Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Lane Johnson (Oklahoma) is introduced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the number four overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
As of this writing, we are less than 48 hours away from the 2014 NFL Draft. With all the mock drafts and rumors going around, I figured it would be fun to make a handful of predictions about things that will happen this year that could surprise some folks. While these are just guesses, I really believe that the following events will really happen.
Here are my five bold predictions for the 2014 NFL Draft:
Nov 29, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Bulls linebacker Khalil Mack (46) waits for the snap against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
The #1 overall pick will not be a quarterback or a defensive end. Instead of going with the favorite right now in Jadeveon Clowney or one of the top quarterbacks in the draft, the Houston Texans will take the best pass rusher with the most upside. That is University of Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. This will cause a frenzy of teams trying to trade up to #2 for Clowney, where the Rams cash in again with a big trade down.
Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) reacts to a fourth-quarter interception against the Duke Blue Devils in the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Johnny Manziel will be #3. No, I’m not saying that Manziel will be the third overall draft pick this year. Manziel will be sitting while he hears the names of two of his teammates at Texas A&M called before him. Both offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans are top prospects and neither one have many big question marks surrounding them like “Johnny Football” does.
Nov 16, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans center Marcus Martin (66) and defensive end J.R. Tavai (58) celebrate after a 47-yard field goal by Andre Heidari (not pictured) with 19 seconds left against the Stanford Cardinal at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC defeated Stanford 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
There will be a center taken in the first round, but no running backs. Much like last year, there are some excellent running backs in the draft class, but I don’t see any of them being selected until the second round of the draft. However, I do see a team picking up Marcus Martin from USC near the end of the first round. That will be one of the many surprises of this year’s draft.
Jan 1, 2014; Tampa, Fl, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Odell Beckham (3) runs with the ball during the first quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Jets trade up…for Odell Beckham, Jr. While the Jets haven’t hidden their love for Beckham, I personally thought that he would be available when New York picks at #18. Like many folks say, if you like a player, go up and get him. Even though I personally disagree with this move because I think it is a poor value to trade up at that point in the draft, it is something that will happen.
Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings pass on a quarterback at #8 overall. Vikings fans have argued back and forth about who the best quarterback in the draft class is and who the best fit for Minnesota’s offense. But none of that will matter when Minnesota turns in their card at #8 and select a defensive player. But fear not, Minnesota will trade back into the 1st round and grab their quarterback so they get the 5th year option on him.
Do you have any BOLD predictions for this year’s draft? If so, let me know in the comments of this article. I’m curious what you guys feel will happen that would knock the socks off other folks.