It is that time of year when Mock Draft's are the most popularly searched topic on Google. We are nearing the 2014 Hard Knocks Draft and it is time for me to release my predictions on what the first round COULD shape up to be. So here we go folks, prepare to Cimmadown for the HK Draft! The picks made do not completely reflect scouted players, some positions are more determined off of projections, however, I am aware of some busts in the early round. As well as my best understanding of teams salary cap situations and free agency. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Buffalo Bills Biggest Needs: QB, TE, WR QB Stephen Diaz - Oklahoma St I see options here for the Bills. They need a QB. Badly. With the #1 pick in the draft, this is something that I believe they could TRADE away, move down in the draft and acquire more picks. However, Buffalo isn't the only team that needs a QB desperately. If they trade down, I don't know if they want to go much further than 10th and if they do that, they risk another team (San Diego, Chicago, Arizona) taking your QB target.I have them taking Stephen Diaz from Oklahoma St here, but that is just what I think they should do, not at all what I think they will do. Also here, we have the possibility of WR Trent Platt from Clemson. He looks to be just another Calvin Johnson, Megatron type player at his stature. We all know how Coach RW loved Megatron while in Detroit, and having Optimus Prime would sure make that offense in Buffalo click. This pick right here sets the tone for the draft early, in my opinion. Buffalo has a few different options. Take a huge need at QB. Take Optimus Prime. Or trade it away. They have #22 in round 1 as well, and I really think that is how they need to plan around this pick. Do you get more value and talent for your team by taking QB first, WR at 22, or the other way around? Good luck Buffalo. 2. Arizona Cardinals Biggest Needs: QB, HB, TE, OL QB Don Leoni - Michigan This is another team that has options here. Arizona has the salary space to go after one of the big time QBs in the Free Agency pool before the draft and fill that hole, but they haven't shown any interest to do so. Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Schaub, and the return of Kurt Warner all highlight the QB market right now, but there is nobody throwing out a line and I am surprised Arizona isn't one of those teams fishing. They must see some talent in the draft if they haven't dipped into the tub of QBs yet. Offensive line is another position they could use some bolstering, particularly at Guard, however, this draft just doesn't have the talent at that position worth taking here. So, if they decide to go OL, look for this pick to be traded. The only other option I see Arizona going with here is at HB. However, I think the new ball coach sees potential in LSH and Matthews, so could stick with those two guys and see what happens. If the Cards do go HB, expect Ryan Landry out of Pitt to be the selection here. 3. Houston Texans Biggest Needs: WR, RG, RT, RE WR Trent Platt - Clemson Despite having nearly two teams worth of WRs on the roster, I don't think Houston will pass on Platt. I think DE is the most important get for them, but there are none that will fit that scheme at #3 in the first round. Optimus Prime is too good to pass up here. Some may be wondering why I'm not talking QB here for Houston, and frankly, I don't know what the Texans will do next. They had a worker in Schaub, let him go, brought him back, let him go again. It's an absolute QB carousel by definition and I am kind of expecting them to stick with Mallett, but who knows with this team. If they get rid of him or decide they need someone better, look for them to trade this pick away. 4. Carolina Panthers Biggest Needs: WR, OG, FS WR Andre Gibbons - UMass If there is one team that is absolutely rooting for Platt to slide down the board, it is Carolina. With only 2 WRs on the roster and no cap space to make any headway in Free Agency, WR is a huge need for this team here. Andre Gibbons is not Platt, but he is the next best thing. He has good speed and good hands, and is exactly what Carolina needs. To be truthful, what they need is half the WR group Houston has. There are rumors swirling around HK that Cam Newton could be involved in a possible trade. Take a moment....shocking, I know. If that happens, still expect Carolina to go WR here and grab a QB later. Combo a QB with offensive line especially if they get picks. This is the first pick where I actually feel pretty confident I am going to get right. WR or bust for Carolina. 