Friday, May 3, 2013
Looking ahead to the 2014 NFL draft
By Matt Fortuna
Almost every mock draft or board looking at next season has Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater placed at No. 1 or No. 2 overall. Andrea and SEC blogger Edward Aschoff had a spirited debate about this earlier this week, with Aschoff siding with South Carolina end Jadeveon Clowney.
Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay has chimed in this week as well, and he is going with Clowney , though the Big East is hardly overlooked on his initial 2014 draft board.
Two players from the conference make the top 32, with one just missing the cut.
Bridgewater is at No. 2, USF end Aaron Lynch is at No. 28 and Rutgers wideout Brandon Coleman is on the "10 more to monitor" list.
Of course, this is all assuming that Bridgewater and Lynch leave school early. Coleman, too, is eligible for a fifth year in 2014. Lynch still has three years of eligibility remaining, and would jump based off just two years of college ball, as he sat out the 2012 season following his transfer from Notre Dame.
While there is no denying Lynch is a first-round talent -- his 5.5 sacks in Year 1 with the Irish demonstrated that -- maturity issues are obviously a question mark following a 2011 season that saw him get called for his six penalties (and refuse to apologize for them). Notre Dame running the regular-season table without him in 2012 is hardly a glowing endorsement, and he won't be facing the same competition this fall that he had while in South Bend, Ind., though Bulls coach Willie Taggart spoke about Lynch turning a corner this spring.
Coleman, meanwhile, has quietly crept up on a few recent draft boards after a season in which he amassed 718 yards and 10 scores. He sat out this spring while recovering from minor knee surgery, but given Rutgers' lack of experience at receiver, and the return of Gary Nova under center, he is in position to have another breakout year in 2013.