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2014 NFL Draft Positional Rankings

Curt PopejoyContributor ISeptember 21, 2013

2014 NFL Draft Positional Rankings

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    No sporting event that doesn't involve an actual game or match inspires the enthusiasm and energy that the NFL draft does. Even in September, barely three weeks into the NFL season, fans are already talking about which players their team needs to draft in 2014 to put their franchise over the top.

    This is a comprehensive ranking of the top 10 senior prospects for the 2014 NFL draft, as well as a ranking of a few of the top underclassmen.

    The strength of any draft lies in its elite underclassmen, so you can see by adding those names to these rankings just how much stronger this draft would become.

    Understand also that these rankings are fluid. Each of these prospects will have an opportunity to help himself a great deal as the season goes on, and these lists will therefore fluctuate.

    So sit back and enjoy these first positional rankings of the year.

Quarterbacks

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    This is a very nice group of quarterbacks, and it seems to be improving each week. There will be plenty of NFL teams looking for that next franchise signal-caller, and this group could produce a couple.

     

    Top 10 Senior Quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
    2. David Fales, San Jose State
    3. Stephen Morris, Miami
    4. Aaron Murray, Georgia
    5. Bryn Renner, North Carolina
    6. AJ McCarron, Alabama
    7. Jeff Matthews, Cornell
    8. Zach Mettenberger, LSU
    9. Cody Green, Tulsa
    10. Tyler Russell, Miss. State

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
    2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
    3. Brett Hundley, UCLA
    4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
    5. Chuckie Keeton, Utah State

Running Backs

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    The running back position is one that is typically under-drafted based on talent and the fact that the shelf life of an NFL running back is so short. This is a solid but not spectacular group with a few players at the top who could start right away.

     

    Top 10 Senior Running Backs for 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Charles Sims, West Virginia
    2. LaDarius Perkins, Miss. State
    3. Damien Williams, Oklahoma
    4. Silas Redd, USC
    5. Marion Grice, Arizona State
    6.  John Hubert, Kansas State
    7. James White, Wisconsin
    8. Alfred Blue, LSU
    9. Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky
    10. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona
    2. Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
    3. Bishop Sankey, Washington
    4. James Wilder Jr. Florida State

Wide Receivers

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    With a league transitioning more toward rewarding the passing game, this group is exciting for NFL franchises. There could be as many as four of these wide receivers drafted in the top 15 picks of the 2014 NFL draft.

     

    Top 10 Senior Wide Receivers for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
    2. Mike Davis, Texas
    3. Josh Huff, Oregon
    4. Cody Hoffman, BYU
    5. Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
    6. Devin Street, Pitt
    7. Kevin Norwood, Alabama
    8. Tevin Reese, Baylor
    9. Tracy Moore, Oklahoma State
    10. TJ Jones, Notre Dame

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Marqise Lee, USC
    2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    3. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
    4. De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
    5. Rashad Greene, Florida State

Tight Ends

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    It has become very fashionable to utilize multiple tight ends in the passing game. This makes great receiving tight ends a hot commodity. This class is dotted with some players with tremendous potential, but ones who haven't been able to put it together on the field.

     

    Top Five Senior Tight Ends for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
    2. Marcel Jenkins, Fresno State
    3. Arthur Lynch, Georgia
    4. Asa Watson, North Carolina State
    5. Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Colt Lyerla, Oregon
    2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
    3. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
    4. Eric Ebron, North Carolina

Offensive Tackles

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    Protecting a team's quarterback is a top priority for every NFL team. Fortunately, this group appears to have several players who look like they can develop into franchise left tackles, which means they will end up being very high selections.

     

    Top 10 Senior Offensive tackles for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Taylor Lewan, Michigan
    2. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
    3. Seantrel Henderson, Miami
    4. James Hurst, North Carolina
    5. Ja'Wuan James, Tennessee
    6. Cornelius Lucas, Kansas State
    7. Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
    8. Morgan Moses, Virginia
    9. Ryan Groy, Wisconsin
    10. Austin Wentworth, Fresno State

     

    Top Underclassman

    1. Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
    2. Antonio Richardson, Tennessee
    3. Cameron Erving, Florida State
    4. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M

Offensive Guards/Centers

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    This is a solid group of interior offensive linemen. Big, mauling guards and centers are the unsung heroes of the offensive line, and there are some very powerful players on this list.

