2014 NFL mock draft: Teddy Bridgewater goes 1st, Cardinals land TE Ebron

Texans get their franchise saver in Teddy Bridgewater - Andy Lyons

We will be mocking the first round every week. Here is our first.

In my first of many offseason mock drafts leading up to the big day on May 8th, we see Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater fly off the board first overall. That and my 31 other projections are as follows:


1: Houston Texans: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Not the hardest selection to make. The Texans are an organisation with some pieces in place, but make no mistake, Teddy will not be a quick-fix for this team, but it's a step in the right direction.

2: St. Louis Rams: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

A young, developing team devoid of talent, but not on their D-Line. Clowney is a transcendent talent who will be a monster, and in the NFC West, you make your hay by having talent on your roster, and not reaching for positions of need.

3: Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

The Jaguars find their franchise quarterback after umpteen failures in recent years. While Manziel is not the finished product - like most of this draft classes quarterbacks - he has major upside as a pocket passer, not to mention his spectacular play-making ability outside of the pocket.

4: Cleveland Browns: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Bortles has the size and skill-set which will make teams fall in love with him., but there are questions over his ability to make the leap. Suggestions that Bortles may have the highest 'upside' of any quarterback in the draft are not wide of the mark, but you're taking a huge leap of faith taking him early.

5: Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

The Raiders have an abundance of cap room entering free agency, so drafting a young quarterback and surrounding him with talent from the open market makes much more sense then delaying the move to find your future franchise signal-caller and signing a Michael Vick-type player on the open market.

6: Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

This injury-plagued team is a few players away from being an NFC power house once again, and it begins in the trenches. They need OL help as much as any team, and selecting the best tackle in the draft in Jake Matthews goes a long way in protecting near elite quarterback Matt Ryan.

7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Despite having both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams on the roster, you can never have too many weapons, especially for developing pocket-passer Mike Glennon. Watkins, widely regarded as the top wide-out, possibly the best prospect, makes a lot of sense in a division where teams do run up the score.

8: Minnesota Vikings: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Being the 'best' team needing a quarterback, unfortunately, they don't get one of the top-tier prospects, so Mike Zimmer gets a new toy for his new defense. With Jared Allen a free agent, it's wise for the Vikes to replace him like-for-like with an versatile, explosive pass rusher like Mack.

9: Buffalo Bills: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Erik Pears is frankly one of the worst starting tackles in the league, and needs a huge upgrade, and luckily Robinson slides to nine. Robinson and Cordy Glenn will form a solid tackle pairing for the Bills, who need to catch up ground on the rest of the AFC East.

10: Detroit Lions: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Ranking 23rd against the pass this past season, the Lions need secondary help all over and it starts with Dennard. He has legitimate shutdown potential as a cornerback in a division with potent passing attacks.

11: Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Under the leadership of Ray Horton, expect the Titans impressive defense to get much stronger this offseason. The Titans lack a real dominant edge rusher, and this is where Barr fits the bill. His explosiveness and athleticism is very impressive, but requires work, which is where Horton comes in. Win-win.

12: New York Giants: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

The Giants should go best player available in the draft as they just need to add talent across the board. The team had zero pass-rush this season, a big reason was Jason Pierre-Paul's continual injury problems, but splitting the work between him and Ealy will give offensive lines fits.

13: St Louis Rams: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Back-to-back years drafting a WR in the first round is an issue, but the Rams are desperate - they need a legitimate number one receiver. Evans being the go-to guy, with Tavon Austin being a factor out of the backfield and in the slot will cause major problems for defenses league wide.

14: Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Bears have their long-term offense in place, it's now time to focus on a rapidly declining defense. With star DT Henry Melton a free agent, coming off of an ACL tear also, it's wise to just let him hit free agency and draft his replacement in Aaron Donald.

15: Pittsburgh Steelers: HaHa Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

An ageing defense in desperate need of a face-lift. Troy Polamalu, one of many vets on this defense on the roster bubble, has a $10 million cap hit next season. He just ain't worth it. Clinton-Dix, the consensus top safety in this class, is a smart like-for-like replacement.

16: Baltimore Ravens: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Despite a glaring hole at offensive tackle, Joe Flacco needs more weapons is he is to be worth that mega-contract he signed last offseason. Marqise Lee is a born play-maker to partner alongside Torrey Smith to give the Ravens two legit down-field threats.

