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  • CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

    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 any memories of his disappointing sophomore season. He is an explosive athlete with impressive body control and natural hands to pluck the ball. Unlike some of his teammates, Watkins played well against Clemson's top opponents this season, including Florida State and South Carolina.

    6. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (5-11, 197): Quick feet, loose hips and a fluid turning motion make Dennard a classic cover corner capable of shutting down half the field. Dennard allowed only three completions on 31 passes of 15-plus yards against him this season. His ability in coverage played a huge role in the Spartans' run to a Rose Bowl victory, and was recognized with Dennard winning the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. The only factor keeping Dennard from a selection in the top half of the first round is questions about his straight-line speed.

    7. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo (6-3, 248): With an FBS-record 16 career forced fumbles and record-tying 75 career tackles for loss, Mack's statistics jump off the page. Against the most gifted opponents he faced this year (Ohio State, Baylor, Connecticut), it was his game that jumped off the screen. His size, instincts and agility as an edge rusher make him equally intriguing to teams operating out of a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment.

    8. Cedric Ogbuehi*, OT, Texas A&M (6-5, 300): Overshadowed by all of the talent on the Aggies' roster, Ogbuehi is an exciting prospect in his own right. A standout at right guard a year ago, Ogbuehi (pronounced ah-BOO-hee) took over for Jake Matthews at right tackle in 2013 and has excelled. With long arms and light feet, Ogbuehi offers higher upside than his more celebrated teammate and projects as a left tackle in the NFL.

    9. C.J. Mosley, OLB, Alabama (6-2, 232): While a bit undersized, Mosley might be the best pound-for-pound player in the country. Athletic and instinctive, he is a true three-down linebacker capable of making plays against the run and pass. Mosley lacks the bulk scouts want in a pass rusher but his awareness in coverage is special. While the tape is phenomenal, Mosley has undergone multiple surgeries (knee, shoulder) over his career and could be the latest Alabama player to receive medical red flags from some evaluators.

    10. Greg Robinson*, OT, Auburn (6-5, 320): Redshirt offensive linemen rarely earn more than a whisper in scouting circles, but the buzz generating 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, however, has given Robinson few opportunities in pass protection, making him a bit of a boom-or-bust prospect at this point.

    11. Marqise Lee*, WR, Southern Cal (6-0, 195): A nagging left knee injury hampered Lee for much of the 2013 season, robbing the '12 Biletnikoff Award winner of his trademark elusiveness and acceleration. Finally healthy in the Las Vegas Bowl against Fresno State, however, Lee showed off his playmaking ability, hauling in seven passes for 118 yards and two scores. Lee's relatively slight frame could lead to durability issues in the NFL, but his first-round skill set is undeniable.

    12. Eric Ebron*, TE, North Carolina (6-4, 245): Ebron has a jaw-dropping combination of size and athleticism that has earned comparisons to ***** star Vernon Davis. Like Davis, however, Ebron struggles with consistency, relying too much on his athleticism rather than dedicating himself to learning the finer techniques of the position. Ebron will forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 draft.

    13. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State (6-3, 215): Carr's staggering production (68.2 completion percentage, 50 TDs, 8 INTs) was inflated by head coach Tim DeRuyter's QB-friendly spread attack and talented receiving corps, but there is no denying his talent. His release and velocity are as impressive as any college quarterback in the country. Unfortunately, Carr's career ended with a thud in a disappointing performance against Southern Cal in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hit early by an athletic USC front, Carr developed happy feet and misfired often in the 45-20 beatdown. The loss left Carr 0-2 in bowl games and may add fuel to the speculation that he'll struggle with pressure in the NFL, just as his older brother David did after leaving Fresno State as the No. 1 overall pick in 2002 and playing behind a poor offensive line for the expansion Houston Texans. Derek Carr needs to restore his slipping stock with an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl.

    14. Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama (6-5, 312): Nick Saban questioned draft analysts for pegging Kouandjio as a first-round talent before the season, but given the junior left tackle's exciting skill set the projection has been confirmed. Long-armed, athletic and aggressive, Kouandjio boasts many of the traits scouts are looking for in a potential Pro Bowl offensive tackle. However, a lack of elite foot quickness was exposed by the Oklahoma Sooners' pass rush in their Sugar Bowl upset win over the Tide.

