2014 NFL Draft Early Entries - Offense

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Posted Jan 15, 2014


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2014 NFL Draft Early Entries   

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2014 NFL Draft Stay or Go - Defense

It's that time of year again when several superstar college players weigh whether or not they're ready to make the big leap into the land of the mercenaries. The top players take off early to save drafts from the mediocre seniors who chose to stick around, and this year is no exception.

The rule of thumb for pro prospects is this: If your game relies purely on speed, come out. Every football player needs speed to some degree, but a receiver, running back and defensive back only has so many years of blazing wheels in them. Any slippage in that top gear, and you're out of the league. Running backs can only take so many shots and should come out as soon as humanly possible. Everyone else should stay in school unless they're certain to be taken in the top 50. With that in mind, here are the early entries with where they're projected to go.

Davante Adams, WR Fresno State 6-2, 215
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? It would've been hard to match his tremendous 2013 season or the production of his first two years, especially without Derek Carr throwing his way. He could easily slip into the second round with some good workouts.

Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech 6-5, 260
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? He didn't win the John Mackey award, but he was the best tight end in the country. A first round talent, he'll slip because of past off-the-field issues. A natural pass catcher, he'll be a fantasy star.

George Atkinson III, WR/RB/KR, Notre Dame 6-1, 220
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? Someone might take a late round shot at him as a jack-of-all-trades prospect, but he never really found a groove at Notre Dame. His money will be made as a kick returner.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State 6-5, 235
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? More of a boom-or-bust pick than it might seem, he drops a few passes, will disappear at times, and doesn't like to get jammed – even at his big size – but he has an elite combination of size and skills. He came through when he needed to, all but moving himself into the first round.

Kapri Bibbs, RB Colorado State 5-11, 203
Projected: Fourth Round
Good or Bad Move? The touchdown machine went the JUCO route, exploded onto the scene at Colorado State, and now is ready to move on before his body takes on more wear and tear. Not the biggest of backs, he might find a role as a slippery goal line runner and part of a rotation.

Russell Bodine, C North Carolina 6-3, 310
Projected: Fifth Round
Good or Bad Move? It's an interesting move considering he's not likely going to be called until late. He has good size and moves relatively well, but he might have to prove he's versatile enough to work as a guard if needed.

Blake Bortles, QB, UCF 6-3, 230
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? The tools are all there with size, arm strength, athleticism and leadership. Now it's just a question or whether or not it's all enough to be Bill O'Brien's guy with the Houston Texans. He could end up No. 1, but at worst he's not going to fall out of the top five.

Chris Boyd, WR Vanderbilt 6-4, 206
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? The size and tools are there, and the production was terrific, but he had some off-the-field issues that could keep him from being drafted – he didn't play this season. Everything appears to be cleared up, and he could be a late round steal.

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville 6-3, 205
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? And here come the knocks. He was ready for the NFL last year, but is he a product of a system? Is he able to handle himself under a steady pass rush? Accurate, tough and with good decision-making ability, there's little downside, but does he have enough to be the No. 1 overall pick? Let the harsh scrutiny begin.

Martavis Bryant, WR Clemson 6-4, 200
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? Everyone was focused on Sammy Watkins, and while this year would've been Bryant's time to shine as a No. 1 target, with his size and ability, he'll go late in the second or early in the third.

Ka'Deem Carey, RB Arizona 5-10, 207
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? Is he really that good, or is he a product of the Rich Rodriguez system? Even If it's a bit of both, it might not be a bad thing. However, even if he's the top running back in the draft, the position has been so devalued that he's probably going to slide into the second round. It doesn't matter; he's ready, and his body doesn't need to take any more of a pounding.

Brandon Coleman, WR Rutgers 6-5, 220
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? It's going to be all about his workout. He'll be drafted in the top 100 on his size alone, but if he can run well in workouts and isn't lumbering, he might rise up in a hurry.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State 5-9, 185
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? It'll be interesting to see how scouts see him. He's a pass catching machine, but he's a wispy guy who might not be an NFL No. 1. His numbers would've been epic with another year with Sean Mannion, but he'll be an instant starter, probably as a No. 2.

