NFL Draft Center


2014 NFL DRAFT: TEN BEST PROSPECTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR DAY 2

The 2014 NFL Draft’s first round is now in the books with Day 2’s second and third rounds on tap for Friday night. As usual the top 32 prospects did not all get drafted with the first 32 picks leaving a number of highly rated players up for grabs. Here are the top ten prospects still available in the 2014 NFL Draft.

1.  WR Marqise Lee/USC – Lee would’ve been a high first round pick last year if he had chosen to leave school early, instead he struggled this past season, while other receivers excelled and in turn passed by him on draft boards. He’s still one of the more polished wide outs in the entire draft and is an excellent route runner. He could make an immediate impact with the right team.

2.  QB Derek Carr/Fresno State – The top signal-caller still available, Carr could easily be the first pick of Friday night’s second round. He’s got a great arm, a lot of experience and has the potential to become a franchise quarterback.

3.  DT Timmy Jernigan/FSU – An impact defensive lineman that has the ability to dominate games, but needs to get in better shape and stay on the field longer. He has the ability to put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks and provide an awesome pass-rush from the interior. He can play multiple spots on the defensive line, even at nose tackle despite his lack of height and in multiple schemes. Just has to get in better shape to increase his motor. Plays with a ton of effort though.

4.  DL RaShede Hageman/Minnesota – One of the biggest boom or bust prospects in the entire draft, Hageman has incredible potential and possesses elite size, strength and athleticism. Unfortunately he has multiple red flags that include his techniques, play to play effort to go with multiple off the field issues. He could be a huge steal if he gets his head on straight.

5.  NT Louis Nix III/Notre Dame – A massive nose tackle that can clog up the middle and handle multiple blockers. Nix III struggled in 2013, but is ready to go and can be plugged into a starting lineup right away. The top nose tackle in the draft.

6.  OT Cyrus Kouandjio/Alabama – Kouandjio began the year as one of the top prospects in the draft, but some disappointing medical reports sent his stock plummeting down draft boards. Still just 21, the Alabama product is young, extremely talented with a high ceiling and is well-coached. If he can stay healthy he could easily be one of the biggest steals of the draft.

7.  DL Stephon Tuitt/Notre Dame – Like his Notre Dame teammate Nix III, Tuitt struggled this past season, but is incredibly talented and once rated as one of the top prospects in the draft. He has a ton of talent and possesses a rare combination of elite size and speed. He has the ability to play multiple spots on the defensive line and can fit into any scheme. He could become one of the steals of the draft.

8.  OG Xavier Su’a-Filo/UCLA – The top interior offensive lineman in the draft. Su’a-Filo is tough, aggressive and possesses good quickness. He’s a fantastic run-blocker and very good in pass-protection.

9.  RB Carlos Hyde/Ohio State – The top running back prospect in the draft, Hyde is a classic three-down back that can do it all. He can power his way for tough yards inside the tackles or break it outside for a big gain. He also has decent hands making him a threat catching the ball out of the backfield.

10.  QB Jimmy Garoppolo/Eastern Illinois – Other than Aaron Donald, no prospect has had a better draft process this off-season than Garoppolo. He shined every step of the way whether it was at the East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl or the NFL Scouting Combine. He was absolutely terrific. Coming from a small-school, he will have to deal with a mammoth jump in competition, but possesses a fantastic arm and a great head on his shoulders. He could be a good one down the road. He could be the first pick of the second round if Houston prefers him over Derek Carr.

Next Best:

11.  OT Morgan Moses/Virginia

12.  DE Kony Ealy/Missouri

13.  OLB Kyle Van Noy/BYU

14.  WR Davante Adams/Fresno State

15.  TE Jace Amaro/Texas Tech

16.  DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence/Boise State

17.  TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins/Washington

18. OL Joel Bitonio/Nevada

19.  CB/FS Lamarcus Joyner/FSU

20.  QB A.J. McCarron/Alabama

21.  WR Jordan Matthews/Vanderbilt

22.  WR Donte Moncrief/Mississippi

23.  WR Cody Latimer/Indiana

24.  OG Gabe Jackson/Mississippi State

25.  CB Marcus Roberson/Florida

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL DRAFT: TEN BEST PROSPECTS STILL AVAILABLE FOR DAY 2


2014 NFL DRAFT FIRST ROUND WINNERS AND LOSERS: 3 TEAMS I LIKED AND 3 I DIDN’T LIKE

The 2014 NFL Draft began last night with the first round. There were plenty of great moves and a number of bad ones to go with all of the surprises. Some teams did amazing, while others fell flat when they got their turn in the spotlight. Here are three teams that I liked from last night’s first round action and three I didn’t like.

THREE TEAMS I LIKED

1.  St. Louis Rams – The Rams had the best first round of any team in my opinion landing two of the top ten prospects in the draft and instantly becoming a more intimidating team in the trenches. With the 2nd-overall pick they chose to remedy their offensive tackle issues by drafting massive Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson, a prospect many feel could have the highest ceiling of anyone not named Clowney. Their current left tackle Jake Long is recovering from a torn ACL and has seen his play take a dip the past few years making Robinson at the very least Long’s heir apparent. Right tackle Roger Saffold was resigned, but can’t stay healthy and played a lot better when he was moved inside to guard last season. Robinson can play either of those spots. However, reports from draft night have the Rams playing Robinson inside at left guard to start, although those plans could change quickly with the health issues of the other offensive tackles on the roster. Then with the 13th selection, the Rams had the NFL Scouting Combine MVP defensive tackle Aaron Donald fall into their laps. Massively underrated to start the draft process, Donald blew scouts, analysts and front offices away with his performances throughout this off-season, which caused them to go back to the game tape where they were able to see a dominant interior defensive lineman. The Rams now boast arguably the scariest defensive line in the NFL with four first round picks in Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and now Donald. Yikes. Great Job St. Louis!

2.  Cleveland Browns – The Browns were arguably the story of the 2014 NFL Draft’s first round. New General Manager Ray Farmer moved all over the board by making three trades and in turn he landed arguably the top corner prospect in Justin Gilbert with the 8th-overall pick and then of course he got their new franchise quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 22nd selection, while also landing Buffalo’s first-round pick in 2015 in the process, which could easily be a top ten pick considering the Bills’ recent history. Farmer not only landed two pretty good players at two of their top areas of need, but also gave new Head Coach Mike Pettine the player he really wanted, while giving owner Jimmy Haslam the guy he wanted. Ray Farmer was the MVP of the first round.

3.  Minnesota Vikings – A year after landing three first round picks (Sharrif Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson) in the 2013 NFL Draft, Vikings GM Rick Spielman was able to secure another two first-rounders this year. He would move down a spot to the 9th overall pick to land pass-rusher Anthony Barr and an extra 5th round selection, while making his big move at the end of the night by sending his 40th overall draft choice and just a 4th rounder to Seattle to get the final pick of the round (32nd) to obtain their new franchise quarterback, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings had to get a new signal-caller this year after last season’s disastrous quarterback situation and Bridgewater, who is arguably the top quarterback prospect in this draft, was fantastic value at the end of the first round and should form a great pairing with Adrian Peterson for years to come. It’s also worth mentioning that along with their two first-round picks this year and three last year, Spielman also drafted twice in the first round in 2012 landing Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith. That’s an incredible seven first round picks in the last three years.

Also liked: The Cincinnati Bengals got fantastic value and filled one their top needs by grabbing arguably the top rated corner in the draft in Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard.  Dennard has all the skills to be a top shutdown corner with the ability to play right away. The Bengals got a good one.

THREE TEAMS I DIDN’T LIKE

1.  San Francisco 49ers – What were the 49ers doing last night. They came into the draft with more ammo (draft picks) than any other team and more than they could ever need and yet they didn’t make any moves whatsoever to work their way up the first round from the 30th-overall pick, where they could’ve landed a real impact player that could’ve helped them immediately. They even had enough picks that they probably could’ve moved up to get into the first round to make a second selection. Yet they chose to remain at the 30th spot in the draft and slightly reach for Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward, who might have still been available into the mid-second round. They needed secondary help, but could’ve easily made a move to land either of the two top safety prospects, Calvin Pryor or HaHa Clinton-Dix or any of the top three corners.

2.  Philadelphia Eagles – Another really questionable move from last night was the Eagles drafting Louisville outside linebacker/defensive end Marcus Smith with the 26th-overall pick. Smith was by far the biggest reach of the night as he was projected to be a third round pick. He was the 89th ranked prospect on my draft board. There were a number of much higher rated players at the same position still on the board. Even though they were able to gain an extra third round pick by moving down from the 22nd pick to the 26th to take Smith, this was still a horrible value pick even if he fills a need on their roster. They very likely could’ve gotten him with their second round pick.

3.  Detroit Lions – A number of reports leading up to the draft had the Lions in love with North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron and I guess they were true as they quickly snagged him off the board with 10th-overall pick. But why. The Lions have two solid playmaking tight ends in Brandon Pettigrew, who they just resigned and last year’s rookie Joseph Fauria, who became a pretty dangerous red-zone threat for them. They didn’t need a tight end and while they did need to add another wide receiver to the mix, this is an incredibly deep draft at that position and they could’ve got one later. There are also a ton of questions about Ebron to go with the fact that he doesn’t block at all. They needed a lot more help on the defensive side of the ball than they do on their already explosive offense. This was not a smart pick.

Also didn’t like: The Tennessee Titans selecting talented left tackle Taylor Lewan, even though they don’t have a spot at all in their starting lineup for him. They still have Michael Roos at left tackle, who is pretty good and just signed free agent right tackle Michael Oher to a four-year deal, while they are set at guard with last year’s first round pick Chance Warmack and Andy LeVitre, who they signed to a big deal just last off-season. Lewan is not a center. The Titans are not good enough to take a luxury pick at this point in the draft.