    15. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu*, CB, Oregon (5-10, 190): Athletic, stout in run support and a natural playmaker (14 turnovers forced over past two seasons), Ekpre-Olomu is a legitimate challenger to Dennard as the top corner in the country. Despite reports to the contrary, Ekpre-Olomu has not yet announced whether he'll return for his senior season. He certainly looked ready for the NFL against Texas, helping limit the Longhorns to just 56 passing yards in a 30-7 Alamo Bowl victory.

    16. Cameron Erving*, OT, Florida State (6-5, 310): Erving played 13 games as a redshirt freshman defensive tackle, but looked like a natural when moved to left tackle a season ago. He does remain a bit inconsistent. Long, balanced and athletic, he's a hidden factor in the dynamic play of freshman quarterback Jameis Winston and could enjoy a "quiet" ride into the top half of the 2014 draft just as former Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel did a year ago while blocking for Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.

    17. Johnny Manziel*, QB, Texas A&M (5-11, 210): Manziel's vision, elusiveness and accuracy on the move make him a mesmerizing prospect who will almost surely be drafted earlier than I rank him. While dynamic throughout his career -- including in the Aggies' thrilling comeback over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl -- red flags were raised in mediocre performances against LSU and Missouri to end the regular season. Bottled in the pocket by both, Manziel couldn't throw his receivers open and he struggled. The NFL rule books have never been more accommodating to dual-threat passers, but consistent accuracy from the pocket remains the most critical element to quarterback play at the next level.

    18. Mike Evans*, WR, Texas A&M (6-5, 225): Like Manziel, Evans is just a redshirt sophomore, but he has shown star ability in dominating the SEC. Deceptively fast with great body control as well as timing, Evans is an exciting split end prospect who reminds scouts of Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Vincent Jackson. A concern, however, is the fact that Evans does not have elite top-end speed and struggled when defenders matched his physicality.

    19. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan (6-7, 310): Possessing an impressive combination of size, strength and toughness, Lewan has earned comparisons to former Michigan standout Jake Long throughout his career with the Wolverines. Lewan was one of the bright spots in an otherwise disappointing 2013 season in Ann Arbor. Before drafting him, however, NFL teams will want to investigate Lewan's role -- if any -- in an alleged assault on an Ohio State fan following this year's Big Game.

    20. Jace Amaro*, TE, Texas Tech (6-5, 260): The NFL is looking for seam threats rather than extra blockers at tight end. There wasn't a more impressive prospect in the country in 2013 in this role than Amaro, who finished the regular season with 106 catches for 1,352 yards -- the most ever from a tight end in FBS history. Despite Amaro's size, he doesn't provide much as a blocker as he was split out as a virtual slot receiver through most of his collegiate career. In this role he has proven to be a Jimmy Graham-like matchup nightmare for defenders.

    21. Stephon Tuitt*, DL, Notre Dame (6-5, 303): Clowney isn't the only highly regarded defensive lineman who struggled under the burden of monstrous expectations in 2013. After dominating as a sophomore, Tuitt began his junior campaign out of shape (after missing spring due to hernia surgery) and struggled with consistency all season. Highly athletic with the frame to star as either a 4-3 defensive tackle or 3-4 defensive end, Tuitt's upside is just too tantalizing to ignore.

    22. Blake Bortles*, QB, Central Florida (6-3, 230): A prototypically built pocket passer with good awareness, athleticism and arm strength, Bortles looks the part of an NFL starting quarterback. He is methodical in his setup and delivery of the ball and is a bit inconsistent with his accuracy, but the mettle he showed in guiding UCF to several comeback victories in 2013 has scouts buzzing. Bortles isn't as polished as Bridgewater, Carr or Manziel, but should he enter the 2014 draft a top-10 selection is not out of the question.

    23. Ryan Shazier*, OLB, Ohio State (6-2, 226): Shazier may be 10-15 pounds lighter than scouts prefer but his instincts, speed and bone-jarring hits make him a fearful defender that offenses must account for on every snap. No one played better for the Buckeyes against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game than Shazier, who recorded 12 tackles, two pass breakups and a blocked punt against the Spartans.

