McShay: 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0
Clowney still No. 1 to the Texans, but big changes elsewhere on the board
The 2014 NFL draft is now just nine days away, and we're getting close to knowing for certain which players will be the first off the board. Below is my latest projection of how the first round will play out. As a reminder, this mock draft is not a direct representation of how I rank the prospects in this draft but instead an examination of which prospects I think will land at each draft spot (and for the purposes of this exercise, I did not include the possibility of trades).
Here is my fifth mock projection for the 2014 NFL draft.
Analysis: I still think this is the best and most logical pick for the Texans at No. 1. They obviously need a quarterback, but there isn't one rated highly enough to justify taking him over the best prospect in this draft. Clowney is the most talented defensive lineman I've ever evaluated, and you simply don't get many opportunities to take a player with his physical ability. Houston can either target a quarterback with the No. 33 pick or trade back into the first round to take one.
Analysis: If Clowney goes No. 1, I think this pick will come down to Robinson and Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. The Rams still lack a legitimate No. 1 target, but they also need to better protect QB Sam Bradford, and Robinson is dominant at the point of attack and has very good athleticism for his size. One bit of buzz to throw out there: Don't rule out Johnny Manziel landing in St. Louis. It sounds insane, and I don't think the Rams would take him at No. 2 and he won't likely be there at No. 13, but if they were to move down or back from either spot, it would be a possibility. Some people around the league think the Rams are capable of taking him even if they still believe that Bradford can be the guy for them.