April 3, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board: Demarcus Lawrence is Rising

#8 Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State

Post-Major Pro Days update. The Big Board now lists the top 50 prospects with quick write-ups. You can also see who's stock is up and who's is down. Player comparisons are also given.

You can take a look at my 2014 NFL Draft Rankings by Position here. You can also view my 2014 NFL Mock Draft here.





1. Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 266 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Once in a decade type of prospect with a rare combination of size, strength, speed, and athleticism. Should be the first defensive player drafted, and will be an immediate impact player. Ideal 4-3 defensive end.


Previous Rank: 1 | NFL Comparison: Julius Peppers




2. Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 208 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Far and above any other quarterback in this class IMO. His stature won't "wow" you, but his accuracy inside and outside of the pocket will. Borderline franchise quarterback.


Previous Rank: 2 | NFL Comparison: Aaron Rodgers




3. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 252 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Best edge rusher in the 2014 NFL Draft not named Jadeveon Clowney. Has ideal length to be a 4-3 defensive end, but best suited as a 3-4 outside linebacker.


Previous Rank: 3 | NFL Comparison: Von Miller




4. Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 214 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Highly touted wide receiver prospect who is a lock to be drafted in the top 10. Explosive, reliable receiver in the mold of an AJ Green or Julio Jones.


Previous Rank: 4 | NFL Comparison: Julio Jones




5. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 308 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Most polished left tackle prospect in the draft. May be considered a "safe" pick, but Matthews projects as an All-Pro left tackle at the next level.


Previous Rank: 5 | NFL Comparison: Joe Thomas




6. Greg Robinson**, OT, Auburn
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 327 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)



Analysis: Best run blocking tackle in this class, and possesses the athleticism and length to be a stud in pass protection. Worse-case scenario, Robinson becomes a dominant right tackle in the NFL.


Previous Rank: 6 | NFL Comparison: Joe Staley




7. Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 247 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Has to get stronger and improve against the run, but Barr possesses the physical tools and athleticism to be a stud pass rusher in the NFL. Excellent closing speed. Good production. Top 10 upside, but late-first round value.


Previous Rank: 7 | NFL Comparison: Clay Matthews




8. Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix*, FS, Alabama
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: The closest safety to being considered "elite" in the 2014 class. The most complete safety prospect has the range, closing speed, and ball skills to be a top-tier NFL safety.


Previous Rank: 8 | NFL Comparison: Eric Berry




9. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 288 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: An incredible first step, excellent quickness, and underrated strength are why Easley would've been a top 10 pick if not for his season ending injury. Projects as a disruptive 3-technique defensive tackle, but could excel as a 0 or 1 technique DT.


Previous Rank: 9 | NFL Comparison: Jeremiah "Jay" Ratliff




10. Mike Evans**, WR, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 231 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)



Analysis: Answered concerns about his straight line speed at the combine. Prototypical size for a number one receiver. Could draw a lot of double teams, and be a consistent redzone threat.


Previous Rank: 10 | NFL Comparison: Vincent Jackson




11. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Big armed quarterback who throws with excellent velocity, and shows great touch when necessary. Athletic, smart. Maybe the best vertical passer in the draft. Could be a top 10 pick.


Previous Rank: 11 | NFL Comparison: Jay Cutler




12. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 312 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Slightly better run blocker than pass blocker entering the league, but the tools are there for Lewan to be a franchise left tackle. Helped his draft stock at the Combine, and should be the third offensive tackle drafted.


Previous Rank: 12 | NFL Comparison: Nate Solder




13. Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 287 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: The pass rusher in this class. Has a very similar game to All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins. Scheme limited, but projects as a dominant 3-technique in a 4-3 defense.


Previous Rank: 13 | NFL Comparison: Geno Atkins




14. Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 198 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Has the size, length, speed, and athleticism NFL teams are looking for at the corner back position. One of the few "game changing" players at the position.


Previous Rank: 14 | NFL Comparison: Patrick Peterson




15. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Physical, press corner with good speed and technique. Underrated ball skills. I compare him to Aqib Talib, but he may be able to take away one side of the field at the next level, ala Darrelle Revis.


Previous Rank: 15 | NFL Comparison: Aqib Talib




16. C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 234 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: The most complete 4-3 linebacker in this class. Instinctive, fluid in coverage, strong against the run. A true three-down linebacker with some pass rushing upside.


Previous Rank: 16 | NFL Comparison: Sean Lee




17. Kony Ealy*, DE, Missouri
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 265 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Should be the second defensive end drafted behind Jadeveon Clowney. His combination of size, length, and athleticism is appealing. Can kick inside and rush the passer on third downs. Still improving against the run, but has the tools to be a very good edge player.


