The 2014 NFL scouting combine is now behind us, and while there is still a long way to go in the draft process, teams are beginning to gain a clearer picture of who this year's top prospects are and what each of them brings to the table.
Coming out of the combine, I felt as though four elite prospects had separated themselves from the rest of the class. We may add another player or two to this group before the draft process is complete, but for now, those four are alone in an elite class. We also have some new entrants to the list and several prospects who have risen or fallen.
Here is my latest ranking of the top 32 prospects for the 2014 NFL draft.
(Note: The scouting reports will largely stay the same for each edition of these rankings, but we'll update as needed based on news developments. Draft-eligible non-seniors are noted with an asterisk.)
COLLEGE: South Carolina
Analysis: From a talent standpoint, he is the clear No. 1 prospect in this class, a fact he reminded everyone of with his exceptional 4.53-second 40-yard dash time at the combine. To put that number into perspective, it is faster than the average produced by wide receivers over the last five years at the combine and faster than Johnny Manziel as well as mobile NFL QBs Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson. Clowney will have some questions to answer at his pro day and in individual interviews with teams, but I'm not anticipating any issues there. He has a rare combination of size, speed, strength and athleticism.
PREVIOUS RANK: 1 | PLAYER CARD
Analysis: The expectations for Robinson coming into the combine were high, but he exceeded those with some staggering numbers. He ran a sub-5-second 40-yard dash at 332 pounds and did 32 bench press reps with 35-inch arms -- both really impressive feats. Additionally, he is the most dominant blocker at the point of attack that I've ever evaluated on tape. He'll need time to develop as a pass-blocker, but he is remarkably athletic for his big frame and has the potential to be a very good pass protector in time.
PREVIOUS RANK: 2 | PLAYER CARD