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[Dynasty] 2014 Draft Prospects

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I'm a fan of White. Has some Johnathan Franklin in him.

I prefer Mariota over Manziel, but it's not close.

De'Anthony Thomas is going to have to be more of a receiver than runner when he gets to the NFL. Not high on him.

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Sean Price 2012 highlights:


I'm not normally a fan of prospects from the FCS as I think they're generally over-hyped, but Price is an exception for me and I think he's totally underrated right now. I'd probably prefer him to any WR in this 2013 draft.

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DeAnthony Thomas has talent, but he's an absolute twig. Makes Barner and James look like Jonathan Stewart.

Oregon has an incoming freshman RB named Thomas Tyner who I think has the potential to be a mega star at the college level. He's already ~215 pounds and one of the fastest backs I've ever seen. I think he'll be a big factor there.

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NFL Draft: 'Wait-til-next-year' draft over; here are 21 to watch in 2014
By Jeff Reynolds |
April 27, 2013 11:51 pm ET

As the 2013 NFL Draft is put to bed, we're reminded it was a "wait 'til next year" kind of crop. Next year starts now, with a look at 21 players -- 10 seniors and 11 potential early entry candidates -- who now slide under the scouting microscope.


1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: With a healthy Sammy Watkins taking advantage of his marvelous accuracy on the deep ball, Boyd will continue to prove doubters wrong, contending for the Heisman Trophy and a first-round selection next April.

2. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: The former running back will prove that his decision to return and learn the subtleties of the outside linebacker position was a sound one -- by leading the country in tackles for loss and emerging as a top 10 prospect in the 2014 NFL draft.

3. C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama: Turned down the chance at NFL millions to return to school. Mosley's athleticism and instincts - especially in coverage - will make him an even more coveted prospect in 2013...and quite possibly a three-time BCS champion.

4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: The son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, Jake will slide over from right tackle and provide stellar protection for Johnny Manziel, emerging as a top 10 prospect. Several current and former scouts have noted he's a better prospect than 2013 No. 2 pick Luke Joeckel.

5. Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State: Possessing an explosive burst to penetrate gaps, Sutton will successfully defend his Morris Trophy as the Pac-12's top defensive lineman in 2013.

6. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas: Following his recovery from the torn pectoral which ruined his 2012 season, Jeffcoat wreaks havoc on Big 12 quarterbacks as a senior, establishing himself as a first round prospect.

7. Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford: Showing the speed and explosiveness he flashed prior to an ACL tear in 2011, Skov emerges as the most fearsome inside linebacker in the country.

8. Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee: Dominating the line of scrimmage for the Volunteers, McCullers proves to be the next big thing among SEC defensive tackles.

9. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: Verrett won't lead the Big 12 in passes defended or interceptions like he did in 2012 -- opponents will steer clear. He'll prove them smart in doing so when he's drafted in the first round in 2014.

10. Keith Price, QB, Washington: Taking full advantage of a stocked receiving corps, Price will emerge as the Pac-12's most accomplished passer in 2013 and a trendy NFL prospect.


1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Clowney would have been the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft if he were eligible. He will be eligible, and be the first pick, in 2014.

2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: An MVP performance against Florida in the Sugar Bowl answered questions about Bridgewater's level of competition.

3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC: The 2012 Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation's elite receiver, Lee possesses breath-taking speed and agility.

4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: A redshirt sophomore, Johnny Football could strike at just the right time. Scouts need to see consistent accuracy, but his workout numbers and another season with double-digit victories against SEC competition catapult him into the No. 1 pick talk.

5. Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame: While not the same caliber of edge rusher that Clowney is, the 6-5, 303-pound Tuitt is dominant force in his own right.

6. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: Averaging a nation-leading 5.25 catches per game at 6-6, 267 pounds, "ASJ" could be on the verge of a Mackey Award-winning junior season.

7. Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona: Carey led the nation with 1,929 rushing yards in 2012. He could have similar success and prove a first-round pick if he can stay out of trouble.

8. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: The Buckeyes used to churn out first-round cornerbacks every year. In 2014 that tradition will be renewed with Roby.

9. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: Overshadowed by the talented upperclassmen blocking for the Tide a year ago, the physical, yet light-footed left tackle looks poised to establish himself as a first-round pick a year after Alabama rolled three potential top-40 prospects into the 2013 draft.

10. Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers: While he doesn't possess Calvin Johnson's straight-line speed, it isn't difficult to see why some have compared the 6-5, 220-pound Coleman to the NFL's new owner of the single season receiving yards mark.

11. A.J. Johnson, ILB, Tennessee: Athletic, instinctive and physical, some thought that Johnson -- not LSU's Kevin Minter or Georgia's Alec Ogletree -- showed the most promise among SEC inside linebackers in 2012.

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Manziel lost two experienced WRs. Won't surprise me if he has a letdown season.

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Manziel lost two experienced WRs. Won't surprise me if he has a letdown season.

Also lost his RB. Most significant loss of all however was Joekel. Dude kept Johnny football on his feet, a lot. I smell let down season as well.

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Never too early: 2014 NFL draft's top prospects

Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY Sports

If the just-completed draft was lacking in sexy players, 2014 could bring just what NFL fans are craving: Big names and big-time skill position players.

So tear up those 2013 mock drafts and start looking ahead to 2014. Here are 15 players who could be walking across that stage at Radio City Music Hall as first-round picks next year:

Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, South Carolina: Clowney could have been the first player taken in 2013, but he wasn't old enough to leave school yet. It certainly isn't too early to begin picturing him as the No. 1 pick – the first defensive player to be drafted there since Mario Williams in 2006.

Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, Louisville: Bridgewater, like Clowney, will only be a junior this fall, but he is already regarded as the best NFL quarterback prospect for the next year. Had he been able to leave after 2012, when he led Louisville to a Sugar Bowl win, he might have been the first quarterback in 2013 as well.

Marqise Lee, wide receiver, Southern California: Lee, who caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2012, won the Biletnikoff Award last year as the nation's best receiver. He easily could go higher than this year's first receiver – Tavon Austin at No. 8.

Jake Matthews, left tackle, Texas A&M: Matthews considered leaving the Aggies last year, but decided to stay for his senior year and replace 2013's No. 2 pick Luke Joeckel at left tackle. Matthews has a stellar NFL pedigree as the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews.

Cyrus Kouandijo, left tackle, Alabama: If the Crimson Tide's former right tackle, D.J. Fluker, was a first-round pick in 2013 (to San Diego), Kouandijo could be an even more impressive prospect should he decide to enter the 2014 draft after his junior year. Kouandijo started every game for Alabama last season.

Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Clemson: Watkins will get scrutinized by teams for character issues after serving a drug-related suspension for two games in 2012, but he has undeniable first-round talent. Watkins was a first-team All-America selection in 2011 as a true freshman.

David Fales, quarterback, San Jose State: You probably haven't heard of him yet, but Fales is already on the NFL's radar after completing more than 72 percent of his passes and throwing 31 touchdowns last season. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Fales certainly looks the part of an NFL quarterback.

Bradley Roby, cornerback, Ohio State: Roby seriously considered entering the 2013 draft, but decided that with one more year in Columbus, he would be a more NFL-ready player next year – and one that could wind up in the top 15.

Taylor Lewan, offensive tackle, Michigan: The 2013 draft was all about the offensive lineman, yet Lewan decided to return for a fifth year in Ann Arbor despite being considered on par with Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel. Hopefully for Lewan, he doesn't end up regretting his decision to play another year.

Kyle Van Noy, outside linebacker, Brigham Young: Van Noy had 13 sacks last season for the Cougars but needed another season to become a more NFL-ready player. With a similar season this fall, Van Noy could follow his friend Ziggy Ansah as a first-round pick.

C.J. Mosley, outside linebacker, Alabama: Nothing has become a better bet in recent years than Alabama defensive players going in the first round, and Mosley is expected to headline Alabama's next crop. Mosley has played well against spread offenses, a skill increasingly coveted by NFL defenses.

Anthony Barr, defensive end/outside linebacker, UCLA: A converted running back, Barr has a bright future as an NFL pass rusher, and attracted plenty of attention after recording 13 sacks in 2012. His UCLA defensive line teammate Datone Jones was a first-round pick in 2013 by Green Bay.

A.J. McCarron, quarterback, Alabama: We know McCarron can win, and he certainly seems primed to have more NFL success than his predecessors at Alabama. But who will get more predraft publicity: McCarron or his girlfriend, Katherine Webb?

Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M: Manziel doesn't have the basic measurable of a classic NFL quarterback, but in this era of option football, and with the success of players like Russell Wilson, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner should be able to convince at least one team he's worth a first-round pick if he leaves after next season.

Tajh Boyd, quarterback, Clemson: If E.J. Manuel can be a first-round pick, why can't Boyd? Boyd would have been a mid-to-late pick in this draft, but by returning to school for his senior year, has the chance to significantly boost his draft stock.

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Top 10 Big 12 prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft: OU’s Gabe Ikard leads quarterback-less group of conference’s best pro prospects

By Christian Corona / Texas Special Contributor

1. Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma

Already a three-year starter, Ikard will anchor a Sooners line that will likely be in charge of blocking for Blake Bell, a dual-threat quarterback that can gain yards running between the tackles just as well as he can throwing over the middle. That should give scouts a good chance to look at what Ikard’s made of this season.

2. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

A first-team All-American last year when he broke up 16 passes and intercepted six others, giving him 22 total passes defend, tied for the most in the country with Utah State’s Will Davis and Alabama’s Dee Milliner, the first cornerback taken in this year’s NFL Draft. Verrett should be one of the first cornerbacks off the board in next year’s draft.

3. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas

Jeffcoat has to stay healthy this year. He missed four games with an ankle injury as a freshman in 2010, had surgery to repair a torn right pectoral muscle following the 2011 season and was lost for the year after just six games last year after tearing his left pectoral muscle. He’s back and is one of the Big 12′s best pass rushers but could do a lot to quell durability concerns by making it through his senior season injury-free.

4. Cyril Richardson, OL, Baylor

Richardson could have left a year early but decided to come back to Waco for his senior year. The 2012 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year, the versatile 6-foot-5, 335-pound Richardson, who can play both tackle and guard, will be one of the conference’s and nation’s best linemen in the country in 2013.

5. Mike Davis, WR, Texas

Davis was another player who turned down a shot at getting drafted this year to come back for his senior season. Although more indecisive than Richardson, Davis will return after leading the Longhorns with 939 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season. With an improved David Ash under center, Davis is poised to turn in the first 1,000-yard season by a Texas wide receiver since Jaxon Shipley in 2009, when Colt McCoy was throwing the ball to him.

