Breaking Down The 2013 (And 2014) NFL Drafts: 'It's A Bunch Of Stuff'
Weeb Ewbank, who was a fine gentleman and the answer to a trivia question of who was the only coach to win championships in both the NFL and AFL (having won NFL championships with the Baltimore Colts in 1958 and 1959 and then with the New York Jets Super Bowl win in 1969 over those same Baltimore Colts), had a pet saying, "It's a bunch of stuff".
And that will be the theme of this article.
At this point in time Jadeveon Clowney is the presumed No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft and has already indicated that he will be an early entrant into the draft. He was the No. 1 rated defensive lineman coming out of high school and was listed at 6-6 245 as a freshman; 6-6 256 as a sophomore to the present 6-6 272 while running 4.56 and 4.76 forties. But some issues have now surfaced in that he sustained a neck/back injury during Spring practice and with his defensive coordinator stating that they are working on improving his being an every down player. Uh-oh! Could this be a chink in his armor ?
At this time last year some of the big names were Matt Barkley, Jarvis Jones, Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery and Star Lotulelei being mentioned for the No. 1 overall pick. Eric Fisher was listed at No. 50, Lane Johnson at No. 58 and Brennan Williams at No. 59 and that was just on a list of Tackles much less the overall list. So will Clowney really end up being the No. 1 overall pick in 2014?
Stephon Tuitt came out of high school as the No. 6 rated DLineman who enrolled at Notre Dame as a 6-5 270 freshman to 6-6 295 as a sophomore to a now 6-6 322 junior who hasn't yet given any indication as to whether he will declare for the draft. But if he did he would be quite a pick as a DE in a 3-4 defense and I believe would be the heaviest DE in NFL history. Ed "Too Tall" Jones with Dallas was listed at 6-9 271; Doug Atkins of the Bears was also taller at 6-8 275 and Mario Williams was listed at 6-7 and 292 when he played DE before being moved to OLB. Tuitt's teammate, NT Louis Nix, III entered Notre Dame as a listed 6-3 340 pounder to 6-3 326 to now 6-3 347 as a Redshirt Junior and if these two players continue to improve on last year's performances and show dominance while at these weights they will be pushing for top five consideration. A throwback comparison for Nix was Les Bingamin who was a star NT for the Detroit Lions in the 1950's and was listed at 6-3 300+ while many said the + really meant 350. He played with Bobby Layne and Doak Walker, both Lions and NFL legends.
Imagine what kind of DL Notre Dame would have had if Aaron Lynch, 6-6 245 DE had remained at ND but after his freshman year he transferred to the Univ. of South Florida which is closer to his home. He was a top 30 player coming out of H.S., had 5.5 sacks as a freshman at ND and was considered their best defensive player when he left, then sat out 2012 and would now be eligible for the draft is he so desired.
In my article on the Top Ten QB's for the 2014 draft I didn't include Brett Hundley of UCLA as I assumed that he would also return for another college season just as I guessed that Kevin Hogan and Johnny Manziel would. But now Manziel could be another matter as his fame at Texas A&M has caused him to take on-line courses to avoid the well wishers and autograph seekers on campus and this could cause him to flee for the NFL. If he does come out an NFL team would have to adjust its offense to his talents, which reminds me of a quicker version of Fran Tarkenton.
Taylor Martinez, QB of Nebraska is not considered to be a top QB prospect at this time but with his size, speed and running ability would be considered for another position but where? Denard Robinson was supposed to change to WR but the Jacksonville wants him to be a RB. B.J. Daniels, who played QB at South Florida, was drafted by the 49ers in the seventh round and people were trying to figure out what they had in store for him with some sages thinking the 49ers may just want him as a practice squad player to be used to prepare for Russell Wilson.
And speaking of Jacksonville which is still in a rebuilding mode with no chance of making the playoffs this year, why don't they trade Maurice Jones-Drew while he still has value. They would be doing him a favor by giving him a chance to play for a playoff contender and help themselves by obtaining future draft choices to continue the rebuilding effort. It should have been done already but the best bet now is to wait until pre-season and see if a RB goes down with a playoff contender and attempt to trade him to that team.
I really liked what the Titans did in signing Guard Andy Levitre and then drafting Guard Chance Warmack and Center Brian Schwenke to solidify the interior of their offensive line but I have to question whether Jake Locker is the answer at QB.