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2014 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook for Week 17

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  • 2014 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook for Week 17

    2014 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook for Week 17
    By Matt Miller
    (NFL Draft Lead Writer) on December 26, 2013

    With Christmas in our rearview mirrors, college football heads into bowl season, and a crucial time of player evaluation begins.

    For many college players, the best competition they will face all season comes in a bowl game. For players like Fresno State's Derek Carr, who struggled against USC in the Las Vegas Bowl, it's important to hit the ground running after the bowls to repair any damage done to their stock in the bowl game. But can a player really hurt his stock in one game? That's something we'll dig into this week.

    This is an exciting week on the NFL draft calendar, and a full slate of games gives us plenty to watch this week.

    Let's get started.


    Five Up, Five Down

    Five Up

    5. DE Marcus Smith, Louisville
    Productive, athletic and eye-catching when you turn on the film, Louisville's Marcus Smith has flown too far under my radar this season. With a second look at Louisville before its matchup against Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, I finally gave Smith the full attention he's deserved. And I was impressed.

    Smith is quick off the ball and has the hand use you want to see from an edge-defender. At 6'3" and 255 pounds, he looks more like a left defensive end (LEO) or stand-up 3-4 linebacker, but Smith's quickness and range are underrated at this point. He's firmly in my top 120 prospects heading into the new year.

    4. OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada
    The Nevada football program has churned out solid prospects for years now, but with few draftable 2014 players on the roster, I hadn't sat down and dedicated time to its film yet. Thankfully I was nudged to look at offensive tackle Joel Bitonio.

    Based on 2012 film, I had a preseason undrafted grade on the left tackle prospect, but his agility and strength stood out as I took a new look. Bitonio isn't the biggest guy at 6'4", but he packs a punch and is able to slide out with pass-rushers. With the ability to play tackle or guard, Bitonio looks like a top-100 prospect.

    3. DE Josh Mauro, Stanford
    Injuries allowed senior Josh Mauro more playing time at defensive end in the Stanford 3-4 scheme, and with that opportunity he has flourished. Mauro, at 6'6", 282 pounds, has the ideal length and strength to play as a 5-technique in the NFL. And after his production and impact were on display during the second half of the season, Mauro has shot up my board.

    A one-time seventh-round prospect, Mauro is now inside my top 100.

    2. OT Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt
    A 50-game starter for Vanderbilt, tackle Wesley Johnson is ready for the NFL. He's a mobile, agile left tackle who added strength this season in order to better fuel the run game. It's paid off, as Johnson has been a dominant tackle in the SEC all season.

    With his athleticism and experience, Johnson will get plenty of NFL looks. Add in his improved strength and his fluid footwork, and you have a player now inside the top 120 prospects of the 2014 class.

    1. OLB Jordan Tripp, Montana
    It's fun to imagine how dominant Jordan Tripp could have been at a major program or even at Montana if used better. A fluid, impressive athlete in space, Tripp was never unleashed on the offense. His numbers may not be special, but his upside is.

    Tripp is an attacking player off the edge, and I see a future NFL starter in his range, instincts and three-down ability as a linebacker. Tripp, who recently accepted a Senior Bowl invite, has the tools to shoot up boards once NFL teams get a closer look at him.


    Five Down

    5. OT James Hurst, North Carolina
    James Hurst has lived off his reputation as a stonewall against defensive ends, but the closer I look at the tape, the more concerns I have.

    Hurst uses his hands well and has nice technique, but his agility and quickness on the edge are questionable. From Hurst I see a well-timed and well-placed punch, but his pass-pro sets aren't as quick as you'd like from a left tackle in the NFL. A move to right tackle or guard could be in his future.

    4. OG Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
    A powerful player in the run game, Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson looked like a future road-grader. Now, with a full season of film available, there are some areas of concern. Jackson plays with power but not always controlled power. He'll get reckless in the run game and can lunge at defenders instead of driving into them.

    It's all coachable, and you have to like Jackson's physical makeup, but he's not the finished blocker he appeared to be from first glance.

    3. SS Craig Loston, LSU
    Craig Loston has this reputation of being a big hitter and top-tier athlete at the strong safety position, and those things are both true. But where is Loston in coverage? The NFL today is a passing game first and foremost, and a safety must be able to play in man or zone coverage, not just attack the run.

