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2014 Big Board - Top 85

Because it's never too early to talk about the draft - #NOLESDRAFT14

The best receiver in college football
The best receiver in college football
Stephen Dunn

In honor of the NCAA mandated 85 scholarship players rule, here are the 85 most NFL Draft eligible players of the 2014 class. This list is just a preseason watch list so things likely will change between now and the midpoint of the college season due to a myriad of reasons (injury, suspension, ineligibility, etc).

Trends I spotted:

- The defensive line class is loaded again in 2014. This is especially the case in the Pac-12 where multiple Top 85 members play. The good news for the Titans? GM Ruston Webster comes from a west coast background and loves to dip in the Pac-12 pool quite often during his short tenure here. If the Titans continue to show a need for a DE, they should head west to find one.

- Alabama and LSU are once again loaded on defense to no one's surprise.

Without further ado, here's my list!

Name H/W School Class Notes
1. Jadeveon Clowney DE 6'6 275 South Carolina Junior The best player in college football, no questions asked
2. Taylor Lewan OT 6'8 309 Michigan RS Senior Was a top 5 lock in the 2013 NFL Draft
3. Jake Matthews OT 6'5 305 Texas A&M Junior The Matthews have another pro ready talent in the family. Bruce's son
4. Teddy Bridgewater QB 6'3 218 Louisville Junior Best overall QB in college football. Would've been drafted high in 2013 if eligible
5. Anthony Barr DE/OLB 6'4 235 UCLA Junior Nation's premier pass rusher. Stood out in 2012 with a monster showing
6. Bradley Roby CB 5'11 190 Ohio State RS Sophomore Will he continue the legacy of DB U North? Elite cover corner
7. Cyrus Kouandjio OT 6'6 311 Alabama Junior All is not lost for Bama's rebuild as Mt. Cyrus is around to carry on the punishing road grading duties
8. Tajh Boyd QB 6'1 225 Clemson RS Junior 2nd best QB in a deep class in 2014. Has Clemson ready to compete for the ACC title
9. Marquise Lee WR 6'0 195 USC Junior Arguably the best WR in all of college last year. Produced even with underwhelming QB play. Robert Woods who? Biletnikoff Winner. I would let Nate Washington go and draft Lee next year. He's that good.
10. Jackson Jeffcoat DE 6'5 238 Texas Senior Has the NFL bloodlines. Father Jim was a Cowboys great during the 1970s
11. Sammy Watkins WR 6'1 200 Clemson Junior Electrified college football during frosh year but ran into problems in 2012. 2nd best WR in the nation behind Lee
12, Louis Nix DE 6'3 326 Notre Dame Senior The leader of a talented ND DL that got hammered by Bama
13. Kyle Van Noy DE 6'3 235 BYU Senior Ziggy Ansah who? KVN might be a bigger freak athlete.
14. CJ Mosely LB 6'2 232 Alabama Senior The latest in a long line of NFL ready linebackers factory called Alabama
15. Stephon Tuitt DE 6'6 305 Notre Dame Junior see Louis Nix
16. Morgan Breslin DE/OLB 6'2 250 USC Senior JUCO transfer with 13 sacks in his first year as a Trojan
17. Ka'Deem Carey RB 5'10 198 Arizona RS Junior Talented but off field history not so good with a domestic violence charge on record
18. Jordan Matthews WR 6'3 205 Vanderbilt Senior Will he miss Aaron Rodgers' little brother in 2013?
19. De'Anthony Thomas RB 5'9 181 Oregon Junior Possibly the fastest player in college football. Heisman candidate for 2013
20. Justin Gilbert CB 6'0 200 Oklahoma State Senior Nation's 2nd best corner with great return skills
21. Christian Jones OLB 6'4 232 Florida State Senior Freak athlete on a defense full of them
