The 2014 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, May 8 from Radio City Music Hall in New York City and with many of the top college football players expected to come off the board early, each one of the 32 franchises in the league hopes their respective picks develop into talent capable of producing at a high level for years to come. Highly-analyzed talent in former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel and star tight end Eric Ebron of North Carolina are among the top available players set to hit the draft board and with the opening round approaching, GM's across the league continue to finalize their draft boards.

This year's draft is chock full of strong offensive lineman talent including former Auburn star Greg Robinson, Nevada guard Joel Bitonio and former Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin among others but offensive line isn't the only positional group expected to have a large number of selections. Due to the emergence of Johnny Manziel, Central Florida star Blake Bortles and Louisville lead man Teddy Bridgewater, the 2014 quarterback class is loaded with talent expected to go in the early portion of the draft. In addition to the aforementioned trio, former Fresno State signal caller Derek Carr -- whose brother David was taken with the No. 1 overall pick by the Houston Texans in 2002 -- is projected as a first round choice as well.

Sleeper selections in LSU's Zach Mettenberger, Alabama great A.J. McCarron, Georgia star Aaron Murray and San Jose State's David Fales are also expected to receive loads of interest, solidifying a deep pool of quarterback talent that could experience high selections through the first three rounds. Now that the first of three draft days is nearing, here's a look at our 2014 NFL Mock Draft consisting of picks 1 through 16. With the Houston Texans officially on the clock, expect the final days leading up to the draft to be full of intrigue as many story lines and sleepers continue to develop.

To conclude the complete mock draft, projected picks 17 through 32 will be released on Tuesday, May 6.

Jadeveon Clowney NFL Draft Former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (R) could be selected with the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. Getty Images

2014 Mock NFL Draft – Projecting Picks 1 through 16

1. Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE / South Carolina

2. St. Louis Rams – Sammy Watkins, WR / Clemson (Pick from Washington Redskins)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Khalil Mack, OLB / Buffalo

4. Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel, QB / Texas A&M

5. Oakland Raiders – Greg Robinson, OT / Auburn

6. Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT / Texas A&M

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derek Carr, QB / Fresno State

8. Minnesota Vikings – Blake Bortles, QB / UCF

9. Buffalo Bills – Taylor Lewan, OT / Michigan

Eric Ebron NFL Draft North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron is expected to go in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Reuters

10. Detroit Lions – Mike Evans, WR / Texas A&M

11. Tennessee Titans – Justin Gilbert, CB / Oklahoma State

12. New York Giants – Eric Ebron, TE / North Carolina

13. St. Louis Rams – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS / Alabama

14. Chicago Bears – Aaron Donald, DT / Pittsburgh

15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Darqueze Dennard, CB / Michigan State

16. Dallas Cowboys – Timmy Jernigan, DT / Florida State