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Green Zone League Articles

2014 GZL Top 16 Mock Draft - Part 1
By Tyler Richardson
Special to gzl-football.com

2014 GZL Top 16 Mock Draft - Part 1

1.1 San Fransisco 49ers - QB Geno Smith - Smith enters the draft in the same class as Luck and Gabbert coming out, and both of those quarterbacks went first overall in a better class. While they did draft Brandon Weeden 1.7 last year, Geno is already the better quarterback by a good bit and is a lock to become one of the better QBs in the league talent-wise at a young age, while the same cannot be said about Weeden. The 49ers also could go with CB DeMarcus Milliner, the next best player on the board, to shore up their secondary or LB Jarvis Jones due to a bare cupboard at linebacker.

1.2 Indianapolis Colts - CB DeMarcus Milliner - The Colts also have a lot of needs, but Milliner is the best player on the board at the second most important position, and their secondary is mostly slow and short. You need a good secondary to win in this league, and Milliner would surely help that cause. If Geno Smith falls to the Colts here, they definitely take him instead. They also could go with LB Jarvis Jones and move him to MLB to give them an imposing presence in the middle of the field a la Patrick Willis or Von Miller, or WR Justin Hunter.

1.3 St. Louis Rams - CB Xavier Rhodes - While some may call it a reach, Rhodes has the ability to be an imposing physical presence who can cover the deep ball. He is a little raw compared to Milliner, but has a ton of potential. WR Justin Hunter is also an option, and would give the Rams one of the better receiving corps in the league, or the Rams could go with LB Jarvis Jones to replace Chris Carter.

1.4 Kansas City Chiefs - WR Justin Hunter - I think this pick is a given if Hunter is on the board. Andrew Luck hasn't lived up to his billing yet, and the Chiefs traded their top receiver in Dwayne Bowe this past season. Hunter needs work to be a top WR in the league, but with some TC he will be a force to be reckoned with down the road. DE Bjoern Werner is also an option here, as the Chiefs could really use a presence at LE.

1.5 New England Patriots - DE Bjoern Werner - Speaking of Bojoern Werner, the Patriots take him off the board with the fifth pick. The Pats are set at MLB, RT, and QB, so I think they go with a very talented LE here. While Werner lacks the acceleration most GMs desire and you could argue he's undersized, he has the potential to become one of the better DEs in the league with some work in the off-season. The Patriots do have Mathis at DE, but he is regressing and expensive. LB Jarvis Jones is once again an option, and DT Star LotuLelei could also be the pick here.

1.6 Philadelphia Eagles - OT Leo Richards - Richards has the potential to be one of the best right tackles in the league, and it's hard to see the Eagles passing on him here. Jason Peters is aging, and has been rumored to be on the trade block, while Leo has the potential to have all the athleticism and strength you could want in a right tackle. While, given the players board, I don't see the Eagles going any other direction here, I suppose LB Jarvis Jones would also make sense for them in the middle.

1.7 Arizona Cardinals - LB Jarvis Jones - With their already undersized middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu regressing to 76 SPD this off-season, the Cardinals are going to be looking for a replacement. Jones can be moved inside to MLB and fill that role very, very nicely. And, at MLB, Jones is very good value here. They already traded a first here, so I don't see them going for a RT, are stacked at DT, and have a good enough secondary where they don't need to reach for a CB. I think the Cardinals will have a pretty easy decision at 1.7 if Jones is still on the board.

1.8 Cincinnati Bengals - QB Ryan Tannenhill - It's never too early to draft a quarterback, and the Bengals are going to be in need of one soon when Carson Palmer, who has had his fair share of struggles recently, retires in a season or two. I think they take Tannehill and either A) stick with Palmer, progressing Tannenhill into a decent QB before he ever hits the field and avoiding any growing pains, or B) get some of their money back by trading Palmer as a rental. While Tannenhill lacks the mega-high AWR some of the QBs in this class have and will need to improve his accuracy, he's the only one with the potential to have a cannon, which is why he is the pick here. The Bengals do desperately need a HB, so Bull Griggs could be the pick, but I think the Bengals will secure a franchise QB while they are at the top of the draft and make HB a secondary priority.
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