anthony Barr OLB UCLA When the Ravens pick came up at 17, they they still had a player w/ a top 10 grade available. Once the clock started it was an easy pick to make as Ozzie Newsome continues the youth infusion on his Ravens D...
18 SAN FRANCISCO OCC Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State The 49ers watched with slackjawed amazement as Gilbert, who had a Top 10 grade on their board, tumbled down the draft order. Gilbert has the speed, size and coverage skills NFL teams are looking for, and he is easily the most physically impressive cornerback in this class. He ran a 4.37 at the Combine, his tape matches his speed and he led the Big 12 with seven picks last year. SF gets 18, NYJ gets 30 & 56
19 MIAMI RABBLE Zack Martin OL Notre Dame The Dolphins were in negotiations to trade up to get the last of the first-round offensive linemen, so they're ecstatic to find Martin still on the board when they come on the clock. After the Incognito-led nuclear implosion suffered along their offensive line, they are looking to rebuild around center Mike Pouncey with tough, versatile players. Martin fits that description to a "T." Moreover, he offers terrific position flexibility, with the ability to play either guard spot or, if necessary, right tackle.
20 DALLAS KD Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State Don't let the smooth taste fool you, Timmy Jernigan is not Sharrif Floyd. At Florida State, Jernigan was asked to primarily play from heads up on a guard in (2, 1, 0 techs). He was asked to read and react, and in a lot of his tape, this responsibility makes him appear to be slow off the snap. However, Jernigan's skill set shows that he is more than capable of position flex, and his quickness, pursuit and overall ability make him the perfect fit for a Rod Marinelli defense. Jernigan has violent hands, good burst, great lateral movement and relentless motor. He isn't a typical 1-tech in that he won't have to come off the field for rush downs, he'll just slide over to be the second under tackle; he's a universal DT and makes Dallas a lot better on Day One. See 1.16
21 GREEN BAY TOM Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama With the relative shortage of safeties early in the draft, Clinton-Dix is a bit of a steal at this point in the first round. He has speed, decent size, good range and tackles well. Really closes on ball well. Should be a real boost to the Packer secondary.
22 PHILADELPHIA JOEY Calvin Pryor FS Louisville The Eagles took some steps in free agency to improve their secondary play, but just like GBs pick at 21, Pryor at this point in the round is very good value... He will be a tone setter in the back half and bring attitude & athleticism to Philly's secondary.
23 KANSAS CITY OCC Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU The Chiefs need an elite WR so badly it's not even funny anymore. Chiefs fans are tired of the endless parade of scrubs the Chiefs have mopped up in FA/ arena league/ or late in drafts for a decade. It's come to a point where some fans have started believing Donnie Avery is actually a good wide receiver. That madness ends with Odell Beckham, who finally allows Chiefs to stop dreaming wistfully of guys like A.J. Green, Dez Bryant or Julio Jones.
24 CINCINNATI JOEY Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State After the Bengals lost Hawkins to the Browns on a restricted FA offer sheet they look to add a speed element in the slot to new OV Hue Jackson's offense and Cooks brings exactly that.
25 SAN DIEGO JOEY Ra'Shede Hageman DT Minnesota At the 25th pick Hagemen provides a ton of value for San Diego as they look to improve John Pagano's 3-4 D. Hageman is a plug and play 5-Technique DE with tons of physical upside to bolster that group.
26 CLEVELAND KD Xavier Sua-Filo OG UCLA Cleveland gets the top-rated guard in the draft.
27 NEW ORLEANS TOM Jason Verrett CB TCU The Saints get a ball hawking corner who had a rep for shutting down top flight receivers. He should be able to play a major role from the beginning and being an instant starter is not a stretch, with a reputation for being able to play on an island. He also brings a reputation as an impact guy on special teams.
28 CAROLINA RABBLE Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State After losing Steve Smith, Ted Ginn and Brandon LaFell, the Panthers are in desperate need of a wide receiver. In Benjamin, they find a Cam Newton a Calvin Johnson starter kit: a huge, athletic target with a colossal catch radius, whose large hands and big, power forward's body will be tremendous assets in the red zone.
29 NEW ENGLAND OCC Louis Nix DT Notre Dame The Patriots received multiple offers to trade up, but were willing to sit back and let the draft come to them. They can't believe their good fortune when top defensive tackle prospect falls all the way to No. 29. In Nix, the Patriots believe they've found the next Vince Wilfork to anchor their defensive line.
30 NY JETS OCC Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech The Jets don't want to reach for a wide receiver at this point. They take a look at their depth chart at cornerback, don't recognize anybody outside of Dee Milliner and happily hand in the card for Kyle Fuller. Fuller is one of the more pro-ready corners in the draft, plays both the run and the pass well, has good size (6’0 – 194), speed (4.47), and good football instincts. See 1.18
31 ATLANTA OCC Kony Ealy DE Missouri The Falcons parlayed their original #6 pick into two first round picks. They selected TE Eric Ebron earlier and now get the number two ranked defensive end with their second pick in the first round. Ealy had nine sacks in 2013 despite being continuously double teamed; he has great size at 6-4 and 273 pounds, plus he excelled in the three-cone drill. Some good coaching should see Ealy turn into one of the premier pass rushers in the league. DEN gets 37 & 99, ATL gets 31 & 159
32 SEATTLE KD Allen Robinson WR Penn State The Hawks are defending champions who lost a lot of players but have guys that were sitting behind them on the depth charts ready to step in. Percy Harvin will take Golden Tate's role, but the team is missing the big receiver. Robinson has a great catch radius and excels on making plays that will work well with Seattle's synchronized scramble drills. 6'3, 211 lbs, stout as can be. He can sky and is already a very good run blocker. The rich get richer.

So what are your thoughts?

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