    24. Brandin Cooks*, WR, Oregon State (5-10, 186): Beavers coach Mike Riley has made a career out of finding undersized pass-catchers to star in his offense, but Cooks is a different level of athlete than Sammie Stroughter, Markus Wheaton and the Rodgers brothers (James and Jacquizz). Boasting a combination of elusiveness, acceleration and toughness that is earning comparisons to Tavon Austin, the Biletnikoff Award winner shattered school and conference records and has already announced his intentions to enter the draft.

    25. Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford (6-6, 261): Used as a standup outside linebacker as a well as a down defensive lineman for the Cardinal, Murphy is equally impactful in the passing game, running game and on special teams due to his instincts, physicality and awareness. His play and production (62 tackles, 23½ tackles for loss, 15 sacks) should have earned him the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award that went to Arizona defensive lineman Will Sutton. Though he has starred in Stanford's 3-4 scheme, Murphy projects best as a 4-3 defensive end in the NFL as he does not have ideal athleticism.

    26. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota (6-6, 311): Blessed with an extraordinary combination of size and athleticism, Hageman could join Michael Brockers and Dontari Poe as recent big defensive tackles whose real rise up draft boards doesn't begin until the combine. Hageman has looked unblockable at times, but he struggles with consistency.

    27. Jason Verrett, CB, TCU (5-10, 182): Verrett lacks the size so en vogue today, but agility and ball skills never go out of style for cornerbacks. Verrett led the Big 12 with 22 passes defended and six interceptions in 2012. Through the end of the 2013 regular season he led again in pass deflections (16) while recording two pass thefts. While light, Verrett is scrappy and tenacious, making him an ideal nickel corner with the tackling ability to threaten on an occasional blitz.

    28. Kony Ealy*, DE, Missouri (6-5, 275): While teammate Michael Sam garnered more hype, scouts are increasingly intrigued by Ealy due to his impressive combination of size and athleticism. A highly versatile defender with experience inside and out for the Tigers, Ealy projects nicely to both the 4-3 and 3-4 alignments and the first-team All-SEC pick is just scratching the surface of his potential.

    29. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State (6-0, 200): In terms of size, agility and speed, no cornerback offers a more intriguing skill set than the Cowboys star. Gilbert, a Thorpe Award finalist, led the Big 12 with six interceptions this season and has returned that many kickoffs for touchdowns during his time in Stillwater.

    30. Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor (6-5, 335): A dominating drive blocker who projects best at guard but spent the entire 2011 season protecting Robert Griffin III at left tackle, Richardson is massive, powerful and shockingly athletic. Richardson was recognized with the Jim Parker Award as the nation's top blocker and headlines a strong class of interior linemen.

    31. Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas (6-4, 318): If Richardson is the elite interior lineman of the 2014 senior class, Swanson ranks a close second. Athletic, powerful and versatile (some view him as a potential guard convert), Swanson will continue former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema's tradition of churning out quality NFL prospects along the offensive line.

    32. David Yankey*, OG, Stanford (6-5, 314): Stanford may have met its match against Michigan State in the Rose Bowl, but don't blame Yankey for the loss. Athletic and powerful, the talented left guard is earning similar grades from some clubs as his former teammate, David DeCastro, the No. 24 overall selection in 2012 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.


    Just missed the cut
    Austin Seferian-Jenkins*, TE, Washington
    Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
    Vic Beasley*, OLB, Clemson
    Bradley Roby*, CB, Ohio State
    Ka'Deem Carey*, RB, Arizona
    Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
    Yawin Smallwood*, ILB, Connecticut
    Allen Robinson*, WR, Penn State
    La'el Collins*, OT, LSU
    Xavier Su'a-Filo*, OG, UCLA
    Jeremy Hill*, RB, LSU
    Trevor Reilly, DE/OLB, Utah
    Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
    Ego Ferguson*, DT, LSU
    Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU

  • #2
    Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

    Originally posted by Nick View Post
    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.
    This concerns me about Matthews and I have seen this written about him on more than one occasion now. Then again the same thing was said about Jake Long prior to the 2008 draft and we all saw how that turned out. If his other partner in crime Cedric Obueghi declares as well it'll be interesting to see how they compare.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

      Originally posted by Nick View Post
      Big Board: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl
      by Rob Rang | NFLDraftScout.com
      Jan. 3, 2014 2:34 PM EST

      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.
      Confirmed! That doesn't sound like the number two pick in the draft to me. Sounds like he's getting the benefit of his bloodline, but his teammate is actually the better prospect. I would be both shocked and thoroughly disappointed with this pick at two.

