California Student One of Five Players to Watch in NFL Draft

NFL Draft

The 2014 NFL Mock Draft Reviews have become the next best thing for fans and experts to dive into while their respective teams contemplate the future. Teams that are already out of the playoffs, and looking towards the next step, will be looking into the students making up the prospect pool and starting to evaluate players for potential draft spots. There will be certain games where scouts for specific teams will go to watch players they are interested in seeing. Games like the East-West Shrine Game played yesterday, and the Reese’s Senior Bowl next weekend are good places to evaluate college talent, and for teams to get a better idea on how the players may perform on Sundays at the next level. With a host of options from Carolina to California, these five players are the ones the experts are saying to watch.

NFL Draft ClowneyJadeveon Clowney is widely considered the best talent in the draft and potentially one of the best talents to come out of college in years. Even after a down year, with only three sacks, most NFL scouts base his lack of production his Junior season on nagging injuries and a lack of focus. Many have speculated that he played safe this year, not wanting to risk injury before he takes his step towards the next level. Just the year before, Clowney had 12 and a half sacks and created many highlight reels for Sportcenter on ESPN. Clowney is projected to be one of the first few picks in May’s draft.

NFL DraftJake Matthews is not the most glamorous pick in this coming draft, but the mammoth left tackle will be a shield for his next quarterback  for years to come. Matthews is considered the cream-of-the-crop among the offensive linemen coming out this year and the best left tackle available. The NFL experts have Jake Matthews coming off the board within the first five picks.

NFL DraftAnthony Barr is the new hybrid outside linebacker that any team might incorporate in their scheme to rush the passer. He’s been producing at a high level for four years as a student athlete at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Amassing ten sacks on the year and creating much havoc in the backfield, Anthony Barr’s talents will be highly considered by a 3-4 defensive scheme specialist as a top pick in the NFL Draft in 2014. Watch for him to be among the top five players to go.

NFL DraftTeddy Bridgewater has been projected on many NFL Mock Drafts for 2014 as the overall number one pick. He does not have the elite size or bulk for a franchise quarterback;  but throughout his college tenure at Louisville he has been considered the most NFL ready quarterback in the draft. Teddy performed admirably during his bowl game, proving he can make every throw on the field, and that he has the knack for reading defenses. Houston Texans have been rumored to be looking at him and about two other prospects for the top draft pick.

NFL DraftJohnny Manziel is the highlight reel quarterback in this years draft. Some experts call him magnificent and an explosive play maker; others call him reckless and needing to mature more to be a face of a franchise. His talent is not what is in question, but his decisions on and off the field that may sway teams one way or the other. Either way, the experts have Johnny as a top five pick in the upcoming draft. Somebody will take the risk, to be sure.

The talent pool is deep, and many positions have many viable players at their position. NFL scouts for each team will have some difficult decisions to make in the coming months leading up to the draft. Many will make the right calls and many will not but its the nature of a draft. The scouts will be doing their due diligence, from Carolina to California, watching each student athlete while most experts will be debuting most of their NFL Draft for 2014 leading up to May.

by Justin Huffman

Bleacher Report

CBS Sports

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