    That's where I worry about Loston's game. He's physical in the box, but I see him struggling when asked to turn and run with a tight end or back. He'll need to fix those flaws in his game before he's a pro-ready starter.

    2. LB Morgan Breslin, USC
    A productive pass-rusher from USC is sure to catch the eye of evaluators, but does Breslin live up to the hype?

    Before an injury-shortened 2013 season, Breslin looked like a solid 3-4 outside linebacker at the next level. He didn't have "greatness" in his scouting report, but he looked like a lunch-pail starter for the next decade as a left outside linebacker.

    But Breslin doesn't win with speed or strength on the edge, and while it's normal for a pass-rusher to be a mix of the two, I don't see in Breslin's film the combination required to beat NFL blockers.

    With shorter arms on a 6'1" frame, Breslin will have to improve his speed and strength to succeed in the NFL. And that's not the bottom line I want on a guy drafted in the top three rounds.

    1. DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee
    One of the biggest players in all of college football, Daniel McCullers has been a known freak in NFL circles. The big question is whether he's a sideshow or a serious prospect at 6'6" and over 350 pounds.

    McCullers has all the natural strength you'd expect from a man that size, but he's not been dominant in the SEC. The reason for that is leverage. McCullers towers over blockers, especially guards who play with a low center of gravity, and that opens him up to being driven off the ball by players with better technique. McCullers may be a mountain, but he's a moveable one. And in the NFL that won't work.


    The Scout’s Report
    — The instant Twitter overreactions to Derek Carr's subpar performance against USC in the Las Vegas Bowl was incredible. Carr didn't play his best game, but you also cannot ever scout a player based on one game. As I said during the game, Carr's weaknesses (happy feet in the pocket, overthrows under pressure) are all coachable. He has all the tools and abilities of a franchise quarterback, regardless of one poor game against USC.

    — One name I continue to hear when talking to league scouts is Ego Ferguson. The big LSU defensive tackle wasn't as highly acclaimed by NFL folks over the summer—most of the attention went to Anthony Johnson—but with a season under their belts, it's Ferguson who is catching the eye of NFL teams. He is a top-50 player on at least three scout's boards if he enters the 2014 draft.

    — Another underclassman has entered the draft. According to Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer (via Syracuse.com), the team's leading rusher, Jerome Smith, will head to the pros. Smith had good production for the Orangemen, but he'll graduate this semester and feels he's ready for the NFL. I currently have him graded as a midround talent heading into the Texas Bowl against Minnesota.

    — I asked one high-level team executive this week who the safest player in the 2014 draft is. His response, "Jake Matthews." The Texas A&M left tackle has an NFL pedigree and is what the team source called a "blue-chip prospect." Matthews figures to be a top-five pick in the May draft.

    — If you're looking for the next Russell Wilson, check out Arizona State's Taylor Kelly. The junior quarterback wasn't on my 2014 radar until an area scout tipped me off on his game this week. After charting three games, it's tough to not like Kelly's accuracy, mobility and poise. While not expected to declare for this year's draft, Kelly is worth watching for future classes.

    — Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald accepted a Senior Bowl invite this week, according to Executive Director Phil Savage. Donald is a player several NFL teams and agents have asked me about this season. His quickness will draw comparisons to Geno Atkins, as will his smaller size. A big week in Mobile could be huge for his rising draft stock. Donald won the Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi and Bednarik this year in a rare sweep of the four major trophies awarded to linemen.

    — There is still one quarterback spot open on the Senior Bowl rosters, and you should safely expect that invitation to be accepted by Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron. Crimson Tide players have fared well in Mobile, and McCarron's status in the state would be a major draw for the All-Star Game.

    — There was some debate in the media this week about Buffalo pass-rusher Khalil Mack. Bucky Brooks of NFL.com called him a late first-round pick, while another anonymous scout told Bob McGinn of the Journal Sentinel that Mack is better than UCLA's Anthony Barr, a player most consider top-10 worthy. While I can't predict what NFL teams will do in May, I have Mack rated as a top-10 talent and do-it-all linebacker in a Von Miller mold.

