2014 NFL Draft – Day 1: Guys to Watch for
The first round of the NFL is always inundated with drama. From Aaron Rodgers’s fall from possibly being selected number one overall and landing behind an NFL legend, to E.J. Manuel’s leapfrogging of Geno Smith to become the first quarterback selected in 2013, the first day of the NFL draft sees both selections that yield good and poor value.
In this post I’ll discuss who I believe will be some of the best value selections of day one. To do so, I’ll be using Arif Hasan of Vikings Territory’s top 200 consensus lists of projections and evaluations on these prospects.
In the table above, I’ve compiled a list of the prospects likely to be selected in the first round and sorted them in descending order according to their “Best Value” ranking among the 171 prospects that found their name on both the top 200 projections list and the top 200 evaluations list. To the right of that, you’ll find what my guess is on Arif’s method of determining the best value; once again, the rankings are only among players who are on both top 200 lists.
Bradley Roby is on this list despite just missing on being projected to go in the first. Given that the rankings are partially determined by projections, I’d like to point out that if he were to be selected 32nd overall instead of 33rd, his value ranking in my weighting system would be 54th instead of 50th.
This day one value chart has a very steep curve. Considering Manziel, or especially Roby to be a “great value pick” would be a stretch, but nevertheless, if they are picked where they are projected to go, it would be a better deal than many of the other first round players, such as Justin Gilbert, Taylor Lewan, or Mike Evans, who are projected to be selected 9th, 6th, and 7th overall, and all three of whom are in the top 10 worst value selections of the 171 agreed upon top 200 players.
Surprisingly, a team who chooses to select a cornerback on day one of the draft that isn’t named Justin Gilbert has a good chance of finding value with that pick. As you can observe, two corners found their way into the top ten best value prospects of the first round.
Kyle Fuller, the cornerback from Virginia Tech is another prospect who could prove to provide some value. While the evaluators actually ranked him somewhat lower than the projections do (and he therefore has a negative value), he is considered by myself — and many of the evaluators I believe to be the most trustworthy — to be the best cornerback in this upcoming draft.