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL DRAFT FIRST ROUND WINNERS AND LOSERS: 3 TEAMS I LIKED AND 3 I DIDN’T LIKE


2014 NFL DRAFT FINAL BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION)

The 2014 NFL Draft is finally here and goes down tomorrow night. The intrigue is at an all-time high as the clock ticks closer to the start of the draft with every pick including the first overall selection seemingly up in the air. All of the workouts are in the books, all of the interviews have been conducted and all of the game tape has been watched. Teams and analysts have their draft boards completed and ready to go for Thursday night. Anything can happen and anything will at the NFL Draft. It all takes place May 8-10 in New York City at Radio City Music Hall with the action beginning at 8 pm ET. Here is my updated 2014 NFL Draft Big Board:

*Position Rank/Name/School/Previous BB Ranking/New Overall Ranking

 

OFFENSE

 

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Blake Bortles, Central Florida/7/new ranking: 9

2.  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville/6/new ranking: 11

3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M/15/new ranking: 15

4.  Derek Carr, Fresno State/28/new ranking: 25

5.  Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois/42/new ranking: 42

6.  A.J. McCarron, Alabama/59/new ranking: 47

7.  Zach Mettenberger, LSU/75/new ranking: 75

8.  Tom Savage, Pittsburgh/unranked/new ranking: 80

9.  Aaron Murray, Georgia

10.  Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

Dropped Out: Tajh Boyd/Clemson/92/new ranking: unranked

 

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Carlos Hyde, Ohio State/40/new ranking: 39

2.  Tre Mason, Auburn/55/new ranking: 51

3.  Bishop Sankey, Washington/71/new ranking: 54

4.  Jeremy Hill, LSU/64/new ranking: 65

5.  Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona/62/new ranking: 85

6.  Lache Seastrunk, Baylor/95/new ranking: 99

7.  De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon

8.  Andre Williams, Boston College

9.  Charles Sims, West Virginia

10.  Dri Archer, Kent State

                                                     

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Greg Robinson, Auburn/2/new ranking: 2

2.  Jake Matthews, Texas A&M/4/new ranking: 5

3.  Taylor Lewan, Michigan/6/new ranking: 6

4.  Zach Martin, Notre Dame/19/new ranking: 20

5.  Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama/36/new ranking: 33

6.  Morgan Moses, Virginia/41/new ranking: 38

7.  Ju’Wuan James, Tennessee/78/new ranking: 57

8.  Antonio Richardson, Tennessee/61/new ranking: 70

9.  Jack Mewhort, Ohio State/74/new ranking: 77

10.  Billy Turner, North Dakota State

 

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS

1.  Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA/37/new ranking: 37

2.  Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State/53/new ranking: 53

3.  Joel Bitonio, Nevada/80/new ranking: 59

4.  David Yankey, Stanford/54/new ranking: 61

5.  (C) Weston Richburg, Colorado State/77/new ranking: 66

6.  (C) Marcus Martin, USC/50/new ranking: 72

7.  (C) Travis Swanson, Arkansas/97/new ranking: 88

8.  Brandon Thomas, Clemson/76/new ranking: 94

9.  Cyril Richardson, Baylor/79/new ranking: 95

10.  Dakota Dozier, Furman/unranked/new ranking: 96

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Sammy Watkins, Clemson/3/new ranking: 4

2.  Mike Evans, Texas A&M/8/new ranking: 7

3.  Odell Beckham Jr., LSU/25/new ranking: 21

4.  Marqise Lee, USC/17/new ranking: 22

5.  Brandin Cooks, Oregon State/24/new ranking: 24

6.  Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State/33/new ranking: 35

7.  Davante Adams, Fresno State/45/new ranking: 41

8.  Donte Moncrief, Mississippi/60/new ranking: 48

9.  Allen Robinson, Penn State/52/new ranking: 55

10.  Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt/48/new ranking: 56

11.  Jarvis Landry, LSU/57/new ranking: 62

12.  Paul Richardson, Colorado/72/new ranking: 74

13.  Cody Latimer, Indiana/unranked/new ranking: 50

14.  Martavis Bryant, Clemson/87/new ranking: 78

15.  Bruce Ellington, South Carolina/100/new ranking: 86

16.  Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin/99/new ranking: 90

17.  Brandon Coleman, Rutgers/unranked/92

Dropped Out: Robert Herron, Wyoming/98/new ranking: unranked

 

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Eric Ebron, North Carolina/11/new ranking: 10

2.  Jace Amaro, Texas Tech/38/new ranking: 43

3.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington/39/new ranking: 45

4.  Troy Niklas, Notre Dame/49/new ranking: 69

5.  C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

6.  Crockett Gilmore, Colorado State

7.  Colt Lyerla, Oregon

8.  Marcel Jensen, Fresno State

9.  Jake Murphy, Utah

10.  Xavier Grimble, USC

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1.  Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina/1/new ranking: 1

2.  Kony Ealy, Missouri/27/new ranking: 28

3.  Dee Ford, Auburn/34/new ranking: 29

4.  Scott Crichton, Oregon State/47/new ranking: 52

5.  Trent Murphy, Stanford/56/new ranking: 71

6.  Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State/58/new ranking: 44

7.  Kareem Martin, North Carolina/ 65/new ranking: 73

8.  Marcus Smith, Louisville/84/new ranking: 89

9.  Chris Smith, Arkansas/94/new ranking: unranked

10.  Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh/14/new ranking: 8

2.  Timmy Jernigan, Florida State/20/new ranking: 23

3.  RaShede Hageman, Minnesota/26/new ranking: 26

4.  Louis Nix III, Notre Dame/23/new ranking: 27

5.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame/29/new ranking: 30

6.  Dominique Easley, Florida/31/new ranking: 31

7.  Will Sutton, Arizona State/68/new ranking: 76

8.  Da’Quan Jones, Penn State/66/new ranking: 82

9.  Ego Ferguson, LSU/82/new ranking: 87

10.  Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina/88/new ranking: 93

11.  Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech/unranked/new ranking: 100

Dropped Out: Anthony Johnson, LSU/86/new ranking: unranked

 

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  Khalil Mack, Buffalo/5/new ranking: 3

2.  Anthony Barr, UCLA/9/new ranking: 14

3.  Ryan Shazier, Ohio State/22/new ranking: 19

4.  Kyle Van Noy, BYU/43/new ranking: 40

5.  Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech/63/new ranking: 60

6.  Telvin Smith, Florida State/89/new ranking: 81

7.  Carl Bradford, Arizona State/ 91/new ranking: 91

8.  Trevor Reilly, Utah/96/ new ranking: 97

9.  Adrian Hubbard, Alabama

10.  Christian Kirksey, Iowa

 

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  C.J. Mosley, Alabama/13/new ranking: 13

2.  Chris Borland, Wisconsin/69/new ranking: 64

3.  Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut/90/new ranking: unranked

4.  Christian Jones, Florida State/93/new ranking: unranked

5.  Shayne Skov, Stanford

6.  Preston Brown, Louisville

7.  Max Bullough, Michigan State

8.  Lamin Barrow, LSU

9.  Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

10.  Avery Williamson, Kentucky

 

CORNERBACKS

1.  Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State/12/new ranking: 12

2.  Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State/16/new ranking: 16

3.  Bradley Roby, Ohio State/30/new ranking: 32

4.  Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech/35/new ranking: 34

5.  Jason Verrett, TCU/32/new ranking: 36

6.  Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State/46/new ranking: 46

7.  Marcus Roberson, Florida/50/new ranking: 58

8.  Bashaud Breeland, Clemson/70/new ranking: 67

9.  Keith McGill, Utah/85/new ranking: 68

10.  Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska/81/new ranking: 79

11.  Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida/73/new ranking: 84

12.  Pierre Desir, Lindenwood/unranked/new ranking: 98

 

SAFETIES

1.  HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama/18/new ranking: 17

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville/21/new ranking: 18

3.  Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois/44/new ranking: 49

4.  Deone Bucannon, Washington State/67/new ranking: 63

5.  Terrence Brooks, Florida State/ 83/new ranking: 83

6.  Ahmad Dixon, Baylor

7.  Dion Bailey, USC

8.  Ed Reynolds, Stanford

9.  Craig Loston, LSU

10.  Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL DRAFT FINAL BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION)


2014 NFL DRAFT TOP NEEDS FOR ALL 32 TEAMS

The 2014 NFL Draft is upon us giving front offices and fans hopes and dreams of landing the next great talent. Every year teams have holes and needs to fill or upgrade and do their best to do it through free agency, but not every hole can be filled with a free agent. That leaves the NFL Draft where the possibilities seem endless. Teams have their depth charts and draft boards ready, so in preparation of the 2014 NFL Draft, here are the top three needs for all 32 NFL teams.

AFC EAST

BUFFALO BILLS (6-10)

1.  OT – Cordy Glenn has done a decent job at left tackle for the Bills since being drafted, but could be better served at right tackle or inside at left guard, both positions that desperately need to be upgraded. They never replaced LG Andy LeVitre last year and RT Erik Pears shouldn’t be starting. Drafting a top left tackle prospect will allow the Bills to upgrade two positions at once. If they are happy with Glenn on the blind side then adding a right tackle is still a top priority. Either way E.J. Manuel needs better protection.

2.  S – Jarius Bryd was allowed to sign with the Saints in free agency and has yet to be replaced.

3.  TE – Scott Chandler was resigned and is a decent receiving option at tight end, but could definitely be upgraded, especially if it means adding a young, dynamic pass-catching weapon.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-8)

1.  OG – Both 2013 starters are gone; Richie Incognito (bully scandal) and John Jerry (free agency) need to be replaced. Shelly Smith was signed as a free agent to man one spot, but they still need to add another starting-level talent to play the other. Depth is an issue as well.

2.  RT – Miami fixed their left tackle situation by signing Branden Albert, but still need to add a right tackle where they can upgrade on Jason Fox.

