Categorized | 2014 Draft, Article

The Good, Bad And Ugly Among 2014 Draft Prospects


By Dave-Te Thomas, The NFL Draft Report Editor

The NFL Draft Report staff bases their rankings according to professional projections, and not where they might be selected in the draft. Here is an early look on who we feel is the best, most underrated and most overrated at each position among draft eligible players;

THE OFFENSE
POSITION CREAM OF THE CROP MOST UNDERRATED MOST OVERRATED
QUARTERBACK Teddy Bridgewater Brett Smith Johnny Manziel
Louisville Wyoming Texas A&M
WIDE RECEIVER Sammy Watkins Odell Beckham Mike Evans
Clemson Louisiana State Texas A&M
Marqise Lee Jordan Matthews Donte Moncrief
Southern California Vanderbilt Mississippi
TIGHT END Austin Seferian-Jenkins Joe Don Duncan Colt Lyerla
Washington Dixie State Oregon
TAILBACK Bishop Sankey Charles Sims De’Anthony Thomas
Washington West Virginia Oregon
FULLBACK J.C. Copeland Nikita Whitlock (DT) Chris Coyle
Louisiana State Wake Forest Arizona State
CENTER Travis Swanson Gabe Ikard Russell Bodine
Arkansas Oklahoma North Carolina
OFFENSIVE TACKLE Jake Matthews Billy Turner Taylor Lewan
Texas A&M North Dakota State Michigan
Greg Robinson Wesley Johnson Antonio Richardson
Auburn Vanderbilt Tennessee
OFFENSIVE GUARD Xavier Su’a-Filo Joel Bitonio (OT) Chris Watt
UCLA Nevada Notre Dame
Cyril Richardson Brandon Thomas (OT) Anthony Steen
Baylor Clemson Alabama
PLACEKICKER Chris Boswell Nate Freese Cody Parkey
Rice Boston College Auburn
THE DEFENSE
POSITION CREAM OF THE CROP MOST UNDERRATED MOST OVERRATED
DEFENSIVE END Jadeveon Clowney Chris Smith Jadeveon Clowney
South Carolina Arkansas South Carolina
Stephon Tuitt James Gayle Aaron Lynch
Notre Dame Virginia Tech ]South Florida
DEFENSIVE TACKLE RaShede Hageman Will Sutton Dominique Easley
Minnesota Arizona State Florida
Timmy Jernigan Ego Ferguson Anthony Johnson
Florida State Louisiana State Louisiana State
NOSE GUARD Louis Nix III Ryan Carrethers Daniel McCullers
Notre Dame Arkansas State Tennessee
INSIDE LINEBACKER C.J. Mosley Chris Borland A.J. Johnson
Alabama Wisconson Tennessee
Shane Skov Yawin Smallwood Andrew Jackson
Stanford Connecticut Western Kentucky
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER Trent Murphy Carl Bradford Kyle Van Noy
Stanford Arizona State Brigham Young
Anthony Barr Denicos Allen Morgan Breslin
UCLA Michigan State Southern California
CORNERBACK Darqueze Dennard Lamarcus Joyner Jason Verrett
Michigan State Florida State Texas Christian
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu Pierre Desir Marcus Roberson
Oregon Lindenwood (Mo.) Florida
FREE SAFETY Kenny Ladler Calvin Pryor Hasean Clinton-Dix
Vanderbilt Louisville Alabama
STRONG SAFETY Deone Bucannon Isaiah Lewis Craig Losten
Washington State Michigan State Louisiana State
PUNTER Kirby Van Der Kamp Cody Webster Tyler Campbell
Iowa State Purdue Mississippi
LONG SNAPPER Trevor Gillette Andrew Suter Philip Doumar
Rice Oklahoma State Florida State

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • SteelersDepot

    Our buddy Dave-Te is starting to pass some things along and I will be sure to start posting them for discussion. He will be back on the podcast as a guest after the Super Bowl. If you’ve listened to him before, you know what a hoot he is.

