2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Buccaneers Grab the Most Exciting Player in the Class


Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

We are now halfway through the season. Some teams are cruising along, while other teams have all but mailed it in. While there is still a long ways to the playoffs, many teams know whether or not they have what it takes to be a contender. With that said, here’s a look at what your favorite team might be looking to do come May.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB – Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville
The Jaguars are in need of a franchise quarterback, and Bridgewater is just that. He has all the tools to be an elite player at the next level. Bridgewater continues to tear opposing defenses apart.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – QB – Marcus Mariota – Oregon
Mariota has matured into a great passer. If he chooses to enter the draft, he will be picked in the top three without a doubt. The way Greg Schiano has been leading, the Bucs are the heavy favorite to seal up that second overall pick.

3. Minnesota Vikings – DE – Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina
Jared Allen will no longer be a Viking after this season. One way to replace a great defensive end is by drafting the best defensive end in college football. Clowney has been a very disruptive player this season. He will be a star at the next level.

4. Cleveland Browns – QB – Tajh Boyd – Clemson
Brandon Weeden should never step onto a football field again. Cleveland needs someone to rally around, and since Hoyer the Destroyer is done for the year, they will be picking high for their guy. Boyd is tough in the pocket and can step up and make big time throws. He also has the ability to make plays with his legs

5. Buffalo Bills – OLB – Anthony Barr – UCLA

October 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) defends against the California Golden Bears during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Barr has been one of the most impressive players this season. He has solidified himself as a top-tier defensive player. Barr could overtake Clowney as the best defensive player in this class if he continues his dominance.

6. St. Louis Rams – OT – Jake Matthews – Texas A&M
Matthews is the best offensive lineman in the draft. he is a very intelligent football player, and can play on either end of the line. He is very powerful and also quick for his size.

7. Oakland Raiders – WR – Sammy Watkins – Clemson
Sammy Watkins is the best wideout in the draft. He is a big physical receiver. He reminds me a lot of Dez Bryant but without the headache. He has great ball skills and fights for yards after the catch.

8.Tennessee Titans – WR – Mike Evans – Texas A&M
Evan’s stock skyrocketed after the Alabama game. This 6-foot-5, 225 lb receiver is an instant size mismatch against corner backs. This pick would give the Titans a good 1-2 punch with Evans and Kendall Wright.

9. New York Jets – WR – Marqise Lee – USC
Lee has the speed to open up the field for this offense. He is a threat to score any time you put the ball in his hands. He will be a top-notch receiver in this league and would turn the Jets into an offensive threat on Sundays.

10 Miami Dolphins – OT – Taylor Lewan – Michigan
Taylor Lewan has had his struggles this season, but he has experience at left tackle and has a lot of potential to be a force in the NFL. Lewan is a great run-blocker, and has the athleticism to be an outstanding pass-protector

11. Atlanta Falcons – OLB – Khalil Mack – Buffalo
Mack is a very fun player to watch. He is very fast and is a very hard-hitter. He has the ability to make the tackle on every play. He completely dominated against Ohio State earlier this season and has proved he can play on the big stage.

12. Arizona Cardinals – OT – Antonio Richardson
Playing in the SEC as a left tackle is not easy, and Richardson has done a great job. At 6-foot-6, 330 lbs, he has a size advantage over many defensive lineman. He will easily step in as a starter at the NFL level.

13. St. Louis Rams (Via Washington) -S- Haha Clinton-Dix- Alabama
While he was suspended earlier this season, he is still the best safety in this class. The rams need some help in the secondary and Clinton-Dix would fill that void nicely.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers – OT – Cyrus Kouandjio – Alabama
Kouandjio will be able to step on the field on the first day of training camp and make an impact. He has a lot of upside, and can develop into a brick wall within just a couple of years.

15. Philadelphia Eagles – CB – Bradley Roby – Ohio State

Sep 28, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) signals incomplete pass against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second quarter at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

He has had a rough start to this season, but is still the best cornerback option in this class. He has both the size and speed to keep up with the best wide receivers in the league.

