DraftManiacs

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2013 Draft – Top Five Juniors That Returned to School

2014 NFL draft

Now that the day for declaring for the 2013 draft has passed, I thought it would be good to look at some of the players that returned to school and will be eligible for the 2014 draft. This list will be much shorter because fewer players decided to stay in school, although some of them were surprises.

1. Aaron Murray-QB-Georgia (6-1 210 lbs.): Aaron Murray is probably the biggest surprise of any player returning to school. Tony Dungy mentioned his name as the possible #1 overall draft pick, but I doubt he would have gone that high. Murray is extremely talented and he finally got a big monkey off his back. The knock on him all along was that he didn’t step up in big games. Murray, however, played very well against Alabama in the SEC Championship game, coming up 5 yards short of an upset win. He also played well in their win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Another year of seasoning will only help his development and he could possibly be the first QB picked in 2014. He doesn’t have prototypical build, but Russell Wilson proved that you don’t always have to be 6-4 to be successful in the NFL.

2. Tajh Boyd-QB-Clemson (6-1 225 lbs.): Tajh Boyd is another quarterback that doesn’t have the build that NFL teams normally look for, but he is very talented. He is extremely athletic and runs a very aggressive offense that attacks the defense on every play. Boyd does a good job moving in the pocket and making plays on the run. He does a good job of reading defenses and attacking their weaknesses. There was some talk that he deserved consideration for the 2013 Heisman, so I’m sure he will be one of the top players considered for 2014.

3. Will Sutton-DT-Arizona State (6-1 267 lbs.): Will Sutton was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He is listed as 267 lbs., but he looks like he’s closer to 280. He is a disruptive force that gets penetration and creates havoc in the backfield. His ideal position would be as a 3 technique in a 4-3 system where he could make plays, similar to Warren Sapp’s style.

4. Kyle Van Noy-OLB-BYU (6-3 235 lbs.): I absolutely love this kid’s game! He may be the best player you never heard of. Van Noy is an active linebacker that makes plays all over the field. Anything you need done on defense, he can do it. Just a look at his box score from the Poinsettia Bowl shows you the kind of player he is – 8 tackles, 3 ½ tackles for loss, 1 ½ sacks, 1 forced fumble, a 17 yard pick six and a blocked punt for a touchdown. When his team needs a big play, Van Noy is the guy who normally makes it. I’m shocked that he returned to school because it really doesn’t have anything else to prove. I know the NFL scouts will be drooling this time next year.

5. Anthony Barr-OLB-UCLA (6-4 235 lbs.): Anthony Barr is a former fullback that was moved to outside linebacker in 2012 and he exploded onto the scene with 13 sacks (tied for the lead in the Pac-12) and 21 tackles for loss. Barr was 2nd team All-American and 1st team All-Pac 12. He is an athletic playmaker that pursues the ball sideline to sideline and always seems to be around the ball.

by Dwayne Wilton

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