  • steeltown

    Nice post

  • StrengthOfVictory

    All those draft analysis episodes of the podcast last offseason were great. Definitely keep ‘em coming. I seem to recall him raving about Stedman Bailey last time. I only bring that up, because I’m eager to hear who he thinks would make a good addition at WR for the Steelers.

  • kev4heels

    Olumu went back for his Senior season if I remember correctly. I think Dave-Te is having Milwaukee Bucks deja-vu with Sidney Moncrief. LOL

  • BurgherinMD

    Thanks. Lindy’s Draft Guide does not hit stores till March this is great. A WR named Sidney Moncreif? I thought he was a point guard for the Milwaukee Bucks in the 80s :)

  • RW

    Surprised they included long snapper. Hilarious that Clowney is both cream of the crop and most overrated. People love him or hate him, I guess. Definitely agree w Dennard as the top corner. Would love to grab Isaiah Lewis at SS somewhere on Day 2/3. He’s ridiculously good. Don’t necessarily agree with Easley as overrated, but we’ll see where he lands. Anyone know what Sefarian-Jenkins’ draft stock is like right now? Havent seen him mocked in the first round anywhere yet.

  • JT

    I’m okay with Kilby Van Der Kamp in the 4th #Varsitypunter

  • cp72

    Keep an eye on Beckham. 6 foot around 200 lbs runs fast and returns kicks….sounds like a Kevin Colbert pick.

  • steeltown

    Sefarian-Jenkins seems to be projected as a 2nd Rd pick by the majority, 3rd best TE overall, but I think it more depends on how Teams view the top 3 guys.. some people view him as the best all around prospect at his position

  • srdan

    i like htat clowney is on there twice

  • Alan Felicia

    IMO, Pittsburgh would need to draft a Free Safety, Calvin Pryor, rather than another SS like Lewis since they already are grooming Shamarko Thomas.
    Also, I’m surprised that this analyst feels Kyle Van Noy as being overrated. Thought Van Noy would be an ideal Steeler LB who has very good motor, can rush the passer, and very athletic to cover RBs or TEs.

  • John

    The more I see about the draft, the more I become convinced the Steelers will take a CB if there is anyone close to being worth the pick there at the time. I think one of the WRs would be terrific with the rest of the draft focused on D. However, the Steelers seem to think they can grab a WR anytime so my guess is we will draft CB, S, or DL with first pick. Unfortunately, in the system the Steelers play, it is unlikely that any of those positions will make a real impact this year. CB may be the best chance.

  • CW

    Clowney being on both the most overrated and cream of the crop lists makes total sense.

    Seen that guy stand around doing nothing some plays which could indicate the start of a lousy team player in the Pros and I’ve seen him rip apart other team’s offense plays nearly by himself.

    Can’t wait to see which Clowney shows up in the Pros next year. The one who doesn’t care and lets the play pass him by or the one that tries to devastate the opposing offense.

  • Dennis Nevinsky

    This must be an old analysis. I see 2 players, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu of Oregon and AJ Johnson, Tennessee who will be in the 2015 draft.

  • steeltown

    That’s why I am not on the cut Ike Taylor wagon, we need him for ONE more year while we groom the soon to be draft pick(s)

  • Alan Felicia

    Lookout for Brandon Coleman coming out of Rutgers – same size and speed to Kelvin Benjamin (6’5″, 220 lbs, 4.59 speed before combine). Projected to go 3rd or 4th round, may even go higher depending on his combine stats.

  • DrakePirate

    I tend to agree he is currently a 2nd round guy, but i think the top 3 TE’s could move around a lot depending on their interviews/combine numbers

  • David Edward

    I liked the Olomu kid from Oregon, but he’s not coming out. I still think Dennard would be the best pick for them @ 15. If he’s gone, then Gilbert from Oklahoma St. with DEs Tuitt and Hageman would be the three to target. If they’re gone, then the big WRs Evans, Benjamin, and TE come into the mix. I like Pryor, and don’t think he’s under-rated, but he’s a guy that would be gone by the 2nd. Ladler is another FS I think would be a good fit..not sure he’ll still be around for a late 3rd comp pick, and @47 may be too high.