6. Mason Walters, OG, Texas

One of five returning starters on a vastly experienced Longhorns offensive line, Walters has started all 38 games Texas has played since he redshirted in 2009. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder will be one of the nation’s top offensive guards in 2013.

7. Trey Millard, FB, Oklahoma

Millard does it all — he blocks, he runs, he catches and he even tackles, making 30 stops in three years for the Sooners. He ran for 170 yards while averaging nearly six yards per carry and caught 29 passes for 334 yards (11.4 yards per catch) and a career-best four touchdowns last season. Millard may be the best fullback in the country.

8. Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State

A two-star prospect coming out of high school, according to, Lucas’ only major Division I offer was from Kansas State. He accepted it and after waiting three years to earn a spot in the Wildcats’ starting lineup, Lucas took full advantage of it. The 6-foot-9, 328-pounder earned first-team All-Big 12 honors and returns for his senior season as arguably the Big 12′s best offensive tackle.

9. James Sims, RB, Kansas

After running for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine games — the program’s first 1,000-yard rushing season since 2006 — James Sims contemplated foregoing his senior season to go the NFL but thought better of it, returning for one more year in Lawrence. With Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle now playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Sims may be able to lay claim to being the conference’s best running back.

10. Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma

Colvin reportedly said he went back and forth while deciding whether or not to leave early for the NFL Draft. Fellow Sooners defensive back Tony Jefferson, despite projections predicting otherwise, went undrafted. Now that Colvin is back in crimson and cream for another year, he is set to become Oklahoma’s leader in the secondary with Jefferson gone.

Honorable mention: John Hubert, RB, Kansas State; Ty Zimmerman, S, Kansas State; Tramaine Thompson, WR, Kansas State; Jordan Hicks, LB, Texas; Carrington Byndom, CB, Texas; Trey Hopkins, OG, Texas; Eric Ward, WR, Texas Tech; Elisha Olabode, S, TCU; Casey Pachall, QB, TCU; Waymon James, RB, TCU Tevin Reese, WR, Baylor; Corey Nelson, LB, Oklahoma; Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma; Kirby Van Der Kamp, P, Iowa State; Jeremiah George, LB, Iowa State

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2014 NFL Draft: Led by Jadeveon Clowney, juniors dominate top of class

Eric Galko, Optimum Scouting Sporting News

The 2013 NFL Draft is history, but that doesn’t mean we can't look ahead 360 days to the next one. The 2014 class features a mix of high-upside pass rushers, athletic and versatile quarterbacks and a few franchise left tackles.

Here are our top 10 draft prospects heading into the 2013 college season:

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (junior). It's rare to find a college football player worth drafting as a freshman, but that was the case with Clowney after the 2011 season. Fast forward to the 2013 season, and Clowney is one of the most unique prospects in NFL draft history. His size, fluidity, body control and experience as a versatile rusher make him the top player on the board, barring a devastating injury. All signs point to him becoming the next great NFL pass rusher.

2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (junior). With an NFL body type, arm strength and mobility, Bridgewater fits the new mold of quarterbacks. Though he is still developing his mechanics, footwork in the pocket and decision-making on progressions in the middle of the field, he has the natural athleticism, velocity and toughness to be a strong candidate for the first quarterback selected.

3. Marqise Lee, WR, USC (junior). Lee became the feature weapon in Southern Cal's offense, seizing that role from Robert Woods, who was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the second round . Though a new quarterback might affect Lee's production this season, his length, reliable hands and elite athleticism may boost him into a receiving prospect category that includes players such as A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Calvin Johnson.

4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M. Texas A&M just saw Luke Joeckel go second overall, and teammate Matthews carried a similar grade before he decided to remain in school another year. The right tackle in 2012, Matthews will protect Johnny Manziel's blind side this season. Matthews has great feet, is a smooth lateral athlete and works upfield as a run blocker better than Joeckel.

5. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan. Despite being considered a top 10 prospect in 2013, the long and physical Lewan decided to stay in school for his senior year. He made substantial development as a junior with regard to hand placement and remaining fluid laterally. His natural strength and leg drive should make him a top 10 pick in 2014 assuming he can stay healthy.

6. C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama. An explosive and fluid athlete, Mosley has a chance to be the best Alabama linebacker Nick Saban has coached. He has elite range along with the ability to attack upfield as a blitzer and work vertically in man or zone coverage. With his ability to play in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme and football IQ from playing in the NFL-like Alabama defense, he will be highly coveted.

7. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA. Barr, who moved from running back to linebacker, is a tremendous athlete and pass rusher at 6-4. He has the ability to set the edge in the running game, make impressive coverage drops on the outside and explode into the pocket as a pass rusher. Based on his remarkable development in a short time, Barr will be one of the most impressive athletes in the 2014 class.

8. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson. It's possible that if Boyd had decided to declare for the 2013 draft, he would have been the top quarterback taken. His development as a junior took him from a well-built, athletic quarterback to a polished downfield passer and composed in the pocket. His touch across the field, high release point and athleticism should allow him to battle for the top quarterback spot with Bridgewater.

9. Morgan Breslin, DE, USC. In his first season at Southern Cal after transferring from a junior college, Breslin made an instant impact, with 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He wins with elite suddenness off the snap, lateral body control and the ability to generate force from his lower half. He must develop more pass-rush moves and do a better of remaining in position on edge runs, but he has remarkable upside as a 4-3 or 3-4 end.

10. Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State. Jackson almost declared for the 2013 draft, and his ideal body type combined with his athleticism could make him the next top-20 guard. He's quick off the ball, uses his hands extremely well and generates force laterally and upfield.

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2014 NFL Draft: Top 30 college football players to watch this fall

By Bucky Brooks

Analyst, and NFL Network

The ink is barely dry on the 2013 NFL Draft sheets, but already scouts are looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft. While it is too early to make hard assessments about the depth and talent of the overall class, it appears teams looking for quarterbacks, skill players and pass rushers will have plenty of options at their disposal next year.

Here is an early look at the top draft-eligible prospects scouts will study over the summer to prep for another intriguing fall of college football:

* Denotes underclassmen.

1) Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville: To observers not already familiar with the best pure passer in college football, the Sugar Bowl served as Bridgewater's coming-out party. He displays elite arm strength, touch and accuracy, though he is most impressive as the unquestioned leader of the Cardinals.

2) Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina: Clowney's ferocious hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl made the South Carolina beast an internet sensation. However, astute followers of college football were already quite familiar with one of the most dominant defenders in the country. Clowney's freakish combination of size, strength and athleticism is rare, and his natural rush skills have NFL scouts salivating about his pro potential.

3) Marqise Lee*, WR, USC: After playing in the shadow of Robert Woods for a season, Lee emerged as the most explosive receiver in college football as a sophomore. He is a speedster with remarkable burst and ball skills. Lee is a dangerous open-field runner with the capacity to turn short passes into big gains. Speed and playmaking ability are coveted at a premium in the NFL; Lee's electric game is already creating buzz in scouting circles.

4) Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: It is quite possible that Lewan bypassed a chance to be a top-five selection by electing to return to Michigan for his senior season. However, another year of development could vault him into consideration as the top prospect in the 2014 class. Lewan is big, physical and athletic on the edges, making him a natural fit at left tackle in the NFL.

5) Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Matthews possesses the game and bloodlines (his father, Bruce, is an NFL Hall of Famer) to develop into a perennial Pro Bowler at the next level. The Texas A&M standout has spent the past three seasons capably manning the right tackle spot, but he'll get a chance to showcase his skills as a blind-side blocker when he moves to Luke Joeckel's old position as a senior. If he continues to shine against SEC competition, he'll make it tough for NFL evaluators to bypass him at the top of the charts.

6) Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas: A season-ending injury prevented Jeffcoat from exploring a jump to the pros in 2013, but the extra time in Austin could give him an opportunity to refine his skills as an explosive edge rusher. Additionally, Jeffcoat will get a chance to add a few pounds to a frame that is otherwise ready-made for the pro game.

7) Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: In his first season on the defensive side of the ball in 2012, Barr instantly became one of the top pass rushers in college football. The Bruin led the Pac-12 with 13.5 sacks and amassed 21.5 tackles for loss while undergoing on-the-job training from Jim Mora and Co. Given another season to master the tricks of the trade, Barr could make a case for consideration as the top defender in college football -- and as a legitimate top-10 pick.

8) AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama: McCarron doesn't get enough credit for the Crimson Tide's back-to-back national titles, but scouts are starting to recognize his pro-ready game. Capable of making every throw in the book, McCarron could enter the NFL with 40 college starts under his belt.

9) Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson: Though he is coming off of a disappointing sophomore season, Watkins remains one of the top playmakers in college football, a dynamic receiver with speed, quickness and burst. Additionally, Watkins is an electrifying runner with outstanding vision, instinct and awareness. If Watkins can regain the form he showed in 2011 (when he had 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns), he'll push Marqise Lee for the top spot at his position.

10) Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: Murray contemplated making the jump to the NFL after a solid junior season, but he returned to refine the finer point of his game. As a pocket passer, Murray shows exceptional awareness and anticipation, routinely leading receivers into open areas. While he lacks a big arm, he makes up for this deficiency with impeccable timing from the pocket. If Murray consistently displays the ability to deliver pinpoint throws in the short/intermediate range, he could convince a quarterback-needy team that he is capable of thriving in a quick-rhythm passing attack at the next level.

11) Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
12) Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
13) James Hurst, OT, North Carolina
14) Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
15) C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama

16) Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
17) Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
18) Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
19) Silas Redd, RB, USC
20) Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee

21) Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
22) Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
23) Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
24) Damien Williams, RB, Oklahoma
25) Calvin Barnett, DT, Oklahoma State

26) Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU
27) Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
28) Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
29) Morgan Breslin, DE, USC
30) Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State

No Johnny Football?

Notably absent from my top-30 list is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. While I certainly believe he is one of the best football players in college football, I'm not convinced that his game translates well to the NFL. He is an undersized quarterback with a slightly below-average arm. While Manziel's scrambling ability and improvisational skills make him a fun guy to watch, I don't believe you can build a pro offense around a "sandlot" game. If he displays a more consistent approach from the pocket in the fall, he could enter the discussion at a later time.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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Weird 2,3, and 4 aren't showing up and my edits won't save. Oh well, click on the link.

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Bucky doesn't have enough underclassmen in his rankings.

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I'd be a bit surprised if Silas Redd went 1st round. Decent player. Not sure he's really top 50 material though.

Surprised to see Zach Mettenberger on that list as well. Thought he was more of a liability than an asset for LSU.

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He only has 2 underclassmen listed. Half of those guys will drop out of the top 30 when taking into account underclassmen.

