Updated Top 32 rankings
Clowney still No. 1 among 2014 draft prospects; an SEC receiver joins the list
There isn't a ton of movement in this edition of the Top 32, although a few top offensive tackles shuffled positions and an SEC wide receiver joined the mix.
But most of the attention this week has understandably been centered on Jadeveon Clowney. I covered this in much more detail on Monday, but in the games he's played this season he has participated in a high number of snaps, shown great effort and been very effective and disruptive, based on what I've seen on tape. He has appeared frustrated at times, but that's understandable given the amount of scheming opposing offenses are doing to limit his impact on the game.
I still don't feel as though this one incident -- in which he informed his coaches that he wouldn't be playing shortly before game time against Kentucky, citing his rib injury -- is going to be enough to scare teams away from a player as talented as he is. But I will add this: He has definitely opened himself up to criticism by not handling this situation well. If he thought he was under a microscope before, he's really going to experience what that's like now.
For NFL teams, this isn't rocket science. They just want to know when they draft a player if they are bringing in someone they can trust and their teammates can trust and who isn't just in it for himself.
That's why the way in which Clowney handles himself the rest of the season will tell teams a lot about him. He's the most talented player in this draft and plays a highly coveted position, but intangibles matter, too. To this point I don't think there's been enough to scare teams off, but he certainly wants to right the ship.
Here is our updated ranking of the Top 32 prospects for the 2014 NFL draft.
(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 upcoming matchups. Draft-eligible non-seniors are noted with an asterisk.)
Analysis: I've still got Clowney as the No. 1 prospect on my board, for the reasons I mentioned above and in my article from Monday. Based on everything I've seen on tape this season, Clowney has played with great effort and been very disruptive in the games he's played. He possesses a rare blend of size, athleticism, upper-body power and playmaking instincts.
Analysis: Bridgewater and Louisville haven't really been tested yet this season, although that could change to a certain extent in the next two weeks with games against Rutgers and Central Florida on the docket. But regardless of the level of competition he's faced, Bridgewater has been very impressive. He 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. Bridgewater also displays toughness and has the temperament you look for at the position.
Analysis: Barr moved up one spot in these rankings this week, coming off a two-sack performance in the Bruins' Thursday night win over Utah. He has exactly what you look for at the position physically with his athletic frame, and his long arms and thick trunk could allow him to get even bigger. He has a good first step and shows impressive closing burst, and he also has quick feet and does a decent job when asked to drop into underneath coverage. His versatility makes him even more valuable as a prospect.
To read Todd McShay's complete ranking of the Top 32 NFL prospects for the 2014 draft, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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