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What 2014 NFL Draft prospects are first-round locks?

All it takes is one team to fall in love with you. That's what everybody keeps saying in the run up to the 2014 NFL Draft, but when May 8 actually rolls around, it sometimes can be a different story.

To that end, we went through the newest NFL.com mock drafts, listened to all the latest rumors and considered what team is talking to what prospects. What we came up with is a list of first-round locks, other players who are likely to go in the first round (but could slip), those that are under consideration to go late in the first round and a few fringe candidates who could find their name called on the first day.

Our research revealed 18 first-round locks, 10 likely to be selected in the first round, six that possibly will go in the first round and 14 others that could be called on the draft's first day.

Note: Bucky Brooks' latest mock draft did not include a quarterback getting selected in the first round.

First-round locks:


Jadeveon Clowney

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: No. 1 overall
High/low: 1st/3rd
The skinny: We're getting close to calling Clowney a lock to be the first name called, but quarterback remains an option for Houston.

Greg Robinson

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 4th
High/low: 2nd/6th
The skinny: Trades might have an impact on where Robinson goes, but it's looking increasingly likely that he's the first tackle off the board.

Sammy Watkins

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 4th
High/low: 2nd/5th
The skinny: Based on projections, Watkins is one of only two locks to go in the first five picks.

Jake Matthews

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 4th
High/low: 2nd/6th
The skinny: He's a lock to be the fourth member of the Matthews family to go in the first round of the NFL draft and could easily go in the top five.

Khalil Mack

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 5th
High/low: 3rd/9th
The skinny: Unless a team pulls a shocker, Mack will be the next defensive player off the board after Clowney.

Blake Bortles

No. of mock drafts: 6/7
Average position: 9th
High/low: 1st/26th
The skinny: Although he doesn't appear on every mock draft, it doesn't appear that the prototypical dropback passer slips to the second round.

Mike Evans

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 9th
High/low: 7th/12th
The skinny: The big receiver could be Texas A&M's second (or even third) pick in the top 10 in this draft.

Taylor Lewan

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 10th
High/low: 7th/15th
The skinny: NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly thinks Lewan is better than last year's top two picks.

Anthony Barr

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 10th
High/low: 6th/16th
The skinny: Barr has a love/hate relationship with some evaluators but at least one team will be enamored with what he brings as a speed rusher in a draft that doesn't have a ton of them.

Justin Gilbert

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 11th
High/low: 10th/14th
The skinny: Gilbert's return ability is something other corners don't bring to the table and that's why some have him as the first defensive back taken.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 12th
High/low: 10th/13th
The skinny: It seems pretty clear that Clinton-Dix won't get past the Rams with their second first-round pick at No. 13.



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Eric Ebron

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 14th
High/low: 9th/20th
The skinny: The highest-rated tight end in the draft has a number of potential landing spots, but won't slip out of the first round.

Aaron Donald

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 16th
High/low: 8th/32nd
The skinny: Height was a concern for some with Donald, but ever since the NFL Scouting Combine, he's pretty much been locked into the first round.

Timmy Jernigan

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 16th
High/low: 10th/24th
The skinny: Where he winds up is anybody's guess, but he's firmly established himself as one of the two best defensive tackles in the draft.

2014 NFL Draft Winds
College Football 24/7 takes a look at the rumors connecting draft prospects with NFL teams leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

» AFC East | North | South | West
» NFC East | North | South | West

More:
» Tracking teams' interest in top prospects

Calvin Pryor

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 17th
High/low: 13th/21st
The skinny: Pryor is graded by some evaluators as being right there with Clinton-Dix, but will probably be the second safety taken.

Zack Martin

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 17th
High/low: 9th/20th
The skinny: It speaks to the depth of the tackle class in this year's draft that Martin is looking at going in the middle of the first round.

Darqueze Dennard

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 18th
High/low: 15th/30th
The skinny: One of the most aggressive corners in the draft, the only question about him is if rapper Rich Homie Quan accompanies him to New York City.

C.J. Mosley

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 20th
High/low: 9th/27th
The skinny: He is on the rise and more than one analyst thinks he's going in the top 10.

Likely first-rounders:


Johnny Manziel

No. of mock drafts: 6/7
Average position: 5th
High/low: 3rd/8th
The skinny: Yes, he's the top quarterback in the draft for some, but Manziel's height, off-the-field reputation and a host of other factors mean he's not exactly a lock to be taken in the first if he falls past Minnesota.

Odell Beckham

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 22nd
High/low: 18th/28th
The skinny: Beckham has quickly risen to become a solid first-rounder during the pre-draft process.

Marqise Lee

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 23rd
High/low: 18th/27th
The skinny: His final season at USC and injury history might scare off a team or two, but the Biletnikoff Award winner still finds a home in the first.

Brandin Cooks

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 25th
High/low: 18th/30th
The skinny: He's garnered a lot of interest from the Jets, who could use his playmaking abilities on offense and in the return game.

Kyle Fuller

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 25th
High/low: 18th/30th
The skinny: His stock is on the rise as he might have the most sound game tape of any corner in this class.