And in other news, Jeremy Hill suspended indefinitely. Oof!

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Bucky doesn't have enough underclassmen in his rankings.

Agree completely. Jordan Matthews and Cody Hoffman are mid-round type prospects. No chance Matthews is a top-15 pick. And Logan Thomas will be lucky to be drafted at all imo.

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I'd be a bit surprised if Silas Redd went 1st round. Decent player. Not sure he's really top 50 material though.

Surprised to see Zach Mettenberger on that list as well. Thought he was more of a liability than an asset for LSU.

I agree on both accounts. I was pretty surprised to read both these guys on the list.

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I'd be a bit surprised if Silas Redd went 1st round. Decent player. Not sure he's really top 50 material though.

Surprised to see Zach Mettenberger on that list as well. Thought he was more of a liability than an asset for LSU.

I put Silas Redd on the Jonathan Franklin tier. A guy who could continue to develop, but probably best in a committee.

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I'd be a bit surprised if Silas Redd went 1st round. Decent player. Not sure he's really top 50 material though.

Surprised to see Zach Mettenberger on that list as well. Thought he was more of a liability than an asset for LSU.

I put Silas Redd on the Jonathan Franklin tier. A guy who could continue to develop, but probably best in a committee.

I remember seeing the red cross flag on him at draft scout. What kind of injury does he have?

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I'd be a bit surprised if Silas Redd went 1st round. Decent player. Not sure he's really top 50 material though.

Surprised to see Zach Mettenberger on that list as well. Thought he was more of a liability than an asset for LSU.

I put Silas Redd on the Jonathan Franklin tier. A guy who could continue to develop, but probably best in a committee.

I remember seeing the red cross flag on him at draft scout. What kind of injury does he have?

Off the top of my head, MCL or meniscus(SP?).

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Bucky doesn't have enough underclassmen in his rankings.

Agree completely. Jordan Matthews and Cody Hoffman are mid-round type prospects. No chance Matthews is a top-15 pick. And Logan Thomas will be lucky to be drafted at all imo.

I see Matthew and Hoffman in the 3rd round. I think both are better than Dobson so either of them could end up in the 2nd if someone likes them enough.

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Josh Huff is my top senior WR. Hopefully he gets his legal and leg troubles behind him. Had he went pro I would have had him as my 5th WR in the draft (6th if I'm being honest about Rogers).

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2014 NFL Draft: Early top-50 draft board

By Dane Brugler | Senior Analyst

With the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, it's time to look toward next year's class of NFL prospects. While a lot will change between now and April of 2014, this is an early look at 50 of the top draft-eligible prospects for next year.

* Denotes underclassman

50. DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee (6-6, 377, 5.58)
A mountain of a man, McCullers is still very rough around the edges but engulfs ballcarriers and has intriguing movement skills for a player of his size.

49. OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6-8, 340, 5.26)
Former top high school recruit, Henderson looks the part and has a lot of NFL traits. But can he stay football focused?

48. S Karlos Williams, Florida State (6-1, 230, 4.60)*
With LaMarcus Joyner moving to cornerback, Williams is penciled in as a starter at safety with his freakish blend of strength and athleticism.

47. OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo (6-2, 245, 4.79)
A versatile linebacker, Mack already holds the school record for tackles for loss (56) and is just 19 away from the NCAA record.

46. WR Odell Beckham, LSU (5-11, 187, 4.50)*
With 40+ catches each of his first two seasons in Baton Rouge, Beckham is poised for a big 2013 season at wide receiver and as a return man.

45. DE Anthony Chickillo, Miami (6-3, 265, 4.79)*
Although the production has been average, Chickillo rushes off the edge with quickness and anger and could have a breakout junior year.

44. RB Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona (5-10, 200, 4.53)*
After leading the nation in rushing last season with 1,929 yards (148.4 per game average), what will Carey do for an encore as a junior?

43. CB Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame (6-0, 185, 4.45)
A former wide receiver, Jackson put himself on the NFL radar last year in his first season as a starter, recording four interceptions.

42. QB Aaron Murray, Georgia (6-1, 212, 4.76)
The school record-holder for career touchdown passes (95), Murray has some Drew Brees to him but too often folds on the big stage.

41. DE Kony Ealy, Missouri (6-5, 260, 4.70)*
Although the production hasn't matched up just yet (4.5 sacks), the coaching staff has compared Ealy to former Mizzou rusher Aldon Smith.

40. CB Marcus Roberson, Florida (6-0, 186, 4.52)*
Roberson is part of a crowded and talented secondary, but he led the team in passes defended (12) in 2012 and is slated to start in 2013.

39. DE Chaz Sutton, South Carolina (6-4, 248, 4.78)
The “other” pass rusher for the Gamecocks, Sutton had five sacks last season and will move into a full-time defensive end role as a senior.

38. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon (5-10, 190, 4.52)*
One of the Pac-12's breakout stars last season, Ekpre-Olomu led the conference with 20 passes defended. His pro arrow is pointing up.

37. DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (6-2, 298, 4.98)*
A quick-footed, penetrating interior player, Jernigan finished among the team leaders in tackles for loss last season (eight).

36. OT David Yankey, Stanford (6-5, 302, 5.08)*
After moving from guard last season, Yankey started every game at left tackle in 2012 and was a large part of Stanford's offensive success.

35. DL Dominique Easley, Florida (6-2, 280, 4.85)
Although not as explosive as Sharrif Floyd, Easley led the team in sacks last season with four and has versatility to line up inside and outside.

34. TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon (6-5, 245, 4.59)*
A freakish specimen, Lyerla's production (32 career catches) has been average at best the past two seasons, but his athletic upside is huge.

33. QB AJ McCarron, Alabama (6-2, 212, 4.80)
Although he has a near-flawless collegiate resume, McCarron doesn't have elite physical tools and still has work to do before he's a top prospect.

32. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6-5, 245, 4.67)
Jeffcoat looks the part and has intriguing rush ability but needs to stay healthy, having missed the final seven games of 2012 with a right pec injury.

31. RB De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon (5-9, 178, 4.34)*
A lightning-fast track athlete, Thomas will be compared to Tavon Austin due to his electric playmaking ability, but he isn't nearly as polished yet.

30. QB David Fales, San Jose State (6-3, 220, 4.88)
Fales has only good (not great) arm strength and underthrows deep shots, but he sees the field extremely well and is a high-completion passer.

29. OLB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (6-2, 240, 4.73)*
A physical thumper, Johnson led the SEC in tackles (138) last season, adding 8.5 tackles for loss and six scores on offense as a goal-line back.

28. QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6-5, 230, 4.87)
A quarterback with ideal physical tools, Mettenberger struggled last fall. But the light bulb came on for him in the second half of the season.

27. DL Will Sutton, Arizona State (6-0, 268, 4.79)
Sutton lacks prototypical size for the position but has explosive get-off quickness to penetrate and disrupt the backfield (23.5 TFL in 2012).

26. DE Trent Murphy, Stanford (6-4, 261, 4.80)
Murphy is a productive, aggressive and versatile stand-up pass rusher who led the team in tackles for loss (18) and sacks (10) last year.

25. CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida (6-0, 190, 4.47)*
A two-way star who plays at corner and receiver, Purifoy is a terrific athlete with good length who has a knack for making plays on the ball.

24. CB Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma (6-0, 182, 4.47)
Colvin has seen action at both safety and cornerback (25 career starts) and finished second on the team in interceptions last season with four.

23. OLB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6-5, 248, 4.76)*
While still far from a polished pass rusher, Hubbard is well-built with NFL quickness and strength and intriguing NFL potential if he develops.

22. DE Morgan Breslin, USC (6-2, 250, 4.67)
A former junior college transfer, Breslin made an instant impact last season for the Trojans with his explosive burst, leading the team with 13 sacks.

21. OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State (6-2, 226, 4.63)*
A tackling machine, Shazier has fantastic instincts, range and production (115 tackles in 2012) with a knack for finding the ballcarrier and finishing.

20. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington (6-6, 267, 4.75)*
Despite an April 2013 DUI arrest, Seferian-Jenkins is still the top draft-eligible tight end in the country with his large frame and fluid athleticism.

19. WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers (6-5, 220, 4.59)*
A Josh Gordon clone, Coleman has smooth movement skills for his size with good build-up speed and a large catching radius.

18. OLB Christian Jones, Florida State (6-3, 232, 4.74)
Jones, who led the Seminoles in tackles (95) last season, has an impressive combination of speed and strength to make plays at all levels.

17. DL Aaron Lynch, South Florida (6-6, 262, 4.65)*
Lynch led Notre Dame in sacks (5.5) as a true freshman in 2011 but transferred to South Florida and sat out the 2012 due to family reasons.

16. OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee (6-6, 332, 5.16)*
Ironically nicknamed “Tiny,” Richardson earned the left tackle starting gig as a sophomore last season, forcing Dallas Thomas inside to guard.

15. OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU (6-3, 235, 4.67)
A pesky pass rusher, Van Noy doesn't have the size or freaky athleticism as Ziggy Ansah but is more polished with good production.

14. OT Cyrus Kouandijio, Alabama (6-5, 312, 5.12)*
Kouandijio took over the left tackle starting job in 2012, started all 14 games for the national champs and should only get better.

13. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson (6-1, 200, 4.49)*
After a remarkable freshman campaign, Watkins' production took a step back last year. But his explosive athleticism cannot be coached.

12. CB Jason Verrett, TCU (5-10, 182, 4.49)
A junior college transfer, Verrett started 23 games the past two years and led the Big 12 in interceptions (six) and passes defended (22) in 2012.

11. DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame (6-3, 326, 5.17)*
The rock of the Irish front seven, Nix has rare movement skills for a 330-pounder with the strength to easily take on and dispose of blocks.

10. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6-1, 225, 4.68)
An athletic, strong-armed passer, Boyd lacks ideal height but has really progressed the past few seasons, recording top-shelf production.

9. OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA (6-4, 238, 4.73)
A former running back, Barr moved to defense last spring and had a breakout junior season with 13.5 sacks. How much better can he get?

8. CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State (5-11, 190, 4.42)*
Although he lacks ideal size and needs to refine his technique, Roby has elite speed and led the NCAA in passes defended last season (1.73 per game).

7. LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama (6-2, 232, 4.56)
A versatile linebacker, Mosley is outstanding in pass coverage with a nose for the ball and understands how to put himself in position to win.

6. DL Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (6-5, 303, 4.89)*
A defensive end for the Irish's three-man front, Tuitt is a scheme-versatile big man with the foot quickness and natural strength to disrupt the pocket.

