Monthly Archives: January 2014

Five players to watch from South

WR Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma

-What makes this OU slot-type especially dangerous is that he combines short-area agility and elusiveness in space with legitimate long speed. Saunders exhibits body control and natural hands. He’s proved slippery as a route runner, as it is troubling for defenders to consistently keep hands on him off the snap. The Fresno State transfer has had two quality years at Oklahoma, developing into a decent blocker and definite threat on punt returns – both of which add a level of value to his draft stock. The Senior Bowl practices will give Saunders the opportunity to flash his ability in space when participating in one-on-one drills. He’s among a handful of players with the ability to really grab his opportunity in Mobile and run with it… so to speak.


DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee

-While there aren’t many physical marvels of McCullers’ stature that succeed at the pro level, there is always a certain level of interest in maximizing the capabilities of such a monstrous individual. He may not wind up being as tall as advertised, but the ex-JUCO standout carries his weight very well, and would benefit from continuing to work his weight (listed 351 lbs.) down a little further. Only a two-down player, but incredible length and bulk. His presence alone can be disruptive to the flow of an offense’s ground game, and his height (listed 6’8″) can affect passing lanes in the short-middle of the field – although the PBU (pass break up) numbers aren’t where they could be. He’s a space-eater that likes to take on blockers rather than penetrate and play in the backfield. I see 3-4 value in his game as a 0-technique, a la Casey Hampton – who attracts blockers and keeps the linebackers clean behind him. Conditioning and balance, as is for most massive-framed linemen, are two areas worth monitoring. However, when kept sharp, McCullers has pocket-collapsing strength. With regards to the Senior Bowl, I’m looking to evaluate his movement skills as they relate to his size, and whether he can dominate in 1-v-1 situations.


DT Will Sutton, Arizona State

-Looking at the other end of the McCullers-spectrum, we have a 1-gapper with excellent prenetration skills in Will Sutton. The two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year had a spectacularly productive junior campaign in which he totaled 23.5 tackles for loss and 13.0 sacks, but production dipped to 13.5 and 4.0 last season. The addition of weight and extra attention from opposing offensive linemen undoubtedly contributed to the lessening of statistical success, but he remained effective. He became more positionally responsible as a senior, choosing to less frequenty go cavalier. Good motor, plays to the whistle. Quick in short, tight areas, and utilizes his natural leverage on bigger blockers. He’s a distinguished player with a pedigree (two-time All-American), and enters the Senior Bowl as a known commodity amongst most collegiate athletes. I’d like to see him play with a chip on his shoulder in practices and lead the way.


OLB Kyle Van Noy, Brigham-Young

-Despite playing as an edge linebacker in BYU’s base 3-4, Van Noy – like Von Miller in 2011 – is better suited to a 4-3 front. He’s an active, high energy defender with surprisingly good coverage skills. Developed a knack for playmaking throughout his collegiate career. Has wheels and can play sideline-to-sideline. Not a natural pass rusher off the edge, as he is susceptible to being swallowed up by bigger blockers. I’m eager to see whether he will be able to win vs. strong, bulkier Senior Bowl blockers. The physical aspects of practice and the game will be closely monitored, as we should all know by now that he can run and make plays.


CB Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma

-To me, the most impressive aspect of Colvin’s game is his ability to play tight coverage, at roughly 6’0″ 192 lbs., against quicker + slippery receivers. Very comfortable in off-coverage and doesn’t typically get beaten for the big play. Defends passes well despite lacking high-end ball skills. The two-time All-Big 12 selection has a penchant for keeping his assigned target quiet over the course of games. Not overly physical in run defense, but an effective blitzer. Colvin displays good fluidity and it resutls in smoother change of direction skills. When in Mobile, I’d like to see the OU standout continue exhibiting quality anticipation skills when tasked with lining up in off-coverage concepts.

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Five players to watch from North

QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson

-The ability for a quarterback to be mobile and remain accurate is very important in many NFL offenses nowadays. Tajh Boyd is a smaller passer, but boasts a very strong arm, with the ability to run effective play-action and distribute well. Pegged by some – myself included – as being a nice fit for a west coast style offense, the Clemson pivot possesses an innate comfort in throwing on the run and has proven to be a threat to take off when he gets mobile. Although he’s only 6’1″ at most, Boyd compensates well and benefits from his release point. In practice, I’m looking to see what sort of rhythm he can find with his foreign targets and how consistent he can be at setting his feet + stepping into throws; a sticking point with Boyd, and a pair of issues that most mobile passers can fall victim to. In the game, I’m eager to evaluate his capability of making multiple reads, the avoidance of locking onto targets, and trusting his arm too much – which tape tells me he is susceptible of doing occasionally. Boyd is the North roster’s most balanced and distinguishable quarterback, so it’s important to me that he plays like it throughout the festivities in Mobile.

OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami (FL)

-They say talent is given every opportunity possible to flourish, and the rule certainly applies to this Miami (FL) product. Henderson, a St. Paul, Minnesota native, was once described by recruiting savant Tom Lemming as “a cross between Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace” – praise nobody on earth can ever hope to live up to at the tackle position. However, the raw talent is undeniably there, and 6’7″/6’8″ near-350 lbs. athletes at the position simply don’t grow on trees. If he can continue working to keep his head level off-field, there’s no reason to believe a team, or teams, will not feel they can shape him into a strong player on it. Quick feet, very comfortable in movement when pulling or moving to the next level, stays physical, and potentially lights out when he gets his arms extended on a defender. Although he’s not gotten as much game experience as you’d prefer by this point, his experience in a three-point stance should benefit him, and how comfortable he looks in that aspect should show at the Senior Bowl. Becoming a better knee bender will be imperative to his future and if Henderson isn’t able to show he can avoid getting beat to the outside by speed in Mobile, he may find himself pegged as a right tackle-only by consensus, if he hasn’t already. It’s a little unfair to constantly give so much attention to players who put together only average-at-best production in college, but with a talent base like this, it’s tough not to remain intrigued.

DE Kareem Martin, North Carolina

-Few came into their own like Kareem Martin did in 2013. The large lineman amassed 82 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles (all personal career-highs) this past season. One primary benefit of Martin’s Senior Bowl trip, for evaluators, is the opportunity to try and identify a clear-cut role for him at the next level. At an unofficial 6’6″ 265 lbs., with room to grow, some could feel he is be best suited to a 5-tech role in a 3-4 base, while others may view him as not being strong enough, and his movement better utilized in a 4-3 front. A tall edge player with good length and a sturdy base, the North Carolina product plays with finesse and maneuvers his way around blockers well despite a larger frame. Martin doesn’t absorb an abundance of unnecessary contact and has been as durable as he is versatile. The All-ACC first-team selection could prove valuable as an interior rusher on third-downs in the NFL, adding to his value. He is very ball-aware, positionally responsible, and uses his athleticism in order to be apart of scrums on a down-by-down basis, leading to a high volume of tackles. Martin also properly uses his length to affect passing lanes and break up throws art the line of scrimmage. Depending on how well he is able to perform in Mobile, I believe we could be looking at a potential riser in the pre-draft run up. The combination of size, movement skills, length, pass rushing aptitude, and overall athleticism is very intriguing.

DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota

-In terms of raw, unadulterated talent, you’re looking at one of the draft’s crown jewels. A converted tight end and high school basketball player, the very-athletic Ra’Shede Hageman ticks every box in the physical skill department. The 6’6″ 311 lbs. interior lineman has flashed moments of utter disruption as a pass rusher, but has proven unable to consistently bring his game together while at Minnesota. Expected to be a combine warrior with similar projected stats to that of J.J. Watt in 2011, it is important that the Golden Gopher star can continue displaying a penchant for winning in one-on-one battles at the Senior Bowl. He’s exhibited the ‘plus’ movement skills and fluidity to be an effective pursuit player from sideline-to-sideline in run defense, which adds a unique element to his game. Tape doesn’t live up to the hype that his dimensions and supremely gifted stature generate, but there is a high quality piece of clay to be worked with in regards to Hageman’s game. Generally regarded as a boom-or-bust prospect; there isn’t much room in between. The question is, can he show enough on-field promise, in addition to his specimen-like physical ability, to warrant the early consideration he will no doubt receive in early May. Any and all signs of that will be what evaluators are on the lookout for during the Senior Bowl.

ILB Chris Borland, Wisconsin

-Everyone loves an underdog, and Chris Borland certainly fits the bill as one of the 2014 NFL Draft’s more underappreciated players, in my opinion. Not often will you see a linebacker who is listed at 5’11” or less go on to great things in today’s NFL, but much like his ex-teammate Russel Wilson, Borland’s all around game compensates nicely for his lack of size. A consistent tackling machine with phenomenal instincts and a particular knack for playing effectively in the box, the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year has put together an impressively productive college career in Madison. Energetic defender, he is quick in short areas, regularly moving with fluidity + pesky, effective blitzer with good penetration skills – these characteristics should be on display in many movement and one-on-one drills. While he runs + tracks well, his lack of matchup size hurts his projectability as a pass defender at the next level, so that will undoubtedly be an area to keep an eye on with regards to the Senior Bowl. Borland’s tackling form, despite a seemingly unparalleled accumulation of tackles, can fail him at times, and I’d like to see a bit more growth in that aspect as he moves to the next level. At the very least, he should prove to be a very capable special teamer early on – he’s spent plenty of time in that phase of the game.

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2014 Senior Bowl: South roster

*(Height | Weight | Hand Size | Arm Length | Wingspan)

Quarterback
Derek Carr, Fresno State (6’2 1/8 | 215 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 31 1/4 | 75 1/8)
David Fales, San Jose State (6’1 3/8 | 220 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 31 1/8 | 75 1/2)
Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6’2 1/4 | 219 lbs. | 9 | 30 1/4 | 75 1/4)

Running Back
Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (5’10 1/8 | 225 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 30 5/8 | 73 7/8)
Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern (5’9 | 209 lbs. | 8 3/8 | 29 1/2 | 71)
Jay Prosch, fullback, Auburn (6’0 3/4 | 256 lbs. | 10 | 30 1/8 | 74 1/8)
Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina (6’0 3/8 | 231 lbs. | 8 1/2 | 31 3/8 | 75 5/8)

