Picking in the 6-10 region this season is not a bad place to be given that the draft looks deep and there is always the option of trading down to boost your later picks. If our predictions for 1-5 hold true then there could be some scrambling around here and a trade or two couldn’t be ruled out.
Pick 6 Atlanta Falcons – Khalil Mack OLB
The Falcons picking at six is something we didn’t expect going into 2013, given they had a great 2012 and looked to be improving. Here we think they are probably better than their record shows in 2013 and thus don’t have a whole lot of glaring holes in their roster. With Tony Gonzalez no longer a part of the team TE is one glaring need, however is Eric Ebron worth the no six pick? Given the two stud OT’s will probably be gone this leaves us to conclude that they (assuming they stand pat) will be best served by a top Line backer and Buffalo’s Khalil Mack certainly fits that description. Trading down is an option, however unless it is with a team desperate for a QB its not clear who would want to move up to six.
Khalil Mack at the Combine
Pick 7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jonny Manziel QB
This may look like a strange prediction, given the other areas of need in Tampa, however Josh McCown is not the long term solution and seeing JM drift to this position may prove too tempting. They could do with an OT, however the top prospects will likely be gone by now and other needs in the secondary can be addressed later. Having Josh McCown means that they will not have to rush Manziel into action, and if they are building for the future there is no better place to start than at QB.
Pick 8 Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater QB
There is little doubt that the Vikings will add a QB in the 2014 draft, and given they are actually not that bad all round, we would expect them to pull the trigger here, and in doing so pick up a QB who is good enough to start from game one. Bridgewater has been instrumental in putting the Cardinals on the map in the NCAA including leading them to a shock win in the BCS Sugar Bowl in 2013. He may not have shone at the Combine, however everyone has an off day and we expect to see him starting in 2014.
Pick 9 Buffalo Bills – Mike Evans WR
Although the Bills look to have a good Wide out pairing with Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods, we still think they need more offensive weapons before EJ Manuel can take the next step. They still need an OT, however this can be addressed later rather than reaching for a player like Taylor Lewin with a top 10 pick. The other option here would be Eric Ebron who looks by far the best TE in the draft and we would certainly not rule him out.
Pick 10 Detroit Lions – Hasean Clinton-Dix FS
The Lions flattered only to deceive last season, falling apart down the stretch and missing the post season. Having watched a few of their games it was clear that they couldn’t buy a turnover and this needs addressing hence the prediction they will take a physical safety to add some steel to their secondary. They also need to stiffen their OL, however unless by some miracle Jake Matthews slides to No 10 they will seek to address this later. Others we consider viable picks include Calvin Pryor who should still be on the board, and possibly a decent CB such as Justin Gilbert. We would have included Darqueze Dennard in the mix too if not for his off field antics which may have hurt his draft standing.
So there we have it our predictions for 6 through 10 assuming no trades.