5. WR Marquise Lee, USC (6-0, 195, 4.51)*
The No. 1 weapon for the USC offense, Lee doesn't have elite speed or size. But he is explosive with the ball in his hands and a home-run threat.

4. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan (6-7, 310, 5.04)
Entering his fourth season as Michigan's starting left tackle, Lewan needs to tweak some technique issues. But he has NFL length, quicks and nastiness.

3. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (6-5, 305, 5.14)
Although often overshadowed by Luke Joeckel, Matthews might be the better NFL prospect and will move from right tackle to left tackle as a senior.

2. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (6-3, 220, 4.65)*
A tough-minded, intelligent passer, Bridgewater has the athleticism, arm strength and overall “feel” that NFL scouts look for in the position.

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-6, 268, 4.65)*
A freak athlete for his size, Clowney has the prototypical size, strength and explosive traits to abuse blockers and blow up the backfield.

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Quarterbacks should make big resurgence in Round 1 of 2014 draft

Pete Prisco

There was one quarterback drafted in the first round of this year's NFL Draft.

The 2014 class might have had something to do with that.

After a lean quarterback class this year, next year could be a major hit for the teams in need. I say "could be" because we have a lot of football and evaluation between now and then.

Just ask Matt Barkley what that's like.

Barkley once was considered the potential overall top pick this year, and fell to the fourth round. I doubt that will happen to Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the top player and quarterback on my early top-32 list for the 2014. He is too good for that to happen.

Quarterback is obviously more valuable than any other position in the draft, which is why Bridgewater is ranked first over South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

But he is not alone as a potential first-round quarterback next year. There is David Fales from San Jose State, Oregon's Marcus Mariotta, Alabama's AJ McCarron, Ohio State's Braxton Miller, Georgia's Aaron Murray, Fresno State's Derek Carr and Johnny Manziel, the Heisman Trophy winner from Texas A&M.

One other thing about my top 32: It is filled with Alabama players. In addition to McCarron, there are four others for a total of five. No wonder Alabama has won back-to-back national titles.

Nick Saban is a great coach, but an even better recruiter.

So here's an early look at 2014. But a lot can change -- and will. All I have to do is look at my 2013 early look to see how much.

1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (Jr.): He has a rocket for an arm, plays in a pro-style offense and has the size teams love. He will be the No. 1 pick next April.

2. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina (Jr.): He is a pass-rush freak. He has explosive speed off the edge and plays with a nasty streak. What's not to like?

3. Cyrus Kouandjio, T, Alabama (Jr): He is a better pro prospect in my mind than former teammate D.J. Fluker, who went 12th to San Diego this year. Plus, he's a left tackle.

4. Marqise Lee, WR, USC (Jr.): He is big, long, fast and plays in a pro-style offense. He is special.

5. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: He has the arm and the ability to spread the football around. And he's accurate. He can also run now that he has trimmed down. He is a dual-threat quarterback, but more of a passer than you think.

6. Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama (Jr.): When studying the Alabama tape this year, my eyes were drawn to him. He can be a special edge rusher in a 3-4.

7. Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M: The son of Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews, he is a force who will move to left tackle this season with Luke Joeckel gone to the Jaguars.

8. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (Jr.): Can he fly or what? Speed, speed, and more speed. He was the Tigers' best receiver, not DeAndre Hopkins, who was a first-round pick by Houston last week.

9. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame (Jr.): One of the big reasons Manti Te'o got to make a lot of plays was Nix in the middle of the line creating havoc. Nix is a power player who also has good quickness.

10. Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan: He did a much better job against Clowney than he got credit for in that bowl game. He has the feet you need to play left tackle on the next level.

11. Kyle Von Noy, OLB, BYU: When studying Ziggy Ansah, this kid showed up a ton on tape. I was shocked he went back to BYU. He reminds me of Brad Van Pelt, an old-time Giants linebacker.

12. Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame (Jr.): He is a 300-pound end who can run. He had 12 sacks last season for a good Irish defense.

13. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: He is an edge rusher who is ideal for any 3-4 team. Those guys always have great value. He is a great athlete who can run at 6-5, 245.

14. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State (Jr.): He is a smooth cover corner who isn't tall at 5-11, but he can play man coverage and he's good at it.

15. C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama: From a talent standpoint, he might be the most talented of the Alabama players. But his position doesn't have the value of the others.

16. David Fales, QB, San Jose State: Most haven't seen him play. If you haven't, watch him this year. He is big, strong and has a good arm. He completed 72.4 percent of his passes last season.

17. Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU: He's the next in the line of big-time inside players to come out of LSU. They haven't all hit on the next level, but he has a real chance.

18. Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma: He is a 6-foot corner who knows how to excel in man coverage and he's also a willing tackler.

19. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: He has a DUI arrest that could hurt his stock, but is he ever talented. He is a big, strong, powerful pass-catching tight end.

20. David Yankey, T, Stanford (Jr.): He's a good pass protector who will need to get stronger on the next level. But those Stanford linemen come out NFL ready.

21. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama (Jr.): He has good size at 6-1, but he also has the speed and range teams now crave on the back end.

22. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas: The son of former NFL defensive end Jim Jeffcoat might have been in this year's draft if he didn't get hurt last season. He has good speed and power off the edge.

23. Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State: We saw two guards go in the top 10 this year, and this kid has a chance to go in the top half of the first round next year.

24. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (Jr.): Teams are now intrigued by dual-threat quarterbacks, and Mariota is that. He is big and fast and has a big arm.

25. Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State (Jr.): He is short at 6-2, but he is a strong power player (295 pounds) in the middle of the Seminoles defense.

26. Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida (Jr.): At 6-1, he has good size and plays a lot of man coverage for the Gators. He has a chance to go even higher with a good season.

27. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama: He isn't just a system quarterback playing on a good team. He's accurate and has a good arm. He also has good size.

28. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: He has the size (6-3) you want in an outside receiver and he has put up big numbers at Vandy. His 40 times will be big.

29. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia: If he were an inch or two taller, he would be higher on the list. He has a rocket for an arm.

30. Antonio Richardson, T, Tennessee (Jr.): -- He is a powerful left tackle who did a nice job against Clowney last year. He could move much higher up this list next year.

31. Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State (Jr.): He is a run-and-chase linebacker who can also rush the quarterback. His size at 225 pounds might be a concern.

32. William Sutton, DT, Arizona State: Yes, he's undersized for the position. But he kid is special. He is strong and quick.

Just missed: Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State (Jr.); Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida (Jr.); Zach Martin, T, Notre Dame; Cameron Erving, T, FSU (Jr.); Dominique Easley, DT, Florida; Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina; Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (Jr.); Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor; Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State; Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU; Jason Verrett, CB, TCU; Craig Loston, S, LSU; Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford; Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas; Ra'shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota; Christian Jones, ILB, Florida State.

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Bucky doesn't have enough underclassmen in his rankings.

Agree completely. Jordan Matthews and Cody Hoffman are mid-round type prospects. No chance Matthews is a top-15 pick. And Logan Thomas will be lucky to be drafted at all imo.

I see Matthew and Hoffman in the 3rd round. I think both are better than Dobson so either of them could end up in the 2nd if someone likes them enough.

I agree, 3rd round sounds about right for both of them if I had to guess right now. Though personally I like Dobson better than either of them.

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So what does everyone's preseason top 12+ look like right now for 2014 prospects from a fantasy perspective?

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So what does everyone's preseason top 12+ look like right now for 2014 prospects from a fantasy perspective?

1. Lee

2. Watkins

3. Austin S-J

4. Seastrunk

5. Carey

6. Hill

7. Evans

8. Bridgewater

9. Coleman

10. Redd

11. Adams

12. Price

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So what does everyone's preseason top 12+ look like right now for 2014 prospects from a fantasy perspective?

There seems to be a bit of a consensus for the top few slots. Lee, Watkins, Seastrunk, Bridgewater, and ASJ are all up there. A lot of people are pretty high on KaDeem Carey. Jeremy Hill would be in the mix if not for his off-field stuff. I'm pretty high on Mike Dyer and still think he has a high ceiling if he gets his act together.

There seems to be a bit of a dropoff after that. I've been looking around for guys with first round upside and I'm not seeing much yet. David Fales, Isaiah Crowell, Allen Robinson, Cody Hoffman, Sean Price, and Odell Beckham look pretty good. Are they first round talents though? I wouldn't say so. Not yet anyway.

I'll take another look at the NCAA landscape in a couple months before my dev drafts to see if I can find anyone else, but right now I think you've got 5-6 pretty solid guys and then lots of mid round prospects.

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I'm not as high on Carey, Coleman, and Seferian-Jenkins.

Carey plays in a wide-open offense with lots of running room. Bishop Sankey is the best eligible PAC12 RB to me. He will make an easy transition to the pro game. I'd put Redd over Carey as well.

Brandon Coleman doesn't look natural at catching the ball. Pass.

I prefer to grab Colt Lyerla in a later spot than take Seferian-Jenkins early.

I like Mike Evans, but he does look sluggish at times. Looks like a 4.55 guy at best. Very strong at catch point and after the catch, though. Some Michael Floyd in him.

<---Sean Price is my favorite "big" WR. Being in FCS, he probably won't be ranked or drafted as high. In that case, not sure if he declares. I think he's one of the best pure athletes in terms of movement skill and coordination. Moves very well, and cuts so sharp for a big guy. He's a better prospect and physical specimen than Brian Quick. If Quick can go 2nd round, I don't see Price being any worse.

I've been high on Hoffman for a long time. One of the more polished route runners. I think his measurables and skill set compares to DeAndre Hopkins. Might not put up special Combine numbers, but he can play. A great Senior Bowl could push him into the 1st (of the real NFL Draft).

Word is Davante Adams probably won't declare. His mom wants him to get his degree. Though, I think he should. Carr is a Senior and his numbers might suffer.

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35 To Keep An Eye On

Josh Norris

The 2013 Draft flew by far too quickly. I know many of you, like myself, are itching to get started on this new batch of prospects. Below I listed 35 prospects (20 soon to be seniors, 15 juniors and redshirt sophomores) who caught my eye while evaluating for the 2013 class. It wouldn’t be fair to call these rankings since I haven’t spotlighted enough prospects in this class. Instead, keep these names in mind heading into next season. It is a fun group.


1. LT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M - With Luke Joeckel moving to the NFL, Matthews is expected to slide over to the left side and block for the extremely mobile Johnny Manziel. Many will compare the two, but Matthews is a more aggressive blocker than Joeckel and could receive higher grades.

2. LT Taylor Lewan, Michigan - We were all surprised when Lewan decided to return to college for one more season, but teams will still value tackles next year. Lewan will spend his senior season blocking for an improving passer in Devin Gardner.

3. LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama - I was a huge fan of Arthur Brown, but Mosley is even better. The Crimson Tide linebacker was previously known for his ability and awareness in coverage, but morphed into an all-around defender last season. He is very, very good.

4. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson - No one improved more between the 2011 and 2012 season than Boyd. Last year he was able to recognize and avoid pressure much more efficiently while making better decisions downfield. Boyd likely would have been my top QB in the 2013 Draft.

5. OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA - The former running back would have likely been a high draft pick, but Barr chose to return on learn the technical aspects of the position. It could prove to be an excellent decision.

6. DT Will Sutton, Arizona State - Admittedly, I will likely rank Sutton higher than many. Some will question his weight and size, but Sutton can be extremely disruptive on the interior with quick hands and feet and could continue to dominate the PAC-12.

7. OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU - Many tuned in to see Ezekiel Ansah during BYU’s 2012 bowl game, but instead Van Noy stole the show. The BYU pass rusher has a nice motor with strength to shed at the point of attack.

8. QB David Fales, San Jose State - Yes, I currently prefer Fales over big names like Aaron Murray, A.J. McCarron, and Logan Thomas. Fales has an excellent feel for the pocket to buy himself time and a live arm to test downfield.

9. LB Christian Jones, FSU - As you can tell, I like athletic linebackers. Jones isn’t a complete product, but he flies around the field to make plays in the running game and stick with receivers downfield in man coverage. I expect his game to grow.

10. CB Jason Verrett, TCU - A favorite of CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler, Verrett is very clean on the field with his technique and sticks to receivers at the line of scrimmage and throughout their routes.

11. DE Morgan Breslin, USC - Breslin, a former JUCO standout, was red hot to start the 2012 season and appeared to hit a wall before finishing the year strong. He finds contact through his hands and sheds to make plays happen in the backfield.

12. LB Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky - A smaller linebacker who will be viewed as “undersized,” Jackson has a lot of talent and frequently sticks his nose into lanes between the tackles and has the speed to keep up with lateral plays.

13. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa - One of the more underutilized talents in college football, Fiedorowicz is a willing blocker who could excel in the intermediate game with his catch radius. He’s not the kind of prospect to cite production with, however.

14. DL Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota - I was surprised when Hageman did not declare for the 2013 Draft. He plays in the Gophers’ four man front, but he will likely project as a 5 technique end in a three man front. His game is growing.

15. WR Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma - A dynamic slot prospect who changed the entire complexion of the Sooners’ offense was joining them in-season. He makes plenty of catches in traffic and can separate with ease thanks to quick twitch routes.

16. LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo - There are some off-field issues with Mack, but he frequently lines up as a pass rushing linebacker and exhibits strength at the point of attack to beat his man with speed to close.

17. DL DeAndre Coleman, Cal - Another potential 5 technique conversion, Coleman showed flashes to win with a motor and is still learning how to use his frame and strength correctly.

18. FB Trey Millard, Oklahoma - Millard is the type of fullback who sticks in the NFL. Along with Jalen Saunders, Millard carried the Sooners offense with his versatility to run the rock, comfort in space as a receiver, and lead blocking skills.

19. DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee - I think McCullers is going to be overrated a bit thanks to his monstrous size, but it is certainly intriguing. He needs to work on leverage and balance, but I expect the nose tackle’s game to grow.

20. RB/WR Dri Archer, Kent State - Archer isn’t Tavon Austin, but he has dynamite speed in the open field. There will be questions about his position, whether it is receiver or running back, and he might project closer to Dexter McCluster than Austin.

Honorable mentions to South Carolina DE Chaz Sutton and Oklahoma RB Roy Finch. Free him, Stoops.

Juniors or Redshirt Sophomores

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

2. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

3. WR Marqise Lee, USC

4. DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame

5. DL Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame

6. LT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama

7. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

8. LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State

9. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon

10. CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State

11. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

12. WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers

13. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

14. QB Brett Hundley, UCLA

15. TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon

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2014 NFL Mock Draft

Chris Burke

A few notes before we dive headfirst into this 2014 mock draft (despite being just days removed from the actual 2013 draft):

First off, the goal here is more to provide some idea for the top prospects heading into next year, rather than to nail down exact draft scenarios. Teams are placed roughly where I’d project them to land in the coming season’s standings, but the draft order is far from an exact science or a full-blown prediction.

You also might notice that, again, there is no running back in Round 1. That’s not a mistake. The 2014 RB class resembles this year’s — there is depth, with players like Lache Seastrunk, Damien Williams, Ka’Deem Carey and others capable of dominating at the collegiate level this year; but there does not appear to be a Trent Richardson or Adrian Peterson that teams will be desperate to take early.

The QB spot, as much as any, should be fluid in the coming months, too. That will be especially true if, say, Johnny Manziel flops or decides to head back to school for the 2014 season. Plus, a few quarterbackw should emerge, as they always do.

In other words, take everything below with a grain (or spoonful) of salt. Plenty will stay up in the air for the next 360 or so days. But let’s take a glance anyway at which players might crack Round 1 come the 2014 draft:

1. Oakland Raiders — Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Whichever team winds up picking No. 1 overall will be faced with quite the dilemma. Does that team nab a potential franchise quarterback or Clowney, the country’s best defender and a player that may have been taken first in the 2013 draft had he been eligible? I’ll stick with Clowney here, for now, because he’s the best 2014 prospect. Also, it’s a deep QB draft, so the Raiders (hypothetically) could land Clowney early, then possibly turn around with a QB like A.J. McCarron, Braxton Miller, Derek Carr or David Fales atop Round 2.

2. Arizona Cardinals — Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: We’re still four months from the college football season, but Bridgewater is the clear top QB prospect for 2014. That’s not to say that the QB crop is weak — several could justify first-round picks (assuming they don’t flop in 2013) and the class could have several players off the board on Day 1 or 2. But there is very little not to like about Bridgewater’s game, and the Cardinals would love to have him.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: As a guest analyst on the NFL Network’s draft coverage, LSU head coach absolutely raved about Boyd. Miles’ Tigers fell to Boyd’s … well, Tigers in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl last year, and Boyd threw for 346 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Miles said his team tried everything and just couldn’t stop the assault. Boyd has now had back-to-back sensational years, and he is the type of dual-threat QB teams are clamoring for right now.

4. Cleveland Browns — Marqise Lee, WR, USC: Lee is just 6-feet tall, so we’re not talking about a Calvin Johnson-type that’s going to win jump balls consistently. What Lee will do, though, is get open and make plays. He caught a whopping 118 passes last season for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. You’re looking at a Heisman frontrunner for 2013 and a player that could dramatically improve an NFL offense.

5. New York Jets — Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: The Jets again miss out on the top receiver, this imaginary draft matching 2013 reality. Watkins would be a terrific consolation prize. He split top duties with DeAndre Hopkins as a sophomore and still put up 57 catches for 708 yards. Given a full year to shine as the No. 1 target for Boyd, Watkins should soar.

6. San Diego Chargers — Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Because the talent elsewhere will be better at the 2014 draft, offensive tackles will not dominate as they did this year. It’s still a loaded position, and expect Matthews to be right at the top. He might be even better than 2013 No. 2 pick Luke Joeckel.

7. Buffalo Bills — C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama: Oh, look, an elite player from Alabama. Mosley can do it all — he had 107 tackles and a pair of interceptions last season — and would give Buffalo another dynamite young player to pair with 2013 second-rounder Kiko Alonso.

8. Kansas City Chiefs — Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame: Nix is a bit like Star Lotulelei, in that he’s massive (6-foot-3, 330) and yet still nimble enough to beat blockers at the line. Kansas City could drop him right in at nose tackle, but he could play DT in a 4-3 or slide out to DE in a 3-4 if needed.

9. Philadelphia Eagles — Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: Renowned QB guru Steve Clarkson said that Hundley would have been the top pick in the 2013 draft, had he been eligible. It’s hard to argue, given the skills on this 6-3 QB. Another year like his freshman campaign (3,745 yards passing, 38 total touchdowns) should push Hundley to the draft.

10. Tennessee Titans — Morgan Breslin, DE, USC: Breslin racked up 13.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his first season following a transfer from junior college. He could be the premier pass rusher in the 2014 class.

11. Detroit Lions — Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Maybe another year of getting torched by Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and others will convince Detroit to draft a CB in Round 1. And Roby looks like the best of the bunch. Like Dee Milliner (6-0), Roby is a bit small (5-11); also like Milliner, he has speed and just loves attacking the football.

12. St. Louis Rams — Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: Lewan might have leapfrogged Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel to be the No. 1 pick in 2013, if he had entered his name in the draft rather than returned to Michigan. He’s a clear high first-round prospect and, with Devin Gardner under center rather than Denard Robinson, will get a full year in a pro-style system.

13. Miami Dolphins — Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame: The yin to Nix’s yang, Tuitt dominated at DE in the Irish’s 3-4, chalking up 12.0 sacks and making life miserable for offensive linemen.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State: Sutton’s cut from the mold of Sharrif Floyd (a 2013 first-rounder for Minnesota) — undersized for DT (listed at 6-1, 288 and smaller than that), but a guy who continually makes plays.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers — Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: Seferian-Jenkins’ situation bears monitoring — he’s currently suspended from Washington for an offseason DUI arrest. If he gets things in order, the rising junior is a definite Round 1 pick. Think Tyler Eifert with even more athleticism.

16. Carolina Panthers — Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: Taking a stab at the WR spot here. Matthews, 6-3 and 205 pounds, flirted with the 2013 draft following a 94-catch year. He opted to return to Vandy for his senior year, which should help him polish up his game. He’s not a burner but, like a Keenan Allen, exploits weaknesses in defenses.

17. Dallas Cowboys — Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: Kouandjio could climb much higher than this. He was the starting left tackle last season for Alabama’s dominant line, and he could climb into the top five with another standout season.

18. Minnesota Vikings — Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Manziel’s a tough one to peg. He doesn’t have great size or an elite arm, and his live-it-up lifestyle might scare some teams away. And yet, if he dominates the SEC for a second straight year, it would be tough to drop him very far. And Minnesota, barring a Christian Ponder breakthrough, could be ready for another change at QB.

19. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins) — Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon: The Oregon defense is easy to overlook because of the dominance of its offense. Should you do so, however, you risk missing Ekpre-Olomu, who picked off four passes and batted down 20 more last season. Even at 5-10, he has lock-down corner potential.

20. Chicago Bears — Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: Barr, with 13.0 sacks off the edge last season, might be more suited for a 3-4 than Chicago’s 4-3. Or he’d be a Von Miller-type for the Bears here. Odds are, in the long run, that Barr might be off the board well before this next April. Also in consideration here: McCarron or Aaron Murray.

