2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Wide Receivers

April 18th, 2014

Sammy Watkins is one of seven wide receivers graded as first-round talents in this year’s draft class. (Photo: Joshua S. Kelly — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

With seven players graded in the first round and 11 in the first two rounds, this is one of the best wide receiver classes I have ever scouted. Quality prospects with exciting playmaking potential can be found in each round of the 2014 draft.

Sammy Watkins is the premier talent in the group. He has a bright NFL future ahead of him. His value rivals that of top-tier prospects like AJ Green and Julio Jones, who were both selected in the top six of the 2011 NFL draft.

36 receivers in this year’s class have draftable grades, making this the year for teams to add weapons to their offenses.

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2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Inside Linebackers

April 16th, 2014

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is the only first-round prospect in this year’s draft class of inside linebackers. (Photo: Chuck Cook — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

The 2014 draft class of inside linebackers looks to be about par for the course. A variety of skill sets with an overall lack of quality at the bottom of the rankings is what I have come to expect from the position, and this year appears to be no different.

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley is far and away the premier talent of this group and will be on everyone’s early list for 2014 defensive rookie of the year. Depending on what teams are looking for, players with starter upside could be had throughout the first four rounds.

An average of 11 inside linebackers have been drafted each year over the past five drafts. I have graded 16 prospects as draftable this year.

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2014 NFL Draft Positional Breakdowns: Offensive Tackle

April 15th, 2014

Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews is the cream of this year’s offensive tackle crop. (Photo: John David Mercer — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

At least one offensive tackle has been selected among the first 10 selections in every draft but one (2005) since 2000. Premier talents like Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson, who I compared in-depth earlier this draft season, make it a near certainty that the trend will continue this year.

It would not be surprising to see Taylor Lewan join that mix and make this year’s draft the second consecutive with three top-10 offensive tackle selections.

An average of 19 offensive tackles have been selected in the last five drafts. I have draftable grades on 23 tackles this year which is a testament to the depth of this class. Intriguing offensive tackle talents can be found in every round of this year’s draft.

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2014 NFL Mock Draft: Joe Marino’s Seven-Round Projections (4/12/14)

April 12th, 2014

Value and need make Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater the Houston Texans’ best choice for the No. 1 overall pick. (Photo: Andrew Weber — USA Today Sports)

BBD Assistant Editor: Joe Marino

I don’t recall a draft with more mixed opinions, projections and grades than this year’s, which should make for an exciting draft in May that is full of unpredictability. With one of the deepest draft classes I have evaluated, there is talent to be had in every round and ample opportunity for teams to fill holes and acquire talent.

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2014 Buffalo Bills Draft Projections: “3 for 3″ Post-Free Agency Mock

April 11th, 2014

If the Bills have a shot to draft Jake Matthews with the No. 9 overall pick, they shouldn’t pass it up. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

Though it took a little longer than the first installment of the series, the second edition of Pro Football Focus’ “3 For 3” mock draft series recently took place over the course of a couple weeks. Like the first mock, which was held just following the NFL Scouting Combine in early March, I continued to act as the drafter in charge of the Buffalo Bills.

There was no need to do anything different with the No. 9 overall pick, as a player who fills one of Buffalo’s biggest needs—and just might be the best all-around player in the draft—was still available as a right tackle upgrade.

On Day 2, the Bills were forced to change course. While BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy and Stanford guard David Yankey might have been the selections once again as they represent great values in the draft’s second and third rounds, both were rightfully selected earlier this time around.

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