This is our sixth-annual backward mock draft. It's what it sounds like: What would the 2014 NFL Draft look like if the order were reversed? Whom would the Ravens take with the first pick? My annual Backward NFL Mock Draft is listed below.
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Back to 2014 Backward NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-16
Dallas Cowboys: Aaron Donald , DT , Pittsburgh
Perhaps Jerry Jones has his eye on some third-round prospect at No. 16 overall, but Aaron Donald would make a ton of sense at that juncture. The problem is that the Giants, Rams and Bears are all in play for him, so it's doubtful that Donald would drop that far. Jones would get the last laugh in the backward version.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Darqueze Dennard , CB , Michigan State
Darqueze Dennard is a popular pick for the Steelers in mock drafts, but I don't think they'll take him because they always seem to wind up with a superior prospect who happens to fall (Eric Ebron in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft). However, in this case, Dennard is one of the top players available, so the Steelers can fill their corner need with him.
Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan , DT , Florida State
I'm not crazy about putting Timmy Jernigan here, as he's a bit of a reach, but the top cornerbacks and safeties are off the board. I guess the Bears are thankful they're drafting at No. 14 instead of 19.
St. Louis Rams: Bradley Roby , CB , Ohio State
So, why aren't the Bears selecting Bradley Roby, then? Well, Roby has some character issues, so I feel like only a handful of teams would spend their first-round pick on him. One such team is the Rams, who don't seem to mind taking prospects with red flags.
New York Giants: Kony Ealy , DE , Missouri
The Giants signed Robert Ayers, but they gave him backup money. They still need help at defensive end across from Jason Pierre-Paul. No. 12 is too early for Kony Ealy, but taking him at No. 21 would be a solid move, as he's a much better fit in this range.
Tennessee Titans: RaShede Hageman , DT , Minnesota
The top cornerbacks and rush linebackers are off the board, but the Titans can still add some help for their new 3-4 with Ra'Shede Hageman. Tennessee is OK on its defensive line right now, but it could stand to add an upgrade to help put more pressure on Andrew Luck.
Detroit Lions: Odell Beckham Jr. , WR , LSU
The Lions will be praying that Mike Evans will be available at No. 10 overall. If they were selecting 23rd, they wouldn't really care if a receiver came off the board or not because there are so many of them available in that range. Odell Beckham is as good of a prospect as any of them.
Buffalo Bills: Marqise Lee , WR , Southern California
And another receiver pick for a team that will want to take Mike Evans in the top 10. I actually don't have Evans available at No. 9 in my real 2014 NFL Mock Draft, but Buffalo would have plenty of wideouts to choose from at this spot.
Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater , QB , Louisville
Oddly enough, this selection is the same for the Vikings' No. 8 choice in my real mock. We've reported that one team in the top 10 thinks that Bridgewater will fall to the second round. The Vikings need a quarterback though and would be thrilled if the Louisville product were still available here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kelvin Benjamin , WR , Florida State
I mentioned that the Bills and Lions would love Mike Evans to fall to them. I actually have Evans going to Tampa in my real mock draft. The reason behind that is all the trouble centered on Mike Williams. The Buccaneers need a more reliable No. 2 receiver.
Atlanta Falcons: Dee Ford , OLB / DE , Auburn
The Falcons are expected to trade up for either Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack. It would obviously be more difficult to jump up for one of them if the order were reversed, so they'd have to settle for someone like Dee Ford, a prospect whom arch-rival New Orleans is considering with its own 27th-overall selection.
Oakland Raiders: Louis Nix , DT , Notre Dame
The Raiders added a bunch of defensive ends this offseason, but they're still hurting in the interior of their defensive line. Adding a monstrous tackle like Louis Nix would really help improve that area.
Cleveland Browns: Ryan Shazier , OLB , Ohio State
The Browns signed Karlos Dansby this offseason, but they needed two inside linebackers in the wake of cutting D'Qwell Jackson. Drafting someone like Ryan Shazier early would give them a long-term solution at the position.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Johnny Manziel , QB , Texas A&M
How could Johnny Manziel fall this far? Well, we know of two quarterback-needy teams in the top 10 that won't take Manziel. If you count the Vikings (Mike Zimmer's rant against Manziel), that would make three. There are just too many concerns and red flags with Johnny Football, but perhaps Jacksonville would take a shot at No. 30.
St. Louis Rams: Brandon Thomas , OG / OT , Clemson
The Rams are so desperate for offensive line help - particularly at guard - that Jeff Fisher may break his rule about not taking offensive linemen in the first round. I'm sure Fisher would be much more comfortable about doing so if he had the 31st pick in the draft.
Houston Texans: Jimmy Garoppolo , QB , Eastern Illinois
If the Texans pass on Blake Bortles and select Jadeveon Clowney, which Charlie has happening in his mock, they would probably target Jimmy Garoppolo in Round 2. Well, they still get Garoppolo - but with no Clowney. I guess it makes sense for the worst teams to be picking first.
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
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