NFL teams are getting an up close and personal look at potential prospects with the start of the Scouting Combine. The event began on Saturday, Feb. 22 and will conclude on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
The top of the 2014 NFL Draft could be dominated by quarterbacks. Three different signal callers have been projected by various experts to go with the No.1 overall draft pick.
In recent drafts, a premium has not been placed on playmakers. Last year, only four combined wide receivers and tight ends were selected in the first round, while no running backs were taken in the first 32 picks. That number could increase this year, with a talented crop of offensive players entering the draft.
A few wide receivers should come off the board on Day One. Sammy Watkins of Clemson is the most highly rated at his position, and could be gone after the first few picks. After him, the like of Mike Evans and Marqise Lee could go in the top 20. Some of the best wide outs that don’t get taken in the first round could be gone early in the second round.
Two tight ends have the potential to be taken on the first day of the draft. North Carolina’s Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro of Texas Tech could be late first-round picks.
Organizations have been reluctant to spend their first-round picks on running backs, and there’s a good chance that trend will continue this year. The last two running backs to go on the first day were Trent Richardson and David Wilson in 2012, neither of whom have proven themselves to be consistent starters. Ka’Deem Carey, Tre Mason and Carlos Hyde all have an outside shot of being selected in the first round, but they are more likely to be taken on Day No.2.
Below is a 2014 NFL Mock Draft. It includes six offensive playmakers.
1) Houston Texans, DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
2) St. Louis Rams (via Washington), OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
3) Jacksonville Jaguars, QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
4) Cleveland Browns, QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
5) Oakland Raiders, WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
6) Atlanta Falcons, OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
8) Minnesota Vikings, QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida
9) Buffalo Bills, OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
10) Detroit Lions, CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
11) Tennessee Titans, OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA
12) New York Giants, OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
13) St. Louis, DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
14) Chicago Bears, DE Dee Ford, Auburn
15) Pittsburgh Steelers, DT Louis Nix, Notre Dam
16) Dallas Cowboys, ILB C.J. Mosley, Alabama
17) Baltimore Ravens, DE Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
18) New York Jets, WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M
19) Miami Dolphins, WR Marqise Lee, USC
20) Arizona Cardinals, DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
21) Green Bay Packers, CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
22) Philadelphia Eagles, S Terrence Brooks, Florida State
23) Kansas City Chiefs, C Marcus Martin, USC
24) Cincinnati Bengals, DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
25) San Diego Chargers, S Calvin Pryor, Louisville
26) Cleveland (via Indianapolis), WR Odell Beckham, LSU
27) New Orleans Saints, CB Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
28) Carolina Panthers, OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame
29) New England Patriots, TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
30) San Francisco 49ers, WR Davante Adams, Fresno State
31) Denver Broncos, CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
32) Seattle Seahawks, OG David Yankey, Stanford