Cart Before the Horse: #1 Overall Draft Predictions




Even before the 2013 college season was underway, analysts put the proverbial cart before the horse and aimed to predict who the #1 overall pick will be in the 2014 NFL Draft. Sometimes they get it right, like in 2012 with Andrew Luck (which was easy enough to see coming after he decided to return to Stanford for his senior year).

But all too often, the overwhelming favorite is shortsighted, and ultimately the #1 pick is a player who came out of nowhere the previous season.

In 2011, nobody even knew who Cam Newton was before Auburn's epic undefeated season -- and even after that, and after Newton won the Heisman, there was still a build-up to whether or not Carolina would take him first overall.

Bottom line: there wasn't a single person who saw it coming.

Fast forward to April 2013 -- who the hell was Eric Fisher at the beginning of the college season?? Not only that, do you think anyone could have nailed any three of the top 5 picks?? I remember seeing Matt friggin' Barkley going first overall in some early predictions -- and he did go first... on Day 3...

Bottom line: there wasn't a single person who saw it coming.

So, where does that leave us for the next draft?

The overwhelming favorite is South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney. His monster status cannot be underplayed (13 sacks and 23.5 TFL last year alone); and yet, doubt has already crept into the minds of many after a miserable first game. Excuses are being thrown around to justify the hype -- a stomach virus, the Carolina heat -- but Clowney's conditioning has been called into question. And if the media likes anything more than to build somebody up, it's tearing them down. And if they like anything more than tearing him down, it's a redemption story -- but sometimes, that story simply rides off into the sunset and dies a quiet death in the 2nd rd of the draft (see: Te'o, Manti).

While not as obvious this year, a quarterback always seems to top the list of favorites. But which QB do you choose from?? Johnny Football, Aaron Murray, Teddy Bridgewater (my personal favorite), Tajh Boyd, AJ McCarron (or, at least, his girlfriend)... hell, maybe a guy like David Fales can pump up his stock before the big day arrives. It's simply too soon to tell, but a few of these guys have a good start -- and if recent history is any indication, 75% of the 1st overall picks since Peyton Manning was drafted have been none other than QBs.

And then, there's everyone else. Almost assuredly, a lineman on either side of the ball will make a name for himself throughout the year, have a stellar Combine, and peak just at the right moment to put himself in the conversation for the #1 overall pick. Maybe we'll see a rare WR or LB go #1 overall. In the last couple drafts, we've seen more than our fair share of curve balls in the 1st round -- you can never count out the longshot.

The odds are pretty evenly split, if you ask me. What do you think -- are you on the 'Downey for Clowney' train, or are you pushing your chips in on someone else??

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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