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Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller took home the last two Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year awards, but now his 2014 season is over. He is dealing with an injury to the same shoulder that ended his 2013 season prematurely. 

Miller has already said he intends to return for the 2015 season in Columbus, which would represent his last chance to convince NFL teams of his potential.

It's worth wondering, is Miller an NFL-style quarterback?

The Ohio State system, made famous by Urban Meyer at Utah and Florida, asks the quarterback to be a heavy runner, and Miller has done that. In his three years as Ohio State's starter, Miller ran the ball (557 times) almost as often as he passed it (666 attempts).

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Every football fan in the country knows about Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, but out at UCLA there is another quarterback making a run at becoming the No. 1 prospect in the 2015 draft. The NFL knows about Brett Hundley, and fans should too.


The Tale of the Tape

6'3", 227 lbs

53 touchdowns, 20 interceptions (career)

320 career rushes



Many college quarterbacks are spending their Saturdays throwing checkdowns and bubble screens, but not at UCLA. The Bruins offense asks Hundley to move the ball down the field. The quarterback in this system must read the field, find the best option and deliver passes at varying levels. That's great for showcasing Hundley's accuracy and understanding of space.

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The most important position in football is, and always will be, quarterback. If you don't have a quality QB in the NFL, your entire focus becomes finding one. Teams will spend draft picks and boatloads of money trying to find the right guy.

The next wave of quarterback talent in college is very good, with Jameis Winston, Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty and others showing NFL-level talent.

However, the player who does it best comes from an offense many still consider to be a gimmick. How will the NFL view Oregon's Marcus Mariota, and just how good is he?


The Tale of the Tape

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Look back through the history of Iowa football, and you will see name after name on the offensive line who made their mark in the NFL. Left tackle Brandon Scherff is the next Hawkeye you'll want to get to know.

With the 2015 draft still nine months away, Scherff has the tools, film and talent to be the top pick in the entire class. What makes this stud from Iowa so good?

Can Scherff be the next Bryan Bulaga or Riley Reiff? That's very possible given the football IQ (FBI), footwork, strength and upside he showed during the 2013 season. But now Scherff is back for his senior season after deciding to wait on the NFL—even though he looked like a sure-fire first-round talent after his junior season. The big left tackle went back to school to work on his technique, and along the way he has a chance to entrench himself as the nation's best tackle—and maybe the best overall prospect. 

The Iowa schedule in 2013 put Scherff up against some of the nation's best pass-rushers, and he showed weekly why he's the best technician in the college game. Facing future NFL talents like Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State), Joey Bosa (Ohio State) and Danielle Hunter (LSU), Scherff made a name for himself as a top-tier run-blocker and athletic corner-stop in the passing game. 

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Jameis Winston enters the 2014 college football season as the savior of Florida State football, the returning Heisman Trophy winner and an Adonis-like figure at the quarterback position. But does all that add up to a solid NFL prospect?

The summer months are slow for an NFL draft evaluator, and it's during this time when extended film study of previous seasons are so important. Last summer, I sat down with every throw Johnny Manziel had made and walked away a believer in his potential. This week, Winston goes under that same microscope.

Where will Winston be selected in the 2015 or 2016 draft? It's way too early to tell.

But what can be done is a thorough evaluation of his 2013 season and his potential as an NFL quarterback right now. Much can—and likely will—change over the course of his college career. But taking what Winston put on the field (and off the field) in 2013, here's what he needs to work on most before he's ready to be a legitimate No. 1 overall pick.

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The ink on the 2014 NFL draft is still drying, but that won't keep us from looking ahead to the 2015 draft with a fresh mock. 

An early first-round mock draft has to be taken with some context, so here are a few ground rules.

1. Jameis Winston says he's not entering the draft this year, so I'm not putting him in any mock drafts at this time. 

2. The draft order is based on the 2014 draft order (updated for trades). This is the only fair way I know to list draft order so early in the process. Once updated Super Bowl odds come out, I'll begin using those for my draft order.

USA Today

The 2014 NFL draft was one of the deepest in recent memory. Next year's crop of talent may not live up to the 2014 class, but it is still a very deep group heading into this fall.

A group loaded at offensive tackle, defensive end and running back will excite fans who love watching the ball in the trenches, but it's the top three quarterbacks who will draw the most attention. Florida State's Jameis Winston, Oregon's Marcus Mariota and UCLA's Brett Hundley will be the driving force for much of the national coverage of this class—and for good reason, as all three have top-five talent.

With these top three signal-callers expected to compete for the Heisman Trophy and the chance to be selected No. 1 overall in 2015, expect plenty of coverage surrounding each of them this season. But what about the rest of the class?

Here's an early look at the top 10 players at each position this season. Think of this as a watch listnot a definitive ranking but a good starting point for the preseason evaluation period.

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The 2014 NFL draft is here. What's the last-minute news being shared from NFL front offices as big boards are set and trade talks heat up? That's what we're covering in this week's Scouting Notebook.

Will the Houston Texans trade out of the top spot? Will the Atlanta Falcons or Detroit Lions make a splashy move up the board? That's what everyone wants to know, and we've got the info for you as the hours until the first pick is made come off the clock.



My final big board was set last week, but I sent my rankings to five teams this week for feedback and overall scouting philosophy discussion. These are some of the results of whom they felt should move up and down (one up and down per team). Each team scout would speak to his board only on the condition of anonymity for competitive purposes.

You can see where each player is ranked by checking the big board here.

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Who is the best quarterback in the 2014 draft class? 

That's a question that's caused heated debate for months, and yet there is no consensus as to who should be on top. 

There isn't a Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck type of prospect in this class who blows everyone away and checks off every box. But there is a quarterback who sits safely within that next tier of prospects. Who is it?

That's what the NFL Draft 100 identifies. Each list in this series was compiled after looking at the film for the top 100 players on my big board in order to determine who the best prospects are at each position and what they do best.

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When Morgan Moses walked across the stage in the crowded auditorium at the Mobile Convention Center for Senior Bowl weigh-ins, sighs were heard from the collection of NFL media, scouts and coaches. At 6'6" and 314 pounds, Moses defines the physical profile NFL scouts and coaches are looking for. His status as a first-round talent would be cemented in Mobile against the nation's best senior defenders, but his on-field play wouldn't be the only thing in question as the 2014 NFL draft neared.

Question a player's work ethic and the perception of them changes instantly. Moses, the former Parade All-American, arrived at the University of Virginia as a 350-pound freshman with no idea how to properly train for the rigors of a college football season. And yet the big man notched 43 career starts at left or right tackle while working his way down to a svelte 314 pounds in his senior season. Poor work ethic? Those tasked with training Moses for the NFL Scouting Combine are left shaking their heads.

Chip Smith, the man training Moses for the NFL, doesn't believe the reports about a poor work ethic. "I've put 1,300 players in the NFL, with 200 active clients," Smith told me when talking about Moses the player and person. Smith isn't just a hired gun with a player to protect, though, as he has 10 other offensive linemen in his workout groups—each of them vying for draft positioning with Moses. 

Moses put in six hours of work each day with Smith—training on positional work with former NFL offensive tackle Bob Whitfield while also working on things like conditioning, speed work and film study. He's learning how to become a professional under their watch—something many draft prospects learn in the spring before they're drafted after spending just eight hours per week with their college coaches.