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Meet the Most Physically Gifted Prospects of the 2014 Draft

Ryan RiddleCorrespondent IApril 9, 2014

Meet the Most Physically Gifted Prospects of the 2014 Draft

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    This is what one of the most physically gifted draft prospect looks like shirtless. Guess who...
    This is what one of the most physically gifted draft prospect looks like shirtless. Guess who...Associated Press

    In order to make it this far, NFL draft prospects have to be among an elite crop of athletes. But when it comes to physical tools, not all NFL hopefuls are built equal. 

    The NFL requires a diverse arsenal of weapons in order to thrive.

    At this level, on the biggest stage, 25 prospects dreaming of NFL glory have emerged as the most physically gifted of this year's draft class.

    Rating physical gifts requires much more than a fast 40 time. It requires quickness, agility and speed in all directions relative to body weight. Strength and explosion are also factored into the overall score. 

    Height, arm length and hand size are also factored in as well.  

    Using a simple quantitative numeric grading scale that grades nearly every physical attribute of a prospect, I was able to generate a single grade value intended to represent an overall measurables grade. Below you will see a description of what each category represents:

    Dynamic Speed (DSA): Often times, people put too much emphasis on a player's 40-yard dash when it is only one of three times recorded. DSA equals the combined average of a prospect's 40-yard dash, short shuttle and three-cone drills. This allows for a better comparison of the straight-ahead, lateral and change-of-direction speed of any given prospect. 

    Dynamic Explosion (DET): This is a simple formula that takes the prospect's combined number of bench reps, vertical jump and broad jump and adds them together for a single number. This gives a more complete gauge of the prospect's explosive capabilities of both his upper and lower body.

    Dynamic Speed Average with weight factored in (DSA/Weight): This is based off a formula that takes into account the prospect's weight and the average of all three speed times to produce a number that reflects a player's speed relative to his weight. The goal is to put prospects of various weight groups on a level playing field when determining speed. This also represents the measure that considers a player's weight, which as we know is important in football. 

    All three of these elements are then added to a prospect's height and arm length, where each is graded numerically on a scale between 1-10. The score is then averaged out for the "Comprehensive Measurables Grade."

    Note: Running backs were not graded on height or arm length considering these elements factor very little in their success on a football field. Hand size, however, was factored in. All other positions are graded equally across the board. To see the complete list visit DraftMetric.com

The Top 30 from the Previous 2 Years

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    Christine Michael was drafted by the Seahawks.
    Christine Michael was drafted by the Seahawks.John Bazemore

    1. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M (2013 Draft Class, Round 2)

    2. Margus Hunt, Edge, SMU (2013 Draft Class, Round 2)

    3. Devin Taylor, Edge, South Carolina (2013 Draft Class, Round 5)

    4. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State (2012 Draft Class, Round 1)

    5. Michael Ford, RB, LSU (2013 Draft Class, Undrafted)

    6. Zac Stacy, RB, Vanderbilt (2013 Draft Class, Round 5)

    7. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida (2012 Draft Class, Round 5)

    8. Knile Davis, RB, Arkansas (2013 Draft Class, Round 2)

    9. James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma (2012 Draft Class, Round 6)

    10. Zaviar Gooden, LB, Missouri (2013 Draft Class, Round 3)

    11. Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas (2012 Draft Class, Round 3)

    12. Bruce Irvin Edge, West Virginia (2012 Draft Class, Round 1)

    13. Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska (2013 Draft Class, Round 6)

    14. Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers (2013 Draft Class, Undrafted)

    15. Lamar Miller RB, Miami (2012 Draft Class, Round 4)

    16. Mychal Kendricks, LB, California (2012 Draft Class, Round 2)

    17. Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech (2013 Draft Class, Undrafted)

    18. George Iloka, S, Boise State (2012 Draft Class, Round 5)

    19. Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU (2013 Draft Class, Round 1)

    20. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State (2013 Draft Class, Round 2)

    21. Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (2013 Draft Class, Round 1)

    22. Jamie Collins, LB, Southern Miss (2013 Draft Class, Round 2)

    23. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse (2012 Draft Class, Round 1)

    24. Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri (2012 Draft Class, Round 3)

    25. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford (2012 Draft Class, Round 2)

    26. Barkevious Mingo, Edge, LSU (2013 Draft Class, Round 1)

    27. Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami (2012 Draft Class, Round 6)

    28. Miles Burris, LB, San Diego State (2012 Draft Class, Round 3)

    29. Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College (2012 Draft Class, Round 1)

    30. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina (2013 Draft Class, Round 4)

25. Larry Webster, Edge, Bloomsburg

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack

    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 252 lbs

    Arm Length: 34 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 7.2

    Dynamic Explosion: 6.5

    Larry Webster is a very raw prospect who looks clumsy and unrefined in his movements and does not dominate lesser competition—has a lanky frame.

