Aug 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker C.J. Mosley (32) tries on the trophy after defeating Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at the Georgia Dome. Alabama won 35-10. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Build an Impressive Linebacking Corps

The 2014 NFL Draft is just a few months away, so with Senior Bowl reports filling the headlines and rumors of players coming and going during the offseason starting to pick up, it’s time to start thinking about mock drafts.

There are two different ways to do mock drafts. A mock drafter can predict what he thinks will happen, or he can draft as if he were the GM. In this mock, I did the latter. That means you won’t see Johnny Manziel, who I believe is a day three talent in the draft.

I provided a bit of background on the first ten picks, but I am always happy to explain any of my picks. Post any questions or comments in the comment section under the article, and I’ll respond. I follow the Buccaneers more closely than I do any other team, so my knowledge of other teams isn’t as strong, so if your team is listed with a questionable pick, just let me know.

For any players I wasn’t familiar with, I referred to the scouting reports and rankings found at CBS Sports.

1. Houston Texans
Teddy Bridgewater
Quarterback, Louisville

Matt Schaub and Case Keenum are not the answer for a new coach looking to make a positive first impression.

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
Sammy Watkins
Wide Receiver, Clemson

Watkins is everything the Rams wanted to get from Tavon Austin and then some. He’s got very good hands in space and is dynamic with the ball in his hands. The short passing game with Sam Bradford adds another weapon.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jadeveon Clowney
Defensive End, South Carolina

There are more holes in Jacksonville than just the QB position. Clowney is the best player in this draft, and the Jaguars are a smart team, building for the long-term.

4. Cleveland Browns
Blake Bortles
Quarterback, UCF

I know most people believe Johnny Manziel will be the pick here, but I am drafting as if I was the GM. I believe Bortles is a much better quarterback than Manziel, and he’s the pick for the Browns.

5. Oakland Raiders
Jake Matthews
Tackle, Texas A&M

The Raiders need to start laying a foundation for what their team will be when it’s hopefully successful in the future. A franchise player at tackle is a key part of that foundation.

6. Atlanta Falcons
Anthony Barr
Linebacker, UCLA

The Falcons were a mess on defense this season, so Mike Smith looks to save his defensive reputation by adding an electric athlete as a pass rusher.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
C.J. Mosley
Linebacker, Alabama

Mason Foster was the right fit for Greg Schiano’s aggressive, downhill defense in 2012 and 2013, but he’ll struggle if he’s asked to do anything resembling what Lovie Smith has asked of his MLBs in the past. Foster remains a contributor at SLB while Mosley roams the middle of the field.

8. Minnesota Vikings
Kony Ealy
Defensive End, Missouri

Ealy has shot up lots of draft boards recently, and he may be the right man to replace Jared Allen for a new regime in Minnesota.

9. Buffalo Bills
Mike Evans
Wide Receiver, Texas A&M

The weapons in Buffalo all seem like secondary options waiting for a top wide receiver to complete the set. Mike Evans is that guy.

10. Detroit Lions
Darqueze Dennard
Cornerback, Michigan State

The Lions need to solidify their defensive backfield, so they add the best corner in this class.

11. Tennessee Titans
Khalil Mack
Linebacker, Buffalo

12. New York Giants
Greg Robinson
Tackle, Auburn

13. St. Louis Rams
Taylor Lewan
Tackle, Michigan

14. Chicago Bears
Hasean Clinton-Dix
Safety, Alabama

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin Gilbert
Cornerback, Oklahoma State

16. Baltimore Ravens
Marqise Lee
Wide Receiver, USC

17. Dallas Cowboys
RaShede Hageman
Defensive Tackle, Minnesota

18. New York Jets
Eric Ebron
Tight End, UNC

19. Miami Dolphins
Zach Martin
Offensive Lineman, Notre Dame

20. Arizona Cardinals
Cyrus Kouandjio
Tackle, Alabama

21. Green Bay Packers
Louis Nix III
Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame

22. Philadelphia Eagles
Trent Murphy
Linebacker, Stanford

23. Kansas City Chiefs
Allen Robinson
Wide Receiver, Penn State

24. Cincinnati Bengals
Ryan Shazier
Linebacker, Ohio State

25. San Diego Chargers
Jason Verrett
Cornerback, TCU

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)
David Yankey
Guard, Stanford