      He sounds more like late teens/early 20s pick by this write up.
      Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -01-03-2014, 09:02 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

        You do realize we can find people who will say similar negative comments about every person taken in the first round for the last decade right?
        The restoration is complete!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

          Originally posted by Mikey View Post
          You do realize we can find people who will say similar negative comments about every person taken in the first round for the last decade right?
          I do indeed, and that's why I clarified my comments with "based on this write up".

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

            Originally posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
            Confirmed! That doesn't sound like the number two pick in the draft to me. Sounds like he's getting the benefit of his bloodline, but his teammate is actually the better prospect. I would be both shocked and thoroughly disappointed with this pick at two.

            He sounds more like late teens/early 20s pick by this write up.
            I don't agree with taking him at #2 and not trading down to collect more picks, but to say he sounds like a "late teens/early 20s" pick is quite a stretch IMO.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

              Originally posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
              Confirmed! That doesn't sound like the number two pick in the draft to me. Sounds like he's getting the benefit of his bloodline, but his teammate is actually the better prospect. I would be both shocked and thoroughly disappointed with this pick at two.

              He sounds more like late teens/early 20s pick by this write up.
              I don't even know where to begin here.

              You highlight one sentence from a big board that ranks Matthews as the third overall prospect and the top OT in a potentially very strong class, and use that comment to "confirm" that he doesn't sound like an option at second overall and rather is a late teens or twenties pick?

              This response makes it seems like you were only too eager to find anything that could put a dent in the armor of Clowney's competition for the second overall pick.

              I get that people prefer Jadeveon, and I understand - though don't agree - with that opinion. But downgrading Matthews to a late teens or early 20s pick based on one comment in a ranking that still has Jake in the Top 3? You should probably see if Bus Cook is hiring. I'm sure he'd appreciate the enthusiasm.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                Originally posted by Nick View Post
                I don't even know where to begin here.

                You highlight one sentence from a big board that ranks Matthews as the third overall prospect and the top OT in a potentially very strong class, and use that comment to "confirm" that he doesn't sound like an option at second overall and rather is a late teens or twenties pick?

                This response makes it seems like you were only too eager to find anything that could put a dent in the armor of Clowney's competition for the second overall pick.

                I get that people prefer Jadeveon, and I understand - though don't agree - with that opinion. But downgrading Matthews to a late teens or early 20s pick based on one comment in a ranking that still has Jake in the Top 3? You should probably see if Bus Cook is hiring. I'm sure he'd appreciate the enthusiasm.
                First of all Clowney has absolutely nothing to do with this.

                I've repeatedly said and will continue to say, the very best thing the Rams can do IMO is not draft either of them, but instead trade down and accumulate as many picks as possible for as long as possible. Even if it means missing out on both of them.

                So my stance is not one of advocating Clowney over Mathews, but rather trading down because although I felt it beforehand, Mathews is not worth the 2nd pick and this write up confirmed it for me.

                I make no secret about the fact that I'm no fan of drafting O lineman with high 1st round draft picks.

                As I believe good or good enough offensive linemen can be found in any round of the draft moreso than any other position.

                However, for a starting LT, I'd be willing to spend a mid to late 1st.

                So the fact that Mathews sounds like a late teens/early 20's pick to me, actually puts him right in line with those who have no qualms taking Olineman with high 1st round picks.

                I simply don't believe in it unless your Oline is in complete shambles, and you're pretty well set at other key positions.

                Secondly, I highlighted that one line because it is by far the most significant line in his entire write up IMO.

                Just as questions about Clowney's motor is the most significant line in his write up. Everybody can see the positives in any top prospect. It's the negative ones or the ones that are perceived as not so favorable, that shine the real light, right?

                Well, if this write up about Mathews and maybe more importantly Ogbuel is confirmed by other draft evaluators, it changes everything in my estimation.

