NFL Mock Draft 2.0-Will the Eagles Play it Right?

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8. Minnesota Vikings
Blake Bortles
Quarterback, UCF

I think the Vikings are finally ready to move on from Christian Ponder. Bortles is the most classic quarterback in this draft and is very good at extending plays with his legs. He continuously gets compared to Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Vikings would be very excited to have their very own Big Ben. Welcome to Minnesota Big Blake.

9. Detroit Lions (^From Buffalo)
Mike Evans
Wide Receiver, Texas A&M

The Lions are a good team. They have a lot of talent on both offense and defense. That is a luxury for them at the number ten pick. That is also why they can afford to trade up and get the second best wide receiver in the draft, who can be to wide receiver Calvin Johnson as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was to quarterback Brett Favre. By this I mean that every great player should have a great apprentice that can learn from them and then step into the master’s role once they retire. With the pairing of Evans and Johnson (plus newly added wide receiver Golden Tate) the Lions passing game would be scary and almost impossible to stop. The Buffalo Bills need a lot of help and would be more than willing to add some draft picks in exchange for moving down slightly. The target for the Bills is most likely Evans, but I think that they have a flexible draft plan.

10. Buffalo Bills (^From Detroit)
Eric Ebron
Tight End, UNC

If quarterback E.J. Manuel continues to improve, then this Bills team can take some big strides this year. Their big issues on offense are in targets for Manuel as wide receiver Stevie Johnson is the closest thing to elite that they have. With Evans gone, it makes sense for the Bills to grab the best tight end in the draft who can help Manuel grow and even help block on certain plays. The pairing of Ebron and current tight end Scott Chandler would give the Bills their own version of the tight end duo that the rival New England Patriots had in tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. This way the Bills get a star target and gain a pick or two in the process despite losing Mike Evans.

11. Tennessee Titans
Darqueze Dennard
Cornerback, Michigan State

The Titans need help on offense, they need a running back, they need some pass catchers and they need a quarterback. Some would argue that they do not need a quarterback, but quarterback Jake Locker has shown me very little in the games that he has been healthy that he can be a super bowl winning quarterback for the Titans. The good news is that this is a deep draft and the Titans might be able to add insurance for Locker or depth at wide receiver later. What they may not be able to find is a cornerback with as elite talent as Dennard who can replace the void left by Tampa Bay Buccaneers pro bowl cornerback Alterraun Verner.

12. New York Giants
Aaron Donald
Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh

The Giants need a lot of help. They solved a large piece of their issues on defense this offseason through free agency by signing two top notch corners, and they added running back depth by acquiring running back Rashad Jennings. The Giants will have a tough decision here because of Eli Manning and his lousy 2013 season in which he threw 27 interceptions. Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan who is probably the most athletic offensive tackle in this draft can help Manning have more time to throw the football and less interceptions. I think the Giants may want the best run stopper in the draft especially in a division that contains star running backs like Eagles running back LeSean McCoy.

13. St. Louis Rams
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Safety, Alabama

I am not the biggest fan of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. I don’t feel that any Alabama defensive back turns out to be as good as they seem. I still think that Clinton-Dix is a solid player and is probably worthy of a first round pick, I just think that he is overvalued and is projected to go too high in the first round. If you look back the past few years, Alabama products cornerback Dee Milliner, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and cornerback Kareem Jackson have all not lived up to their expectations thus far. These first round picks had a total of six interceptions last year. Clinton-Dix didn’t make enough plays on the field to impress me, but hey this isn’t my pick, this is the Rams. Clinton-Dix could be great, he’s just not my favorite.

14. Chicago Bears
CJ Mosely
Inside Linebacker, Alabama

Now for the Alabama product that I am very fond of. Mosely is my favorite “sleeper’ prospect in the draft (he isn’t really a sleeper, but he will most likely go outside the top ten). He could very likely be a pro bowl linebacker. This is because he does just about everything. He is athletic, fast, he can stop the run, and he can drop back into coverage and shut down tight ends. Since linebacker Brian Urlacher’s departure the Chicago Bears defensive has been much weaker and Mosely can fill that void.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Justin Gilbert
Cornerback, Oklahoma State

Gilbert is in my opinion the most elite defensive back in this draft because of his raw athleticism. At 6’0 he isn’t the biggest or toughest corner in the draft, but his elite speed (4.37 40 yard dash) and even strength (20 reps at the combine) make him a rare specimen.

16. Dallas Cowboys
Dee Ford
Defensive End, Auburn

Considering how terrible the Cowboys’ defense was last year, they need pass rusher like Ford desperately. I could also see them taking Missouri product Kony Ealy or even Louisville Safety Calvin Pryor, but Ford is in my opinion the closest thing in this draft to former Dallas Cowboy and current Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware. The Cowboys need a safety, but not as bad as they will need a defensive end now that Ware is gone.

17. Miami Dolphins (^From Baltimore)
Taylor Lewan
Offensive Tackle, Michigan

Offensive line is the most obvious need for the Miami Dolphins, which is why they will happily jump at the chance to grab the incredibly athletic Michigan product to replace those that they lost last year due to off field issue and he can then play opposite newly acquired offensive tackle Brandon Albert. The Dolphins in this scenario were willing to stay patient and wait for an offensive tackle at their spot, but when Lewan began to fall they jumped at the chance to grab him.

18. New York Jets
Odell Beckham Jr.
Wide Receiver, Oregon State

The Jets need a top wide receiver and I could easily see them grabbing a receiver like USC’s Marqise Lee or Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks but I think that Odell Beckham is not only better, but would make a great pair with newly acquired wide receiver Eric Decker. Rex Ryan may want to overrule the rest of the Jets organization and take a cornerback in the draft after getting rid of veteran cornerback Antonio Cromartie, but I think he is finally going to be willing to think about the offense this year.

19. Baltimore Ravens (^From Miami)
Marqise Lee
Wide Receiver, USC

The Ravens could target a defensive player here, but they have had issues on offense recently, largely due to lack of targets. The offseason addition of wide receiver Steve Smith helps but they could use another deep threat along with wide receiver Torrey Smith to help quarterback Joe Flacco. Marqise Lee may or may not be the best option left depending on the way that you look at it. I personally am not a fan of someone that only catches for 791 yards and 4 touchdowns in his final college season. The problem is, even though the better option is Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, Cooks would be a terrible fit as the Ravens just signed Smith who is almost identical in playing style.

20. Arizona Cardinals
Teddy Bridgewater
Offensive Tackle, Alabama

The Cardinals are a team on the rise, but quarterback Carson Palmer is not their quarterback of the future. Bridgewater would be a steal at this point in the draft, and with Carson Palmer still on the roster, Bridgewater can have a cushion year to grow and adjust to the NFL before stepping into a starting role.

21. Green Bay Packers
Calvin Pryor
Safety, Lousiville

The Packers have very few “issues” on their squad, but safety would definitely fall under that category. The Packers had problems with coverage this past year and by adding Pryor, who is in my opinion the best safety in this draft