2014 NFL Draft Weekend – Let’s Predict

Mike O’Connor gives a wide range of predictions for this weekend’s NFL Draft and invites you to do the same.

The NFL Draft is finally around the corner, and thankfully so since I think some of us fans would start dropping randomly if this was dragged on any longer. We’ve debated, ranked, and discussed what the New York Jets will do on May 8th and how other teams will impact their plans for countless months now, and it’s time to finally compile the knowledge to have a little fun. Also, I’m opening the door up for you guys.  I will be giving my predictions, some basic and some bold, and you guys can follow my lead in the comment section. After the draft, we can have some fun declaring who’s crystal ball is the clearest. If you follow my format, we could have a lot of interesting and organized answers to either berate or appreciate in the wake of the Draft.

Top Ten Picks:
1.) Houston- Jadaveon Clowney
2.) St Louis- Sammy Watkins
3.) Jaguars- Khalil Mack
4.) Browns- Derek Carr
5.) Oakland- Greg Robinson
6.) Atlanta- Jake Mathews
7.) Tampa Bay- Mike Evans
8.) Vikings- Teddy Bridgewater
9.) Buffalo- Eric Ebron
10.) Detroit- Darqueze Dennard

Three Biggest Guarantees of First Round: 
1.) Clowney to Houston
2.) Aaron Donald to Chicago
3.) Dominique Easley to San Francisco

Number of Players Taken By Position In First:
QB- 4
RB- 0
WR- 5
TE- 2
OC- 0
OG- 2
OT- 4
DT- 3
ILB- 1
S- 2
CB- 4

Jets Related:
-Will the Jets stay at 18?  Yes
-Will that be the Jets only 1st round pick?  Yes
-Who will it be?  Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
-Will the Jets stay at 49?  No
-Will they make a 2nd round selection?  Yes
-Who will it be?  Terrence Brooks, Safety, Florida State
-Will the Jets ignore OLB in the first three rounds again this year?  No
-How many final picks will the Jets make?  12
-How many of those picks will be their original slotted picks?  9
How many different positions will the Jets select?  8
-Who is a mid-late round player who will end up a Jet? Avery Williamson, ILB, Kentucky

Just For Fun- First Round Happiness Meter:
-Realistic players I’d love at 18: Jace Amaro, Marqise Lee, Darqueze Dennard, Kyle Fuller.
-Realistic players I’d like at 18: Haha Clinton-Dix, Dee Ford, Bradley Roby, Eric Ebron.
-Realistic players I wouldn’t complain about at 18: Calvin Pryor, Jason Verrett, Cody Latimer, Xavier Su’a-Filo, Jeremiah Attaochu, Justin Gilbert, Anthony Barr, Ryan Shazier, C.J Mosely, Victor Hampton, Zach Martin.
-Realistic players I don’t want at all at 18: Any quarterback, any offensive tackle not already mentioned, Odell Beckham Jr, Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin, Jimmie Ward, Mike Evans.

Five Bold Predictions:

1.  Wide Receiver Mix-Ups– I predict that some of the more popular wide receivers will fall behind some of the lesser known prospects who are very refined and role specific.  Specifically, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Indiana’s Cody Latimer will go before everybody’s golden boy Odell Beckham Jr, and Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Mathews, and Allen Robinson will all go off the board after the likes of Jared Abbrederis and Josh Huff.

2.  Nobody Wants a Running Back-  It just seems there’s so limited spots to put backs in this year’s draft, and even when one arises, there always seems to be better value elsewhere.  Not to mention, the running backs in this class all seem to have decent value in the mid rounds.  My favorite back is Lache Seastrunk, who’s been thrown back as far as the fifth round in some mocks.  I’d bet on no running backs going within the first 60 picks this year.  Carlos Hyde seems to be a favorite among the media, and therefore, likely some teams, but there’s just too much value literally anywhere else position-wise that early.

3.  Marqise Lee Is Still Really Good, You Know-  I’ve been a huge Lee defender for awhile now, and hopefully I will finally be able to prosper when he goes higher than most think.  He’s being touted as a valuable second rounder, but I really don’t understand why he isn’t respected among the likes of Beckham Jr and even Mike Evans.  His 2012 tape is still out there and it’s really, really dominant.  If it weren’t for terrible quarterback play from the Trojans in 2013, we might be looking at a likely Top 15 pick being spent on him.  for what it’s worth, I think he’s worth just that.  Lee also rubs off as a player NFL teams will prefer, since we see upside valued much higher than pure refinement very often early in the draft every year.  This may not sound as bold as the others, but I still think he’ll end up a Top 20 pick.  If it isn’t the Jets, the Ravens could definitely be looking for an upgrade at wideout.