Wide Receiver
Mike Davis, Texas (6’0 1/4 | 193 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 32 | 77 1/4)
Ryan Grant, Tulane (6’0 1/4 | 197 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 30 7/8 | 74 1/2)
Cody Hoffman, BYU (6’3 7/8 | 218 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 33 | 78 1/4)
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (6’2 5/8 | 209 lbs. | 10 1/2 | 32 5/8 | 80 1/8)
Kevin Norwood, Alabama (6’2 | 197 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 31 3/8 | 74 1/4)
Solomon Patton, Florida (5’8 1/2 | 179 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 29 7/8 | 70 3/8)
Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma (5’8 3/4 | 164 lbs. | 8 3/4 | 28 7/8 | 70 7/8)

Tight End
Marcel Jensen, Fresno State (6’5 3/8 | 264 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 34 1/4 | 83 7/8)
Arthur Lynch, Georgia (6’4 1/2 | 258 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 31 | 75 7/8)

Offensive Tackle
Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee (6’6 1/8 | 315 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 33 3/8 | 82 1/4)
Morgan Moses, Virginia (6’6 1/8 | 325 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 34 3/4 | 83 7/8)
Billy Turner, North Dakota State (6’5 | 316 lbs. | 10 1/4 | 33 1/4 | 81 3/4)

Offensive Guard
Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6’4 | 307 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 33 | 80 7/8)
Jon Halapio, Florida (6’3 1/2 | 320 lbs. | 10 1/2 | 32 3/4 | 80 1/8)
Gabe Jackson
, Mississippi State (6’3 3/8 | 339 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 32 3/4 | 79 1/4)
Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt (6’5 1/4 | 290 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 32 1/2 | 79 7/8)

Center
Marcus Heit, long snapper, Kansas State (6’2 5/8 | 252 lbs. | 10 1/4 | 30 3/4 | 76 7/8)
Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma (6’3 1/4 | 302 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 32 3/4 | 79 1/4)
Bryan Stork, Florida State (6’3 1/2 | 306 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 31 | 77)
Travis Swanson, Arkansas (6’5 | 310 lbs. | 10 | 32 7/8 | 79 1/2)

Defensive End
Dee Ford, Auburn (6’2 1/8 | 243 lbs. | 10 | 32 3/4 | 77 1/8)
Chris Smith, Arkansas (6’1 1/8 | 266 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 34 1/8 | 82 1/2)
Ed Stinson, Alabama (6’3 1/8 | 292 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 32 7/8 | 78 3/4)
Brent Urban, Virginia (6’6 3/4 | 298 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 33 5/8 | 80 3/4)

Defensive Tackle
Deandre Coleman, California (6’5 | 315 lbs. | 10 1/4 | 34 | 81 1/2)
Daniel McCullers, Tennessee (6’6 7/8 | 348 lbs. | 10 5/8 | 35 5/8 | 85 1/2)
Caraun Reid, Princeton (6’2 1/8 | 301 lbs. | 10 1/4 | 32 5/8 | 79 1/8)
Will Sutton, Arizona State (6’0 3/4 | 315 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 30 5/8 | 76 1/8)

Linebacker
Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (6’3 1/4 | 252 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 32 7/8 | 81 1/4)
Lamin Barrow
, LSU (6’1 1/4 | 229 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 33 | 79)
Adrian Hubbard
, Alabama (6’5 7/8 | 255 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 33 7/8 | 81 3/8)
Christian Jones, Florida State (6’3 3/8 | 234 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 32 7/8 | 80 3/4)
Telvin Smith, Florida State (6’2 7/8 | 218 lbs. | 10 1/2 | 32 1/4 | 79 3/8)
Jordan Tripp
, Montana (6’2 3/4 | 237 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 30 7/8 | 75 1/4)
Kyle Van Noy, BYU (6’3 1/4 | 244 lbs. | 9 1/2 | 32 | 78)

Cornerback
Walt Aikens, Liberty (6’0 5/8 | 205 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 32 1/4 | 79 1/2)
Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma (5’11 3/8 | 186 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 31 | 75 1/2)
Chris Davis, Auburn (5’9 3/4 | 201 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 30 1/2 | 74)
Keith McGill, Utah (6’3 | 214 lbs. | 10 1/4 | 33 | 80 7/8)
Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech (5’9 1/2 | 190 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 33 5/8 | 80 3/4)
Jaylen Watkins, Florida (5’11 3/8 | 194 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 30 5/8 | 75)
Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern (5’11 3/8 | 195 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 31 7/8 | 77 1/8)

Safety
Terrence Brooks, Florida State (5’11 | 197 lbs. | 8 1/2 | 30 1/4 | 74 3/8)
Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt (6’0 1/8 | 200 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 31 3/8 | 75 3/4)
Craig Loston, LSU (6’0 3/8 | 214 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 30 3/4 | 75 1/4)

Special Teams
Cody Mandell, punter, Alabama (6’2 1/4 | 214 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 30 3/8 | 76 1/8)
Cody Parkey, kicker, Auburn (6’0 1/4 | 189 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 29 5/8 | 73 1/8)

—-

Conference Breakdown
SEC: 22
ACC: 8
Big 12: 5
MWC: 4
Pac-12: 3
Big South: 2
Independent: 2
Southern: 2
Big Sky: 1
C-USA: 1
Ivy league: 1
MVFC: 1
Sun Belt: 1

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2014 Senior Bowl: North roster

*(Height | Weight | Hand Size | Arm Length | Wingspan)

