Right now I am starving for some Football and its only been a few weeks since the end of the season. That’s how deprived I feel, and the combine is the first opportunity to get a small dose of the upcoming 2014 season. There are already claims of an extremely deep draft, and I think there are a lot of reasons to watch in anticipation. Here are the people who made a splash this past weekend in Indianapolis. With Leaf Metal coming out this week, I would aim to buy into some of the autographs from these guys.
Johnny Manziel – QB Texas A&M
After last season, I was convinced he would end up a 2nd or 3rd round pick. After this past season, he has climbed the board significantly, and actually has an outside chance of being selected number one by Houston. That would be a VERY good thing for cards this year, as Manziel will be the top value guy in the class regardless of where he is drafted. The only nightmare scenario would be him landing in Jacksonville, which would be a complete train wreck for cards. Lets all pray that doesn’t happen.
Jadaveon Clowney – DE South Carolina
I am not a fan of his prospects, as I don’t think the questions about his work ethic should go unanswered for a team in the top five. He is a freakish talent, no doubt, but there are some lingering issues that could pose a threat to his overall value. Its rare I would put a defensive player on a list like this, but he is definitely worth a second look as the first sets of the year come out.
Blake Bortles – QB Central Florida
Talk about coming out of nowhere, this guy could be a top 10 pick after being a nobody in 2012. He has tools to be a serviceable starter, but I don’t think anyone is willing to put any high expectations on him. A lot of people have him going as high as number 5, and some as low as number 8 to the Vikings, but he may not make it past number 3 in the first round. He wont have much value coming out, as his school isn’t a powerhouse, but he could be a nice investment opportunity if he gets the starting job.
Sammy Watkins – WR Clemson
He is a burner, and proved his speed this past weekend. He looks like he could be a combination of AJ Green and Alshon Jeffery, with speed and hands to really get up there in production. I like his game, and I think he will be a top 10 pick EASY. The problem is he could end up with a team that has no QB, which would be a bad situation for any WR prospect. Lets hope that doesn’t happen.
Michael Sam – DE/LB Missouri
I have mentioned how much value Sam will have out of the gate because of the story surrounding his circumstances, and that is a big reason why his combine was under scrutiny. He didn’t run a blazing time, which was unfortunate, but he should still project as a 3rd -5th round guy. I think everyone should be happy when they pull his card, as it will automatically be worth something off the bat.
Mike Evans – WR Texas A&M
Some of the main attributes of Mike Evans are more about his catch skills than his speed, but he ran quite a good time at the combine. Enough to get people excited about his prospects. Lots of teams drafting at the top of round one need a receiver, and he could be a great guy to fill some of those needs.
Teddy Bridgewater – QB Louisville
No idea why Bridgewater didn’t do much at the combine, but he will be a top pick regardless. I think he might be a bit overrated in his NFL readiness, but no less than any of the other QBs at the top. I think I like him as a mid range starter on Sunday, and those aren’t really the guys you want to draft with the first pick. Who knows, things always have the chance of turning out weird.
I cant wait for the first of 2014 products to be released, and it looks like this class should have some star power after all.