  • DrakePirate

    4th ?? way too high for a punter unless he is ridiculously good … haven’t seen him on film yet … whats the deal have u watched him a lot ?

  • DrakePirate

    agreed!

  • John

    I absolutely agree – although I think they want Ike back just at a better price. The big problem the Steelers have is the FO is allowing what turn out to be key players to remain unsigned into FA or contract years and then we either need to overpay or lose them. If Wallace was still with us, WR would be set. If Lewis was here, CB would be set. If Worilds was no issue, OLB would be set. Do you see a pattern? This is a huge problem and we may see it again on the DL depending on what happens with Woods, Hood, etc.

  • DrakePirate

    I am pretty confident they will not pick a DB in round one, there really isn’t that much value there and they usually dont go that direction 1st round. One of the stud TE’s is the safest and best value in the 1st round … it hits a priority of need while also filling in the Red Zone threat we lack … i put it at 70%+ that they will go that direction in 1st round

  • DrakePirate

    Here is to hoping we pick up one of the LS on the list !

  • SumnerYoung

    How could you forget about that highly touted 6’4 220 lb. physical specimen known as Limas Sweed? That was a Colbert 2nd rounder. He is much better at identifying and finding smaller receivers on days 2 and 3 of the draft. While I do agree with your assessment of Beckham, another player of similar stature is Marquise Lee at pick 1.15 or a potential first round trade down. Lee is 6’0 195 lbs. with great speed, and great production in a top tier conference. Lee looks like the perfect blend of Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace to me. And I’m talking about the good traits of those guys, not the bad.

  • steeltown

    Indeed, I HAVE been on the if at all possible extend Heyward and C.Allen now wagon
    I think Ike will take pay reduction, I seem to remember him stating that he would this past year. He and the Rooneys have a very tight relationship.

  • John

    I could see TE as a possibility. Although with Miller, Spaeth, David Johnson, etc., I am not sure it is an absolute need unless we can select the second coming of Eric Green and play a two TE set a ton. Other than WR, the main problem across the board is we have no defense.

  • SumnerYoung

    Please don’t draft a punter! Way too many holes on this team.

  • SteelersDepot

    It’s obvious that this was written prior to coming out decisions being made, so keep that in mind.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I am glad to see Seferian-Jenkins given some props. He is my favorite TE in the draft, above Ebron and WAY above Amaro, but that isn’t what you see or hear most places.

  • David Edward

    Lol! That’s pretty high odds. Actually, reality is that they likely won’t take a TE @15. They passed on a blue chip prospect in Eifert last year. Ebron is the only TE worthy of consideration that high, so unless it’s him, doubt they go with a TE day 1 or 2.

  • DrakePirate

    Well, Heath has only a couple years left and we dont have much of receiving options at TE behind him so i do think it is a priority … I do think we could use a two TE set that is becoming so popular now with a big athletic receiving TE … plus the biggest benefit would be it would give us a huge boost in the Red Zone which we desperately need !

  • Brian Tollini

    I think Roby from Ohio St. is the most overrated corner.

  • DrakePirate

    I actually think our needs on Offense and Defense are pretty equal … just a few pieces on both sides would complete the team …

    Offense .. one more stud on the OL, Big WR, Athletic receiving TE plus a change of pace back (4 picks)

    Defense – 2 CBs one Safety … and a LB plus stud DL (5 picks)

    with a good draft and some FA moves we could easily fill the needs by next offseason !

  • DrakePirate

    we do have a lot of needs and here is to hoping the guy from LSU -Wing we picked up works out … but i would not be against a comp-6th round pick for a good Punter … Field Position is sooo important and the punting team is usually behind that which can not be understated … we have a few late comp pics that we could spare one !

