The 2014 NFL draft is scheduled for May 8-10, and with the day of reckoning approaching fast, football fans from all over the world are focused on where the top offensive prospects will land in the first round.
With potential stars like offensive tackle Jake Matthews and quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles all stealing the show with scouts through the offseason, where they are drafted is a major topic of conversation.
Here are the top offensive prospects that will be taken in the first round, followed by predictions on where the top three on that side of the ball will land.
|Projected Top 10 Picks|
|1||Houston Texans||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|2||St. Louis Rams||Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Sammy Watkins||WR||Clemson|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Anthony Barr||OLB||UCLA|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater||QB||Louisville|
|9||Buffalo Bills||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M|
|10||Detroit Lions||Greg Robinson||OT||Auburn|
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Predicted Landing: St. Louis Rams (No. 2 overall)
There are several marquee offensive linemen in the 2014 draft class, but one of the most gifted athletes and natural left tackles, Texas A&M standout Jake Matthews, is fighting for the spot as the top player at his position.
Auburn’s Greg Robinson is giving him a run for his money, though.
Whether the St. Louis Rams use the No. 2 overall pick themselves or trade it away just as the organization did in the deal that allowed the Washington Redskins to select Robert Griffin III, the first offensive player taken on draft day should be Matthews.
At 6’5” and 308 pounds, Matthews spent his career learning to play along the offensive line the hard way. By earning his way into the starting lineup and moving to left tackle, Matthews proved he has the talent and maturity to be a force in the NFL.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Predicted Landing: Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 3 overall)
The most polarizing player in the 2014 NFL draft is Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. After winning a Heisman Trophy and spending just two years in college, the charismatic star is ready to make the jump to the NFL.
With the need for a legitimate face of the franchise, Johnny Football is the answer for the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 3 overall.
While this is undoubtedly a risk, Jacksonville is desperate for a fundamental centerpiece the franchise can build around.
Using his underrated arm strength and accuracy to instantly improve the passing attack, as well as the speed and elusiveness in his legs to keep plays alive and gain first downs, the Jaguars would have the playmaker the franchise has lacked at quarterback for so long.
This is an educated risk due to Manziel’s size and off-field maturity issues, but with Jacksonville desperate for a big-time player, Johnny Football is worth the potential bust of drafting him so early in the first round.
Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
Predicted Landing: Cleveland Browns (No. 4 overall)
It's not often the Cleveland Browns have the perfect selection staring at the franchise in the first round, but if Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles is available at No. 4 overall, the organization must make this selection.
With Brandon Weeden no longer being tagged as the quarterback of the future, Cleveland made the clear decision to move on when it let the former first-round pick go this offseason.
The Browns need a legitimate potential star to replace Weeden, and Bortles is the closest thing to a lock at the QB position in the 2014 class.
The franchise has two talented playmakers at wide receiver and tight end—the combination of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron was dominant in 2013—and the addition of a prospect like Bortles would be an instant upgrade at the most important position.
Stats and combine information via NFL.com.