22. Ryan Shazier OLB 6'2 222 Ohio State Junior Ohio State's next great LB product?
23. David Fales QB 6'3 220 SJSU Senior Most accurate QB in D-1 play in 2012
24. AJ McCarron QB 6'4 210 Alabama RS Senior Johnny Football may get all the pub but he's the true OG with the rings to back it up
25. Lache Seastrunk RB 5'10 210 Baylor RS Junior More famous for being the subject of Oregon's NCAA issues
26. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu 5'10 190 Oregon Junior Underrated corner for a very talented Ducks defense
27. Dominique Easley DT 6'2 280 Florida Junior Leader of the feared Gators defense. Disruptive at the point of attack
28. Colt Lyerla TE 6'5 238 Oregon Junior Another freak athlete for the Ducks offense and Antonio Gates clone. Would briefly consider Cut(ting) Stevens for him.
29. Anthony Johnson DL 6'3 304 LSU Junior Seriously, does LSU ever run out of these guys?
30. Louchiez Purifoy CB 6'1 190 Florida Junior
31. Will Sutton DE/DT 6'0 268 Arizona State Senior
32. Shayne Skov LB 6'3 242 Stanford RS Senior Shame knee injuries caught up to him. He's a talented one
33. Aaron Murray QB 6'1 212 Georgia RS Senior
34. HaHa Clinton-Dix S 6'1 210 Alabama Junior Nation's best safety prospect. Mark Barron who?
35. Tim Jernigan DT 6'2 298 Florida State Junior Go watch his tape. It's good stuff
36. AJ Johnson LB 6'2 240 Tennessee Senior Criminally underrated 'backer thanks to awful defense and program around him
37. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins TE 6'6 267 Washington Senior More likely to get kicked off the team than to make it to the draft
38. Marcus Roberson CB 6'0 186 Florida Junior Florida's other talented corner
39. Aaron Lynch DE 6'6 270 USF via ND RS Sophomore Despite well accounted mommy issues, talented prospect
40. Antonio Richardson OT 6'6 332 Tennessee Junior
41. Aaron Colvin CB 6'0 182 Oklahoma Senior
42. James Hurst OL 6'7 310 UNC Senior
43. Gabe Jackson OL 6'4 320 Miss State Senior
44. Quandre Diggs CB 5'10 200 Texas Junior Needs a solid 2013 to recover draft stock
45. Bishop Sankey RB 5'10 200 Washington Junior Best player on a horrible team. See Locker, Jake for examples
46. Cody Hoffman WR 6'3 215 BYU Senior Hey, remember when BYU had good QBs? Yeah, me neither.
47. Derek Carr QB 6'3 215 Fresno State RS Senior David's little brother making a name for himself
48. Dion Bailey S 6'0 210 USC RS Junior
49. Andrew Jackson LB 6'1 262 Western Kentucky Senior cue President jokes here
50. Bryan Stork C 6'3 312 Florida State RS Senior likely will extend Rick Trickett's OL coaching career much to the chagrin of FSU fans everywhere
51. Cyril Richardson OL 6'5 335 Baylor RS Senior
52. Mike Evans WR 6'4 225 Texas A&M RS Sophomore Johnny Football's top target has a chance to shine with Ryan Swope gone
53. Daniel McCullers DT 6'6 365 Tennessee Senior Albert Haynesworth 2.0?
54. Trent Murphy DE/OLB 6'5 261 Stanford RS Senior Pac -12 has an inordinate amount of pass rushers in 2013
55. Adrian Hubbard LB 6'5 262 Alabama RS Junior Another Alabama 'backer product. Do they ever run out?
56. Johnny Manziel QB 6'0 200 Texas A&M RS Sophomore Will he crack under the media spotlight or put up another stellar year? Signs point towards the former after pushing an assistant in practice and going off on Twitter.
57. Zach Martin OL 6'4 305 Notre Dame RS Senior
58. Cassius Marsh DE 6'3 268 UCLA Senior Can he shine in 2013 after being Datone Jones' caddy last year? Anthony Barr should help to take the pressure off.
59. Craig Loston S 6'2 205 LSU RS Senior The new leader of a rebuilt secondary that should be among the nation's best again