3.  DB – Cortland Finnegan and Louis Delmas were added to the secondary in free agency, but both struggled last season and the Fins could find better options in the draft.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-4)

1.  TE – Once the envy of the entire NFL, this unit has dropped significantly over the past year. Rob Gronkowski cannot stay healthy and recent reports have him waiting as long as possible before returning from his latest injury, which could extend into the regular season, while Aaron Hernandez is likely to be in prison for a long time. There wasn’t much that the Pats could do last year to fix the unit, but starting to rebuild it should be one of their main priorities for the 2014 NFL Draft.

2.  S – Adrian Wilson and Steve Gregory were both cut and only Patrick Chung was brought in. Duron Harmon remains a question mark. At least one starting-quality safety should be added in the draft.

3.  DT – Age and injuries are an issue for both Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, while players like Chris Jones and Joe Vellano were relied on way too much last season. Youth and talent need to be added to the interior defensive line.

NEW YORK JETS (8-8)

1.  WR/TE – The Jets added Eric Decker and Jacoby Ford in free agency, but neither is a no.1 wide receiver, while Jeff Cumberland remains their top option at tight end. New York should be able to land a playmaker at either position in the first round.

2.  S – Safety is one of the more important positions in Rex Ryan’s defense and he’s been getting by with sub-par talent the past few years. It’s about time they add a talented young safety to this defense.

3.  CB – They were forced to let Antonio Cromartie go due to cap restraints and have only added Dmitri Patterson in free agency. Even if Dee Milliner is able to take a step forward, the Jets still need to add a starting-caliber corner.

 

AFC NORTH

BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-8)

1.  FS – The strong safety position is set with Matt Elam, but the Ravens need to add someone to play next to him. James Ihedigbo was a liability in coverage last season and was allowed to leave as a free agent. They signed Darian Stewart, but they will need to do better than just him.

2.  RT – The Ravens could only sign one of their free agent starting offensive tackles and they chose to sign left tackle Eugene Monroe allowing RT Michael Oher to sign with Tennessee. They need to upgrade on Ricky Wagner.

3.  DE – Baltimore didn’t have the cap room to resign Arthur Jones and were forced to let him depart in free agency. They haven’t found a replacement yet.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (11-5)

1.  DE – Talented Michael Johnson signed for big money in Tampa leaving the Bengals in need of a replacement. Margus Hunt struggled as a rookie and isn’t ready to be counted on as a starter yet.

2.  LT or LG – Andrew Whitworth was a solid a left tackle to start last year, before moving over and excelling at left guard mid-season. He made the switch because the Bengals had Anthony Collins to play left tackle, but he also signed for big money in Tampa. Depending on where they want Whitworth to play will determine whether they need to draft a left tackle or left guard.

3.  CB – Terrance Newman and Adam Jones have been surprisingly good for Cincinnati, but both are in their 30s, while Leon Hall is trying to return from his second torn Achilles in the last three years and Dre Kirkpatrick has been a disappointment so far.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (4-12)

1.  QB – The Brandon Weeden experiment failed and he was released, along with Jason Campbell this off-season. Brian Hoyer played surprisingly well for the Browns last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury and gives Cleveland a decent veteran to help smooth the process of developing a new franchise quarterback. Another new regime (GM, Head Coach, coaching staff) is running the Browns in 2014.

2.  CB – There is a large drop-off in talent between top corner Joe Haden and everyone else on the roster. They need to upgrade on Buster Skrine as their second starting corner across from Haden. They need to upgrade their depth too.

3.  WR – Like cornerback, there is a major drop-off between Josh Gordon and the rest of the receiving corps. Greg Little has yet to become a reliable option and the rest of the unit is uninspiring. Gordon has had some off the field issues as well that could cause a problem should he gets suspended again. They need to add a legitimate second option.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-8)

1.  WR – The Steelers have seen starting wide receivers leave in back to back seasons with Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders departing as free agents. Lance Moore should help, but is Markus Wheaton ready to step up. Regardless they need to draft at least one wide receiver.

2.  NT – The Nose Tackle position is arguably the most important in Dick LeBeau’s defense, which has struggled since the departure of long-time Steeler Casey Hampton. Steve McClendon has been decent since taking over, but would be better served as a five-technique end on the outside and could help fill their on the edge.

3.  CB – Ike Taylor was lit up repeatedly last year against no.1 wide receivers and at 34 his best days are long gone. Pittsburgh needs to find a young corner with the potential to start soon.

AFC SOUTH

HOUSTON TEXANS (2-14)

1.  QB – Matt Schaub fell apart in 2013 and so did Houston’s season. Schaub was traded to Oakland this off-season, while Ryan Fitzpatrick was signed to be a veteran backup. Third-string Case Keenum played surprisingly well when called upon last season, but his ceiling appears to be that of a backup quarterback. The new coaching staff led by Bill O’Brien needs to find their new franchise quarterback.

2.  TE – Top tight end Owen Daniels was released this off-season and has yet to be replaced, while no.2 Garrett Graham was resigned. A young quarterback is going to need a reliable short-to-intermediate target to dump off too when the pressure gets too hot.

3.  OLB – Brooks Reed and Whitney Mercilus both struggled to generate much pressure last season, which is especially concerning considering that J.J. Watt was the main focus of opposing teams and faced double and triple teams on every play. There is also talk of moving Reed inside to help out the interior.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (11-5)

1.  S – Both safety positions need to be addressed. Starting Strong Safety Antoine Bethea left in free agency and has yet to be replaced, while Free Safety LaRon Landry struggled in coverage and continued to battle injuries last season. A new strong safety is needed, while Landry could be upgraded. Depth is a concern as well.

2.  OC/OG – The Colts desperately need to improve their interior offensive line for Andrew Luck and the running game. They struggled to protect Luck or generate any type of successful run blocking last season. Indy tried to fix the Center position by releasing Samson Satele and signing Phil Costa, except Costa surprised everyone a few weeks ago by retiring at just 26 years old leaving the team with just Khaled Holmes in the middle. The Guard positions were a nightmare in 2013 for the Colts and still need to be fixed as Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach were rightfully allowed to leave this offseason, yet the team still has not signed anyone to come in.

3.  OLB – Robert Mathis was awesome last season, but is well into his 30s and is a risk to see a major decline in his play at anytime. Bjoern Werner was basically invisible last year and needs to take a giant step in his development in 2014, while Erik Walden is a decent run-stuffer, but provides very little in the pass-rushing department.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-12)

1.  QB – The Blaine Gabbert experiment failed and he’s now in San Francisco. Chad Henne was resigned and is the perfect stop-gap veteran to have in place, while developing a new, young franchise quarterback.

2.  OLB – Or the “LEO” position in Gus Bradley’s defense. The Jags have been at or near the bottom of the league in sacks for the past five years. This unit desperately needs to be improved starting with a talented young pass-rusher.

3.  WR – GM David Caldwell recently told the media that he isn’t counting on no.1 wide out Justin Blackmon playing for the Jags this season, who is currently serving an indefinite suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy again. Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders are the team’s top receivers at the moment.

TENNESSEE TITANS (7-9)

1.  CB – Top corner Alterraun Verner was lost in free agency and hasn’t yet been replaced. Depth is a question too.

2.  QB – Jake Locker has been a major disappointment since being drafted, especially with his inability to stay healthy. This will be a “prove-it” season for him. A new coaching staff is in place led by Ken Whisenhunt and a new quarterback being drafted is high possibility.

3.  RB – The Titans finally gave up on Chris Johnson and released him this off-season. Meanwhile, Shonn Greene is the top ball-carrier on their roster and that is a problem.

AFC WEST

DENVER BRONCOS (13-3)

1.  CB – Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are out and Aqib Talib is in, while Chris Harris is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the playoffs. If the season started today they would have to rely on Tony Carter, they must do better than that. They need to add another starting-quality player, along with some depth as this isn’t a particularly deep unit either.

2.  ILB – The Broncos have a gaping hole in the middle. They relied on Wesley Woodyard and Paris Lenon last season and need to do better than that if they have Super Bowl aspirations. Neither is with the team anymore leaving Jamar Chaney on the top of the depth chart at the moment. Denver needs to find a better option.

3.  LG – Zane Beadles struggled in pass protection last season and was allowed to leave in free agency. They haven’t found a replacement yet.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-5)

1.  WR – This is one of the weaker units on the Chiefs’ roster. Dwayne Bowe is the only real threat and he has struggled with drops over the last few seasons. Donnie Avery was a nice surprise in 2013, while A.J. Jenkins is still a giant question mark. They need to find another starting-quality receiver that can be a deep threat, while adding another to upgrade their depth.

2.  RT – 2013 1st overall pick Eric Fisher is moving to left tackle this season to take over for the departed Branden Albert leaving a hole at right tackle that has yet to be filled.

3.  OG – The Chiefs lost both starting guards in free agency and have only added Jeff Linkenbach to fill one spot leaving a hole at the other. Another starting guard must be added.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-12)

1.  QB – The Raiders have had issues at quarterback for a while and hope the addition of Matt Schaub will help remedy the situation in the short term. Schaub is not the long-term answer after falling apart in Houston last season and the Raiders will need to find a young signal-caller with the ability to develop and take over for Schaub in the next year or two.

2.  DL – The Raiders only resigned one of their four free agent starting defensive linemen in DT Pat Sims. Their stud pass-rusher and best player Lamarr Houston was by far the biggest loss of the off-season. GM Reggie McKenzie did an okay job of filling the holes with some short-term deals for aging talent; bringing in Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and Lamar Woodley. Those guys will give the Raiders a chance to develop some young defensive linemen, but they have to draft a few first, preferably one that can start and make an immediate impact right away. They desperately need pass-rush help on the outside and inside of this defensive line.

