THE BIG BOARD

Top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft

(With height, weight and 40-yard dash time)


CORNERBACKS

Justin Gilbert

Justin Gilbert • Oklahoma State • 6-0 • 202 • 4.37

Skinny: Good size, great speed, an outstanding athlete and player. He should be top 10 pick. Physical play will draw penalties unless he adjusts.

Darqueze Dennard • Michigan State • 5-11 • 200 • 4.51

Skinny: If Steelers want a corner in first round, this could be their man. Decent size, OK speed. 10 career interceptions.

Kyle Fuller • Virginia Tech • 6-0 • 190 • 4.49

Skinny: Plays big despite his lack of strength. Overall skills are good, including his ability to intercept.

Bradley Roby • Ohio State • 5-11 • 194 • 4.39

Skinny: Has the ability to be a shut-down cornerback in the NFL. Not great size, but big enough with that speed. Red flags.

Jason Verrett • TCU • 5-10 • 189 • 4.38

Skinny: As fast as Gilbert but not nearly as big. Not a physical corner but he can cover.

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack • Buffalo • 6-3 • 251 • 4.65

Skinny: Played in a 3-4 and should start immediately for a team that plays that defense. Top 5 pick. Better rusher than in coverage, but he can learn.

Anthony Barr • UCLA • 6-5 • 255 • 4.66

Skinny: Pass-rusher supreme with long arms and block-busting menace. Needs to develop stopping the run and dropping into coverage.

Ryan Shazier • Ohio State • 6-1 • 237 • 4.38

Skinny: Freakish receiver-like speed, great burst. Like Jarvis Jones, he needs to get stronger.

Kyle Van Noy • BYU • 6-3 • 243 • 4.71

Skinny: Big dropoff here after consensus top 3. Pass rush ability but needs to polish his entire game.

Trent Murphy • Stanford • 6-5 • 250 • 4.86

Skinny: Tweener not ideally suited for either DE in 4-3 or OLB in 3-4. A college LB who played DE at Senior Bowl.

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

Shayne Skov

C.J. Mosley • Alabama • 6-2 • 234 • 4.67

Skinny: A consensus top prospect here. Has everything but he is a tad undersized and injuries have dogged him.

Chris Borland • Wisconsin • 6-0 • 248 • 4.83

Skinny: A smidgeon under 6 feet with short arms and slower speed drops this productive player lower than his play might indicate.

Shayne Skov • Stanford • 6-2 • 245 • 4.95

Skinny: Leader of Cardinal defense. Tough run-stopper with great MLB instincts but slow and not a 3-4 type.

Preston Brown • Louisville • 6-1 • 251 • 4.86

Skinny: Mean, aggressive player who has some upside and could be a better pro than expected if he works hard enough.

Max Bullough • Michigan State • 6-4 • 249 • 4.78

Skinny: Grandson of Hank Bullough, a one-time NFL player/head coach. Two-time captain suspended for Rose Bowl for unexplained team rules violation.

SAFETIES

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix • Alabama • 6-1 • 208 • 4.58

Skinny: Not a strong draft for safeties. He does have all the skills to be a good one. He is Ryan Clark-like aggressive.

Calvin Pryor • Louisville • 5-11 • 207 • 4.58

Skinny: Some rate him No. 1, and he should go in first round. Physical and needs to stop leading with his helmet.

Jimmie Ward • Northern Illinois • 5-11 • 193 • 4.48

Skinny: Might play cornerback because he has the coverage skills and speed to do so. Polished cover man.

Deone Bucannon • Washington State • 6-1 • 211 • 4.49

Skinny: Nice safety build and he knows how to use it. An explosive hitter but not yet polished in coverage.

Terrence Brooks • Florida State • 5-11 • 198 • 4.42

Skinny: Another shorty who plays taller. He has played cornerback too. Strictly a deep free safety.

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Dee Ford

Jadeveon Clowney • South Carolina • 6-5 • 266 • 4.53

Skinny: Might be first drafted. Has it all - size, speed, strength, technique and production. Stops the QB and the run.

Dee Ford • Auburn • 6-2 • 252 • 4.61

Skinny: Many project him as 3-4 OLB. A big dropoff at the position here.

Stephon Tuitt • Notre Dame • 6-6 • 304 • 4.92

Skinny: Inconsistent play but has the ability and the versatility to play end or tackle. Had foot surgery.

Scott Crichton • Oregon State • 6-3 • 273 • 4.84

Skinny: Raw junior talent who could have used another year to polish his game but says he needs to support his family. They will likely get second-round money.

