3 for 3 Mock Draft No. 1 - Post-Combine, Round 2
Leading up the 2014 NFL Entry Draft, PFF Fantasy will be conducting three three-round mock drafts. The first (post-combine) was just completed, and the results will be presented in three installments (Round 1, Round 2, Round 3). The second mock draft will take place after the dust settles from free agency, and the final mock draft will take place in late April.
Here’s how Round 2 went in 3 for 3 Draft No. 1:
1. Houston — Brendan Leister, DraftBrowns.com — Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
Jeremiah Attaochu is the best edge rusher left on the board and we are thrilled to select him at the top of the second round. One of our goals coming into the draft was to find a player that could take some pressure off of J.J. Watt and we believe that Attaochu can do just that. Attaochu is extremely young (just turned 21 in January) and has plenty of room to grow as a player. He combines an explosive first step and closing burst with impressive flexibility on the edge.
2. Washington — Jim McCormick, ESPN — Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Needs at defensive back and edge rush were certainly considered, but the demand to supply Robert Griffin III with more weaponry is also a key factor as new head coach Jay Gruden implements his system. Lee’s forgettable junior season can be forgiven to a degree, especially when the evidence from his first two seasons is so compelling.
3. Cleveland — Dane Brugler, CBS Sports — Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State
He’s 5’8″, 185 but he plays 6’2″ and 225. And he can play on my football team anytime, lining up at free safety and nickel.
4. Oakland — Ryan Riddle, Bleacher Report — Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
One of my personal favorites of this draft class is Allen Robinson, and he’s a guy the Raiders could certainly use. Nifty moves in tight spaces with good anticipation for avoiding defenders. Dangerous after the catch with nice speed and quickness. Shows ability to separate and runs nice crisp routes with great change of direction. He has a lot of Dez Bryant-like qualities to his game.
5. Atlanta — Dan Kadar, SB Nation — Tim Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Atlanta has just one defensive tackle currently under contract and Jernigan would be an upgrade over someone like Jonathan Babineaux.
6. Tampa Bay — Darren Page, DraftLions.com — Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
A free agent signing at DE could change this for Tampa Bay, but they need pass rush help in the worst way. Lovie Smith and Leslie Frazier’s scheme will be reliant on pressure with the front four.
7. Jacksonville — Bear Heiser, NFL.com — Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
With Justin Blackmon’s future unknown at this time, I felt the need to find a potential No. 1 WR to pair with Teddy Bridgewater. Matthews has the skills and the body to be able to contribute from Week 1. Matthews and Ace Sanders will complement one another nicely.
8. Minnesota — Ian Kenyon, Bleacher Report — Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
The Vikings secondary is abysmal. Couldn’t get much worse than last year. Roby should add a good presence across from Xavier Rhodes for the foreseeable future.
9. Buffalo — Dan Hope, Bleacher Report — Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
Van Noy is a top-10 talent on my board, so I was prepared to draft him all along if he fell to this spot. The Bills need another playmaker at LB alongside Kiko Alonso, and that’s what they would get with this pick, along with the versatility to play every LB spot and potentially some situational work as a pass-rush DE. Immediate three-down player who makes a strong defensive front seven even better.
10. Tennessee — Eli Nachmany, PFF Fantasy — Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
With so much uncertainty surrounding CB Alterraun Verner’s status, I decided to grab the best cornerback left on my board. Marcus Roberson is a strong, fluid corner who has enough talent to start right away. He’s a perfect fit in Tennessee’s system, as his play style is very similar to Verner’s.
11. New York Giants — Jake Ciely, Football.com — Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
Another player I’m more than excited to see still available. Not only is he the highest rated player on my board, Moses fills an immediate need as he can part the sea of defenders for Eli Manning to not get crushed this year (yes, enjoy my terrible pun). Moses has shown effectiveness on both ends of the line, which gives the Giants tons of flexibility with Will Beatty and Justin Pugh, as he steps in from Day 1.
