Join Date: Apr 2008
Bob McGinn on 2014 NFL
McGinn is reliably plugged in...
Early look at the NFL draft
Here is a look at how the National Football League draft of 2014 is shaping up based on interviews with three executives in personnel last week. As of early last week, a total of 201 underclassmen had requested evaluations from the NFL's College Advisory Committee. They have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.
The last draft with more than four first-round wide receivers was 2009. After two below-average to poor wideout drafts, this one should be much better.
"Hypothetically, there are seven first-round projections," one scout said.
"Very average as a senior group," said another scout. "The juniors will enhance every position. When you start to see these redshirt sophomores and juniors come out in droves like they have, you're going to rely on them for a draft."
Evans..."More of a strider but very sure-handed," one scout said. "He's got phenomenal size. He understands how to use his size to post up."
Beckham...Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis (6-1, 190)...
Juniors Eric Ebron (6-4, 245) of North Carolina, Austin Seferian-Jenkins (6-6, 276) of Washington and Jace Amaro (6-5, 260) of Texas Tech all have first-round shots at tight end.
"He's going to be close to (Rob) Gronkowski, talent-wise," one scout said. "Now he's lazy. Like there's always something with him. But he can be on the line and block."
Personnel men don't see a franchise left tackle in the draft but it's still another strong, deep position.
"There's probably five tackles that can go in the first round," one scout said. "Six if you factor in the Auburn kid.
Matthews (6-4½, 305)..."Good, not a great athlete," one scout said. "Really good technician. He's a little soft. Not that he won't be a really good player."
Michigan's Lewan (6-6½, 315) is aggressive, sometimes overly so. Alabama's Kouandjio (6-5, 320), a junior, has extremely long arms and is an outstanding pass blocker.
"The Alabama guy still makes raw mistakes," said one scout. "He's got more up side than Matthews. I think he's smart. He just doesn't have much football background."
Ogbuehi (6-5, 300)...
The "Auburn kid" is Greg Robinson (6-5, 315)..."He's a stud," said one scout. "Left tackle. You're talking about a ton of athleticism, size, strength. He's not getting a lot of attention because people don't realize he's a redshirt. Not quite sure why (Gene) Chizik redshirted him. I think that was a big mistake. He's in the top 10, 15 easy if he comes out."
Iowa junior Brandon Scherff (6-5½, 320)... Junior Antonio Richardson (6-6, 327)...
Of the guard and center group, one scout said: "I don't think there's any great players inside. It's not like last year."
Senior Zack Martin (6-4, 305) of Notre Dame is solid. "Athletic, strong, understands the game," said one scout.
Mississippi State senior Gabe Jackson (6-3, 340) is a road-grader. "He's not too far off the guards that went first (round) last year," said one scout.
Senior Cyril Richardson (6-4½, 335)... David Yankey (6-5, 314)... Xavier Su'a-Filo (6-3, 305)...
Probably the top center is Colorado State's Weston Richburg (6-3½, 302). He's a second-round pick.
With Oregon's Marcus Mariota deciding to return, it looks like a four-way contest to be the first passer taken...
"You've got to pick and choose what flavor you want," one scout said. "Do you want the pocket passer? That's Bortles, McCarron, Mettenberger.
"Or do you want the athlete in Manziel or Bridgewater? There will probably be three in the first. Depends what people think of Johnny Manziel."
Manziel... "He reminds me a little bit of (Joe) Montana," one scout said. "Fluid, and even though he's off-balance he can get the ball out. He's a smaller guy but he has big hands for a little guy. He's fun to watch."
Bridgewater can throw from the pocket and is an adequate runner. "Not even close to Cam Newton," one scout said. "Skinny son of a buck. He's not as dynamic a runner as everybody thinks."
Carr's brother, David, was the first pick in the 2002 draft...
McCarron, said one scout, "has won a bunch of games but doesn't have a great arm." Mettenberger blew out his knee Nov. 29.
Minus Melvin Gordon, it's possible there won't be a first-round running back. There was just one in 1984 and 2011...
Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (6-5, 274)..."He's got it all," one scout said. "Now, the question is, what's underneath the hood? That's the $1 million question everybody will look into."... Said another scout: "He doesn't play hard all the time. In college, he'd get three guys on him every play. He's still able to make plays whenever he wants to. He might be the first pick."
