2014 NFL Draft Predictions: Projections for Top Prospects and Intriguing Teams

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2014

Dec 21, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass against the Southern California Trojans in the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the 2014 NFL draft was one of the most unpredictable starts fans could have imagined, but the excitement only intensifies as experts try to predict where the top remaining stars will land.

Round 2 and 3 take place Friday night. With several organizations still missing key pieces to the puzzle, football fans should expect plenty of trades, a few reaches and several steals.

Here are the projections for the top 10 remaining players and a focus on Day 2’s must-watch prospect.

Top 10 Second-Round Projections
Round 2 PickOverall PickTeamPlayerPositionSchool
133Houston TexansJimmy GaroppoloQBEastern Illinois
234Washington RedskinsCyrus KouandjioOTAlabama
335Cleveland BrownsKony EalyDEMissouri
436Oakland RaidersDerek CarrQBFresno State
537Atlanta FalconsLouis Nix IIINTNotre Dame
638Tampa Bay BuccaneersJoel BitonioOTNevada
739Jacksonville JaguarsCarlos HydeRBOhio State
840Seattle SeahawksMarqise LeeWRUSC
941Buffalo BillsJace AmaroTETexas Tech
1042Tennessee TitansTimmy JerniganDTFlorida State


Prospect to Watch on Day 2: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Many football fans will have their focus solely on the teams they support, but the prospect most worth watching on Day 2 is Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr.

With three quarterbacks selected on Day 1—Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater were all picked before the Fresno State standout—many experts believe Carr is the best remaining player on the board.

Not only do the Houston Texans (first pick of the second round) need a quarterback, but the Oakland Raiders, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and other teams within the top 10 picks of the second round also are looking for depth and talent at the position.

Albert Breer of the NFL Network and Mike Sando of ESPN.com talked about Carr and his impact on the second round:

While falling to the Round 2 could shake a prospect’s confidence, Carr has remained unfazed. According to Anne Stegen of ABC 23 in Bakersfield, the QB said, “It didn't work out the way we thought or the way some people wanted it to. But my goodness, I am going to have the opportunity to be an NFL quarterback.”

Carr is the brother of former Houston No. 1 overall pick David Carr, and the franchise likely will not take that educated risk again. He has a strong arm and good vision of the field, but his lack of consistency when it comes to accuracy and decision-making is why he fell to the second round.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Houston understands Carr’s weaknesses and may be looking to benefit from the hype surrounding him:

Carr also lacks elite mobility outside the pocket, but with an undeniable toughness, a positive attitude and a competitive streak, Carr could become a viable starter in the NFL with the proper development.

One of the teams most interested in Carr is Oakland. According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the Raiders franchise has been enamored with the Fresno State star and will be looking to snag him early in the second round:

In Oakland, I hear owner Mark Davis is smitten with quarterback Derek Carr, and that pressure could be mounting on the front office to take him in the first round. Now, No. 5 overall is awful high, but if you hear about the Raiders trying like heck to move back -- as they did a year ago before selecting DJ Hayden, who some viewed as a reach that high -- I'd start penciling in Carr as the possible pick. Keep an eye on that.

After taking pass-rush specialist Khalil Mack in the first round, the Raiders need a long-term quarterback. The team may have signed Matt Schaub this offseason, but he has proved that he is not an elite quarterback.

While Carr is undoubtedly rough around the edges and will need time to learn on the job and develop, the situation in Oakland is ideal. Schaub can start this season, and the franchise can slowly work Carr into the fold.

With time to develop and a strong support system in place, Carr would be a perfect fit with the Raiders.

Predicted Landing Spot: Oakland Raiders (No. 36 overall)


*Stats via NFL.com.