21. Indianapolis Colts — Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida: Roberson will have to work to stand out in Florida’s talented secondary. The soon-to-be junior has all the tools to emerge from the shadows, though, and set himself up for a long NFL career.

22. New Orleans Saints — Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU: The nation was introduced to Van Noy when he recorded 3.5 sacks in BYU’s bowl win over San Diego State — part of 9.5 sacks he had in the Cougars’ final three games. The Ziggy Ansah comparisons are inevitable, but Van Noy is more of a linebacker than his former teammate — and he’s also probably more NFL-ready.

23. Baltimore Ravens — Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers: Coleman emerged in 2012 with 43 catches and 10 touchdowns. A strong follow-up season for the developing 6-6 receiver would put Coleman on a lot of radars.

24. New York Giants — Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: Thanks to a 2011 redshirt, Evans, like Manziel, could enter next year’s draft after playing just two college seasons. He should go, too, if he can improve on an 82-catch, 1,105-yard debut. At 6-5, 225, Evans would intrigue any team looking at Coleman.

25. Green Bay Packers — Ed Reynolds, S, Stanford: The Packers finally land their safety in the ball-hawking and intelligent Reynolds, who led the FBS with 301 interception-return yards and three scores last season.

26. Cincinnati Bengals — DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville: Another potential underclassman, I’m guessing Parker would declare for the draft if he and Bridgewater dominated again. Parker stepped up as Louisville’s top option in 2012 (40 catches, 10 TDs) and brings a tantalizing mix of speed and size to the table.

27. Seattle Seahawks — Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon: Lyeria made headlines this offseason by suggesting on Twitter that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a government conspiracy. So, maturity could be an issue. His numbers won’t leap off the page — 25 catches for 392 yards and six scores last season — but Lyeria (6-5, 240) is perfectly built to be an option in a creative offense.

28. New England Patriots — Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida: I wanted to find somewhere to drop Purifoy in this mock, and the Patriots seemed a natural fit. Why? Well, the 6-0 Purifoy has shown the ability to stuff receivers one-on-one … and he’s practicing at wide receiver this offseason, so he can play both ways. A high-end Julian Edelman.

29. Houston Texans — Christian Jones, LB, Florida State: Something tells me Jones, who had 95 tackles last season, will ultimately be picked higher than this. He can get into the backfield, diagnose plays and track down running backs. Jones could develop into the total package.

30. Atlanta Falcons — David Yankey, OT, Stanford: Yankey slid out to tackle from guard for 2012. His NFL future might be back on the interior of the line. Either way, that versatility will only serve to drive up his draft stock. Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson is another tackle to watch.

31. Denver Broncos — Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama: Alabama’s track record of producing defensive backs won’t hurt “Ha Ha” next year. He stepped into a starting role in 2012 and picked off five passes, while showing the ability to play center field or shift down into the box or over slot receivers.

32. San Francisco 49ers — Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State: With Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine gone, Jernigan should be the star of Florida State’s D-line in 2013. He’s a monster up front and could project to fit multiple defensive schemes.

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Jeebus Faust - do you have a day job? ;)

Nah, like most FBG I post to kill time while my private jet shuttles me from Ibiza to Rio de Janeiro. The other option would be to light my cigars with $100 bills, but that has always felt a little too vulgar for my liking, so here I am at the Shark Pool.


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The ones to watch: A possible Top 10 for the 2014 NFL draft

By Doug Farrar | Shutdown Corner

So, the 2013 draft is just over, and we're already talking about the Class of 2014? Well, sure. While the 2013 draft roster featured a lot of outstanding linemen on both sides of the ball and a relative lack of truly elite skill position guys, next year's group looks to have a great deal of talent at just about every position -- and a far more impressive set of quarterbacks at or near the top. We'll be writing much more about these gentlemen, of course, but here are 10 to watch for the 2014 draft -- and our buddy Frank Schwab has 10 more prospects of interest.

1. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: Clowney is primarily known for this unblocked hit on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl (and it is a magnificent play), but this is no one-highlight wonder. NFL teams watching his tape on a game-to-game basis have to be champing at the bit for Clowney to make himself eligible for the 2014 draft. Not only does he attack the line and move to the pocket with terrifying speed, he also has a fully-grown bull rush, a spin move that seems to defy physics, and amazing agility to get around blockers. Brings an embryonic array of hand moves, and once in a while, will pull out a rip or swim move that just devastates the poor soul trying to block him. Clowney is the most impressive NCAA defender I've seen since Ndamukong Suh, and the first since Suh where I have to keep pulling back to the previous play to insure that I saw what I thought I saw -- put simply, he does things on the football field that no 6-foot-6, 268-pound person should be able to do.

2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: Aggies fans aren't mourning the loss of Luke Joeckel when it comes to the left tackle position, because Matthews, the son of Hall of Famer Bruce, has been groomed to take over that spot. The scary thing is, Matthews might be even better than Joeckel over time -- he's already quicker to a spot and more agile in space, and his ability to strike defenders is truly special. I'd like to see him sustain blocks a bit longer, and he's going to have to refine his pass-pro arc at his new position, but Matthews has everything it takes to be the first offensive player taken in the 2014 draft.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: ...unless Bridgewater continues to progress and takes that spot away from him. I'm of the belief that the Louisville star would have been the top quarterback in the 2013 class, just ahead of Geno Smith -- Bridgewater is more functionally mobile, has a more dynamic downfield arm, and makes better decisions. Like Robert Griffin III at Baylor, Bridgewater has far better on-field intelligence and is able to do many more things than your standard, stereotyped "read-option" quarterback.

4. Marqise Lee, WR, USC: With Matt Barkley and Robert Woods off to the NFL, it's Lee's time to shine as never before. He's already established himself as one of the NCAA's most dangerous playmakers, and depending on how USC's quarterback situation pans out, could have more success on the deep routes Barkley didn't often throw. Lee freelances too much and needs to get that under control, but there are few targets in the college game better able to alter a defense's game plans.

5. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame: Nix was perhaps the most impressive part of Notre Dame's outstanding defense in 2012, no matter what some say about that linebacker guy. At 6-foot-3 and 326 pounds, Nix possesses NFL-level strength at the line, impressive speed to close, and a preternatural understanding of how to use angles to disrupt. Can play anywhere from the nose tackle slot (where he succeeds despite double and triple teams) outside to end.

6. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: Perhaps the best pass-rushing "endbacker" among the 2014 draft-eligibles. Barr shows great speed around the turn and to the pocket, but that's not all he's able to do. Like Oregon's Dion Jordan (who went third overall to the Miami Dolphins), he has a rare ability to cover from the line out to the slot. Also like Jordan in college, Barr needs to pack on a a little weight and address some game fundamentals. But he's already shown some pretty special traits on the field. Recorded 13.5 sacks in 2012 and could move up this list with a quickness if he's able to escape the "one-year wonder" designation.

7. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: Lewan could have more upside potential than anyone else on this list. He's a freakishly long, strong blocker with outstanding strength and speed to the second level. He will lose leverage battles and needs to do some finishing work on his technique -- at times, he'll seem to unravel against better defenders -- but he's got the same combination of athletic ability and nasty demeanor that made Central Michigan's Eric Fisher the top pick in 2013.

8. C.J. Mosely, ILB, Alabama: At 6-foot-2 and 232 pounds, Mosely fits the NFL's new paradigm for lighter, quicker linebackers who can cover in space. But his top skill, and the one that will have NFL teams humming, is his ability to blitz from anywhere at linebacker depth. Mosely has top-level burst, a nose for the ball, and a real nasty streak. When the Crimson Tide sends its traditional handful of defenders to the pros next year, expect Mosely's to be the top name on that list.

9. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State: Roby plays well in both press and off coverage, but what sets him apart -- especially for his size (5-foot-11, 190) -- is his aggressiveness on the field in ways that make a difference for Ohio State's defense. Reminds me of Alabama cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and Dee Milliner (both first-round picks) in his ability to play the run and careen in on delayed blitzes.

10. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: Boyd will intrigue because he's played well in all manner of option packages and looks especially good when running the Pistol, but make no mistake -- this is also a pure quarterback with a great arm and the ability to make stick throws into tight windows. In addition, his touch on intermediate throws and back-shoulder fades is singularly impressive. At 6-foot-1, he'll go through the whole "short quarterback" thing pre-draft, but at least he'll have Drew Brees and Russell Wilson to talk to about that.

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10 more interesting 2014 NFL draft prospects to watch

By Frank Schwab | Shutdown Corner

Next year's draft has a chance to be special. Not only are the top 10 prospects that Doug Farrar talked about already a lot more interesting than this year's crop, there are a ton of intriguing prospects waiting behind them.

Many of the players listed below are underclassmen who will finally be able to declare for the draft. If all of the eligible stars leave for next year's draft, it will be a class that rivals any in the past few years, as far as potential stars coming into the league.

Here are 10 players to track over the next college football season, because while they're not top 10 prospects yet, they might be one good year from cracking that list (or at very least making a huge move up draft boards):

De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon: Thomas should thank Tavon Austin next time he sees him. Now that Austin, an undersized weapon, went eighth overall, that might pave the way for Thomas. Thomas is just 5-foot-9 and 176 pounds but he is fast and a thrill to watch as a hybrid playmaker. He averaged 77.5 yards per carry against Wisconsin in a Rose Bowl win as a freshman two seasons ago. Thomas’ sheer speed and versatile ability will make him an interesting prospect for teams that have seen what a player like Percy Harvin (and, potentially, Austin) can bring to an offense.

Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor: Seastrunk is similar to Thomas, down to the fact that he originally committed to Oregon, but is bigger (5-10, 210) and more of a traditional running back. But he also has amazing speed, like Thomas. Last year, he had 29 carries in Baylor’s first seven games. Once the Bears started using him, he averaged 138.5 rushing yards per game over the last six contests, and that doesn’t count a game in which he had 91 receiving yards. If he can show over this season he can handle a full workload, he’ll be prominent on draft boards by next offseason.

Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida: Purifoy has all the tools to be a top cornerback. He is blazing fast and at 6-1, he has the size to be a very high pick in the NFL. He is athletic enough that Florida is planning on playing him both ways this year. He was at receiver over the first seven spring practices this year. With a big season at cornerback, he could leave a year early for the draft and have teams lining up to take him.

Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State: While Alabama’s C.J. Mosley looks like the next great NFL linebacker, Shazier might be his slightly cheaper version. He had 115 tackles, five sacks and defended 11 passes as a sophomore last year. He is the prototype three-down defender for the passing NFL. It's possible he stays in school for the 2014 season to put on weight, considering he is listed at just 222 pounds, but he can be an impact player as soon as he arrives.

