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2014 Positional Rankings

Draft101 evaluates the quality and depth of each position in the 2014 NFL Draft



| 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 |
| Overview | Top 100 |
| QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C |
| DT | DE | 34LB | OLB | ILB | CB | S |
| K | P | LS |

PositionGradeComment
QuarterbackBOnce again a perceived loaded class has lost some of its luster. There are three to four future franchise level talents that give this class enough punch to matter. Yet, all of those prospects have major questions. Bridgewater's touch and accuracy are insane but his slender frame raises legitimate durability concerns. Blake Bortles is just the opposite as he has ideal height and bulk to withstand and even inflict punishment to potential tacklers but his lack of football intelligence (at this point, he's only a sophomore) and decision making are question marks. Derek Carr has a huge arm and elite intangibles but lacks the footwork to be a consistently accurate passer. Then of course there is Johnny Football who is a wizard outside the pocket with enough arm strength to succeed but has major off field concerns and a lack of development from the pocket. Two wild cards are immensely talented but far too raw are Tajh Boyd and Logan Thomas.
Running BackC+There is no denying the game of football is changing. The importance of the running back position is eroding, and its evident in recent drafts. Last year was the first in quite some time that no back was taken in the first round, and the same situation is likely this year as well. There are a few talented backs who could prevent that from happening again. One is the physical bruiser out of Ohio St. who at 240 pounds is capable of the heavy workload teams are now reluctant to give to one guy. Of course Eddie Lacy breaks that mold and it just so happens that is Hyde's best comparison at the pro level. Tre Mason helped the Auburn Tigers run their zone read offense all the way to the BCS Title Game and earned Heisman consideration in the process. His attacking style throws opponents off guard and is reminiscent of a much bigger back than 5'10 198 pounds. Kadeem Carey is one of the most accomplished backs in Arizona history and might have some mileage on his tires but has the well rounded skill set teams will be intrigued by. However, if you are going to talk about well rounded running back you have to mention Charles Sims who isn't the flashiest guy in the world, but has the size, speed, vision and receiving ability to develop into the best back in this class.
Fullback-
Wide ReceiverAComing off a weak class at the position the wide receiver spot is absolutely loaded in 2014. At the top we have a true stud Sammy Watkins who has dominated the ACC since his freshman year likely to go in the top five overall. Mike Evans of Texas A&M is a 6'5 power forward who plays the game like he's going after a rebound. Another big and physical receiver poised to hear his name called on Day One is Florida State's Kelvin Benjamin. The 23 year old redshirt sophomore is an absolute beast as a possession receiver, especially in the red zone where his 6'5 235 pound frame is simply too much for corners to deal with. Both Evans and Benjamin boast incredible ball skills as well, which makes them potential All-Pros split out wide. Brandon Coleman of Rutgers, Donte Moncrief of Ole Miss, and Clemson's Martavis Bryant also have the big bodies to develop into big time split ends.
Tight EndB+This tight end class has a clearly defined Big Three consisting of uber athletic Eric Ebron, adept route runner Jace Amaro and physical beast Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Beyond those three, who could conceivably all go in the first round, there are talented prospects with a lot of refining still necessary. Troy Niklas has the built and hands to be a duel threat down the road. Xavier Grimble is a poor man's Ebron while Marcel Jenson has the oversized frame and athleticism of to be a matchup nightmare. The best prospect outside of the Big Three is CJ Fiedorowicz who is 6'7 and a great blocker who has some receiving skills to keep defenses honest.
Offensive TackleA-There might not be a more thankless job than NFL offensive lineman. The Big Uglies up front do all the dirty work that makes what the skill position players do possible, but get none of the credit. If you're cool not getting the recognition though, you still get an NFL paycheck. The 2013 was special and had 5 linemen taken in the top 10 and 8 go in round one. The tackle position, because of its role in the passing game is clearly the most valuable position on the line. Just like last year we have a late riser who is soaring up draft boards to challenge a left tackle from Texas A&M. This year its Auburn's Greg Robinson whose nasty demeanor and ability to maul opponents in the running game paired with size and fluidity are pushing him to the top of the rankings. Just like his former teammate Luke Joeckel did last year, Jake Matthews has spent much of the season as the #1 Offensive Line prospect. Robinson might have taken that crown from him, but Matthews is as safe a pick as they come due to great bloodlines, excellent technique and quick feet. Other first rounders are Taylor Lewan, Cyrus Kouandjio and Zach Martin (who is likely to make the switch to guard at the next level). Antonio Richardson and Morgan Moses are Top 50 picks as well.
GuardB-Moving inside to guard we have a first round candidate, David Yankey, leading the pack. The former tackle is athletic enough to excel in a zone scheme and reaches the second level with ease. With athleticism being so important for guards nowadays its not surprising to see guys like Xavier Su'a-Filo being highly coveted. More powerful road graders like Gabe Jackson and Cyril Richardson are also Top 50 type talents. Overall the group is above average especially when you add in likely tackle converts like Zach Martin, James Hurst and Billy Turner.