  • DrakePirate

    haven’t looked at him yet … but USC WRs scare me …

  • ATL96STEELER

    I think they will need to release Ike to afford Worilds so I do see the need being there early…I would prefer the two DL guys you mentioned over a CB @ 15 and maybe a guy like Purifoy @ 47. That said, I think the record might be a little better next season if they go with the big playmaker on OFC

    I hope they can land a big S with the 3rd rd comp pick…the kid from USC is projecting 2 or 3rd I think.

  • DrakePirate

    We need to extend those guys before they are unaffordable … which Cam is already on the verge of … we got lucky with Allen … he hasn’t blown up yet and I’m convinced he is our best CB and at worst a solid #2 CB … we still need a #1 ball hawk for Ike to Groom … maybe we can get lucky in the 2nd or 3rd round and pick up a stud !

  • ATL96STEELER

    Assuming all 3 go to teams with a good QB…I think Ebron will have the most impact next year as a pass catcher. He just seems like a pro ready player.

    With Amaro, I think the style he played in college may hold him back some. With that size and speed he’s going to be a mismatch for any LB and most S…put him with a team that will put him in the slot, or play him a lot more like J. Graham he will put up good numbers.

    Admittedly I have not seen Seferian-Jenkins play, but from what I’ve heard he’s a 20s pick maybe in the 1st round.

  • DrakePirate

    i’ll stand by my assessment … 15 is not too high for those guys .. would be awesome if we trade back and get one … but like i said at the end of the day i say we pick up a TE in the 1st … we shouldn’t have passed on Eifert last year, i think that was a mistake .. i just think they were sold on JJ which turns out Eifert so far would have been a much better pick !

  • DrakePirate

    probably !

  • JT

    Twas ment to be sarcastic. That’s what the varsity punter hashtag was for. Haven’t seen a second of film, lol

  • DrakePirate

    gotcha …

  • David Edward

    For Amaro and ASF it is because there are surely 15 better players available even if you back out the top QBs, so that would be reaching for a player at a position that’s not one of the critical needs. An argument could be made that maybe Ebron may be in that group.

  • cp72

    Oh man how did I forget Sweed and that makes me remember Fred Gibson. I retract all previous pleas for a tall WR….stick to the small guys!

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yup. Just like Lynn Swan used to scare everyone. Haha!

  • DrakePirate

    Actually i am in the camp that it is a critical need … and i really dont think its a reach for Amaro or Ebron … ASF i agree would be, because he is likely to go in late 1st or early 2nd

  • DrakePirate

    different era wow … but yes he is my all time favourite !

  • Callentown

    Not if Mack or Mosley fall to us at 15!

  • Callentown

    Defense need a DT, ILB, OLB, CB and S. Much more need with age and last year’s inability to stop teams when it mattered most, or even when it didn’t ;)

  • Callentown

    This is why I suggested AS-J in round 2 and a defensive player like Mosley in the first. No saying they will be there, but here’s wishing!!

  • Callentown

    Dave, he’s great to have on. Please keep him coming to the pod :)

  • Eric MacLaurin

    I love Mosley and murphy

  • SFIC

    If you want a prototypical TE who can block, then take SJ. But he does not have the speed or quickness to separate or get deep like Amaro or Ebron. So pick your poison my friends. For me it’s Amaro…the best receiving TE, by FAR in this draft. He would line up in the slot with or without another TE on the field. We still have Heath and I think the two on the field at the same time would be lethal. I see SJ as a potential successor to Heath even though he’s not as good a blocker as Heath.

  • lefnor

    I like the Wesley Johnson mention. My OG ranking is completely different. The top 3: Martin, Yankey and Gabe Jackson.

