NFL Mock Draft – Final 1st Round

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21.) Packers: S Calvin Pryor, Louisville (5’11, 207) – With holes everywhere on defense, the Packers will be looking for the best defensive player on the board. Pryor has the versatility to play either safety position is a perfect fit for Dom Capers scheme. He’s also a big hitter with good range in coverage and will be an upgrade at either safety position. His coverage technique still needs some polish, but he improved every year at Louisville and should eventually be a Pro-Bowl caliber safety.

22.) Eagles: LB Dee Ford, Auburn (6’2, 243) – A tweener, but Ford is one of the most explosive pass rushers in the draft. He doesn’t have much experience playing as a stand-up OLB, but has elite pass rushing talent. Ford was unblockable coming off the edge at the Senior Bowl and will be a weapon as a rookie even if he’s not on the field all three downs. The Eagles could use some youth on the edge and Ford has double-digit sack potential.

23.) Chiefs: WR Marquise Lee, USC (6’0, 190) – Lee has all the tools to a borderline #1. Lee struggled in 2013 due to a combination of injuries and bad QB play, but was dominant in both 2011 (73, 1143, 11) and 2012 (118!, 1721, 14). The Chiefs need to give Alex Smith some weapons besides Charles and D-Bowe. Lee is explosive after the catch and should thrive in KC’s short passing game.

24.) Bengals: DE Kony Ealy, Missouri (6’5, 275) – With no glaring needs on either side of the ball (depending on how you feel about Andy Dalton), the Bengals can take the best player on the board. Ealy happens to fill a need as well with last season’s starting DE Michael Johnson gone via free agency.

25.) Chargers: CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (6’0, 194) – The Chargers have the worst pair of starting corners in the league and need to find at least one upgrade in the draft. Fuller is a technician at corner and excels against short to intermediate routes. He lacks deep speed, so he can be taken advantage of with the long ball, but the rest of Fuller’s game is solid including his run support. Fuller should be ready to step in and contribute right away.

26.) Browns: QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville  (6’3, 205) – I still think Bridgewater is the best QB in this draft and the Browns get a steal here. Bridgewater had a bad pro day, but his game tape is excellent. I refuse to believe that NFL GMs are dumb enough to value a pro day over two years of game tape. There are also concerns that his build is too slight and that he won’t hold up to the rigors of the NFL game. He might not, but Brian Hoyer can start in 2014 to give Bridgewater some time to bulk up. Bridgewater is the best pure passer in this draft and his accuracy and ability to throw receivers open is far superior to Bortles. He should thrive with the Gordon / Watkins combo once he takes over the starting role.