David Fales, QB, San Jose State: Fales transferred from junior college to San Jose State and was great last year. Last year he completed an eye-opening 72.5 percent of his passes for 4,193 yards. Playing in bad conditions in the Military Bowl last year, Fales completed 33-of-43 passes for 395 yards. He has good size at 6-3, 220 pounds and will just have to overcome questions about the level of competition he played.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: We went in depth on Watkins on Dr. Saturday this week. Basically, either he plays like he did as a dominant freshman and goes a tick below the great Marqise Lee in next year’s draft, or he repeats his baffling and average sophomore season and maybe just stays in school another year. It’s hard to know what to make of him at the moment. But the potential is tremendous.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: The talent is unmistakable. He has good size and great athletic gifts. But off the field, Seferian-Jenkins is dealing with a misdemeanor DUI and a suspension from the team. He’ll be back on the team, one would think, and if he proves he can stay out of trouble, he is a good bet to leave school early and be the first tight end off the board next year.

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: Kouandjio moved into the starting lineup last year as a sophomore. And he’s a beast. If he comes out after his junior season, he could be the top tackle taken, which many years makes him a top 5-10 pick. He’s as good as there is in college football, and another year at Alabama won’t hurt his development.

Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State: Sutton will be an interesting player in next year’s draft. He is less than 300 pounds but is exceptionally productive. He had 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss last season, and had 63 total tackles despite playing most of his snaps inside. At some point, NFL teams will have to watch the film closely and see how that production can translate to the next level.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: No, we didn’t forget him. Manziel won’t get any taller, so it won’t be a surprise if the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy goes to the NFL after one more great season (he redshirted as a freshman, so he’ll be three years removed from high school). Last year, the team with the most hopeless quarterback situation in the NFL drafted a punter before Russell Wilson, because Wilson was short. Teams will learn from that mistake.

They won’t let a player with Manziel’s ability to run and throw (anyone who says he can’t throw didn’t see him complete 68 percent of his passes for 3,706 yards in the SEC as a freshman) slide to the third round just because he is listed at 6-1 and might measure a bit shorter. But, get ready for the undersized and extremely talented Manziel’s draft pros and cons to be a constant and tedious pre-draft argument that will make you long for the days of debating Geno Smith and Manti Te’o.

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A very early look at the 2014 NFL Draft

Dave Miller

Now that the 2013 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, let's take a look ahead to some of the bigger names that could comprise the early rounds of the 2014 draft next April.

Since I cover college football for the National Football Post and because there are 32 first-round picks each year in the NFL Draft, I present to you 32 of the best college football players in America who in my opinion will be at the top of many NFL teams' draft boards next April.

Note: Many players listed are underclassmen but will almost certainly have to consider declaring for next year's draft. Also, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is not on this list because it is difficult to envision his game translating well to the NFL — right now. I believe that Manziel will continue to improve as a passer, but accomplished NFL scouts are more qualified to give their thoughts on the Texas A&M dual-threat QB as a pro prospect.

1. South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney: The most dominant defender in college football, Clowney possesses a rare combination of strength and athleticism. The pass rusher could make an impact in the league right now.

2. USC WR Marqise Lee: The best offensive player in college football that's not a QB has great speed and very good hands. His playmaking ability will be coveted by NFL GMs.

3. Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews: The son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, the Aggies standout will get even more attention now that Luke Joeckel has left College Station. He may even be able to get drafted ahead of a quarterback depending on which teams are selecting in the top five.

4. Notre Dame DL Stephon Tuitt: The strength of the Fighting Irish defense is their front, led by Tuitt. The end has great quickness, continues to get stronger and will be even more dominant once he refines his technique.

5. Michigan OT Taylor Lewan: There was talk that the longtime Wolverines starter could have been a Top 15 pick this season if he decided to leave school early, but the left tackle could be in for an even higher selection next year if he stays healthy.

6. Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater: The Cardinals have a chance to go back to a BCS bowl game because of one player: their quarterback, who has very good arm strength and accuracy.

7. Alabama QB AJ McCarron: There are still some college football fans that consider the Crimson Tide signal-caller more of a game-manager, but that couldn't be further from the truth. He can make all of the NFL throws and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will continue to open up the offense despite it being a run-first operation.

8. BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy: Detroit Lions No. 5 pick Ziggy Ansah may have received most of the attention last season, but Van Noy at times was a one-man show for the Cougars. He is a strong pass rusher who will contribute right away.

9. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd: The dual-threat signal-caller threw for 346 yards and recorded three touchdowns against a very good LSU team in the Chick-fil-A Bowl to close out last season. He is poised for a third straight productive year under offensive coordinator Chad Morris and is the type of quarterback that NFL GMs are craving more and more as offenses open up.

10. Alabama LB C.J. Mosley: The Crimson Tide defender is a tackling machine who is very good in pass coverage. And he stars for a Nick Saban defense. Enough said.

11. Ohio State CB Bradley Roby: The star Buckeye doesn't have great size, but he has elite speed and is a nightmare for even the best of receivers.

12. Georgia QB Aaron Murray: The veteran Bulldogs starting signal-caller surprised a lot of people when he decided to return to Athens for his senior season. The pocket passer shows good touch on his throws and is very accurate, but he lacks a big arm.

13. UCLA OLB Anthony Barr: The former running back moved to defense last spring and promptly finished 2012 with 13.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss. The sky is the limit for the Bruin.

14. USC DE Morgan Breslin: After arriving from junior college, Breslin notched 13 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. And we all know that pass rushers come at a premium.

15. Arizona State DT Will Sutton: He is undersized for a DT, but it's tough to overlook him because he is seemingly always around the football. He gets off the ball quickly as evidenced by his 23.5 tackles for loss in 2012.

16. Clemson WR Sammy Watkins: The Tigers will be relying on Watkins to bounce back from a disappointing sophomore season marred by injuries and off-the-field issues. If he is healthy and focused, he is one of the most electrifying and productive players in the country with great speed and vision. Keep in mind that as a freshman he had 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.

17. Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat: The Longhorns welcome back a top defender who suffered a season-ending injury last season. The explosive pass rusher is a key to Manny Diaz's defense looking to rebound from a tough 2012.

18. Notre Dame DT Louis Nix III: The massive Fighting Irish defensive lineman has good athleticism for his size, which helps him beat blockers off the ball. The nose tackle may even be able to play end in a 3-4 scheme.

19. UCLA QB Brett Hundley: I wonder if Rick Neuheisel would still be coaching the Bruins had Hundley not been redshirted in 2011. The dual-threat signal-caller threw for 3,745 yards and recorded 38 total touchdowns last year and is primed to possibly improve on those numbers.

20. TCU CB Jason Verrett: The former JUCO transfer led the Big 12 with six interceptions and 22 passes defended last fall for the Horned Frogs.

21. Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins: We have to keep an eye on the Huskies offensive star because he is currently suspended following a DUI arrest. But he can find himself in the first round like Tyler Eifert this past season because he has a unique blend of size and athleticism.

22. Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio: Kouandjio was the starting left tackle for Alabama’s national championship team last season, and he could be poised to land in the Top 10 with another strong season — especially now that he is one of the veterans of the line.

23. Oregon CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu: Nick Aliotti's defense never seems to get enough credit because of the prolific nature of the Ducks offense, but Ekpre-Olomu had four interceptions and knocked down 20 passes last season.

24. Florida State LB Christian Jones: The Seminoles defender recorded 95 tackles last season as he displayed a real gift for getting into the backfield. His run defense is his strength but he could primed to move up draft boards because he has the speed to play well in pass coverage as well.

25. Arizona RB Ka'Deem Carey: The Wildcats star offensive performer led the nation in rushing last season with 1,929 yards (nearly 150 yards per game), so all eyes will be on whether he can perform as well as a junior.

26. Alabama OLB Adrian Hubbard: Hubbard will get a chance this season to show NFL scouts that he can be a more accomplished pass rusher. But we already know he has the strength and quickness to play on Sundays.

27. Stanford OT David Yankey: The Cardinal offensive lineman moved from guard to tackle last season and showed that he can play both positions well. He's versatile and may make more sense inside at the next level.

28. Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin: I like Colvin because he has shown that he can play both corner and safety and be effective. He had four interceptions last season for the Sooners.

29. Alabama S Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix: The Crimson Tide remain loaded with star defenders, and "Ha Ha" shined as a starter last season, intercepting five passes and playing well when positioned in the box as well.

30. San Jose State QB David Fales: While he doesn't have the strongest of arms, he has very good vision and touch on his throws and is very accurate.

31. Oregon RB De'Anthony Thomas: With Tavon Austin getting drafted high by St. Louis, there's no question there is room for the track star to move up draft boards because he is a big play waiting to happen every time he touches the football. This is a big year for him in the Oregon offense with Kenjon Barner moving on.

32. Florida DL Dominique Easley: With Sharrif Floyd gone, the Gators are counting on Easley to have a big season. He led the Gators in sacks with four in 2012 and can line up anywhere on the line.

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I've got to believe that Sammy Watkins has a bounce-back season. Off-the-field issues aside, if I did not know any better I'd swear that the coach emphasized Hopkins in 2012 for the sake of boosting his draft value (and it worked), kind of like Saban manages to emphasize one RB per year regardless of the talent level.

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Watching more on Jeremy Hill and Lache Seastrunk, i'm still not thinking either is an elite prospect.

Hill doesn't show me great vision/explosiveness. It looks like he just rams into the line to get a few yards and only gets a solid gain if he has a clear hole.

Seastrunk is fast and explosive, but also looks: stiff, not great agility or power. I could see him being in a RBBC, but never the main guy. Plus he has huge lanes at Baylor due to the spread offense.

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For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

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For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

What are the experts (people that get paid to know) saying about Seastrunk?

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For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

Well crap, I went to delete the post in error and deleted the good one.

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For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

What are the experts (people that get paid to know) saying about Seastrunk?

You tell me, I generally don't research through other "experts" until i'm done scouting. Then if i'm way off, I go back to recheck. I do all my scouting with my own two eyes.

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For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

What are the experts (people that get paid to know) saying about Seastrunk?

You tell me, I generally don't research through other "experts" until i'm done scouting. Then if i'm way off, I go back to recheck. I do all my scouting with my own two eyes.

Youtube isn't scouting.

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For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

What are the experts (people that get paid to know) saying about Seastrunk?

You tell me, I generally don't research through other "experts" until i'm done scouting. Then if i'm way off, I go back to recheck. I do all my scouting with my own two eyes.

Youtube isn't scouting.

Thanks for the assumption that all of my scouting is done off of youtube(it's not).