    — The Seattle Times' Adam Jude reported that Washington running back Bishop Sankey received a third-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. This is in-line with my ranking of Sankey—No. 94 overall currently—and what teams have told me. The biggest concern is that Sankey doesn't break tackles or pick up yardage after contact and will struggle to find openings once in the NFL.


    A Day in the Life of an NFL Scout

    Each week you’ll get a glimpse inside the life of everyone’s dream job—being an NFL scout.

    What are the grinders of the NFL front office doing?

    "Sitting in a press box, freezing my ass off" is what one area scout told me he'd be doing during Christmas week. While the world mostly stops for the rest of us, team scouts are still traveling to bowl games and are still tasked with the same process they followed during the season.

    The good news for some teams is that they allow the bowl games to be evaluated from the comforts of the home office via uploaded video the day after the game. Each NFL team subscribes to a service that allows the scouts to view games digitally—similar to NFL Rewind—a day or two after the contest.

    But for those old-school scouts and general managers, sitting in the press box is still the best view of a player. So while we're slamming back eggnog, they're preparing their notes for another day on the road.


    Scouting Dictionary

    "Arm strength, arm talent, velocity, spin, zip and wobble."

    When talking to NFL scouts and coaches about a quarterback's arm strength, prepare yourself for a barrage of words being thrown at you. And oddly enough, most of them mean the same thing.

    NFL scouts are looking for a passer who throws with velocity—ideally a tight spiral on the ball from the time it leaves the quarterback until it's caught by the receiver. So why all the different terms?

    Some are a catch-all, like "arm strength" and "arm talent," that allow a scout to generally discuss a player's passing ability. When you hear "velocity, spin, zip or wobble," you're starting to dig down and speak more about the actual movement of the football once thrown.

    Confusing? Maybe at first, but there is value in both the general and the specific when discussing the most important aspect of a quarterback—his arm.


    Scout’s Take

    DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

    Strengths
    Big, long, strong and fast. That's Kony Ealy. The Missouri defensive end is a listed 6'5" and 275 pounds of lean muscle. He uses that to terrorize the edge for the Tigers but shows off his length and strength when kicked inside as a 3-technique defensive tackle at times. Versatile, agile and downright scary.

    As a pass-rusher, Ealy is able to set up blockers with his long arms and then make a countermove thanks to his speed and strength combination. He has the ability to fire off the line with speed but then convert that to power if engaged by a blocker. And with good hand and arm use, Ealy is able to get through traffic and still impact the backfield.

    Weaknesses
    Ealy has been productive at Missouri, but will his strength translate to the NFL? Ealy doesn't have quality film of him showing up as a run defender or as an edge-setter. He has one gear—and that's to get into the backfield and go after the ball-carrier. If asked to play gap responsibilities or be an anchor on the edge, Ealy would be washed-up by NFL blockers.

    He's raw against the run, but so were Aldon Smith and Ezekiel Ansah coming out of college. Ealy has clear-cut first-round tools and athleticism. He's a top-10 player on my big board and a player I'd want on my team.

    Pro Player Comparison: Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit Lions


    The Big Board

    Updated Big Board—The Top 32 Rank Player Pos. School
    1 Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
    2 Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
    3 Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
    4 Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
    5 Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
    6 C.J. Mosley LB Alabama
    7 Khalil Mack DE/LB Buffalo
    8 Derek Carr QB Fresno State
    9 Kony Ealy DE/LB Missouri
    10 Blake Bortles QB UCF
    11 Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma St.
    12 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
    13 Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
    14 Greg Robinson OT Auburn
    15 Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama
    16 Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
    17 Marqise Lee WR USC
    18 Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
    19 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
    20 Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
    21 Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
    22 Cameron Erving OT FSU
    23 David Yankey OG Stanford
    24 Devante Adams WR Fresno State
    25 Michael Bennett DT Ohio State
    26 Odell Beckham WR LSU
    27 Shayne Skov ILB Stanford
    28 Jason Verrett CB TCU
    29 Jarvis Landry WR LSU
    30 Allen Robinson WR Penn State
    31 Cyril Richardson OG Baylor
    32 Ego Ferguson DT LSU


    Parting Shots



    10. If you love football, the next 10 days will be amazing. Between Week 17 of the NFL season dictating many playoff spots and a ton of college football bowl games on TV, I may not leave my office.

