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Green Zone League Articles

Top 10 Offensive Prospects in the 2014 GZL Draft Class
By Corey Smith
Special to gzl-football.com

Top 10 Offensive Players in 2014 GZL Rookie Draft Class

Ah, the Rookie Draft. It’s definitely one of the most favorite times of the year for pretty much any GM in a league such as this one … well, unless you tricked off all of your meaningful picks for the upcoming draft, that is. I, for one, love to dig deep into the draft classes as soon as I can get my hands on them. Being a person that trusts a Madden OVR rating very little, I use my own strategy and formula to determine a prospects (or any player, for that matter) value.

Of course, I’m aware that the way I value a player may vary significantly from the way other GMs value players at a given position, but that’s what makes the league interesting. Hopefully this article will stir up some conversation and debate.

This will be the first part of a three-part series where I will give my view on the 2014 GZL Draft Class. In this part I will breakdown the OFFENSIVE players that I feel are the top 10 in the class. In part two I will shift over to the Defensive side of the ball. And in the final part, once pre-draft trading has slowed down and the order is closer to being set, I will provide a mock draft for the first round.

Here we go …

QB Geno Smith | West Virgina | 6’3” 224lbs
95THP, 86THA, 76AWR
Breakdown: Smith played in offense at WVU that aired it out all game long, and hung up a lot of points. But Geno is not the typical college “Air Raid” QB, as he has a monster arm, can make any GZL throw, and has a football IQ that is through the roof for a player coming out of college. He’ll be able to step in and start for a team immediately, if needed.
Grade: Top 5 Pick.

QB Ryan Tannenhill | Texas A&M | 6’4” 221bs
93THP, 82THA, 66AWR
Breakdown: While Tannenhill is the polished product that Smith is, he sure does look the part. He has an above average arm, good size, and a very high ceiling if put into the right position.
Grade: Mid-Late 1st Round Pick

HB Bull Griggs | UCLA | 6’1” 242lbs
87SPD, 87AGI, 89ACC, 83CAR, 83BTK, 83STR, 67CTH, 55AWR
Breakdown: The term “Beast” tends to get thrown around to liberally in sports these days. But Griggs is a BEAST. At 242lbs he maintains decent speed to go along with tremendous strength and a bruising running style.
Grade: Mid-Late 1st Round Pick

HB La’Vonte Bell | UCLA | 6’0” 218lbs
94SPD, 92AGI, 95ACC, 80CAR, 79BTK, 66STR, 74CTH, 61AWR
Breakdown: For those that prefer a more versatile flavor up back, Bell is the man. Bell can run with power, between the tackles when necessary, but also has the juice to make it happen in the open filed. And to make things better, he’s arguably the best pass-catcher in the class.
Grade: Mid-Late 1st Round Pick

WR Justin Hunter | Tennessee | 6’4” 200lbs
91SPD, 89AGI, 92ACC, 83CTH, 92JMP, 61STR, 57AWR
Breakdown: It’s no secret that teams love tall, fast WR’s. Justin Hunter is that. He brings good hands and a physical-ness to the table, with good speed to boot. He should be able to contribute to the team that drafts him immediately.
Grade: Top 10 Pick

WR Dave Aikman | Texas | 5’11” 184lbs
93SPD, 93AGI, 94ACC, 79CTH, 92JMP, 58STR, 59AWR
Breakdown: He may not get the respect he deserves due to the “5” in front of his height, rather than “6”, but Aikman may just be the best WR in this class. Great speed, agility, and acceleration should translate into him being able to get separation in the GZL. He’s got solid hands and can compete for jump balls.
Grade: Mid-Late 1st Round Pick

WR/TE Jackie Thomas | Wisconsin | 6’2” 222lbs
88SPD, 90AGI, 89ACC, 72CTH, 90JMP, 51STR, 43RBK, 69AWR
Breakdown: In a class that appears to be loaded with “tweeners” at the TE spot in this draft, Thomas is the only one that will afford his team the ability to actually move him to WR should they choose. If kept at TE, he can create matchup problems in the passing game whether he lines up in the slot or on in- line.
Grade: 2nd Round Pick

OT Eric Fisher | Central Michigan | 6’6” 305lbs
89PBK, 89RBK, 94STR, 60SPD, 63AGI, 79ACC, 70AWR
Breakdown: With a great frame, outstanding strength, and above athletic ability, Fisher is ready to step in and play from day one. He’s a polished blocker in both the pass and run games, which is rare for a rookie in the league. All this, and he’s only 20 years old.
Grade: Top 10 Pick

OT Leo Richards | Georgia Tech | 6’6” 308lbs
85PBK, 85RBK, 92STR, 66SPD, 64AGI, 84ACC, 65AWR
Breakdown: Richards is a pretty similar OT as what Fisher is. Just swap some athletic ability for some blocking ability, and there you go. Richards’ upside is tremendous.
Grade: Top 15 Pick

OG Dallas Thomas | Tennessee | 6’5” 305lbs
88PBK, 88RBK, 89STR, 60SPD, 66AGI, 82ACC, 70AWR
Breakdown: Thomas is the OG version of OT Eric Fisher. He’s got a great frame, good athletic ability, and is a very polished run and pass blocker. Thomas also has a great football IQ. His athletic ability makes him a hot commodity for teams that like to have their OG’s pulling often.
Grade: Mid-1st Pick

Notables: QB Colin Klein, HB Eddie Lacy, HB Montee Ball, WR Terrance Williams, TE Stuart Forstyte, OT Brennan Williams, OG Frank Capone, OC Anthony Madison.

Again, these are my opinions on how the offensive prospects look. And I tried to keep it to a couple players per position, for entertainment's sake. But if you have disagreements with the list ... let's hear 'em!
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