In every draft, there are a few names that everyone can't wait to hear called.
Not just the top few picks but the electrifying talents, bigger-than-life characters and enigmas. There are players who were college superstars, but whose talents may not translate to the pro game. There are players who carry vague baggage, and we won't be sure how far down draft boards it'll take them.
The biggest name is the one that has been on the lips of the football-watching world ever since the hit in the above video: Jadeveon Clowney.
His name has been shouted from the rooftops as a once-in-a-generation talent and whispered in dark tones as a potential problem child. While some analysts chipped in their two cents with their opinion of his character or lack of production, Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey broke down Clowney's tape to find out the truth.
Of course, the best name in the draft won't be called by Roger Goodell on the Radio City Music Hall stage at all: "Johnny Football." Johnny Manziel's nickname was well-earned in his two years as Texas A&M's starting quarterback. The Heisman Trophy on his mantle would capture plenty of interest, even if his off-field exploits and debatable field-reading skills didn't make his draft stock a moving target.
Bleacher Report Lead Writer Matt Bowen, who spent seven years breaking down quarterback play as an NFL safety, analyzed exactly what Manziel brings to the table—and where he needs to improve to become as brilliant in the pros as he was in college.
Jason Cole broke down everything else about Manziel, from the off-field issues that dogged him to the current mindset of NFL decision-makers.
Quarterbacks are always a big draw; a first-round quarterback can set a franchise up for 15 years—or set it back three years. Teddy Bridgewater was penciled in as the No. 1 overall pick of this draft practically since before the 2013 draft, but his stock has taken a tumble after his rough pro day.
Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Gary Davenport broke down Bridgewater's fall, and I broke down his film to explain why his doubters will be proven wrong once he gets on an NFL field.
Another quarterback who just might be the first signal-caller off the board, Derek Carr, is in a hauntingly familiar situation. Cole broke down the story of how Carr escaped the shadow of his big brother, 2002 No. 1 overall pick David.
One of the most interesting figures in the draft class is Khalil Mack. At every step in his young football life, he was an unheralded nobody who blew everything up whenever he got a chance. Now, as Schottey tells Mack's tale, the pass-rusher out of tiny Buffalo has a legitimate shot to be drafted No. 1 overall.
A lot less is said about Anthony Barr, who at times in the draft cycle has been alongside Mack as a top-tier pass-rushing linebacker prospect. Schottey looked at why Barr both intrigues and repels evaluators.
What about Jake Matthews? Manziel's protector at Texas A&M and the son of a Hall of Famer, he's slipped from a lock for the first few picks to the bottom half of the top 10—and maybe the third left tackle off the board. I wrote about why he could be the biggest steal of the draft.
Another guy who could be the first off the board at his position or fall much farther than that: Darqueze Dennard, the physical cornerback from Michigan State who could be the best man-to-man corner in the draft or a penalty machine. Bowen broke down film to find Dennard's ceiling, floor and scheme fit.
One last name to watch: pass-rusher Michael Sam. Next season, we should expect that a player's sexuality, whatever it might be, isn't worth mentioning. If and when a team turns in a draft card with his name on it, Sam will be the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Freeman explained why that's so important—for NFL players like Wade Davis, who had to live in the closet, as well as for future rookies who won't have to face Sam or Davis' burden.