2014 NFL Draft: The Top 100?

After no doubt you’ve been completely exhausted by NFL draft coverage, and with the thing finally kicking off tonight, allow me to pile on with just one more article to spin around your head.   I mean, hey we here at the ArtofScore have been good boys since this whole draft season started – we haven’t published a single draft article.   And there’s a very good reason for that: for fantasy purposes (especially a position like RB) the quality of the player predraft doesn’t matter as much as the opportunity they get.  We promise plenty of post draft, and preseason coverage – but we’ve been saving our energy for that.

Still – with everyone having their own “sleepers” this time of year, with the debate over whether Johnny Football Manziel can you know – actually play football at the NFL level, and with so many mock drafts you know think you know what’s going on…

Well it’s my turn: below are the top 100 players I’m most interested in from the 2014 draft.  Most of them are here because I believe they are making it as pros, some of them are here because the story of whether they make it as pros will be compelling, all of them are likely to be relevant enough to be drafted.   And that’s all you can really ask – give the kids a chance and let’s see.  I’m keeping this list archived so we can check back over the years and see how many of these players made an impact, it’s as fun and and valuable an exercise as any during this period of over analysis and I can tell you at least it won’t be a mimic of the dozens of national mock drafts out there already.

Here they are:

1.) Khail Mack LB
2.) Greg Robinson OT
3.) Jake Matthews OT
4.) Ryan Shazier LB
5.) Javeon Clowney DE/LB
6.) Aaron Donald DT
7.) Jordan Matthews WR
8.) Bradley Roby CB
9.) Mike Evans WR
10.) Justin Gilbert CB
11.) Deonee Bucannon S
12.) Austin Sefieran – Jenkins TE
13.) Anthony Barr OLB
14.) Sammy Watkins – WR
15.) Zack Martin – OT
16.) Jason Verrett – CB
17.) Brandon Cooks – WR
18.) Taylor Lewan – OT
19.) Cody Latimer – WR
20.) Teddy Bridgewater QB
21.) Will Sutton – DL
22). Gabe Jackson – G
23.) Calvin Pryor – S
24.) X’avier Su’a-Filo – G
25.)  Laurent Duvernay-Tardif – OT
26.) Louis Nix – NT
27.) Joel Bitoni – G/T
28.) Allen Robinson – WR
29.) Kevin Pierre Louis – LB
30.) Odell Beckham – WR
31.) Marcus Smith – LB/DE
32.) Bishop Sankey – RB
33.) Cyril Richardson – OG
34.) Philp Gaines – CB
35.) Carlos Hyde – RB
36.) Tom Savage – QB
37.) Kelcy Quarles – DT
38.) Marques Lee – WR
39.) RaShede Hageman – DT
40.) Donte Moncreif – WR
41.) Kyle Fuller – CB
42.) Tyler Gaffney – RB
43.) Andre Williams – RB
44.) Jimmy Garoppolo,- QB
45.) Ha Ha Dixon – S
46.) Dee Ford – OLB/DE
47.) Darqueze Dennard – CB
48.) Kelvin Benjamin – WR
49.) Johnny Manziel – QB
50.) Jace Amaro – TE
51.) CJ Mosley – ILB
52.) Bruce Ellington – WR
53.) Chris Borland – ILB
54.)Tre Mason – RB
55.) Stephon Tuitt – DE
56.) Jerrick McKinnon – RB
57.) Michael Campanaro – WR
58.) Timmy Jernigan – NT
59.) Blake Bortles – QB
60.) Daniel Mccullers – DT
61.) Jimmy Ward – S
62.) Trent Murphy – DE
63.) Ed Reynolds – S
64.) Jackson Jeffcoat – DL
65.) Kyle Van Noy – OLB
66.) Davante Adams – WR
67.) Cyrus Kouandjio – OT
68.) Antonio Richardson – OT
69.) Martavis Bryant – WR
70.) Lache Seastrunk – RB
71.) Terrance West – RB
72.) Ka’deem Carey – RB
73.) Aaron Murray – QB
74.) Eric Ebron – TE
75.) Zach Mettenberger – QB
76.)  David Yankey – OG
77.) Morgan Moses – OT
78.) Dominique Easley – DT
79.) Demarcus Lawrence – DE
80.) Kony Ealy – DE
81.) Jack Mewhort – OT
82.) Preston Brown – ILB
83.) Derek Carr – QB
84.) Charles Sims – RB
85.) Stanley Jean-Baptiste – CB
86.) Dezmen Southward – S
87.) Andrew Jackson – ILB
88.) Paul Richardson – WR
89.) Isiah Crowell – RB
90.) Jaylen Watkins- CB
91.)  Brandon Thomas – G
92.) JaWuan James – OT
93.) Troy Niklas – TE
94.) Scott Crichton – DE
95.) Jeremiah Attaochu DE/LB
96.) Kareem Martin, DE
97.) Christian Jones – LB
98.) Mike Davis – WR
99.)  Walt Aikens – CB
100.) Logan Thomas – QB