12. St. Louis — Evan Silva, Rotoworld — Brandon Thomas, OT/G, Clemson
13. Detroit — Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated — Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
Looked long and hard at Washington State safety Deone Bucannon here. Also considered doubling down on offense with a TE or (gasp!) another receiver. But Shazier is a Round 1 candidate for me, and by adding him, Detroit’s LB corps solidifies itself as a strength. The Lions might have to do a little juggling to accommodate the skill sets of both Shazier and DeAndre Levy. Shazier, though, is an underrated blitzer so letting him do that while Levy drops, then using the two together to chase sideline to sideline would work well.
14. Pittsburgh — Sigmund Bloom, Football Guys — Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
WR depth dictates that taking a wideout this early could be something we’d regret, but with only three rounds, I’ll take the best WR on the board. Adams plays much bigger at the catch point and faster in his routes because of footwork to change speeds and make sharp moves. He can team up with Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton to create lethal three-WR sets for Ben Roethlisberger.
15. Dallas — Kevin Greenstein, PFF Fantasy — Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame
Solidifying the interior of the defensive line should be a top priority for the Cowboys in this draft. We had Dallas taking Notre Dame’s defensive tackle Louis Nix in the first round, so getting two players who already have on-field chemistry can only help, and this move sets the Cowboys up to be able to let Jason Hatcher go (rather than overpaying for past performance). Tuitt is a huge prospect with tremendous upside, and though he recently suffered a hairline fracture in his foot that could knock him down on some draft boards, his long-term upside makes him a solid choice here. Had one of them slipped, I’d have definitely considered Van Noy or Shazier here, but Tuitt was the player I was targeting at this spot.
16. Baltimore — Shane P. Hallam, DraftTV.com — Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
Though Bucannon is often mislabeled a strong safety for his size, he played free safety for Washington State and often played in deep zone, showcasing pass coverage skills. That type of versatility will allow him to play either FS or SS and pair with Matt Elam for a great safety duo. With his 4.49 at the Combine and physical play style, he should fit in with the Ravens defense. With the success of CBs Lardarius Webb and Jimmy Smith, Bucannon can be given some time to develop and improve on his weaknesses and not be given a full responsibility load to start.
17. New York Jets — Steve Palazzolo, Pro Football Focus — Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Niklas provides an immediate upgrade to the tight end position for the Jets, providing a blocker they haven’t had in a while. He’ll also become an intermediate receiving threat with the hope that he develops into one of the league’s best all-around tight ends.
18. Miami — Eric Galko, Sporting News — Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
Two offensive linemen with their first two picks? Seems a bit aggressive, I know. But even if the team can sign Eugene Monroe or Branden Albert, they still need three other starters. We took Notre Dame’s Zack Martin in the first round, and he can play right tackle or guard at a high level. Kouandjio may have some injury concerns from the Combine, but he could be an elite, mauling offensive tackle in the NFL. There were no free safeties or nose tackles worthy of this pick that would fit the defense, or else I would have gone that route.
19. Chicago — Eric Edholm, Yahoo Football — DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State
Fans might crow for a pass rusher or an upgrade at safety in this spot, but the talent available doesn’t point us in either direction. Instead, we’ll follow the 2013 model of the Carolina Panthers — only in reverse — who added defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short with their first two picks and in the process helped remake the middle of their line. Put Jones at the nose, slot our first-round pick Aaron Donald at the 3-tech, and use holdover Stephen Paea as the third guy capable of playing either spot. This pick was made with the idea that the Bears will cut Julius Peppers (and others), sign one pass rusher in free agency and re-sign Corey Wootton (at the right price) to be an end/tackle again. We’ll take our chances and wait on a safety, corner or linebacker.
20. Arizona — Peter Bukowski, Sports Illustrated — Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
There are some lingering injury questions to go along with some off-the-field red flags, but from a talent standpoint, ASF is an instant starter and would be devastating in the middle of the field with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd around him. If Kouandjio had dropped, patching a hole on the O-line would have been a no-brainer, but since I don’t love the University of Tennessee’s Antonio “Tiny” Richardson, I’ll go with the ultra-talented tight end.
21. Green Bay — Nick Slegel, PFF Fantasy — Dominique Easley, DL, Florida
Easley was a top-10 talent before tearing his ACL, which leaves him ripe for the picking at the back end of the second round. Easley can play any position along the Packers’ defensive line and fills a huge need.
