The Armchair Quarterback’s 2014 NFL Draft Bargains: Offense
Quarterback: Aaron Murray – Georgia
Aaron Murray was a four year starter in a pro style offense that played against elite college defenses on a weekly basis. He possesses good pocket presence and is accurate on most of his throws. His small stature, average arm strength, and recent injury will push him down in the draft but I believe he will be a solid NFL starter at some point in his career. If a team can find a starting caliber QB in the mid rounds of the draft they are setting themselves up for success.
Running Back: Charles Sims – West Virginia
While no running back in this class is looked at as warranting a first round pick there are several starting caliber backs for teams to consider in the second and third rounds. Most are predicting Sims to be anywhere from the third to sixth running back taken. If Sims goes in the third round or later he will be a steal. He has good size, speed, hands, and can pass protect. He may not be a Pro Bowl caliber back, but he should be able to start at the NFL level, especially with his ability to pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield.
Wide Receiver: Donte Moncrief – Ole Miss
I truly believe that in other draft classes Moncrief would have had a chance to be a first round pick. His size (6’2″, 221 lbs) and speed (4.40 forty) make him a big time weapon with true #1 WR upside. He’s still a little raw and inconsistent, but his talent is undeniable. The fact that he could be about the 8th WR off the board and slip into the middle rounds makes him a huge bargain.
Tight End: CJ Fiedorowicz – Iowa
CJ Fiedorowicz is 6’5″ and 265 lbs. This size makes him an ideal blocking TE in the NFL and while he is a good blocker, Fiedorowicz also is more athletic than people give him credit for. He ran a respectable 4.76 forty at the combine and has shown soft hands in the passing game. While he’ll never be a Jimmy Graham, he will make a solid and well rounded starting TE in the NFL. He is projected to be about the 4th TE off the board next month and could slip into the 3rd/4th round.
Offensive Line: Gabe Jackson – Mississippi State
I’m no scout, but from what I’ve watched of the top interior offensive line prospects, I think Gabe Jackson is the best of the group. Some may argue that a player that will likely go in the 2nd round isn’t a big bargain, especially an interior offensive lineman, but if Jackson does go behind Xavier Su’a-Filo and David Yankey, I think the team drafting him will actually get the best overall player of the group which would definitely make him a bargain. He’s big and strong enough to handle NFL defensive linemen yet has enough athleticism and mobility to go along with it. Jackson should be a pro bowl caliber guard for years to come.
Next up, the Defense…….