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Old 02-23-2014   #17
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Default Re: Bob McGinn on 2014 NFL

Based on interviews with executives in personnel for five teams

Top 8
Sammy Watkins*, WR, Clemson: 6 feet 1 inch, 211 pounds. In what might become an all-time class of wide receivers, he stands as the best entering the draft. "He can pretty much do everything," one scout said. "He's fast. He makes plays. Catches the hell out of the ball. Knows how to play." Caught 240 passes (101 in 2013) for 3,391 yards (14.1-yard average) and 27 touchdowns. "He'll be a great kickoff return guy, too," another scout said. "But he won't do that very long. Not real tall but he's thick. He looks like a running back more than a wide receiver."

Greg Robinson*, T, Auburn: 6-5, 332. Redshirt sophomore started two years at LT. "He's phenomenal," one scout said. "He's the most talented of all of them...the most upside." Long arms (35). Bench-pressed 32 times. Ran a fast 40-yard dash of 4.92 seconds Saturday at the combine. Ability to drive block is what excites some scouts. "He'll mash you," said another. "He needs work in pass protection but he can pass protect. You see his punch. And he comes off the ball."

Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M: 6-41/2, 308. Started 46 of 49 games, playing RT from 2010-'12 before moving to LT in '13 as the replacement for Luke Joeckel. "You can't go wrong with him," one scout said. "You just take him and you don't worry about anything. He's probably the most solid of the tackles." Average size, arm length (333/8), hand size (97/8) and strength (24 reps on the bench). Good speed (5.07). Cousin of Green Bay OLB Clay Matthews. "Really good technician," said another scout. "Good, not great athlete. He's a little soft. Not that he won't be a very good player. He gives great effort."

Johnny Manziel*, QB, Texas A&M: 5-11, 207. Third-year sophomore and two-year starter. Won Heisman Trophy in 2012. "Hit or miss? What the hell are they talking about?" one scout said. "He's a better passer than the guy (Russell Wilson) who won the Super Bowl, and he's got a better arm. Here comes the pressure, a guy breaks open and he finds the receiver. Does he have a gun? No. But he doesn't have a bad arm at all." Has had a colorful if not controversial career off the field. Nicknamed "Johnny Football." Said another personnel man with more than 15 years of NFL scouting experience: "I'm fine with him on the field. He's probably the most unique guy I've done at that position. Just the way he kind of controls the game when he's on. But it's the other stuff. He's not a worker. He doesn't show up. He does what he wants to do. They need him. Everybody just kind of shrugs it off. You try to pull some of the stuff he does in an NFL locker room and it's just not going to work."

Blake Bortles*, QB, Central Florida: 6-5, 232. Fourth-year junior. "He's either the first or second quarterback (drafted)," one scout said. "Really good athlete. Great size. Above average to very good arm strength. Tough. Poised. Very productive in his last year." Completed 65.7% of his passes and started two years. "He's actually more of a runner," another scout said. "They ran him a lot and roll him out. He's raw. If somebody takes him and thinks he's going to be their franchise guy, they're going to get burned. He's not very accurate, and guys that are inaccurate don't really become that accurate. You can depend on him. He works his (expletive) off. He's a leader. He's won. He kind of raised the program. But I'm shaky with him."

Jadeveon Clowney*, DE, South Carolina: 6-5, 266. Often compared to Mario Williams and Julius Peppers. "I don't know where people say he didn't play hard this year," one scout said. "Not in the games I watched. They hold him. Somebody asked if he could play linebacker. He'd be a great linebacker. He stands up now sometimes." Third-year junior and probable top-five pick. "I would not put my job on the line for that guy," another scout said. "Who has a profile like that that's been successful in the NFL? Lazy. Not playing hard....I think his physical talent is being overblown. At what point in his life has he had to push himself? Now you're going to give him this money and say, 'Do something you're never done in your life before. Against guys you just can't run over.' I would not do it."

Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: 6-2, 251. "He's the real deal," one scout said. "He can rush the passer. He kicks (expletive). Tough guy. Got interceptions and forced fumbles. Great kid. It wouldn't even be a discussion taking him over Clowney." Was skinny coming out of high school and lightly recruited. "You put on the Ohio State game, he dominated like a quarter," another scout said. "That tackle (Jack Mewhort) who is supposed to be a good player, he just tore him up. Then he disappeared for a quarter. He can play off the ball, too, if you wanted him to. But I don't know if you want to do that, because he's going to be a big-play guy and rush the passer."

Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA: 6-5, 255. Senior. "Really athletic," one scout said. "He's got pass-rush ability. The guy was a running back until two years ago, so he's got hands. Some of the toughness is still not there, but he's a great kid. Great effort. Top 10." Long, fast and productive on the rush. "Looks the part athletically but is not a football player at this point," another scout said. "More developmental. He'll get overdrafted."
Next 10
Marqise Lee*, WR, Southern California: 6-0, 192. Played through nagging injuries in 2013. "He's a dynamic, smaller guy," one scout said. "Rough year this year because their quarterback was so terrible. Last year with (Matt) Barkley his stats were really good. But as far as athletic ability, quickness, speed, he's pretty special. He can play on the outside. He's so fast and runs by people." Had 118 receptions in 2012, 57 in '13. "He's a top-15 pick," another scout said. "Can take the ball and score."

