Apr 20, 2013; Notre Dame, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish nose tackle Louis Nix (1) gestures before a two-point conversion attempt in the fourth quarter of the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Possible 2014 NFL Draft Surprises Fans Can Expect


Every year surprises will happen.  That is why the hype building towards the 2014 NFL draft is so heated.  What are some shocker fans can expect in May?

The Detroit Lions trading up for Sammy Watkins

It’s not crazy to think every report from “sources” prior to a draft can be considered a smokescreen, but in the case of the Detroit Lions having interest in Sammy Watkins, it’s safe to assume it’s very real.  The sheer idea of putting the fast, dynamic Clemson star opposite the best receiver in football in Calvin Johnson has to make the mouth of new Lions head coach Jim Caldwell water.  It would make life so much easier for quarterback Matthew Stafford and perhaps make Detroit an instant favorite for the NFC North in 2014.  It’s such an enticing idea that despite not have extra picks to spend the Lions could make an aggressive move up the board to get Watkins.

The Chicago Bears taking a quarterback in the third round

It’s all about the defense, defense, defense for the Chicago Bears in the 2014 NFL draft.  That isn’t a big surprise considering they finished last or near last in every meaningful category last season.  However, it must be remember that this team is under an offensive head coach in Marc Trestman, a man who could lose his dependable backup quarterback to free agency, leaving the team dangerously thin at the position behind Jay Cutler.  That could motivate the front office to consider a quarterback in the draft, and not just a late round project either.  Trestman is renowned for his ability to teach the position.  So if the opportunity arises, don’t be surprised if the Bears pounce on a young arm as early as the third round.

Louis Nix falling into the second round (or lower)

In terms of what he can do for a defense, scouts are convinced nose tackle Louis Nix is a definite first round talent.  He reminds many of Patriots great Vince Wilfork who has dominated the interior of their defensive line for years.  Certainly one team will recognize what Nix can do and find a place for him, right?  Sure, that is if he were healthy.  One sour truth about the 2014 NFL draft and those before it is that injuries can wreck havoc on draft stock, especially lower extremity injuries on big me.  At 330+ lbs Nix is a massive human being which is great for the job he does but after suffering a knee injury last season teams are extremely wary of how effective he can be.  Big guys tend to not handle knee or leg injuries as well in the long term as other positions.  That doesn’t bode well for Nix, especially after a rather quiet scouting combine.  He could very well fall to the second round, or even later.

A team will take Kirby Van Der Kamp before the fifth round

Punters are people too.  NFL Network analyst Rich Eisen always likes to say that and it’s true.  It’s just that the position isn’t really paid much attention to until the late rounds and undrafted free agency.  That won’t be the case for IowaState standout Kirby Van Der Kamp.  The young man is as cool and collected as any punter to come out of the draft in years.  His tall frame belies how smooth and quickly he gets the kick off, and his heady play also allowed him to convert 7-of-7 4th downs for his team.  He averaged 42.7 yards per punt in college and does his best work in inclement weather.  Every kick goes exactly where he wants it to.  Don’t be surprised if a team defies draft credo and takes him before the fifth round.

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Chicago Bears Detroit Lions Kirby Van Der Kamp Louis Nix Sammy Watkins

  • Mike Flannery

    I think the Bears will wait till 2015 or 2106 to draft a QB. Otherwise he will be sitting behind Cutler (and his guaranteed money) for 3 years. By the time Cutler’s guaranteed money runs out, it will already be the last year of the new QB’s rookie deal. .

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s not about drafting to replace Cutler, Mike. If I were the Bears I’d draft for a quality backup first since Jay isn’t exactly known for staying healthy and also a potentially lucrative trade piece to exploit later.

      • Mike Flannery

        With all the holes on the Bears roster, you would use a 3rd round pick on a back-up QB? I think if a team drafts a QB that high they are expecting him to be their future starter. If you are drafting him to be your primary backup, how many 3rd round QBs have been ready to play as a rookie? It’s a list that starts and ends with Russell Wilson. I think it makes more sense to sign a veteran backup who is more of a sure thing and maybe spend a late draft pick (5th-7th) on a QB that can eventually develop into a back-up, trade bait, or best case scenario a starter. My gut feeling is that the Bears wait till next year to draft a QB, which gives them two seasons to develop and evaluate his skills before they have to make another decision on Cutler.

        • Erik Lambert

          So do you think they’ll pick up an undrafted free agent? I doubt they’ll just go with Jordan Palmer as the backup. That’s asking for trouble. The reason I say take one in the third round is because those players still have a lot of talent so there’s a ton of ways to use them. A.) Backup. B.) Eventual Cutler replacement. C.) Trade bait. Mettenberger, for example, has a ton of talent that can be dangle in front of teams in the next two years. Knowing he’ll have been developed by Trestman, one of the best in the business, is bound to draw interest. Yes, I understand using a third round pick is expensive considering what the defense needs but it’s a price I’d be willing to pay since most of free agency and then the fourth to sixth round picks can resume adding to the D.

  • David

    Raiders and Lions perfect trading partners

    • Erik Lambert

      If the price is right, sure.