Dan Hope’s Top 100 Prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft

Stephon Tuitt is one of the top 3-4 defensive end prospects in this year’s draft class. (Photo: Matt Cashore — USA Today Sports)

51. Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame

Tuitt possesses an intriguing combination of size, length and athleticism, and has the skill set to be a disruptive pass-rusher from both inside and outside. He doesn’t have the burst or bend around the corner that one wants in a 4-3 defensive end, while he could have some issues as an interior point-of-attack run defender, but he projects nicely as a 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme.

52. Marcus Smith, OLB/DE, Louisville

Smith is an athletic edge defender who turns the corner with speed and uses his hands well to create disruption as an outside pass-rusher. Also a solid tackler with some coverage ability in space, Smith is a “tweener” who might not have a true position in a 4-3 scheme, but is well suited for a 3-4 outside linebacker role.

53. Billy Turner, OT/G, North Dakota State

A dominant force at the FCS level, Turner is a big offensive lineman who can win with power at the line of scrimmage but also bursts to the second level as a run blocker. He struggles to kick slide outside in pass protection, however, and might be best suited for a move inside from tackle to guard at the next level.

54. Jack Mewhort, OT/G, Ohio State

Mewhort is a technically sound offensive lineman who has clean footwork and consistently locks down defenders once he gets his hands on them. Often exposed by outside speed rushers, he might not have enough lateral quickness to remain at tackle at the next level, but he projects as an excellent guard.

55. Trai Turner, G, LSU

Turner is a big, strong and athletic guard who fires off the snap with quickness and can control his opponent as soon as he gets his hands on a defender. He has limited lateral quickness and isn’t particularly overpowering, but he is an effective pass protector and lane-opening run blocker who should be an NFL starter.

56. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

A big receiver who has great leaping ability and attacks the ball in the air, Robinson can be a tough matchup for opponents on the outside. He doesn’t have the speed to beat many defensive backs deep or the quickness to make many defenders miss, but he is a strong wideout who should be a solid No. 2 possession receiver in the NFL.

57. Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee

Richardson is nicknamed “Tiny,” but at 6’6” and 336 pounds with 35” arms, he’s precisely the opposite. He can engulf defenders with his big frame, is powerful at the line of scrimmage and fires off the ball with quickness. His game is still a work in progress from a technical standpoint, but he has the potential to project to either side of an NFL offensive line.

58. Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming

One of the most overlooked receivers in a deep class at the position, Herron is an explosive athlete who catches the ball consistently and can extend plays in the open field. He has a small stature at just 5’9” and 193 pounds, but he has the potential to be an excellent slot receiver.

59. Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

A 6’4”, 211-pound wide receiver with 4.42-second 40-yard dash speed, Bryant has the measurables of a star wideout and a demonstrated ability to make spectacular catches. If he can improve his concentration as a pass-catcher and develop as a route runner, he has the potential to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.

60. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke

Cockrell is a fluid athlete with great ball skills. His measurables are unspectacular, but he moves his hips and feet well to cover ground and can frustrate receivers with his physical use of hands.

61. Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado

Richardson is an explosive downfield receiving threat who accelerates like a sprinter and can extend to make tough catches. He is a slim player who has limited strength and also tends to round off his routes, but he is a dangerous vertical playmaker who could make an impact both outside and from the slot.

62. David Yankey, G, Stanford

A two-time consecutive first-team All-American at Stanford, Yankey is an experienced, technically sound blocker who uses his hands well and can win with strength. He’s an unspectacular athlete whose stock was hurt by a poor combine performance, but he is a skilled pull blocker who can stick blocks at the second level.

63. Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame

Niklas is a big, traditional in-line tight end who is a sure-handed vertical receiving threat over the middle and also a strong blocker. He’s not a field-stretching deep threat, but is a very good intermediate receiver who can be an asset in all offensive phases.

64. Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice

A fluid, explosive athlete with great length and ball skills, Gaines’ game should translate well to the next level. He is a better fit for a zone coverage scheme than a man-to-man defense, as he is not the strongest or most physical player at the position.

65. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

A 6’5”, 224-pound quarterback with a cannon arm and a demonstrated ability to complete passes with accuracy to all levels of the field, Mettenberger has the potential to emerge as an NFL franchise quarterback. His red flags, however, are plentiful. Already lacking mobility, Mettenberger is coming off a torn ACL, reportedly has back issues and also has an alarming history of off-field misbehavior.

66. Demarcus Lawrence, DE/OLB, Boise State

One of the most explosive edge rushers in this year’s draft class, Lawrence’s first-step quickness, acceleration and pass-rushing moves make him a dangerous source of outside pressure. He’s a one-trick pony, however, who can be overpowered as a point-of-attack run defender but also needs to improve his play in space should he transition to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

67. Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern

McKinnon is a tough evaluation, as he played a variety of positions all over the field at the small-school level, but he is an outstanding all-around athlete with the most big-play potential of any running back prospect in this year’s draft class. With an outstanding combination of size, athleticism and strength, McKinnon can run away from defenders, make them miss and bounce off contact.

68. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

At 6’6” and 314 pounds with 35 3/8” arms, Moses can engulf defenders with his frame and consistently wins when he gets his hands on an opponent. Despite his size, however, he doesn’t exhibit much power, while he is a stiff, linear athlete.

69. Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB/DE, Georgia Tech

An explosive edge rusher with natural bend, Attaochu can beat blockers around the edge with his speed and with his hands. He is best suited to play 3-4 outside linebacker, but to be more than a situational pass-rusher in any scheme, he has to become a stronger, more technically sound run defender.

70. Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin

Often mischaracterized as a slot receiver, Abbrederis is a talented receiver with a good size-speed combination. He’s not particularly strong or explosive, but he is a skilled route runner who consistently catches the ball and can extend plays in the open field.

71. Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State

The best all-around center in a weak draft class at the position, Richburg moves his feet well and has strong hands. He has limited size and does not often win with power, but he’s a technically sound player who comes off the snap well and can holds his own against big defensive tackles in the middle of the line.

72. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama

McCarron, a two-time national champion at Alabama, might be the most accurate passer inside 15 yards in this year’s draft class. He is a smart on-field decision maker who could immediately produce as an intermediate passer, but his playmaking ability is limited by a relatively weak arm and subpar athleticism.

73. Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton

An athletic defensive tackle who is active with his hands, Reid is an explosive penetrator who can shoot gaps and blow up plays in the backfield. He is a skilled 3-technique who should have a bright future as an interior pass-rusher, but he might only be a situational player as his lack of size and strength are likely to be exposed at the next level.

74. Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State

The fastest player at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, Archer is a dynamic playmaker who can both outrun defenders and make them miss when he has the ball in space. Finding ways to get him in space, however, will present its challenges for NFL offenses. He is much too small to hold up as a between-the-tackles runner, while he has suspect hands and limited route-running ability as a receiver.

75. Donte Moncrief, WR, Mississippi

At 6’2” and 220 pounds with 4.4-flat 40-yard dash speed and explosive leaping ability, Moncrief has the size and athleticism scouts look for in a potential No. 1 wide receiver. He is a developmental prospect who needs to become a more complete route runner and consistent pass-catcher.

See page 4 for prospects 76-100.

Continue to Page: 1 2 3 4

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Big Board, Jake Matthews, Positional Rankings, Rankings, Top 100 Prospects, Top Prospects

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