27. New Orleans Saints
Scott Crichton
Defensive End, Oregon State

28. Carolina Panthers
Kelvin Benjamin
Wide Receiver, Florida State

29. New England Patriots
Stephon Tuitt
Defensive Tackle, Norte Dame

30. San Francisco 49ers
Marcus Roberson
Cornerback, Florida

31. Denver Broncos
Louchiez Purifoy
Cornerback, Florida

32. Seattle Seahawks
Jace Amaro
Tight End, Texas Tech

For more mock drafts, check out the following sites:


Walter Football

Hail Redskins Mock Draft Database

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  • Steve Batchelor

    This is how every team gets itself into trouble in the draft…By drafting for need instead of BPA…Is C.J. Mosley the BPA at 7? Not even close. Is he a need?…Maybe…But I think Lovie will use the personnel he has on defense in the best way for them to succeed..Barring a trade back I can’t see this scenario happening and will be completely shocked if it does. Another thing I dislike about this pick is Bama’s players coming into the pros hardly ever impact the game and you could say a lot of them were wasted picks…

    What I would like to see is Sammy Watkins fall to 7 and if he is gone then Greg Robinson or Khalil Mack…Whichever player Lovie and staff decide will make the biggest impact.

    Not having Johnny Manziel in the 1st rd is comical…If he gets past Minnesota I will eat your hat, Leo!

    Thanks for the read Leo…Read your articles on BR!

    • LeoTPP

      It came down to Mosley, Ealy, Mack and Robinson for that pick. I went with Mosley because I really think that opens up Lovie’s playbook to do what he wants with the linebackers, and I feel like Mosley is a really polished, ready kind of guy. Things like former players from a school and such don’t really bother me. Any guy could be the one to break that trend. Mark Barron is doing alright for a Bama alum.

      I have had far too many discussions about Sammy Watkins to even try to put one together here, but let’s just say I am not as high on him as most, and if he didn’t go to the Rams in my mock (who I think could really use him, even tho I don’t think he’s the second best player in the draft), he would not have gone to the Bucs.

      And my thoughts on Manziel are my thoughts on Manziel. I am sure he’s going to be picked much higher than I think he should. I just hope it’s not by the Bucs!

      Thanks for the comment.

      • Tom Weissmann

        But with drafting Mosley, don’t you think they could trade down a few spots, pick up an extra pick or two and still get him? I’m not sure if this is a mock with or without trading but I haven’t seen many where Mosley is even in the top 12 and those teams are going for need rather than BPA. If Smith really wants him, I think there’s a strong possibility of trading back and still getting him just like with Mark Barron. Food for thought.

        • LeoTPP

          In terms of a trade? Sure, but mocking trades just leads to chaos. But Mosley could still go as high as 9 (Bills likely to consider him strongly) so it’s not like they could trade far.

          • Tom Weissmann

            It’s hard to put faith in mock trading. I think it would be wise if Robinson is still there to take him to get rid of Penn. It saves cap space, rids of an underperforming player and upgrading with a raw talent who could be stalwart for the next decade. It’s a thought but I just don’t want them wasting a pick on say a Barr or Mack but it needs to be a guy who can step in and improve that area on the team, not someone who needs to have the scheme switched to favor their strengths. What are your thoughts about trading down and dressing Jernigan? Him and McCoy would be a pretty lethal duo like Fairley and Suh.

          • LeoTPP

            Barr and Mack are not wastes. In fact, it’s easier to argue that replacing a serviceable player like Penn with a rookie is a bigger waste than drafting a pass rusher, even though he might not fit the traditional mold.

