2014 NFL Draft: Group Think's Top Picks and Most Divisive Picks

By Carlton Chin
Jadeveon Clowney
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Free Agent season is almost upon us, but before we turn our attention to the free agent market, here is some “group think” analysis of the NFL Draft coming up in May. A version of group think based on input from a collection of analysts can help us to gather intelligence. In this article let’s review several of the top draft picks as well as some picks that are the most divisive.

Jadeveon Clowney is a talent that doesn’t come along very often. While some question his work ethic, his physicality is making up for those question marks. Analysts say that Clowney is a “freak” but that his play is sometimes inconsistent. While some question Clowney’s desire and interest in the game, others have him pegged to be the very top draft pick.

Quarterbacks always seem to gather interest during drafts, and 2014 is no different. Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater look to be next in the draft. Note that my research shows that on average, young quarterbacks do not contribute as quickly as teams and their fans would like.

Interestingly, there are several top draft picks whose placement varies considerably. People have widely differing opinions on where the following players will be drafted. Johnny Manziel is a hugely polarizing figure. People either love him or hate him — and similarly, some people think he will get picked near the top of the draft, while others think he may slip down to the high single-digits.

Offensive tackle Jake Matthews and pass-rusher Khalil Mack are other top draft picks who also happen to be wildcards in the sense that people can see them going anywhere from the top of the draft to as low as No. 10. Matthews is known as a good ‘technician” in how he uses his hands, body and legs. He will solidify an offensive line with his 6-foot-5, 310-pound frame.  Mack is a 6-foot-3, 250-pound pass rusher who was clocked at a speedy 4.5 in the 40-yard dash.

I’m looking forward to free agent season because teams will attempt to fill their needs while also positioning themselves for the NFL Draft.

Carlton Chin is a portfolio manager, quant researcher, and sports analysis contributor at Rant Sports. Please follow him on Twitter @QuantFacts, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your Google network.

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