Isaiah Crowell, RB Alabama State 5-11, 190
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? A superior prospect coming out of high school, his career was derailed after getting booted off the Georgia team after being arrested on felony weapons charges. Everything turned out fine for him, but there's still the character question mark. He's good, but must-have good – he'll be a priority free agent.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina 6-4, 245
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? Consider it a shocker if he's not the first tight end off the board. While he's not huge, he's built like a big wide receiver with excellent route-running ability and hands. He might not block anyone, but who cares if he's catching six passes a game?

Bruce Ellington, WR South Carolina 5-9, 195
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? The only question is his size. He's going out on a high note with a great bowl game against Wisconsin, and he's not going to get any bigger, but at worst he can be someone's No. 3 right away.

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M 6-5, 225
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? Very big and very strong, he proved himself at the highest levels of the SEC despite being keyed on. He'll make up for his lack of deep speed with his size. Consider him a top 15 pick with St. Louis possibly looking at him at 13.

Mike Flacco, TE New Haven 6-4, 245
Projected: Undrafted
Good or Bad Move? Joe's brother is 26 – he's ready. The former baseball player can stretch the field and could be an interesting project, but he hasn't played much football. He needs work.

Cameron Fleming, OT Stanford 6-6, 318
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? it all depends on the right fit and the right team. While he's not quite built like a bulldozer, he's a run blocker who can beat people up when needed. He can also move, but he's still going to be down the OT selection pole a bit. Even if he's around the seventh taken, he could still go in the top 50.

Austin Franklin, WR New Mexico State 6-0, 184
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? While his production slipped after a tremendous sophomore season, he still did a decent job for a horrible team. It'll be a fight to get drafted, but he should latch on as a free agent.

Devonta Freeman, RB Florida State 5-8, 205
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? He's not all that big, and he won't be a workhorse, but he could be a good 15-touch back who could be used in a variety of ways. A 1,000-yard back for the Seminoles, he's explosive and could be great around the goal line. His versatility will be the key.

Xavier Gimble, TE USC 6-5, 250
Projected: Fifth Round
Good or Bad Move? Injuries slowed him down a bit, and he didn't quite take the next-step jump he was expected to, he was a steady enough receiver to show good upside. He could be a tough call – the production wasn't good enough for a top 100 pick.

Jeremy Hill, RB LSU 6-1, 235
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? The biggest question mark is his character, and he's going to be scrutinized and analyzed up and down, because in terms of talent, he could be a first rounder. Very big and very quick, he's a No. 1 back who can take on a workload. However, he was arrested and charged with simple battery after a fight in a bar, and there were other off-the-field issues, too. If he can show he's a changed guy, and if he has matured, then he could be the hot riser in the top 100.

Storm Johnson, RB UCF 6-0, 215
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? Johnson will take off along with Blake Bortles early, and he's ready. With good size, nice hands, and good finishing ability, he has the tools to be a No. 1 back, but he's probably going to have to sweat it out a bit. He'll be a top 100 pick.

Henry Josey, RB Missouri 5-10, 190
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? The burst was there through the hole this year, and he looked more than fine after suffering a devastating knee injury that kept him out for a few years, but the knee will be a red flag that might make him undraftable. He's a great story and a high-character player, but he'll need a little bit of luck to stick in a camp.

Cyrus Kouandjio, OT Alabama 6-5, 310
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? His stock was higher last year, considered the most talented player on the all-timer of an offensive line, but in need of a little bit of time and polish. He was okay as a junior, but he didn't quite dominate as hoped and was ripped up in the Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma. Even so, he'll still go top ten.

Jarvis Landry, WR LSU 6-0, 195
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? He'll be taken after Tiger-mate Odell Beckham – he doesn't have the same tools – but a great run in the scouting circuit could make him a top 50 overall pick. With the LSU passing game likely to take a big step back, he had to take off.

