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The 2014 NFL draft prospects line up on the awning of Radio City Music Hall for a photograph in New York, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. The draft, which takes place at Radio City Music Hall, will start on Thursday, May 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Seth Wenig, ASSOCIATED PRESS - AP

The Houston Texans’ top need is at quarterback, but Jadeveon Clowney might be too good to pass up.

Associated Press file,

Oklahoma State's Justin Gilbert goes through drills prior to an NCAA college football game against Texas San Antonio, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) ORG XMIT: OTK

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Mark Craig's 2014 NFL mock draft

  • May 8, 2014 - 7:20 AM

The first mock NFL drafts for 2015 will have to wait until Sunday morning.

OK, Saturday night.

Until then, focus, people. The NFL draft sneaked up on us again. It arrives at 7 p.m. Thursday, continues with Rounds 2-3 at 6 p.m. Friday and wraps up with Rounds 4-7 at 11 a.m. Saturday. You and your mom are on your own Sunday, although the NFL does ask that the two of you submit your draft “winners” and “losers” first.

Below, you will find the John Calipari-approved — One-and-Done — Star Tribune Mock Draft 1.0ver.

Mocks 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 were considered, but fellow Vikings reporters Matt Vensel and Master Tesfatsion were quickly duct taped and wrestled into a nearby closet before the virus spread any further.

We’re pretty sure no one else was infected, although I do find it strange that I now have a 2015 Big Board and a red flag on Jameis Winston for consumption of unpurchased crab legs.

Now, here’s some serious highlights/lowlights from our guesstimate below:

• Three Texas A&M players will be picked. Johnny Manziel will be the last when the Cowboys take him 16th.

• The Vikings keep it simple, remembering how they blew those five leads in the final minute of regulation. Picking a cornerback sends their QB of the future to professional purgatory: Cleveland.

• Once again, offensive tackles are a hit. Three will go in the top six picks.

• The Vikings will start the run on five corners taken while contributing to only two QBs being taken.

• As many as seven teams head into the draft with receiver as their top need. And seven WRs will be taken.

Without further delay, here’s Mock 1.0ver:

1 Texans

Top need: Quarterback

Trade potential: Down, even though they have 11 picks.

The pick: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Why? Freakish upside too tempting.

 

2 Rams

Top need: Offensive line

Trade potential: Down. Anybody smell that Johnny Football smoke screen?

The pick: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Why? Jeff Fisher taps a Hall of Fame bloodline to fix the O-line.

 

3 Jaguars

Top need: Quarterback

Trade potential: Unlikely

The pick: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Why? Justin Blackmon’s issues have the Jaguars looking for a new No. 1 wide receiver.

 

4 Browns

Top need: Quarterback

Trade potential: Unlikely. With six of top 106 picks, it’s time to pull some triggers.

The pick: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Why? Gun-shy Browns take the best player and wait to take a quarterback at No. 26.

 

5 Raiders

Top need: Pass rusher

Trade potential: Down. Looking to bail with Jadeveon Clowney, Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack gone.

The pick: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Why? It’s a reach saying the Raiders won’t reach, but we’ll give them the best value here.

 

6 Falcons

Top need: Offensive tackle

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan.

Why? It’s time for the Falcons to complement all those skill players.

 

7 Buccaneers

Top need: Receiver

Trade potential: Down. They have a new GM, Jason Licht, and only six picks.

The pick: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Why? Vincent Jackson is about all the Bucs have. And he’s 31.

 

 

8 VIKINGS

Top need: Quarterback of the future.

Trade potential: Down. Trader Rick Spielman can get what he wants outside of the top 10.

The pick: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Why? Reaching and missing on a QB? Been there, done that (See: 2011). So let’s step away from that pitfall and focus on that league-worst scoring defense. Hmmm. Let’s see. A year ago, the Vikings blew five leads in the final minute of regulation. Five! Why? Primarily because the only corner who could cover anyone was Xavier Rhodes. And often he was hurt. If last year’s team had more reliable corners, it could have won 10 games. Gilbert is a great playmaker with exceptional hands, instincts and timing. He’s everything Chris Cook wasn’t and more. Somewhere in Tampa, Leslie Frazier is shaking his head at the possibility of the Vikings putting Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn and Gilbert on the field at the same time.

 

 

9 Bills

Top need: Receiver

Trade potential: Up. Like everyone, they love Sammy Watkins. But they also only have six picks.

The pick: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Why? Bills fill need for a big target by taking the best tight end.

