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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

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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

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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

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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

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2013 NFL Draft Prospect Watch: Week 4

The college football season is just starting to really get going as the in-conference part of the schedule is now underway and more of the top teams and top prospects will start to get on the field with one another. This week’s head to head matchups won’t feature any prospects directly defending one another, but will instead showcase a pair of battles involving five marquee players that will be in direct competition with each other for early draft position and to be the first selected at their individual position. The first matchup to watch will be LSU’s pair of elite pass-rushers, OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo and DE Sam Montgomery as they’ll put their skills on display while Auburn’s DE/OLB Corey Lemonier will do the same on the other side of the field. In the second matchup, two of the top three wide receivers in the nation will do battle as USC’s Robert Woods and California’s Keenan Allen will try to out do one another with every ball thrown their way. And in the feature game of the week #10 Clemson will head to Tallahassee to take on #4 Florida State in the ACC’s game of the year and one that will include highly ranked prospects like Bjoern Werner, Xavier Rhodes and Andre Ellington.

Best Head to Head Matchup to Watch: LSU OLB/DE Barkevious Mingo and DE Sam Montgomery vs. Auburn DE/OLB Corey Lemonier @ Jordan Hare Stadium, USC WR Robert Woods vs. California WR Keenan Allen @ Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Three of the top pass-rushers in the nation will be on the field together on Saturday. LSU’s Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery along with Auburn’s Corey Lemonier all rank among the top fifteen draft eligible prospects with Mingo being considered as high as the top three. Mingo might be the most raw of the three given that he didn’t start playing football until his junior year of high school, but he’s also the most naturally gifted pass-rusher and probably has the highest ceiling. As a former track star, it’s Mingo’s speed that really sets him apart as he is able to explode off the snap and fly past the offensive lineman he’s lined up against and get to the quarterback. Mingo is a physical freak with good height and exceptionally long arms that allow him to be quite effective at knocking the ball down in what appear to be open passing lanes. In just a short amount of time, he has displayed the awareness and instincts of a kid who has played the game his entire life. Scouts love his combination of size, speed and athleticism which allows him the versatility to play multiple positions among the front seven. Across from Mingo stands Sam Montgomery, LSU’s 6’5, 260lb. sack leader in 2011. After tearing the ACL in his right knee in 2010, Montgomery came back with a fury last year as team’s featured pass-rusher often taking on the opponent’s best blocker. He’s a big-time playmaker with great speed and a good frame to go with his hard-working attitude. Montgomery has the look of a natural 4-3 defensive end at the next level and still has a lot of room to get even better. While Mingo and Montgomery are just two of LSU’s star-studded defense, Corey Lemonier is the lone standout on Auburn’s defense and his play often determines whether they’ll be able to win the game or not. He carries the load of their defense and is often relied upon to come up with big play after big play to keep Auburn in the game. While he plays as a 4-3 defensive end in college, he projects better as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL given his lack of ideal size. He’s an explosive pass-rusher with a bevy of exciting skills that allow him to get into the backfield and make a play on the quarterback or ball-carrier. He doesn’t just live in the opponent’s backfield as he is also able to make some of his best plays chasing ball-carriers further downfield. All three are among the best at their position and should be expected to come off the board early in this pass-rusher filled draft.

While a trio of pass-rushers will be on display on one side of the country, a pair of star wide receivers will be the focus on the other side. USC’s Robert Woods and California’s Keenan Allen will showcase their exceptional talents and do battle for top spot among draft-eligible wide outs. Like the trio of SEC pass-rushers, Woods and Allen both rank among the top fifteen or so prospects on most draft boards along with Tennessee WR Justin Hunter. Both Woods and Allen catch the ball with ease and are as dependable as you can get, but they are different types of receiver from one another. Woods is the smaller of the two and relies more on his quickness and intelligence and is probably the more dynamic playmaker. Woods is able to use his outstanding route running to be effective in the slot, while he also has the speed to stretch the defense deep and has shown the uncanny ability to make extraordinary plays along the sidelines and in the corners of the end zone. Allen on the other hand is a big, strong down the field wide receiver that uses his size advantage, athleticism and strong hands to outmuscle smaller defensive backs and go up and get the football. Allen has the look of a Vincent Jackson-type of receiver should he add a few more pounds of muscle to his frame. As for Saturday night, Allen will have the tougher task of the two to look good as he’ll have to line up against USC CB Nickell Robey, who ranks among the top-100 prospects while also keeping an eye out for one of the top safeties in the nation in FS T.J. McDonald.

