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Incase anyone can stomach another one, here is my 2014 mock draft


This is my first one of this year, to keep it simple the draft is being put together using the very unrealistic assumption of no trades taking place.

Taking a quick glance back at last year's effort, I only got 1 pick right (Tavon) so make of that what you like. Props to the Rams front office for ignoring my 2nd rounder pick - we totally dodged a bullet with not taking Menilik Watson but I still think Baccari Rambo and Jonathan Cyprien would have been solid picks. Cyprien just didn't fall to where I had him.

So without further ado here is the 2014 edition:

Pick 1.2 - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Why Watkins? I think he offers the highest upgrade over what we have at present and the most value.

The guys in play are Robinson, Watkins and Mack. (I'm assuming Clowney is gone to the Texans). Mack is a top talent but in a 4-3 where he can't exploit his plethora of pass rush skills, he's upside is going to be capped by our scheme. Also we already have Dunbar resigned, who is serviceable in this position, and some ok back-ups with decent potential like Armstrong. So to me as great as it would be to have Mack in Blue and Gold it doesn't make sense at 2 and the talk about him is a smoke screen.

Robinson is another awesome prospect and well worthy on consideration here. But what we really need is a guard not a LT, we have Jake Long at LT and we can't afford to cut him and he won't have much trade value. So what do we do? Play Robinson at RT? It's an option, but do we want to mess around switching him between LT and RT and lose the balance we had with Barksdale and Saffold on the right side of the line. Plus there is the ghost of Jason Smith lingering over this selection, along with the belief that Fisher and Boudreau have a real knack for building decent lines out of lesser talents, so maybe we should take advantage of this coaching strength and use the higher picks on other areas.

So why Watkins? People have made this arguement many times over the past few months in more detail than I'm going to go into here. But the bottom line is that he would be a massive upgrade over our starting WRs such as Givens/Pettis/Quick, and lining up with Tavon and Cook would be a match up nightmare. Add to this the the fact that ideally we won't be picking this high again for a while, so if we don't get the elite WR talent now it could be a long time until we get another chance.

Pick 1.13 - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Gilbert could be a no.1 corner, taking him at 13 would allow Jenkins to take less responsibility to cover no.1 WRs (and he was painfull exposed at times last year). Jenkins is still good enough to dominate lesser WRs and it might even free him up to make more plays like he did as a rookie, creating a nice 1-2 CB tandem. Plus it means Trumaine Johnson could go back to nickel corner, and provide much needed depth at CB.

Pick 2.13 - Joe Bitonio, OT, Nevada

Passed on upgrading the O line in round one, so have to revisit here. There are several nice options but Bitonio is my favourite, he could sit behind and cover for Long if need be and provide depth on both side of the line. We still need a guard but that comes later.

Pick 3.13 - Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

Safety has to be addressed in the first 4 rounds to get a new FS. I really like Clinton-Dix but if we can get a guy like Bucannon in the 3rd and pair him with Gilbert from the first that is a better pairing than going Dix plus whichever CB is left here.

Pick 4.13 - Gabe Jackson, OT

I've seen Jackson in lots of mocks round here, we need a guard to compete/back up he fits the bill. It makes a lot of sense.

Pick 5.13 - Seantrel Henderson, OT

More O line depth, more toys for Boudreau. Wells, Long & Jones all have injury history, say we need to slide Saffold to LT or RT at any point Henderson could come in to guard. 3 picks on Oline is a lot, but we need the depth.

Pick 6.13 - L.T. Tuipulotu, DT, Utah

Fisher loves getting DTs late who can come in and contribute on a rotation I think Tuipulotu could be a beast and is worth a flyer.

Pick 7.13 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State

Finally, a high risk-reward pick. Crowell might go before this but if he is there it makes sense to get another body in the RB rotation. Fisher could straighen him out and has shown before he is prepared to take on and get the best from guys with character concerns.

So in summary:
Pick 1.2 - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Pick 1.13 - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Pick 2.13 - Joe Bitonio, OT, Nevada
Pick 3.13 - Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
Pick 4.13 - Gabe Jackson, OT
Pick 5.13 - Seantrel Henderson, OT
Pick 6.13 - L.T. Tuipulotu, DT, Utah
Pick 7.13 - Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State

slotting in these picks leaves the depth chard looking like this:


QB - Bradford, Hill
RB - Stacy, Cunningham (Richardson, Pead, Crowell)
WR - watkins, Austin, Bailey, Givens, Britt, Quick, Pettis
OLine : Long, Jones, Wells, Saffold, Barksdale (Bitonio, Jackson, Henderson)
TE: Cook, Kendricks (Harkey)


DLine: Long, Brockers, Langford, Quinn (Hayes, Carrington, Cudjo, Sims, Tuipulotu)
LB: Dunbar, Laurinties, Ogletree (Armstrong)
S: Bucannon, McDonald (Cody Davis, Mcleod)
CB: Gilbert, Jenkins, (Johnson, Mcgee)

Final thoughts:
I wanted to take a QB to sit behind Bradford and offer some back up and before they signed Shaun Hill I think this would have been a certainty, but now I think it depends which prospects are around in the 3/4/5 round. In this draft you could sacrifice one of the 4th/5th round O line guys for the right QB prospect, maybe Murray or Savage. But equally if like normal these guys get way over drafted we can wait and see, as I doubt these guys are going to beat out Hill and be able to add too much value next year.

The roster above is built to have a balanced offense who look to run first, taking the run game from down the stretch last year and adding 3 solid lineman to it. But also adding Watkins who along with a 2nd year Tavon and a recouperated Bradford is going to feast if defenders put 8 in the box.

Mean while the D is the same front 7 that has been leading the way in sacks for the last couple of years, plus a much improved back end. Give up fewer long plays and 3rd downs and give Quinn/Long/Brockers more time to reak havoc on opposing QBs
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