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25 things I think I think about the 2014 NFL Draft

May 5, 2014

25) I think this is the greatest draft I’ve ever seen in my 15 years as a draft fan/amateur scout

24) I think that there is some team in the first 24 picks that will go against the grain and take Teddy Bridgewater despite his atrocious Pro Day.

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23) I think that the Jets at #18, the Cardinals at #20, the Chiefs at #23 and the Bengals at #24 are all furiously scouting Bridgewater as they never expected him to be available to them two months ago. I think one of those teams will pull the trigger on him and stop his “draft day slide” if he does fall out of the first 8 picks as expected.

22) I think Bridgewater really is sliding but that phrase is used too often. Colt McCoy “slid” on draft day per the media but he was a short QB, with overrated mobility and poor arm strength. There was never anything to love about the kid so it’s not surprising that he lasted till the 3rd round. These “slides” are simply due to the media overhyping someone and not being willing to admit they were wrong from the beginning. This year’s fake slide candidate: AJ McCarron. I have a 4th round grade on him yet if he even drops out of the 2nd round the media will hype it as a “slide” and blame it on his tattoos, his fiancée, her reality show or some other nonsense.

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21) I think there is tape out there that backs up the idea that Blake Bortles or Derek Carr is the best quarterback in this draft. Neither of them are #1 on my board though.

20) I think that every team in the NFL is scared to draft Jadeveon Clowney but they’re even more scared to pass on him.

19) I think the Texans are going to take a quarterback but there are at least two guys that they really like and it’s the reason why they’ll be taking Clowney and “figuring it out” from there.

18) I think there are 6-7 elite talents in this draft. Last year I thought there was 1, Luke Joeckel.

17) I think that Taylor Lewan is the best OT in this draft and it’s not even close. Rumor has it that the Raiders agree with me but few other teams do.

16) I think it’s never a good thing to have the Raiders agreeing with you.

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15) I think the New York Giants will take Zach Martin at #12 if he’s there. It’s about as perfect of a player/team fit as there can be. I’ve looked at 5 mock drafts today and no one has that match which surprises me.

14) I think this is the greatest WR class I’ve ever graded. Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Marquise Lee all have Pro Bowl potential and could end up as the best WR from this class. There are another 10 or so WRs that I project as very good #2 wideouts for teams.

13) I think Mike Evans not Sammy Watkins has the highest upside of any WR in this draft. He reminds me of a combination between Vincent Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey. Both of those players made the Pro Bowl in the past two years.

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12) I think Greg Robinson, Eric Ebron, Derek Carr and Justin Gilbert are four prospects that scare me. They all have incredible upside but there are issues with each one that makes their bust potential very high.

11) I think it would be really cool to see Manziel go to the Raiders. Is he not the epitome of what the old school Raiders were all about? He’s controversial, he’s cool, he’s tough and he’s a competitor. He could really rejuvenate that fan base and make it cool to wear black and silver again.

10) I think that Aaron Donald deserves to be in the conversation for the 1st Overall Pick. He was statistically the most productive DL in college last year, he had the greatest Combine EVER for a DT and he is as squeaky clean of a guy as you will find. I honestly think he will be one of the 10 best DTs in the NFL as a rookie and one of the 5 best within 3 years.

9) I think that Gus Bradley is a firm believer in toughness and heart so mock drafters should take that into consideration when they guess who the pick will be at #3. I think that reduces the chances of them taking guys like Jadeveon Clowney and Sammy Watkins and increases the chances of them taking guys like Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack and Johnny Manziel.

8) I think that Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney are neck and neck for the title of “prospect with the highest upside.”

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7) I think this is the rare draft that will have a lot of future Pro Bowlers drafted after Round 2.

6) I think this is the deepest OG class I’ve ever graded. Someone is going to take Trai Turner in the 3rd or 4th round and we will be talking about him as one of the steals of this draft when he makes multiple Pro Bowls in his career.

5) I think too many people are talking about the Falcons and Lions moving up on draft day and not nearly enough people are talking about the Bills moving up. They want Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans or Jadeveon Clowney and I think they will have one of them by the time the 6th pick is complete.

4) I think the Cleveland Browns are in love with Derek Carr not Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles and are internally deciding whether they just take him at #4 or take someone else and hope he makes it to #26. I think they take him in neither spot as they’ll take a position player at #4 and then move up from #26 to make sure they get him.

3) I think my wife has a crush on Jimmy Garoppolo. No wait, this I know. So this article should really be titled “24 things I think I think and 1 thing I know.”

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2) I think I have a crush on Johnny Football.

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1) I think I will vomit if the Cowboys take CJ Mosley or Timmy Jernigan with the 16th Overall Pick. I don’t have a 1st round grade on either of them yet both have been linked to the Cowboys from Day 1 so it worries me…..a lot.

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2 Comments
  1. sky permalink

    Great stuff, once again. A few questions.
    1. Mike Evans – Is he a sure-bet NFL impact player? I realize the obvious things are pretty off-the-charts; size, on-field speed, great catches, moxie, etc.. But does he have the next-level foot speed to get away from nickle backs or safeties to create separation? I think Alshon Jeffrey is an apt comparison, but could even he regress a bit next year as he may have caught the league by surprise last year.

    2. The QB situation appears to be as unknown as any year and I’m not even referencing Manziel! Bridgewater, Carr and Bortles are all guys who did not play “big time” college football. Indeed, that may or may not be an overused cliche when evaluating prospects. But the truth is that they simply did not see the pass rushers and athletes coming at them who were much more than above-average. As well as the tighter, advanced coverage in the secondary flanking their WRs to throw to.

    What makes you think each one can (and will) make the jump into the NFL from average-cfb competition? Typically, they must possess the football IQ, quick-release, arm strength and accuracy to let us know that they can succeed in the NFL. Do they have it?

    Also, I do not think McCarron, like Colt, is much of a good bet for success just b/c he DID play “big time” cfb. Obviously, both are products of their system, elite talent around them and are also good game-managers, which can get you far in college.

    • Good points. I haven’t posted my QB Rankings yet but the profiles have already been written and I think you’ll agree with them when they come out. I took into account Carr’s struggles against USC and Bortles lack of competition. Also on the Evans comment, I have him as my #3 ranked WR because of everything you said. There were too many games in which he didn’t get open on his initial route yet ended up with a big gainer after Manziel did his Houdini act. Evans and Manziel ran the best scramble drill in the country but if Evans goes to say the Bills at #9 (or higher in a trade) will Manuel be able to get him the ball in that fashion? Also Manziel was a gunslinger and gave Evans a chance to win jumpballs which other, more disciplined QBs, might not choose to do as some will inevitably get intercepted. I have Evans as my #3 WR but he has the highest upside in this draft due to his uncanny size, strength and long arms (longest arms of any WR I’ve ever graded and longest arms of any WR in the past 5 Combines). Thanks for reading and definitely check back Thursday-Saturday when I live blog on the site.

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