THE GREEN ZONE REPORT::
Yahoo! Sports 2014 Mock Draft
Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
John Stanley, Yahoo Sports!
Geno Smith is clearly the right pick for the 49ers at 1.1
1.1 -- QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
It has been pretty widely publicized at this point, that the 49ers selecting Brandon Weeden at 1.7 last year was a mistake. The thing is, they have a chance to make up for that mistake rather quickly and build a foundation for their team that can really be special. Geno Smith rivals past top QB prospects like Blaine Gabbert and Andrew Luck, both of who were #1 overall picks, and both of whom are starting to come into their own in the league. Geno is the best player in this draft, simply because he is a franchise QB, and you need one. Geno and Trent Richardson will form a nice combo for decades. Smith should and will be the pick here.
1.2 -- CB DeMarcus Milliner, Alabama
The 2nd pick is almost as obvious as the first pick. The Ravens traded up to get this pick, leaving little doubt that they would select DeMarcus Milliner. Milliner is a pretty special player at the CB position, making him worthy of this pick. CB, after all, is the second most important position in Madden after QB, and snagging a franchise level CB who can shutdown opposing WR is become necessary for success.
1.3 -- WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee
Next up, the Rams. Some mocks have had them going with Jarvis Jones, other mocks have had them go with Xavier Rhodes from FSU. Personally, I think they should take Justin Hunter. Hunter is the best WR in the class and has a chance to be real real good if he gets a little help in the SPD/ACC department. I canít say with certainty that STL will go this way, but I have a feeling they might. GM Richardson has been holding his cards close to his chest, so we will see on draft day, but for me, there is a drop off after the first few WR, and being a big need for the Rams, I say they take one here and address other needs with their next 1st.
1.4 -- WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
GM Tim Miller will be frustrated to see his top target go the pick before him, but as he said in his press release earlier this week, they are perfectly comfortable in selecting a few other players that will be on the board. I think this pick comes down to Terrance Williams or Xavier Rhodes, but I see them ultimately going Williams. The need for a #1 WR is too great in KC to pass up on someone like Williams, who may be the last true #1 in the class that can be that from day one. Personally, I like what they have going at CB, so I think Williams is the better pick.
1.5 -- CB Xavier Rhodes, FSU
Next up, the rebuilding Patriots, who are loaded with picks under GM Matt Spencer. They can really go any direction they want here, because they have a number of needs. I like them going with a top flight CB who can develop into a shutdown #1. Rhodes is a real good player, who with work could become special. My other pick, if not Rhodes, would be Jarvis Jones, simply because of how special a player Jones is. But Rhodes is pretty good himself, and at a premium position, so I say he is the pick.
1.6 -- QB Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
The first surprise pick of the draft is Ryan Tannehill to JAC. I have a feeling based upon some conversations I have had, that Jacksonville moved up to get a QB here. Now that could have changed, but if not, the next best QB after Smith is Tannehill. Tannehill can develop into a real nice starter and franchise level QB with work. He isnít a Luck, Gabbert or Smith, but he is real similar to Christopher Henderson coming out, who has become a star in the league.
1.7 -- OLB Jarvis Jones, Georgia
Titans have Jarvis Jones fall into their laps at #7 here. Jones is an absolute beast of a player, and while TEN already has some pretty good LB, you can fit a player of Jonesí caliber into your lineup pretty easily. GM Nissen said he wanted a player on his short list if he was going to make the pick, and I have a feeling that Jarvis Jones is on that list.
1.8 -- HB La'Vonte Bell, UCLA
GM Kansas has been pretty quiet this offseason, so I donít really have any indication of who the pick may be. I think Bell could be a real good player in the league though, and would be a nice foundational piece for Cincinnati on offense who could really use any number of player with this pick. Bell is a speed guy but also has some strength to run in between the tackles. He will be a nice player for someone.
1.9 -- CB Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma
The Bills traded up to get this pick, although I am not entirely sure who they may be targeting with it. Looking at their team, I feel like CB could be a potential need for them. Fleming is my 3rd rated CB in what is a pretty good CB class. He doesnít meet the 6í0Ē threshold, but who really cares. He has everything you look for in a CB and with a little bit of progression and work, he should be able to be a #1 CB in the league. Would be a good pick IMO.
1.10 -- DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
At 1.10, the Panthers are able to nab a pretty special player at the DE position. I have a feeling that Werner is flying under the radar a bit at the DE position, which is surprising, because he has a pretty special set of attributes that you donít normally see at the DE position. To be able to nab someone of his caliber at 1.10, I think, would be a pretty nice get for a Panthers team with many GLARING needs.
1.11 -- LT Leo Richards, Georgia Tech
At 1.11, with their second 1st, the Rams address the OL. Charlie Johnson was amnestied earlier in the offseason, and while they already have Jason Smith at RT, Richards could provide a really nice bookend with him. Richards is an athletic OT with good size, and is already pretty polished entering the league. I donít see many other glaring needs for the Rams here, besides maybe adding a CB, but I like the pick of Richards here for them.
1.12 -- CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
At 1.12, the Texans are stuck in a tough spot. They will likely have missed out on the elite players, but they can still get someone good IMO. GM Willis has been shopping the pick recently, so this could end up being moved on draft day, but if they stay with the pick, look for them to add a talented player to their secondary. Trufant is a real solid player, who is ranked in the #3-6 range on my CB board. Trufant has size and good athleticism, with some nice polish. His only knock may be STR, but it isnít too big a deal. He should be a nice fit here for Houston.
1.13 -- DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
At 1.13, the Saints are able to nab a real special player here. GM Edwards has been wheeling and dealing since entering the league, and I foresee good things to come in New Orleans. He seems to want to employ a 3-4 system, and has been bringing in players that fit that scheme recently. I think Lotulelei would be a nice player to add along that DL, and would really make that a special front with Sedrick Ellis and Tyson Jackson along the DLine in a 3-4. Lotulelei could play the nose with Ellis kicking out to DE, or vice-versa.
1.14 -- LG Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
At 1.14, the Texans are in a tough spot again. With no real glaring needs, look for them to add the best OG in the class in Dallas Thomas. Thomas is what you look for in an OL, he has the size, athleticism and polish that can make him start from day one in the league. 1.14 could be a little high for a guard, but without many other major needs, they are able to add a player who is the best at his position and who can start from day one. Two things which Iíd look for if I were them.
1.15 -- QB Colin Klein, Kansas State
At 1.15, the Chiefs and GM Tim Miller are able to nab their man. Itís no secret that Miller loves his Kansas State Football, and Klein after leading K-State to the Fiesta Bowl in his Senior year, has entered the draft, and Miller has made no secret about his potential interest. I donít suspect many takers on Klein above Miller, so if he wants him at 1.15, I think he has him.
1.16 -- OLB Casey Carter, Missouri
At 1.16, the Patriots again have the luxury of adding a real good player wherever they want. I think someone they should look at is Casey Carter. Carter is a pretty damn good player in his own right, and if Jarvis Jones wasnít in this class, he would easily be the #1 OLB, and I suspect in most other classes that would be the case as well. Carter has it all at OLB, and would be a nice fit for the team.
John Stanley covers GZL for Yahoo! Sports.