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January 27, 2014 @ 12:57 pm
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PewterReport.com NFL Draft Big Board 1.0

Written by Eric
Eric Dellaratta


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Who are the top players in the 2014 draft class? What players should you look out for at the Combine? What players are being slotted higher than they should be? PewterReport.com's Eric Dellaratta shares hs thoughts and answers those questions in this NFL Draft breakdown.
With the 2014 NFL Draft just three months away, PewterReport.com's draft coverage is just kicking off. Armed with information gathered from the Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, PewterReport.com's draft analyst Eric Dellaratta outlines the top 32 players in the draft in this article. Many things will change between now and the draft, which will take place at Radio City Music Hall on May 8th, but expect PewterReport.com to release a new big board periodically leading up to the draft. Here is who PewterReport.com believes are the top 32 players eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft. 

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina -  6-6, 270 - Junior
Dominant force at defensive end. Makes big plays as a pass-rusher and run defender. Might be the most athletic player in college football and he’s expected to blow up the NFL Combine. Nice repertoire of pass-rushing moves and still has plenty of room to grow his game. Surefire top-10 selection.

2. QB Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville – 6-3, 205 - Junior
Far and away the best quarterback prospect in the 2014 class. Smart player that reads defenses well and is great at finding the open guy. Has good arm strength and excellent accuracy. Should come off of the board very quickly on draft day.

3. OLB Anthony Barr – UCLA – 6-4, 248 - Senior
Athletic pass-rusher with experience in UCLA’s 3-4 defense. Raw but has extremely valuable physical tools needed to being a top flight outside linebacker at the NFL level. Sometimes is a liability in run support. Will likely have to stay at linebacker at current weight.

4. WR Sammy Watkins – Clemson – 6-1, 205 - Junior
Uber-athletic receiver with outstanding hands. Excellent speed and agility allows for easy and efficient run after catch ability. Effective at catching the ball at its highest point with strong hands. Projects as a top-10 selection.

5. OT Jake Matthews – Texas A&M – 6-5, 305 - Senior
Strong pass-protector that stops pass-rushers in their tracks. Technically sound and is fantastic at using his hands and gaining leverage. Has experience at both left and right tackle positions.

6. DE/OLB Khalil Mack – Buffalo – 6-3, 248 - Senior
Speedy pass-rusher with a never-ending motor. Never takes plays off and his extra effort pays off with big time production. Ideal fit for a 3-4 team as an OLB, but could transition into Von Miller-like role.

7. OT Greg Robinson – Auburn – 6-5, 320 - Junior
Mauling run blocker who has as much upside as anyone in the draft. Rare combination of size, strength, and athleticism. Far from a finished product but has everything you're looking for in a potential franchise left tackle.

8. LB C.J. Mosley – Alabama – 6-2, 232 - Senior
Wonderful sidline-to-sideline speed and movement skills. Called Nick Saban’s complex defense. Sound tackler with a thumping attitude. Plug and play linebacker that will fit in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.

9. CB Darqueze Dennard – Michigan State – 5-11, 197 - Senior
Arguably the best cover corner in the nation in 2013. Physical style will translate very well to the NFL game. Will fit man and zone schemes at the pro level. Should be a first round pick when it’s all said and done.

10. S HaHa Clinton-Dix – Alabama – 6-1, 208 - Junior
The best safety in the 2014 draft class. Excellent range and instincts allow him to make big plays against opposing passing attacks. Sound tackler that isn’t afraid to lay the wood and deliver big hits.

11. WR Mike Evans – Texas A&M – 6-5, 225 - Junior
Big receiver in the mold of Vincent Jackson. Phenomenal ability to haul in contested catches and jump balls. Huge redzone threat due to his ability to box out defenders by using his strength and size.

12. DE Stephon Tuitt – Notre Dame – 6-6, 312 - Junior
Versatile defensive lineman with great size and strength. Possesses deceptive quickness and speed. Versatility will help his draft stock greatly.

13. DT Louis Nix – Notre Dame – 6-2, 345 - Junior
Huge nose tackle with freakish athletic ability. Flashes of Vince Wilfork. Plays with good leverage and has plenty of power. Will fit 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. Will likely be the first defensive tackles selected on draft day.

14. OT Taylor Lewan – Michigan – 6-7, 315 - Senior
Very strong offensive tackle with great size and length. Plays with a “mauler” mentality and can get on mean streaks in run blocking. Lack of great athleticism is a concern for his transition to the pro game.