Quarterback
Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6’0 3/4 | 222 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 30 1/2 | 75 1/2)
Stephen Morris, Miami FL (6’1 3/4 | 208 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 31 7/8 | 77 1/2)
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech (6’5 3/4 | 250 lbs. | 10 3/4 | 33 | 79 3/8)

Running Back
David Fluellen, Toledo (5’11 1/4 | 226 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 32 1/8 | 78 1/4)
Ryan Hewitt, fullback, Stanford (6’4 | 246 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 30 3/4 | 76 1/4)
Charles Sims, West Virginia (5’11 7/8 | 214 lbs. | 8 1/4 | 30 1/2 | 74 3/4)
James White, Wisconsin (5’9 | 206 lbs. | 8 3/8 | 28 5/8 | 69 1/4)

Wide Receiver
Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (6’0 7/8 | 189 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 30 3/4 | 75 1/8)
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest (5’9 3/8 | 191 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 28 5/8 | 69 1/2)
Kain Colter, Northwestern (5’10 3/4 | 199 lbs. | 10 | 30 3/4 | 73 1/4)
Shaquelle Evans, UCLA (6’0 3/4 | 210 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 31 7/8 | 76 3/4)
Robert Herron, Wyoming (5’8 7/8 | 193 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 29 7/8 | 73 3/8)
Josh Huff, Oregon (5’11 | 201 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 30 1/2 | 74 1/8)
Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State (6’2 1/4 | 212 lbs. | 8 7/8 | 32 1/4 | 78 1/8)

Tight End
C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa (6’5 5/8 | 262 lbs. | 10 5/8 | 32 1/4 | 79 1/4)
Gator Hoskins
, Marshall (6’1 1/8 | 244 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 32 5/8 | 79 3/8)
Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin (6’3 1/8 | 242 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 31 1/8 | 76 3/4)

Offensive Tackle
Seantrel Henderson, Miami FL (6’6 7/8 | 331 lbs. | 10 3/8 | 34 1/4 | 84)
Zack Martin, Notre Dame (6’4 1/8 | 305 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 32 1/4 | 76 7/8)
Jack Mewhort, Ohio State (6’5 5/8 | 306 lbs. | 10 1/8 | 33 | 80 1/4)
Brandon Thomas, Clemson (6’3 1/2 | 316 lbs. | 10 3/4 | 34 3/8 | 83 1/8)

Offensive Guard
Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State (6’4 1/8 | 309 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 34 1/2 | 83 1/2)
Brandon Linder, Miami FL (6’5 3/8 | 316 lbs. | 10 1/4 | 33 1/4 | 81)
Cyril Richardson, Baylor (6’4 1/2 | 343 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 33 7/8 | 81 1/8)
Michael Schofield, Michigan (6’6 5/8 | 303 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 33 1/2 | 81 3/8)

Center
Tyler Larsen, Utah State (6’3 1/2 | 317 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 30 1/2 | 74 1/8)
Tyler Ott, long snapper, Harvard (6’2 3/4 | 252 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 31 | 76 1/4)
Weston Richburg, Colorado State (6’3 1/2 | 300 lbs. | 9 | 38 3/4 | 78 1/4)

Defensive End
James Gayle, Virginia Tech (6’3 5/8 | 255 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 32 3/8 | 77 3/4)
Kareem Martin, North Carolina (6’5 7/8 | 272 lbs. | 10 | 34 3/8 | 84 1/8)
Trent Murphy, Stanford (6’5 3/8 | 252 lbs. | 10 7/8 | 33 1/8 | 80 3/8)

Defensive Tackle
Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh (6’0 7/8 | 288 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 31 3/4 | 77 3/8)
Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech (6’1 7/8 | 342 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 32 1/4 | 78 3/4) –  *Replaced Taylor Hart (Oregon)
Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota (6’6 | 318 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 33 3/4 | 81 3/4)
DaQuan Jones, Penn State (6’3 1/2 | 323 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 32 3/4 | 78 1/4)
Shamar Stephen, Connecticut (6’4 5/8 | 308 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 33 | 80 1/8)

Linebacker
Chris Borland, Wisconsin (5’11 3/8 | 245 lbs. | 9 3/4 | 28 7/8 | 73 3/8)
Jonathan Brown, Illinois (6’0 1/2 | 224 lbs. | 9 1/4 | 32 1/2 | 78 7/8)
Christian Kirksey, Iowa (6’1 3/4 | 234 lbs. | 8 5/8 | 32 3/8 | 78)
Michael Sam, Missouri (6’1 5/8 | 260 lbs. | 9 1/8 | 33 1/4 | 80 1/4)
Marcus Smith, Louisville (6’3 1/2 | 258 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 33 1/4 | 80 1/4)
Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA (6’4 | 231 lbs. | 8 1/2 | 31 1/8 | 75 1/8)

Cornerback
Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5’11 | 198 lbs. | 8 1/4 | 31 | 74 1/2)
Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6’2 3/8 | 215 lbs. | 8 1/2 | 32 3/8 | 78 3/8)
Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State (6’2 | 199 lbs. | 8 7/8 | 31 1/2 | 77)
Dez Southward, Wisconsin (6’0 1/8 | 206 lbs. | 10 | 31 5/8 | 77)