60. DeAndre Coleman DE 6'4 320 Cal RS Senior Yet another Pac-12 stud pass rusher
61. Cameron Erving OL 6'5 310 Florida State RS Junior Played well in 2012 despite being converted from defense during spring practice. So well in fact that he was the Noles best OL. He got next in the OL factory that pumped out Walter Jones, Tra Thomas, Rodney Hudson, etc?
62. Antone Exum CB/S 6'0 224 Virginia Tech RS Senior Another talented secondary member for the Hokies. They always seem to have those every year.
63. Seantrel Henderson OL 6'7 345 Miami Senior Will the much traveled and troubled big man bounce back for his senior year?
64. Damian Swann CB 5'11 190 Georgia Junior With Sanders Commings gone, can he step up to a leadership role?
65. Austin Hill WR 6'2 210 Arizona RS Junior Tore his ACL in spring ball, may try the Antonio Cromartie route and go pro regardless
66. Shaq Evans WR 6'1 210 UCLA RS Senior Will he gel with QB Brett Hundley with workhorse RB Johnathan Franklin gone? Needs a monster senior year to raise his stock
67. Jeremiah Attaochu DE/OLB 6'2 240 Georgia Tech Senior GT's all time sack leader if he has another great year. Schooled in stopping the option as he's practiced against it for 4 years now
68. Damien Williams RB 5'11 214 Oklahoma Senior JUCO transfer that pleasantly surprised many Sooners. Could be argued that he's the top back in the class
69. Malcolm Mitchell WR/CB 6'1 214 Georgia Junior It's his show now that Tavarres King is gone. Is an athlete that split time between corner and receiver thanks to injuries at corner. Also a good returner
70. Jake Ryan OLB 6'2 242 Michigan RS Junior Torn ACL in spring. see #65
71. Kareem Martin DE 6'5 265 UNC Senior
72. Gabe Ikard OL 6'3 298 Oklahoma RS Senior Could turn out be the 2014 version of Brian Schwenke.
73. Allen Robinson WR 6'3 205 Penn State Junior Has the potential to explode under a second year Bill O'Brien pass happy regime
74. Carrington Byndom CB 6'0 214 Texas Senior Can he bring back the historic DB U legacy for the Horns?
75. Silas Redd RB 5'10 200 USC Senior A Penn State transfer after the recent NCAA and judicial saga of 2012. Can he revive his sagging stock in LA?
76. LaMarcus Joyner S/CB 5'8 200 Florida State Senior Hard to believe the guy is a senior already. Hardest hitter in the country. Can he successfully transition to corner?
77. Trey Depriest LB 6'2 245 Alabama Junior Yeah another one.
78. Xavier Grimble TE 6'5 255 USC RS Junior A good athlete lost in the receiver hierarchy at USC
79. Marcus Mariota QB 6'3 214 Oregon RS Sophomore The captain of the high powered Ducks offense. Can he successfully transition from the Chip Kelly era to Mark Helfrich's (slightly) less warp speed offense?
80. Spencer Long OL 6'3 315 Nebraska RS Senior Another good Huskers OL to continue the legacy
81. Braxton Miller QB 6'1 215 Ohio State Junior Hey, if Urban Meyer can get Tim Tebow drafted high, he should have no issues getting Miller drafted
82. Jack Mewhort OL 6'6 308 Ohio State RS Senior Despite the *ahem* silly name, he's a decent prospect.
83. Ben Malena RB 5'8 195 Texas A&M Senior No more Christine Michael, then again, nothing has changed for Malena in that regard. Manziel's presumptive running mate
84. Karlos Williams S/OLB 6'1 230 Florida State Junior It's time for the former 5 star recruit to live up to the hype. Elite athlete that can return kicks. Unorthodox return method of trying to run guys over instead of dodging them
85. George Uko DL 6'3 285 USC RS Junior Leader of a loaded Trojans DL. Poised for a monster year.