4.  Unexpected Trade Up-  I think a loaded team like the 49ers could certainly make a trade to jump up as many as twenty picks.  In fact, I’d bet on them trading up to start with.  However, I don’t think it ail be for a pass rusher or a major offensive weapon like one would expect with such a dynamic trade.  I think it will be for one of the stellar corners in this draft, Kyle Fuller.  I think Dennard and him are closer than people think, and a team in the 20-32 range of picks absolutely cannot wait on him to fall, for there are just too many spots where he could easily be the BPA or an ideal fit as a man corner.

5.  C.J Mosely Drops-  It’s amusing how even the most refined of prospects coming into the NFL can see the most rapid drops in the draft.  It’s hard to argue for any other guy as the top inside linebacker, and it’s been evidently so since the end of the 2013 CFB season.  I like Mosely just like anybody else, but the value and attraction of a purely inside linebacker is diminishing just as fast as the value of a first round running back.  I would go as far as saying he’ll drop out of the first round because they’re simply not that many places where he would be the most attractive pick.  The cornerback and wide receiver classes are extremely heavy at the top and they’ll fly off the boards even before a dominant guy like Mosely.

Well, those predictions seem hot enough to be content with even though I doubt I’ll come through with any of them.  Leave your predictions in similar fashion to mine in the comment section, and we can have some fun declaring who came out the cleanest after Saturday’s third day!

  • KAsh

    I think someone will trade up to the first pick for Clowney. He is talented, but he is not a surefire transition to OLB, and his refusal to workout for teams on personal visits will make his transition to a new position that much hazier. I think the Texans trade the pick to either the Falcons or the Bills for something like the first and second this year and the first and second next year, and use their new first round pick to draft a QB for their new coach.

    I think St. Louis goes with Robinson with the second pick. The “go-to” excuse of Bradford’s supporters is that he has not been healthy enough to show what he can do. Jake Long is coming back from ACL (it is the third year in a row he has ended on IR) and they retained Saffold only after Oakland has second thoughts during his medical. The Rams take Robinson and plug him in at guard for a year. Next year, they pick who they keep and who they trade.

    And I highly doubt the Browns take Carr with their first pick. Carr has become almost a forgotten man in the quarterback debate, so he will probably make it to the 26th spot. Then again, it is the Browns.

    I am also going to laugh real hard if Beckham goes in the top 12 picks. Beckham went past the Combine and his Pro day and all the private visits and his draft stock was solidifying as somewhere in the vicinity of twenty. Now, he is suddenly a receiver equal to Evans – No! better than Evans – and it will be lucky if he falls past the Lions or the Giants, and the Steelers or the Ravens are definitely taking him, in that case. Right. I call smokescreen.

  • Dan in RI

    Finally someone makes predictions that really are bold.My predictions are not so bold, but here they are:

    Jets stay at 18 and take either Kyle Fuller or Calvin Pryor (Dennard and Dix are already off the board)

    Jets trade up in the 2nd round and take Marqise Lee, who has fallen like a rock into the high 30’s. If he’s not available, the Jets stay put and draft Jordan Matthews

    Jets go OLB in the 3rd with Demarcus Lawrence.

    4th round picks are all offense: Tampa’s pick (104) traded to move up in the 2nd, and with our other two: David Yankey G, Dri Archer RB/WR

    5th round is either CB or S (whichever not taken in the 1st): Luchiez Purifoy CB or Tre Boston S

    6th round: Logan Thomas or Tajh Boyd QB, Jared Abrederris WR, Michael Sam DE

    7th round EJ Gaines CB

    Other predictions: Teddy Bridgewater will be gone before the Jets draft at 18. The QB’s taken will be Manziel, Bortles, Bridgewater in that order, with none of the other QB’s taken until the third.

    Of course, if any of these predictions come true, I will be shocked.

  • Kyle

    I would be pretty upset if we drafted ford. Good thing it won’t happen. Ford isn’t even a first round pick especially not 18. There will be at least 5 players on their board at 18 that are rated higher than Ford.