  • Aric Brown

    LOL @ Jadeveon Clowney in both categories

  • Aric Brown

    This is the consensus opinion about his speed… I’m anxious to actually see the 40 times though

  • Aric Brown

    Not now… but RIGHT NOW

  • Aric Brown

    Punter is arguably the biggest hole

  • Aric Brown

    If we can trade back with San Francisco and still be able to draft Sefarian-Jenkins… I couldn’t be happier

  • RW

    I think ultimately you’re right. I didn’t think past what is bound to happen this year (i.e. Shamarko playing FS with Troy likely still manning the SS spot). Thomas is clearly more a SS than a FS, so I agree that a FS is more of an imminent need. I like Van Noy as well. There were a couple on here I disagreed with for sure (mostly in the overrated column), but to each their own.

  • Matt Manzo

    I’ve been dying for some Rutgers players! I’ll check him out, thanx for the tip!

  • Alan Felicia

    Thomas at SS, Polamalu at FS, would like to see that come to fruition. IMO, if Polamalu switches to FS and becomes more of a ball hawk rather than a hybrid LB, he would probably extend his career another 4-5 years. Polamalu can still cover alot ground, has great hands (well better than any of the team’s defensive backs), and less hits within the line of scrimmage means less injuries.

  • MC

    Trade down if possible. Too many holes and this draft seems to be deep in positions we need.
    Draft a CB high, I don’t want to see another Curtis Brown and there isnt much room to groom one ala Keenan Lewis with how our pass D was this season. Keep Ike for atleast another year.
    Draft a FS high as Shark is going to be Troys replacement not Clarkes even though he’ll probably play some deep middle here and there. Plus if Clarke isn’t back we might need to take a FS with the first pick..
    Stay away from TE. Heath has a few more years left and I would take a TE mid to high next draft or a definite first rounder in a couple years.
    Take a big bodied receiver. I believe the Sweed pick years ago could have something to do with our bad luck drafting Longhorn players.
    Try to get Kiesel back for cheap and draft another D lineman.
    Nail the O lineman coach hire and pray he get the most out of the talent we got whilst drafting O lineman for depth only this season.
    If financially feasible, sign Howlings for another year to compliment Bell.
    ^ Just a few things i hope to see happen.

  • David Edward

    Now there’s something I agree with you on. If Shamarko is the future SS, play him there, not FS then move him in a year. Troy knows the D and can play FS, and can do everything Clark did (when Clark was in his prime) plus still bring speed and ballhawking to the position. Not sure about the 4-5 years, but at least for 2014.

  • DrakePirate

    id rather have ebron or amaro than mack or mosley … little tired of our high LB picks lately … they take too long to develop and we haven’t hit a home run with any of them lately

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    As much as i want a secondary player in round one i would be happy with m.lee/watkins or one of the top tes hell even dl i think were in good shape to make some serious noise next year if we have a draft like last year

  • RW

    I agree with you about the switch to FS for Troy – just less optimistic about the 4-5 years part. I’d say he’s got 2 more years, maybe a 3rd sort of Hines Ward-there-to-coach final year.

  • Callentown

    C’mon Drake! Have faith. Besides, there’s no guarantee with ANY player picked.

    Just imagine the impact if one of those dudes does fall to us – which I know is a long shot, and then we move up and take Sef-Jenk in the 2nd.

    Just . . . damn!! :)

  • steeltown

    I’d be happy with that

  • Callentown

    I’m far from an expert on AS-J. But he compares to Gronk – same speed (4.65 40time) and a little bigger actually.

    I’d take that ANY day my friend.

    Also, speed is great, but there have always been players (Jerry Rice and Emmit Smith to name two legends) who have not had great speed, but have game speed.

  • Callentown

    I don’t see him getting past Seattle with the 31st pick in the draft.

  • John

    Trading down to 22 or so does seem to be a good possibility if we are not going to take a specific WR and if NT is not the pick. It depends on how QB happy other teams get, but it may be that pick 15 holds lesser value for us than others. As to Amaro, keep in mind that Texas Tech does not play a real offense so his background in questionable. We need starters in the draft so I see this draft as different from prior versions. The “draft someone and wait three years” philosophy will put us in mediocrity for the next five years.

