Jan 3, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Martavis Bryant (1) makes a touchdown catch as Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Armani Reeves (26) defends during the second half in the 2014 Orange Bowl college football game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Deep 1st Round Sleepers

D.J. Hayden and Kyle Long were two big surprises in the draft last year.  Who might take that same route in the 2014 NFL draft?

Ja’Wuan James – OT – Tennessee

Offenses of this modern era don’t care much for run blockers at the tackle position.  It is a throwing league built around the quarterbacks, so tackles that can pass protect are at a premium.  That is why the buzz is picking up on Tennessee tackle Ja’Wuan James.  Despite playing for the Volunteers on the right side, scouts viewing his tape saw a big, nimble kid with long arms and good balance.  Such skills are often better served on the left side where guarding the quarterback is most important.  If that is true, then some team at the bottom of the first round in need of help at left tackle won’t fear taking him.

Martavis Bryant – WR – Clemson

Big receivers who can run fast are becoming higher and higher in demand by coaches around the league and the 2014 NFL draft is somewhat light on them.  That is why Clemson receiver Martavis Bryant has jumped up boarded.  Not only does he stand a rangy 6’4″ but he also posted a flat 4.4/40 at the scouting combine.  He’s big enough to go up and get the football but fast enough to take over the top.  That kind of talent might be worth the risk of him being considered the second best receiver on his team.

Keith McGill – CB – Utah

Watching the Seattle Seahawks dominate the Super Bowl thanks to a star-studded secondary pretty much put the copycat virus in full effect.  Teams are almost certain to put taller, longer cornerbacks on a higher pedestal given the dominance of Richard Sherman.  That is great news for Utah prospect Keith McGill.  At 6’3″ he fits the mold and has the athleticism to blanket receivers.  If teams can look past his injury issues there is a great chance at least one team might look to swipe him early.

Jeremiah Attaochu – OLB – Georgia Tech

Physical ability won’t be the only thing GMs look for in the 2014 NFL draft.  They value emotional and mental faculties just as much.  Coaches especially pine for tone-setters, guys who demand more of themselves and teammates.  Jeremiah Attaochu is a classic pain in the butt.  He brings loads of intensity to the field that can annoy teammates and infuriate opponents.  At the same time athleticism and pass rush prowess allow him to backup his words.  A real spark plug that can develop into a true leader.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Ja'wuan James Jeremiah Attaochu Keith Mcgill Martavis Bryant

  • Diegoblue

    I hope the Chargers can somehow get Attaochu

    • Erik Lambert

      He would make a great addition to that unit. They can use his outside rush but also his attitude.

  • Dewight Mitchell

    Jeremiah Attaochu and Keith McGill to the lions

  • Paul Newbold

    Rex Ryan would absolutely go crazy if he could land Attaochu! I’m hoping for Dennard in the first and Attaochu in the second. Its not a very popular view of this draft among Jet fans, but it is making more and more sense. Going defense with the first two picks basically completes the defensive rebuild and sets them up for years to come. The Jets would have two young #1 corners in their secondary, and a LB that adds to the edge rush as he develops, and could spell Coples along the way. With a deep draft at WR, anybody the Jets grab in the 3rd and 4 th rounds would still be an upgrade over the current roster, and if they still need a #1 after this season, they could add him via free agency or next year’s draft! The Jets are not ready for a serious run at the division regardless, so it makes sense to me. Probably no one else..but that’s ok too! LOL