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2014 Top 5 Rankings by Position

 

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Quarterback

  1. Blake Bortles- UCF
  2. Teddy Bridgewater- Louisville
  3. Jimmy Garoppolo- Eastern Illinois
  4. Johnny Manziel- Texas A&M
  5. Derek Carr- Fresno State

 

Possible steal- Jimmy Garoppolo

Bust- Johnny Manziel - Could be any of the top QBs but I will say Johnny Manziel above the rest at this point.

Last year I was very high on this year’s class but turns out I have been disappointed overall by the lack of top talent as well as quality depth. This is also a hard one to predict because I see some definite upside with certain players but also big time bust potential. Blake Bortles has impressed me the most because I see so much on Ben Roethlisberger in him. He definitely needs to be coached up but has visible physical tools. I also like his pocket presence and footwork.

Manziel’s performance in college excited me just as much as the next football fan but I am hesitant to say it will translate to the next level. He definitely will not be able to spend time scrambling behind the line of scrimmage to buy time and launch it 50 yards downfield. The speed of the defensive line will close way too quickly for him to pull off any Mike Evans miracles. You can’t deny he has a certain “something” that makes him exciting to watch however. 

Teddy Bridgewater is also one that could be a great player at the next level but will need a year or two to grow. Jimmy Garoppolo has impressed me during the draft process and could end up being the best QB out of this group.

 

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Running Back

  1. Kadeem Carey- Arizona
  2. Jeremy Hill- LSU
  3. Lache Seastrunck-
  4. Charles Sims- West Virginia
  5. Carlos Hyde- Ohio State

 

Possible steal- Lache Seastrunk-

This guy is a slasher and may not carry the load but he has elusiveness and a combination of speed and quickness that make him very interesting. If you look at the RBs that are starting to be productive in the NFL including, Doug Martin and Ray Rice, this guy fits the mold.

Bust- Tre Mason- Auburn

Smaller backs are making their way into the league year after year. The type of guys that can catch a football out of the back field like Doug Martin. This draft is loaded with guys like that. Guys that can carry a full load are a premium these days. Carlos Hyde and Kadeem Carey may be that in the NFL though.

 

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Wide Receiver

  1. Sammy Watkins- Clemson
  2. Kelvin Benjamin- FSU
  3. Marquise Lee- USC
  4. Jarvis Landry- LSU
  5. Brandin Cooks- Ore

Sammy Watkins has had a heck of a collegiate career and draft process so the production, physical tools and consistency leaves him as the #1 guy in the class without question. Most of you who know me know how much I have been talking this guy up for a couple years now so hopefully he doesn’t flop. Kelvin Benjamin opened my eyes this season as I saw flashed of Larry “Legend” Fitzgerald in him. His hands aren’t as polished yet and he has some definite route running issues but the guy has major upside to go along with his physical tools and his intangibles.

Lee worries me at times with his durability issues. Two things I try to steer away from in players is durability and character issues. Those things automatically drop you down my list. You can’t argue Lee’s potential and that he is a dynamic WR though. He tracks the ball very well and seems to understand how to manipulate man vs. zone coverage. Jarvis Landry is my sleeper in this group. He reminds me so much of Anquan Boldin.

Sleeper- Jarvis Landry- LSU- This guy is tough WR who attacks the ball in the air and isn’t afraid to compete. He is a confident hands catcher and, even without some of the physical tools the other WRs have, can do a lot of things well.

Bust- Mike Evans- TA&M- I just can’t get on the Mike Evans train like all the other draft analysts and experts. To me the guy needs to be polished and learn how to run routes and I am not confident he can separate himself against quick CBs at the next level. On tape I saw a lot of Manziel running around until Mike Evans finally got open about 10 seconds later while coming back to the ball or going over the top because the defender committed to the run.

 

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Tight End

  1. Erick Ebron- North Carolina
  2. Troy Niklas- Notre Dame
  3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins- Washington
  4. CJ Fiedorowicz- Iowa
  5. Jace Amaro- Texas Tech

Sleeper- Trey Burton-Flor- If this cat gets drafted by NE they have their next productive versatile TE to throw out in numerous sets. It will depend on the system but this guy could play a lot at the next level.

Bust- Jace Amaro- Texas Tech- Even though he is in my top 5 that is more reflective of the lack of depth I see in this TE class although I am very excited about the top four guys. Jace has not impressed me like he has other analysts and this is solely because I see a guy who is not as athletic as some of the great NFL TEs in the league today.

