Thoughts On the 2014 NFL Draft: TOP 5 Picks

NFL draft training

NFL prospect Jake Matthews, an offensive line from Texas A&M, works on his strength at the Santora Elite Training Center at UC Irvine under the watchful eyes of the coaches from Proactive Sports Performance in Irvine, Calif., on Feb. 17, 2014. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

By Logan Lantz

The 2014 NFL Draft begins on Thursday, May 8, and ends on Saturday, May 10. The teams with the top 5 picks include; The Houston Texans, St. Louis Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, and the Oakland Raiders.

The first overall pick always comes with a difficult task. Who will be the number one overall pick? The Texans, although didn’t show it this last season, having winning their first two games then dropping fourteen straight, are a very talented team. Mostly everyone knows J.J. Watt (defensive end), but then you have Andre Johnson (Wide Receiver), Arian Foster (running back), Matt Schaub (quarterback, when he doesn’t throw 50 picks in the first half), Johnathan Joseph (cornerback), Brian Cushing (inside linebacker), and Garrett Graham (tight end).

One of the players I look for the Texans to take is Johnny Manziel, quarterback out of Texas A&M. For Manziel I have some slight issues with his inability to stay in the pocket, his size, and his off-the-field performances. Although he is a college student, going into the NFL is a huge responsibility and if he can’t change that then I feel he won’t be as successful as people think he’ll be.

The other player the Texans could be looking to take in my opinion is Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end out of South Carolina. With Clowney, I feel he has a lot of growing up to do. He had some issues with not playing in games, otherwise refusing to do so; he also didn’t have a very successful last season. I really can’t see him doing very well in the NFL unless he changes his behavior.

The second overall pick goes to the St. Louis Rams. The Rams lost their starting quarterback Sam Bradford to a Torn ACL last season. With the Rams offensive line struggling last season to keep Bradford off the turf, the Rams are most likely to go for an offensive lineman if not trading up or down for their draft pick. I would project either Greg Robinson, (tackle) out of Auburn being picked up or Jake Mathews (tackle) out of Texas A&M. Robinson, during the scouting combine posted a sub-5.0 40 at 6-foot-5 and 332 pounds. That is really quick speeds for such a rather large individual, and I’m not talking about just weight. Robinson is most effective in the run game, which is bound to help the Rams in anyway possible, whether it be the run game or the passing game, Robinson will protect Bradford’s blind side no matter what.

The third overall pick goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars finished their season going 4-12. Over the last few years, well… for quite a while actually the Jaguars have struggled finding a quarterback. Most analysts have projected the Jaguars to take Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback out of Louisville. I feel he’ll make a decent quarterback in the NFL, but I do have some slight issues with his physical stature. Bridgewater is only 6-2, which isn’t really that tall in the NFL, it’s right around the average. Also another issue is Teddy Bridgewater is 214 pounds, I believe he needs to put on some more muscle if he wants to stay healthy through a full NFL season. I also could see the Jaguars taking Johnny Manziel if not taken, or possibly Blake Bortles, quarterback out of University of Central Florida.

The 4th overall pick goes to the Cleveland Browns. The Browns finished last season with a 4-12 record as well. From what I saw last season, the reason the Browns stayed in most of their games is because of their defense. The Browns really don’t have a quarterback; Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer really aren’t getting the job done. Most analysts have the Browns taking Johnny Manziel if he’s not already taken or I could see it becoming a ring around the rosey effect, where you don’t really know where all these quarterbacks are going to land. I could also see the Browns going with Teddy Bridgewater if Manziel is taken, as well as Blake Bortles.

The fifth overall pick goes to the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders went 4-12 as well. Surprising isn’t it? The Raiders have a decent quarterback in Terrelle Pryor. But if Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater fall to the fifth pick, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see them go to Oakland. Most analysts’ project that the Raiders will take a wide receiver, but like I said above, if Manziel and Bridgewater are available I wouldn’t be surprised to see Oakland take them. Some analysts have the Raiders taking Sammy Watkins, Wide Receiver out of Clemson. I could also see them taking Mike Evans a very big a physical wide receiver out of Texas A&M. Not only is he big and physical, but he has great hands and his speed is pretty impressive. Some analysts even say that he could have a Demaryius Thomas-like impact with the correct team.

Now, all of these projections are just my opinions compared to other analysts’ opinions. The NFL Draft is full of mysteries, who knows who will go where? There are some decent players in this draft, but I feel there have been better draft classes. Most NFL teams are looking to find a quarterback with ‘Franchise-changing’ talent. I just can’t seem to find a quarterback in this draft that has that ability. I feel the best quarterback to have the most success in this league would be Blake Bortles. He’s big and lengthy, he’s an on-field general, and most importantly he’s a team player. If he struggles his team struggles; it doesn’t just land on him, He allows everyone to contribute to the win. And according to NFL Sport’s Illustrated writer Doug Farrar,

“Bortles is still learning multiple-read concepts, and he’ll be befuddled at times by NFL defenses. But with offensive coordinator Norv Turner in tow, Bortles does have the innate ability to become a great NFL signal-caller over time.”

His opinion is exactly correct, although he may struggle for a while in the NFL, he could possibly become an elite quarterback with the right team. But, I mean honestly which quarterback hasn’t struggled at least once in his career?

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