15. WR Marqise Lee – USC – 6-0, 195 - Junior
Fast receiver with well developed route-running skills and play-making ability. Projects as a top end NFL receiver that will thrive in an offense that likes to take shots down the field with speedy receivers.

16. OT Cyrus Kouandjio – Alabama – 6-5, 310 - Junior
Rough Sugar Bowl game but has all of the tools to become a great blindside protector. Excellent length and athleticism but technique and footwork need to be improved.

17. QB Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M – 6-0, 210 - RS Sophomore
Backyard football, scrambling quarterback that posted monstrous numbers in college. Excellent athlete that will be a threat with his legs. Will his style of play hold up in the pros?

18. DT RaShede Hageman – Minnesota – 6-6, 311 - Senior
Very athletic interior defensive lineman that could fit in both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts. Strong bull-rush and ability to push the pocket. Somewhat of a streaky player. Should post great numbers at the Combine. 

19. TE Eric Ebron – North Carolina – 6-4, 245 - Junior
A true athlete at the tight end position. Excellent speed and agility allows him to gain consistent separation. Average blocker with the frame to improve at the pro level.  Consistency as a receiver needs to improve.

20. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Washington – 6-6, 276 - Junior
Big, athletic tight end with NFL-ready blocking skills and receiving ability. Capable of splitting out in the slot and blocking in-line. Prototypical size for an in-line NFL tight end.

21. DT Aaron Donald – Pittsburgh – 6-0, 288 - Senior
Extremely disruptive interior defensive lineman that plays with great quickness. Nobody could block him at the Senior Bowl. Size is somewhat of a concern, but other small defensive tackles have had success in the NFL (Geno Atkins, John Randle).

22. TE Jace Amaro – Texas Tech – 6-5, 260 - Junior
Major receiving threat with good size and speed. Excellent on crossing routes and in the seam. Has solid blocking skills but there is still room to improve.

23. LB Ryan Shazier – Ohio State – 6-2, 230 - Junior
Instinctive, athletic linebacker that has been Ohio State’s best defensive player. Excellent tackler and strong in pass defense. Some will question size but those were the same people questioning Lavonte David’s size.

24. OT/OG Zack Martin – Notre Dame – 6-4, 305 - Senior
Excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Good hand usage and technique makes up for lack of elite height and arm length. Proved he can play guard or tackle. Should be a first round pick in May.

25. DE Trent Murphy – Stanford – 6-6, 261 - Senior
Strong, instinctive defensive end that would be a nice fit for a 4-3 defense. Has an excellent motor. Strong in run support and a technically sound pass-rusher.

26. QB Derek Carr – Fresno State – 6-3, 218 - Senior
Pocket-passer with a great arm that can make all the throws. Throws an accurate ball and excels on touch passes and fitting the ball into tight windows. Needs to improve his ability to sense pressure and pocket movement.

27. CB Justin Gilbert – Oklahoma State – 6-0, 200 - Senior
Productive cornerback with prototypical size and speed for the next level. Excellent ball skills and moves fluidly and efficiently. Could be a late first round selection.

28. DT Timmy Jernigan – Florida State – 6-2, 298 - Junior
Quick interior pass-rusher equipped with an array of rushing moves. Disengages from opponents well. Needs to improve consistency as a run defender. An excellent fit as a three-technique in a 4-3 scheme.

29. WR Kelvin Benjamin – Florida State – 6-5, 235 - RS Sophomore
Massive receiver with great leaping ability and speed. Had a big year for Florida State in 2013. Had trouble catching easy balls. Instant contributor, especially in the red zone. A must-watch at the NFL Combine.

30. DE/DT Dominique Easley – Florida – 6-2, 285 - Junior
One of the quickest lineman off the snap in all of college football. Consistent disruption and impact in opposing backfields. Uses his hands well which allows him to keep offensive lineman off of his frame. Torn ACL injury might limit draft stock.

31. WR Allen Robinson – Penn State – 6-3, 210 - Junior
Smooth receiver with good size and movement skills. Excellent 2013 season with massive production. Well-rounded overall receiver that lacks outstanding qualities that would move him higher on the draft board.

32. OG David Yankey - Stanford - 6-5, 314 - Junior
One of the most athletic offensive lineman in the country. Has experience at tackle but his game is suited best for the guard position. Nimble feet and exceptional quickness makes him excellent at pulling. Should be one of the first guards to come off the draft board.

