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Steve Geller

"WWL First News" Sports Anchor
Weekdays 5am-10am

"Sports Talk" Producer
Weekdays 4pm-8pm

Twitter: @stevegellerWWL
Email: steve@wwl.com

Steve: A look at top QBs, RBs and WRs in 2014 NFL Draft

With the schedule finally being released, the next big event for the NFL is the draft which kicks-off with round 1 on Thursday, May 8th.   Here is a look at some of the top talent that will be available on the offensive side of the football.

  1. Johnny Manziel:                    5ft11 208lbs         Texas A&M
Johnny Football’s creativity, elusiveness and production versus the defenses of the mighty SEC cannot be denied, but there are plenty of question marks surrounding the young man.  Height, lack of a pocket presence and concerns over durability could cause teams in the top 10 to pass on the Heisman Trophy winner. 
  1. Blake Bortles:               6ft5 232lbs                    Central Florida
Has the size along with a big arm QB guru’s drool over and while not a running QB, isn’t a statue either and can scramble for yards.  Many feel he is the signal caller with the most upside but isn’t ready to start day one for a franchise. 
  1. Teddy Bridgewater:     6ft2 215lbs                    Louisville
At the beginning of the 2013 season Bridgewater was at the top of just about everyone’s draft board, but his recent pro day workout has caused his stock to plummet.  He has an above average arm and is mobile, but not a real running threat a-la Cam Newton.  There are also concerns about possible durability issues in the NFL due to his thin frame.   
  1. Derek Carr:                  6ft2 215lbs                    Fresno State
Have heard some analysts call Carr the most natural passer in this class.  He has great vision, a strong arm and is your prototypical pocket passer.  The problem is he beat up a bunch of weak teams playing at Freson State.  Will his success translate to the pros?
  1. Jimmy Garoppolo:       6ft2 225lbs                    Eastern Illinois
Folks sure do love this kid’s quick release and arm strength, with his biggest knock being the level of completion he played against.  I’ve also read some who criticize his hand size.  I view him as a round 3 selection, but have a feeling a team will panic and reach for him in the 2nd.
  1. Carlos Hyde:                 6ft  230lbs            Ohio State
Is the kind of RB who will either run thorough or over you.  POWER is the name of his game and could easily be the feature guy for any NFL team.  Hyde is also a receiving threat as he has surprisingly good hands for a bigger back.  Has had off the field problems and served a 3 game suspension after a video showed he attempted to strike a woman in a bar.
  1. Jeremy Hill:                  6ft1 233lbs           LSU 
The only red flag I hear about Hill are his off the field issues, which he has seemingly put behind him after his LSU teammates voted him back onto the team.  What I see is 3 down potential in the pros with the ability to dominate a game.  Has the power to put defenders on their backs to go along with a speed burst that makes him difficult to track down. 
  1. Tre Mason:                 5ft8 207lbs           Auburn               
Monster games against Missouri and Alabama really propelled his name into national attention.  While small in size, showed the ability to break tackles to go along with his speed.  Mason’s size may prevent him from being a feature back in the NFL, but his value lies in the cat-like cutting ability along with his quickness.
  1. Bishop Sankey:             5ft9 210lbs           Washington
Sankey is another back that may be small in size but sure packs a punch.  Has great vision along with sweet cutting ability that allows him to gain extra yards after contact.  He also has great hands and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. 
  1. Ka’Deem Carey            5ft9 207lbs           Arizona
This young man would be ranked higher if he didn’t have some off the off the field concerns and had a better showing at the NFL combine.  But Carey is quick, with good power in his lower body and even catches the ball well out the backfield.  His vision and football IQ are also considered some of the best in the class at this position.

  1. Sammy Watkins:                   6ft1 200lbs           Clemson
One word to describe Watkins is EXPLOSIVE.  If he touches the football he is a threat to score. He has excellent hands and speed; a few extra inches height wise would be nice but Watkins is still easily the best receiver in this year’s class.  Many are comparing to the likes of AJ Green of the Cincinnati Bengals. 
  1. Mike Evans:                  6ft4   231lbs         Texas A&M
Evans was physically imposing in every game he played in last year no matter who he was matched up against.  His arms seem abnormally long and give him a devastating reach to haul in passes.  Another big plus is he is not afraid to block.  Evans must watch his temper though and avoid taking stupid penalties.
  1. Odell Beckham Jr.        5ft11 198lbs                  LSU
Fill a dual need for a team as OBJ can be one of your top receivers and also continue on special teams as a return man.  Speed is in his genes as his mom was a track star while he also gets athleticism from his dad who was a running back at LSU.  Beckham’s big hands cradle passes like soft pillows and is a sure thing to be taken in round 1.
  1. Brandin Cooks:            5ft9   189lbs         Oregon State
Sure he is a bit undersized, but should be able to play the slot in the NFL.  Will be a mismatch problem and can stretch the field vertically with hits jets that should be able to burn the top corners in the league.  Cooks is also a great route runner and has good hands.  He should be a lethal weapon on 3rd downs.
  1. Marqise Lee:                 5ft11 192lbs         USC
Lee has seen his draft stock dip due to health concerns, but is hell when he’s well as a pass catcher and a return man.  Finding the ball is no problem and has suburb hand-eye coordination.  Had a disappointing 2013 though sue to a knee injury.  That could be a concern at the pro level since the body takes even more of a beating.   

Tags :  
Locations : AlabamaArizonaCentral FloridaEastern IllinoisLouisvilleMissouriWashington
People : Blake BortlesCam NewtonCarlos HydeDerek CarrJeremy HillJimmy GaroppoloJohnny ManzielMike EvansOdell Beckham Jr.Sammy WatkinsTeddy Bridgewater

04/24/2014 3:52PM
Steve: A look at top QBs, RBs and WRs in 2014 NFL Draft
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