2014 NFL Draft – Round 1 Targets by Nolan Kuzmick

by Nolan Kuzmick, Ourlads’ Draft Analyst

Note: Players on this list are included based on their perceived talent versus where they will be drafted. A higher level of confidence is put on these players for either performing to the level of their draft position or outperforming their draft position. There are multiple aspects of these players game that make them unique and sets them aside from the pack.

Round 1 Targets

CJ Mosley- ILB, Alabama, Sr:

Top LB of the class, 3 down player that has the size, speed, athleticism and
instinct to be an instant starter. Plays assignment football, fills the lane,
takes on blocks to close the middle. Uses his strength and arm length to
disengage and make the tackle. Has the speed to beat blockers to the play.
Shows lateral movement, can turn and run to the spot in zone, covers TEs and
RBs well in man. Makes the middle of the field feared with his explosive
impact, the full package ILB.

Dee Ford- DE, Auburn, rSr:

Has the speed to get around the edge, but complements his speed with proficient
handwork. Slaps blockers hands away and rips underneath around the edge. Has
the ability to use his speed and bend to duck around the edge untouched and get
the sack. Shows a good inside rip that can direct him to the QB much faster. Is
relentless around the edge and will chase the play down from behind. Performed
at a top level during the championship game, getting to the QB, holding contain
and making an impact versus the run. Was the MVP of the Senior Bowl and
frustrated OL all week in practice. Has some experience dropping in coverage.
Top level speed and strength for the position(4.54 second 40 and 29 reps at his
pro day).

Zack Martin- OT/OG, Notre Dame, rSr:

Fires off the ball, has consistent hand placement and footwork.
Top level kick slide, protects the inside and doesn’t let defenders get up
field on him. Has great strength, top level balance and a solid punch, keeping
his form throughout the rush. Gets to the 2nd level in a hurry and
breaks down to collect and make the big block. Takes defenders to the ground
often, is a top talent in the run game, pass game, open field and short
yardage. Performed exceptionally during the week of Senior Bowl against top
talent. Some project him as a guard because of his lack size/reach, but he has
NFL tackle talent and should get a shot there.

Calvin Pryor-FS, Louisville, Jr:

The most pro ready safety in the class, has a motor and plays
with fury. Hits like a linebacker, scopes the field and positions himself to
make the play. Jars the ball loose, can get vertical to make the pick. Very
functional and natural in his game both coming up to support the run and
defending the pass. Closes fast with quick reads, solid pursuit angles and
efficient movement.

Odell Beckham Jr-WR, LSU, Jr:

The smoothest route runner in the draft. Finesse routes, with explosion off the
line and out of his cuts, quick stops and starts that lose defenders, doesn’t
slow down for sharp turns that don’t waste steps. Constantly creating space,
hands receiver catching away from his body. High level straight line speed and
change of direction speed. Can go up and bring down the catch, makes circus
catches and has the ability to go all the way. The most technically sound receiver
in the draft, could be the most productive in the NFL.

Ryan Shazier- OLB/ILB, Ohio State, Jr:

Unique player that has a blend of power, speed (4.38 40yrd),
hustle and flow. Flies around the field, can drop into coverage, reads the play
fast, works through traffic, makes the devastating hits. Big play player when
the team needs it the most. Haven’t seen the speed he has to offer while
maintaining the qualities of a solid linebacker.

Jason Verrett-CB, TCU, Sr:

Relentless press corner that has top level speed, closes quick, plays physical,
turns his hips well, lays hard form tackles, ball hawk. The perfect nickel
corner that can play outside. Blitzer that flies around the edge to the QB.
Knows routes, timing and has ideal change of direction. Full speed player,
keeps his hands busy, lays a punch down low using his speed to bring more force
to his blows.

Kyle Fuller-CB, Virginia Tech, Sr:

Long strider that stays in WRs pocket, keeping himself positioned to break up the
play. Has the long arms to swat the ball out of the air from behind the
receiver. Funcitonal in his change of direction, has the speed to turn and run
with top level players. A corner that loves to get involved in the run game,
reading the play and closing fast on the ball. Could end up the top outside
corner of the draft.

Stephon Tuitt-DE/DT, Notre Dame, Jr:

Big physical defensive lineman that can line up at any spot
across the line. Shows his strength and physicality, but also incorporates a
high level of technique with his hands and speed to get around the edge and
close on the play. A force to block, quick off the line, strong with his hands,
works through blocks, closes fast on the play and makes big hits. Lots of
effort in his game and solid pursuit, has the ability to chase the ball carrier
down from behind. Looks like one of the most pro ready defensive lineman with a
very  high ceiling.

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