3.  WR – The Raiders have some solid secondary receiver options in Rod Streater and Denarius Moore and added another in James Jones in free agency, but are still in need of a high-level no.1 wide out.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (9-7)

1.  CB – The Chargers secondary got lit up week after week last season and have arguably the worst cornerback situation in the NFL. They sent Derek Cox and Johnny Patrick packing this off-season and only resigned Richard Marshall, while their only free agent addition was Brandon Ghee. That isn’t good enough, not in a division with Peyton Manning. They desperately need to add talent to this unit.  They need starters.

2.  NT – Cam Thomas signed with Pittsburgh in free agency leaving a giant hole in the center of San Diego’s defense. They have yet to replace him.

3.  TE/WR – Antonio Gates isn’t going to last much longer and the Chargers need to find someone to take over for him. They drafted Ladarius Green, but he has yet to make a meaningful impact. As a rookie, Keenan Allen was the only productive and reliable target on their offense. Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Brown need to be better as secondary receiving options. They need to get Phillip Rivers more weapons and soon.

NFC EAST

DALLAS COWBOYS (8-8)

1.  DT – The Cowboys have a ton of issues on the defensive line and need to completely rebuild the unit after using countless players and having to sign guys off of the street just to field a lineup in 2013. The interior is particularly a problem. Jason Hatcher was fantastic last year, but the Cowboys were unable to resign him due to cap issues. Even if they were able to resign Hatcher they still needed to add someone next to him. Henry Melton and Terrell McClain were signed as free agents, but Melton is a question mark after blowing out his knee last season and McClain is only a backup at this point in his career. They need to add two starting-quality defensive tackles right now.

2.  DE – Dallas was forced to cut Demarcus Ware this off-season leaving them without their best pass-rusher and defender for this season. George Selvie was a revelation last year after being signed mid-season off the street and will be counted upon to repeat that same performance this season. Anthony Spencer was recently resigned to a 1-year deal, but is a question mark after suffering a season-ending knee injury last year. Jeremy Mincey has been the only free agent addition at defensive end so far. They need to add an elite, young pass-rusher to this roster.

3.  OG – The Cowboys interior offensive line is a big problem. They need to desperately upgrade both starting guards, Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau. They can’t have both of these guys in the starting lineup again. Meanwhile, Brian Waters is a 37-year old free agent coming off of a season-ending triceps injury.

NEW YORK GIANTS (7-9)

1.  DE – Once the strength of the team, pass-rusher has now become a weakness. Jason Pierre-Paul struggled last season and battled injuries. Justin Tuck was their most consistent pass-rusher in 2013, but headed to Oakland as a free agent, while Mathias Kiwanuka turned 31 in March and Damontre Moore contributed nothing as a rookie. Robert Ayers was added in free agency, but he’s not the game-breaking pass-rusher this defense needs.

2.  TE – Brandon Myers didn’t work out last season and was allowed to leave as a free agent, while Bear Pascoe also signed elsewhere in free agency. Eli Manning desperately needs more weapons.

3.  LT – Starting Left Tackle Will Beatty struggled all year long before suffering a broken leg in the season finale and is a big question mark at the moment. Justin Pugh was impressive at right tackle as a rookie last season, but would be even better if moved inside to guard. If the Giants can land a potential franchise left tackle, then they can move Beatty to right tackle and Pugh inside to guard upgrading three positions on the offensive line with one move. Charles Brown was added as depth.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-6)

1.  CB – The Eagles need to upgrade the talent on this unit. They have three decent complimentary corners in Cary Williams, Bradley Fletcher and the recently signed Nolan Carroll, but don’t have a true shutdown no.1 cornerback on the roster. Brandon Boykin is solid as the slot corner on this unit. Philadelphia finished dead last in opponents passing yards against. This pass defense has to be improved.

2.  WR – The Eagles chose to release DeSean Jackson and resign Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. Jackson was the star of that trio leaving a big hole in their offense and will need to be replaced.

3.  OLB – The Eagles struggled to generate much of a pass-rush last season and the pass defense got killed as a result. Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham have to be better and put a lot more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Cole will turn 32 during this season and could be a cap casualty next year as he will be owed $10-million in 2015. An eventual replacement will have to be added.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (3-13)

1.  CB – The Redskins’ corners couldn’t cover anyone last year as they were absolutely abysmal. For some reason they chose to resign DeAngelo Hall and E.J. Biggers. They need to upgrade both of those guys, while the addition of Tracy Porter as a free agent only helps out the depth of this unit. They need to add starting-quality talent and soon.

2.  S – Both safety positions need to be upgraded as well. Brandon Meriweather isn’t very good and can’t stay healthy, while free addition Ryan Clark is 35. Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo were highly disappointing as rookies.

3.  RT – Trent Williams is one of the top left tackles in the league, but Tyler Polumbus is one of the worst right tackles. He has to be upgraded as Robert Griffin III needs all the protection he can get on that wonky knee of his.

NFC NORTH

CHICAGO BEARS (8-8)

1.  DT – The Bears spent a lot of money in free agency on defensive ends, signing four of them (L. Houston, J. Allen, W. Young, and I. Idonije), but neglected the interior of the defensive line, choosing only to resign Jay Ratliff, who barely played last season. Why they chose not to upgrade their defensive tackles after finishing dead last in opponents rushing yards against last season is beyond me. Henry Melton was allowed to leave as a free agent and has yet to be replaced. The Bears need to add someone in the starting lineup to play next to Stephan Paea to go with some depth as well.

2.  CB – Age is an issue at corner as Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and Kelvin Hayden are in their thirties, along with Zackary Bowman leaving as a free agent. Some youth is needed. Depth is an issue as well.

3.  SLB – James Anderson was one of the biggest liabilities on the Bears defense last season and needs to be upgraded. Meanwhile, Lance Briggs continues to age and battle injuries and rookies Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene struggled mightily to adjust to the pro game.

DETROIT LIONS (6-10)

1.  CB – It seems like every year cornerback is listed as the top need for the Lions and for good reason as they continually pass on drafting highly-rated elite corners for some reason. They’ve spent Day 2 picks on Darius Slay and Bill Bentley in the past couple of years, but neither appears to have the talent or potential to be a top shutdown corner. Rashean Mathis was their best corner in 2013 and that is a problem.

2.  DE – The Lions saw starting defensive end Willie Young and backup Israel Idonije sign with the rival Bears. Devin Taylor didn’t contribute much as a rookie and may not be ready to be counted on as a starter just yet. Darryl Tapp was added, but that was just a depth signing. Ezekiel Ansah was exceptional as a rookie, but the Lions will need to find someone better than Taylor to replace Young across from him.

3.  WR – Golden Tate was added as a free agent and should provide a good second option to Calvin Johnson, but Matthew Stafford still needs another weapon. Ryan Broyles can’t stay healthy and Kris Durham only just started showing flashes of being an NFL-quality receiver last year. Depth is needed on this unit.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-7-1)

1.  TE – Jeremichael Finley’s career is up in the air due to health concerns and the Packers chose not to resign him when his contract expired in March. They have yet to find a replacement. Only backup Andrew Quarless has been resigned. The Packers need to find Aaron Rodgers a new tight end to light up opposing defenses with.

2.  C – Evan Dietrich-Smith headed south and signed with the Bucs leaving a gaping hole in the middle of Green Bay’s offensive line. A replacement has to be added.

3.  S – This is a major problem area for Green Bay as their safeties provided very little last season. They didn’t even record a single interception among them. Morgan Burnett and M.D. Jennings were awful last year, Burnett will get a shot to redeem himself, but Jennings was not resigned this off-season leaving a hole at free safety at the moment. They should target one of the top safeties early in the draft.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-10-1)

1.  QB – The Christian Ponder experiment failed and the Vikings appear ready to move on from their former first-round pick. Matt Cassel was resigned to be the veteran backup or stop-gap quarterback, while Minnesota attempts again to develop their next franchise signal-caller. They should have the opportunity to land one of the top quarterback prospects with the 8th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.

2.  WR – The Vikings need to find a better third receiving option than Jerome Simpson to play behind Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings, preferably someone that can play in the slot.

3.  SS – Harrison Smith has the free safety position locked down, but the Vikings have nobody to play next to him at strong safety.

NFC SOUTH

ATLANTA FALCONS (4-12)

1.  DE – The pass-rush is a major problem in Atlanta after they finished 29th in the league with just 32 sacks in 2013. Osi Umenyiora was okay for the Falcons last year, but John Abraham was sorely missed. They signed Tyson Jackson to help out, but this unit still needs some youth and a talent upgrade. They need to get better with such young cornerbacks on the roster. The Falcons are going to use multiple defensive schemes this year, so adding a pass-rusher that can line-up with his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 and play standing up as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 would be ideal.

2.  TE – Tony Gonzalez finally retired even though he’s still one of the top tight ends in the NFL and the Falcons are now forced to find a replacement after putting it off for the past couple of years. Levine Toilolo showed very little last season to prove he can be Gonzalez’s replacement. They also do not have a true blocking tight end on the roster.

3.  OT – The Falcons have some issues at the offensive tackle positions. Matt Ryan was sacked 44 times last season and they need to desperately fix that if they are to avoid another year like 2013. They appear committed to Sam Baker after signing him to a big deal before last season, but he needs to be a lot better and has to stay healthy after playing in just four games last year. He might be better off at right tackle, where they also need to upgrade on Lamar Holmes and Mike Johnson. Adding one of the potential franchise left tackles at the top of the first round could fix this issue. This was also an offense that finished dead last in rushing last year.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (12-4)

1.  LT – Jordan Gross retired and there isn’t a solution on the roster leaving a giant hole on Cam Newton’s blind side. Right tackle is an issue as well where they can do better than Byron Bell and Nate Chandler.

