Clowney tops the list
The South Carolina DE isn't the only big name on the new board
The dust has barely settled following the 2013 draft, but it's never too early to take a look at the top prospects for next year's draft.Initial film study on the 2014 draft will begin next week, but here's an early look at some of the top prospects we'll be evaluating as part of next year's class, including several who will be draft-eligible nonseniors during the 2013 season. Those players are noted with an asterisk.
Analysis: Clowney would have been the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, and he's the clear favorite to be the top pick in 2014. He possesses a rare blend of size, athleticism, upper-body power and playmaking instincts. I'd like to see him improve his lower-body strength and play with more consistent leverage, but Clowney was unblockable when playing at full strength last season. His tape from the Georgia game is one of the most dominant individual defensive performances I've seen in recent years.
Analysis: Bridgewater has a quick release, above-average accuracy and is a good athlete who can buy time and pick up the occasional first down with his feet. He's at his best in the pocket, though, from which he can pick apart defenses with his brain and arm. He sees the entire field and does not get stuck on his primary target. Bridgewater is also tough -- he played through a wrist injury in 2012 -- has the right temperament for the position and is coming off a career game in the Allstate Sugar Bowl win over Florida.
Analysis: Kouandjio developed into a complete left tackle last season and still has room for improvement. He has the frame (6-foot-6, 311 pounds) and feet to excel in the NFL and is ready to follow in the footsteps of former teammates Chance Warmack (Tennessee Titans) and D.J. Fluker (San Diego Chargers), who were selected 10th and 11th overall, respectively, in the 2013 draft.
Analysis: Lee is a burner with big-play ability both as a vertical route-runner and after the catch. He showed the ability in 2012 to consistently separate from double coverage, and, while you'd like to see him get a little stronger, there's no doubting his competitiveness. Lee is the top draft-eligible wide receiver prospect entering the 2013 season and projects as a top-10 pick.
Analysis: Barr exploded on the scene last season and the arrow is pointing way north. He's straight out of central casting with his long, athletic frame (6-4, 235 pounds), and with his long arms and thick trunk, he has even more size potential. Barr holds his ground well for his size, has a good first step and shows impressive closing burst. He also has quick feet and does a decent job when asked to drop into underneath coverage. His versatility only makes him more attractive.
To see the rest of Todd McShay's rankings, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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