5. Detroit Lions Biggest Needs: WR, HB, TE WR Christopher Miller - Oregon Calvin Johnson is the star in Detroit, but apart from him there isn't much left. Titus Young and Broyles are both young, and should likely be used a bit more in the coming season. However, Burleson is getting old and is on his last leg. (If he suffers a big time leg injury this year, I'm sorry) Detroit will definitely go offensive weapon here, but I think they're better off with a WR. HB isn't terrible, but they haven't had a consistent run game yet. TE is solid, but is something they may be able to pick up in FA or later in the draft. Miller is the guy here if the chips fall the way I have them laid out. They also have the opportunity to trade down and acquire more picks, which then could be used in multiple ways for a WR. If any pick in the top 5 is most likely to be traded, this is it. 6. Kansas City Chiefs Biggest Needs: FB, WR, OL, DE OT Demonte Nixon - Notre Dame In my honest opinion, Kansas City has no other option but to go offensive line. The best word I can have to describe the current situation along the line in KC is...embarrassing. If they don't get a starting worth offensive line in the draft and free agency, they're gonna have a bad time. They need LT, LG, and C desperately and better start dishing out some of that money they have available. Demonte Nixon makes the most and BEST sense in this situation. He is the best offensive lineman in the draft and that is what the Chiefs need. In all honesty, if they don't break into the free agency market for offensive line, they sure as hell better take OLine in their first two or even three picks. If they were confident they could trade this away, move down and get more picks in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd rounds, that is another option for them, but they need to get an offensive line in Kansas City or this team won't continue their run of having more wins than the previous season. 7. Oakland Raiders Biggest Needs: HB, WR, CB HB Sean Moorhouse - West Virginia Oakland had to be regretting the trade of McFadden. The Raiders ranked 7th to last in rushing last season and need a star HB to replace DMac. They could go two ways here. I think HB Ryan Landry from Pitt may be the better all-around runner in this draft class, but I am betting on the Raiders seeing the high flash of Moorhouse. He is a playmaker, no doubt about that, but how long will he last in the NFL trenches at 196 LBs? Whatever the case, Oakland needs a running back and this is where they will get one. They can get WR and CB in the 2nd round or later, even dipping for depth in the FA market. 8. Philadelphia Eagles Biggest Needs: QB, TE, WR, FS, CB FS Eddie Dyer - Washington I'm going to be completely honest. This pick is just me throwing a dart at the board and seeing where it lands. Nobody really know what is going on in Philadelphia. No QB. No Cap Space. Cap Errors. Penalties. You know the negative action, it is going on in the city of brotherly love. I was truly stuck between FS and QB here. They put in a bid on Chung, which was an illegal bid and is bringing penalty to the Eagles. They don't have cap space to play with, and to be honest, may not be able to sign any of these draft picks, so it may not matter what happens at 8. What I do know is this. They have 2 QBs on the roster in Brenton and Foles. It could be time to see Foles. However, depending on what happens with their cap situation, they have cheaper options at FS in the Free Agent pool then they do for a QB. I think the cap is going to get the better of them and the Eagles are going to be forced into playing Foles or Brenton. Dyer is just the more likely pick here, but it could really go anywhere. 9. Tennessee Titans Biggest Needs: FB, CB, LB, WR, DE DE David Rozier - North Carolina The Titans have options here as to what they can draft. I think CB may be the biggest need for them, but there is the possibility they could get a solid CB in round 2. David Rozier is more of a BPA pick for the Titans here to do one of two things. Push Derrick Morgan to perform better, or take the job from him outright. With Wimbley dominating on the right side of the defensive line, an aggressive end on the left would compliment this line nicely. If this pick is CB, it will likely be Jarvis Morgan or Jaleel Beasley, but I do think this is a better and more likely option for the Titans here. The CB class is fairly deep and they can definitely find talent there in the second round. Rozier is a top 5 talent that should not be allowed to slip out of the top 10. 10. Seattle Seahawks Biggest Needs: WR, HB, FB, CB CB Jarvis Morgan - Iowa St HB Ryan Landry - Pitt This is one of those positions that Seattle should be looking for to add depth to the secondary. Morgan is the perfect fit. He may not be a Top 10 talent, but he is the best DB in the draft at this position. They could go WR here, but their WRs currently aren't terrible and are productive. WR for the Seahawks is something they can pass on and get later or in the Free Agent market. A nice compliment to Lynch would also be a wise choice, which is why I think if it isn't Morgan, it is definitely Ryan Landry. I had a toss up to try and decide which route Seattle would go here and Morgan seemed the better op....nah, what was I thinking. Landry should likely be the pick here. With only 2 HBs on the roster and a deep CB class, look for the Seahags to give Lynch a nice compliment and someone who can carry the ball when Lynch needs a break. A perfect 1-2 punch in Seattle. 