Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ranking NFL Rookies Who Will Have the Best NFL Careers

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney: Clowney, the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, joins a defensive line that has JJ Watt on the other side, which means offenses can not prepare solely for the South Carolina alum. Clowney recorded 24.0 sacks throughout his career in college, where more than half of the sacks came during his impressive junior season. Houston's defense is bound to be one of the league's best in due time thanks to the addition of Jadeveon Clowney, and Clowney's raw talent will make him the best player from this draft class.

2. WR Sammy Watkins: Although I don't see quarterback EJ Manuel becoming a Pro-Bowler anytime soon, his new wide receiver Sammy Watkins is destined for stardom. Watkins had the best season of his college career by far in 2013, with 101 receptions, 1,464 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns, as well as an absolutely dominating performance against Ohio State in the Orange Bowl.

3. TE Eric Ebron: Ebron, clearly the most talented tight end of the 2014 draft class, will be playing for a team that relies heavily on their passing game. At 6'4"and 245 pounds, it will be difficult for an average cornerback to defend the North Carolina alum. To make matters worse for defenses, it will be impossible for them to double team Ebron seeing how the best wide receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson, is setting up on the opposite side of the field.

4. LB Khalil Mack: Despite playing for a small college in Buffalo, Mack gained a lot of publicity directly before the NFL Draft, as he became the fifth overall pick. His 40 yard dash time of 4.65 ranked fourth among linebackers, but his most impressive achievement from the past year came when he recorded 2 sacks against Ohio State in the season opener. Offensive lines can not double team Mack due to other talented pass rushers on the Rams' defensive line, so Mack is bound to pick up many sacks throughout his career in St. Louis.

5. WR Mike Evans: In most years, Mike Evans would have been the best wide receiver prospect in a given draft class, but due to the fact that he was dealing with Sammy Watkins in his draft class, Evans became the second best prospect at his position. Evans is 6'5", with excellent speed that makes him a deep threat. Also, Vincent Jackson will be lining up on the opposite side of the field, so defenses will be unable to focus entirely on Mike Evans.

6. OT Greg Robinson: The second overall pick in the draft gained a lot of notoriety during Auburn's magical run towards the end of the season, especially thanks to the fact that he was protecting star running back Tre Mason. Both of them will now be playing in St. Louis, where Robinson will be an immediate starter on the Rams. St. Louis already ranked 8th overall in sacks allowed this season thanks to stars such as Jake Long and Scott Wells, so there will be less pressure put on this rookie to carry the entire weight of this offensive line.

7. QB Teddy Bridgewater: For most rookie quarterbacks taken in the first round, it is their job to carry the offense on their own for the first few seasons; however, for Teddy Bridgewater, he has All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson to help with the work load.  Bridgewater is very elusive in the pocket, and he is unlikely to be injured throughout his NFL career thanks to his size and infrequent scrambling out of the pocket.

8. OT Jake Matthews: Matthews has experience defending an extremely talented quarterback, seeing how he played on the offensive line when both Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel played for Texas A&M. Matthews is 6'5" and weighs 305 pounds, allowing him to block some of the best pass rushers in football.

9.S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: As one of the best safeties in this draft class, Clinton-Dix achieved many honors throughout his college career, including All-American honors, two National Championships, and being named to the first team All-SEC. With plenty of experience playing in the spotlight, Clinton-Dix is one of the more NFL-ready players of this 2014 draft class.

10. QB Johnny Manziel: Johnny Manziel certainly has the talent one needs to be a star in the National Football League, but there are two question marks that will determine his success in the league: will off the field issues affect his performance on the field, and will he be able to remain healthy throughout his career due to his lack of size? The Heisman winner has a strong arm with an incredible ability to run the ball. Josh Gordon, Nate Burleson, Miles Austin, and Jordan Cameron make up one of the most underrated receiving corps in football, and Manziel has the potential to be the best quarterback of this year's draft, but it is unclear if that potential can transform into success (also, to see Manziel's highlights, be sure to check out our YouTube video here).

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