Last modified on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 16:32

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  • avatar

    I think that Tampa could trade down at NO#7 and pick a qty TE,DE/OLB and another QB. If Manizel,or Carr is available at 7 great. I think that if Clowney is still available at #7.WOULD TAMPA LOOK FOR TRADE OFFERS. I WOULD. A lot of teams trade all over the board.I think Tampa has a plan. Reguardless of what transfired between 1 thru 6. If either of those three QB is available. I would select a QB at no#7. and in Rd-2 go after the best Defensive player available .
  • avatar

    If Bortles is there take him. If not its bpa time with WR, DE or MLB. If none of those look surefire attempt to trade back for picks. O linemen can be had later and coached up. TE is another option later than 7 in the first four me. Bortles reminds me of a more athletic Philip Rivers. Kids going to throw some ints but he's a gamer.
  • avatar

    Obviously a lot will change in the next 3+ months. I have zero clue we will pick, but at least PewterReportEd put some names out there. I don't see where any of these QB's are worth being in the top ten spots. It's hard for me to pretend that any of these QB's are worth us taking them at spot 7. Please tell me what I am missing?
  • avatar

    Big Board not withstanding, if the Bucs stay put at 7, consideration for Robinson, Watkins, Bortles should be the priority (or Manziel if he were aviailable). The comment that Bridgewater is "far and away the best quarterback prospect" is going to look sort of silly if Bortles and/or Manziel get drafted above him. Again, not sure what year's film PR is watching but that comment has a lot less truth to it now than if you were writing a draft preview from late 2012. Bortles and Manziel have a higher ceiling than Bridgewater does and if a team or two is sold on that you will see a mini-slide for Bridgewater.
  • avatar

    I concur with the posts regarding Blake Bortles. As I previously posted, he is likely to be another Ben Rothlesberger in the NFL. If he's still available at #7, which is unlikely, the Bucs absolutely need to take him.
  • avatar

    Eric, maybe you're not cut out for this kind of work. Last week you wrote an article on the senior bowl weigh in, and although P.R. has the Bucs taking Carr at # 7 you failed to mention what he weighed in at, while telling us the weight of other Q.B.s. That's just plain bad reporting. Now considering you do this for a living, you put out your top 32, and Blake Bortles doesn't even make the list? I'll admit I'm a UCF fan, but the fact is Bortles name will be called before the first hour of the draft is over. You just lost all credibility with me, how does he not make your list, what are you thinking man?
  • avatar

    I somewhat agree, pfigg. I agree with Lee, but wouldn't mind getting Yankee, T, Murphy, Jernigan or Easley with the second pick if Donald is gone. Also wouldn't mind if the Bucs went TE at that pick if someone they really liked slipped to them. Don't really follow college football at all, but from these reports, I would take Seferian-Jenkins or Amaro before Ebron. Go Bucs and please choose wisely!!
  • avatar

    If we can get Watkins at 7, we should. If not, we should trade back and take Lee. I agree that O-line is a concern and needs to be strong to run the ball, but another receiver will help prevent teams from stacking the box. Trading back is best, particularly if it gives you enough to trade back into the very bottom of the first round for your second pick. That gives you two picks under their rookie contract for 5 years, which is critical for cap management. Sign a strong edge rusher in free agency, and spend the rest of your picks on high upside TE candidates or NFL ready O-line. That being said, my dream first two picks would be Lee at 16 and Aaron Donald at 31. Having two lightning quick DT's who are consistently the first off on the snap creates additional pressure and push in the middle and forces quarterbacks backwards into the arms of even slightly above average DE's, as well as creating penalties and turnovers.
  • avatar

    The Bucs need to upgrade Glennon and the Oline. A QB is a higher priority though.
  • avatar

    Always interesting this time of year. I'm sure Licht's and Lovie's combined staffs are hard at it trying to first figure out what's in the cupboard at One Buc Palace. Need to replace Dennis Hickey. But heck, they could get anyone at Pewter Report to do that job, right posters? Show them your Bucs Best Bets Scott. We'll give you a good recommendation. After we find an eager trade partner to take our 7th pick for one out of the top 15 and some additional picks, rid ourselves of our best RB, # 2 wide receiver, maybe cast off our best LB for being too small and our Pro Bowl DT for being to weak for another 2nd or two and a 4th; we'll have plenty of extra shiny new draft choices to try to replace the players for whom some have so quickly tired. While we're at it, let's trade Glennon for a late round choice and resurrect Tim Tebow. Tedford is smart enough to devise a special power run only system to build the team around him. We could call it the TNT (Tebow Never Throws) concept. We just keep the ball and hold it like four corners basketball or the Rope-a Dope. Yes, I'm kidding. But hey, even doing this we wouldn't be any worse than our 32nd offensive ranking of 2013.
  • avatar