    Webster is like a big puppy still trying to grow into into his paws. His football ability is miles away from a finished product, and some coach is going to have to put his work into making him a serviceable member of the active roster. 

    A project of this caliber shouldn't be taken any earlier than the fifth round of the draft. 

24. Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

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    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 194 lbs

    Arm Length: 32 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 7.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 7

    Roby is a unique case study who has been one of the most productive cornerbacks in this draft class and is also one who possesses elite speed. His insane quickness is the one physical trait that separates him from the rest of the cornerbacks in this class.

    During the predraft process, Roby ran a 4.39 40-yard dash and posted a three-cone of 6.78 and a short shuttle of 4.08.

    The best thing about watching his tape is seeing him chase down pretty much anyone who thinks he's in the clear for a long touchdown run. When he turns on the motor, few CBs are better than him in this draft class.  

23. Aaron Donald, DL, Pittsburgh

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 285 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 9.2

    Dynamic Explosion: 7.5

    Aaron Donald is an undersized interior lineman who has posted more career sacks than any other Division I prospect aside from Trent Murphy and Jeremiah Attaochu. For a guy who was doing most of his damage between the tackles, his sack total is pretty ridiculous. 

    Donald tested well at the combine and during his pro day, posting a better short shuttle and three-cone numbers that Jadeveon Clowney. He also benched 225 pounds 35 times and had a 32-inch vertical. 

    Donald has used his physical gifts to help make him one of the most dangerous playmakers in the nation. 

22. Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

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    Darron Cummings

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 215 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 7.2

    Dynamic Explosion: 8

    Cody Latimer has been rising up draft boards after wowing scouts during his pro day with an impressive time of 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. He also had a 39-inch vertical jump and posted a positional-high 23 reps on the bench. 

    Latimer is a former basketball player with incredible explosion. He flashed a lot of promise while at Indiana, displaying rare leaping ability and impressive functional strength. 

    This elite athlete has the potential to eventually grow into a starting role in the NFL.

21. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor

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    Rick Scuteri

    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 201 lbs

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 6.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 9

    Seastrunk had a vertical jump and broad of 41.5 and 134 inches.  He has a reputation for speed and was hoping to break the record for the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine, which is currently held by RB Chris Johnson.

    This electrifying runner has amazing balance as he’s built low to the ground with good thickness in the lower body.

    Despite just hitting the 200 pound mark, Seastrunk has the ability for big plays but is not ideally suited for a full-time workload that can carry the rock 25-30 times a game.  Think of me more as a change of pace playmaker who would do well with screens and 10-15 carries per game.

20. C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa

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    Charlie Neibergall

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 265 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 6

    Fiedorowicz is a big, quick athlete with long strides and good functional strength. He was not a big part of Iowa's offense but flashed his elite athleticism when his team got him the ball. His lateral quickness and change of direction for his size make him an attractive prospect worth considering. 

    This prospect has the prototypical build of an NFL tight end and can actually end up being more productive in an offense that throws the ball.

19. Khairi Fortt, LB, California

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 248 lbs

    Arm Length: 34 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 7.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 8.2

    Khairi Fortt looks like a highly touted prospect from a physical standpoint but appears stiff and hesitant on film. His lack of fluidity and instincts cause him to struggle to put his gifts into practical application on a football field.

    At this point, Fortt is a priority free agent based on some of his measurables alone. His production in college or lack thereof should be something to consider for teams looking to cash in on measurables alone.   

18. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 231 lbs

    Arm Length: 35 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 7.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 8.2

    At 6’5”, 231 pounds, Mike Evans is clearly one of the biggest wideouts to enter the NFL this season. In fact, he is so massive that some teams have considered him as a tight end.  

    His arms are a massive 35 inches long, which gives him a massive catch radius sure to make his quarterback drool.

    Evans is considered a top-15 pick in the upcoming draft. Many have him rated as the second-best receiver behind only Sammy Watkins. That shows just how coveted size has become for receivers in modern-day football.

17. James Gayle, Edge, Virginia Tech

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    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 259 lbs

    Arm Length: 32 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8

    Dynamic Explosion: 8.2

    Gayle is a strong, powerful pass-rusher eager to see what he can do at the next level. At 259 pounds, it was a big surprise to see this kid post a 37-inch vertical jump, while running a 4.7 40-yard dash. 

    Gayle is a fluid athlete and should catch the eye of teams in need of a 3-4 outside linebacker. 

