Ravens front office reacts to missing the playoffs
We are still months away from the NFL draft (May 8-10), but plenty of underclassmen have declared for it over the past week. So here you go, my first mock draft of 2014. Quarterbacks should fly off the board early. Watch the Rams, who should be willing to trade down from the No. 2 pick if they get the right offer.
As for the Ravens, they will have either the 16th or 17th pick, depending upon a coin flip with the Cowboys in February. The outcome of the playoffs will determine the final order of picks 25-32.
This is a huge draft for the Ravens, but they are clearly positioned to fill one of their needs in the first round.
1. Texans – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – Favorite to hug Roger Goodell first.
2. Rams (from Redskins) – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – If they don’t trade, he’s the guy.
3. Jaguars – Blake Bortels, QB, Central Florida – Blaine Gabbert era mercifully ends.
4. Browns – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A & M – They need sizzle and a QB. He’s both.
5. Raiders – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – Draft’s top-rated WR prospect.
6. Falcons - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A & M – Matt Ryan needs bodyguards.
7. Buccaneers – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – He could also be first left tackle taken.
8. Vikings – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA – They could reach for a QB, but Barr is solid.
9. Bills – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo – A three-down linebacker to help defense.
10. Lions – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St. – Cover corners needed in NFC North.
11. Titans – C. J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama – He should be the first inside linebacker taken.
12. Giants – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida St. – Too good to pass up, could be a star.
13. Rams – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama – More protection for Sam Bradford.
14. Bears – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame – Should help put more teeth into defense.
15. Steelers - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama – Their defense needs younger blood.
16. Ravens – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A & M – Manziel loves him, Joe Flacco will, too.
17. Cowboys – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri – Dallas defense needs plenty of help.
18. Jets – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina – A middle of the field target for Geno Smith.
19. Dolphins – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – Ryan Tannehill was the most sacked QB.
20. Cardinals – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – Carson Palmer also took too many hits.
21. Packers – Ra’shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota – A run-stopper to help front seven.
22. Eagles – Jason Verrett. CB, Texas Christian – Adding solid corner never hurts.
23. Chiefs – Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California – A wingman for Dwayne Bowe.
24. Bengals – Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida – Injuries have hurt Bengals secondary.
25. Chargers – Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon St. – A rusher to harass Peyton Manning.
26. Browns – Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – Another piece for Browns’ offense.
27. Saints – Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young – Rob Ryan can use Van Noy’s skills.
28. Patriots – Stephen Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame – They need more youth on the D-line.
29. 49ers – Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida – 49ers’ secondary could use stud corner.
30. Panthers – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St. – Helps matchups with Saints, Falcons.
31. Broncos – Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame – A young pass protector for Manning.
32. Seahawks – Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado – Their offense could use another WR.p