There has been constant talk that the 2014 NFL draft class is the best draft class in the last 15 to 20 years. Considered as one of the deepest drafts in history, there are a lot of potential superstars in this draft class that potential to emerge. The talent that makes this draft class so exciting is also what has everyone’s head spinning about when and where players will be drafted.
Over the years, draft guru’s generally have around the same predictions of which teams will draft certain players. But in my years of following the NFL draft I haven’t seen so many mock drafts that are as drastically different as the ones I’ve seen for this year’s draft. It all starts with the drama of the Houston Texans who hold the first pick. The Texans are in need of a legitimate franchise quarterback. This draft is full of great potential at the quarterback position with the likes of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Derrick Carr. The logical thing to do would be to draft the quarterback that they believe is the best on the board, right? Not necessarily.
There is an absolute freak-of-nature who has been claimed to be the best player in the draft by far, Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney is a 6’5”, 266-pound defensive end that runs a 4.53 second 40-yard dash time according to NFL.com. Clowney’s 40-time is faster than 16 of the wide receivers that ran at the NFL combine. That’s unheard of. The Texans are in a tough spot. Should they draft the best player in Clowney that Bob McNair, Texans owner, says is “a-once-in-every-10-years type of physical specimen.” Or will they draft the top quarterback they need.
However for the Texans or any other team, the quarterback class has a lot of unanswered questions. Bridgewater was first on a lot of people’s mock drafts. But he had a disappointing pro-day which hurt his draft stock. Mel Kieper, NFL draft expert, has Bridgewater dropping all the way to the second round. Manziel had a near perfect pro-day, arguably the best of all quarterbacks, and is projected to be a top 10 selection. Some people have Manziel dropping to the second round as well because he is undersized. With the rumors of Bridgewater and Manziel dropping in the draft, Bortles and Carr have stepped up in the ranks. Bortles is seen as the most NFL ready quarterback and was projected for sometime to be the number one pick. However, recently there has been speculation that if the Texans take Clowney first, Carr could be the first quarterback taken.
The wide receiver class could be looked at similarly as well. There is talent from top to bottom with Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans leading as the best wide receivers and assured top 10 picks. However players such as Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr., and Marquise Lee have been scattered throughout people’s draft boards. Some have either receiver going before the 20th pick, during the end of the first round or dropping to the second round. With a deep class at receiver, so far it looks like teams can’t go wrong with any receiver and don’t necessarily have to rush to draft one.
I’m extremely excited to see what this year’s draft will bring. There is so much speculation of who will go where, and speculated draft day trades. It’s almost impossible to predict a draft that will even come close to what we will see. All I know is that no matter what happens or how surprising a certain move is on draft day, I won’t be surprised at all. I probably won’t see it coming, but with all of this talent in this year’s draft, something extraordinary has to happen.