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Midway through the NFL and college football seasons, certain fanbases are already focusing in on the upcoming 2014 NFL draft. And for good reason.

If you're a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars or Tampa Bay Buccaneers—two winless teams—then you're already looking forward to next season and the potential talent that may be added this offseason through free agency and the draft. The good news is that it's draft season here, too, and more time will be devoted each week to breaking down the upcoming draft class.

Which players have helped themselves most over the last four weeks? Who is falling down draft boards? We'll keep you updated.

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Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III? Eli Manning or Philip Rivers? Vince Young or Matt Leinart? Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf? Making the right decision on which quarterback to draft can be the difference between a Super Bowl ring and mediocrity—but in some cases it works out either way. Or doesn't at all.

In the 2014 draft class, once again we have that debate at the top: junior Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville or redshirt sophomore Marcus Mariota of Oregon?

Draft classes are often defined by the potential of the quarterbacks available, and in the 2014 class we have two top-five players with instant-impact ability.

Which player grades out as the better of the two?

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Which college players are moving up and down NFL draft boards as we head into October?

Marquee players have been under the microscope in the last month, giving evaluators a clean look at their true ability. The hype of summer is gone—all that's left is production and ability. Some players have shown to be more talented than expected, while others are falling down draft boards due to poor play or injury.

Who is moving up and who moved down?

 

Stock Up: LSU Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry

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Who is the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft?

Heading into Week 5, there are more questions than answers. Which quarterback will teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns be fighting over? Where will superstar defensive end Jadeveon Clowney land? And perhaps most importantly, which team will be drafting first overall?

There's a lot of football left to be played, but it's always educational (and entertaining) to get a look at how the draft order and player stock look. Heading into Week 5 of the NFL season, here's how the first round would shake out.

And as always, the draft order here is taken from Bovada Super Bowl odds and adjusted for playoff seeding.

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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay shocked the world Wednesday by announcing his team had traded a 2014 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for running back Trent Richardson. The same Trent Richardson the Browns had just traded up to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft for.

We know what the Colts get out of this trade; they get an elite-level running back who is just 23 years old and barely into his second NFL season. What do the Browns get in trading away their best offensive building block?

It is fair to assume at this point that the Browns' own first-rounder in 2014 will be a high one—likely in the top five. With Richardson gone and fellow first-round pick from the 2012 class Brandon Weeden struggling more each week, it's safe to say the Browns are in a true rebuilding mode.

The danger in trading for an extra first-round pick in September is that we don't know who will or won't be in the upcoming draft class.

Week 4 College Football Scouting Guide

By on September 18, 2013

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After a big week of college football rivalry games, Week 4 brings us a slightly less stocked schedule. That won't stop NFL teams from hitting the road to check out the best college football prospects battle head-to-head.

Here are the seven games every NFL front office will be watching this weekend.

 

The Clemson offense won't get a big test against the North Carolina State Wolkpack defense, but the one matchup everyone will be watching is between wide receiver Sammy Watkins and cornerback Dontae Johnson. Watkins has justified his No. 1 wide receiver ranking this season and will look to extend his cushion over the competition.

 

Arizona State had a key game last week when it hosted Wisconsin. It will be under the microscope again this week as marquee running back Marion Grice attempts to make plays against a tough Stanford defense. Quarterback Kevin Hogan has future first-round potential.

Week 3 College Football Scouting Guide

By on September 12, 2013

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Week 3 of the college football season brings marquee matchups sure to affect the rankings, but which games are NFL scouts focused on?

Here are the 10 games every NFL front office will be watching this weekend.

 

TCU heads to Texas Tech in an in-state showdown, but the players to watch here are tight end Jace Amaro and cornerback Jason Verrett. While the two aren't likely to match up head-to-head, Verrett's physical style of play could bring him in contact with the athletic tight end.

 

Louisville and Kentucky are bitter rivals, but that hasn't bled over to the football field as much as the basketball courts. This game is likely to be a one-sided battle, but watching quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against Mark Stoops' defense will make this one appointment viewing.

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If the NFL draft were today, who would be the No. 1 overall pick?

The easy answer is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, but would a team like Jacksonville or Oakland pass on a quarterback for the once-in-a-decade pass-rusher? That's the question we aim to answer.

The first mock draft of the season isn't published for accuracy, but to give an idea of where teams have needs and where players' stock currently sits. Not every underclassman listed here will enter the 2014 NFL draft, but this is an idea of how the draft would look if the top eligible juniors and redshirt sophomores were to enter the lottery.

And as always, the draft order here is taken from Bovada Super Bowl odds and adjusted for playoff seeding.

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Which 2014 NFL draft prospects benefited from great summers to propel their draft stocks up as we head into the season? Which guys had issues on and off the field that resulted in downward-trending draft stocks?

Our first "Stock Watch" of the season isn't about on-field play, at least not yet. It focuses on the players who saw their draft stocks change the most over the summer. That might be due to increased time, study film, off-field issues or lost starting jobs. 

The good news is that players with poor stock momentum have time to reverse their fortunes on the field. And those players who see their stocks moving up? All they have to do is continue doing what's working.

You will also notice something new this year—a weekly pro-player comparison tracker. This will give you an idea of the type of player the prospect is projected to be like on any given week. Tracking Matt Barkley last year would have seen him go from a Drew Brees-like passer to an Alex Smith-style ranking instead. 

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Already excited about the 2014 NFL draft? Good.

Scouting players for the NFL draft is a yearlong process. As soon as one draft ends, research begins on building a watch list and then a Big Board for the next year's class. That's where we're at now.

As the summer comes to an end, my research of which players to watch gets prioritized, leaving me with a list of the top 500 draft-eligible players in college football. Not every player listed will declare for the draft or live up to expectations. There will be surprises, letdowns and newcomers along the way.

This is not a final list, but a look at where players are projected to find themselves drafted at the current time. Throughout the year, I will update this list every two to three weeks to give you a fresh look at the draft positioning of the best of the best in college football. If there's someone missing, it's likely because of limited time to evaluate prospects before the season kicks off.