    9. Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State) and Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State) would have been the best cornerbacks in the 2013 class by a long shot. Now we'll get to see the two go head-to-head for the top spot in 2014, and that's going to be a treat.

    8. It looks like a lot of people are still sleeping on Kony Ealy and UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. I asked on Twitter this week if anyone else had them in their top-10 players. No one does, except for me. Feel free to hop on the bandwagon if you're reading this.

    7. If Stanford's David Yankey leaves school for the NFL draft, he'll be the best guard in the class. He's David DeCastro-like in his technique but plays meaner at the point of attack.

    6. I hate to see anyone lose his job, but there is no way Jim Schwartz should be able to keep his position after watching the Lions collapse this season. Their undisciplined, inconsistent play is a reflection of the head coach.

    5. My predictions for NFL firings following Week 17: Schwartz (Detroit), Mike Shanahan (Washington), Leslie Frazier (Minnesota), Greg Schiano (Tampa Bay) and Jason Garrett (Dallas).

    4. I love that NFL teams are starting to overlook size when evaluating a player. The old ideas that a quarterback had to be so tall or a linebacker so heavy are slowly dying thanks to guys like Russell Wilson and Lavonte David. With that in mind, keep your eyes on Ohio State's Ryan Shazier as a top-15 pick this May if he leaves school early.

    3. Prepare to hear a lot of talk about how this draft class isn't very good. And please prepare to ignore that. The 2014 class might not have greatness at the top, but it's better top to bottom than the 2013 class already. There may not be an Andrew Luck, but I'm happy with a Jake Matthews, Jadeveon Clowney and others.

    2. We're going to have a lot of great debates between now and May about who the top player in the 2014 NFL draft should be. I'm putting my vote in now for Teddy Bridgewater. As long as he enters the draft this year, he'll be my No. 1 player.

    1. As 2013 comes to a close, I wanted to take time to thank you all for the support, the conversations and the feedback throughout the year. I have the best job in the world, and that wouldn't be possible without you, the reader.

Related Topics

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  • Nick
    CBS Big Board: Senior Bowl best chance for upperclassmen to make move
    by Nick
    Big Board: Senior Bowl best chance for upperclassmen to make move
    by Rob Rang | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
    Jan. 23, 2014 4:23 PM ET

    MOBILE, Ala. -- The scouting combine in February is the made-for-TV main event leading up to the NFL Draft, but no pre-draft gathering will have a greater effect on adjusting player grades than this week's practices at the Senior Bowl.

    In Mobile, 109 of the nation's elite senior prospects auditioned in front of hundreds of NFL scouts and personnel men. Roughly 30 more turned down the invitation due to injury or personal choice. A year ago, Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher's dominant play led to his steady ascent toward the No. 1 overall pick by the Kansas City Chiefs. EJ Manuel rode an MVP performance in the game to become the only quarterback to earn a selection in the first round -- No. 16 overall to the Buffalo Bills.

    The No. 1 pick this May will almost surely be an underclassman, but don't be fooled -- top prospects at the Senior Bowl have had a lot on the line this week, and my current Big Board reflects it.

    The Big Board isn't a mock draft. There is no attention given to team needs or the projected selection order. It is simply a ranking of the 50 best prospects potentially eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft.


    1. Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina (6-feet-6, 268 pounds): There's no denying Clowney failed to live up to expectations, statistically speaking. He also inflamed concerns about his maturity with two speeding tickets before the Gamecocks' bowl game. Clowney's red flags are real, but so is his talent. Imposing, explosive and more technically sound than many realize, Clowney competes only with former No. 2 overall pick Julius Peppers (2002) as the most gifted defensive end prospect I have ever seen.

    2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (6-5, 305): The son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, Jake proves the cliché -- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He has played well at left tackle this season after starring at right tackle over his first three years. Matthews is a terrific player, demonstrating impressive technique, strength and consistency. He is not, however, an elite athlete and some view his future back on the right side in the NFL.

