Auburn Football: 2014 NFL Draft Tracker, Analysis and Results
After a fantastic run to the Southeastern Conference title and the national championship game, the Auburn Tigers will send off several prospects to the NFL draft.
The Tigers boast several intriguing prospects, including tackle Greg Robinson, who is regarded as one of the best players of the class at any position.
AU boasts another likely first-rounder in DE/LB Dee Ford, as well as a potential second or third-round selection at running back, Tre Mason.
Rounding out the class is corner and returner Chris Davis, the hero from last season's Iron Bowl thriller, and fullback Jay Prosch.
We'll take a look at all of Auburn's potential draftees. Be sure to check back on draft day for live updates on where each of these Tigers are taken.
OT Greg Robinson
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 2 to the St. Louis Rams
Weight: 332 lbs
Analysis: Greg Robinson was expected to be the top offensive lineman off the board and he was. It was a little bit earlier that expected, but it is clear (from this pick and last year's first-round selection of recevier Tavon Austin) that St. Louis is going on all in for its quarterback Sam Bradford. Robinson is big and skilled and he'll fill in immediately and could end up as a long-term replacement for Jake Long.
Replacement: Auburn has two likely replacements for Greg Robinson at left tackle: right tackle transplant Patrick Miller and a cancer survivor in Shon Coleman. Tigers beat writer Brandon Marcello of AL.com has the two listed at “1a and 1b” right now, with the battle to be figured out this fall. He notes that Coleman was impressive in spring practice but must put some more weight room work in to be ready to take Robinson’s spot.
LB Dee Ford
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 23 to Kansas City
Weight: 244 lbs
Analysis: With the addition of Dee Ford, Kansas City will have one of the most dynamic and formidable pass rushing groups in the league. Ford came off the board right around where he was expected to—in the latter stages of the first round. He may take some time to figure out his role in the NFL, but he should eventually slide nicely into an outside linebacker slot for the Chiefs.
Replacement: Auburn will lose a lot along its defensive front, including Dee Ford. However, the Tigers have a host of blue-chip recruits ready to take over. The two likely replacements are Elijah Daniel and Carl Lawson—the two combined for 10.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks from reserve roles last year.
RB Tre Mason
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 75 to St. Louis
Weight: 207 lbs
Analysis: St. Louis went back to The Plains. After drafting Greg Robinson No. 2 overall, the Rams added some more help for quarterback Sam Bradford, taking Tre Mason. Mason is a quick but powerful back and he'll figure into the mix at running back immediately. The Rams went with a committee approach to their backfield last year, and they'll do the same next year, so Mason won't have to be an every-down back—though he could take on that role in time.
Replacements: Auburn might not be able to replace Tre Mason’s presence with just one back, but the Tigers luckily have two: Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant. After combining for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns last year, they should share the lead role this season. That is, unless they are usurped by 5-star newcomer Roc Thomas.
FB Jay Prosch
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 211 to Houston
Weight: 256 lbs
Analysis: Jay Prosch was a borderline late-round pick but jumped up to Round 6 with Houston. The Texans ironically have one fullback on roster, Brad Smelley from Prosch's rival school, Alabama. It'll be interesting to see how Houston manages the two, considering Prosch is a more natural fullback.
Replacements: Jay Prosch was one of the most underrated players on the Auburn roster last year, and replacing him will be difficult. However, it looks like Brandon Fulse will be the guy. At 6’4”, 258 pounds, he has they physical makeup to both pave the way for the Auburn zone read attack and figure into the passing game.
CB Chris Davis
Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 7, Pick 223 to the Minnesota Vikings
Weight: 202 lbs
Stat Line: 74 TAK, 2.5 TFL, 15 PBU, 1 QBH, 1 FF, 17 PR, 318 YDS, 1 TD
As a cornerback, Chris Davis will have to spend some time to develop before he's ready to start in the NFL. He's a decent cover man in both man and zone situations, but he isn't elite in either category. His return skills will provide a boost to his draft stock, though he'll still be a late-round pick.
What the Experts Are Saying
"A compact, physical zone corner with intriguing return skill, Davis will be more challenged by his lack of height and tight hips in the pros. His intangibles, toughness against the run and ability to factor as a punt returner will allow him to carve out a role." -Nolan Nawrocki, NFL.com