The best of the base ends might be Notre Dame junior Stephon Tuitt (6-6, 312). "Probably can play in any scheme," one scout said. "Young kid. Versatile athlete. Just growing into his large frame. He's a first-rounder."
Undersized pass rushers Trent Murphy (6-5, 261) of Stanford, Demarcus Lawrence (6-3, 245) of Boise State, Chris Smith (6-2½, 268) of Arkansas and Trevor Reilly (6-4½, 255) of Utah will start coming into play late in the first round.
Notre Dame junior Louis Nix (6-2, 345), described by one scout as the "prototypical nose tackle," looks like a late first-round pick.
"There's not a lot of big beef," said one scout. "That's why Nix will go high."
Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman (6-5½, 311) will try to dispel impressions that he's inconsistent and an off-field risk at the Senior Bowl.
"He's had a really good year," one scout said. "This kid kind of came out of nowhere. When he wants to crank it up he's hard to block at that level. He's a big man with a lot of ability. He would benefit big-time from going to the Senior Bowl and kicking (expletive) for a week."
Senior Will Sutton (5-11½, 330) of Arizona State put on too much weight this season...
Several players fit the mold of three-technique tackles for 4-3 defenses, including senior Aaron Donald (6-0½, 285) of Pittsburgh, junior Timmy Jernigan (6-2, 298) of Florida State and senior Dominique Easley (6-1½, 285) of Florida.
Easley underwent reconstructive knee surgery Oct. 24. It was his second major knee injury.
"All Donald does is produce," one scout said. "The old Colts, the old Bucs, they'd like him. But not a lot of people run that anymore. They're going to run right at him when he comes in the game."
Alabama senior middle linebacker C.J. Mosley (6-2½, 232) is the pick of the litter at inside linebacker.
"Probably more (weak side) in the NFL but he could play inside in a 3-4," one scout said. "Extremely smart. Explosive. Fast. An all-intangible type kid. I think coaches are going to fall in love with him.
"But, outside of Mosley, the rest of them (inside) are kind of thumper types."
Junior Denzel Perryman (6-0, 240)...Florida State senior Christian Jones (6-3½, 240)... Tennessee junior A.J. Johnson (6-2, 243)... Wisconsin's Chris Borland (5-11½, 246)... Michigan State's Max Bullough (6-2½, 245)...
UCLA senior Anthony Barr (6-3, 248) ..."The guy was a running back until two years ago," one scout said. "Really athletic. He's got pass-rush ability. Some of the toughness stuff is still not there but a great kid, great effort."
Next on the list outside is Buffalo senior Khalil Mack (6-2½, 248)... "He's better than Barr," said one scout. "He does everything there. He can do whatever he wants. Buffalo was the only team that recruited him."
Clemson junior Vic Beasley (6-2, 235) and Brigham Young senior Kyle Van Noy (6-3, 235) are hybrids that could fit either scheme...
Ohio State junior Ryan Shazier (6-2, 230) is a classic "will" linebacker in a 4-3..."I don't think he's as tough as Lavonte David but he's going to be faster," said one scout. "He runs like a deer. You'd have to think about him over Mosley. Mosley's a better player (now) but Shazier could be rare."
"Is there a great corner this year?" one scout said. "The guy from Michigan State and the guy from Oklahoma State and the guy from Ohio State are pretty good. But they're 20 to 50."
The Spartans' Darqueze Dennard (5-11, 197)..."Dennard's game really improved as the season's gone along," one scout said. "Got some size. Gilbert has some size, ball skills. He's just a solid player."
The Buckeyes' Bradley Roby (5-11, 192)..."You've got to do your homework on him," said one scout. "But he's an explosive, fast player. Can play man or zone."
Oregon junior Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (5-10, 185), Virginia Tech senior Kyle Fuller (5-11½, 194) and Florida junior Loucheiz Purifoy (6-0, 190) are next in line.
"This is not going to be a great corner group," one scout said. "It really isn't. There's really no dynamic corner this year."
This safety class is inferior [to 2013].
The best bet to make the first round as a safety is Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (6-1, 208)..."He's OK," one scout said. "Tough guy. Pretty instinctive. Just kind of stiff. I'm not sure he's going to run real well."
Lamarcus Joyner (5-8, 190)..."Flies around a little like Bob Sanders and blows people up," said one scout. "Little stiff for corner but there's (teams) where they can get away with it. He might be the first safety to go."
Florida State senior Terrence Brooks (5-10½, 200) could be off the board next, but several scouts projected him to the third round.