11. Chicago Bears Biggest Needs: QB, FB, TE, OG, C, LB, CB, SS....Jesus QB Kevin Boyce - Tennessee Chicago is on fire yet again, and it isn't the good NBA Jam "He's on fire". Fortunately for the Bears, they have money to spend. The offensive line is pretty deplorable, but that is something that can be patched up in Free Agency or later rounds. Same goes for the LB group, which is something that has some young talent they just got last year that they could want to let see the field before making any decisions. DB is fairly deep in this draft as well as in Free Agency. QB is the most likely scenario here, and Boyce is the next best thing. Projected as a 2nd round talent, I think he is slightly underrated. Chicago has the money to go after one of the prime time QBs in free agency, but I think that money could be better well spent somewhere else given the depth and age for the other needs of this team. Build around a QB, build around Boyce. They could trade down as well to get more picks and still get the gun slinger, but I think they'll play it safe and take the signal caller here. 12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Biggest Needs: HB, WR, TE, DT DT Derrick Majors - Maryland Tampa Bay is another team in salary cap hell and much like the Eagles, are going to struggle to find a way to sign their draft picks. Regardless, the pick needs to be made and in the case of the Buccs, a DT is something they likely will be looking for. Derrick Majors is a solid prospect out of Maryland that should give them the option they're looking for to stuff the middle of the LOS and pose a threat to the QB. 13. New York Giants Biggest Needs: TE, MLB, CB TE Christopher Balom - Wisconsin The best team with the best looking coach have been addressing some depth issues in free agency, particularly at the CB spot in Javier Arenas. MLB is something this team has been in need of for a couple years, but live and die by Mark Herzlich. With a class that isn't very promising at the LB position, the TE need likely gets addressed here. That TE comes in the form of top 10 talent Christopher Balom of Wisconsin. Balom has good size and good hands to compliment the other TEs on the Giants roster and make a name for himself in New York households. If the Giants don't take Balom here, look for them to trade down and gather more picks. 14. Miami Dolphins Biggest Needs: WR, TE, DE, DB WR Blair Scott - Texas Tech We've heard it straight from the coaches mouth, Miami wants to get their passing game going. The ways you do that is a new QB, new weapons, and a new offensive line to let it happen. As they do need some help on the right side of the line, I expect this team to look more at the skill position. They will likely try to give Tannehill another year to see what he can do and they can try to get a QB later, but Blair Scott can not be passed up here. He in my opinion is another prospect that is underrated. 6'4", 233 LBs he is built like a LB'er with a WR skill set. That makes him a force, especially in the redzone. This is likely how Miami will address their concern in the passing game. I do believe they should bolster their DLine and take DE Deshawn Oliver from Alabama, but the concern is in the passing game. That's where they'll strike first. 15. Indianapolis Colts Biggest Needs: WR, OG, DT, LB OG TJ Mattocks - Kentucky It will not be easy for the Colts to pass on DT Tevin Bryson here, but ultimately Sopoaga has some more in the tank and Redding has seen time at the DT position and can fill in. Offensive line is something they need. To establish the run and protect their franchise QB. TJ Mattocks is the perfect fit at the Guard position they struggle at. I think you'd more than likely see Indy take a DE here if they pass on OLine then DT. Someone like Jaron Archer or Kevonte Starr could be picked here and if that happens, do not be surprised. Guard may be the better pick here with the lack of skill at that position in the draft. 16. St. Louis Rams (Via Washington Redskins) Biggest Needs: HB, WR, OLB WR Serderius Jennings - Virginia Tech St. Louis gets their first of two picks in the first round. This is one of the teams that is experiencing contract issues, so the needs may be a little skewed, particularly at HB. I'm also not quite sure what they're going to do at LB. This is the hardest team to mock, because I don't know what the hell is going on with this roster, so this is my best guess. Again, I'm not sure what they'll do or what the coach thinks is their biggest need, but Henderson is getting up their in age and Jennings would be a good replacement and addition to an already young receiving corps. I also think the proverbial flood in WRs thus far nearly forces them into making sure they get a talented one first. 