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2014 NFL DRAFT REVIEW

Martin leads strong group of o-linemen

Thu, May 22, 2014

In an effort to wrap up the 2014 edition of the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Executive Director Phil Savage has put together his “official” review of this year’s draft class on a position-by-position basis. With 20 years of National Football League experience as a coach, scout, personnel director and general manager, his comments will communicate a professional feel to the discussion of these prospects and their quest to make an impact in the NFL.

 SUMMARY                                                                        

31 of 32 NFL organizations selected at least one Reese's Senior Bowl prospect this year with a total of 84 being chosen over the draft weekend. Here is a breakdown of each round and the number of prospects selected:           

ROUND SELECTIONS TOTAL PERCENTAGE
1 7 7 of 32 22%
2 11 18 of 64 28%
3 19 37 of 100 37%
4 18 55 of 140 39%
5 13 69 of 175 39%
6 9 77 of 215 36%
7 7 84 of 256 33%

18 of the 21 offensive linemen players that participated in Mobile were drafted with the remaining three prospects signed as free agents.

 Highest Selected                                                              

The Dallas Cowboys showed more restraint and discipline than at anytime in their recent history when they passed Johnny Manziel for Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin. One of the most secure selections in the entire draft, Martin started 50+ games for the Irish at left tackle and projects well as a potential candidate for all five OL positions.

 Senior Bowl Bump                                                           

Colorado State center Weston Richburg flew under-the-radar as an NFL prospect to most fans, but the West Coast scouts liked him in the Fall and loved him in the spring. The NY Giants picked him in the 2nd round as the 43rd overall choice and he could very well challenge for a starting job as a rookie in 2014.

 Immediate Help                                                              

The Cleveland Browns selected Nevada’s Joel Bitonio in the 2nd round with the 35th overall pick and he is expected to start immediately on the right-side of their offensive line. Bitonio has extensive experience as a left tackle in college, but the size and athletic attributes to successfully play guard in the NFL.

 Best Value                                                                       

Mississippi State’s Gabe Jackson was under-valued as a pure offensive guard, so the Oakland Raiders got a starting caliber player in the 3rd round (#81 overall). Jackson checks in at 336lbs and although he won’t be expected to play in 2014, he should become a long-term starter for the Raiders in 2015 and beyond.

Spotlight                                                                         

To the surprise of many, the Miami Dolphins made Tennessee OT Ja’Wuan James the 19th overall choice in the 1st round. James has quality size and has played on both the left- and right-sides of the OL. He will be part of the overall solution for the Dolphins as they reconstitute their front five in 2014.

Others of Note                                                                 

Thirteen more Senior Bowlers were chosen in this draft including:  Jack Mewhort/Colts, Morgan Moses/Redskins, Billy Turner/Dolphins, Travis Swanson/Lions, Mike Schofield/Broncos, Brandon Linder/Jaguars, Brandon Thomas/49ers, Bryan Stork/Patriots, Kadeem Edwards/Buccaneers, Cyril Richardson/Baylor, Wesley Johnson/Steelers, Jon Halapio/Patriots and Seantrel Henderson/Bills. Gabe Ikard/Titans, Tyler Larsen/Dolphins and Matt Patchan/Buccaneers were all signed as free agents following the draft.