Observations:  First you’re probably wondering if I forgot some names and then had to make up by inserting them near the bottom.  This is not the case and players like OG David Yankey, T Morgan Moses, TE Eric Ebron, and NT Timmy Jerrigan (and others) I almost put on this list in full begrudge mode – I don’t particularly like their game, but they are likely to be drafted so high (1st or 2nd rounds) that I had to include them as potential NFL starters because their teams will give them every opportunity to fail before they finally realize their mistakes.

The Top 12 guys I have listed I think are really special players.  WR Jordan Matthews and LB Ryan Shazier might have the most effort to adjust to the pro game, but I think they could be the two best players for the 2014 draft if they in Matthew’s case polish their game, and in Shazier’s case if he either adds muscle or moves to an OLB/S hybrid position in the pros.  Jenkins at TE represents the highest bust factor of the 12, but I’m taking his potential way over the other TE’s in this draft (Amaro at 50, Ebron at 74, Niklas at 93).

Bishop Sankey to me is the best RB right now in this class, and it is an interesting RB group with Hyde, McKinnon, Mason, West, Gaffney, Williams, Seastrunk, Crowell etc… there isn’t a lot of wow factor here.  In fact, as many as half of these RB’s (as well as some not listed) will be rendered fantasy irrelevant as soon as their name is called by the wrong team.  We learned that last year when teams like the Seahawks took talent like Christine Michael , and he was relegated to the pine for 2013.  By the same token though you monitor it because there’s always a chance that one of these guys gets early down carries and becomes an instant RB 2 for you.  Welcome to the new NFL where RB’s are necessary crap shoots.  So it’s always worth checking on them even if they’ll break your heart.

Speaking of breaking your hearts I have 9 QB’s on this list.  This certainly won’t happen in the real life draft that 9 QB’s will go in the 1st 100 picks.  And I don’t even think this is a particularly strong QB draft – in fact, it’s debatable if any of these guys are worth a 1st round pick.  But, statically a few of these guys will win starting jobs and as QB it is the most important position on the field so – the Johnny Manziel saga, the rise of Tom Savage, the fall of Teddy Bridgewater are all things worth watching because 1 or 2 of these 9 could be probowlers.  Just don’t ask me to name them now…this is a muddy, muddy hierarchy.  Logan Thomas is on here purely for the “could be” factor – his athleticism is scary – but so are some of his throws.  Star or camp cut I love that intrigue.

I’ve said all along that outside of WR (16 on this list!), the skill positions for fantasy in this draft are not outstanding – and that means that the post draft work you do to prepare for your 2014 FFL team will be really the most beneficial.  But for those of you draftniks tonight begins another part of the process that brings us closer to football season.

I hope your team does well over the next three days.  I hope my team takes a lot of these 100 – the true fantasy is getting excited over draft picks yet to hit the field.  Game on.

:by 40






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