Previous Rank: 17 | NFL Comparison: Chandler Jones




18. Jace Amaro*, TE, Texas Tech
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 266 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Shows willingness as a blocker, but is essentially a receiver in a tight end body. Potential match-up nightmare. Not quite as athletic as Jimmy Graham, not as complete as Rob Gronkowski, but has a similar skill set to both.


Previous Rank: 18 | NFL Comparison: Jimmy Graham




19. Odell Beckham Jr.*, WR, Louisiana State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 198 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Explosive pass catcher who could do most of his damage from the slot. However, he can stay on the outside. Good route runner, can win at the catch point. Excellent hands. Legit YAC ability.


Previous Rank: 19 | NFL Comparison: Antonio Brown




20. Demarcus Lawrence*, DE, Boise State
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 250 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Best position will be as a 4-3 defensive end, though he can make the transition to outside linebacker. Excellent length and athleticism. Underrated strength. Productive pass rusher, but not one dimensional. Can set the edge as a run defender. Should be a first round pick.


Previous Rank: 27 | NFL Comparison: Trent Cole




21. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 190 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Can play anywhere in the secondary. As a corner, he's got ideal size and speed. Has very technique, and will willingly come up in run support. First round talent.


Previous Rank: 20 | NFL Comparison: Alterraun Verner




22. Johnny Manziel**, QB, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)



Analysis: Opinions on Manziel will vary. Made great strides as a pocket passer this season. His improvisational ability is Tony-Romo-esque, and there's no question he has the arm talent to be a successful pro. May not be a fit for every team.


Previous Rank: 21 | NFL Comparison: Robert Griffin III




23. Louis Nix*, DT, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 331 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Huge interior lineman with surprising athleticism for a man of his size. Does more than fill gaps and draw double-teams. Flashes as an interior pass rusher. Concerns about his health may push him down some draft boards.


Previous Rank: 22 | NFL Comparison: Vince Wilfork




24. Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 308 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Although he lacks the length and foot speed of the quintessential NFL left tackle, Martin projects as a first round pick, and a potential All-Pro guard. He could still get a shot at tackle due to his experience and technique.


Previous Rank: 24 | NFL Comparison: David Diehl




25. Calvin Pryor*, SS, Louisville
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 211 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Big, physical safety, with excellent range, ball skills, and play making ability. Big hitter. Better suited as a box safety. Could be the first safety drafted.


Previous Rank: 25 | NFL Comparison: T.J. Ward




26. Marqise Lee*, WR, Southern Calfornia
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 199 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Despite his lack of elite size, Lee could be drafted in the top 15. Very good route runner. Dangerous after the catch. Drops some catch-able balls. Projects best as a number two receiving option.


Previous Rank: 26 | NFL Comparison: Reggie Wayne




27. Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 252 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Dynamic edge rusher with an impressive first step. Has the strength, athleticism, and length to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, but will excel as a pass rushing linebacker. This year's Bruce Irvin?


Previous Rank: 23 | NFL Comparison: Robert Mathis




28. Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 246 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Underrated prospect. Versatile, jack of all trades type of player. Can drop into coverage, and of course rush the passer. Though, his best fit may be as a 4-3 outside linebacker.


Previous Rank: 28 | NFL Comparison: Akeem Ayers




29. Eric Ebron*, TE, North Carolina
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 253 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Dynamic, athletic tight end, who can make some highlight real catches. Consistency needs to improve, especially as a blocker, but deserves consideration early in round one due to his potential.


Previous Rank: 29 | NFL Comparison: Vernon Davis




30. Davante Adams**, WR, Fresno State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)



Analysis: Good sized receiver with above average speed and athleticism. Tracks the football well and wins at the catch point. Has amazing ability after the catch. First round upside.


Previous Rank: 30 | NFL Comparison: Michael Crabtree




31. Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 310 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Flashes of dominance. Not very consistent, but has the traits of a potential pro bowl defensive tackle. Best fit is in a 3-4 defense as a 5 technique defensive end, but could also be a 4-3 nose tackle.


Previous Rank: 31 | NFL Comparison: Michael Brockers




32. Cyrus Kouandjio*, OT, Alabama
Ht: 6-7 Wt: 322 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Has great length, and good athleticism for the left tackle position. Balanced. Equally good as both a run blocker and a pass blocker. Lack of consistency and medical concerns could cause him to fall come draft day.


Previous Rank: 32 | NFL Comparison: Tyron Smith




33. Zach Mettenberger, QB, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 224 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Has all the tools to be a potential franchise QB. Strong armed passer who steps up in the pocket and delivers well placed passes. Excellent vertical passer. Bit of a statue in the pocket. Coming off of a torn ACL.