    In order to get the best draft value, I'm hoping we land one of the Offensive Tackles and begin the overhaul of the O-Line. It's not a sexy pick, but there really isn't a QB or DE (Clowney will be long gone) who will be worthy of #7 overall.
  • avatar

    Great job!! Especially glad to see the QBs where you have them...had Carr as late 1st early 2nd.
  • avatar

    Nice to see some depth at WR and TE on this board. We could definitely use improvements in both those areas.
  • avatar

    PewterReportED, thanks for the input; I am encouraged that if we trade down to spots 15-25 we still have good talent available. We are more than a couple players away as I now see the lack of speed that we have overall. We need more draft picks!
  • avatar

    Besides the glaring absence of Bortles who I think will be the first overall pick, I'd say this was a pretty good list. I do believe certain guys on this list are way overrated, but should still probably be on here somewhere. I would say A. Barr and the two D-linemen from Notre Dame (Tuitt and Nix) are way overrated.
  • avatar

    Its just a draft board fellas. I think it was a good job. Nice information for those that don't peruse the draft sites. Thanks, Eric.
  • avatar

    With a sub pare QB like Glennon and a limited draft class, I would have to assume that the Bucs will have to bolster the previously touted, but now highly questionable offensive line with the first pick...yawn.
  • avatar

    So I am ok with Pewter Report running down all the "best draft picks" But I am certainly hoping for Scott of someone to look into their crystal ball and tell me who you think will be available and who should the Bucs take. The Bucs don't have a shot at Mr. Clowney unless they seriously trade up. If you think they plan to, that's fine otherwise, let me know what you think the Bucs are going to do and why? Thanks!
  • avatar

    Hope your assessment of Derek Carr is held by all the other teams in the draft so that the Bucs can draft down and get Carr and get a third and 6th pick back. Or we could go even lower and still get Central Florida's QB who is a talent I see as good as Carr who we may also be able to pick up later if you are right. Carr had a good outing at the Senior Bowl and threw for a TD. I am glad he didn't do so great one of the teams in front of us would grab him. We have to get a QB who is superior to Glennon because Glennon will not be able to to get us to the playoffs this year. It would sure be nice if one of the top TEs would drop to the second round, where the Bucs could draft them.
  • avatar

    Unfortunately, unlike what PR thinks, no one in the NFL has Carr rated above Bortles. No one. So the Bucs will not be "going lower" than Carr for Bortles. Also, Carr's lack of pocket presence, happy feet and bad mechanics will keep him from ever using his arm talent to any great degree. What makes Johnny Manziel "Johnny Football" (eyes in the back of his head) is exactly what will doom Carr to mediocrity-at-best in the NFL.
  • avatar

    Oh sweet baby Jesus. You have Derek Carr aka Blaine Gabbert 2.0 rated as a first round pick and Blake Bortles, a projected top 5-10 pick not even in your top 32. Have you watched any film on these players at all? Any?! For one, Bortles and UCF beat Bridgewater and Louisville straight up, UCF lost only one game all year to South Carolina and that was a close game. The guy is big, athletic, solid arm and unlike Gabbert 2.0 has very good pocket presence and can keep his eyes down field. You are aware that a lack of pocket presence is a killer in the NFL right? You can't chuck the ball out within 2 seconds on every pass like Mr. Carr did in the Mountain West against the pillars of college competition like San Jose State (whom he lost to) and San Diego State/Rutgers (who took Fresno State to OT).
  • avatar

    Though I certainly can assume these players are all good NFL prospects, some obviously better than others, the order in which they are picked is as much of a wild guessing games as played by those who "predict" season records in August. We should get a very good player at 6 with the biggest risk pick a QB. What Glennon shows Lovie and Licht between now and May, or how the Bucs approach FA will go a long way in determining that pick. That typed, with what we're hearing about Mike Williams, certainly what nonsense I read on his Twitter account (that of an immature braggart), Sammy Watkins could very well be a top choice for us IMO.
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