Eric Ebron is one of the most exciting TE prospects I have seen in a long time. I would not even say I am high on taking a TE anywhere in the 1st round but I would be comfortable with a team taking him in the top 10. Troy Niklas is just a beast of a TE who can block and also be a good red zone target. CJ Fiedorowicz has to be one of the safer picks at this position looking at the history of Iowa TEs and their production in the NFL. He doesn’t have any skills that jump out at you but he can do just about everything well.

 

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Offensive Line

  1. OT Jake Matthews- TA&M
  2. OT Greg Robinson- Aub
  3. OT Taylor Lewan- Michigan
  4. OG Zach Martin- Notre Dame
  5.  OG David Yankey- Stanford

 Sleeper- C Gabe Ikard- Oklahoma- He has the smarts and intangibles to be a productive starting center in the NFL but his physical tools could hold him back.

Bust- OT Cyril Richardson- Baylor- A lot of experts have Richardson going in the 1st or 2nd round. He had a productive career but unless this guy is immediately moved to OG and groomed for a couple of years he has no shot.

 

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Defensive Line

  1. DE Jadeveon Clowney- South Carolina
  2. DT Aaron Donald- Pittsburgh
  3. DE Kony Ealy- Missouri
  4. Ra’Shede Hageman- Minnesota
  5. Timmy Jernigan- FSU

Not a deep DE class but decent on the bigger sized guys. Jadeveon is the clear cut favorite in this group and although we hear that he has bust written all over him his physical tools are too good to pass up. If he is a bust then I don’t blame any GM that picks him. Aaron Donald may be my favorite in this group because he is the true underdog story. Doubters have doubted through the entire process but he has dominated at every level including at the Senior Bowl and Combine. No reason to think he won’t in the NFL.

Sleeper-DE Jackson Jeffcoat- Texas- He has NFL pedigree and a quick first step. Injuries have slowed him down along with strength issues. Needs to hit the weight room hard.

** DE-Michael Sam- Missouri- Has an uphill climb but it will be interesting to see how his career goes. He is fighting for a spot in the NFL but also much more than that.

Bust- DE- Dee Ford- Auburn- Has had decent production to this point but don’t see the drive or intelligence that is needed in a top prospect.

 

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Linebacker

  1. OLB- Khalil Mack- Buffalo
  2. OLB- Anthony Barr- UCLA
  3. ILB- Chris Borland- Wis
  4. OLB- Ryan Shazier- Ohio St.
  5. ILB- Kyle Van Noy- BYU

A deep LB class this year and some great value in the 2-4th Rds especially. Guys like Ball and Mack will go fairly early but the rest may fall. Mack is one of the better LB prospects in quite some time especially coming from a small school. Quick first step and is the type of player offenses will game plan for. Barr is one of the most athletic defensive players in the draft being a RB and a LB in college. Also has NFL pedigree. Borland is a Zack Thomas clone and has great instincts and is always around the ball. Shazier could be a productive LB with versatility versus the run and the pass. If it wasn’t for the durability issues Shayne Skov would be on this list. He was impressive last year when on the field.

Sleeper- ILB- Christian Jones- FSU- Looks the part and has good speed but can he make his presence felt in the NFL?

Bust- ILB- CJ Mosley- Alabama- Has had durability issues throughout career. Liability in man coverage against today’s NFL TEs.

 

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Cornerback

  1. Darqueze Dennard- Mich St.
  2. Justin Gilbert- Oklahoma St.
  3. Reggie Roby- Ohio St.
  4. Marcus Roberson- Florida
  5. Stanley Jean-Baptiste- Nebraska

The new CB in the NFL is a physical one that can man up and press at the line while disrupting a WR’s route. The most important part however is the recovery. Dennard has both and is the best prospect in my book. Justin Gilbert is not far behind and does have the best physical tools of the two. Roby had an up and down Senior season and, if not for 2 games, may be the #1 CB in the draft. Those games exposed him badly however. Jean Baptiste is a big and physical CB who would have benefited from another year in college but still could be a stud at the next level.

 

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Safety

  1. FS- Calvin Pryor- Louisville
  2. FS- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  3. SS- Deone Buchanon- Wash. St.
  4. SS-Jimmie Ward- Northern Ill.
  5. SS- Craig Loston- LSU

Not a very deep Safety class this year but the 2 guys at the top really stand out. Pryor is my top guy because of his ability to do it all and play all over the field. He is a very unique defender that has playmaking ability. Clinton-Dix has the best name in the draft and also has top skills as Safety. Deone Buchanan is an old-school safety and can light people up.

Sleeper- FS-Brock Vereen- Minnesota- Brother of NFL RB Shane Vereen. Has good range and athleticism.

Bust- FS-Terrence Brooks- FSU- I like Brooks but he had numerous concussions in college and that is very concerning going into the NFL.