Safety
Deone Bucannon, Washington State (6’1 7/8 | 216 lbs. | 9 1/2 | 31 3/8 | 78)
Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (5’11 1/2 | 205 lbs. | 9 5/8 | 32 | 76 5/8)
Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State (5’10 | 205 lbs. | 9 7/8 | 30 7/8 | 74)
Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (5’10 3/8 | 191 lbs. | 9 1/2 | 31 1/2 | 77 1/8)

Special Teams
Chris Boswell, kicker, Rice (6’2 | 183 lbs. | 8 1/2 | 31 1/2 | 76)
Kirby Van Der Kamp, punter, Iowa State (6’3 3/4 | 202 lbs. | 9 3/8 | 31 5/8 | 76 1/4)

—-

Conference Breakdown
Big Ten: 15
ACC: 11
Pac-12: 7
Big 12: 4
MWC: 4
AAC: 2
C-USA: 2
MAC: 2
GLIAC: 1
Independent: 1
Ivy League: 1
Ohio Valley: 1
SEC: 1

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Official list of 2014 NFL Draft declarations

Last edited on Jan. 19 at 1:15 p.m.

Eligible players who have graduated
QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
DE Carl Bradford, Arizona State
LB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama
S Dion Bailey, USC

Total number of players who have declared: 98 (*NFL Draft record)

Quarterback (3)
Blake Bortles, Central Florida
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Brett Smith, Wyoming

Running Back (20)
George Atkinson III, Notre Dame
Kapri Bibbs, Colorado State
Brendan Bigelow, California
Alfred Blue, LSU
Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State
Devonta Freeman, Florida State
Jeremy Hill, LSU
Storm Johnson, Central Florida
Henry Josey, Missouri
Tre Mason, Auburn
Adam Muema, San Diego State
Darrin Reaves, UAB
Bishop Sankey, Washington
Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
Jerome Smith, Syracuse
Josh Spooney, Brown
De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Terrance West, Towson
James Wilder Jr., Florida State

Wide Receiver (20)
Davante Adams, Fresno State
Odell Beckham, Jr., LSU
Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt
Martavis Bryant, Clemson
Brandon Coleman, Rutgers
Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
Mike Evans, Texas A&M
Austin Franklin, New Mexico State
Jamel Johnson, Alabama State
Jarvis Landry, LSU
Cody Latimer, Indiana
Marqise Lee, USC
Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
Paul Richardson, Colorado
Allen Robinson, Penn State
Willie Snead, Ball State
Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Tight End (10)
Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Eric Ebron, North Carolina
Xavier Grimble, USC
Nic Jacobs, McNeese State
A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State
Colt Lyerla, Oregon
Jake Murphy, Utah
Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
Richard Rodgers, California
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

Offensive Tackle (5)
Cameron Fleming, Stanford
Terrance Hackney, Bethune-Cookman
Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
Greg Robinson, Auburn

Offensive Guard (3)
Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
Trai Turner, LSU
David Yankey, Stanford

Center (2)
Russell Bodine, North Carolina
Marcus Martin, USC

Defensive End (8)
Scott Crichton, Oregon State
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Kony Ealy, Missouri
Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
Aaron Lynch, USF
Chris McCain, California
Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
George Uko, USC

Defensive Tackle (9)
Dominique Easley, Florida
Ego Ferguson, LSU
Carlos Gray, North Carolina State
Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
Anthony Johnson, LSU
Viliama Moala, Cal
Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Jeoffrey Pagan, Alabama
Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina

Linebacker (4)
Khairi Fortt, California
Ronald Powell, Florida
Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
Yawin Smallwood, UConn

Cornerback (7)
Bashaud Breeland, Clemson
Vic Hampton, South Carolina
Kameron Jackson, California
Terrance Mitchell, Oregon
Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
Marcus Roberson, Florida
Bradley Roby, Ohio State

Safety (7)
Nick Addison, Bethune-Cookman
Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Alabama
Jonathan Dowling, Western Kentucky
Al Louis-Jean, Boston College
Calvin Pryor, Louisville
Ed Reynolds, Stanford
Pierre Warren, Jacksonville State

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Top 5 by position, 1.0

* = Undecided.

Quarterback

1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (JR)

The class is led by razor-sharp Teddy Bridgewater who boasts an NFL arm and has gotten more accurate each season.

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (SO)

Johnny Football has faults, but supremely talented with ‘escapability’ and propensity for playmaking in the game’s most important position.

3. A.J. McCarron, Alabama

A.J. McCarron makes excellent decisions and has a deceptively strong-arm despite lacking the star power of fellow classmates.

4. Blake Bortles, Central Florida (JR)

Only average competition, but few quarterbacks, when on-point, were as dangerous as Blake Bortles this season – a raw talent with good field vision. Is he ready for the major responsibility that the NFL has to offer?

5. Zach Mettenberger, Louisiana State

LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, a much-improved SEC passer, possesses prototypical size and the draft’s strongest arm; torn ACL is only a major concern if he can’t plant + drive his foot on throws.

Honorable Mention: Aaron Murray, Georgia

Murray is somewhat limited + coming off a torn ACL, but perhaps the most mentally strong quarterback in the class.


Running Back

1. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor (JR)

From Baylor, by way of Oregon, Lache Seastrunk is a home-run threat with terrific quickness and creativity.