17. San Diego Chargers Biggest Needs: QB, WR, DE, DT DE Deshawn Oliver - Alabama San Diego doesn't have a QB on their roster, nor do they have any DEs. It seems they are looking to address the QB situation in Free Agency, and that is probably the best decision given the QBs in this class and the number of other teams that are looking in that direction. So, what you have left is a double need for DEs and Deshawn Oliver would be the perfect fit here. A big bruising DE from Alabama, you know he comes from a system that you'd love to replicate. He has the size and skill set to be the starter this team needs at Defensive End and brings an attitude to drive this team. Look for a heavy DLine draft for San Diego. 18. Pittsburgh Steelers Biggest Needs: WR, DE, LB MLB Quinston Williams - Clemson The HK Bowl 1 Champions reloaded their rifle to defend the championship and shot a blank. Time to get back on the range. Pittsburgh could go anywhere with this pick. If everything goes the way I have laid out, they could go OLB in Carter or they could even go WR with Jean-Louis or Mosley. I think what Pittsburgh would most like to happen, is to have Deshawn Oliver fall to them and fill the need at DE here. There are options here, but I think Pitt addresses the LB position. Williams would be a solid fit here as he has the talent to play well. He may be a MLB, but he can play outside for the time being and learn from Foote and Timmons. Both of these MLBs are either at the end of their lifespan at LB or have big contracts that I'm not sure Pittsburgh will want to pay anymore. Latta was a pick last year and he is developing. They also have Worilds and Austin Watson who they drafted last year that are young and developing on the outside. I think young LB for the future is a good expectation here. There is rumor that Pitt could be looking to trade Big Ben. If there is any common sense in left in the Steel City, that won't happen. 19. Baltimore Ravens Biggest Needs: WR, TE, C, OT OT Scott McEvoy - Washington To be honest, I doubt this pick will happen. I don't see the Ravens wanting to go "boring" OLine with their first pick, but a RT is a need for them and McEvoy would make a great fit. There are no big time Centers in this draft that need to be reached for here. Pitta can hold his own at TE and they can get someone in the 2nd or 3rd round, as well as at WR. Offensive line makes the most sense for Baltimore to get the run game going and protect Flacco. 20. Minnesota Vikings Biggest Needs: QB, OG, DT DT Tevin Bryson - Virginia This is a value pick here. Guard is a much bigger need, but DT is something they should address for the future. Bryson slips out of a projected top 10 pick down to 20 and lands in a home where he will be able to learn from talented veterans and will be driven to prove the 19 teams before Minnesota they were wrong. 21. Cincinnati Bengals Biggest Needs: FS, MLB, OG OG Taylor Kanda - Pitt Guard is a pretty big need for the Bengals and Kanda is another prospect that is underrated. He would be a good fit in Cincinnati and is exactly what they need. Safety may be the biggest need for this team, but with the value they get here with either Kanda or any Safety in the class available, there is no question they shouldn't pass on this kid. 22. Buffalo Bills(via New Orleans Saints) Biggest Needs: QB, TE, WR WR Nick Mosely - Minnesota This is where I see the Bills getting their WR. QB is the biggest need for this team and should be addressed first. I know how much this coach loves his big WRs and hates passing on Platt, but in my honest opinion (for what it is worth) taking Diaz first is the best possible scenario. Why? Nick Mosely may not be Platt, but he does stand at 6'5" and comes in at 235 LBs. He fits the mold for what this coach wants and if he pulls off a Diaz & Mosley draft, it would be a big gain for this team in the right direction. That combo would be a beautiful scenario for the people in Buffalo. 