17: Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

The Cowboys have many holes across their defense, but it's this years safety class which is the thinnest, best to get the talent while it's there. Pryor has been rising up draft boards in recent weeks and will be an immediate upgrade.

18: New York Jets: Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU

The Jets are so devoid of offensive talent it's unreal. Geno Smith needs help bad. Expect them to make a play for big name free agent wide receivers, but they need to build through the draft. Enter ODB. One of the best pure athletes and play-makers in the draft, ODB can contribute on special teams early and grow into his No.1 WR role.

19: Miami Dolphins: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Ryan Tannehill is a super-talented quarterback that needs protection. Last offseason was focussed on getting him the weapons, this time around it's on his offensive line. With the uncertainty surround Jonathan Martin's future, the Dolphins need a starting tackle right away.

20: Arizona Cardinals: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Best player available strategy for Steve Keim nets him the best offensive player left on the board. We are all aware that the Cardinals are in desperate need of a left tackle, but Fitz's restructure suggests we will be in play for a name in free agency. Rob Housler hasn't done it so far at tight end, and Ebron has a Vernon Davis-like skill set.

21: Green Bay Packers: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Mosley represents the best value left on the board, considered a top-10 talent in this draft class. A.J Hawk has not been good enough in the middle of the Packers defense, and could be cut this offseason. Either way, they need to upgrade, so drafting Mosley will do just that.

22: Philadelphia Eagles: Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn

The Eagles never got the production they were looking from when moving from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive scheme. Brandon Graham is a free agent next offseason, and Trent Cole has an astronomical cap figure, you get the feeling one will need to be replaced. Ford is a dynamic edge rusher with great explosion off the line.

23: Kansas City Chiefs: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

The Chiefs forged an impressive season off the legs of Jamaal Charles, but they need to be more potent as a passing offensive if they wish to keep up with New England and Denver. Robinson projects to develop into one of the leagues best receivers, with the ideal skill-set and build to be an elite pass-catcher.

24: Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Leon Hall tore his achilles this past season, and at 30 years old, you question whether he will return to his previous form. Besides, the Bengals need a long term answer at corner, with Dre Kirkpatrick yet to step up.

25: San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

the Chargers have terrible starters at corner right now, which needs to be addressed. While not having the biggest frame, to not sleep on Verrett. His physical style of play coupled with his tremendous ball skills could have him become one of the leading corners in the league in a few years time.

26: Cleveland Browns: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

With Johnny Manziel now under center, the Browns need to give him some weapons. In addition to Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, the Browns now have Kelvin Benjamin who has the physique of your star wide receiver in the NFL. Very much a risk-reward pick considering his development thus far, the Browns will be hoping for the latter.

27: New Orleans Saints: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

Pressuring the quarterback should be the name of the game for the Saints this offseason. Shazier would be a great fit in this scheme with his quickness off the line and ability to track down the ball should make Rob Ryan's mouth water.

28: Carolina Panthers: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

This organization cannot delay drafting talent to help Cam Newton any more. As explosive as any prospect in this draft, Cooks can blow the top off a defense, something Steve Smith just can't do.

29: New England Patriots: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

Losing Aaron Hernandez ruined the Pats' famed two-pronged attack at that position, which they hope can be reinstated next season, despite Gronkowski's busted knee. Amaro is great value at the bottom of the first round, and should have an instant impact helping Tom Brady out in the passing game.

30: San Francisco 49ers: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU

With Mario Manningham not expected to be resigned, and Anquan Boldin hitting free agency also, the Niners need to help Colin Kaepernick. Jarvis Landry has a Keenan Allen feel to him, teams will sleep on him because he's not the biggest nor the fastest, but he will be a consistent player for any team.

31: Denver Broncos: Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford

With Shaun Phillips hitting free agency, the Broncos need to find someone who can carry the load opposite of Von Miller. Murphy is impressive both as a run stuffer and a pass rusher, making him a welcome addition on any team.

32: Seattle Seahawks: Zach Martin, OL, Notre Dame

Seattle need to do a better job of protecting Russell Wilson, especially when they face NFC West foes and their defenses. Martin is a versatile lineman who is excellent value here. He could play either guard or right tackle for the Seahawks, both positions which could use an upgrade.

There you have it, my first of many mock drafts. Don't be afraid to leave a comment on who you think your team should draft on May 8th, or even better, hit me up on twitter, @moliverNFL.

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