 

10 Lions

Top need: Pass rusher

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Why? New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin gets another raw rusher to experiment with.

11 Titans

Top need: Edge rusher

Trade potential: Down. They have no third-round pick and only six overall.

The pick: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Why? New defense can build around a guy who appears to be rising.

 

12 Giants

Top need: Offensive tackle

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Why? Giants go offensive line in the first round for the second consecutive year.

 

13 Rams

Top need: Cornerback (Assuming they take an offensive tackle at No. 2).

Trade potential: Still down. Still shopping pick for Johnny Football?

The pick: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Why? Race begins to see who will become the better CB: Flashier Justin Gilbert or steadier Dennard.

 

14 Bears

Top need: Defensive tackle

Trade potential: Down. With Donald gone, Bears look to bail.

The pick: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Why? FS Chris Conte has poor combo: Hurt and bad.

 

15 Steelers

Top need: Receiver

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

Why? Steelers have lost three of their top four WRs in 14 months.

 

16 Cowboys

Top need: Defense (everywhere)

Trade potential: Up. Johnny Manziel or Aaron Donald could send the Cowboys up the board.

The pick: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Why? Can’t wait for Twitter to gather enough hindsight to explain to me in 140 characters why it was so obvious all along that Manziel was a future (insert one: Hall of Famer, colossal bust).

 

17 Ravens

Top need: Right tackle

Trade potential: Down. Looking for offense.

The pick: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Why? Ravens want Zack Martin, but he’s gone. Mosley is the best available.

 

18 Jets

Top need: Wide receiver

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Why? Might be early for Cooks, but the Jets need a No. 1 WR.

19 Dolphins

Top need: Right tackle

Trade potential: Down. New GM Dennis Hickey running a draft for first time.

The pick: Ja’Waun James, OT, Tennessee

Why? Dolphins have no one on the roster who has played right tackle.

 

20 Cardinals

Top need: Strong safety

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Why? Desperation at safety overrides rumors of QB here.

 

21 Packers

Top need: Free safety

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State

Why? Shazier is a good fit if the top safeties are gone.

 

22 Eagles

Top need: Cornerback

Trade potential: Down. With only six picks, Philly could be a trade partner for the Vikings trying to get back into first round for the third consecutive year.

The pick: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Why? Receiver a possibility, but Fuller better all-around player.

 

23 Chiefs

Top need: Receiver

Trade potential: Unlikely.

The pick: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Why? Dwayne Bowe is turning 30 and the Chiefs whiffed on Emmanuel Sanders.

 

24 Bengals

Top need: Cornerback

Trade potential: Down. Another potential partner for a team, such as the Vikings, looking to move up for a QB.

The pick: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Why? Leon Hall has had two torn Achilles in two years. Adam Jones is old, and Terence Newman is older.

 

25 Chargers

Top need: Cornerback

Trade potential: Down. The Chargers also are a target for teams looking to jump ahead of the Browns for a QB.

The pick: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Why? Tape allows Chargers to overlook injuries, lack of height.

 

26 Browns

Top need: Quarterback (assuming one wasn’t taken at No. 4).

Trade potential: Up. If the Browns want a quarterback and sense other teams lurking, they have the ammo to move up.

The pick: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Why? No pressure, Blake. You’d just be the eighth quarterback they’ve drafted since 1999.

 

27 Saints

Top need: Receiver

Trade potential: Up. Saints really want a WR.

The pick: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Why? Value at pass rusher trumps need at receiver.

 

28 Panthers

Top need: Receiver

Trade potential: Unlikely, considering depth of WRs.

The pick: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Why? With several holes to fill at LT, CB and WR, the Panthers take a receiver they’re targeting.

 

29 Patriots

Top need: Defensive tackle

Trade potential: Possibly down because Bill Belichick believes he can find gems later.

The pick: Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame

Why? Tuitt can play anywhere on a line that’s aging.

 

30 49ers

Top need: Cornerback

Trade potential: Up. With 11 picks, the 49ers can go get a player they want.

The pick: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

Why? Big and fast, although Richard Sherman might disagree.

 

31 Broncos

Top need: Middle linebacker

Trade potential: Down, if MLB is a reach here.

The pick: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Gophers

Why? If Hageman truly wants to be good, this could be a great value pick for a conference champion.

 

32 Seahawks

Top need: Offensive line

Trade potential: Down. This franchise can quietly dominate Days 2-3.

The pick: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

Why? As Peyton Manning found out, Seattle never can have too many pass rushers.



 

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