CenterB+The center class has no first round locks, but there are several future NFL starters. Among them are Arkansas center Travis Swanson, who is pegged by most as the top ranked center, and the fast rising Weston Richburg of Colorado St. who looks ready to play from day one. Bryan Stork will get a look in the mid rounds and guys like Tyler Larson and Gabe Ikard are likely to be drafted with a realistic opportunity to win a starting spot. The name to watch is Marcus Martin who was overlooked among other prospects at USC but has all the ability and build to be the best in the class.
Defensive TackleC+Notre Dame's massive space eater Louis Nix brings the movement skills and strength to not only anchor the middle but also rush the passer. Then we have a dynamic penetrator whose production and explosive skill set is finally starting to overshadow his lack of height. Aaron Donald was an unstoppable force at defensive tackle dominating his competition, yet scouts will have to overlook his short arms and 6'0 frame. Another undersized tackle had a similarly outstanding 2012 campaign, but struggled much more this year after adding some to weight to (evidently unsuccessfully) impress scouts. Arizona St tackle Will Sutton flashes a relentless motor and quick first step but at 6'1 315 some of that quickness has dissipated. Timmy Jernigan is another player with the potential to be a true force inside with his hand usage and natural athletic ability. Some sleepers are Caraun Reid, Justin Ellis and Calvin Barnett
Defensive EndBIn a pass happy league the role of pass rusher is of vital importance. This year's class has a once in a generation type pass rusher to bouy the overall grade, but beyond Jadaveon Clowney there aren't many dominating players who are true ends. Yet on the edge are some of the most in demand prospects. Rushers like Dee Ford bring the pure speed to bring the heat and all around athletes like Kony Ealy have the ability to win with burst and strength. Stephon Tuitt has a flawlessly ideal frame and major potential as a 4-3 end, tackle or 3-4 end. Scott Critchon has an endless motor but more limited upside. Kareem Martin is thought to have potential to due to long frame but he lacks the explosiveness to become a dynamic threat. Hybrid athletes who are likely to stick at the end position despite a lack of size are Michael Sam, Marcus Smith, Jackson Jeffcoat and Chris Smith.
3-4 LinebackerBMost of these prospects are listed on other position lists but they all share the ability to bring the heat off the edge. Exclusive 3-4 LB prospects are Adrian Hubbard, Morgan Breslin and James Gayle. Overall the group is strong in terms of depth but its hard to pigeonhole most into this role exclusively.
Outside LinebackerA-The role of athletic defenders with the mobility to cover and rush the passer has become essential and make the outside linebacking position a premium. Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr are likely to play the hybrid 3-4 edge rusher role so we'll like to make sure to highlight the true 4-3 outside linebacking prospects like Ryan Shazier and Kyle Van Noy who are Top 40 type players. Others are more under the radar but have the prototypical skills of a traditional linebacker. Those include Jonathan Brown, Denicos Allen, Christian Kirksey and Kevin Pierre-Louis. A host of tweeners include Top 50 talents like Dee Ford, Trevor Reilly, Carl Bradford, Christian Jones, Jeremiah Attaochu, Adrian Hubbard and Telvin Smith.
Inside LinebackerBCJ Mosley is as good of a linebacking prospect as there is possessing the physicality, tackling skills, burst and range to do it all. Yawim Smallwood will not generate any flashy highlights but is a consistent and disciplined prospect. Shayne Skov was an absolute beast prior to an ACL injury two years back and is regaining his form quickly. If he can get back some of that explosion he could be a ten fixture and a team leader in the middle of a defense. Chris Borland is undersized but his instincts are off the charts and Christian Jones is a tweener who has great strength and versatility.
CornerbackB+Corners are now one of the most drafted positions as teams spread the field defenses need people to cover them. A strong class with impressive depth boasts Top 15 prospects Justin Gilbert and Darqueze Dennard along with first round candidates Bradley Roby, the speedy Buckeye and Jason Verrett who is as instinctive in coverage as you'll ever see. The Seahawks model of big, physical corners will no doubt be the blueprint of many future franchises looking to find similar success. In that vein, Keith McGill, Antone Exum, Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Aaron Colvin and Pierre Desir all have the frame to develop into elite press corners. Some of my favorite values are Kyle Fuller, Walt Aikens, Loucheiz Purifoy and EJ Gaines.
SafetyB-The safety class really lacks the juice of previous years including last year which had prospects like Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, Matt Elam, Jonathan Cyprien and Tyrann Mathieu all find major success. This year there are two likely first rounders, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, but the depth is a little lacking. Dion Bailey is a quality strong safety and former linebacker at USC while Washington State's Deone Bucannon has the physical presence and range to make an impact. The guy to watch is Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward, who has the fluidity and range to be a force in coverage. LSU's Craig Loston is a hard hitter with major upside.
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2013-14 Season Fantasy Studs

QBPeyton ManningDEN516
RBJamaal CharlesKC295
WRJosh GordonCLE221
TEJimmy GrahamNO211
KStephen GostkowskiNE179
DEFKansas CityKC207
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