NFL Mock Draft 2014: Browns Offense First? Lions, Giants Interested In Top Linebacker?

  @GP_IBTimes on February 06 2014 2:06 PM
Blake Bortles UCF
Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles is one of several prospects the Cleveland Browns will consider for the No. 4 overall pick in May's NFL Draft. Reuters

Perhaps no NFL team went through as radical a coaching regime change than the Cleveland Browns over the last month.

After a prolonged search, the Browns named Mike Pettine as the new head coach and early Thursday the former Buffalo defensive coordinator introduced his new staff of 11, including offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, as reported by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

No doubt Pettine, Shanahan, and O’Neil, along with general manager Michael Lombardi, will have a major say as to how the Browns spend their No. 4 overall pick in May’s draft. Speculation has placed Cleveland in the market for a quarterback, especially in the first round, but Cleveland could also bolster its already stellar young defense with a top defensive end or linebacker.

Thanks to the Trent Richardson trade early last season, the Browns are one of two teams to have the luxury of two first-round picks this year, also holding the No. 26 overall pick. Cleveland could address their glaring needs on offense in one quick swoop, and make a playoff push for the first time since 2002.

Should the Browns select any of the top quarterback prospects in Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, or Derek Carr, they could use the No. 26 pick for any of the numerous pass rushers in this year’s draft.

Cleveland, like the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, will likely take a serious look at such top defensive players as Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt, Alabama inside linebacker C.J. Mosley, and Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack, among many others.

New York finished eighth in total defense, but was also 25th in sacks with 34. The Giants main concern is a running back of the future to address their 29th overall rushing game, but they can pick up a solid rusher in the second to fourth rounds.

Despite a loaded and talented defensive front, the Lions were 16th in total defense, 23rd against the pass, and 28th in sacks with 33. Detroit needs to put serious pressure on opposing quarterbacks, especially against the NFC Central’s top passers in Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler.

A full first-round mock draft is below, with more to come over the next four months before the draft. The order has been largely set, except for the No. 16 and No. 17 picks, which will be decided by a coin toss between Dallas and Baltimore.

First Round

1)Houston Texans, QB, Teddy Bridgewater

2)St. Louis Rams (via Washington), OT Greg Robinson

3)Jacksonville Jaguars, QB, Johnny Manziel

4)Cleveland Browns, QB, Blake Bortles

5)Oakland Raiders, DE, Jadeveon Clowney

6)Atlanta Falcons, ILB, C.J. Mosley

7)Tampa Bay Buccaneers, OLB, Khalil Mack

8)Minnesota Vikings, CB, Justin Gilbert

9)Buffalo Bills, S, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

10)Detroit Lions, OLB, Anthony Barr

11)Tennessee Titans, DE, Kony Ealy

12)New York Giants, DE, Stephon Tuitt

13)St. Louis, OT, Jake Matthews

14)Chicago Bears, DE, Dee Ford

15)Pittsburgh Steelers, OG, Trai Turner

16)Baltimore Ravens (Coin Toss), WR, Sammy Watkins

17)Dallas Cowboys (Coin Toss), DT, Timmy Jernigan

18)New York Jets, OT, Taylor Lewan

19)Miami Dolphins, WR, Marqise Lee

20)Arizona Cardinals, WR, Mike Evans

21)Green Bay Packers, CB, Darqueze Dennard

22)Philadelphia Eagles, S, Terrence Brooks

23)Kansas City Chiefs, C, Marcus Martin

24)Cincinnati Bengals, DT, Louis Nix III

25)San Diego Chargers, S, Calvin Pryor

26)Cleveland (via Indianapolis), DT, Aaron Donald

27)New Orleans Saints, CB, Lamarcus Joyner

28)Carolina Panthers, OT, Zack Martin

29)New England Patriots, DT, Ra’Shede Hageman

30)San Francisco 49ers, WR, Davante Adams

31)Denver Broncos, CB, Loucheiz Purifoy

32)Seattle Seahawks, DE, Dominique Easley

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