Don’t read into everything you hear about the 2014 NFL Draft. It’s only 2013, after all.
There is plenty that will change between now and seven months from now. Back in 2011, somewhere in January, teams were talking about this can’t miss prospect.
A tall, 6’5” flame thrower with golden locks and a cannon arm. A kid who could really make a team a contender and become another Drew Bledsoe with better athleticism.
His name was Blaine Gabbert. I think that probably sums up this piece even before it starts.
So much is made about the “Can’t Miss” prospect that NFL general managers and reporters and even the draft geeks that we are become entranced with one player we think will not only change the team we love, but change the NFL and change the world.
Ask Cleveland about Tim Couch. Ask Minnesota about Christian Ponder. Ask San Diego about Ryan Leaf.
Of the projected first 10 selections in the draft right now (for 2014) take into account that the Giants are on a winning streak and are still making the fourth selection in the draft and Pittsburgh, the fifth. Those to slots alone will continue to change.
And for those of you who think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will change their head coach, their general manager and their quarterback, here is a news flash - that Mike Glennon kid is better than Blaine Gabbert right now.
With major changes on the horizon at the midway point of the season, here are the first 10 selections in the next year’s NFL Draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Caroliina: There are plenty of good quarterbacks to take in back end of first round or at the top of the second round. I like Clowney here and maybe Stephen Morris of Miami in round two.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: A new head coach and general manager will be making this choice. It probably will be a quarterback. Teddy Bridgewater and possibly Charlie Strong? Sounds like a winner. But I also like Lovie Smith here.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: This team may have a quarterback of the future in Josh Freeman or a dilemma. Either way, look for the Vikings to address their most pressing needs early on.
4. New York Giants - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: The Giants will not drafting in the fifth spot when it is all said and done. But like true Giants fashion, the offensive line gets more help. Matthews is the best tackle on the board.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers - Anthony Barr, DE/OLB. UCLA: Another one of those picks where I expect the Steelers to draft lower than this. But if the team were to stay here, Barr would be a huge improvement to an aging defense.
6. Atlanta Falcons - CJ Moseley, OLB, Alabama: Has there been a bigger disappointment than Atlanta? The Falcons have been attacked by injuries everywhere. Moseley offers speed and agility on the outside. This may be a reach, but he is as consistent a player as there is on the board.
7. St. Louis (from Washington) - Kahlil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: The fastest rising player on the board right now. Jeff Fisher loves players like this. He can also use his second pick in the first round to address a need at running back or offensive line.
8. Houston Texans - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: The Texans had better pull the trigger on this one or Cleveland will. Manziel is linked to two teams already in this draft. I still think he will be a bust on the next level.
9. St. Louis Rams - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame: He is a huge blocker and he and Michael Brockers would be a wall of defense. The Rams still need help at receiver and could take Sammy Watkins here, but Nix is the safer bet. They can address a running back later.
10. Philadelphia Eagles - Cameron Erving, OT, FSU: There will be plenty of tackles to choose from in this draft. The Eagles took Lane Johnson last season and could take another this year. The Eagles need help everywhere - it seems.