Top 32: Robinson, Bortles rising
Auburn OT, UCF quarterback move up in latest ranking of top NFL prospects
The major postseason all-star games are now behind us, meaning that the NFL combine is the next big draft event on the horizon.
What does our board of Top 32 draft prospects look like right now, after we've seen some of the highest-ranked prospects in person and studied several more on tape? Here is our updated ranking of the best prospects for the 2014 NFL draft, with an SEC offensive lineman climbing into the top three and a fast-rising quarterback moving up to No. 12.
(Note: The scouting reports will largely stay the same for each edition of these rankings, but we'll update as needed based on recent performances and news developments. Draft-eligible non-seniors are noted with an asterisk.)
Analysis: Clowney made an appearance at last week's Senior Bowl, meeting with NFL team officials and media members -- including saying he'll participate in all the drills at the NFL combine in February. Clowney has been scrutinized a lot over the past several months (relating to questions about his motor/effort, production and a couple of speeding tickets), but he remains the most talented player in this class. He has a rare blend of size, athleticism, strength and speed, and he can beat opponents with either his speed rush or his bull rush.
Analysis: Robinson not only has the size and frame of a massive right tackle, but also the natural athleticism and agility that will allow him to thrive at left tackle. Auburn's run-heavy offensive system gave him more opportunities to shine than most tackles get, but even taking that into account he really jumps out on tape and is dominant at the point of attack. He was a star in the Tigers' BCS title game loss to Florida State.
Analysis: Matthews doesn't have Robinson's physical tools, but he is a very effective blocker both against the run and in pass protection. He possesses versatility, having played both right and left tackle for the Aggies, in addition to good durability and pedigree (he's the son of Bruce Matthews).
To read Todd McShay's complete ranking of the Top 32 NFL draft prospects for 2014, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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