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Monday, December 29, 2014

Booms And Busts of Last Year’s Draft





December 27, 2014

By Zachary Hicks

Every year there are players that are either undervalued or overvalued. It's a General Manager's job to look at the risk along with the reward when drafting a player. This list is my opinion on early boom and bust players from the 2014 draft. (note this is a very early assessment and players do develop at different times in their career)

BOOMS:

1. Khalil Mack OLB Raiders- Stats don't tell the whole story for how well Mack has played this year. He provides constant pressure and his biggest contribution is stopping the run. He's been basically the lone bright spot on a shaky Raiders defense thus far and they should look to build around him in the upcoming draft.

2. Chris Borland MLB 49ers - It may have been a small sample size, but Chris Borland has been stellar in his first pro season. Only starting in eight games this year, Borland has racked up over 100 tackles including a game against the Giants where he had 13 tackles and two interceptions. Chris Borland is a name to watch next year to see how he fits in with All Pros Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman.

3. Odell Beckham Jr. WR Giants- How could someone make a list of productive rookies without mentioning Beckham? This guy has been flat out amazing. He runs very crisp routes, is strong off the line of scrimmage, and has outstanding hands (yes we've all seen the catch on Monday Night Football). He has the tools to be a top ten maybe even a top five receiver in all of football next year.

Honorable Mentions: CJ Mosley ILB Ravens, Aaron Donald NT Rams, Derek Carr QB Raiders, Mike Evans WR Buccaneers, Zack Martin OL Cowboys, and EJ Gaines CB Rams


Busts:

1. Blake Bortles QB Jaguars- Its always early when it comes to Quarterbacks, but Bortles has looked sub-par at best. He has had glimpses where you see his number three overall pick potential but he's been terribly inconsistent. Blame it on the Jaguars in general or not, Blake Bortles doesn't look like the answer for this team.

2. Jadeveon Clowney DE/OLB Texans- Being the number one overall pick always brings pressure to perform immediately and Clowney simply hasn't been on the field. He's been injured most of the year and has had surgery on his knee already. Injuries along with people doubting his effort make Clowney look like an early bust candidate. He has all the ability in the world and if he can just get on and stay on the field, he may be one of the best pass rushers in the league.

3. Justin Gilbert CB Browns- Justin Gilbert's rookie year has been shaky at best. He's been far from the answer the Browns thought he was going to be when the drafted him. They thought they were getting a playmaker opposite of All Pro Joe Haden instead they got a young corner who gets burned way too often. Gilbert has plenty of skill but until he puts some effort in, he'll just be another forgotten top ten pick.

Dishonorable Mentions: Johnny Manziel QB Browns, Eric Ebron TE Lions, and Darqueze Dennard CB Bengals

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