2.  WR – Who exactly is Newton going to throw the ball too this season. The Panthers have had to completely rebuild their wide receiver corps this off-season after cutting long-time star Steve Smith and watching Brandon Lafell, Ted Ginn and Domenick Hixon sign elsewhere as free agents. Those were their top four wide receivers in 2013. So far they have replaced them with a trio of backups in Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood. That’s not going to cut it. This unit desperately needs elite talent and youth in a hurry. If they can’t land a left tackle in the first round than drafting a receiver is must.

3.  CB – The Panthers were forced to watch their top corner Captain Munnerlyn leave as free agent due to super tight cap restraints, the same reason they had to let their entire wide receiving corps go. Their other starting corner from last season is Drayton Florence, who is a 33-year old free agent at the moment. Only Antoine Cason has been added to this unit. They need to add two corners and at least one that can start immediately.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (11-5)

1.  CB – The Saints were forced to cut starting corner Jabari Greer due to cap issues and were only able to add the quickly declining soon-to-be 36-year old Champ Bailey as a possible replacement. They need someone better than Bailey to play across from Keenan Lewis.

2.  OLB – Junior Galette was awesome last season, but the Saints need someone across from him. Victor Butler is a question mark after missing all of 2013 with an injury, while Parys Haralson is just okay and shouldn’t be in the starting lineup. Another elite pass-rusher could take this defense to the next level.

3. OC – The Saints don’t have a starting Center on the roster at the moment after Brian De La Puente left in free agency. This is an issue.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-12)

1.  WR – This unit desperately needs to add talent. There is nothing on the roster behind Vincent Jackson. Chris Owusu, who has only 14 career receptions is probably their next best receiver. That is a major issue. They need to add multiple receivers and at least one that can start immediately. Youth is needed too as Jackson is already 31.

2.  QB – There is a new regime (GM, Head Coach) running the Bucs with former long-time Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith leading the way. Smith doesn’t appear to be a fan of Mike Glennon, who took over for Josh Freeman last year after he was traded mid-season. That was made clear when the Bucs signed veteran Josh McCown as a free agent and immediately named him the starter. McCown is just the short-term answer though as he is only on a two-year deal and will be 35 when the regular season gets underway. Tampa will be in the market for a quarterback at this year’s draft, while Glennon could be headed out of town.

3.  OG – Starting Left Guard Carl Nicks has barely played the past two seasons and what he will provide this year remains a big question mark. Insurance behind him will be needed, while a new right guard will have to be added after the Bucs released Davin Joseph this off-season.

NFC WEST

ARIZONA CARDINALS (10-6)

1.  QB – While he’s done a decent job since joining the team, Carson Palmer will turn 35 this season and isn’t getting any younger. It’s about time the Cards draft their future franchise quarterback to begin developing while Palmer still has some gas left in the tank.

2.  OLB – The Cardinals need to upgrade this unit as it is probably the weakest part of their defense. John Abraham turned in a fantastic season, but is turning 36 this month and the rest of this group has had trouble staying healthy and can be just plain better. Finding a young stud pass-rusher in this draft would be ideal, although there are only a couple of them available this year so they will have to pounce early.

3.  S – Yeremiah Bell is a free agent, although they could stand to upgrade on him. Meanwhile Tyrann Mathieu is still recovering from a brutal knee injury suffered last season.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (12-4)

1.  CB – This was the weakest unit on the San Francisco defense last season and needs to be upgraded. Carlos Rogers was released, while Tarell Brown surprised them by bolting for Oakland in free agency and Eric Wright remains a free agent. They did sign Chris Cook, but will have to do more than that to fix this group. They need to add a starting-quality corner and some depth.

2.  DL – Age is an issue here. Justin Smith will turn 35 this season and can’t play forever, while Ray McDonald will hit 30 around the same time. Adding youth and depth with upside should be the focus here.

3.  OC – Jonathan Goodwin played pretty well last season, but will turn 36 in December and is currently contemplating retirement. He is also a free agent right now and not on the roster leaving a hole in the middle of their dominant offensive line.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (13-3)

1.  OL – This was the weakest unit on Seattle’s Super Bowl winning roster last season. They struggled all season long to protect Russell Wilson and without his incredible mobility they don’t come anywhere close to having the season that they did. Outside of left tackle Russell Okung, every other spot on the O-Line could be upgraded. They also have no choice, but to replace last season’s starting right tackle Breno Giacomini, who signed with the Jets as a free agent. Backup Guard Paul McQuistan also departed as a free agent.

2.  DL – The defensive line took a beating this off-season as the Seahawks had to cut Red Bryant and Chris Clemons, while Clinton McDonald signed with the Bucs as a free agent. Fortunately, they were able to find room under the cap to keep Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel, but this unit could use a couple of extra bodies, preferably at least one with the ability to crack the starting lineup.

3.  TE – The Seahawks have some solid options here with Zach Miller and Luke Willson, but imagine what Russell Wilson could do with an elite playmaking tight end.

ST. LOUIS RAMS (7-9)

1. OT – This is a problem area for the Rams. Left Tackle Jake Long has battled injuries throughout his career and is currently recovering from a torn ACL and MCL suffered in December and has also seen a steady decline in his play over the last few years. Roger Saffold was resigned and can play right tackle, but appeared to find his spot in the league last year when he was moved inside to guard, where they need help as well. They can’t rely on using Joseph Barksdale in the starting lineup either. If they can land one of the potential franchise left tackles in this draft, then they need to run up to the podium.

2.  S – St. Louis lost both starting safeties coming into last season and never truly replaced them. Fourth-round pick T.J. McDonald was okay, but struggled for most of the season at strong safety and battled injuries as well, while free safety Rodney McLeod was awful and desperately needs to be upgraded. Darian Stewart also departed in free agency.

3.  WR – The Rams have spent a number of high draft picks on wide receivers over the past few years and might have every type possible, but have yet to land a true #1 elite wide receiver.

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL DRAFT TOP NEEDS FOR ALL 32 TEAMS


2014 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION): POST-COMBINE

The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books and every team and draft analyst has now had a chance to see the majority of prospects work out for the world to see. A number of the very top rated prospects like Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson and Sammy Watkins performed as expected and put on awesome displays of athleticism, while prospects like Taylor Lewan, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr. and Aaron Donald also excelled. In fact, Donald was the clear MVP and biggest riser of the event. Not everyone did well as prospects like Cyrus Kouandjio, Loucheiz Purifoy and Anthony Barr struggled during drills. Some prospects were able to rise up draft boards, while others fell. For those that struggled, Pro Days will be their final chance to audition for teams. All this leads up to the 2014 NFL Draft taking place on May 8-10 in New York City. Here is the updated 2014 NFL Big Board:

 

*Position Rank/Name/School/Previous BB Ranking/New Overall Ranking

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville/4/new ranking: 6

2.  Blake Bortles, Central Florida/8/new ranking: 7

3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M/11/new ranking: 15

4.  Derek Carr, Fresno State/25/new ranking: 28

5.  Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois/55/new ranking: 42

6.  A.J. McCarron, Alabama/73/new ranking: 59

7.  Zach Mettenberger, LSU/75/new ranking: 75

8.  Tajh Boyd, Clemson/86/new ranking: 92

9.  Aaron Murray, Georgia/T-100/new ranking: unranked

10.  Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Carlos Hyde, Ohio State/35/new ranking: 40

2.  Tre Mason, Auburn/52/new ranking: 55

3.  Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona/46/new ranking: 62

4.  Jeremy Hill, LSU/56/new ranking: 64

5.  Bishop Sankey, Washington/69/new ranking: 71

6.  Lache Seastrunk, Baylor/83/new ranking: 95

7.  De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon/97/new ranking: unranked

8.  Andre Williams, Boston College

9.  Charles Sims, West Virginia

10.  Dri Archer, Kent State                                                  

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Greg Robinson, Auburn/2/new ranking: 2

2.  Jake Matthews, Texas A&M/3/new ranking: 4

3.  Taylor Lewan, Michigan/10/new ranking: 6

4.  Zach Martin, Notre Dame/24/new ranking: 19

5.  Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama/18/new ranking: 36

6.  Morgan Moses, Virginia/48/new ranking: 41

7.  Antonio Richardson, Tennessee/50/new ranking: 61

8.  Jack Mewhort, Ohio State/72/new ranking: 74

9.  Ju’Wuan James, Tennessee/93/new ranking: 78

10.  Joel Bitonio, Nevada/unranked/new ranking: 80

Dropped out: James Hurst/UNC/94/new ranking: unranked

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS

1.  Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA/45/new ranking: 37

2.  (C) Marcus Martin, USC/unranked/new ranking: 50

3.  Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State/59/new ranking: 53

4.  David Yankey, Stanford/49/new ranking: 54

5.  Brandon Thomas, Clemson/unranked/new ranking: 76

6.  (C) Weston Richburg, Colorado State/unranked/new ranking: 77

7.  Cyril Richardson, Baylor/54/new ranking: 79

8.  (C) Travis Swanson, Arkansas/79/new ranking: 97

9.  Anthony Steen, Alabama

10.  (C) Russell Bodine, North Carolina

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Sammy Watkins, Clemson/5/new ranking: 3

2.  Mike Evans, Texas A&M/13/new ranking: 8

3.  Marqise Lee, USC/14/new ranking: 17

4.  Brandin Cooks, Oregon State/43/new ranking: 24

5.  Odell Beckham Jr., LSU/34/new ranking: 25

6.  Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State/31/new ranking: 33

7.  Davante Adams, Fresno State/53/new ranking: 45

8.  Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt/41/new ranking: 48

9.  Allen Robinson, Penn State/39/new ranking: 52

10.  Jarvis Landry, LSU/57/new ranking: 57

11.  Donte Moncrief, Mississippi/unranked/new ranking: 60

12.  Paul Richardson, Colorado/63/new ranking: 72

13.  Martavis Bryant, Clemson/unranked/new ranking: 87

14.  Robert Herron, Wyoming/unranked/new ranking: 98

15.  Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin/84/new ranking: 99

16.  Bruce Ellington, South Carolina/unranked/new ranking: 100

Dropped Out: Brandon Coleman, Rutgers/95/new ranking: unranked

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Eric Ebron, North Carolina/12/new ranking: 11