23. Cleveland Browns Biggest Needs: QB, HB, TE, FS TE Sean Ehlo - Virginia Say Ehlo to Cleveland. Sorry, I had to. The Browns can go a few ways here with this pick, but mainly you're looking at depth picks over guys who you must have to start. In my opinion, it is either TE or HB here and for what you can get at TE late in the second, grabbing one here is probably a smart move. A HB to back up Richardson would be a good pick up as well. This could go two different ways. If they do go HB, expect it to be either Ja'Mario Ward or Karrington Wynter. The two speedy backs would be good compliments to Richardson, especially in the pass game. Considering the lack of depth in existence at TE, Sean Ehlo would be a good pick here for Cleveland. Both HB and TE aren't very prosperous in talent in the class, but you can get a HB in the late 2nd or 3rd round that can get the job done, or even in FA. Can't say the same for TE. 24. San Francisco 49ers Biggest Needs: WR, C, DLine WR Jonathan Jean-Louis - Illinois This was one of the tougher teams to mock, only because I know Coug will be ready to make a pick on someone, no matter their rating. He finds talent and uses it. I have DLine as a need, but the line is so young right now I'm sure he will let them develop. Center is a need, but the guy he has in now has been doing the job. I think Coug will go for a talented depth addition here and Jean-Louis fits. He could use another WR weapon and JJL or Avius Allen could be good options for him here. This is likely the best possibility of me being completely wrong, but it is worth a shot. 25. Atlanta Falcons Biggest Needs: WR, TE WR Avius Allen - Miami The Falcons could use another WR on their roster, as that position is getting thin and they just got rid of Roddy White. They picked up 2 TEs in Free Agency, so should be set there, but may take one later on in the draft to try and grow behind the veterans. Avius Allen is a good pick for the dirty birds here for his pure speed and play making ability. 26. Dallas Cowboys Biggest Needs: HB, WR, OL, DE, FS, A Clue CB Jaleel Beasley - Alabama Dallas has some options here. They could go OLine or HB if they don't go secondary. I originally had them taking HB Wynter, but I think Dallas will understand they can find a back up to Demarco later in this draft or elsewhere. If I'm Dallas, which I wouldn't be if you literally paid me real money, I'd take C Benji Topa here to bolster the offensive line a bit. It may be a bit of a reach, but the line needs some help. Not much. Secondary is the most likely scenario here. They need FS, but adding Beasley does one of two things. It is uncertain, but he could be able to play the S position. That won't be known tho until he gets to camp. The other option is to add a CB and move someone you know can play Safety to that position. They drafted Fightmaster last year and Claiborne the year before that. They have young DBs on this team, one more couldn't hurt at all. 27. Detroit Lions (Via New York Jets) Biggest Needs: WR, HB, TE TE Jordan Cosgrove - UCONN Cosgrove is the last of the worth TE's in this draft and I think the Lions will try to snatch him up before it gets too late. TE is a position of need for this roster and Cosgrove would be a good fit. He is one of, if not the best blocking TE in this draft and that could play as a huge factor to Detroit. 28. Denver Broncos Biggest Needs: DT, CB, C DT Xavier Jones - Tennessee DT is a spot of need for the Broncos, as is the Center position. I think they see the value and talent that slid down the draft in Xavier Jones and jump at the opportunity. He is a solid prospect with the skill set to make an impact right away, which is exactly what the Broncos need. 29. New England Patriots Biggest Needs: HB, WR HB Ja'Mario Ward - Montana This is one of those teams that has a bit of a mess with contracts, making it hard to know exactly what that team will need. We know Salas likes to throw the ball and they could use some help in the backfield. Ward with his speed and play making ability could be a huge threat out of the backfield, especially in the pass game. 30. St. Louis Rams Biggest Needs: HB, WR, OLB OLB Brent Swanson - Kansas St They get their WR need early in the draft and address the OLB position here. Swanson is the best all-around available with what is left and I would be surprised if St. Louis passed on him if he were available here. Keifer Carter is another target for them in case the Patriots snatch up Swanson the pick before. 31. Jacksonville Jaguars Biggest Needs: WR, CB, OL CB Rashad Moore - Rutgers Last year, Jacksonville made people scratch their heads in the draft. At the end of the season, they made those same people look like fools. So what is it going to be this year for the Jags? Cornerback is a need for this team and Moore is the likely candidate. Who knows, maybe they will draft 3 CBs and 3 WRs in their first 6 picks, call it a day, and win the HK Bowl. Wouldn't surprise me. 32. Green Bay Packers Biggest Needs: DE, DB CB Sean Humphrey - TCU Defensive Back isn't a desperate need for the defending champs, but a pick like Humphrey adds depth and talent to the roster. They are in need more for a defensive end, but there just isn't anything there that would fit the scheme Green Bay runs defensively, forcing Kevonte Starr as being the guy to slip out of the first round. 3-4 DE is something they can address later. This is a pick they could trade to someone who wants to jump up and maybe get a guy like Starr, but for the sake of finishing my mock draft, I've got them taking DB here.