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2014 NFL Draft: Early top-50 draft board

By Dane Brugler | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst

With the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, it's time to look toward next year's class of NFL prospects. While a lot will change between now and April of 2014, this is an early look at 50 of the top draft-eligible prospects for next year.

* Denotes underclassman

50. DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee (6-6, 377, 5.58)
A mountain of a man, McCullers is still very rough around the edges but engulfs ballcarriers and has intriguing movement skills for a player of his size.

49. OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6-8, 340, 5.26)
Former top high school recruit, Henderson looks the part and has a lot of NFL traits. But can he stay football focused?

48. S Karlos Williams, Florida State (6-1, 230, 4.60)*
With LaMarcus Joyner moving to cornerback, Williams is penciled in as a starter at safety with his freakish blend of strength and athleticism.

47. OLB Khalil Mack, Buffalo (6-2, 245, 4.79)
A versatile linebacker, Mack already holds the school record for tackles for loss (56) and is just 19 away from the NCAA record.

46. WR Odell Beckham, LSU (5-11, 187, 4.50)*
With 40+ catches each of his first two seasons in Baton Rouge, Beckham is poised for a big 2013 season at wide receiver and as a return man.

45. DE Anthony Chickillo, Miami (6-3, 265, 4.79)*
Although the production has been average, Chickillo rushes off the edge with quickness and anger and could have a breakout junior year.

44. RB Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona (5-10, 200, 4.53)*
After leading the nation in rushing last season with 1,929 yards (148.4 per game average), what will Carey do for an encore as a junior?

43. CB Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame (6-0, 185, 4.45)
A former wide receiver, Jackson put himself on the NFL radar last year in his first season as a starter, recording four interceptions.

42. QB Aaron Murray, Georgia (6-1, 212, 4.76)
The school record-holder for career touchdown passes (95), Murray has some Drew Brees to him but too often folds on the big stage.

41. DE Kony Ealy, Missouri (6-5, 260, 4.70)*
Although the production hasn't matched up just yet (4.5 sacks), the coaching staff has compared Ealy to former Mizzou rusher Aldon Smith.

40. CB Marcus Roberson, Florida (6-0, 186, 4.52)*
Roberson is part of a crowded and talented secondary, but he led the team in passes defended (12) in 2012 and is slated to start in 2013.

39. DE Chaz Sutton, South Carolina (6-4, 248, 4.78)
The “other” pass rusher for the Gamecocks, Sutton had five sacks last season and will move into a full-time defensive end role as a senior.

38. CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon (5-10, 190, 4.52)*
One of the Pac-12's breakout stars last season, Ekpre-Olomu led the conference with 20 passes defended. His pro arrow is pointing up.

37. DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (6-2, 298, 4.98)*
A quick-footed, penetrating interior player, Jernigan finished among the team leaders in tackles for loss last season (eight).

36. OT David Yankey, Stanford (6-5, 302, 5.08)*
After moving from guard last season, Yankey started every game at left tackle in 2012 and was a large part of Stanford's offensive success.

35. DL Dominique Easley, Florida (6-2, 280, 4.85)
Although not as explosive as Sharrif Floyd, Easley led the team in sacks last season with four and has versatility to line up inside and outside.

34. TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon (6-5, 245, 4.59)*
A freakish specimen, Lyerla's production (32 career catches) has been average at best the past two seasons, but his athletic upside is huge.

33. QB AJ McCarron, Alabama (6-2, 212, 4.80)
Although he has a near-flawless collegiate resume, McCarron doesn't have elite physical tools and still has work to do before he's a top prospect.

32. DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6-5, 245, 4.67)
Jeffcoat looks the part and has intriguing rush ability but needs to stay healthy, having missed the final seven games of 2012 with a right pec injury.

31. RB De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon (5-9, 178, 4.34)*
A lightning-fast track athlete, Thomas will be compared to Tavon Austin due to his electric playmaking ability, but he isn't nearly as polished yet.

30. QB David Fales, San Jose State (6-3, 220, 4.88)
Fales has only good (not great) arm strength and underthrows deep shots, but he sees the field extremely well and is a high-completion passer.

29. OLB A.J. Johnson, Tennessee (6-2, 240, 4.73)*
A physical thumper, Johnson led the SEC in tackles (138) last season, adding 8.5 tackles for loss and six scores on offense as a goal-line back.

28. QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6-5, 230, 4.87)
A quarterback with ideal physical tools, Mettenberger struggled last fall. But the light bulb came on for him in the second half of the season.

27. DL Will Sutton, Arizona State (6-0, 268, 4.79)
Sutton lacks prototypical size for the position but has explosive get-off quickness to penetrate and disrupt the backfield (23.5 TFL in 2012).

