The NIT Nati Mock Draft 2014

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11.  Tennessee Titans – CJ Mosely, ILB, Alabama.  The arrival of Ray Horton as Ken Whisenhunt’s Defensive Coordinator means that the Titans are moving to a 3-4 defense.  While this will play to several current players strengths, such as Akeem Ayers, Jurrell Casey, and Derrick Morgan; Tennessee is missing a critical insider linebacker to pair with Zach Brown.  Similar to safeties and tight ends mentioned above, interior linebackers are the third positional group that is not very deep in this year’s draft class.  CJ Mosely is a Pro Bowl caliber player who can play every down smart, fast, and hungry.  This is a best player available selection that fits a big need defensively going forward, injury history aside.  The Titans got to take the flier on this one!

Feb 22, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive tackle Aaron Donald speaks at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

12.  TRADE!  Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh.  The Cowboys need help on the defensive line, and it doesn’t get any better than Aaron Donald.  If they can put together some picks, the Giants will not mind moving a few spots as Donald and Justin Gilbert (the other top prospect left on the board) do not fit their primary need, which is offensive line.  Meanwhile, Donald is the top defensive tackle whose explosive first step fits perfect in Buddy Ryan’s lacking 4-3 front.  If Dallas does not make a move at some point, they could find themselves reaching for a tackle or defensive back later in the first round.

13.  Saint Louis Rams – Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama.  The Rams secondary struggled last season, partially because of the pay of safety Rodney McLeod.  He was serviceable, but only two legitimate safeties are in this year’s draft so if the Rams want to get better at this position, now is the time.  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix provides a clear upgrade at the position, and while some scouts have mentioned that he isn’t a “pure athlete,” he is instinctive, maintains an ability to play man-coverage on slot receivers as well as tight ends, and shows natural awareness in zone safety formations.  While Saint Louis still needs to add some offensive weapons, the second and third rounds will likely be the answer for that.

14.  Chicago Bears – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville.  With Aaron Donald off the board, the Bears look to improve their backfield with arguably the most violent hitter in this year’s draft class.  A stout run defender, Calvin Pryor will tighten up the Bear’s secondary.  Paired with the opportunistic Charles “Peanut” Tillman who returns on a one-year contract, the Bears have answers for high-flying quarterbacks of the NFC North.