2.  Jace Amaro, Texas Tech/26/new ranking: 38

3.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington/33/new ranking: 39

4.  Troy Niklas, Notre Dame/62/new ranking: 49

5.  C.J. Fiedorowicz/T-100/new ranking: unranked

6.  Crockett Gilmore, Colorado State

7.  Colt Lyerla, Oregon

8.  Marcel Jensen, Fresno State

9.  Jake Murphy, Utah

10.  Xavier Grimble, USC

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1.  Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina/1/new ranking: 1

2.  Kony Ealy, Missouri/21/new ranking: 27

3.  Dee Ford, Auburn/47/new ranking: 34

4.  Scott Crichton, Oregon State/42/new ranking: 47

5.  Trent Murphy, Stanford/44/new ranking: 56

6.  Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State/74/new ranking: 58

7.  Kareem Martin, North Carolina/unranked/new ranking: 65

8.  Marcus Smith, Louisville/80/new ranking: 84

9.  Chris Smith, Arkansas/82/new ranking: 94

10.  Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas/70/new ranking: unranked

Dropped Out: Michael Sam, Missouri/85/new ranking: unranked

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh/30/new ranking: 14

2.  Timmy Jernigan, Florida State/15/new ranking: 20

3.  Louis Nix III, Notre Dame/20/new ranking: 23

4.  RaShede Hageman, Minnesota/23/new ranking: 26

5.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame/22/new ranking: 29

6.  Dominique Easley, Florida/29/new ranking: 31

7.  Da’Quan Jones, Penn State/71/new ranking: 66

8.  Will Sutton, Arizona State/58/new ranking: 68

9.  Ego Ferguson, LSU/68/new ranking: 82

10.  Anthony Johnson, LSU/64/new ranking: 86

11.  Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina/66/new ranking: 88

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  Khalil Mack, Buffalo/7/new ranking: 5

2.  Anthony Barr, UCLA/6/new ranking: 9

3.  Ryan Shazier, Ohio State/28/new ranking: 22

4.  Kyle Van Noy, BYU/37/new ranking: 43

5.  Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech/76/new ranking: 63

6.  Telvin Smith, Florida State/65/new ranking: 89

7.  Carl Bradford, Arizona State/unranked/new ranking: 91

8.  Trevor Reilly, Utah/67/new ranking: 96

9.  Adrian Hubbard, Alabama/98//new ranking: unranked

10.  Christian Kirksey, Iowa

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  C.J. Mosley, Alabama/9/new ranking: 13

2.  Chris Borland, Wisconsin/90/new ranking: 69

3.  Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut/87/new ranking: 90

4.  Christian Jones, Florida State/77/new ranking: 93

5.  Shayne Skov, Stanford/78/new ranking: unranked

6.  Preston Brown, Louisville

7.  Max Bullough, Michigan State

8.  Lamin Barrow, LSU

9.  Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

10.  Avery Williamson, Kentucky

CORNERBACKS

1.  Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State/19/new ranking: 12

2.  Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State/16/new ranking: 16

3.  Bradley Roby, Ohio State/36/new ranking: 30

4.  Jason Verrett, TCU/32/new ranking: 32

5.  Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech/60/new ranking: 35

6.  Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State/51/new ranking: 46

7.  Marcus Roberson, Florida/38/new ranking: 50

8.  Bashaud Breeland, Clemson/96/new ranking: 70

9.  Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida/40/new ranking: 73

10.  Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska/unranked/new ranking: 81

11.  Keith McGill, Utah/92/new ranking: 85

Dropped Out: Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma/61/new ranking: unranked, Terrance Mitchell, Oregon/81/new ranking: unranked, Pierre Desir, Lindenwood/99/new ranking: unranked

SAFETIES

1.  HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama/17/new ranking: 18

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville/27/new ranking: 21

3.  Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois/91/new ranking: 44

4.  Deone Bucannon, Washington State/88/new ranking: 67

5.  Terrence Brooks, Florida State/unranked/new ranking: 83

6.  Ahmad Dixon, Baylor/89/new ranking: unranked

7.  Dion Bailey, USC

8.  Ed Reynolds, Stanford

9.  Craig Loston, LSU

10.  Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION): POST-COMBINE


2014 NFL SCOUTING COMBINE PRIMER

The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is here and it will be the biggest one ever with over 330+ prospects at the event to compete in front of all 32 NFL teams. All the biggest names will be in attendance, Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel and Sammy Watkins will be in the house. The pressure will be on all of these prospects as the eyes of every coach, scout and front office guy in the NFL will be on them. A lot of money can be made or lost at the Combine as these prospects go head to head with one another.  As always there will be no shortage of storylines going on in Indy. Here are ten to watch.

1.  The Battle for the first overall pick

In most years there is usually a heavy favorite or two to be selected with the first overall pick, but the 2014 NFL Draft’s first selection owned by the Houston Texans is currently wide open as the NFL Scouting Combine is set to begin. Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney is the top prospect on almost every draft board and has been for the majority of the last two years and is considered by most to be an once in a decade type talent. Why isn’t he a clear favorite to go first overall then, well the Texans have a new head coach in place and a gaping hole at the quarterback position in a draft year that features a trio of signal-callers (Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel) ranked among the top 15 prospects with all three being predicted to come off the board within the first five picks in most experts’ mock drafts heading into the Combine. Those four aren’t the only prospects in the discussion as a pair of potential franchise left tackles Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are ranked right behind Clowney and ahead of all three quarterbacks on a number of draft boards. Robinson has been the fastest rising prospect since declaring for the NFL Draft after dominating the SEC as just a redshirt sophomore and helping lead Auburn to a National Championship. He’s an athletic freak with a ridiculously high ceiling and is expected to light it up at the Combine. Matthews meanwhile could have been a high draft selection last year, but chose to return to school for another year and in turn sat at the top of draft boards along with Clowney all season long. He’s not the athlete that Robinson is, but he is much further along in his development and possesses elite technique in pass protection and run-blocking. The performances on the field and in the interview rooms at the Combine will go a long way in determining which one of these prospects or another yet to emerge will be selected with the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft.

2.  Who will be the first quarterback chosen?

While the battle to be the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft is very intriguing, so is the one between the top three quarterback prospects (Bridgewater, Bortles and Manziel) to see which one will be the first to come off the board. They all rank among the top 15 prospects by most experts in one order or another with Bridgewater holding the slight edge over Bortles then Manziel in most cases. All three are also expected to be selected within the first ten picks, possibly even the top five with so many QB-needy teams drafting early and all are heavily in the discussion to be taken with the first overall pick. Bortles could gain an edge at the Combine over Bridgewater and Manziel as he is the only one of the three that is willing to step up and participate in the throwing drills, while the other two will wait until their pro days to throw in what will be scripted workouts.

3.  Tight Position Battles between Top Prospects

Every year there are close battles between prospects at every position to see which one will come off the board before all the others. This year is no different, except that a number of the battles will feature the very top prospects fighting it out to see which one will be the top player selected at his position. As mentioned above Bridgewater, Bortles and Manziel are neck to neck at the quarterback position, while Sammy Watkins holds an edge over Mike Evans and Marqise Lee at wide receiver and offensive tackles Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are as closely ranked as any two prospects at the same position with Taylor Lewan and Cyrus Kouandjio lurking closely behind them. Eric Ebron has a lead over Jace Amaro at tight end while the running back and guard battles are wide open among the top five or six prospects at each position. On defense, Jadeveon Clowney is in his own world at defensive end, but so is C.J. Mosley at the inside linebacker position, perhaps even more so as the next ILB might not be selected until two round after him. There are however, three close head to head battles among prospects at outside linebacker, cornerback and safety to see who will be the first to be selected at his position. Outside linebackers Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack appear even heading into the Combine, while cornerbacks Darqueze Dennard and Justin Gilbert are nearly as close. At safety, HaHa Clinton-Dix is currently holding an edge on the surging Calvin Pryor. Meanwhile, defensive tackle is arguably the most wide open of any position with every expert’s rankings appearing in a different order. Performances at the Combine could go a long way in determining who wins each of these position battles.

4.  What are the coaches saying?

Coaches always seem to be in a good mood at the Combine and because of it they seem to be more open to answering questions making the media session full of interesting tidbits about each team. The coaches often reveal what direction they may be looking with their first round draft pick, what prospects they’re interested in seeing, which free agents their team may want to resign or let test free agency and much more. The Combine is often times the most open and revealing that the coaches are all year.

5.  Meeting the Media

Prospects aren’t only put to the test by NFL teams on the field and in the interview room, but they all must go through the gauntlet that is the media session. Often times dealing with the media can be one of the toughest things an athlete has to deal with especially with the advances of social media. Most of these prospects have never had to really deal with the media before, let alone the hordes of journalists and reporters that will be drilling them with all kinds of questions from every direction at the Combine. These sessions with the media can often reveal a prospect’s real personality and character. Prospects that will have it tougher than others include Johnny Manziel, Michael Sam and Jadeveon Clowney.

6.  Who will impress at the Weigh-Ins?

Before any of the prospects put on a show on the field, they get weighed-in and measured for all to see. Each year whether it’s a mammoth 330lb. nose tackle or a 6’5”, 270lb. athletic freak, there are always a handful of prospects that stand out from the pack and blow coaches and scouts away just by the way they look. That’s not to say that the measurements aren’t that important because they are. The measurements of every prospect can’t be trusted until they get officially measured at the Combine. The majority of them actually tend to slightly shrink from what is listed on their school or team profiles. There are certain measurements that are more critical and important than others depending on the position. For Quarterbacks; height and hand size stand out, arm length for offensive tackles and cornerbacks, and height/weight for defensive ends and outside linebackers seem to be some of the more important measurements to be taken. The height and length of the cornerbacks appear to be what most scouts are intrigued with this year.