16. Tyler Starr, Edge, South Dakota

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    PAUL BEATY

    Height: 6'4"

    Weight: 250 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.8

    Dynamic Explosion: 6

    This small-school prospect out of South Dakota is built to excel in football.  Despite being 6’4", 250 pounds, Starr posted a three-cone of 6.64. Those kinds of numbers have put this kid on several teams' radars.

    Starr needed to post good times during the predraft process if he hoped to hear his name called during the draft. It would appear that he has done enough to do that much.

15. Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt

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    Butch Dill

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 212 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 7.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 6.5

    Jordan Matthews was able to use his physical gifts well during his college career, which is evident in his impressive, record-breaking production at Vanderbilt.  

    Though Matthews is bigger than most receivers, he seems to play small and gets beaten up at the line of scrimmage. This kid could struggle in the NFL if he fails to get a clean release. He also has been known to drop passes who most would consider layups.

    Jordan is expected to be drafted somewhere in the second round, but he could slide into the third considering the depth of this draft class.

14. Jackson Jeffcoat, Edge, Texas

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    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 247 lbs

    Arm Length: 34 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.6

    Dynamic Explosion: 7.5

    Jackson Jeffcoat is starting to become one of the most underrated prospects of this draft class. Jeffcoat has churned out steady production throughout his career and is now showing his physical domination by ranking 14th on the list.

    His 34-inch arms are ideal for a pass-rusher because they help keep the offensive lineman’s hands out of his chest.  One of the most impressive measurements he posted was a 6.97 in his three-cone drill. Very few people over 230 pounds can break the seven-second barrier in that drill.

    Jeffcoat will likely be drafted in the third round, and I expect him to have an immediate impact where he goes.

13. Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana

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    Michael Albans

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 234 lbs

    Arm Length: 31 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.8

    Dynamic Explosion: 7

    Although I was not impressed with Jordan Tripp’s game film, his athleticism is unquestioned.

    Tripp should have a future on special teams at the next level at the very least, but some people think this kid can be a versatile starter at the next level.

    Personally I would be surprised if he takes off as a starter at the next level. But if it does happen, he has the size and speed to go as far as he wants to go.

12. Dee Ford, Edge, Auburn

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    Wade Payne

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 252 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.2

    Dynamic Explosion: 8.5

    Although Dee Ford is clearly one of the more explosive and quick edge-rushers in this draft, one interesting note about his measurables is that he has some of the biggest hands of the class.

    Ford is a confident performer who puts together a lethal combination of effort and physical ability.  As long as those two ingredients are making up his football career, he should be able to prosper.

    Ford is one of those late-rising prospects who could have done enough during the predraft process to slide into the first round.

11. Jadeveon Clowney, Edge, South Carolina

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 266 lbs 

    Arm Length: 35 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.2

    Dynamic Explosion: 7.5

    We all knew this physical freak would show up on this list somewhere, but are we not surprised he wasn’t rated higher? I know I am.

    The reason he rounds out the top 10 rather than the top five is because he struggled a bit during his change of direction and lateral movement scores. He also underwhelmed with his 21 reps on the bench. This is near the bare minimum for a defensive lineman.

    I was told by a scout for the Falcons several years ago that some teams will take defensive linemen off their board if they can’t put up at least 20 reps at 225 pounds. That should put Clowney’s 21 reps into perspective.

    Clowney is still in play for the first pick overall, but he could also end up falling out of the top five due to character concerns and a ongoing issue with bone spurs in his foot.

10. Anthony Barr, Edge, UCLA

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 255 lbs

    Arm Length: 34 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 9.6

    Dynamic Explosion: 6

    Anthony Barr is a long, lean prospect with an ideal frame for an outside linebacker. He was also highly productive in both years of playing on the defensive side of the ball.

    Barr is a smooth, gliding athlete who beats opponents with his long arms and quickness. At 255 pounds he was able to run south of 4.6 seconds in the 40-yard dash.  Barr did struggle on the bench press with 19 reps, but in general his measurables have front office execs drooling.

9. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 248 lbs

    Arm Length: 34 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 5.5

    Logan Thomas is the biggest, strongest and most physically dominating quarterback prospect to come along in a long time. 

    At 6’6”, 248 pounds, Thomas is built like a blue-chip tight end. It’s unclear whether he will be able to make it in the NFL as a quarterback, but there have to be some teams out there willing to convert this athlete back to the position he started out with at Virginia Tech. Tight end might be a worthwhile Plan B for Thomas if he is unable to improve on his consistency.

8. Trent Murphy, Edge, Stanford

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    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 250 lbs

    Arm Length: 34 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.6

    Dynamic Explosion: 6

    Many might not be aware of the fact that Trent Murphy has utilized his impressive physical tools to rack up more career sacks (32.5) than any other prospect in this class.

