Thursday, May 8, 2014

Scouting The 2014 NFL Draft: Guys I Like More Than Most

We have finally reached the NFL Draft, and people have completely talked themselves into full circles, half circles, three quarter circles, every type of circle you can imagine. There used to be a quarterback ranked as the number one overall propsect, Jadeveon Clowney wasn't worth a top 5 pick before the combine, and Tom Savage wasn't good when he was forced to play in football games, but he's a stud now. It's all so stupid. But this is what the media does. Sadly, it is also what some teams do, but I feel those teams are in the minority as I think front offices are consistently getting better at the draft process. With all of that being said, I wanted to give a quick rundown of a guy I like more than most at each position. Some of these guys I have already gone in-depth about, but others will be new names.

Quarterback - Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Bridgewater, along with Clowney, were the two names in discussion for the first overall pick before this season began. Then the season happened and Bridgewater got some separation from Clowney. Then the combine happened and Clowney retook the lead. Then Bridgewater had a poor workout at his pro day, and now he might not be a first round pick. Here's the thing: He's worthy of the number one overall pick. Clowney might be a better prospect, but quarterbacks have such a huge impact that they are worth way more than any other position. I think all of the concern about an epic drop is not going to come to fruition. I predict he'll be a Top 10 pick, and considering he is worth a Top 5 pick, that will be great value. I just hope the Vikings aren't the team that pulls the trigger. Check out my in depth report on Bridgewater here.

Running Back - James White, Wisconsin
I covered him a couple days ago. He was always overlooked at Wisconsin, but he was also always good. There is a decent chance he doesn't get drafted, but in the right situation, he can become a very good back. He might be best served as the smaller share of a running back committee, but that's still good value late in the draft. Check out my in depth report on James White here.

Wide Receiver - Jeremy Gallon, Michigan
I just don't see a way that he is not a good slot receiver. He never had a quality quarterback but still put up good numbers because he found ways to get wide open where even bad tosses couldn't stop him from producing. The size is a problem, but his job won't be to go deep; it'll be to go across the middle and get first downs, and I think he can definitely do that much.

Tight End - CJ Fiedorowicz, Iowa
You can call me a homer if you like, but I think he provides good value in the third round where he is likely to be drafted. Probably not a pro bowler, but has a good possibility to start for a decade in a Heath Miller-esque career. Check out my in depth report on Fiedorowicz here.

Offensive Lineman - Jake Matthews, Texas A+M
I know this isn't much of a reach, but I think Matthews is the best tackle in this draft. Johnny Football owes a lot of his success to great offensive line play, and Matthews was the biggest reason for that. He isn't the most explosive athlete, but he is rock solid in his technique, and if he can handle that SECSPEED, he should be able to handle the speed of the pros.

Defensive Lineman - Will Sutton, Arizona State
I'll go with Will Sutton, just because he has fallen so far in people's minds. Had he switched his Junior and Senior years, he'd be a second round pick. Getting him in the fourth round is good value, because he has shown the ability to dominate games. It's tough to pass up on that.

Linebacker - Christian Kirksey, Iowa
Yes, I'm a homer, but just read through my breakdown and understand that Kirksey will be a valuable player in the NFL.

Defensive Back - Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
I probably feel the least confident in this selection, but it was either him or taking another Hawkeye in Fernando (Boots Junior) Lowery. But he was good two years ago. I didn't watch much Florida this season, because I don't hate myself, but I like guys who show greatness even if there is a fall off in their final year of college.

Special Teams - Kirby Van Der Kamp, Iowa State
And some love for a rival in my final pick. Van Der Kamp always pinned Iowa deep, so he will probably have a statue in Ames within a few years.

And that wraps it up. I realize I have a bias towards the Big Ten, as that is the conference that I watch the most of as a fan, but I still see these guys as underrated for one reason or another.As for the live draft coverage, follow me on Twitter @HottJoe. I will be live tweeting the draft, and I will likely be joined by Lukewarm Jonah who you can find @JonahDrama. Join in on the conversation if you'd like. We're going to be tweeting fast and furiously, RIP Paul Walker.

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