The competition is steep to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Considered by NFL Network’s Mike Mayock to be “the best draft (he’s) seen in 10 years,” some talented players may have to wait until at least Day 2 to hear their names called.
About 20 prospects are safe bets to be first-round picks. While it's uncertain how high they will actually go, players such as South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews, Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson and Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack will almost certainly be selected on the draft's opening day.
Outside of the top prospects, however, there might be more legitimate first-round possibilities who won’t end up being Thursday picks than there are fringe first-round picks who will actually end up inside the bubble.
The following prospects are sitting on that bubble. While all of them have enough talent and potential to be worthy selections in the top 32, none of them are being universally projected as first-round picks.