22. Philadelphia — Ryan Lownes, DraftBreakdown.com — Trai Turner, OG, LSU
Without a standout pass rusher or safety on the board, the Eagles are unable to address their pressing needs here. Turner is a talented, athletic guard that fits well into Chip Kelly’s offense and could be the final piece of the puzzle up front. He could supplant Todd Herremans as the starter at right guard if Philadelphia is to cut the 31-year-old or if they preferred to use him as a versatile sixth lineman.
23. Cincinnati — Josh Katzowitz, CBS Sports — Trevor Reilly, OLB, Utah
The Bengals need help in the linebacker corps, and Reilly is the guy to bring size and athleticism to the position. What I really like about him is his maturity. He’s not going to be the typical run-of-the-mill rookie. He’s married with kids, and that’s the kind of talented stability I’d like in Cincinnati.
24. San Francisco (from Kansas City) — Michael Moore, PFF Fantasy — Keith McGill, CB, Utah
The extra pick for San Francisco allows them to take a chance with McGill. Playing cornerback for just one season, the 6’3”, 211-pounder is still learning the position but his physical attributes are too good to ignore. McGill’s stock first started rising after an impressive Senior Bowl week and followed that up at the Combine, running 4.44 and 4.5 40 times along with a 39” vertical, good for third among all corners. Another page out of the Seahawks’ playbook that could pay off big.
25. San Diego — Ethan Hammerman, DraftMecca.com — Telvin Smith, ILB, Florida State
Let’s be honest — Manti Te’o is not a very good football player, and Donald Butler thinks that he’s a much better player than he actually is. At any rate, the Chargers need someone with reasonable coverage skills at the inside linebacker position, and Telvin Smith plays like a heat-seeking missile. He’s a bit small, but he’s super athletic, can shoot gaps like no other, and has as much upside as any linebacker in this draft class. His presence will make the Chargers’ defense better, and that’s all one can hope for.
26. New Orleans — Josh Collacchi, PFF Fantasy — Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville
After selecting Kyle Fuller in the first, the Saints attempt to upgrade their pass rush with Marcus Smith. Smith was excellent running stunts at Louisville, and in New Orleans he can do the same with Cameron Jordan. Look out, NFC South.
27. Indianapolis — Alessandro Miglio, PFF Fantasy — Ka’Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
Indeed, this means the Colts would have effectively used first- and second-round picks in this year’s draft on running backs. But could you blame them after how poorly Trent Richardson has played? In reality, this was more about value than anything — taking our top player available at a position of relative need at the end of the second round was too good to pass up. Ka’Deem Carey isn’t Adrian Peterson or LeSean McCoy, but he does a lot of things well. That includes little things, like blocking and finding cutback creases.
28. Carolina — Michael Schottey, Bleacher Report — Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Eschewing offensive needs for another defensive back is sure to ruffle some feathers, but the Panthers are built around a stellar front seven, and shoring up the back end is too tempting to pass up here. I’m convinced there’s still plenty of value at other positions of need, and Desir is a player I’ve been targeting since the start.
29. New England — John Sarmento, 2MugsFF.com — Marcus Martin, C, USC
Chose the best center available in Marcus Martin, because New England is currently in flux at the position, and he has offensive guard flexibility, which is a big plus in a Bill Belichick offense.
30. San Francisco — Michael Moore, PFF Fantasy — Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
The running game is the lifeblood of the 49ers offense but, surprisingly, the offensive line graded out as just a middle-of-the-pack unit no matter what advanced metric you use. Adding Jackson to the mix will give San Francisco a proven run blocker with size and replenishes the depth lost with Jonathan Goodwin not expected back.
31. Denver — Benjamin Allbright — James Gayle, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech
The Broncos still need help at the edge rush opposite Von Miller. Gayle showed how underrated he was athletically at the Combine, and is scheme-versatile as an undersized pass rushing defensive end on third down passing situations.
32. Seattle — Vincent Frank, PFF Fantasy — Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
The Seahawks need more depth along the defensive line with Red Bryant out of the mix. Sutton can be a dominating interior presence.