    Murphy has impressive size and quickness, running his three-cone drill in 6.78 seconds. That’s one of the best times for anyone this year, and he did it weighing 250 pounds.

    Some project this outside linebacker to go in the latter part of the second round or the first half of the third. There were a lot of questions about his athleticism heading into the predraft process, and he seems to have helped dispel some of those perceptions.

7. Kareem Martin, Edge, North Carolina

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    Height: 6'6"

    Weight: 272 lbs

    Arm Length: 35 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 8.2

    Kareem Martin is one of those guys who looks like a star getting off the bus but often falls short when it comes to execution on the field.

    At 272 pounds, Martin ran a 4.72 in the 40-yard dash. This is an incredibly fast time for a guy of his size and is on par with some of the more impressive combine performances in recent memory.

    Any team wanting a strong, athletic big man with long arms, big hands and the potential to be a star, Kareem Martin is a guy it should take a long hard look at this May.

6. Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB, Boston College

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    Winslow Townson

    Height: 6'0"

    Weight: 232 lbs

    Arm Length: 32 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.8

    Dynamic Explosion: 9.5

    Kevin Pierre-Louis wowed scouts and onlookers at the combine when he proceeded to destroy each and every test he encountered. On the bench he put up 28 reps of 225, then jumped out of the building with a 39-inch vertical and a 128-inch broad jump.  On the three-cone he was timed at 6.92 and a 4.02 short shuttle.

    There is no doubt the Boston College prospect helped his stock this offseason. The questions regarding KPL are why he ended up in the middle of the road in terms of production among his fellow linebacker prospects.

    This could be a kid whose athletic ability does not match up with his football prowess.

5. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

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    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 220 lbs

    Arm Length: 32 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 9.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 7.5

    Few people would have predicted that Allen Robinson would finish so high on the list of the most physically gifted prospects.  At 6’2”, 220 pounds, he ran a blazing 6.54 seconds in the three-cone and a four-second short shuttle. He also wowed at his pro day when he leaped 42 inches during his vertical jump.

    When you put Robinson’s entire body of work together, he is clearly one of the most promising receivers of this class and should be considered at least a top-five player at his position.

4. Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo

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    Mike Groll

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 251 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.6

    Dynamic Explosion: 9

    Few prospects generated more production over their collegiate careers than Khalil Mack. In fact, his 16 career forced fumbles are the most among any draft eligible prospect this season. He has a unique style of play that seems to exploit opponents in the right way and at just the right time.

    Khalil Mack is as close to a complete player as you’re going to get. He stacks up against every element of measure. He was highly productive throughout his career, he is ranked in the top five in physical tools, and his film review, medical history and character all pass with flying colors.

    Mack could very well be the pick for the Texans if they can’t make up their mind on a quarterback.

3. Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State

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    GM Andrews

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 219 lbs

    Arm Length: 33 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 9.4

    Dynamic Explosion: 7.5

    Most people have no idea who Jeff Janis is. This small-school wide receiver could be sliding under everyone’s radar, although he did make some waves during the Senior Bowl and scouting combine.

    Janis is incredibly quick and efficient with his feet and has ideal size for the receiver position. It’ll be interesting to see if he can thrive on the biggest stage in the world considering he is coming from Saginaw Valley State.

    Perhaps in a few years this kid will become a household name.

2. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

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    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 237 lbs

    Arm Length: 32 inches

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 9

    Dynamic Explosion: 9.5

    Ryan Shazier allowed his athleticism to make him one of the most productive prospects on defense this year. Shazier ran 4.36 in the 40-yard dash and had a 42-inch vertical.

    On paper Shazier has everything you need to draft him in the top 10, but some question marks in his film have pushed his stock down. Shazier is also one of the best blitzing linebackers of the 2014 draft class.

1. Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

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    Height: 5'9"

    Weight: 209 lbs

    Dynamic Speed/Weight: 8.2

    Dynamic Explosion: 8.5

    The most physically gifted prospect of the 2014 NFL draft is none other than Washington running back Bishop Sankey

    If only this talented running back could allow his special gifts to show up on a football field more. He seems to run with too much hesitation, which keeps his immense talent hidden and dormant just under the surface.

    Perhaps he will be drafted by a team that has a running backs coach who can extract his limitless potential.  Sankey has both elite speed and explosiveness. He even has large, 10-inch hands, which should be useful in receiving and holding on to the ball in the trenches.

    All in all, this is a very talented class of prospects, and it’s really saying something that Sankey can lead the group.

     

    Note: All numbers are from school pro days or the NFL Scouting Combine. 

    Ryan Riddle is a former NFL player and writes for Bleacher Report. 

    Follow him on Twitter.

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