2. Storm Johnson, Central Florida (JR)

Storm Johnson, a Miami (FL) transfer, was somewhat of a forgotten man, but features an ideal combination of size + speed.

3. Bishop Sankey, Washington (JR)

Sankey is a shiftier downhill runner with good quickness and vision, but lacking top-end foot speed.

4. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

Possesses certain Le’Veon Bell characteristics. The rough & tough Carlos Hyde has ‘plus’ quickness and runs very well between the tackles.

5. Tre Mason, Auburn (JR)

Not a powerful ‘back, but the Heisman Trophy finalist features an excellent initial burst and smooth change of direction Skills. Also has value on special teams as a kick returner.

HM: Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State (JR)

Former highly touted UGA recruit Isaiah Crowell is a bit of a slasher with deceptive strength on contact.


Wide Receiver

1. Marqise Lee, Southern California (JR)

Unfortunately Marqise Lee’s production tailed off after the graduation of Matt Barkley, but his versatility and ability to change the game in all phases of the field make him a valuable weapon.

2. Sammy Watkins, Clemson (JR)

Sammy Watkins is a track star with terrific athleticism, but will need to answer questions about a substance-related suspension from May 2012.

3. Allen Robinson, Penn State (JR)

PSU’s Allen Robinson is the Big Ten’s most dangerous pass catcher – a vertical threat with great ball skills.

4. Mike Evans, Texas A&M (SO)

Johnny Football’s favorite target, Mike Evans, is a big wide out with near-H-back size and deceptively good run + catch ability.

5. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

Vandy’s Jordan Matthews is a passing game focal point and highly competitive with defenders in 50-50 situations with very reliable hands.

HM: Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma

OU’s shifty slot-type Jalen Saunders has the separation skills and good awareness to find soft zones.


Tight End

1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina (JR)

The athletic and fast Eric Ebron leads a primarily junior-led tight end class. Overall bulk & height may be of concern, but receiver skills are not in question.

2. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech (JR)

Tech’s Jace Amaro is a gritty pass catcher with good in-line blocking skills. Very physical and snatches off-body when making catches.

3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington (JR)

2013 Mackey Award winner Seferian-Jenkins is good route runner with a very wide catch radius. Cited for DUI and served a day in jail, leading to a one-game suspension this past season.

4. Xavier Grimble, Southern California (JR)

Well-built, natural hands, good quickness and has route running potential. Blocking skills leave something to be desired.

5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

Big Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz is a strong blocker and decent hands as an outlet receiver. Has ‘momentum speed.’ Can he make the big catch?

HM: Richard Rodgers, California (JR)

Rodgers appears to be a bigger H-Back with good movement in route running. His weight + medical will be important factors in his evaluation.


Offensive Tackle

1. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

Prototype left tackle with excellent hand usage in pass protection. Athletic blocker with nice kick-slide. Picked up right where last year’s No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel left off at A&M. Also has long snapping experience.

2. Greg Robinson, Auburn (JR)

Big, strong, aggressive. Stays square, bends well, and – most importantly – has really good feet. Hands in pass pro could improve. A terrific talent.

3. Taylor Lewan, Michigan

Fantastic height (6’8”) and long arms. Aggressive run blocker, who keeps a generally low pad level in pass pro. Fared rather well vs. Jadeveon Clowney. Feet can be a little slow at times and won’t be as athletic as some of the defenders he will be assigned to block.

4. Antonio Richardson, Tennessee (JR)

Few are as balanced in both pass protection and run blocking. Powerful + aggressive and very competitive. Athleticism is only average and endurance is something of a concern.

5. Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama (JR)

‘Plus’ quickness for a heavier blocker of his size. Powerful drive-blocker with experience. Plays with leverage and stands his ground well in pass protection. Consistency is questionable.

HM: James Hurst, North Carolina

Tall, well-built left tackle type. Capable pass blocker with long wingspan. Can be ‘sticky’ when engaged with defenders and may be a nice fit for a zone-blocking scheme at NFL level.


Offensive Guard

1. Cyril Richardson, Baylor

Massive guard who may get spot looks at right tackle. Terrific run blocker, with the size to handle interior rushers in passing situations. Good movement for his size, pulls pretty comfortably.

2. David Yankey*, Stanford (JR)

The big Aussie-born Yankey is another potential right tackle with a nice blend of pass and run blocking skills. Not particularly quick in movement, but fundamentally sound. Stout at point of attack.

3. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

Mammoth road grader Gabe Jackson has the size + experience needed to be a day one starter at the NFL level. Very strong, but don’t drive blockers overly well or possesses ‘plus’ athleticism, despite being quick for his size.

4. Xavier Su’a-Filo, California-Los Angeles

Left guard/left tackle versatile, but the slightly over-aged Su’a-Filo (23) – who completed a two-year Mormon mission during his time at UCLA – has had his potential in question. Still, he is highly athletic + quick feet.

5. Zack Martin, Notre Dame

Undersized left tackle who projects to guard at the NFL level, Martin is an experienced lineman and two-time co-captain of the Irish. Great fundamentals.

HM: Jon Halapio, Florida

Power blocker with good leverage, the UF product has ideal size and bulk for the position. Played through injury as a senior.


Center

1. Travis Swanson, Arkansas

Size (6’5” 318 lbs.) + experience (starting since 2010) are the two staples of this All-American first teamer’s game. Swanson, a team captain, is also viewed as a leadership figure with stability. Unquestioned top center.

