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Bob Donnan/USA Today

With just two weeks to go until the Houston Texans officially go on the clock to start the 2014 NFL draft, teams throughout the NFL are finalizing their draft boards and going into draft mode. We're doing the same at Bleacher Report as final workouts take place and last-minute film review is wrapped up.

This week's Scouting Notebook will offer a glimpse behind the curtain as I make my final updates to the top-365-player big board and update team needs post-free agency before compiling a final seven-round mock draft. We're also taking a look at some draft history and passing along the most credible rumors currently making the rounds.

 

 

Five Up

5. CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

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AP Images

The 2013 draft saw a record for the first guard taken—Jonathan Cooper to the Arizona Cardinals at pick No. 7. That was followed by Chance Warmack (No. 10 to Tennessee), Kyle Long (No. 20 to Chicago) and Travis Frederick (No. 31 to Dallas). That was quite a year for interior offensive linemen—but don't expect a repeat in 2014.

While the guard class is good, it's not great. The goal of the NFL Draft 100 is to identify the best players based purely on film study and analysis. 

The B/R NFL Draft 100 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance on a 100-point scale. Unlike our NFL 1000 series, this project factors in upside for each player, as the NFL draft is as much about upside as it is about production.

Interior linemen are judged on run blocking (40 points), pass blocking (40 points), upside (20) and all of the technique, athletic ability and football intelligence needed to play the position.

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Getty Images

The 2014 draft class is anchored by one of the best defensive end prospects of this era in Jadeveon Clowney. The rest of the class is pretty good too. 

The defensive end class of 2014 comes in all shapes and sizes. There are potential 5-techniques, future outside linebackers and the type of scheme-versatile studs who are ready to be molded into NFL superstars. So who comes in graded as the top overall player?

That’s what the NFL Draft 100 aims to identify. Looking only at the film, who is the best? 

The B/R NFL Draft 100 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance on a 100-point scale. Unlike our NFL 1000 series, this project factors in upside for each player—as the NFL draft is as much about upside as it is about production.

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USA Today Images

We all know that outside pressure on quarterbacks is essential, but not enough people talk about the importance of interior pressure. It's equally effective and, as defenses evolve to keep pace with high-octane offenses, the inside pass rush is becoming more and more crucial.

That makes the value of a good defensive tackle much higher in today's NFL. Looking at the 2014 draft class, who does it best?

That’s what the NFL Draft 100 aims to identify. Looking only at the film, who is the best? 

The B/R NFL Draft 100 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance on a 100-point scale. Unlike our NFL 1000 series, this project factors in upside for each player—as the NFL draft is as much about upside as it is about production.

B/R NFL Draft 100: Top Linebackers

By on April 18, 2014

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Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, rush 'backer. The position has evolved with the NFL looking for more and more speed, but the job requirements remain the same: Get the ball. But with so many different types of athletes and players available in the 2014 draft, who is the best?

That’s what the NFL Draft 100 aims to identify. Looking only at the film, who is the best? 

The B/R NFL Draft 100 metric is based on scouting each player and grading the key criteria for each position. The criteria are weighted according to importance on a 100-point scale. Unlike our NFL 1,000 series, this project factors in upside for each player—as the NFL draft is as much about upside as it is about production.

Linebackers are broken into two categories—inside and outside. Inside linebackers are judged on run defense (50 points), pass rush (10), coverage (20) and upside (20). Outside linebackers are graded on pass rush (40 points), coverage (10), run defense (30) and upside (20). Both include these categories and all of the technique, athletic ability and football intelligence needed to play the position.

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Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Is it draft weekend yet?

The craziness surrounding the NFL draft is always maddeningly entertaining, but this year the insanity is on steroids. 

Players are moving up and down draft boards by entire days—not just a few spots here and there—nearly five months after the games ended. Unknown quarterbacks ignored by the Senior Bowl are now first-round talents. Game film is seemingly useless, and traits dominate, even if they don't produce results.

Or is this all one gigantic smokescreen? We'll find out May 8, but until then, here is your weekly update on all things NFL draft.

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Jonathan Bachman/AP Images

In less than 30 days, the 2014 NFL draft will be upon us. And as we sit four weeks out, no one has any idea what to expect.

The Houston Texans are being quiet as we approach the draft as to whom or what they're looking for with the first overall pick. Do they want a quarterback, an offensive tackle or an edge defender? They might know, but as of now, no one else does.

And such is the reason most of us love the NFL draft. It's the best reality show on television.

 

 

Five Up

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Timothy D. Easley/AP Images

With less than 50 days until the first pick of the 2014 NFL draft, it's time to get busy. NFL teams and media evaluators alike are battling the clock to finalize evaluations, study depth charts and fine-tune the draft work that's been ongoing since last May.

What's changed?

Pro days are here, and with them comes all of the madness of "draft stock." Should players move up or down the board based on an on-campus workout in shorts and T-shirts? That's a matter of opinion, and different evaluation philosophies will tell you yes or no.

We'll get into that and more in this week's Scouting Notebook.

 

 

Five Up

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Getty Images

Welcome to the silly season.

The time between the NFL Scouting Combine and the actual NFL draft is crazy. For everyone involved. Players are shuttled around the country on formal interviews and medical checks. Scouts, coaches and general managers are busy evaluating players, rewatching game film and lying to the media.

Wait...what?

Yes. Lying to the media is now an important aspect of the draft season. And that's why I call it the "silly season." 

Teams want misinformation in the pipeline, which makes the job of the media reporter and/or analyst that much harder. You're now equal parts evaluator and private detective. And with the draft pushed back until May 8, expect more craziness than ever before.

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Gerald Herbert/AP Images

The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is over, and with it the predraft process rolls on. With just over two months left until the May 8 draft gets started, much is changing in the NFL.

The goal of the Scouting Notebook is to update you on what you may have missed over the last week, but to also look ahead. Free agency begins March 11, and that will be the first big step in determining team needs as we head into draft season. 

After free agency, pro days begin. That is one final chance for a player to impress teams before individual workouts and the actual draft.

What's changed since our last installment? Plenty, as players move up and down the board, and as teams get one step closer to making their draft-day decision.