    3. Greg Robinson*, OT, Auburn (6-5, 320): Redshirt offensive linemen rarely earn more than a whisper in scouting circles, but the buzz around the Tigers' star left tackle is venturing into deafening. Physical and tenacious, Robinson is a grizzly bear in the running game, mauling opponents with an exciting blend of size, strength and athleticism. Auburn's reliance on the running game gave Robinson few opportunities in pass protection, meaning he could struggle initially in this role. Robinson isn't as polished as Matthews, which is why he ranks behind the Aggies' star for me, but the redshirt sophomore has an extraordinary upside which could...
    -01-25-2014, 10:04 AM
  • Nick
    CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl
    by Nick
    Big Board: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl
    by Rob Rang | NFLDraftScout.com
    Jan. 3, 2014 2:34 PM ET

    Bowl games give scouts one final, critical opportunity to gauge prospects during their college careers. How they perform on the big stage, with all of the emotions that come with the end of their amateur careers, can spark what appears to be a dramatic rise or fall on draft boards.

    Savvy scouts won't overreact to one game -- unless the performance reinforces prior evaluation. That's the case with young quarterbacks Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M and Central Florida's Blake Bortles and, unfortunately on the flip side, Fresno State senior Derek Carr.

    The Big Board isn't a mock draft. There is no attention given to team needs or the selection order. It is simply a ranking of the 32 best prospects potentially eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft.

    1. Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina (6-6, 268): There is no denying that Clowney failed to live up to expectations, statistically speaking. He also raised concerns about his maturity with two speeding tickets in recent weeks. Clowney's red flags are real, but so is his talent. Imposing, explosive and more technically sound than many realize, Clowney competes only with former No. 2 overall pick Julius Peppers (2002) as the most gifted defensive end prospect I have ever seen.

    2. Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville (6-3, 220): In an era in which college QBs' numbers are often inflated by short passes and simplistic schemes, Bridgewater's sparkling production is due to Pro Bowl-caliber accuracy. His success (71 percent completions, 31 touchdowns, four interceptions) comes out of a pro-style offense that requires him to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage and complete NFL throws. Those traits make Bridgewater an ideal fit in new Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien's offense, making him the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft.

    3. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (6-5, 305): The son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews proves the cliché -- the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. He has played well at left tackle this season after starring at right tackle over his first three years. Matthews is a terrific player, demonstrating impressive technique, strength and consistency. He is not an elite athlete and some view his future back on the right side in the NFL.

    4. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (6-4, 238): A running back until last season, Barr has emerged as one of the elite prospects in the country and is my top-rated senior at any position. A powerful and fluid athlete at his best rushing off the edge, Barr was named the 2013 recipient of the Lott IMPACT Trophy with 62 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles during the regular season.

    5. Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson (6-1, 200): With 85 catches for 1,235 yards and 10 touchdowns, Watkins erased...
    -01-03-2014, 03:32 PM
  • Nick
    CBS Sports Updated Big Board (12/13)
    by Nick
    Big Board: Want a QB? Then you're in luck with this loaded class
    by Rob Rang
    NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:55 AM ET

    With the number of underclassmen declaring for the 2014 draft expected to challenge -- if not topple -- last year's record of 73 early entrants, the giving season might occur in early May rather than late December for NFL teams.

    Scouts are especially excited about the quarterback class, which boasts one clear-cut first round talent in Fresno State senior Derek Carr and is expected to get a strong infusion with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Central Florida's Blake Bortles and UCLA's Brett Hundley among the talented underclassmen considering making the jump.

    The Big Board isn't a mock draft. There is no attention given to team needs or the projected selection order. It is simply a ranking of the 32 best prospects potentially eligible for the 2014 NFL draft.

    1. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-6, 268, 4.65)*: There is no denying that by registering only three sacks (and zero forced fumbles) in the 2013 regular season, Clowney has failed to live up to expectations. He also enflamed concerns about his maturity with a Dec. 7 speeding ticket in which he was clocked at 110 mph. Clowney's red flags are real, but so is his talent. In 13 years of grading prospects for the NFL Draft, Clowney competes only with former No. 2 overall pick Julius Peppers (2002) as the most gifted I've ever seen.