2. Weston Richburg, Colorado State

Small-schooler with the look of a prototype center. Intriguing size + strength + athleticism. Routinely is able to cover ground in movement and generates momentum quickly. Undervalued.

3. Marcus Martin, Southern California (JR)

Nice quickness off the snap and aggressiveness at the point of attack. Like a running back, often keeps his feet moving through contact, driving defenders. Laterally fluid, and projects well in man & zone-blocking schemes.

4. Bryan Stork, Florida State

Experienced, fleet-footed center who may be best utilized in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level. A nicely framed in-line blocker who neutralizes stronger defenders by playing at a lower pad level.

5. Tyler Larsen, Utah State

Best asset is his fluid ability to move laterally. Seals A-gaps well with his East-West quickness + bulk. Good range ion getting to the second level off the snap.

HM: Russell Bodine, North Carolina (JR)

Athletic frame with an ideal attacking rate off the snap. More of a finesse blocker who won’t overpower many interior defensive linemen, but stays competitive at the point of attack.


Defensive End

1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (JR)

Pegged as a top 3 projection since the beginning of his collegiate career. Specimen with elite pass rushing talent. Motor and motivation are in question, but he fits the mold of great pass rushers (like Mario Williams, Julius Peppers) of past draft classes.

2. Kony Ealy, Missouri (JR)

Naturally long edge rusher who can comfortably turn speed into power. Somewhat in the Jason Pierre-Paul mold – a gifted athlete with a very high ceiling and nearly no physical limitations.

3. Trent Murphy, Stanford

A potential 3-4 outside linebacker conversion with versatility and terrific size. Another naturally long defender with ideal short-area agility. Comfortable engaging and shedding blocks, and possesses a strong variety of pass rushing moves.

4. Dominique Easley, Florida

Will have to continue proving he can overcome a ACL injuries to both knees, but the undersized DT/DE-type has a fantastic first-step and can be downright disruptive at times. Could be a later round value if teams are overtly concerned about size + medical.

5. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas

A little light for his size, the son of former NFL defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, still possesses nice length and height. Plays with good leverage and, for a true pass rusher, understands positional responsibility. Flexible rusher + uses hands well to get off blocks.

HM: Kareem Martin, North Carolina

Doesn’t bring fire off the snap or ideal closing speed, but a big athletic frame with stoutness at the point of attack make Martin a versatile commodity. Fluid movement skills for a taller lineman (6’6”) and deceptive lateral agility.


Defensive Tackle

1. Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota

The former tight end is a phenomenal athlete and possesses excellent movement skills – let alone for a 6’6” 311-pound interior lineman. Consistency, technique – plays a little high, and a 2012 misdemeanor will concern some.

2. Will Sutton, Arizona State

The shortish two-time consensus All-American can be a disruptive one-gapper and has developed more positional responsibility as a senior. Sack production dipped in 2013 after adding weight in effort to fill out his compact frame.

3. Louis Nix, Notre Dame

Mammoth nose tackles with good movement skills are a rare commodity if they aren’t always required to come off the field in potential passing situations. “Irish Chocolate” is a strong, space-eating run defender who is particularly powerful. Like many nose tackles, Nix is, perhaps, a little too bulky with questionable endurance & conditioning.

4. Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (JR)

Squatty 4-3 nose tackle-type with brute strength, who plays at a low pad level. Particularly good run defender, but can be effective in the passing game as well. Motor, injuries, and conditioning are concerning, but Jernigan is a talent.

5. Ego Ferguson, Louisiana State (JR)

Active interior defensive lineman with good size and short-area quickness. Laterally fluid, reads + reacts well, and frequently involved in tackles. Has benefited from playing alongside fellow underclassman Anthony Johnson, but he’s certainly taken advantage.

HM: Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (JR)

Experienced lineman with a good first-step. Generates leverage strength and uses hands well to disengage blockers. Has the look of a 4-3/3-4 versatile player. Capable of anchoring. Only an average sized frame without much more room to grow.


Outside Linebacker

1. Anthony Barr, California-Los Angeles

Rangy and highly athletic, Barr carries his frame well and moves about the field smoothly. Penetrates very well and can be highly disruptive as a pass rusher or affect passing lanes. Tackling consistency + strength are areas of improvement.

2. Khalil Mack, Buffalo

Capable of rushing from a variety of places and posing a threat with his short-area explosiveness. Albeit against lesser competition, Mack has held his own when asked to cover. Somewhat of a tweener, but an athletic play-maker with legitimate pass rushing potential.

3. Vic Beasley*, Clemson (JR)

A pursuit defender with great closing speed. Primarily pass rushing oriented defender who would likely be best utilized on the edge in a 3-4 base. He’s comfortable enough when dropping into coverage.

4. Kyle Van Noy, Brigham-Young

Contains well, takes really good angles, and often involved in tackles due to his speed. Plays sideline-to-sideline and has experience rushing off the edge in a 3-4 front. Although he’ll likely be a 4-3 OLB in the NFL, he has lined up in a variety of spots on-field.

5. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State (JR)

Speedy athlete who can disrupt the game with his ability to close in the backfield. Prone to over-pursuing and only average in coverage, but the All-Big Ten first team selection needs to be accounted for when rushing the passer. A little light and undersized.

