Snow is falling on the ground and college football bowl games are still several days away. With that said, our friends over at ESPN took this opportunity to put together their first 2014 NFL Mock Draft of the year.
ESPN college football and NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay projected all 32 first round picks, based on team winning percentages through Week 15 of the NFL season.
Three Big Ten standouts made the list, led by Michigan senior Taylor Lewan, who McShay has going No. 9 overall to the Buffalo Bills.
“The Bills need to upgrade the O-line and provide QB EJ Manuel with more time to throw, and Lewan could immediately help solidify this unit,” McShay says. “Lewan isn’t an exceptional athlete but he has enough quickness to get by when coupled with his physicality and mean streak.”
The next Big Ten star to appear on the list is Michigan State senior cornerback Darqueze Dennard at No. 26 to the New England Patriots, followed by Minnesota defensive tackle Rashede Hageman at No. 28 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Here is McShay’s complete 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
My take: These things are always impossible to predict with so many trades taking place throughout the draft, but I agree with McShay for the most part. Lewan, Dennard and Hageman are the three best players in the conference at their respected position, and all three players are worthy of a first round grade. If anything, I would probably consider moving Dennard up a bit, seeing that there is a lack of top-notch talent at the cornerback position in this draft, and the NFL has turned into such a pass-happy league as of late. I would also consider adding both Ryan Shazier (Ohio State) and Allen Robinson (Penn State) into the mix. Neither have made a decision wheteher or not they will return to college or make the jump to the NFL, but if it is the later of the two, both of these kids are studs at their respected positions.
Others to consider: Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State), Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State), Shilique Calhoun (DE, Michigan State), Carlos Hyde (LB, Ohio State), Chris Borland (LB, Wisconsin), Max Bullough (LB, Michigan State), Bradley Roby (Ohio State), DaQuan Jones (Penn State).