Best Game to Watch for Prospects: #10 Clemson Tigers vs. #4 Florida State Seminoles @ Doak Campbell Stadium

The game of the year in the ACC between Clemson and Florida State will go down Saturday night in prime time with a national television audience. The stage couldn’t be much bigger for a regular season game for the draft eligible prospects competing as the majority of NFL scouts will be watching. There are quite a few notable prospects between these two schools with probably at least five players that could go in the first few rounds of the draft. Florida State features perhaps the most intriguing prospect in the draft in DE Bjoern Werner. The German-born pass-rusher has quickly made a name for himself over the past season and a bit putting up some fantastic numbers including 6.5 sacks already through the first three games of this season. Werner is a strong, powerful pass-rusher, but also uses his strength just as well when facing the run. He possesses an endless motor and an incredible passion for the sport. He’s currently being rated all over the place by different scouts from as high as the top ten to further down draft boards, but it seems that the majority of scouts view him as a first round talent. All eyes will be firmly on him now that his teammate and FSU’s leading sack artist from 2011, DE Brandon Jenkins is out for the season with a foot injury. He will now be the main focus of opposing offensive lines and defensive coordinators and is likely to face more and more double teams from here on out. How he handles himself without Jenkins, who would’ve likely been a second round pick before his season-ending injury, will have a major effect on where he might land in the draft. The injury to Jenkins has not only affected Werner, but also senior DE Cornellius Carradine, who’s moved into the starting lineup and has quickly generated buzz and consideration among the top-100 prospects. He’s a talented, versatile pass-rusher from either side of the line that has shown an ability to repeatedly get to the quarterback. After Werner, CB Xavier Rhodes is FSU’s next top prospect and a potential second round selection. An imposing, physical corner, Rhodes is about the last guy receivers want to face. He likes to get aggressive and rough up opposing wide outs immediately off the line of scrimmage and is a more than willing tackler and big hitter. The best thing is he’s a great cover corner too. He’ll definitely be tested Saturday night, especially with his speed as Clemson features two blazing fast receivers in DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.  DT Everett Dawkins is also a player to watch for the Seminoles and could be a potential late third round pick.

For Clemson, they have a pair of talented playmakers to watch in WR Hopkins and RB Andre Ellington for the 2013 NFL Draft. They would have a third, if the team’s best player, WR Sammy Watkins was draft-eligible, but the super sophomore will have to wait until at least the 2014 draft. Hopkins is an extremely fast wide receiver that is devastating with the ball in open space. He has fantastic footwork and body control that allow him to make defenders miss and extend plays for more yards after the catch. That body control along with his large hands allow him to go up and make the difficult catches look easy. He’s not completely polished just yet and still needs to improve his route-running, but Hopkins is sure to intrigue some teams selecting in the second or third round. One of the top running backs available for the 2013 draft, Andre Ellington finally has his chance to shine as the featured back in a high scoring offense after battling for playing time with former teammates C.J. Spiller and Jamie Harper over the past three years. Speaking of Spiller, Ellington is very much the same player, although not quite as talented, but the success that his former teammate is having this year in the NFL should only help give a little boost to his draft stock. A speed back with the ability to make oncoming tacklers miss and hit the homerun play, Ellington is a dynamic playmaker whether running the ball or catching passes out of the backfield. He too should be a Day 2 draft pick.

These two teams also feature interesting quarterback prospects in FSU’s EJ Manuel and Clemson’s Tajh Boyd. Manuel appears to possess all the raw physical abilities that one would want in a quarterback including NFL prototype size and arm strength, but he has yet to live up to his immense potential despite quite a bit of playing time over the his collegiate career. In his final year of eligibility, he really has to show scouts that he finally understands what it takes to be a potential NFL quarterback. Leading Florida State to a National Title this season could do just that. For now, he sits as a possible Day 2 selection. But that’s also predicated on him showing improvement in multiple areas this season.  Tajh Boyd might have been the best player through the first eight games of last year before struggling the rest of the way specifically with his decision-making. He possesses an intriguing combination of skills including the arm strength and mobility to play at the next level, but also lacks the size most NFL teams want in their quarterback. The opportunity is there for Boyd to thrust his name into the same discussions as higher rated quarterbacks with one of the best supporting casts of offensive weapons and one of the top offensive coordinators in the sport. I expect Boyd to make the improvements necessary in his game, but I also expect to see him back at Clemson for another year of seasoning. If he does in fact enter the draft, I see him as probably a third round prospect right now.

Written By: Mark Scott

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