HM: Khairi Fortt, California (JR)

A Penn State transfer following the Sandusky scandal. He’s a little raw, but rich in talent. Excellent in movement, Fortt covers ground very well and tackles with really good form. Coverage skills leave something to be desired, but there is a strong base for growth.


Inside Linebacker

1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama

Would have been a coveted prospect in last year’s draft. Mosley is an athletic, disciplined, and experienced inside ‘backer. Sure-tackler with coverage skills, the versatile ‘Bama product doesn’t come off the field. Less effective when playing closer to the line of scrimmage and taking on bigger blockers; not

2. Shayne Skov, Stanford

Productive defensive quarterback with hailed leadership skills and a propensity to live in the film room. Good pop behind hits – able to generate momentum behind hits. Big and heavy enough to stand ground while engaging blockers. Coverage skills are a little underrated, but definitely has room to grow. Only average athleticism.

3. Christian Jones, Florida State

Prototypical FSU linebacker – athleticism and measurables. Jones features short-area explosion and covers the field well, taking good angles on ball carriers. Instincts are average at best, but he enjoys contact and playing physical. He was suspended this season for one game due to an unspecified violation of team rules.

4. Yamin Smallwood, Connecticut (JR)

Heady linebacker with good instincts. Diagnoses plays well and physical enough to execute when tracking ball carriers. Effective blitzer when called to do so, and handles himself well when taking on blockers. Wins many one-on-one battles.

5. Max Bullough, Michigan State

Well-framed Big Ten linebacker Max Bullough plays with intensity and a noticeable on-field motor. Displays good instincts and a knack for playing effective zone-coverage. Not very athletic, may be beaten to the seam by quicker tight ends, and below average pass rushing skills.

HM: Chris Borland, Wisconsin

Perhaps generously listed at 5’11”, size will be a major concern to many. That said, Borland would be one of the more coveted players in the draft if he were he taller. Stout, active run defender with good instincts and fluid hips in coverage. Lacks elite speed, but deceptively quick and plays well laterally. People blacklisted a Wisconsin player in 2012 due to height. I’d advise nobody does the same in 2014.


Cornerback

1. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

Like a defensive end who can rush the pass rusher, a cornerback who can play effective man-coverage is coveted. Gilbert has good size and packs a punch behind hits. Nice leaping skills round out a neatly checked athletic evaluation. Prone to penalties and could be more involved in run defense.

2. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State

Speedy + ball skills. The cousin of Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Darqueze, is an excellent all around prospect. Reliable and respected in both man + zone. Can be aggressive and poses a definite turnover threat to opposing quarterbacks.

3. Kameron Jackson, California (JR)

Scrappy and durable, the very fast Long Beach Poly HS product is aggressive and tough to beat despite being undersized. Capable of playing in a variety of coverage schemes and looks like an equally effective nickel-type.

4. Jason Verrett, Texas-Christian

One of the most effective press-man cornerbacks available. Very physical in man-coverage and steps up well as a run defender. Size is less than desirable, but he’s a proven play-maker at TCU with impressive ball skills.

5. Terrance Mitchell, Oregon (JR)

Played a little in Ifo Ekpre-Olomu’s shadow in Eugene, but he’s going to generate a buzz as we draw closer to May. Fundamentals and technique are top-notch. Excellent, smooth back pedal + comfortably fluid hip work. A 5-interception junior season opened some eyes to his quietly improved ball skills.

HM: Bradley Roby, Ohio State (JR)

An up-and-down season has some questioning his consistency, but Bradley Roby is an earlier round player based on talent. Excellent body control and really good speed for the position with man-coverage capabilities. Tackling isn’t anything better than average and not overly physical.


Safety

1. Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Alabama (JR)

A good balance of effectiveness when playing center-field and in the box. Speed is evident on tape and used to being around the ball. Well put together and strong frame with room to add.

2. Dion Bailey, Southern California (JR)

Strong ball skills and even better instincts tell the story on Bailey. Has the necessary blend of size + speed to match up on modern tight ends. He’s an undersized linebacker, so some will place him in the tweener category.

3. Calvin Pryor, Louisville (JR)

Another aggressive, hard-hitting safety with a willingness to defend in the box. A bigger frame with room to grow, the Louisville underclassman has displayed durability throughout his three years. Quietly good ball skills. Man-coverage skills are relatively untested. Somewhat reminiscent of another ex-Louisville safety Kerry Rhodes.

4. LaMarcus Joyner, Florida State

It’s a shame that Joyner’s height (5’8”) will prevent him from being drafted as high as his talent level would indicate. Has been very effective in numerous defensive back positions. Highly aggressive and physical when blitzing or playing in the box. May be pegged as a better nickel than full-time safety at the next level.

5. Craig Loston, Louisiana State

Explosive athlete who loves the big hit. Tackling in general is hit or miss (pardon the pun), but capable of generating turnovers with his powerful hitting skills. Angles aren’t the best, but Loston is an extremely willing box defender. Consistency in coverage is the question.

HM: Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

A plus-size box defender with great physicality and length to disrupt and alter the passing game. Likes delivering big hits, but his tackling form suffers at times because of it. A torn ACL ensured he would only play three games as a senior. Played cornerback for the Hokies but may be a safety in the NFL.

-DC

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