Xavier Su'a-Filo

No. of mock drafts: 7/7
Average position: 27th
High/low: 19th/32nd
The skinny: He could easily find himself in the lower tier of first-round prospects, but it seems like a number of guard/tackle-needy teams at the back of the round won't let him slip by.

Path to the Draft
Airing weekdays at 7 p.m. ET on NFL Network, "Path to the Draft" previews the 2014 NFL Draft by providing in-depth expert analysis of the top prospects and each team's needs.

» 'Path to the Draft' videos
» NFL Network broadcast schedule

Bradley Roby

No. of mock drafts: 6/7
Average position: 22nd
High/low: 15th/24th
The skinny: His sub-par 2013 season will cause some to pass on him, but he has the skills to live up to his first-round billing.

Dee Ford

No. of mock drafts: 6/7
Average position: 25th
High/low: 20th/27th
The skinny: Ford has done his best to prove to teams that he can drop into coverage if they slot him in as an outside linebacker.

Louis Nix

No. of mock drafts: 6/7
Average position: 28th
High/low: 25th/29th
The skinny: He will get a number of looks from 3-4 teams who must make a medical evaluation on his knee before grabbing him in the first round.

Jason Verrett

No. of mock drafts: 6/7
Average position: 28th
High/low: 22nd/31st
The skinny: Verrett will get knocked for his size and the shoulder surgery he recently underwent, but he was one of the best players in the Big 12 before declaring.

Possible first-rounders:

Teddy Bridgewater

No. of mock drafts: 5/7
Average position: 11th
High/low: 4th/26th
The skinny: Many consider him the best quarterback in the draft, but he certainly could fall to the second round as there's little-to-no buzz about him.

Ryan Shazier

No. of mock drafts: 5/7
Average position: 26th
High/low: 24th/31st
The skinny: After Mosley, it's very possible he's the next linebacker off the board.

Ra'shede Hageman

No. of mock drafts: 5/7
Average position: 26th
High/low: 14th/32nd
The skinny: Hageman doesn't have the consistency other defensive tackles have shown, but he's a physical freak at the position when he's on.

Derek Carr

No. of mock drafts: 4/7
Average position: 25th
High/low: 20th/26th
The skinny: The Browns and Raiders are reportedly in love with him, but it's possible he can still be there atop the second round.

Kony Ealy

No. of mock drafts: 4/7
Average position: 24th
High/low: 16th/31st
The skinny: He's got the frame to play at the next level, but probably won't be a Day 1 starter on all three downs.

Kelvin Benjamin

No. of mock drafts: 4/7
Average position: 27th
High/low: 22nd/32nd
The skinny: There are a number of receivers in the draft that have speed, but none come close to Benjamin's size, which is either a big plus and a big concern depending on what scout you talk to.

Fringe candidates:

Austin Seferian-Jenkins

No. of mock drafts: 1/7
Average position: 21st
High/low: 21st
The skinny: Some analysts think the red-zone threat is as good as Ebron among the tight ends in the draft this year.

Cyrus Kouandjio

No. of mock drafts: 1/7
Average position: 28th
High/low: 28th
The skinny: A sub-par season and knee concerns at the combine will scare some teams, but he could end up at the back end of the first round after a marathon pro-day workout.

Stephon Tuitt

No. of mock drafts: 1/7
Average position: 29th
High/low: 29th
The skinny: His versatility will appeal to some teams.

Davante Adams

No. of mock drafts: 1/7
Average position: 28th
High/low: 28th
The skinny: Adams doesn't get the press of other receivers in the draft, but he was among the most productive in college.

Jarvis Landry

No. of mock drafts: 1/7
Average position: 28th
High/low: 28th
The skinny: NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock loves Landry's physical nature as a receiver and he brings enough to the table that he could sneak in with a team late in the first.

Travis Swanson

No. of mock drafts: 1/7
Average position: 31st
High/low: 31st
The skinny: We've seen centers go surprisingly early in the first round, so why not Swanson?

Morgan Moses

The skinny: If a team is looking for a tackle late in the first round, Moses is likely the prime target.

Demarcus Lawrence

The skinny: The one area the draft doesn't have depth at is pass-rushing ends, and Lawrence could be worth a late selection in the first round.

Joel Bitonio

The skinny: NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah first mentioned the possibility that Bitonio sneaks into the first round on Wednesday.

Jace Amaro

The skinny: A few teams could be looking to boost the passing game with a tight end, and Amaro has a case to be the second at his position taken in the draft.

Jimmy Garoppolo

The skinny: Buzz continues to build around Garoppolo and there could be a team that trades up from early in the second round to grab a quarterback with a very quick release.

Carlos Hyde

The skinny: With numerous off-the-field issues hurting Jeremy Hill's stock, Hyde is the only running back that could sneak into the first round.

Cody Latimer

The skinny: This receiver might be the hottest name in the draft right now and is in the conversation to be a late first-rounder.

Deone Bucannon

The skinny: With the top two safeties likely coming off the board in the top half of the round, a team might take a chance on Bucannon if there's a significant need at the position.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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