     

    Top Five Senior Offensive Guards/Centers in the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Cyril Richardson, Baylor
    2. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
    3. Travis Swanson (center), Arkansas
    4. Zack Martin, Notre Dame
    5. Chris Burnette, Georgia

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. David Yankey, Stanford
    2. Hroniss Grasu (center), Oregon
    3. Malcolm Bunche, Miami

Defensive Ends

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    College football continues to produce group after group of impressive pass-rushers, and this year is no different. This 2014 group has everything you could ask for, with a tremendous variety of defensive ends.

     

    Top Ten Senior Defensive Ends for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Trent Murphy, Stanford
    2. Ed Stinson, Alabama
    3. James Gayle, Virginia Tech
    4. Kareem Martin, North Carolina
    5. Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
    6. Josh Mauro, Stanford
    7. Chris Smith, Arkansas
    8. Taylor Hart, Oregon
    9. Trevor Reilly, Utah
    10. Ben Gardner, Stanford

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
    2. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
    3. Aaron Lynch, USF
    4. Scott Crichton, Oregon State
    5. Kony Ealy, Missouri

Defensive Tackles

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    The 2014 crop of defensive tackles is really good. There are massive nose tackles who can stuff the run and lean pass-rushing interior players. This variety in style will really mix the order players are taken next April.

     

    Top Ten Senior Defensive Tackles for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Will Sutton, Arizona State
    2. Dominique Easley, Florida
    3. Daniel McCullers, Tennessee
    4. Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
    5. Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas State
    6. DaQuan Jones, Penn State
    7. Deandre Coleman, Cal
    8. Beau Allen, Wisconsin
    9. Bruce Gaston, Purdue
    10. Tim Jackson, North Carolina

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
    2. Anthony Jonson, LSU
    3. George Uko, USC
    4. Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

Outside Linebackers

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    The role of an outside linebacker in the NFL is forever evolving and can vary greatly depending on the team. This group is loaded at the top, whether you are looking for a 3-4 outside linebacker to rush the passer or a 4-3 backer to do a little of everything.

     

    Top Ten Senior Outside Linebackers for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Anthony Barr, UCLA
    2. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
    3. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
    4. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
    5. Christian Jones, FSU
    6. Morgan Breslin, USC
    7. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
    8. Prince Shembo, Notre Dame
    9. Marquis Flowers, Arizona
    10. Darrin Kitchens, Florida

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
    2. Adrian Hubbard, Alabama
    3. Ronald Powell, Florida

Inside Linebackers

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    Inside linebackers are becoming more and more important in the NFL. They are on the field to do much more than just stuff the run. This class has some nice talent, but it's not great. There are a couple of names on this list who have a real shot to move up, but don't be shocked if none of these players end up being drafted in the first round.

     

    Top Ten Senior Inside Linebackers for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Shayne Skov, Stanford
    2. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
    3. Telvin Smith, Florida State
    4. Lamin Barrow, LSU
    5. Max Bullough, Michigan State
    6. Preston Brown, Louisville
    7. Greg Blair, Cincinnati
    8. Avery Williamson, Kentucky
    9. DeDe Lattimore, South Florida
    10. James Morris, Iowa

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. A.J. Johnson, Tennessee
    2. Trey DePriest, Alabama
    3. Ramik Wilson, Georgia

Cornerbacks

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    Typically, the cornerback class is one of strength, with lots of talent at the top. This year's group looks to be down compared to previous seasons. There could be two or three cornerbacks go in the first round, but the real elite talent just isn't here.

     

    Top Ten Senior Cornerbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Jason Verrett, TCU
    2. Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma
    3. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
    4. Jaylen Watkins, Florida
    5. Antone Exum, Virginia Tech
    6. Bene Benwikere, San Jose State
    7. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
    8. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
    9. Carrington Byndom, Texas
    10. Keith McGill, Utah

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Bradley Roby, Ohio State
    2. Marcus Roberson, Florida
    3. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
    4. Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
    5. Tim Scott, North Carolina

Safeties

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    This safety group might lack the name recognition of of some other positions, but it could turn out to be very good. It could produce multiple stars with the variation in NFL defenses. This group runs the gamut of physical types and skill sets.

     

    Top Ten Senior Safeties for the 2014 NFL Draft

    1. Lamarcus Joyner, FSU
    2. Tre Boston, North Carolina
    3. C.J. Barnett, Ohio State
    4. Craig Loston, LSU
    5. Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
    6. Hakeem Smith, Louisville
    7. Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
    8. Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech
    9. Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt
    10. Jeremy Deering, Rutgers

     

    Top Underclassmen

    1. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
    2. Ed Reynolds, Stanford
    3. Dion Bailey, USC
    4. Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama

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