The NIT Nati Mock Draft 2014

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3.  Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida.  The Jags’ jaws are going to hit the floor when Mack goes off the board at number two.  Jacksonville has been lusting over him for the past month, but drafting the top quarterback in this year’s class is not a bad consolation prize.  The Jaguars have indicated that they are not going to make the same mistake they did with Blaine Gabbert and Jimmy Clausen before him.  With Chad Henne as the specified starter at this point, Bortles should have time to adjust to the speed of the game without being thrown into the Jacksonville quarterback grinder.  There is a possibility they take Sammy Watkins, but there will be talent at receiver in round two; talent like Bortles, however, will not be.

4.  Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson.  The Battle of Ohio could get red hot with this pick!  A.J. Green went number four overall in 2011, now the Cleveland Browns get their own version in Sammy Watkins.  A speedster who compares well to a young Percy Harvin, Watkins has phenomenal body control and ability to stretch the field, opening up lanes for Cameron Jordan, Josh Gordon, and newly acquired Andrew Hawkins.  Additionally, Watkins is a physical blocker, and with the amount of spread that the Browns could run next year, Cleveland could get a lot of football out of Watkins with this pick.

Jan 6, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers tackle Greg Robinson (73) in action against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half of the 2014 BCS National Championship game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

5.  Oakland Raiders – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn.  How’s that for dumb luck?  Oakland stays patient and the top tackle falls into their lap.  With a 31-year-old Donald Penn at left tackle, the contest of right tackle is wide open.  The Raiders game plan this offseason was to populate a team of veterans to umbrella the game while draft picks develop.  If Matt Schaub cannot stay upright, nobody on the offensive is going to develop.  Robinson has some rough edges, but his power and raw talent leave no ceiling to his potential in sight.  Oakland hits a homerun with this pick.

6.  Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M.  It is hard to see the Falcons staying at number six.  On the one hand they will want to trade up and get Clowney without mortgaging the farm (a la Washington Redskins with RGIII in 2012) especially since they did just that with Julio Jones in 2011.  On the other hand, trading out of this pick would be helpful too, but who would trade up at this point?  If forced to pick, Atlanta has to like the idea of a top tackle.  Jake Matthews would have a been a top prospect if he had come out last year, but an extra season on the college field makes him debatably the most pro-ready tackle in his draft class.  While it does not improve their pass rush, the Falcons take a big step forward with Matthews.