NFL Draft 2014: Latest Rumors and Predicted Landing Spots for Top Prospects

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NFL Draft 2014: Latest Rumors and Predicted Landing Spots for Top Prospects
Bob Leverone

With the NFL draft around a month away, the rumors surrounding some of this year's top prospects continue to swirl.

While some of the rumors going around right now may be legitimate, there's a pretty good chance that some of them are not. As the draft approaches, more and more teams will leak false rumors or "smoke screens" to try to throw off the rest of the league.

It's important to keep that in mind when reading rumors for the next month. Still, let's take a look at some of the latest buzz around the league regarding top prospects as well as predictions for where they might land.

 

Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

The Indiana Hoosiers haven't produced an exciting NFL draft prospect in quite some time, but wide receiver Cody Latimer might be climbing up draft boards.

Latimer was unable to do too much while at the NFL combine due to a foot injury. However, he was able to go through more drills during his pro day, and he really turned some heads. According to NFL.com's Gil Brandt, Latimer ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds and had a 39-inch vertical jump. Considering he's 6'2'' and 215 pounds, those were some impressive numbers from Latimer.

Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller tweeted that Latimer was generating a lot of buzz after his pro day, claiming that it's possible he could be drafted in the first or second round:

There's a lot to like about Latimer, especially after he caught 72 passes for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns last year. His combination of size and speed along with his strong hands and ability to create separation could be very helpful for a number of teams. While I don't think he'll slide into the first round, I don't think he'll last very long in the second.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 38 overall)

 

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

Michael Conroy

There are a number of teams heading into this year's draft that have glaring needs at safety. Considering there are maybe two or three first-round caliber safeties in this class, teams may be looking at Ha Ha Clinton-Dix—this year's top safety—pretty early.

The St. Louis Rams are one team that could really use some help in the secondary. In fact, Daniel Jeremiah from NFL Network was apparently told that Clinton-Dix likely won't make it past the Rams with the No. 13 overall pick if he's on the board:

Given what we saw at Alabama, Clinton-Dix looks ready to start at the next level. He has terrific range and the reaction time to break up passes on either sideline. While he's a difficult safety to throw against, Clinton-Dix also isn't afraid to move closer to the line of scrimmage and help in run support.

I really do think that the Rams will try to take Clinton-Dix with their second pick in the first round. He fills an obvious need and would help the team stop quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick in their own division.

Prediction: St. Louis Rams (No. 13 overall)

 

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Former Florida State receiver Kelvin Benjamin didn't get a ton of attention as an NFL prospect at the beginning of this past season. However, after putting up 446 yards and eight touchdowns over his last four games, Benjamin has become a potential first-round pick.

Benjamin towers over other receivers at 6'5'' and 240 pounds, and according to Manish Mehta from the New York Daily News, the New York Jets are very interested in him because of that size:

Considering the fact that the Jets really don't have a legitimate weapon for Geno Smith to throw to, it makes sense that they're interested in Benjamin. Then again, considering the fact that the Jets have the No. 18 overall pick, they're probably interested in a lot of weapons, as they could draft someone else like Eric Ebron, Odell Beckham Jr. or Marqise Lee.

The Jets may take someone else with their first-round pick and then wait to see where Benjamin falls. If the Jets don't take him, one team that might would be the Seattle Seahawks with the last pick in the first round. With Golden Tate and Sidney Rice gone, the Seahawks need to add some firepower, and giving Russell Wilson a weapon like Benjamin down the middle or in the red zone could go a long way.

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks (No. 32 overall)

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