The NFL draft 2014 is coming and mock picks have started to get released from experts like Mel Kiper and his Big Board likely will change as he makes predictions, projections and rankings for the top 10 picks in the draft and some of the top names expected to go includes Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Matthews and Sammy Watkins.
Kiper released his first mock draft to ESPN.com already and he has high thoughts on Johnny Manziel, as he predicts that the Houston Texans will take him number one overall when the drat hits in April. Obviously a lot can change leading up to the event, but after the Texans went just 2-14 on the season and lost their last 14 games to end the year, new head coach Bill O'Brien from Penn State likely will want to start from scratch at the position after poor play from both Matt Schaub and Case Keenum, who stepped in as an undrafted rookie to try and get the team back on track. While O'Brien worked with Tom Brady in New England, he won't be opposed to a more mobile quarterback and while Manziel is small for a quarterback, he showed in college he has great skills, speed, arm strength and intuition and his workouts likely will dictate if he goes number one or not.
Heading into the offseason many people have rated Bridgewater at number one on the big board and many have speculated that the Houston Texans will pick him with their draft pick, as he is the most "pro ready" of the quarterbacks. Blake Bortles is another name that is getting some pub heading into the spring, as he had a huge game against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and now he is rising up draft boards and while he isn't cindered an option for the number one pick, many have speculated that he will go in the top five.
Bortles is an interesting case and Kiper feels that he could go in the top five and teams like the Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns could be interested, as could the Oakland Raiders and the Vikings, while Bridgewater could slide to the Vikes according to Kiper. The Big Board and his mock draft are different and he sees players like Justin Gilbert and Sammy Watkins as players that will go in the top 10 as well.
The Texans could go totally the other way and trade the pick or snag someone like Clowney, but they have a very solid team that just went bad last season and getting a QB into the mix could get them right back into playoff contention. Manziel comes in with amazing numbers in college after winning the Heisman Trophy and that could vault him into the top pick after he had 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns this season along with 759 yards on the ground as well. Bridgewater is considered the most polished, while Bortles is a wild card and past those players at QB, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray and Derek Carr will also get looks from teams in later rounds.
Kiper's Top 10 mock picks include: Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, Jake Matthews, Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, Blake Bortles, Anthony Barr, Teddy Bridgewater, Justin Gilbert and Greg Robinson.