7.  Who will be the Workout Warriors?

Some of this year’s favorites to light it up at the Combine include highly ranked prospects like Clowney, Greg Robinson, Khalil Mack, Anthony Barr and Eric Ebron. Others to keep an eye on include Loucheiz Purifoy, Bradley Roby, Dee Ford and Seantreal Henderson. Outside of those names there is guaranteed to be someone nobody is talking about that puts on a show that gets everyone talking. As always it will be interesting to see which prospect’s performance sends him skyrocketing up draft boards.

8.  The 2014 Wide Receiver Class

This year’s crop of wide receivers is absolutely ridiculous in terms of the talent that is available. All season long analysts talked about how amazing the 2014 quarterback draft class was potentially going to be, but due to a few different circumstances it didn’t quite turn out like that or even come close while quietly the number of highly talented wide receivers entering the draft started to pile up. Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Marqise Lee headline this class as top 15 ranked prospects, but they could also be just three of a possible eight or nine that are selected in the first round. Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft had an astounding nine receivers coming off the board in round one. If these prospects can perform up to expectations at the Combine, this class has the makings of something potentially historic.

9.  Small School Flavour

Each year prospects from “small schools” with very little fan fare emerge at the Combine and move up draft boards when given the chance to put their skills and athletic abilities to the test right next to some of the more talked about and well-known players from the bigger programs. Of the 330+ prospects in Indy, 37 come from a non-FBS level program. The fast-rising Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) headlines the list of “small school” prospects to watch after lighting it up at both the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl. Behind him are a trio of ultra-productive running backs in Dri Archer (Kent State), Terrance West (Towson) and former Georgia Bulldog Isaiah Crowell (Alabama State). Garoppolo isn’t the only quarterback to keep an eye on as Jeff Matthews (Cornell) and Dustin Vaughn (West Texas A&M) are intriguing prospects as well. Some others to watch out for include WR Jeff Janis (Saginaw Valley), OL Billy Turner (North Dakota State), OL Dakota Dozier (Furman) and LB Tyler Starr (South Dakota). The prospect I recommend most however is CB Pierre Desir (Lindenwood) as he will attract a number of teams due to his size and length. The rise of Richard Sherman and other big corners over the last year or two should draw some eyes Desir’s way as he stands a reported 6’1” with 33 inch long arms. He isn’t just another big corner either as he happens to possess some very good game tape.

10.  The Medicals

Perhaps more so than any drill or interview, a prospect’s medical report at the Combine can make or break his draft stock. Whether it is a prospect trying to show he is fully or nearly recovered from an injury suffered over the last year or an unreported injury or health issue is discovered. The medical testing is arguably the most rigorous and nerve-racking test that every prospect has to go through at this event. A bad result can send a prospect’s stock spiraling down draft boards. This year a few prospects to keep an eye on in regards to the medicals are DT Dominique Easley/Florida, NT Louis Nix III/Notre Dame, QB Zach Mettenberger/LSU, QB Aaron Murray/Georgia, CB Kyle Fuller/Virginia Tech, RB Dri Archer/Kent State and CB Antone Exum/Virginia Tech.

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL SCOUTING COMBINE PRIMER


2014 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION): PRE-COMBINE

The 2014 NFL Draft is exceptionally deep this year with just as many talented prospects on both sides of the ball. On offense, wide receiver and offensive tackle are particularly stocked with talent, while on defense; cornerback and defensive tackle are the deepest positions. The top of the Big Board is headlined by Jadeveon Clowney, Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews, Teddy Bridgewater and Sammy Watkins. There has been plenty of movement all season long with prospects rising and falling and there should be even more as the NFL Scouting Combine is upon us with Pro Days and individual private workouts with teams to follow. All this leads up to the 2014 NFL Draft taking place on May 8-10 in New York City. Here is the 2014 NFL Big Board:

*Position Rank/Name/School/Overall Rank

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

1.  Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville/4

2.  Blake Bortles, Central Florida/8

3.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M/11

4.  Derek Carr, Fresno State/25

5.  Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois/55

6.  A.J. McCarron, Alabama/73

7.  Zach Mettenberger, LSU/75

8.  Tajh Boyd, Clemson/86

9.  Aaron Murray, Georgia/T-100

10.  Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

 

RUNNING BACKS

1.  Carlos Hyde, Ohio State/35

2.  Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona/46

3.  Tre Mason, Auburn/52

4.  Jeremy Hill, LSU/56

5.  Bishop Sankey, Washington/69

6.  Lache Seastrunk, Baylor/83

7.  De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon/97

8.  Andre Williams, Boston College

9.  Charles Sims, West Virginia

10.  Dri Archer, Kent State

                                                     

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Greg Robinson, Auburn/2

2.  Jake Matthews, Texas A&M/3

3.  Taylor Lewan, Michigan/10

4.  Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama/18

5.  Zach Martin, Notre Dame/24

6.  Morgan Moses, Virginia/48

7.  Antonio Richardson, Tennessee/50

8.  Jack Mewhort, Ohio State/72

9.  Ju’Wuan James, Tennessee/93

10.  James Hurst, North Carolina/94

 

OFFENSIVE GUARDS/CENTERS

1.  Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA/45

2.  David Yankey, Stanford/49

3.  Cyril Richardson, Baylor/54

4.  Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State/59

5.  (C) Travis Swanson, Arkansas/79

6.  (C) Marcus Martin, USC

7.  Anthony Steen, Alabama

8.  (C) Weston Richburg, Colorado State

9.  Jon Halapio, Florida

10.  Chris Watt, Notre Dame

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1.  Sammy Watkins, Clemson/5

2.  Mike Evans, Texas A&M/13

3.  Marqise Lee, USC/14

4.  Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State/31

5.  Odell Beckham Jr., LSU/34

6.  Allen Robinson, Penn State/39

7.  Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt/41

8.  Brandin Cooks, Oregon State/43

9.  Davante Adams, Fresno State/53

10.  Jarvis Landry, LSU/57

11.  Paul Richardson, Colorado/63

12.  Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin/84

13. Brandon Coleman, Rutgers/95

 

TIGHT ENDS

1.  Eric Ebron, North Carolina/12

2.  Jace Amaro, Texas Tech/26

3.  Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington/33

4.  Troy Niklas, Notre Dame/62

5.  C.J. Fiedorowicz/T-100

6.  Marcel Jensen, Fresno State

7.  Colt Lyerla, Oregon

8.  Jake Murphy, Utah

9.  Xavier Grimble, USC

10.  Crockett Gilmore, Colorado State

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE ENDS

1.  Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina/1

2.  Kony Ealy, Missouri/21

3.  Scott Crichton, Oregon State/42

4.  Trent Murphy, Stanford/44

5.  Dee Ford, Auburn/47

6.  Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas/70

7.  Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State/74

8.  Marcus Smith, Louisville/80

9.  Chris Smith, Arkansas/82

10.  Michael Sam, Missouri/85

 

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

1.  Timmy Jernigan, Florida State/15

2.  Louis Nix III, Notre Dame/20

3.  Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame/22

4.  RaShede Hageman, Minnesota/23

5.  Dominique Easley, Florida/29

6.  Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh/30

7.  Will Sutton, Arizona State/58

8.  Anthony Johnson, LSU/64

9.  Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina/66

10.  Ego Ferguson, LSU/68

11.  Da’Quan Jones, Penn State/71

 

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  Anthony Barr, UCLA/6

2.  Khalil Mack, Buffalo/7

3.  Ryan Shazier, Ohio State/28

4.  Kyle Van Noy, BYU/37

5.  Telvin Smith, Florida State/65

6.  Trevor Reilly, Utah/67

7.  Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech/76

8.  Adrian Hubbard, Alabama/98

9.  Carl Bradford, Arizona State

10.  Chris Kirksey, Iowa

 

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1.  C.J. Mosley, Alabama/9

2.  Christian Jones, Florida State/77

3.  Shayne Skov, Stanford/78

4.  Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut/87

5.  Chris Borland, Wisconsin/90

6.  Preston Brown, Louisville

7.  Max Bullough, Michigan State

8.  Lamin Barrow, LSU

9.  Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky

10.  Avery Williamson, Kentucky

 

CORNERBACKS

1.  Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State/16

2.  Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State/19

3.  Jason Verrett, TCU/32

4.  Bradley Roby, Ohio State/36

5.  Marcus Roberson, Florida/38

6.  Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida/40

7.  Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State/51

8.  Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech/60

9.  Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma/61

10.  Terrance Mitchell, Oregon/81

11.  Keith McGill, Utah/92

12.  Bashaud Breeland, Clemson/96

13.  Pierre Desir, Linderwood/99

 

SAFETIES

1.  HaHa Clinton-Dix, Alabama/17

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville/27

3.  Deone Bucannon, Washington State/88

4.  Ahmad Dixon, Baylor/89

5.  Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois/91

6.  Dion Bailey, USC

7.  Ed Reynolds, Stanford

8.  Terrence Brooks, Florida State

9.  Craig Loston, LSU

10.  Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on 2014 NFL DRAFT BIG BOARD TOP 100 PROSPECTS (POSITION BY POSITION): PRE-COMBINE


OFFICIAL 2014 NFL DRAFT ORDER
February 19, 2014, 3:03 pm
Filed under: Home,NFL Draft Order | Tags: , ,

The 2014 NFL Draft Order is finally official after the Dallas Cowboys won a tie-breaking coin flip with the Baltimore Ravens at the NFL Scouting Combine. The coin-flip was needed to break a tie between the Cowboys and Ravens after they both finished with the same regular season record and strength of schedule. As a result the Cowboys will select with the 16th pick of the draft and the Ravens will settle for the 17th selection. Here is the official 2014 NFL Draft Order:

*Draft Pos./Team/Reg. Season Record/Strength of Sched./Playoff Seed

1.  Houston Texans (2-14/.559)

2.  ^St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins (3-13/.516))

3.  Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12/.504)

4.  Cleveland Browns (4-12/.516)

5.  Oakland Raiders (4-12/.523)

6.  Atlanta Falcons (4-12/.553)

7.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12/.574)

8.  Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1/.512)

9.  Buffalo Bills (6-10/.520)

10.  Detroit Lions (7-9/.457)

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9/.504)

12.  New York Giants (7-9/.520)

13.  St. Louis Rams (7-9/.551)

14.  Chicago Bears (8-8/.465)

15.  Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8/.469)

16.  *Dallas Cowboys (8-8/.484)

17.  *Baltimore Ravens (8-8/.484)

18.  New York Jets (8-8/.488)

19.  Miami Dolphins (8-8/.523)

20.  Arizona Cardinals (10-6/.531)

 

21.  Green Bay Packers (8-7-1/.453/NFC #4)

22.  Philadelphia Eagles (10-6/.453/NFC #3)

23.  Kansas City Chiefs (11-5/.445/AFC #5)

24.  Cincinnati Bengals (11-5/.480/AFC #3)

 

25.  San Diego Chargers (9-7/.496/AFC #6)

26.  Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis Colts (11-5/.484/AFC #4))

27.  New Orleans Saints (11-5/.516/NFC #6)

28.  Carolina Panthers (12-4/.494/NFC #2)

 

29.  New England Patriots (12-4/.473/AFC #2)

30.  San Francisco 49ers (12-4/.494/NFC #5)

 

31.  Denver Broncos (13-3/.469/AFC #1)

32.  Seattle Seahawks (13-3/.490/NFC #1)

– The NFL Draft order is determined first by regular season record, then by strength of schedule to break any ties between teams with the same record. If any teams are still tied with the same record and same strength of schedule as is the case with Dallas and Baltimore this year, those teams will flip a coin at the NFL Scouting Combine to break the tie.

– Picks #1-20 are determined by the 20 non-playoff teams

– Picks #21-24 are determined by the four playoff teams that lost in the Wild Card round.

– Picks #25-28 are determined by the four playoff teams that lost in the Divisional round.

– Picks #29-30 are determined by the two playoff teams that lost in the Conference Championship round.

– Pick #31 is determined by the losing team in the Super Bowl.

– Pick #32 is determined by the Super Bowl winner.

*Dallas wins pick #16 by tie-breaking coin flip over Baltimore, which ends up with pick #17.

^ St. Louis acquired pick #2 in a trade with Washington (Robert Griffin III deal).

^ Cleveland acquired pick #26 in a trade with Indianapolis (Trent Richardson deal).

 

Written By: Mark Scott

Comments Off on OFFICIAL 2014 NFL DRAFT ORDER


2013 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Week 2

The second week of the college football season won’t feature the type of high profile matchup like we saw in Week 1 with David Amerson and Justin Hunter, however there is a pair of intriguing battles happening this weekend when LSU’s Zach Mettenberger has to throw passes into a Washington secondary led by potential first round pick Desmond Trufant while an under the radar matchup on Friday night between one of the draft’s top rated players, Utah’s Star Lotulelei and Utah State’s Tyler Larsen will take place in the trenches. The best game to watch this weekend for your prospect fix will definitely be Texas A&M’s SEC debut against Florida. The Aggies will have three potential first round picks on display in offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews along with pass rusher Sean Porter. On the other side, the Gators will have a myriad of players that should be taken throughout the draft, although a couple of their top prospects like SS Matt Elam and DT Sharrif Floyd may choose to wait until the 2014 NFL Draft.

Best Head to Head Matchups: Washington CB Desmond Trufant vs. LSU QB Zach Mettenberger @ Tiger Stadium and Utah NT Star Lotulelei vs. Utah State C Tyler Larsen @ Romney Stadium

The top head to head matchup to watch this weekend will be between LSU QB Zach Mettenberger and Washington CB Desmond Trufant. Mettenberger is the most physically talented quarterback that LSU has had since former 2007 first overall pick JaMarcus Russell. He has NFL prototype size at 6’5”, 230lbs with a big arm and the talent to lead LSU back to the National Title game. Mettenberger may be a better candidate for the 2014 NFL Draft as he just made his first start for LSU last week and is lacking in high level experience (Started 12 games for Butler Community College in 2010). Getting more experience should lead him to improving his decision-making, especially when facing heavy pressure, which he had problems with vs. North Texas in the season opener. He will face his first real big test on Saturday when he will have to throw passes into a Washington secondary featuring CB Desmond Trufant. A potential first round pick and one of the top corners available for the 2013 NFL Draft, Trufant is the younger brother of Marcus (Seattle Seahawks) and Isaiah Trufant (New York Jets). NFL eyes have been on him since he stepped on to the Campus in Washington and he’s done nothing to disappoint. He’s put together three outstanding seasons after starting as a true freshman with each year better than the last. He’s displayed next level cover ability and the ball skills and instincts to make game changing plays. He continues to make major strides in his game and it won’t be a shock to hear his name on the first day of the draft.

While Mettenberger and Trufant will take center stage, an under the radar matchup to check out will happen Friday night when Utah NT Star Lotulelei and Utah State C Tyler Larsen go head to head in the trenches of one of the longest standing rivalries in college football. Lotulelei came into this season with a ton of hype as one of top rated draft eligible prospects and for good reason. He may not put up eye-catching numbers, but his play certainly catches the eye of everyone watching as he blows up play after play despite facing double and triple-teams on every down. His combination of athleticism and massive size has scouts drawing favorable comparisons to Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata, a player every team in the NFL wants. Tyler Larsen won’t be a first round pick or anything close to one, but he is one of the top centers in the nation and finds himself on the 2012 Rimington Award Watch List (Top center in the Nation). He’s a rock in the middle for the Aggies with a ton of starting experience and possesses great technique and footwork. This should be one heck of a battle between these two on Friday night.

Best Game to Watch for Prospects: #24 Florida vs. Texas A&M @ Kyle Field

The best game to watch for draft eligible prospects this weekend will be the debut of Texas A&M in the SEC when they welcome the Florida Gators to town. The Aggies boast a trio of potential first round draft choices in offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews as well as pass rushing outside linebacker Sean Porter. Joeckel and Matthews make up the best offensive tackle tandem in the nation. Joeckel mans the all important left tackle position and is the top offensive lineman in the draft. He isn’t quite a finished product, but he’s pretty darn close. He possesses the size and athleticism to play the blind side at the next level along with the experience after starting immediately as a true freshman and ever since. If there’s an offensive tackle that can ascend into the top five of the draft, it’ll be Joeckel. Matthews is the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and is the top right tackle prospect in the country. He is a strong, physical run blocker that plays with a mean streak that he puts on display every time he throws a defensive lineman to the ground and opens up a huge running lane. He has first round talent, but because he plays the less heralded right tackle position he could fall into the early second round. He too is experienced after winning the starting right tackle job midway through his true freshman season. Sean Porter is the leader of the Aggies’ defense and has drawn comparisons to his former teammate and 2011 second overall pick Von Miller. He’s very similar in size, speed and athleticism to Miller and plays the same type of hybrid pass rusher role from a 4-3 outside linebacker position. He’s not quite the natural pass rusher that Miller is, but he makes up for it with his ability to better pursue ball-carriers from sideline to sideline and drop into coverage on passing downs. It will be very interesting to see how high teams value Porter in comparison to Miller. After their top three prospects Texas A&M also has a pair of offensive playmakers in RB Christine Michael and WR Ryan Swope. Both look like mid round selections.

The 2012 NFL Draft was one to forget for the Florida Gators as they had just two players selected, neither among the top-100 picks. The 2013 draft might not be much different if Florida’s top prospects choose to return to school for another season. However, if they do choose to forgo another season in Gainesville then the Gators’ should be well represented at the 2013 draft. Currently rated as the top strong safety prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft, Matt Elam lived up his considerable hype as a high school recruit following a stand out season last year. Athletic and versatile, he has the ability to make all the plays required for the position whether dropping into coverage or moving up near the line of scrimmage to defend the run or rush the quarterback. Should he decide to enter the draft, he’ll be in a battle with the likes of Kenny Vaccaro (Texas) and Robert Lester (Alabama) for a spot as the top strong safety available, likely somewhere on Day Two. Sharrif Floyd is Florida’s next best prospect behind Elam and like Elam, he could be better off waiting for the 2014 draft. Floyd is a traditional defensive tackle, although he did start for the Gators at defensive end last season due to a lack at depth on the outside, but will be back on the inside this year. He possesses a great burst off the line and uses his raw power and talented hands to get into opposing backfields. Due to his ability to play inside and outside in a 4-3 defense, he will draw interest as a five-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.  Jelani Jenkins and Jon Bostic are talented and fast attacking linebackers that should receive attention from traditional 4-3 defenses. Jenkins is the more talented and experienced of the two and will draw comparisons to the group of smaller 4-3 linebackers that went in the 2012 NFL draft in second round selections, Mychal Kendricks (Philadelphia) and LaVonte David (Tampa Bay). The team’s top Senior prospect is offensive tackle Xavier Nixon. He has the size of the NFL prototype left tackle with a naturally large frame and long arms. As a true freshman he looked like a potential star, but injuries and inconsistencies in the last couple of seasons have seen his stock decline. Nixon has shown he has the potential, but will need to show that he can stay healthy and play with more consistency this year if he wants to improve his draft stock among a very impressive group of draft eligible offensive tackles. Center/Guard Jonothan Harrison is also a prospect to keep any eye on, but I expect he’ll be back next season for another year in school.

Written By: Mark Scott