Blog By: @CaptnJack24
I’m going to do this draft preview a little different than a lot of people do. I won’t be doing any full on mock draft, because I personally have no sources on any teams, so to pretend to know what these teams front offices think of a certain player is preposterous. Instead, I will be doing a positional review with the top 3 players at each position, offense first, then defense, lastly accompanied with a Patriots draft preview which will preview some team needs and players that could possibly fill those needs.
Offense: Top QBs
1. Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M In my opinion Johnny Football is far and away the best QB prospect in Thursday nights draft. He has the ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs. The knock on JF is that people don’t think what he did on Saturdays in the south will translate to the league. He is undersized at 6’0 but there are plenty of examples currently in the league (Brees, Wilson, etc) that height is not the end all be all at the QB position. Expect Manziel to go in the top 5 of the draft, this is a quarterback driven league and he’s the best available guy at the position by far.
2. Blake Bortles – Central Florida Bortles has drawn favorable comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger as what he could translate to at the NFL level. He certainly has the size at 6’5 230 lbs. Bortles has come on very strong in the months leading up to the draft and was even hyped as the potential #1 overall pick at one point. While I don’t think he will go as high as people once thought, he is a physical specimen with a strong arm and should be a first round pick.
3. Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville I’m not the biggest Teddy Bridgewater fan in the world. He got a ton of hype in college playing in the AAC against totally inferior competition. He has good size at 6’3 215 lbs and is also pretty mobile, running a 4.79 40 yard dash. He is an accurate passer who could succeed in the right system, but a poor pro day coupled with questions about whether his success in college was due to poor competition has people dropping the once highly touted passer. He is still expected to be a 1st round pick
1. Jeremy Hill – LSU Hill is also a bruiser at 6’0 233 lbs. he has the ability to both run through tackles and to make people miss. He only played 2 years of college football but Hill is ready for the league and made the right decision coming out early given how short a running back’s career can be. Hill may not go as high as Hyde, but should be the next RB drafted.
2. Carlos Hyde – Ohio State Hyde is a wrecking ball coming in at 5’11 230 lbs. He is a complete running back, who, like Hill, can make you miss as well as run you over. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry at OSU in his 4-year career, as well as 7.3 yards per carry in his senior season. Look for Hyde to go in the 2nd Round.
3. Bishop Sankey – Washington Sankey isn’t quite the bruiser the first two RBs on this list are, but he has great vision and great burst as a running back. He has good hands to catch the ball out of the backfield, which makes him a threat on all 3 downs in the league. He had a very good combine and is expected to go in the 2nd round as well.
1. Sammy Watkins- Clemson Watkins is a potential #1 receiver in the league right this moment. A complete wideout, Watkins is sensational after the catch, has great hands, and is an incredible athlete with the ability to go to the house any time he has the ball. In his Junior year at Clemson Watkins had 101 catches for over 1400 yards and 12 TDs, not to mention an incredible 16/227/2 line at the Orange bowl against Ohio State. Watkins is expected to be a top 5 pick.
2. Mike Evans –Texas A&M Johnny Football’s main target, Evans has incredible size at 6’5 230 lbs and has a 37 inch vertical leap. Think Vincent Jackson. His ability to high point the football makes him a huge threat in the red zone and would be an immediate impact target for any team. Evans will go in the top 10-15 picks.
3. Marqise Lee – USC Lee was regarded as the top WR along with Watkins before the 2013 season but was hurt by erratic QB play. He had 118 Catches and 1700 yards in 2012 with Matt Barkley as his QB. He has versatility and explosion and could be a steal if he falls anywhere out of the top 20 or so picks.
1. Eric Ebron –UNC Ebron is an explosive athlete that has WR ability but TE size at 6’4 250 lbs. He is similar to Vernon Davis in his athletic ability and with the catching TE becoming such a large part of the NFL, Ebron could go as high as Top 10 in the draft.
2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins –Washington ASJ has rare size and athleticism and will be a huge mismatch if he can shore up his consistency and his development as a blocker. He’s pretty raw as a blocker now but should be able to figure it out with some NFL coaching due to his size and raw ability. Should be drafted by the end of the 1st round, possibly early 2nd.
3. Jace Amaro –Texas Tech Amaro is another TE with huge size and great athleticism in this years draft. This matchup nightmare comes in at 6’5 266 and runs very well for that size. He could end up being a legit #1 target, but is not a good blocker at all and will most likely be used split out away from the line. Should go in the late 1st.
1. Greg Robinson- Auburn Robinson is widely considered the best offensive line prospect in this draft. He has a great combination of size and mobility that translates into him being potentially one of the best players in this draft. He is an anchor on the line and an impact player as soon as he gets into the league. He is expected to be taken in the top 5.
2. Jake Matthews- Texas A&M Matthews is another elite prospect at LT. He has a high football IQ and great size/technique that helped keep Johnny Football upright all year. He has NFL bloodlines (Father is Bruce Matthews and cousin is Clay Matthews). Expect Matthews to be picked in the top 10.
3. Taylor Lewan- Michigan Lewan was expected to leave Michigan for the draft after his junior season, but instead decided to return for his senior season. He built on the success he had and also used a phenomenal combine to maintain his stock as a top 15 pick. He started every game for Michigan in his last 3 years there.
Interior Offensive Line
1. Xavier Su’A-Filo- UCLA For purposes of not retyping that name I’m going to refer to him as X. X is far and away the best interior lineman in this draft. He played both LT and LG in college, showing versatility and ability to play both. He is worth a 1st round pick as he projects as an elite guard at the next level.
2. Marcus Martin- USC Martin is a center, but had only played center for one season before entering the draft. He is a high upside type of guy and has the ability to play center or guard. He could be the first center taken, around the 2nd round.
3. Trai Turner – LSU Turner had a great combine and many believe there is zero doubt he is a starting caliber guard in the NFL. Played only two seasons at LSU before turning pro which is a possible reason he could fall in the draft. He is very raw, but very talented, he should go in the 2nd or 3rd round.