Kony Ealy • Missouri • 6-4 • 273 • 4.92

Skinny: We've heard often about high motors, this is a low-motor player. Has all the talent in the world but needs to start using it.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

Aaron Donald

Aaron Donald • Pitt • 6-1 • 285 • 4.68

Skinny: Elite of a decent group. A 4-3 player because you don't want him eating up blocks, you want him making plays - everywhere.

Timmy Jernigan • Florida State • 6-2 • 300 • 5.06

Skinny: Knows how to use his hands and feet and has the strength to overpower blockers. Best suited as a nose tackle.

Louis Nix • Notre Dame • 6-2 • 331 • 5.42

Skinny: Struggles with his weight and last season ended with a knee injury. However, has great size and talent for a nose tackle.

Ra'Shede Hageman • Minnesota • 6-6 • 310 • 5.02

Skinny: Could play DE in a 3-4. He has power and strength and can collapse the quarterback's pocket.

DaQuan Jones • Penn State • 6-4 • 322 • 5.35

Skinny: Played in the shadow of Jordan Hill, yet disruptive. Has great strength and could play inside in a 4-3 or nose in a 3-4.

QUARTERBACKS

Johnny Manziel

Blake Bortles • Central Florida • 6-5 • 232 • 4.93

Skinny: Many scouts believe he'll go first among QBs. Looks the part. Nice stature but his mechanics are not great.

Johnny Manziel • Texas A&M • 6-0 • 207 • 4.68

Skinny: All together now: If he were only a few inches taller. Yes, but look at what he's done with what he does have.

Teddy Bridgewater • Louisville • 6-2 • 214 • 4.79

Skinny: He likely won't be the first to go, but to us he has the most upside for the pro game. Has Big Ben-like downfield awareness at all times.

Derek Carr • Fresno State • 6-2 • 214 • 4.69

Skinny: Led the NCAA in passing yards and TDs with a strong arm, and followed with great workouts this year.

Tom Savage • Pitt • 6-4 • 228 • 4.97

Skinny: Flying up draft boards. Big, tall, strong-armed, lacks only a lot of college experience. May go to Houston at top of Round 2.

HALFBACKS

Tre Mason

Tre Mason • Auburn • 5-9 • 207 • 4.50

Skinny: Quick-to-the-hole runner with good size for a shorter back. Compared to Ray Rice. No RB may go in Round 1 again, however.

Carlos Hyde • Ohio State • 6-0 • 230 • 4.66

Skinny: Big, strong runner who needs to be in better shape. Suspended for three games for summer incident in night club.

Bishop Sankey • Washington • 5-10 • 209 • 4.49

Skinny: Cardinals should draft him with a name like that. Really, really knows how to run.

Andre Williams • Boston College • 5-11 • 230 • 4.56

Skinny: Hard worker with a straight-ahead style to suit his build. Not as talented as some but will work his way toward success.

Jeremy Hill • LSU • 6-1 • 233 • 4.66

Skinny: Powerful runner yet runs high, which is not a good way to go through life in the NFL. Could be a top back but too many off-field red flags.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Sammy Watkins • Clemson • 6-1 • 211 • 4.43

Skinny: By far the elite of a deep group and top-5 pick. Good speed and size and ready to make an impact.

Mike Evans • Texas A&M • 6-5 • 231 • 4.53

Skinny: Tall and mega-productive (69 catches, 20.2-yard average) in a pass-happy conference.

Brandin Cooks • Oregon State • 5-10 • 189 • 4.33

Skinny:Great speed and knows how to use it. Never missed a game. One drawback is his size, but that hasn't stopped Antonio Brown at the same size.

Kelvin Benjamin • Florida State • 6-5 • 240 • 4.61

Skinny: Has size like a tight end and among the slowest of the top receivers. Huge target with big wingspan and production.

Marqise Lee • USC • 6-0 • 192 • 4.52

Skinny: Press coverage won't work on him. Some red flags because of various injuries last season.

CENTERS

Marcus Martin

Marcus Martin • USC • 6-3 • 320 • 5.28

Skinny: Another weak bunch. This one, though, has a good punch, good leverage and good quickness.

Weston Richburg • Colorado State • 6-3 • 298 • 5.10

Skinny: Started every game in four-year career and developed every step of the way. Could go ahead of Martin in second round.

Travis Swanson • Arkansas • 6-5 • 312 • 5.28

Skinny: He will need to get much stronger to become a consistent player at this position.

Russell Bodine • North Carolina • 6-3 • 310 • 5.18

Skinny: Can play guard as well, enhancing his value. Short arms limit him, but has a tenacity and toughness that grows on scouts.