Cody Latimer, WR Indiana 6-3, 215
Projected: Fifth Round
Good or Bad Move? Was he a part of a system or can he really be a go-to receiver at the next level? He put up huge numbers for the Hoosiers, but he'll be a mid-to-late round flier and could've been around a third rounder with another year.

Marqise Lee, WR, USC 6-0, 195
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? It'll be interesting to see where he falls in the mix after Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins chose to turn pro early. He's definitely a first rounder, but he might slip until around the 20s and will probably be the third one in the pecking order.

A.C. Leonard, TE Tennessee State 6-3, 245
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? The former Florida Gator is a bit undersized, but he showed at TSU that he can be more of an H-Back instead of a tight end. Past off-the-field issues will drop the mid-round talent to, potentially, out of the draft.

Colt Lyerla, TE Oregon 6-4, 250
Projected: Sixth Round
Good or Bad Move? If everything else was in place, he'd be a top 50 pick without a problem – the speed and ability are unquestioned – but he missed part of the season and was later arrested for cocaine possession. Someone will take him with a late pick based on his skill, but no one will invest much more than a sixth round spot.

Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M 6-0, 210
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? Welcome to the call of the draft. Can you win a Super Bowl with him? Will excitement for a few games here and there be enough? Can he be consistent? While he might not be the No. 1 overall pick, he'll go in the top ten and jazz up someone's fan base.

Tre Mason, RB Auburn 5-9, 205
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? Was it the player or the system? He has big holes to run through in the Auburn attack, but he also made big things happen on his own. He sets up blocks well and does a good job of finishing, able to work inside or out.

Marcus Martin, C USC 6-3, 310
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? Versatile enough to work at guard, but big enough to be an anchor at center, he could fall a wee bit after hurting his knee late in the year. The talent is there, though, to be a good starter for a long time, but someone might want him to be a guard.

Donte Moncrief, WR Ole Miss 6-3, 226
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? While he might not have the hype or production of some of the other Ole Miss receivers, he was a dangerous deep threat this year showing off the size as well as the athleticism to come up with big plays. He'll go late second, early third.

Adam Muema, RB San Diego State 5-10, 205
Projected: Fourth Round
Good or Bad Move? A good, sound back who could be a great part of a rotation, he could grow into a surprising mid-round producer. Staying healthy might be a bit of an issue, but when he's right, he could be terrific.

Jake Murphy, TE Utah 6-4, 250
Projected: Fifth Round
Good or Bad Move? While he's missing special tools, and he doesn't have the size, he's a good receiver who came on late to become one of the team's top targets over the last three games. He might not be a hitter, but he could be a second tight end on third downs.

Troy Niklas, TE Notre Dame 6-6, 270
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? With great size and enough mobility to be a receiver at times, Niklas might creep his way into the top 50 depending on where the other top tight ends go. He might not be an elite target like Eric Ebron or Jace Amaro, but he could be a lot cheaper and better value if he goes in the second.

Darrin Reaves, RB UAB
Projected: Fourth Round
Good or Bad Move? A decent grade from the NFL Advisory Board was enough to get him to move on with good hands and versatility. A receiver as well as a rusher, he should be able to fit any style or scheme, but with running backs devalued, he could slip.

Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee 6-6, 325
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? His money was made against Jadeveon Clowney two years ago. The key will be offseason workouts to show he can be a tackle. His long term future will be at guard, and he might get the dreaded Right Tackle Only tag, but he could go late in the first with a little luck.

Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado 6-1, 170
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? He'll be an interesting call. While he torched the Pac-12 this season, past injury problems could make him slide. He's a late first round talent who'll probably go fast in the third.

Allen Robinson, WR Penn State 6-3, 210
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? While he might have bumped up his stock into a first rounder with another year with Christian Hackenberg throwing his way, several teams early in the second will be ecstatic to have a shot at him.