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Sorry about the assumption. One thing I know is that I don't have the desire or time to watch most of these players, so I depend on the "real experts" to educate me on them. I believe information is power and the more opinions I have the better. Some people feel we live in a world with too much information, I disagree as long as you know what and who to ignore.

For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

What are the experts (people that get paid to know) saying about Seastrunk?

You tell me, I generally don't research through other "experts" until i'm done scouting. Then if i'm way off, I go back to recheck. I do all my scouting with my own two eyes.

Youtube isn't scouting.

Thanks for the assumption that all of my scouting is done off of youtube(it's not).

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Sorry about the assumption. One thing I know is that I don't have the desire or time to watch most of these players, so I depend on the "real experts" to educate me on them. I believe information is power and the more opinions I have the better. Some people feel we live in a world with too much information, I disagree as long as you know what and who to ignore.

For some reason it won't let me quote tdmills to respond to his post, so I'll do it here. I think Seastrunk will have a better career than Lacy.

I don't think most view Lacy as an elite RB either. I can see Seastrunk being a 2nd/3rd round pick next year with a good season, just see too many things missing in his game right now.

What are the experts (people that get paid to know) saying about Seastrunk?

You tell me, I generally don't research through other "experts" until i'm done scouting. Then if i'm way off, I go back to recheck. I do all my scouting with my own two eyes.

Youtube isn't scouting.

Thanks for the assumption that all of my scouting is done off of youtube(it's not).

I just trust my judgement more, hope that's not arrogant but I've been educated in multiple football programs through the years and know what i'm looking for in a prospect. When all is said and done, i'm probably over 200 hours of time dedicated to watching prospects. I'm not going to throw it all away because of something Bucky Brooks(or another) "expert" says.

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Seastrunk looks like he's being too patient at times. Doesn't quite accelerate well in shotgun for some reason. I think his timed speed is better that what he shows. He has huge lanes, but does a good amount of running up the middle. I think he could break some of those runs outside.

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Johnny Manziel doesn't look like elite NFL quarterback prospect

By Bucky Brooks

Analyst, and NFL Network

Johnny Manziel, better known as "Johnny Football," might be the best player in college football, but that doesn't make him an elite NFL prospect. In fact, I believe the Heisman Trophy winner currently projects more like a marginal pro, based on his unimpressive physical dimensions and unrefined game as a pocket passer.

Now, I know that the legions of Johnny Manziel fans will take exception to my assessment, but my opinion is based on the fact that elite NFL quarterback prospects possess three or four blue-chip traits (from a list that includes size, athleticism, arm talent, leadership skills, clutch factor, intelligence and pocket-passing skills) that validate their status as potential franchise players. I've studied the Texas A&M star's 2012 game tape, and I simply don't believe that he has enough of those qualities at this time to merit serious consideration as an elite quarterback prospect.

Sure, I'm impressed by Manziel's playmaking ability and improvisational skills. Whether he's brilliantly executing zone-read concepts or dropping jaws with a scramble-and-toss, Manziel is one of the most electrifying college players I've seen. He makes defensive coordinators hold their breath when he escapes the pocket with the ball in his hands.

The NFL game, however, requires quarterbacks to play with poise, discipline and patience from within the pocket. Pro quarterbacks must be able to string together completions by making pinpoint throws to every area of the field. Additionally, they must display the anticipation, timing and awareness to be able to exploit the vulnerabilities of opponents who opt to play coverage over pressure in critical situations. This requires a keen understanding of defensive concepts.

For Johnny Football to be viewed as a legitimate franchise quarterback in the eyes of NFL evaluators, he must show he can thrive in these areas while also demonstrating the requisite toughness, leadership skills and big-game moxie. Coaches and scouts will closely examine his every movement and reaction, to see if he's capable of carrying an NFL franchise to championship heights. Moreover, they will take a hard look at his game, to see how well it translates to the NFL.

Here's how Manziel stacks up in four crucial areas:


Manziel is an extraordinary athlete with exceptional speed, quickness and movement skills. He displays great short-area burst and, based on the way he regularly runs away from defenders outside the pocket, appears to have mid-4.5 speed. Additionally, Manziel shows outstanding agility and change-of-direction skills in traffic. He is slippery and elusive in tight quarters, which makes him nearly impossible to bring down on scrambles. Manziel amassed more than 900 of his 1,410 rushing yards on improvisational runs. This didn't just put tremendous pressure on the defense; it altered the way opponents game-planned for the Aggies. Defensive coordinators would instruct their defenders -- particularly on the defensive line -- not to rush too far up the field, out of respect for Manziel's explosive running skills. And don't forget, the Aggies also feature the zone-read option prominently in their game plan, which underscores how important Manziel's remarkable athleticism is to the success of their offense.

Arm talent

Manziel was one of the most effective and efficient passers in college football last season, but he lacks impressive arm talent. He doesn't put tremendous zip or velocity on his throws, and his ball tends to die at the end of deep tosses. Manziel is at his best making short and intermediate throws in the passing game. He quickly gets the ball out of his hands and routinely delivers accurate strikes to receivers on the move up to 15 yards out. The pinpoint placement of his throws allows receivers to pick up valuable yardage after each reception, which helps the Aggies' high-powered offense stay on schedule.

Manziel will occasionally push the ball down the field for an explosive completion (passes over 20 yards), but those throws are successful because of his excellent timing and anticipation -- not because of his arm strength. When he does go long, he is most consistently successful with post-corners on the smash concept (the outside receiver runs a hitch or a snag, with the slot receiver running a corner directed at 25 yards down the field) and with fade routes or seam patterns released quickly after three-step drops. In those instances, his throws rarely travel more than 40 yards in the air. Thus, these plays allow the Aggies to feature a vertical game without taxing Manziel's arm.

Sure, we've seen quarterbacks become effective passers in the NFL despite lacking a big arm, but they're exceptions to the rule. Manziel must show he can make more pro-like throws if he wants to be considered a potential franchise-caliber signal-caller.

Pocket presence

Manziel shows exceptional poise, patience and awareness in the pocket. He has a remarkable sense of the pass rush and rarely appears rattled when the pocket collapses. He simply finds open creases through which to escape while keeping his eyes down the field, searching for open receivers on the move. Manziel is a surprisingly accurate thrower from unorthodox positions, which makes his ability to avoid and elude defenders in the pocket dangerous, especially considering how difficult it is for defensive backs to stick with their assigned receivers for extended periods of time down the field. Manziel's ability to lengthen plays with his feet creates explosive opportunities in the passing game on broken plays.

While his improvisational skills are certainly impressive, I'm concerned about his ability to play the game effectively from the pocket. Defensive coordinators will eventually adjust to his spectacular "sandlot" game, and he'll be forced to win with his arm instead of his feet. Just as they've done to athletic playmakers like Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton, NFL defensive play callers will use various strategies to keep Manziel confined to the pocket, taking away his fastball (his athleticism and improvisational skills). The Heisman Trophy winner must show opponents that he can string together completions on drop-back throws, and that he isn't always looking to flee the pocket at first opportunity. Increased pocket patience will test Manziel's physical talents and his ability to process information quickly and make sound decisions.

From a physical standpoint, Manziel's performance from the pocket might be impacted by his diminutive stature. He's listed at 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, but we should remember that most prospects fall short of their reported dimensions when officially measured by NFL personnel. There will be concerns about Manziel's ability to find passing lanes among big bodies at the line of scrimmage; will he have a number of throws tipped or batted away at the next level? Scouts will watch how effectively he plays from the pocket, using those results to determine if he can thrive in a traditional passing game.

On the mental side, Manziel must show he can adjust to the various tactics thrown at him by defensive play callers. Whether the other team is dropping seven or eight defenders into coverage or sending heavy blitz pressure, Manziel must show he can exploit the weakness of the defense without getting rattled or confused. Additionally, he must prove that he has the timing and anticipation to make precise throws into tight windows based on his pre-snap reads and post-snap reactions; this is critical to becoming an effective passer in the NFL. It is imperative for Manziel to put some solid examples on tape if he wants to enhance perception of his pro potential.

Clutch factor

Manziel won the Heisman Trophy last season thanks in large part to a spectacular performance against Alabama on the road. He demonstrated exceptional poise, patience and discipline as a passer, while using his remarkable athleticism to provide observers with some sensational highlights. Manziel's ability to thrive in a big moment on a national stage told evaluators a lot about his confidence and composure under pressure. Still, scouts will want to see more examples of his big-game ability.

When I look back at Manziel's redshirt freshman season, I certainly see enough flashes to believe he possesses the skills to deliver in critical moments as a pro. He led the Aggies to an undefeated road record (6-0), then sparked a surprisingly easy victory over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. During each of those wins, Manziel delivered a number of impact plays with his arm and feet. And most importantly, he routinely demonstrated the ability to make critical plays when the outcome of the game was hanging in the balance.

Evaluators will, of course, spend time breaking down his performance in losses to Florida and LSU. In those efforts, Manziel was confined to the pocket, unable to make the kinds of spectacular plays that have become a signature part of his repertoire. This was particularly evident in the loss to LSU, during which Manziel completed just 29 of 56 passes for 276 yards, gave up three interceptions and was held to 27 rushing yards on 17 attempts. Those numbers were dramatically worse than his season averages -- which might be telling, considering how many pro prospects were dotting the Tigers' roster at the time (six defenders from LSU's starting lineup that day went on to be drafted last month). Their collective speed and athleticism seemed to nullify Manziel as a threat. Unable to run away from the defense, Manziel failed to demonstrate enough effectiveness as a pocket passer to win with just his right arm. Given that pro defenses will feature even more big, physical and fast athletes, questions regarding Manziel's ability to thrive in the NFL are valid.


The continual evaluation of Johnny Football makes for a fascinating storyline, because he will test the standards of quarterback play at the NFL level. He is an unconventional playmaker with outstanding athleticism and running skills who is at his best when improvising and playing "sandlot" football -- something that will be hard to do in the NFL. Additionally, he lacks the requisite physical dimensions and pocket-passing skills that most evaluators covet in franchise quarterbacks. While comparisons to Russell Wilson will be made, based on the similarly short Wilson's success with the Seattle Seahawks, I would contend that Wilson was a more polished and accomplished passer as a collegian. He also played in pro-style offenses at N.C. State and Wisconsin, preparing him for the rigors of life in the NFL.

I believe Doug Flutie is a more apt comparison when it comes to Manziel. Flutie was an effective improvisational playmaker as a pro who could also play the game from the pocket. After spending years refining his craft in the Canadian Football League, Flutie landed in the NFL and enjoyed a successful stint as a starting quarterback. Manziel will certainly get his chance, but I don't believe he is a top quarterback prospect at this time.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks

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