SEC bloggers Chris Low and Edward Aschoff occasionally will give their takes on a burning question facing the league. We'll both have strong opinions, but not necessarily the same view. We'll let you decide which blogger is right.
With the first round of the 2014 NFL draft on tap for Thursday night, everybody knows those former SEC stars expected to go early -- Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel, Jake Matthews, Mike Evans and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. But what about the guys expected to go later in the draft?
Today's Take Two topic: Which former SEC player projected to go in the middle rounds or later will have the best pro career?
Take 1: Chris Low
I’m in the same camp as Tony Dungy when it comes to Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, the guy who supposedly couldn’t get it done in big games prior to his senior season despite his assault on SEC career passing records.
Remember when Dungy raised more than a few eyebrows last year when he said he would take Murray with one of top few picks in the 2013 draft? At that time, Murray had yet to decide if he would return for his senior season. Dungy’s son played high school football with Murray in Tampa, Fla., so there were some who accused Dungy of speaking more with his heart than his head.
But as the 2014 draft has approached, Dungy is sticking to his guns and thinks Murray will be a lot like Russell Wilson in the NFL, which is lofty praise. I’m not necessarily predicting that Murray will lead his team to a Super Bowl championship in his second season, but I do think he will have a long and successful career at the next level.
Despite everybody going down around him last season with injuries, Murray carried that Georgia team. He was brilliant in big wins over South Carolina and LSU and saved an injury-depleted Georgia team on the road against Tennessee. Don’t forget that even when he tore his ACL against Kentucky in his last home game, he stayed in the game for 14 more plays.
The guy has a huge heart, a much better arm than most people realize, and more than enough mobility. He might last until the third round, maybe even the fourth round. I’m not sure where he’ll go, but all those teams that pass on him will be sorry.
Take 2: Edward Aschoff
Like Chris, I’m going offense with my decision, and my choice is Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief. I wanted to go with LSU running back Jeremy Hill, but we all know how beat up running backs get at the pro level. I’ll take a wide receiver who is tough, fast, and has the height to frustrate most defensive backs he’ll face.
What’s not to like about a player who finished his college career ranked third in school history in receptions (156), receiving yards (2,371) and receiving touchdowns (20) and second in 100-yard receiving games (nine)?
The thing about Moncrief is that he really is a Jack of all trades at receiver. He can sprint past players with his legitimate 4.4 speed, he can jump out of the gym with those powerful legs, and he’s incredibly athletic. He’ll make the tough catches over the middle because he’s built for contact, and he’ll stretch the field for the deep ball. He’s durable and also has that menacing 6-2, 220-pound frame that will help him battle more physical corners.
Moncrief has what it takes to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL on Day 1, and I think that with all the physical tools he has, he’ll be a great player for a very long time. He’s also incredibly coachable, had no off-field issues while at Ole Miss, and has a great work ethic. He will be an absolute steal in this draft.