Greg Robinson, OT Auburn6-5, 320
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? Through the draft process, there will be some who'll suggest that Robinson should be the first offensive lineman off the board. With a rare blend of tools, he's a big guy who can move, serving as the key blocker in the Gus Malzahn offense. He could go top five.

Richard Rodgers, TE California 6-4, 245
Projected: Fifth Round
Good or Bad Move? Is he a big wide receiver or a smallish tight end? He stretched the field as one of the key parts to Sonny Dykes' high-octane passing attack, but he has to be a bigger blocker and needs a great workout to move into the first half of the draft.

Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington 5-10, 203
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? Is there any tread left on the tires? A workhorse who can handle lots and lots of carries, he might not have a long NFL shelf life, but what he brings could be great for a short burst. He needed to come out early to avoid more of a pounding.

Lache Seastrunk, RB Baylor 5-9, 210
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? Injuries were a bit of a problem this year, but the potential is there to be something special in the right system. He might not be a 25-carry back, but that's not needed in today's NFL. Give him the ball 15 times a game and – 25 once in a while – and he'll be effective.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington 6-6, 275
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? Really, really big with wide receiver ability, he's an easy target with the potential to get stronger and better. He'll be devastating in the red zone and could end up being taken late in the first round if a team doesn't care about past off-the-field problems.

Brett Smith, QB Wyoming 6-2, 206
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? A poor man's Johnny Manziel, but bigger, he has second round potential depending on where several other key quarterback prospects go. He's not big, he doesn't have a huge arm, and he'll have to compete with the AJ McCarrons and Zach Mettenbergers of the world for a top 50 draft spot, but he's a baller.

Jerome Smith, RB Syracuse 5-11, 225
Projected: Free Agent
Good or Bad Move? It's a wee bit of an odd move for a back without too many elite skills, but he could be a decent part of a rotation if he's able to stick on a roster. Already around for four years, and having graduated, he's ready to give it a try.

Josh Stewart, WR Oklahoma State 5-10, 185
Projected: Sixth Round
Good or Bad Move? With his quickness and return ability, he should be able to hang around on a roster, but his stock is falling after a 101-catch sophomore season turned into a 60-grab junior campaign.

Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG UCLA 6-5, 305
Projected: Second Round
Good or Bad Move? Considering he just turned 23 on New Year's Day, he's ready to go to the next level. The problem will be 1) at tad bit overaged and 2) he's a bit of a tweener, lacking the raw bulk. He's an NFL starter, but he'll have to be a fit.

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon 5-9, 170
Projected: Fourth Round
Good or Bad Move? He'll never be an every down back, and he hasn't done enough to prove that he can be reliable on a regular basis, but he'll be a fun toy to play with. His speed needs to come through in workouts, and he has to make his money as a kick returner.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson 6-1 205
Projected: Top Ten
Good or Bad Move? The stock was already high, and then came the Sugar Bowl. Could he be Sam Bradford's No. 1 target taken with the No. 2 spot by St. Louis? He's not likely to fall out of the top five.

Terrance West, RB Towson 5-11, 223
Projected: Third Round
Good or Bad Move? With a good blend of quickness and size, he was wildly productive at the lower level and has nothing else to prove. The FCS Player of the Year could grow into the sleeper back in the draft – he looks the part, and now he just has to prove he can handle himself against the better competition.

James Wilder, RB Florida State 6-1, 229
Projected: Fifth Round
Good or Bad Move? Never a main player in the Florida State star system, he found his role, but it's a curious move coming out early unless he plans on being a jack-of-all-trades option in a backfield. He could be a valuable mid-round pick if he'll work as an H-Back.

2014 NFL Draft Stay or Go - Defense

David Yankey, OG Stanford 6-5, 312
Projected: First Round
Good or Bad Move? He could turn into the first guard off the board with his tremendous combination of athleticism and size. Great for any system, he has the bulk and skill to be a first rounder depending on how the draft shapes up, but he could slide and become a whale of a second round selection.