Gabe Ikard • Oklahoma • 6-4 • 304 • 5.13

Skinny: Late-round pick at best. Not strong nor especially agile, but plays well enough.

GUARDS

Zack Martin

Zack Martin • Notre Dame • 6-4 • 308 • 5.22

Skinny: Even though he never played guard, is projected there and should be mid-first round pick. Should start immediately.

Xavier Su'a-Filo • UCLA • 6-4 • 307 • 5.04

Skinny: Started 38 games. Is a mature junior. Served 2-year Mormon mission after starting as freshman. Started half last season at LT, but belongs at guard.

Gabe Jackson • Mississippi State • 6-3 • 336 • 5.51

Skinny: Opinions and talent fall off here. Strong enough, smart enough but does not have great quickness.

Joel Bitonio • UCLA • 6-4 • 302 • 4.97

Skinny: Another tackle, where he started 38 games, projected to play guard in the NFL because of his arm length and build.

David Yankey • Stanford • 6-6 • 315 • 5.48

Skinny: Leverage is not his strong point as he does not get low, but otherwise a decent blocker and two-time All-American.

TACKLES

Jake Matthews

Greg Robinson • Auburn • 6-5 • 332 • 4.92

Skinny: A stud who will go in the top five. Has it all - size, strength, agility, toughness. A pure left tackle who will start immediately.

Jake Matthews • Texas A&M 6-6 • 308 • 5.07

Skinny: Top-10 pick, an outstanding left tackle and son of Houston Oilers Hall of Famer Bruce with an uncle and two cousins who are NFL players.

Taylor Lewan • Michigan • 6-7 • 309 • 4.87

Skinny: Should be third LT picked in the first round, somewhere closer to the middle. Some comparisons made to Michigan alum Jake Long.

Cyrus Kouandjio • Alabama • 6-7 • 322 • 5.59

Skinny: Started 26 games at LT past two seasons after returning from torn ACL, MCL. Dropoff here. Not likely to sneak into first round.

Ja'Wuan James • Tennessee • 6-6 • 311 • 5.34

Skinny: Started more games, 49, than any offensive lineman in Vols history. Right tackle, which is not valued as highly.

TIGHT ENDS

Eric Ebron

Eric Ebron • North Carolina • 6-4 • 250 • 4.60

Skinny: May be slightly overrated because the NFL is putting more value on tall, pass-catching tight ends and there aren't many available.

Troy Niklas • Notre Dame • 6-7 • 270 • 4.86

Skinny: Can block and is one huge target in the receiving game. However, not a consensus here and big dropoff from Ebron.

Jace Amaro • Texas Tech • 6-5 • 265 • 4.74

Skinny: Purely a receiver; don't ask him to line up next to the tackle and block. Like LeGarrette Blount, punched a player and was suspended.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins • Washington • 6-6 • 262 • 4.75

Skinny: Another big receiver who is not much of a blocker. DUI conviction a red flag.

C.J. Fiedorowicz • Iowa • 6-6 • 265 • 4.76

Skinny: Good receiver, good blocker, he could fit the Steelers if they wanted to get one in the fourth round or there abouts.

FULLBACKS

Trey Millard

Trey Millard • Oklahoma • 6-2 • 247 • 4.87

Skinny: Not much of a blocker, but he can do a lot of things at a position that is disappearing in the NFL and the draft.

Jay Prosch • Auburn • 6-1 • 254 • 4.72

Skinny: If you want a pure blocker at fullback, this is your man. Otherwise, move to the next guy.

J.C. Copeland • LSU • 5-11 • 271 • 4.95

Skinny: Huge man who can run and block. Can be an intimidating force in an offense.

PUNTER

Tom Hornsey • Memphis • 6-4 • 221 • 5.05

Skinny: Ray Guy Award winner as best punter in game last season. Consistent, Australian native averaged 45.2 yards last season.

KICKERS

Chris Boswell

Chris Boswell • Rice • 6-2 • 185 • 4.93

Skinny: Outstanding distance, had 54 touchbacks on 70 kickoffs. However, it's not a good year for kicking prospects.

Anthony Fera • Texas • 6-2 • 211 • 4.85

Skinny: Set Longhorns record by making 15 consecutive FG attempts last season, 83.7 percent for his career FG attempts.

Cairo Santos • Tulane • 5-8 • 164 • 4.76

Skinny: Brazilian native and Lou Groza winner. Made all 21 of FG attempts last year and has made one from 59 yards.


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