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Tribune-Review NFL Mock Draft

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By Alan Robinson, Ralph N. Paulk and Mark Kaboly
Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 9:39 p.m.
 

NFL teams talk for months about the intrinsic value of first-round draft picks, then end up shuffling them as if they were a just-opened package of football cards.

Last year, 12 first-round picks were traded, resulting in made just before the expiration of the 10-minute time limit and a lot of jumbled mock drafts.

With one of the deepest draft classes in years awaiting them starting Thursday night, NFL teams might be less inclined to deal away picks that could wind up representing Hall of Fame players.

But the Tribune-Review's Steelers reporting team of Alan Robinson, Ralph Paulk and Mark Kaboly is forecasting at least three trades during an unpredictable first round in which the woebegone Browns could end up with three picks in the top 31, and Johnny Manziel takes a tumble before the anticipated run on quarterbacks begins.

1. FALCONS

(trade with Texans)

Jadeveon Clowney, DL, South Carolina

Texans can't choose among Clowney, Johnny Manziel and Khalil Mack, so they deal pick. Falcons end up with pass rusher they long have sought.

2. RAMS

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

St. Louis plays it safe by choosing its left tackle for the next 10 years.

3. JAGUARS

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Jacksonville bypasses Johnny Football for a man in charge of protecting a QB.

4. BROWNS

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Browns get possibly the best player in draft, team him with Josh Gordon to cause plenty of trouble for the Steelers' secondary.

5. RAIDERS

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Al Davis isn't running the draft any longer, so controversy-free Oakland extends the run on big tackles.

6. TEXANS

(trade with Falcons)

Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

In the end, Houston felt Mack was the best player in draft and gets him even after trading down.

7. BUCCANEERS

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The 6-foot-5 receiver who made Manziel look all the better has the potential to be NFL game-breaker.

8. COWBOYS

(trade with Vikings)

Aaron Donald, DL, Pitt

Vikings were said to covet Donald. But Cowboys want him more, and Jerry Jones gives up a ransom to get him.

9. BILLS

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

EJ Manuel badly needs a big target, and here he is.

10. LIONS

Zack Martin, G/T, Notre Dame

Versatile offensive lineman who can play guard and tackle but would fit nicely in Detroit at right tackle.

11. TITANS

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Some teams have Darqueze Dennard as the best corner in the draft. The Titans don't.

12. GIANTS

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Mosley falls into the Giants' lap just when they were expecting to take a defensive back.

13. RAMS

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Finally, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner is picked, and Sam Bradford starts packing his bags.

14. BEARS

Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix might be the best safety in the draft. The Bears disagree and take a big hitter who energizes their weak secondary.

15. STEELERS

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Steelers pass up a receiver and begin preparing for the post-Ike Taylor era.

16. VIKINGS

(trade with Cowboys)

Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

If you went through Brett Favre, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Tarvaris Jackson, Donovan McNabb and Josh Freeman since 2009, you'd want a QB, too.

17. RAVENS

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Pryor's gone, so Ravens hope Clinton-Dix turns into the next Ed Reed.

18. JETS

Odell Beckham Jr., WR-KR, LSU

Rex Ryan is defense-first, but he gives Michael Vick a super-fast target who can make plays on special teams.

19. DOLPHINS

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Cooks either will complement Mike Wallace or shove him out of a job.

20. CARDINALS

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Bruce Arians loves big, strong-armed QBs, so the 6-foot-3 Carr goes ahead of Teddy Bridgewater.

21. PACKERS

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Months ago, Barr was expected to go higher, so Green Bay is eager to grab him here.

22. EAGLES

Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Lee once was projected to be the best wide receiver in this crowded group. Eagles believe he still might be.

23. CHIEFS

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington

A surprise pick, Chiefs pass over Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro for Seferian-Jenkins, the 2013 Mackey Award winner.

24. BENGALS

Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

Cincinnati stays in-state for a proven linebacker with a James Harrison-like temperament.

25. CHARGERS

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

This CB class is top-heavy, and San Diego doesn't want to wait for lesser talent in a lower round.

26. BROWNS

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

The Browns can't resist yet another first-round QB as Bridgewater's fall finally ends.

27. SAINTS

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

See the Chargers' comments above.

28. PANTHERS

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

With Steve Smith gone, Panthers can't pass up a raw but tall (6-foot-5) and receiver.

29. PATRIOTS

Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

He's not Vince Wilfork-sized at 315 pounds, but he could be New England's next big run stuffer.

30. 49ERS

Louis Nix, DL, Notre Dame

San Francisco goes with a high-motor, high-production lineman who can anchor their front.

31. BRONCOS

Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA

Denver passes up Nevada lineman Joel Bitonio to take the 307-pound Su'a-Filo, who adds physicality to the line the Seahawks manhandled in the Super Bowl.

32. Browns

(trade with Seahawks)

Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Seahawks move down three spots into second round, allowing aggressive Browns to give Joe Haden a strong partner at cornerback.

 

 
 


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