Previous Rank: 33 | NFL Comparison: Philip Rivers




34. Xavier Su'a-Filo*, OG, UCLA
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 305 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Athletic guard with excellent core strength. Can pull and get to the second level with ease. Also has experience playing left tackle. Could excel in a zone-blocking scheme.


Previous Rank: 34 | NFL Comparison: Jahari Evans




35. Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 224 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Undersized, but could end up being a second round steal, ala Lavonte David. Exceptional closing speed, ability to stack and shed, very good in coverage. Could move to safety, but should stick as a WILL linebacker.


Previous Rank: 35 | NFL Comparison: Lavonte David




36. Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 186 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Despite size concerns, Verrett could be a shut down corner at the next level. Not many flaws in his game. Technically sound. Can he play on the boundary at the next level, or is he limited to being a slot corner?


Previous Rank: 36 | NFL Comparison: Brandon Flowers




37. Brandon Thomas, OT, Clemson
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 318 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Short for the tackle position, but has ideal length and natural strength. Very athletic. Can kick inside to guard and excel.


Previous Rank: 37 | NFL Comparison: Rodger Saffold




38. Blake Bortles*, QB, Central Florida
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 229 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Has the prototypical build for an NFL quarterback. Mannerisms will remind some of Andrew Luck, but inconsistencies in his game are reminiscent of Jake Locker.


Previous Rank: 38 | NFL Comparison: Jake Locker




39. Austin Seferian-Jenkins*, TE, Washington
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 263 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: One of the more complete tight end prospects in the draft. Production dipped in 2013, but he has impressive size and athleticism. Combine that with his impressive catch radius, and potential as an inline blocker, and he could land a spot in the latter half of round one.


Previous Rank: 39 | NFL Comparison: Martellus Bennett




40. Scott Crichton*, DE, Oregon State
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 269 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: Has the strength to be an effective bull rusher at the next level. Can anchor against the run. Won't bend, but should excel as a power end in a 4-3 defense. Could kick inside on pass rushing downs.


Previous Rank: 40 | NFL Comparison: Lamarr Houston





41. Jimmie Ward, FS, Northern Illinois
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 197 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: Can play either safety position, and possibly even corner. Arguably the best cover safety in the draft. Arrow pointing up.


Previous Rank: 41 | NFL Comparison: Eric Weddle




42. Brandin Cooks*, WR, Oregon State
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 185 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Small in stature, but Cooks is an explosive receiver who may not be limited to a role in the slot. Can win at the catch point, and could be a better version of Tavon Austin.


Previous Rank: 42 | NFL Comparison: DeSean Jackson




43. Ryan Shazier*, OLB, Ohio State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 237 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Still needs to improve his block shedding, but he wins with his athleticism, instincts, and excellent closing, which sets him apart from other linebackers.


Previous Rank: 43 | NFL Comparison: Alec Ogletree




44. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 212 lbs. | Class: Senior



Analysis: One of the most well-rounded, polished receivers in the draft. Very good size for the position, good route runner, and underrated run after the catch ability. Could be a second day steal.


Previous Rank: 44 | NFL Comparison: Jordy Nelson




45. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 339 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Powerful blocker, and mauler in the run game. Flashes of dominance, and could be an All-Pro guard if his technical flaws are coached up.


Previous Rank: 45 | NFL Comparison: Carl Nicks




46. Bradley Roby*, CB, Ohio State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 195 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)



Analysis: An inconsistent 2013 season will make teams hesitant to spend a first round pick on Roby. However, he does have good size, speed, and excellent ball-skills. Technique needs work, but the talent is there.


Previous Rank: 46 | NFL Comparison: Jason McCourty




47. Charles Sims, RB, West Virginia
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 214 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: Tall, lean running back with underrated speed, agility, and vision. Route running and pass catching ability sets him apart, as well as his pass blocking. Three-down back.


Previous Rank: 47 | NFL Comparison: Matt Forte




48. Allen Robinson*, WR, Penn State
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 210 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: In the mold of a possession receiver, but won't be limited to that. Good size and skill set for the position. Improved route runner, can win at the catch point. Projects as a reliable #2 receiver.


Previous Rank: 48 | NFL Comparison: Anquan Boldin




49. Tre Mason*, RB, Auburn
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 207 lbs. | Class: Junior



Analysis: Arguably the most talented runner in the draft. Doesn't have an elite second gear, but he does have great vision, quickness, and underrated power.


Previous Rank: 49 | NFL Comparison: Trent Richardson




50. Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 297 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)



Analysis: His quickness stands out, but Sutton wins with hand usage. His 2012 tape was better than his 2013, mostly due to him playing about 35 pounds lighter. His likely playing playing weight will probably be around 290, and he could end up being a steal.


Previous Rank: 50 | NFL Comparison: Corey Liuget