2014 NFL Draft: Best Team Fits For Top 5 Offensive Prospects
Best Fits For Top Offensive Prospects
The teams picking early in the upcoming NFL Draft will have the most pressure to get the pick right and avoid selecting the next big bust. This means they must not only take a prospect with the talent to succeed who also fits into their system and can excel immediately.
This makes the draft even more of a challenge as teams must first identify their positions of need and then evaluate all prospects to see who will best fit their system. Certain players like Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles fit almost any scheme because of their broad skill-set, but someone like Johnny Manziel will need to be placed the right offensive system for his unique skill-set to transfer.
The draft is still 66 days away, giving teams plenty of time to evaluate players, but as of now it’s clear who the top offensive and defensive prospects are. Someone tends to fall every year, and this year there are actually a few prime candidates to do so.
Manziel is a unique talent and may fall because of it, and Bortles is the project quarterback who may fall because teams expect immediate production from their first-round picks. As of now Bortles is outside of my top five offensive prospects, but the following slides include some of the top offensive prospects and their best team fits as well.
5. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Manziel is one of the biggest wild cards in the coming draft class as he has boom or bust potential. At the combine he showed he’s one of the fastest quarterbacks in the 2014 draft class, making it more likely his theatrics in the pocket will remain effective once entering the NFL. Manziel will need to be surrounded by an already established receiving corps, however, and a star running back behind him wouldn’t hurt either.
4. Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Jake Matthews is one of the surest bets because he started 46 of the 49 games he played in and saw time at both right and left tackle during his four years at Texas A&M. Last year Matthews would have been a Top 10 pick as well, but a desire to play with his younger brother brought him back to A&M for a year. Now as one of the most NFL-ready players in this year’s draft he will be going somewhere he can start immediately on either end of the line and be one of the better run blockers in the NFL as well.
3. Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Although Jake Matthews is the more battle-tested offensive tackle, Greg Robinson is a physical specimen who has the potential to be one of the best blockers in NFL history. Although not a measuring stick for offensive tackles, Robinson’s 40-yard dash time of 4.92 is simply a testament to the type of athlete he is and will make teams at the top of the draft drool if his name is still on the board. Robinson may not excel like Matthews right away, but he very well could be the top tackle taken and would fit in any offensive scheme.
2. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Aside from Manziel, Sammy Watkins may be the most dynamic playmaker taken in the first-round. Watkins was a three-year starter at Clemson – from freshmen to junior year – yet is still second on the ACC list for career receptions with 240, 101 of which came this past season. Watkins isn’t an imposing figure at 6-foot-1 and 200-pounds, but his 4.43 40-yard dash time and years of film prove he’s one of the fastest receivers in this class. He will be an immediate starter upon entering the NFL and would be a real help to any young quarterback.
Best Fits: St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Bridgewater is the most NFL-ready quarterback in the draft, and despite the recent “questions” that have been raised, he should easily be the first quarterback drafted. Bridgewater makes pre-snap reads and handles the game like a veteran, and although lacking a noticeably strong arm he would fit in any offensive scheme. I’d most like to see Bridgewater in a west coast offense, but even Houston at No. 1 would be a good fit for both sides.