                For me, it elevates Ogbuel ahead of his "more celebrated" teammate, particularly because he can likely be had much later.

                So, Ogbuel's projection + this write up = better value than Mathews.
                Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -01-04-2014, 02:07 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                  Originally posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
                  I make no secret about the fact that I'm no fan of drafting O lineman with high 1st round draft picks.

                  As I believe good or good enough offensive linemen can be found in any round of the draft moreso than any other position.

                  However, for a starting LT, I'd be willing to spend a mid to late 1st.
                  We're coming off of a draft where three of the Top Four picks were offensive tackles taken by teams who at the time of the pick already had established left tackles on their roster.

                  So you can think what you want about the importance and value of the OT position, but I think it's clear that NFL organizations put a premium on them, which is an opinion I absolutely agree with.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                    Can someone explain why certain positions can't be taken high in the draft? I understand obviously not taking a kicker or punter high, but if you have an elite prospect at right tackle, why not take him second or third overall? Surely it's best to pick a guy that will likely be a pro bowler and play for 8-10 years, especially at a position of need, with that high pick?
                    @EssexRam_

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                      Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
                      Can someone explain why certain positions can't be taken high in the draft?
                      It has a lot to do with impact on the game. Positions that are viewed as having significant impact on the outcome of a game will be valued more highly than others, and thus drafted more highly than others. Positions that aren't viewed as being quite as impactful will be passed over for those that are.

                      However, I think the rookie wage scale is evening the playing field a bit, and we saw that last year with two guards - traditionally not viewed as a high impact position worthy of a high first round pick - taken in the top half of the draft. Teams aren't as leery of drafting high caliber prospects at lesser impact positions now that they won't have to pay them huge amounts of money on top of it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                        Originally posted by Nick View Post
                        It has a lot to do with impact on the game. Positions that are viewed as having significant impact on the outcome of a game will be valued more highly than others, and thus drafted more highly than others. Positions that aren't viewed as being quite as impactful will be passed over for those that are.

                        However, I think the rookie wage scale is evening the playing field a bit, and we saw that last year with two guards - traditionally not viewed as a high impact position worthy of a high first round pick - taken in the top half of the draft. Teams aren't as leery of drafting high caliber prospects at lesser impact positions now that they won't have to pay them huge amounts of money on top of it.
                        I just think that's an outdated view, especially with what you say about the rookie wage scale. I would rather pick a great player high, no matter if it's a Right Guard, as long as they are a good player. I don't want the team to look at a great player at a position of need and think "we need a RG/C/RT/FS, but they shouldn't be drafted here so i'll pass over and take a worse prospect at a position perceived worthy of a top pick such as QB"
                        The draft is such a lottery that I'd prefer to hit with the high first rounder no matter the position.
                        @EssexRam_

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                          Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
                          I just think that's an outdated view, especially with what you say about the rookie wage scale. I would rather pick a great player high, no matter if it's a Right Guard, as long as they are a good player. I don't want the team to look at a great player at a position of need and think "we need a RG/C/RT/FS, but they shouldn't be drafted here so i'll pass over and take a worse prospect at a position perceived worthy of a top pick such as QB"
                          The draft is such a lottery that I'd prefer to hit with the high first rounder no matter the position.
                          Then let me ask you this. Would you rather have a Good QB or a Great RG?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                            Originally posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
                            Sounds like he's getting the benefit of his bloodline, but his teammate is actually the better prospect.
                            Cedric Ogbuehi is definitely not a better prospect than Matthews.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: CBS's Big Board 1/3: Bridgewater looks like No. 1 pick; Manziel shines in bowl

                              Originally posted by Nick View Post
                              It has a lot to do with impact on the game.
                              also
                              Impact (QB impacts the outcome more than a blocking TE)
                              Injury history (a SS lifespan can be exceptionally limited)
                              Playing time (MLBers who come out on 3rd downs are worth less than OLBers who stay in the game)
                              Availability in the open market (a lot of Tackles can transition to Guard making availability greater for guards)
                              Hit / Miss Rate (centers, RBs and Safeties are freakishly difficult to predict)

                              Comment

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                              • 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: 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 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
                                2014 NFL Draft: Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook for Week 17
                                by Nick
                                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...
                                -12-30-2013, 09:20 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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