            And I don’t think the other DT spot needs to be a heavily targeted position. The Bucs D-line needs are outside, to me.

          • Tom Weissmann

            He is serviceable but not for what he’s getting paid. They aren’t complete wastes but for them being defined as “pass rushers” for Tampa’s defense is really wasting a pick.

            True as it’s not a need but Fairley wasn’t a need for Detroit and has helped them become rock solid in defending the run and on occasion, is a terror in getting after the QB. Both Jernigan and McCoy could really help out Clayborn and whomever the other defensive end (Gholston, free agent or later round pick) immensely with taking up more blockers giving the others more one on one match ups. Hypothetical but the middle of the line couldn’t be hurt by adding a stud who was a difference maker against the nation’s best rushing attack in the National title game.

          • LeoTPP

            Penn is literally middle of the pack salary-wise among LTs in the NFL. That’s the definition of his value. He is a middle-of-the-road guy getting paid like one. It’s a perfect contract, IMO.

          • Steve Batchelor

            I’ve got to disagree with you Leo…Every year we get to hear about the problem with his weight when he shows up for camp…Getting older it’s going to keep cropping up even worse unless he rededicates himself this off season which I don’t see happening.. As far as I am concerned with as much as they get paid, at least if it was me, I would workout during the off season just so training camp and the preseason would just be fine tuning going into the season. I’ll admit I’ve never really liked Penn for just that reason. I’d rather see Dotson at LT and Penn traded or cut unless we draft Robinson or Matthews which makes sense. Because what it boils down is we need to fix the offense unless Lovie portends to run everything like he did in Chicago which I don’t see happening.

          • LeoTPP

            The weight stuff with Penn was blown out of proportion, as were most things under Greg Schiano. Penn is fine. I stand by that.

          • Steve Batchelor

            I’ll call a truce on the Penn matter until camp opens because I believe Lovie will tell Penn to come to camp in shape or else.
            About the first and really all the picks and FA’s too…With your first pick going to the defensive side of the ball…Leo, don’t you think it’s imperative that Lovie fixes the offense in the draft and the defense through FA? Seems to me that FA has a lot more to offer for what the Bucs need on the defensive side of the ball. With the WR position being so thin as shown last year it wouldn’t surprise me if Lovie drafted multiple WR’s.., and seeing as how Tedford has said that we need speed which we don’t have at the present. Wright progressed admirably but I would like to see us get Amaro or Seferian-Jenkins in the 2nd if possible and I still say Sammy Watkins in the first.

            With so many 3 and outs last year and the defense being in a worthless scheme I just think they don’t need all that much to dominate with Lovie running things and the offense has to be 1st and foremost on the minds of the Bucs going into the draft.

            Like to hear your take Leo.

  • Jayson Kaplan

    If I were the Texans’ GM I couldn’t trade down out of that first pick fast enough. Nothing against Bridgewater or Clowney or any other potential single player the Texans may select with this pick, but look at the Washington/St. Louis trade around the RGIII pick (which was a #2) and tell me which team is on the better end of that scenario two years on. Maybe Jay Gruden will be successful in Washington, but that team’s issues go far deeper than the head coach. St. Louis on the other hand is quietly building a solid team. I have family in Houston. None of them want the Texans to make that pick. They’d rather draft later in round one and then extra times in first rounds in 2015 and 2016. I know that’s no fun for mock drafts, but if the hypothetical is what would I do as GM it’d be that.

    • Steve Batchelor

      Jayson…I think that’s pretty much a no-go…Everyone has seen what making that trade has done to the Redskins roster. Losing a few draft picks might be Ok for some teams but to lose 3 first rounders is plain dumb IMO…Even if RG3 had never gotten hurt it is going to take years for the Redskins to dig themselves out of this mess. I kinda hope Gruden succeeds but it will take a miracle if you ask me.