Keep in mind that I try to predict what we will do, and keep it as realistic as possible.
With us making our first few signings and the Draft nearing closer and closer, I will be cutting the offseason part out of my mocks now. I don't see much more happening than a rotational DE and another vet OL, if that. This mock will not account for any of those moves.
**NOTE** I will not be predicting UDFAs.
Round 1: Bradley Roby, CB, THE Ohio St
A bad 2013 season has hurt Roby's draft stock pretty badly. Once a consensus top-ten pick, he has some technique issues that need fixing. Roby's upside is tremendous, and he without a doubt can end up being the best corner in this draft. With plus coverage skills, world-class speed, solid ball skills, and being sound in run-support, he has all the tools in the world to work with. If he lands with the right coaches, he could become a lockdown #1 corner. With Joseph and Carrier coaching our DBs, and being in a situation where we don't have to start him right away, Roby is a very possible candidate for the 24th pick.
Round 2: Brandon Thomas, OG/OT, Clemson
LG is a real question mark with Clint Boling tearing his ACL late in the season. Thomas offers the versatility we covet, playing both LT and LG at Clemson. Athletic, very strong, and long-armed, the undersized Thomas could get some looks to remain at OT, but his better fit is at OG. Very good at pulling, and solid in both pass and run protection, Thomas should not only be able to step in for Boling on Day 1, but keep the starting job after Boling returns, giving us very solid depth at OG.
Round 3: Christian Jones, LB, Florida St
Versatile LB who could play all 3 spots in our defense. Fantastic athlete with the ability to rush the passer and cover TEs, and yes, at times, even slot receivers. Very lengthy and a solid tackler. Would be a perfect fit as a SAM backer in our defense. Would be a pretty good value at this point.
Round 4: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
A guy we have shown a lot of interest in, I believe this pick totally depends on what happens with Dalton. If Andy isn't extended before the Draft, or at least semi-close to be extended, Mike Brown has made it seem the will prepare to move on. In that case, I think a guy like Mettenberger or Garropolo will be selected in the 2nd or 3rd round. I do believe something will be worked out with Andy though, and if so, I don't see a QB being taken before the 4th. Murray is a 4-year starter who produced quality performances in the SEC. An accurate passer with adequate arm strength, Murray is very experienced in a pro-style offense, and is athletic enough to gain some yards with his legs. Would be a very good backup for Dalton, and may even push for a starting spot in the future if Andy continues to struggle in big games.
Round 5: Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida
With Margus Hunt being drafted in the 2nd last year, and Geathers returning from injury, I could see the team waiting until the mid-rounds to address DE if they feel comfortable with those two and Gilberry. As for Lynch, all the potential in the world, question is, does he want it bad enough? The team has shown interest in Lynch, and I could see him being the pick here. Can become a dominate pass-rusher and every-down starter if he wants to (which is a big if). Has the versatility to kick inside on passing downs. We either get the steal of the Draft, or waste a 5th rounder. Worth the risk.
Round 6: Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College
Another guy with tons of potential, the injury bug has hit him and hit him hard. Was able to stay healthy last season and put together a good year. Had a really good Combine performance, and could end up being a starter down the road. Would compete with Marshall Newhouse for a spot on the 53 as our swing tackle.
Round 6 (Comp): Trey Millard, H-B, Oklahoma
Ridiculously talented H-B who can block, run, and catch (not to mention hurdle). Falls to us here because of the posisiton being undervalued in today's league, and he is coming off of an ACL injury. Hue is all smiles.
Round 7: John Brown, WR, Pittsburg St
Another guy we have shown interest in, Brown has elite speed and is dangerous in space. As an undersized guy, he has small hands which will cause him to drop some, but he routinely makes impressive catches. He can be lined up in the slot, in the backfield, and is an effective KR and PR on teams. A 3-time team captain, he has been commended as a leader on and off the field as a guy with great character.
Round 7 (Comp): George Atkinson III, RB, Notre Dame
Atkinson has an impressive combination of size and speed at 6'1, 218, running a 4.39 40. Sets up his blocks well, and has been a solid runner in limited action. Decent receiver out of the backfield, and also brings ability as a KR to the table. Would get some reps in camp and pre-season games, while probably finding a home on the PS.
53 Man Roster
QB: Andy Dalton, Jason Campbell, Aaron Murray
RB: Gio Bernard, BJGE, Ced Peerman, Rex Burkhead
H-B: Trey Millard
WR: AJ Green, Marvin Jones, Mo Sanu, John Brown, Dane Sanzenbacher, Cobi Hamilton
TE: Jermaine Gresham, Tyler Eifert, Orson Charles
OT: Andrew Whitworth, Andre Smith, Matt Patchan
OG: Kevin Zeitler, Brandon Thomas, Clint Boling, Tanner Hawkinson
C: Mike Pollak, TJ Johnson
DE: Carlos Dunlap, Wallace Gilberry, Margus Hunt, Aaron Lynch, Robert Geathers
DT: Geno Atkins, Domata Peko, Brandon Thompson, Devon Still
SAM: Christian Jones, Sean Porter
MIKE: Rey Maualuga, Vinny Rey
WILL: Vontaze Burfict, Emmanuael LaMur
CB: Leon Hall, Terence Newman, Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick, Bradley Roby
S: Reggie Nelson, George Iloka, Shawn Williams, Taylor Mays
K: Mike Nugent
P: Kevin Huber
LS: Clark Harris
- Bruce Taylor
- Chris Lewis-Harris
- Onterio McCalebb
- Larry Black
- George Atkinson III
- UDFA OL
- UDFA DE
- UDFA WR