16. Houston Texans – CB – Jason Varrett – TCU
Jason Varrett is very physical for his size. He is a play-maker on defense and has a nose for the football. This would be a big move for an already good defense.

17. New York Giants – OT- James Hurst – North Carolina
Hurst had a decent showing in the season opener against South Carolina, where he was able to block the pass rush very efficiently. He still has room to grow in the running game, but no doubt would be an upgrade for the Giants

18. Chicago Bears – DE – Vic Beasley – Clemson
Beasley has been playing out of his mind this season. He is one of the stones on the Clemson defense. He has climbed up into the first round and will be a good fit on the Bears defense.

19. Baltimore Ravens – WR – Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt
Jordan Matthews would be a perfect fit for the Baltimore offense. He has good size and concentration, which is what you need when Flacco decides to heave one into the air. He also has great quickness after the catch and can create plays from nothing.

20. San Diego Chargers – CB – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – Oregon
Ekpre-Olomu has had a very solid season so far for the Ducks and is proving he can play at NFL speed. He is quick, smart, and tough enough to keep up with any receiver.

21. Detroit Lions – LB – C.J. Mosley – Alabama
Mosley has been a very productive player throughout his college career. He is great in pass coverage, which is something the Lions need help with. He is a big, tough, and intimidating football player, which fits into what Detroit is building.

22. Carolina Panthers – RB/WR – De’Anthony Thomas – Oregon
Thomas is this seasons’ Tavon Austin. He is still too undersized to be an every down back, but can be utilized like Darren Sproles down in New Orleans. He is the fastest guy in college football, and will make a play when given the ball.

23. Dallas Cowboys – DT – Louis Nix – Notre Dame

Sep 7, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Louis Nix III (1) warms up prior to the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Nix is a very disruptive defender. He is great against the run, and is great against the pass. He would instantly be the most athletic man on that line. He creates room for his teammates to step up and make plays.

24. Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis) – CB – Aaron Colvin – Oklahoma
Colvin is a great man-coverage player and would add good depth to a depleting secondary. He has had a productive year for Oklahoma and is quickly becoming a more solid NFL prospect.

25. Cincinnati Bengals – CB – Marcus Roberson – Florida
Roberson has a rare combination of size and speed. He has had a pretty up and down season so far, but will still be a productive player in the NFL and for a Bengals team that needs some secondary help.

26. Green Bay Packers – G – Cyril Richardson – Baylor
When you have Aaron Rodgers, you need to make sure nothing will happen to him. Richardson would be a tremendous addition to this offensive line and would help in the efforts to protect Rodgers.

27. New England Patriots – WR – Brandon Coleman – Rutgers
Brandon Coleman is a big dude. He has rare speed for a guy standing a 6-foot-6. He can be the vertical threat that this offense hasn’t seen since Randy Moss left.

28. San Francisco 49ers – DE – Stephon Tuitt – Notre Dame
Tuitt seems to get into the backfield on every play, and was a big reason Notre Dame was so successful last season. He brings versatility and can play anywhere on the defensive line. He is one of those guys who will produce no matter where you plug him in.

29. Kansas City Chiefs – TE – Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Washington
Seferian-Jenkins fits in with the new breed of tight ends in the NFL. He is a large body with great hands and great speed. He is a very dangerous red-zone target and would give the Chiefs the big name tight end they have been missing since Tony Gonzalez left town.

30. New Orleans Saints – OLB – Kyle Van Noy – BYU
Kyle Van Noy is a great football player. On defense he can do everything. He can drop into coverage with the best of them, as well as finding holes on the rush. He was one of the nations leaders in sacks a season ago, and has not cooled off.

31. Seattle Seahawks – DE – Trent Murphy – Stanford
Murphy has the explosiveness to be a very good edge-rusher in this league. He has rare power mixed with great technique, which helps him beat his opponents and get into the backfield. He has a very effective spin move, which helps him disengage from key blocks.

32. Denver Broncos – G – Gabe Jackson – Mississippi State
The Broncos have weak links in their offensive line, and can fix that with the acquisition of Gabe Jackson. Jackson is great one-on-one, and can beat any opponent straight up. He has the size to hold his own against the top defenders in the league.