26. DE Trent Murphy, Stanford (6-4, 261, 4.80)
Murphy is a productive, aggressive and versatile stand-up pass rusher who led the team in tackles for loss (18) and sacks (10) last year.

25. CB Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida (6-0, 190, 4.47)*
A two-way star who plays at corner and receiver, Purifoy is a terrific athlete with good length who has a knack for making plays on the ball.

24. CB Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma (6-0, 182, 4.47)
Colvin has seen action at both safety and cornerback (25 career starts) and finished second on the team in interceptions last season with four.

23. OLB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6-5, 248, 4.76)*
While still far from a polished pass rusher, Hubbard is well-built with NFL quickness and strength and intriguing NFL potential if he develops.

22. DE Morgan Breslin, USC (6-2, 250, 4.67)
A former junior college transfer, Breslin made an instant impact last season for the Trojans with his explosive burst, leading the team with 13 sacks.

21. OLB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State (6-2, 226, 4.63)*
A tackling machine, Shazier has fantastic instincts, range and production (115 tackles in 2012) with a knack for finding the ballcarrier and finishing.

20. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington (6-6, 267, 4.75)*
Despite an April 2013 DUI arrest, Seferian-Jenkins is still the top draft-eligible tight end in the country with his large frame and fluid athleticism.

19. WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers (6-5, 220, 4.59)*
A Josh Gordon clone, Coleman has smooth movement skills for his size with good build-up speed and a large catching radius.

18. OLB Christian Jones, Florida State (6-3, 232, 4.74)
Jones, who led the Seminoles in tackles (95) last season, has an impressive combination of speed and strength to make plays at all levels.

17. DL Aaron Lynch, South Florida (6-6, 262, 4.65)*
Lynch led Notre Dame in sacks (5.5) as a true freshman in 2011 but transferred to South Florida and sat out the 2012 due to family reasons.

16. OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee (6-6, 332, 5.16)*
Ironically nicknamed “Tiny,” Richardson earned the left tackle starting gig as a sophomore last season, forcing Dallas Thomas inside to guard.

15. OLB Kyle Van Noy, BYU (6-3, 235, 4.67)
A pesky pass rusher, Van Noy doesn't have the size or freaky athleticism as Ziggy Ansah but is more polished with good production.

14. OT Cyrus Kouandijio, Alabama (6-5, 312, 5.12)*
Kouandijio took over the left tackle starting job in 2012, started all 14 games for the national champs and should only get better.

13. WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson (6-1, 200, 4.49)*
After a remarkable freshman campaign, Watkins' production took a step back last year. But his explosive athleticism cannot be coached.

12. CB Jason Verrett, TCU (5-10, 182, 4.49)
A junior college transfer, Verrett started 23 games the past two years and led the Big 12 in interceptions (six) and passes defended (22) in 2012.

11. DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame (6-3, 326, 5.17)*
The rock of the Irish front seven, Nix has rare movement skills for a 330-pounder with the strength to easily take on and dispose of blocks.

10. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6-1, 225, 4.68)
An athletic, strong-armed passer, Boyd lacks ideal height but has really progressed the past few seasons, recording top-shelf production.

9. OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA (6-4, 238, 4.73)
A former running back, Barr moved to defense last spring and had a breakout junior season with 13.5 sacks. How much better can he get?

8. CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State (5-11, 190, 4.42)*
Although he lacks ideal size and needs to refine his technique, Roby has elite speed and led the NCAA in passes defended last season (1.73 per game).

7. LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama (6-2, 232, 4.56)
A versatile linebacker, Mosley is outstanding in pass coverage with a nose for the ball and understands how to put himself in position to win.

6. DL Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (6-5, 303, 4.89)*
A defensive end for the Irish's three-man front, Tuitt is a scheme-versatile big man with the foot quickness and natural strength to disrupt the pocket.

5. WR Marquise Lee, USC (6-0, 195, 4.51)*
The No. 1 weapon for the USC offense, Lee doesn't have elite speed or size. But he is explosive with the ball in his hands and a home-run threat.

4. OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan (6-7, 310, 5.04)
Entering his fourth season as Michigan's starting left tackle, Lewan needs to tweak some technique issues. But he has NFL length, quicks and nastiness.

3. OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (6-5, 305, 5.14)
Although often overshadowed by Luke Joeckel, Matthews might be the better NFL prospect and will move from right tackle to left tackle as a senior.

2. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (6-3, 220, 4.65)*
A tough-minded, intelligent passer, Bridgewater has the athleticism, arm strength and overall “feel” that NFL scouts look for in the position.

1. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (6-6, 268, 4.65)*
A freak athlete for his size, Clowney has the prototypical size, strength and explosive traits to abuse blockers and blow up the backfield.

 
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