Kelvin Benjamin*, WR, Florida State: 6-5, 240. Third-year sophomore for the national champion Seminoles. "He can take over a game," one scout said. "Pretty special talent. Just not as consistent as (Mike) Evans. He was a first-time starter this year. He's got a little off-field shadow. Can disappear in games." Some scouts say he could have really used another season. Had 84 catches in two years. "He'll go 12 to 20," said a second scout. "He really came on the scene this year. He can extend to make a lot of grabs. His route-running is raw."

Eric Ebron*, TE, North Carolina: 6-4, 250. Third-year junior. "He can probably do a little bit more than Tyler Eifert (last year)," one scout said. "He's athletic. He can challenge deep. He's not a great bulky guy but he'll block. Watch him against Clowney. He didn't win but he wasn't afraid. He's (Rob) Gronkowski-like, but he's a lot smoother than Gronkowski." Improved each year, finishing with 112 receptions. "The way they used him this year was almost like a glorified slot receiver," another scout said. "Good feel for it. Not a great blocker." Led TEs in the 40 with 4.60 clocking.

Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan: 6-6, 309. Spent five years in Ann Arbor, starting the last four at LT. "He's one of those guys that's pristine," one scout said. "Takes care of himself. Watches what he eats. They had no quarterback there. You can't protect forever. Big, tall guy. It's hard to get leverage, but he can bend his knees." Has a penchant for taking dumb penalties. "I'm not sold on him," said another scout. "I don't really like his whole makeup. He's kind of a fake tough guy. Not an elite left-tackle athlete and not a tough (expletive) right tackle. Somebody will take him just because he's Michigan and got size and a good enough athlete." Ran an exceptional 40 (4.87).

Cyrus Kouandjio*, T, Alabama: 6-7, 322. Third-year junior and two-year starter at LT. "Talented guy but still very raw," one scout said. "Still makes raw mistakes. He's got more up side than Matthews. I think he is smart. Just doesn't have much football background." Blew out his ACL as true freshman in '11. Ran poorly (5.59) and bench-pressed poorly (21). Long arms (355/8). "Outstanding pass protector," a second scout said. "You're talking about a left tackle for a long, long time."

Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville: 6-2, 214. Three-year starter. "Louisville's success is because of Teddy Bridgewater," one scout said. "He's calm and composed, like you want in a quarterback. I'm not real crazy about his build. He has a linear build. I can't say he's a better scrambler than Russell Wilson, but he's not a statue, OK?" Ranked fifth in NCAA passer efficiency in 2013. Career completion mark of 68.4%. "I think you can win with him," another scout said. "He's not an elite talent but he's got a good enough arm, he's a good enough athlete and he's a leader. The big thing is his intangibles. He wins. He's clutch."

Stephon Tuitt*, DE, Notre Dame: 6-5, 304. Third-year junior with 12 sacks in 2012. "He's a 3-4 end all the way," one scout said. "He'll be on the field all the time. He's too big, too athletic and has been productive." Underwent hernia surgery in 2012. Long arms (34). "Just kind of up and down," another scout said. "Came in the year overweight. There are stretches of games where he doesn't really do anything. He will turn it on some plays and show his strength. He's a risk."

Louis Nix*, NT, Notre Dame: 6-2, 331. Fourth-year junior. "At 345 this guy can move," one scout said. "He's faster than (B.J.) Raji and he can be better (than Raji). A lot of people will get off him and say, 'Well, he's not into football as much.' But where do you find guys that big that can do that? He hasn't had a lot of sacks but he's been double-teamed a lot. Look at it this way. Notre Dame's linebackers aren't even going to the combine. That's how bad they were." One of the few legitimate nose tackles this year. "He's just a hold-the-point nose tackle," a scout for a 4-3 team said. "He doesn't fit us, but for the 3-4 teams there's a lot of value."

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama: 6-2, 234. Senior. "He can fit any defense," one scout said. "Very fast and athletic. Never comes off the field. Team leader. An all-intangible type kid. He's all about football." Long arms (333/8) and enormous hands (10). Undersized, which showed at times against the interior run. "He's not like (Luke) Kuechly," another scout said. "Sometimes his lack of size shows up tackling. He lacks tackling bulk. Sometimes he gets out-sized by linemen. Sometimes he'll hit 'em and they don't fall down. Good player. Very instinctive. Good pass defender. Just not the biggest."

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix*, S, Alabama: 6-0, 210. Third-year junior. "He's the real deal," one scout said. "He'll go middle of the first. If he's there at 21 (for Green Bay), it'd be a no-brainer. They'd be running to the podium if that happened. He's pretty much the most complete guy that I've done (at safety)." Another scout pegged him going between 15 and 25. "He's interesting," said another scout. "Pretty good player. He has good range and hands. He's pretty smart. He'll tackle."
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