  • John Hinton

    Great suggestion.

  • DrakePirate

    Im all for trading down … but it appears many on the board have forgotten just how awful our Offense was last year during the first month …. one of the worst i have ever seen and our defense was actually the ones that were keeping us in the games … i think this has been lost on everybody …

    looking at the games we actually played well defensively much more than not … we only had a handful of bad defensive games .. and yet we had several games on offense that we struggled and could have used a red zone threat to win the tight game … So i guess that is my reasoning for the elite TE to pair up with Heath … lets not forget we are going to be needing another TE again in a couple years so i would rather get one sooner than later and not have to get both after heath is gone !

  • DrakePirate

    boy would that be a great pick for them … u are probably spot on with that projection … unless they prioritise somebody else, but agreed he would fit perfectly there and I’m sure they would be thrilled to get him !

  • DrakePirate

    what makes you so high on Jenkins ? I agree he has all the skill and talent to be great, but seems to be lazy, play under his potential and some off field issues … clue me in on your thoughts ?

  • Callentown

    Agreed for sure that there is a need at TE next year.

  • Alan Felicia

    Here are two CBs to look for especially at this weekend’s Senior Bowl:
    Stanley Jean-Baptiste – Nebraska (6’3″, 215 lbs)
    Keith McGill – Utah (6’3″, 215 Ibs)
    Jaylen Watkins – Florida (6′, 195 lbs)
    Big, physical Corners, who are currently projected in the 3rd round (to eventually replace Ike Taylor and add depth). Pittsburgh need to developed physical Corners to go up against Baltimore (Smith 6’0, Jones, 6’2″, Brown 6’4″) and Cincy (Jones, 6’2″, Sanu 6’2″, Green 6’4″) WRs.

  • DrakePirate

    couldn’t disagree more

  • DrakePirate

    i completely agree … 1st and 2nd rounders need to be immediate contributors … we can not afford to draft high round players and play the waiting game while they get good and sign the next contract with someone else

  • DrakePirate

    i haven’t seen a lot of them, but I’m very interested in Jean-Baptiste and Purifoy from florida

  • RMSteeler

    Refreshing Underrated Players listings, Dave-Te. So glad to see an analyst recognize non-FBS, less winning FBS program, and lower profile FBS conferences in your underrated column! It remains to be seen if the Steelers vary from their BPA toward BP,s based-on-need this year in rounds 1-6. One thing I’d like to see is to be more like the Patriots (hold on a sec on this), and overload the UDFA based-on-need positions for the preseason roster. I believe one year the Pats signed 15 or so UDFA TE’s. And, look at them when their stars went down in 2013. They should have been devastated by the loss of both of their star TE’s, as well as MANY other players. They lost more key players than the Steelers, I believe, and barely skipped a beat by plugging in their “no name” depth players. Did they win more close games than usual? Yeah, but they WON them. Better prospect evaluation than the Steelers? Better coaching staff? These can be debated. One thing that Dave-Te seems to realize is that there are polished, cut diamond players and not just rough diamonds at all levels of college that are greatly devalued by draft analysts. Players with superb skills, attitude, and athleticism are there on bad and mediocre teams too. Teams draft individual players, not their college teams or conferences. Posters: Who is YOUR ONE Round 7, underrated, polished (in your opinion) diamond? Who are some of YOUR top potential UDFA based-on-need picks? And please, no top rated 200 players allowed in your UDFA list. Here’s to the Steelers being the best underrated BP UDFA diamond miners in the 2014 draft! Would love to hear you, Dave-Te, expand on this or these subjects in some of your podcasts this year. You can win games by hitting more singles than home runs. Sometimes even the single hitters hit home runs.

If you enjoy our content & podcast, feel free to buy us a cup of coffee below.
Shop for 2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Nike and New Era Team Gear at Fanatics

Archives