Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings By Position

Here are my (at least) top 5 prospects at every position.  I also mention my favorite per position for the Bucs.  Players are ranked, not in the order in which I think they’ll be chosen but rather my projection of their success as pros.  For reference, I ranked Colin Kaepernick higher than Cam Newton in 2011 (pay no attention to QBs 1-4) and had this to say about the eventual Niners QB prior to the draft –

Kaepernick might look a little high here, but he could actually have the greatest potential as a developmental prospect with a big arm and plus mobility. Once Kaepernick commits to keeping the ball, he shows impressive straight line speed. He avoids the pass rush well for a guy who isn’t the thickest QB. Despite running the Pistol offense at Nevada I think his skill set will make the transition to a more traditional scheme fairly seamless.....

Are there any Kaepernicks in this year’s class?

1) Blake Bortles (UCF)
2) Derek Carr (Fresno State)
3) Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
4) Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
5) Jimmy Garoppolo (E Illinois)
6) Aaron Murray (Georgia)
7) Zach Mettenberger (LSU)

Favorite for the Bucs – Derek Carr
I’m of the belief that the Bucs will take a QB early and trade Mike Glennon for a draft pick.  Carr is still my projected pick for the Bucs in round one, whether it is at #7 or via a trade down in R1.  Carr won’t start right away, and if Josh McCown plays anything like he did last year, he won’t have to.  I love the idea of him learning behind the scenes with Jeff Tedford without the pressure to produce right away that derailed his brother’s career.    

Running Back
1) Tre Mason (Auburn)
2) Jeremy Hill (LSU)
3) Carlos Hyde (Ohio State)
4) Devonta Freeman (FSU)
5) Bishop Sankey (Washington)
6) Terrance West (Towson)

Favorite for the Bucs – Tre Mason
Running back is probably the safest position to rule out as far as the Bucs go, but if the cupboard was bare, Mason seems like the type of toy Tedford would be giddy about getting on draft day. 

Wide Receiver
1) Sammy Watkins (Clemson)
2) Odell Beckham (LSU)
3) Donte Moncrief (Ole Miss)
4) Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
5) Brandin Cooks (Oregon State)
6) Allen Robinson (Penn State)
7) Davante Adams (Fresno State)
8) Kelvin Benjamin (FSU)
9) Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt)
10) Marqise Lee (USC)
11) Bruce Ellington (South Carolina)
12) Cody Latimer (Indiana)

Favorite for the Bucs – Donte Moncrief
Watkins is the easy pick, and I’m a huge huge Beckham fan.  I see them being special NFL receivers.  I also think Moncrief will be in the same discussion two or three years from now, and he’s my ideal R2 pick for the Bucs.

Tight End
1) Eric Ebron (UNC)
2) CJ Fiedorowicz (Iowa)
3) Jace Amaro (Texas Tech)
4) Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington)
5) Troy Niklas (Notre Dame)
6) Crockett Gillmore (Colorado State)

Favorite for the Bucs – CJ Fiedorowicz
The Bucs may not draft one, but Fiedorowicz would be the most complete tight end on the roster and allow the Bucs to be more creative with Tim Wright and Brandon Myers. 

Offensive Tackle
1) Greg Robinson (Auburn)
1a) Jake Matthews (Texas A&M)
3) Taylor Lewan (Michigan)
4) Morgan Moses (Virginia)
5) Cyrus Kouandjio (Alabama)

Favorite for the Bucs – Jake Matthews
Robinson might be the better long term tackle prospect, but if I can be optimistic about Anthony Collins and Demar Dotson establishing themselves as Buccaneer bookends, Matthews’ ability to play multiple positions would help a weak Tampa Bay interior. 

Interior OL
1) Zack Martin (G/T, Notre Dame)
2) Joel Bitonio (G/T, Nevada)
3) Marcus Martin (C, USC)
4) Xavier Su’a-Filo (G, UCLA)
5) Gabe Jackson (G, Mississippi State)

Favorite for the Bucs – Anthony Steen (G, Alabama)
I don’t see the Bucs spending a pick on a guard in the first three rounds.  If that’s the case, Steen should be there on day three when the Bucs go guard shopping.  I like him as a candidate to fill the vacant RG spot.  Brandon Thomas would be an honorable mention as someone the Bucs could basically redshirt his rookie year and insert in ’15 as a draft steal.

Defensive End
1) Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
2) Kony Ealy (Missouri)
3) Kareem Martin (UNC)
4) Dee Ford (Auburn)
5) Scott Crichton (Oregon State)

Favorite for the Bucs – Kony Ealy
If the Bucs were fortunate enough to find Ealy on the board in R2, he’d be awful tough to pass up as a guy who could offer pass rush potential at end and tackle positions. 

Defensive Tackle
1) Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh)
2) Timmy Jernigan (FSU)
3) Dominique Easley (Florida)
4) RaShede Hageman (Minnesota)
5) Louis Nix (Notre Dame)
6) Stephon Tuitt (Notre Dame)
7) Kelcy Quarles (South Carolina)
8) Ego Ferguson (LSU)

Favorite for the Bucs – Dominique Easley
Similar to Ealy, Easley would be a R2 gift.  Since his medicals apparently checked out well, I could see him going to the Seahawks at the end of R1.  Should he slide, he’d be tough to pass up as a compliment to McCoy and McDonald. 

Outside Linebacker
1) Khalil Mack (Buffalo)
2) Jeremiah Attaochu (Georgia Tech)
3) Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
4) Anthony Barr (UCLA)
5) Telvin Smith (FSU)
6) Demarcus Lawrence (Boise State)
7) Christian Jones (FSU)
8) Carl Bradford (Arizona State)

Favorite for the Bucs – Telvin Smith
The Bucs only have six draft picks, and with Lavonte David in place, WLB may be the most solidified starting position on the team.  Still, the Bucs have been stung by a lack of depth in the past, and there’s nothing behind David.  If the Bucs add another pick or two and they really feel like going best available in R3, then Telvin would be a fantastic acquisition. 

Inside Linebacker
1) CJ Mosley (Alabama)
2) Chris Borland (Wisconsin)
3) Shayne Skov (Stanford)
4) Yawin Smallwood (Connecticut)
5) Preston Brown (Louisville)

Best for the Bucs – CJ Mosley
If I had to pick a surprise R1 selection for the Bucs, Mosley or Aaron Donald would be my choice.  Acquiring Mosley would upgrade both the MLB and SLB spots as Foster would likely move over and start ahead of Jonathan Casillas opposite David.

1) Kyle Fuller (Virginia Tech)
2) Jason Verrett (TCU)
3) Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State)
4) Lamarcus Joyner (FSU)
5) Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State)
6) Bradley Roby (Ohio State)
7) Jaylen Watkins (Florida)
8) Rashaad Reynolds (Oregon State)

Favorite for the Bucs – Lamarcus Joyner
Yep, another Nole.  As I’ve mentioned in detail on previous occasions, the Bucs are awfully weak at the nickel corner spot, and Joyner would give them an ideal fit in Lovie’s defense.  He might also project as a future replacement for Dashon Goldson at free safety. 

1) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Alabama)
2) Calvin Pryor (Louisville)
3) Deone Bucannon (Washington St)
4) Terrence Brooks (FSU)
5) Jimmie Ward (N Illinois)

Favorite for the Bucs – Deone Bucannon
He’s not rated as high by the “experts”, but I really think Bucannon is going to be a star in the NFL.  He’s long, physical, and excels in zone concepts.  From the games I’ve seen, I think, given the right coaching, he has more potential in pass coverage than his draft bios will lead you to believe. 

No comments:

Post a Comment