2014 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper Latest Predictions For First Round Picks With Big Board Projections After Free Agency

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Mar 13, 2014 10:56 AM EDT
South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney
Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel works out as South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney jumps the long jump during the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium ahead of the NFL draft in May.(Photo : Reuters) "

The NFL draft is coming and with free agency starting, mock drafts are starting to take shape and Mel Kiper Jr. has put out his latest one for ESPN and the draft expert has predictions for the first round of top 10 picks along with projections from his Big Board and names like Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Jadeveon Clowney are still near the top.

Kiper started off his mock drafts this season with the Houston Texans taking Johnny Manziel in his first two drafts and now he has changed it up, but that doesn't mean it won't change again as time goes on this offseason. As free agency continues, teams will have their needs change and that will affect how they tackle the draft and the Texans could be a big part of that, especially if they sign another quarterback or trade Matt Schaub.

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Kiper and many others have speculated that the Texans will take Manziel since he has a Texas connection and he is considered to be a great option as a player to build around, but others are not quite sold. Ron Jaworski sure has made his opinions known and many others see Bortles as a more prototypical passer and Bridgewater as the most pro ready of the three. The Texans also may opt to pick Jadeveon Clowney or Sammy Watkins, as this draft is deep and they could take someone like AJ McCarron or Derek Carr later in the draft. Watkins has blazing speed and the team already has his Clemson teammate DeAndre Hopkins.

Clowney is one of the most interesting players in the draft, as he easily would have gone number one last season if he was able to come out, but now many have wondered about his work ethic after a down season in 2013. Some other options for the Texans could be to trade the pick or take a lineman like Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews, but right now it appears quarterback or Clowney is the choice.

The Rams pick second and they could go a number of ways, including on the line, Clowney or one of the quarterbacks, but many think it will be Robinson or Matthews. Mike Evans and Watkins could be in play here and the wideout position it one to watch as the free agent period goes by. The Seattle Seahawks pick at the end of the draft and after losing Golden Tate, they could be looking for another wideout option along with someone who can return kicks and they should have plenty to look at, with Kiper saying Allen Robinson might be the pick.

The Philadelphia Eagles just traded for Darren Sproles, so they likely will not be looking for another running back at that pick and now Kiper calls Kelvin Benjamin an option. The Florida State receiver broke out in the national championship game and adding him could be a huge to an offense that has Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson. This draft could see a number of trades go down and the number two pick could be an option for anyone looking to move up to take someone in the draft.

Check here for the Kiper mock draft from ESPN or more on the past two Kiper Mock Drafts.

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