Oct 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) celebrates in the first quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The 2014 NFL draft is rapidly approaching. We’re just nine days away until we know who the New Orleans Saints will select with the #27 overall pick. I have little doubt in my mind that you’ve already been filled with hundreds of other mock drafts, but in the off-chance that you haven’t, here’s my second installment.
Here’s some ‘need to know’ for this draft before we get started.
- It’s a draft simulator via Fanspeak’s On the Clock
- All picks are automated except for the New Orleans Saints
- WalterFootball is the source of the player rankings
- To keep up with the majority of the mock expert picks, go here: Mock Draft Overload
2014 NFL Draft, Round 1 – Pick by Pick:
- Houston Texans – DE, Jadeveon Clowney
- St. Louis Rams – OT, Greg Robinson
- Jacksonville Jaguars – OLB, Khalil Mack
- Cleveland Browns – WR, Sammy Watkins
- Oakland Raiders – QB, Blake Bortles
- Atlanta Falcons – OT, Jake Matthews
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR, Mike Evans
- Minnesota Vikings – OLB, Anthony Barr
- Buffalo Bills – ILB, C.J. Mosley
- Detroit Lions – CB, Justin Gilbert
- Tennessee Titans – S, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
- New York Giants – TE, Eric Ebron
- St. Louis Rams – WR, Odell Beckham Jr.
- Chicago Bears – DT, Aaron Donald
- Pittsburgh Steelers – OT, Zack Martin
- Dallas Cowboys – DE, Dee Ford
- Baltimore Ravens – CB, Darqueze Dennard
- New York Jets – TE, Troy Niklas
- Miami Dolphins – OT, Taylor Lewan
- Arizona Cardinals – QB, Teddy Bridgewater
- Green Bay Packers – S, Calvin Pryor
- Philadelphia Eagles – WR, Brandin Cooks
- Kansas City Chiefs – WR, Marqise Lee
- Cincinnati Bengals – S, Jimmie Ward
- San Diego Chargers – DT, Louis Nix III
- Cleveland Browns – QB, Johnny Manziel
- New Orleans Saints – OLB, Ryan Shazier
- Carolina Panthers – OT, Joel Bitonio
- New England Patriots – DT, Tommy Jernigan
- San Francisco 49ers – CB, Kyle Fuller
- Denver Broncos – DE, Kony Ealy
- Seattle Seahawks – OT, Morgan Moses
This was a tough decision. On one hand, I had the chance to take my pick on cornerbacks Kyle Fuller & Jason Verrett. On the other hand, I also had a choice to make about selecting defensive end Kony Ealy. I opted for Shazier for several reasons (see below).
- Combine Profile
- 4.38 40-yard dash
- 3 Cone Drill: 6.91 Seconds (Combine Top Performer)
- Broad Jump: 130″ (Combine Top Performer)
- Vertical Jump: 42″ (Combine Top Performer)
- Height: 6’1″
- Weight: 237 lbs
- Hands: 10″
- Arm Length: 32 3/8″
Saints’ Track History – Previous First Round Picks Used On Linebackers
- 1995 – Robert Fields, Washington State
- 1985 – Alvin Toles, Tennessee
- 1974 – Rick Middleton, Ohio State
Why It Makes Sense for the Saints: On one side at outside linebacker, there’s Junior Galette. On the other? Enter the debate. On more than one occasion, I have voiced my opinion on the returns of veterans Parys Haralson and Keyunta Dawson. I believe Haralson adds value in the run defense, and Dawson made plays more than once on defense and special teams. I further believe that Victor Butler should be completely healthy and ready to make a huge impact. However, as we saw more than once last season, injuries can easily deplete any type depth. Shazier has been heralded as an ‘instant-impact’ rookie on defense.
"“If he were to land at a place like Denver, where he’ll be playing against the pass, his ability to run, blitz, cover will have an immediate impact.” -Daniel Jeremiah (NFL.com)"
Shazier fits every criteria that Rob Ryan is looking for in his defense. Playing in nickel coverage and just having the ability to cover is a huge upside. I’m not saying that any of the other linebackers cannot do this already, but Shazier has proven this ability in college. He’d make a huge push to get on the field from the very start.
The Reality: Shazier looks to be a prime target as soon as we hit #20 in the draft. He’s been linked to the Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, and Denver Broncos. The Saints already have some young, but unproven depth at outside linebacker with Rufus Johnson and Kyle Knox. Shazier would be a huge addition to the team if he makes it to pick #27.
John’s Previous Mock Draft Selections:
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