2014 NFL Draft: Mike Evans Dominates His Way onto October Big Board
The 2014 NFL draft landscape is still mostly barren, but it has developed slightly after the first month of games.
There is still a lot of college football to be played, but some players have already helped or hurt their draft stock since I released my first big board for the 2014 draft last month.
There will still be a lot of fluctuation as the season wears on, but this should give at least a point of reference for who to keep an eye on throughout the fall.
Remember, this is not a mock draft; it is just ranking the 40 best draft-eligible college football players.
1. *Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Clowney has not had a multi-sack game or popped anyone's helmet off with a hit yet, so suddenly his never-realistic Heisman hopes are gone, and the media is beginning to start spinning the overrated wheel to generate fake buzz. Let me just say this: Clowney is by far the best player in the country. This article by Bleacher Report's own Brian Leigh does a great job dissecting Clowney's impact. Previous: 1
2. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Matthews is an absolute stud, and I think he is the clear top prospect at left tackle. With more and more teams opting to take quarterbacks early, plus the presence of Clowney, he could end up slipping out of the first three picks, which would make him a Matt Kalil-like steal. Previous: 2
3. *Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater's solid start has pushed him to an almost uncatchable distance ahead of the second-tier of quarterbacks (which is an extremely impressive tier). Bridgewater is a lot more than the Geno Smith hype-flash in a bottle; he really has all the makings of a franchise quarterback and will be one of the first two players picked in April. Previous: 5
4. *Marqise Lee, WR, Southern California
USC has really regressed into a mediocre Pac-12 team, and Cody Kessler and Max Wittek aren't great quarterbacks. As a result, Lee is really being forgotten by everyone, but he'll just start doing some otherworldly things with the ball in his hand and everyone will pay attention to him again. Previous: 4
5. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Lewan's biggest concern as a prospect has been his consistency, and he's definitely looked inconsistent at times this year. He wasn't great against lowly UConn and Akron, which are games that he needs to help Michigan dominate. Previous: 3
6. *Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
The massive 'Bama left tackle has anchored another great unit for Nick Saban's squad. He's a freakish athlete who may not threaten Matthews but could very possibly overtake Lewan as the second tackle on the board. Previous: 6
7. *Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Barr is an incredible athlete who comes in at 6'4", 248 lbs. with plenty of room to put on a little more weight once he gets to the NFL. Scouts will love his explosiveness and versatility. Previous: 8
8. *Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Watkins has looked dominant at times this season, using his breakaway speed and good hands to put together a few highlight-reel plays. I got the chance to see him in person this past Saturday as he tore apart Wake Forest's secondary multiple times. Previous: 10
9. Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
Nix has been solid as ever and hasn't really helped or hurt his draft stock. So, this report will consist of just how awesome and hilarious of a person that Nix is—watch all of his "Chocolate News" videos, they're hysterical. Any NFL team would love to have him be part of their organization. Previous: 7
10. C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama
Mosley is the best pure linebacker in the country; less of a pass-rusher than Barr but a much more complete player. I don't like listing him as an outside or inside linebacker, because I think he could play anywhere in a 3-4 and either weak or strong-side outside linebacker in a 4-3 if he worked at it. Previous: 12
11. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Watching Boyd live this past Saturday, I came away extremely impressed by his multitude of abilities. He can do a little bit of everything; he can run but also command the pocket, throw with velocity but also show touch. Previous: 13
12. *Brett Hundley
As good as Boyd has been, Hundley has really made a case for himself over the first month of the season. He is athletic and has a live arm, but he is just a sophomore and has a lot of room for growth. The ceiling is a top-five pick for Hundley should he decide to come out. Previous: 21
13. *Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
This is really becoming more and more of a projection pick, as Seferian-Jenkins hasn't broken out in 2013 yet after a great 2012 season. But his talent is off the charts, so the hope is there. Previous: 9
14. *Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
Tuitt had a pretty underwhelming start to the season, but then he had a big game in a defensive battle against Michigan State that showed his ability to combine strength and explosiveness off the line. He looks like a perfect NFL 4-3 defensive end. Previous: 11
15. Kyle Van Noy, OLB, Brigham Young
Van Noy is an outside linebacker prospect whose athleticism is evident every single time he steps on the field. Roll the tape against Texas from a couple weeks ago, and you'll see an elite prospect who causes havoc all over the field.
16. *Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
I knew a little about Evans before the season, but I had no idea just how talented the redshirt sophomore is. His dominating performance against Alabama put him on everyone's map, and his combination of 6'5" size and athleticism has him rightfully as the season's biggest riser so far. Previous: NR
17. Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
Jackson is a mauling run blocker who is just incredibly powerful from the inside. He's had a good start to the season and is cementing himself as the top guard in the class. His intangibles have also been praised by scouts and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen. Previous: 19
18. Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
After a great performance in the season opener against Ohio State, Mack and Buffalo's defense allowed Baylor to set a new school record for offense. But he's been solid since, and he remains a mid-round grade for me. Previous: 16
19. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Clinton-Dix has been a major part of Alabama's great start to the season, including a 25-0 shutout of Ole Miss last Saturday. He does everything well; he can cover, hit and make big plays in any situation. Previous: 23
20. *Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Roby had played in four blowouts leading up to the Wisconsin game, and he looked pretty exposed against a solid Badger passing attack. Roby should rebound, but he definitely didn't help his draft stock last Saturday. Previous: 14
21. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Matthews has been sensational so far this season, racking up 40 receptions and five touchdowns in five games. He's 6'3" and has the speed to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He's still flying too far under the radar. Previous: 24
22. *Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Mariota passes Stephen Morris on my board after a good start to his second season as a starter. His athleticism is unmatched, but he makes some sophomore-like mistakes, which is why his completion percentage is just 56.1 right now. His potential is unbelievably high. Previous: NR
23. *Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
Shazier's athleticism really stands out as an outside linebacker. He can do a bit of everything and has 26 solo tackles and a sack already this season. Previous: 20
24. *Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
At 6'6", 330 lbs., Richardson is an absolute mammoth of a left tackle who has held up so far under pressure even during a rough start to the season for Tennessee. He's still raw, and if he shows improvement, there's a lot of opportunity for him to move up the board. Previous: NR
25. Dominique Easley, DT, Florida
After an unbelievable start to the season, Easley suffered a torn ACL last week which would end his final year in Florida. He announced that he would not pursue a redshirt and enter the NFL draft. His stock will hinge on the progress of his recovery. Previous: NR
26. Loucheiz Purifoy, CB, Florida—Previous: 15
27. *Cameron Irving, OT, Florida State—Previous: NR
28. David Yankey, OG, Stanford—Previous: 26
29. *Aaron Lynch, DE, South Florida—Previous: 17
30. Stephen Morris, QB, Miami—Previous: 30
31. *Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State—Previous: 29
32. *Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon—Previous: 27
33. Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State—Previous: 25
34. *Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon—Previous: 22
35. Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor—Previous: NR
36. *Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina—Previous: NR
37. *Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M—Previous: NR
38. *Adrian Hubbard, OLB, Alabama—Previous: NR
39. *Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State—Previous: NR
40. Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers—Previous: 28
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