    2. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (6-3, 220, 4.65)*: In an era in which college quarterbacks' numbers are often inflated by short passes and relatively simplistic schemes, Bridgewater's sparkling production is due to Pro Bowl-caliber accuracy. His success (70.2 percent completion rate with 28 touchdowns against four interceptions) comes out of a pro-style offense that forces him to make tough throws. Bridgewater's slight frame and level of competition are concerns. Bridgewater's poise will be tested in the Florida Citrus Bowl on Dec. 28; he'll be facing his hometown Miami Hurricanes in the game most believe will be his last at the collegiate level.

    3. OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA (6-4, 238, 4.73): A running back until last season, Barr has emerged as one of the elite prospects in the country and is my top-rated senior at any position. A powerful and fluid athlete at his best rushing off the edge, Barr was named the 2013 recipient of the LOTT Impact Award with 62 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and five forced fumbles during the regular season.

    4. QB Derek Carr, Fresno State (6-3, 215, 4.78): Carr's staggering production (70.1 completion percentage, 48 TDs, seven INTs) is certainly inflated by head coach Tim DeRuyter's QB-friendly spread attack and legitimately talented receiving corps, but there is no denying his talent. His release and velocity are as impressive as any college quarterback...
    -12-17-2013, 07:05 AM
  • Nick
    CBS Big Board: 2014 first round could feature tight-end hat trick
    by Nick
    Big Board: 2014 first round could feature tight-end hat trick
    by Rob Rang | NFLDraftScout.com
    Oct. 4, 2013 3:04 PM ET

    As NFL offenses become more sophisticated, finding pass-catchers who provide difficult matchups has taken on increased importance -- and athletic tight ends who can stretch the seam have never been more valuable.

    A trio of underclassmen could turn a solid 2014 class of tight ends into arguably the most exciting positional group in the draft. North Carolina's Eric Ebron, Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Oregon's Colt Lyerla each has the size, athleticism and ball skills to become immediate difference-makers. Should they all declare early, we could see three tight ends drafted in the opening round for the first time since 2002.

    The Big Board isn't a mock draft. There is no attention given to team needs or the projected selection order. It is simply a ranking of the 32 best prospects potentially eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft.

    1. Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina (6-6, 268): Three tackles for loss and two sacks in his first two SEC games (Georgia, Vanderbilt) should quiet some of Clowney's critics. With the bar set so high due to preseason hype, he's going to have a hard time living up to the billing. Clowney is a difference-maker in the mold of Julius Peppers and Mario Williams but he could fall lower than expected on draft day should the team with the first pick have any concerns at quarterback.

    2. Teddy Bridgewater*, QB Louisville (6-3, 220): In an era in which college quarterbacks' numbers are often inflated by short passing and relatively simplistic schemes, Bridgewater's sparkling production (71.8 completion percentage, 1,214 yards, 14 TDs, one INT) is due to stellar accuracy. The biggest knock scouts have on Bridgewater is his slight frame and level of competition. These concerns won't keep him from challenging Clowney as the top pick, should each make the NFL jump after their junior season.

    3. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA (6-4, 238): As the No. 5 pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, Ziggy Ansah showed just what a breakout season can do for a pass rusher. Barr, a former running back, exploded onto the Pac-12 last year to the tune of 21½ tackles for loss and 13½ sacks. He has been just as dominant in 2013, earning my top grade among senior prospects, regardless of position.

    4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M (6-5, 305): Any question about Matthews' ability to hold up at left tackle may have been answered with a dominating performance against Arkansas and SEC-leading sack-master Chris Smith on Sept. 28. Athletic, physical and technically sound, Matthews is every bit the NFL prospect that former teammate Luke Joeckel was a year ago. Joeckel, of course, wound up being selected No. 2 overall by Jacksonville.

    5. Cyrus Kouandjio*, OT, Alabama (6-5, 312): Some questioned the wisdom of moving Barrett Jones from left tackle...
    -10-05-2013, 08:30 AM
  • Nick
    The Official 2014 Senior Bowl Thread
    by Nick
    Please keep all Senior Bowl related information contained in this thread, thanks! :ram:
    -01-20-2014, 07:21 AM
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