As previously discussed, my metrics for prospect scoring can be found on our new Headquarters page: http://www.ndtscouting.com/draft-methodology.html. But with the Combine a little over a week away, I'm closing in on finalizing all offensive film study for the 2014 NFL Draft. I've graded 155 offensive prospects to date, with just a handful of interior offensive linemen to go. So what I'd like to do this afternoon is post my top 50 offensive talent scores on the offensive side of the football for you all. It's a partial glimpse into the total evaluation process, but the talent scores are a large majority of a prospect's overall evaluation. If the scores seem highly saturated, it's because they ARE at this point! I have 19 offensive prospects with 1st round talent scores. But ultimately, only 10-12 of them will maintain that 1st round grade. The rest will slip into early or mid round 2...while the 24 2nd round talent scores will likely suffer the same fate. Some will maintain their position, a few may surge into late round 1 and others will slip into round 3...some will even slip down into round 4 and beyond. I'll be sure to provide specific examples as we go.
TOP 50 OFFENSIVE TALENT SCORE BIG BOARD
1. Texas A&M Left Tackle Jake Matthews: 8.78 talent score, Top 10
2. Clemson Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins: 8.57 talent score, Top 10
3. Southern California Wide Receiver Marqise Lee: 8.50 talent score, Top 10
4. Louisville Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater: 8.44 talent score, First Round
5. Auburn Left Tackle Greg Robinson: 8.36 talent score, First Round
6. North Carolina Tight End Eric Ebron: 8.30 talent score, First Round
7. Mississippi State Guard Gabe Jackson: 8.26 talent score, First Round
**Gabe Jackson is the first player I'd like to highlight. He's slotted solidly in the 1st round with his talent score, the cut off being an 8.00 score. However, factoring in his overall weight (measured 339 at the Senior Bowl), he's knocked down by his size score (a 7.00). Additionally, his leadership and experience scores are solid, but not 1st round (7.90). As a result, with just 5% of his evaluation remaining (his athleticism score), Gabe Jackson will need to score a perfect 9.0 athleticism score to maintain his first round grade. That isn't going to happen. Jackson is my 7th highest rated prospect on offense based on his TALENT, but the rest of his evaluation is going to bump him from a 1st round overall grade.
8. Louisiana State Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr: 8.24 talent score, First Round
9. Vanderbilt Wide Receiver Jordan Matthews: 8.21 talent score, First Round
10. Notre Dame Guard Zach Martin : 8.21 talent score, First Round
11. Rutgers Wide Receiver Brandon Coleman: 8.17 talent score, First Round
12. San Jose State Quarterback David Fales: 8.16 talent score, First Round
**David Fales is another great example of just how much the rest of the player evaluation causes spread away from the original talent score. Fales is a solid QB prospect, but he came in small in stature at the Senior Bowl, registering a 6.0 in his size score. Factoring in good production (7.99) and a run of the mill leadership score (7.32) and Fales has a 95% complete evaluation and is on the outside looking in on a 1st round grade. Fales will need to score on the plus side of a 7.00 athleticism score to contend for a 1st round overall evaluation score. Most likely he'll end up in the Early 2nd range.
13. Tennessee Left Tackle Antonio “Tiny” Richardson: 8.14 talent score, First Round
14. UCLA Guard Xavier Su'a-Filo: 8.14 talent score, First Round
15. Arizona Running Back Ka’Deem Carey: 8.10 talent score, First Round
16. North Dakota State Guard Billy Turner: 8.06 talent score, First Round
**Billy Turner, on the other hand, is essentially a LOCK for a 1st round final evaluation. Turner scored a late 1st talent score (60% of his overall grade) but then ripped off an 8.00 size score at the Senior Bowl as well as a perfect 9.00 in leadership and experience. Coming from a successful program with many games of starting experience and a captain position secured the ONLY 9.0 I've granted in either category. Turner would have to score less than a 4 out of 9 in athleticism to drop from the 1st round final evaluation target range.
17. Penn State Wide Receiver Allen Robinson: 8.03 talent score, First Round
18. Louisiana State Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry: 8.03 talent score, First Round
19. Texas Tech Tight End Jace Amaro: 8.02 talent score, First Round
20. Louisiana State Quarterback Zach Mettenberger: 7.99 talent score, Early Second Round
21. Fresno State Quarterback Derek Carr: 7.99 talent score, Early Second Round
**Things are looking promising for Derek Carr to end up as only the 2nd QB behind Bridgewater to register a 1st round final evaluation. Carr's right on the cusp based on talent, 0.01 points away from a 1st round talent score. He came up with only an average size score of 6.50 based off his Senior Bowl measurements. However he's got outstanding leadership (8.03 score) and good production (7.88 score). But even still, Carr is only going to be registering a 1st round evaluation overall on a technicality, in that I give Quarterbacks a +0.2 score bonus for playing a premium position. Expect Carr to be in the low 8.0's after his position bonus, my 2nd overall QB in the draft.
22. Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel: 7.99 talent score, Early Second Round
23. Ohio State Running Back Carlos Hyde: 7.95 talent score, Early Second Round
24. Florida State Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin: 7.94 talent score, Early Second Round
25. Oregon State Wide Receiver Brandin Cooks: 7.88 talent score, Early Second Round
26. Oklahoma Wide Receiver Jalen Saunders: 7.88 talent score, Early Second Round
27. Baylor Guard Cyril Richardson: 7.88 talent score, Early Second Round
28. Wisconsin Wide Receiver Jared Abbrederis 7.85 talent score, Early Second Round
**Jared is another example of just how much you can deviate away from your talent score. A 7.85 talent score is enough to merit 1st round consideration by itself...however Jared is coming up short in a number of different areas that will see him drop off significantly overall. Jared only measured in at 6007 and 189 at the Senior Bowl...average size (6.50). His experience and leadership were outstanding as well however (8.20), more than enough to compensate for the poor size showing. However, when you look at his production, his career averages and particularly his 2012 production vs. top competition ended up dragging his overall production grade down into the low 5's (5.06). Even if Jared scores a perfect 9.0 athleticism score, he'll BARELY register in the 2nd round. In all likelihood, Abbrederis is going to be looking at a fringe 3rd round, potentially 4th round grade if he runs poorly at the Combine.
29. Florida State Running Back James Wilder Jr.: 7.82 talent score, Early Second Round
30. Stanford Guard David Yankey: 7.81 talent score, Early Second Round
31. Washington Tight End Austin Seferian-Jenkins: 7.79 talent score, Second Round
32. Ball State Quarterback Keith Wenning: 7.76 talent score, Second Round
33. Alabama State Running Back Isaiah Crowell: 7.76 talent score, Second Round
34. Michigan Left Tackle Taylor Lewan: 7.70 talent score, Second Round
35. Virginia Tackle Morgan Moses: 7.70 talent score, Second Round
**Morgan Moses has a nice luxury going for him in my evaluation scoring. He physically cannot deviate off of his current grade in the 2nd round. It's mathematically impossible for him to score outside the 7.50 - 7.80 range. His size (a perfect 9.0 has solidified his standing and regardless of what he does or doesn't do next week at the Combine, his score range in the 2nd round will stand up. He's the opposite of Abbrederis, who has a lot riding on his performance next week.
36. Central Florida Running Back Storm Johnson: 7.67 talent score, Second Round
37. Utah State Center Tyler Larsen: 7.65 talent score, Second Round
38. Notre Dame Tight End Troy Niklas: 7.63 talent score, Second Round
39. Oregon Wide Receiver Josh Huff: 7.60 talent score, Second Round
40. Wisconsin Tight End Jacob Pedersen: 7.55 talent score, Second Round
41. Florida Guard Jon Halapio: 7.54 talent score, Second Round
42. Wisconsin Running Back James White: 7.50 talent score, Second Round
43. Florida State Running Back Devonta Freeman: 7.50 talent score, Second Round
44. Michigan Wide Receiver Jeremy Gallon: 7.49 talent score, Third Round
**It should come as no surprise that Jeremy Gallon's diminutive stature (5.0 size score) takes a toll on his overall evaluation. He's got some great tools to work with as a pass catcher. He attacks the ball in the air, he high points footballs, he runs good routes. But not even Gallon's HUGE games vs. top competition in both 2012 (6 rec, 81.7 yds and 0.67 TD/g) and 2013 (7.3 rec, 142 yds and 1.33 TD/g) could spare his lackluster overall career numbers, producing a 5.51 production score to pair with that low 5 in size. The end result is Gallon will have to register a perfect 9.0 in athleticism next week to stay in the 3rd round. Not going to happen. If Gallon happens to run and test poorly and score below a 6, he'll not just find himself in Day 3, but all the way down in the 5th round. For a guy coming in with a talent score 0.01 away from a Second Round grade, Gallon is a great illustration of the overall evaluation process and why not to overreact TOO much to these numbers. A lot will change between now and my 2014 Draft Guide. It already has for some, Gallon included.
45. North Carolina Left Tackle James Hurst: 7.49 talent score, Third Round
46. Alabama Tackle Cyrus Kouandjio: 7.49 talent score, Third Round
47. Iowa Tight End CJ Fiedorowicz: 7.49 talent score, Third Round
48. Washington Running Back Bishop Sankey: 7.48 talent score, Third Round
**Bishop Sankey is poised for a HUGE bump next weekend. He's a great athlete and in projecting his athleticism and size scores to go along with the rest of his production and experience values, Sankey could catapult all the way up into the mid 7.7's. This would take him from a 3rd round talent score to a early/mid 2nd round overall evaluation. A reminder, this is not based on his 40 time, this is a culmination of athleticism, leadership, size and production. Sankey has an impressive combination of all 4, which helps him bump up what is otherwise a mid day 2 talent evaluation.
49. Oregon RB/Offensive Weapon De'Anthony Thomas: 7.46 talent score, Third Round
50. Tennessee Tackle Ju'Waun James: 7.45 talent score, Third Round
Any questions, comments or feedback? You can reach me on Twitter at @NFLDraftTracker. Thanks for reading! As a reminder, you can get all 300+ prospect evaluations and much, much more by pre-ordering the 2014 NDT Scouting NFL Draft Guide, available now at http://www.ndtscouting.com/. Order between now and March 1st and get 33% off the cover price and your guide will be sent to you at the end of April for just $10. Thank you for your continued support, I hope you'll consider joining the NDT Scouting family and pre-order today!