  • Mike Z

    Joe- I respect your opinion very much but on the eve of one of the most important drafts in decades please explain why Beckam Jr, Cooks or Evans are players you would definitely NOT want at all at 18? The Jets need a playmaker. Why not take one of the top 5 receivers in the draft if they fell to you at 18? I agree that Lee will be a quality NFL player and hope we can land him but I don’t think je will last too far into round 2. I would understand if they drafted Dennard, Fuller, Ha Ha or Pryor at 18 but its not our CORE need. Also, I don’t think we cannot let round two go by without grabbing one of the 4-5 NFL ready tight ends. with the next 10 picks we can find a pass rusher and many other needs. If we are fortunate enough to get an impact reciver at 18 and a starting tight end in round 2, we will be a better team than last year. Rex will work his magic with the secondary and he has found a way to get to the QB without a real pass rushing threat this long why do we need to sacrifice a huge need on Offense for an OLB early? It should be a fun ride over the next 4 days. I am sure filled with many surprises.

  • Bart

    Joe did not write this article…Mike O’Connor wrote it who has explained his position in numerous articles and tweets

  • sully740

    Kanas City is interested in shopping flowers, what would that price be 4th rounder. That would be added depth and experience at corner

  • Car Toon

    Top Ten Picks:
    1.) Houston- Manziel
    2.) St Louis – TRADE TO ATL – Clowney
    3.) Jaguars- Mack
    4.) Browns- Robinson
    5.) Oakland- Watkins
    6.) St Louis – FROM ATL – Lewan
    7.) Tampa Bay- Bortles
    8.) Vikings – TRADE TO NYG – Ebron
    9.) Buffalo- Evans
    10.) Detroit- Dennard

    Three Biggest Guarantees of First Round:
    1.) Ebron to NYG
    2.) Amaro to SEA
    3.) Pryor to PITT

    Jets Related:
    -Will the Jets stay at 18? Yes
    -Will that be the Jets only 1st round pick? Yes
    -Who will it be? Ealy
    -Will the Jets stay at 49? Yes
    -Will they make a 2nd round selection? Yes
    -Who will it be? Matthews
    -Will the Jets ignore OLB in the first three rounds again this year? No
    -How many final picks will the Jets make? 10
    -How many of those picks will be their original slotted picks? 8
    -How many different positions will the Jets select? 7
    -Who is a mid-late round player who will end up a Jet? P – Van der Camp

    Just For Fun- First Round Happiness Meter:
    -Realistic players I’d love at 18: Bridgewater, Cooks, Dennard, Ealy
    -Realistic players I’d like at 18: Lee, Benjamin
    -Realistic players I wouldn’t complain about at 18: Pryor, Gilbert
    -Realistic players I don’t want at all at 18: Beckham, Barr, Roby

    Five Bold Predictions:

    1- Patriots trade UP in the 1st

    2- Gilbert slips out of the 1st

    3- Van Noy is a 1st round pick

    4- Dolphins jump ahead of the Jets to grab a WR

    5- One of the draft invitees in the green room falls until Day 3

  • joeydefiant

    I will be extremely happy if the jets end up with marqise lee at 18. no way he goes to round 2.

  • Frank Antonelli

    If C.J. Mosley is there at 18 I think the Jets take him. He’s the type of player that might be very high on Idzik’s board. If he’s gone I think they’ll pick one of their highly rated CBs. If both of those options are gone they’ll take a WR at 18. I think Idzik would prefer to wait until the 2nd round for a playmaker since they are more in abundance than defensive players. There is NO WAY they are trading up, more likely to trade down.

  • Dan in RI

    Joeydefiant: I have no idea if Lee will fall into round 2–but that’s where McShay has him going. If he’s still hanging around in the 2nd round, I’d like to have us trade up for him. If not, well, there are a lot of good WR’s we can take in either the first or 2nd.

  • Mike Z

    thanks for the clarification Bart. Not sure of Mike’s rationale but I guess we will see.

  • Mike Donnelly

    Jets Related:
    -Will the Jets stay at 18? Yes
    -Will that be the Jets only 1st round pick? Yes
    -Who will it be? Marqise Lee, WR
    -Will the Jets stay at 49? No
    -Will they make a 2nd round selection? Yes
    -Who will it be? Jace Amaro, TE
    -Will the Jets ignore OLB in the first three rounds again this year? Yes
    -How many final picks will the Jets make? 10
    -How many of those picks will be their original slotted picks? 7
    -How many different positions will the Jets select? 8
    -Who is a mid-late round player who will end up a Jet? Tajh Boyd, QB

    Just For Fun- First Round Happiness Meter:
    -Realistic players I’d love at 18: Ebron, Beckham, Dennard
    -Realistic players I’d like at 18: Cooks, Lee, Amaro, Fuller
    -Realistic players I wouldn’t complain about at 18: Pryor, Clinton-Dix, Sua’Filo, Z.Martin, Roby, Gilbert
    -Realistic players I don’t want at all at 18: Any quarterback not named Manziel, Kelvin Benjamin, Mosley or Shazier