McShay: Final 2014 Mock Draft
QBs among the surprises in final first-round projection of 2014
It took two weeks longer than usual this year, but draft day has finally arrived, which means it's time for our final 2014 NFL mock draft.
Important note: We aren't attempting to project trades in this mock, but have noted in the write-ups a few spots where a trade is a particularly strong possibility. And remember, this isn't an exact representation of our own draft board (for that, check out our Top 300 prospects list), but instead a look at the players we expect will be selected at each slot.
Here is our projection for every first-round pick, with analysis for each.
Analysis: Clowney has been the No. 1 player on my board throughout the entire draft process, and I think he's the likely choice for the Texans at No. 1 overall Thursday night. You can't rule out a trade here, but unless they get a great deal to move down (and possibly target UCF QB Blake Bortles), I think they'll stay put and take Clowney. He may not be an ideal scheme fit in a 3-4 defense, but he is athletic enough to drop into coverage when asked, and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel can find a way to make the most of Clowney's rare physical gifts and pass-rushing ability.
Analysis: I'm not buying the Rams' supposed interest in Johnny Manziel at the No. 2 spot; I think that they might just be looking for a team to swap picks so they can move down a few spots and still get the tackle they need. But if they stay put I think Robinson will be the choice here. Sammy Watkins would be tempting, given their need for a true No. 1 receiver, but they have to upgrade their offensive line and Robinson is the top-ranked tackle on my board. He is dominant at the point of attack and has the natural athleticism to develop into a very good pass protector.
Analysis: It's going to be a tough call for the Jaguars in this scenario, deciding between Mack and Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, who would fill a major need as a go-to weapon in the passing game. But I'm projecting the Jags will go with Mack, who would provide them with an every-down impact player on defense. He should be a good fit in their Leo hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker role given his pass-rushing ability, but even if that doesn't work out, he has the versatility to move to linebacker and still be a difference-maker for this team.