With NFL popularity growing every year, the anticipation for the 2014 NFL Draft seems to be at an all time high. However, there is more to this 2014 NFL Draft than just simply the NFL's success. With no clear cut franchise quarterback such as Andrew Luck in this draft, the speculation begins as high as the Houston Texans and the number one overall pick. Will the Texans go for the naturally gifted freak Jedeveon Clowney, who some are calling a once in a decade type of player. OR will the Texans opt to take a QB of their choice, Johnny Manziel, Blake Bottles, Teddy Bridgewater, or Derek Carr, each of whom have been regarded as the top QB prospect, respectively, by an NFL "Expert" of some capacity.
How will the dominoes fall in the top 10?
With so many eyes watching and waiting for the Texans move, how will the dominoes proceed to fall. Almost always, someone as physically gifted and talented as Clowney would be a no brainer as the number 1 pick. However, with questions about his work ethic, and his overall love for the game has made the Texans, or anyone thinking about trading up a little hesitant. This could all be a smokescreen too, coming from other teams in the top of the draft hoping they can get Clowney to fall to their team. With rumors that the Lions, Bills, Falcons, and even the 49ers are considering a huge move into the top 5 or even to number 1, the anticipation for each pick will give fans of plenty of excitement to start the draft. The talent in the top 7 or 8 seems to be the elite based on a consensus from experts around the league. Clowney is joined by LB Khalil Mack, WR Sammy Watkins, OT Glenn Robinson, OT Jake Mathews, TE Eric Enron, WR Mike Evans, and OT Taylor Lewan in the top tier in this year's draft. It will be interesting to see where these elite prospects go, and who will make a trade up to snag one of these extremely talented players.
The Depth from pick 10 to round 3
Many draft experts are saying this is the deepest draft the NFL has seen in years. The talent between mid first round all the way through round 3 is rich and can provide NFL teams with starters from day one. For teams with multiple holes to fill (Dolphins) this presents a great opportunity to trade down and pick up additional picks. I'm sure the Dolphins will not be the only team attempting to trade down in this draft, however. The dominoes have to fall just right, to have your pick sitting exactly where another team feels they have to trade up to get their player.
Miami Dolphins Pick
The Miami Dolphins currently hold the 19th overall pick in the first round. There are countless scenarios that can happen in the draft, so I will provide just two that I feel are on the more realistic side of happening. The Dolphins can stay put at number 19 IF: OT Taylor Lewan, OT Zack Martin, LB CJ Mosley, or one of the elite prospects take an unexpected fall. Now in my mind, the reason I say we should only stay at 19 for one of these players is because of obvious roster needs, but also they are the only players I see presenting good value at pick 19. If the Dolphins were sitting at 19, all of these players I mentioned were off the board, and they could not get good value in trading down, then I would personally take the Best Player Available. Whether it's CB Darqueze Dannard, WR Odell Beckham, DT Aaron Donald, S Calvin Pryor, or whoever the Dolphins have at the top of their board at that moment, regardless of position. Drafting the BPA may not fill an immediate hole, but it will improve your team overall. My second scenario would be the Dolphins trading down, and picking up an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick depending on how desperate the team was to move up. Like I said before, trading down is going to be the top choice for multiple teams picking in the middle of the draft due to the depth of talent this year. One specific scenario that makes sense could be the Cleveland Browns; if the Browns do not take a QB with their first pick, and one of the top QBs falls to the Dolphins pick, Cleveland may want to make a move with rumors that Arizona has been potentially looking at taking a QB at 20 to be the eventual replacement for Carson Palmer. As for moving up, well I just can't see the value for the dolphins. We only have 3 picks in the first 3 rounds, and trading up would require us to give up one or both of those picks, as well as potential future picks depending on how far they tried to move up. Again, in a draft with depth like this one, if you are not getting one of those elite prospects, your best bet is to try and acquire more picks, not give them up.
Overall, I think with the elite prospects and intrigue at the top of draft, coupled with the depth in talent is setting up for an exciting draft. Not to mention, the extra month we've had to wait this year, I think everyone is done looking at mock drafts, and ready for the real thing!