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2014 NFL Draft Mailbag

I received many e-mails and tweets about my 2014 NFL Mock Draft and the upcoming NFL Draft in general. To share the answers to the questions publicly, I decided to start up a mailbag column. Pass along your NFL draft questions and comments. I'll put together a mailbag periodically that answers questions/comments sent via email or on Twitter @draftcampbell.

March 23, 2014

From Jeremy Vandepas, Canada

"My question is this. In the draft this year it seems like WR, OL and TE are very deep and as a Canadian that doesn't have the ability to watch much NCAA football to be able to know much about the prospects, would it not make more sense for the Bills to draft a playmaker in the first round (Evans, Ebron, Watkins if he falls) and then draft an OL in the second round. It seems like Buffalo is very happy with Glenn and it would seem they are looking for a RT not a LT in this draft. Wouldn't a first round pick on a RT be a waste of a pick with all the playmakers available? Just my thoughts and would like to know your opinion. Also have the bills done enough now in free agency that they probably won't draft a LB? Last question is Michael Schofield T out of Michigan a good late round prospect? Do you think he has a chance to turn into a solid pro in a few years? Also what are the chances he projects better as a RG in the pros?"

Thanks for the email and feedback. I think you have a lot of great points. I definitely could see the Bills drafting a receiver in the first round and taking a right tackle on Day 2. I've been really close to mocking Mike Evans to Buffalo. I could make that change soon.

I agree with your thoughts on taking a right tackle early in the draft. I think value and availability dictate that one should be selected later on. That being said, last year teams drafted three right tackles in the first four picks, although Joeckel and Fisher eventually will move to left tackle. I think the pick will come down to a wide receiver or right tackle to help Manuel. However, the tackle would also help the running game.

As for Schofield, I think he could be a nice developmental pick as a guard on Day 3. I think Schofield could have some potential on the inside. In the NFL, I wouldn't like to see him protecting my quarterback on the edge against speed rushers. I think if Schofield gets moved to guard and developed, he could turn into a player.

From Bryan Simek, Virginia Beach

"Why would the Jaguars draft a QB who needs work over a QB who is NFL ready in Bridgewater?"

Thanks for the question; it's a good one. My answer can be broken down to skill set and upside. Bortles has more size and mobility than Bridgewater. The former has the better skill set to develop and the most upside of any of the quarterbacks. Think back to last year; Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib were more pro-ready than E.J. Manuel, but Manuel was the one who went first. You could say that also applies to Geno Smith, who went ahead of Barkley and Nassib.

A lot of NFL teams feel that if they're forced to role the dice on a quarterback in the first round, they would rather take the guy who they know has a physical skill set to be special in the NFL.

From Tony, Tampa, Florida

"How is Houston going to be able to afford both Watt & Clowney if they took Clowney? I think Watt would be a FA next year & theyre not letting him go. Theyd have to put $$$$ into him & then if they took Clowney theyd have to put a bunch of $$$$ into him. So in about 2 or 3 years theyd be down the toilet with the two of them since theyd cost so much. I doubt they take Clowney (especially with how much both would cost). "

No. The complete opposite actually. J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney would be one of the cheapest duos of pass-rushers in the NFL over the next five years thanks to the rookie wage scale. Clowney's rookie contract is going to be five years for about 25 million dollars. Over that time Clowney could be one of the best pass=rushers in the NFL and will be a massive bargain at five milion dollars per year.

Even after Houston extends Watt, Clowney and Watt could annually cost less than what the Bucs paid Darrelle Revis last season. In four or five years, tbe Texans can reevaluate their roster then. They won't be paying big money to Arian Foster at that point, along with other big contracts like Jonathan Joseph and Chris Myers. Houston should have the money to afford both in the long term if the organization plans accordingly.

From Count Jesus, Parts Unknown

"It's not that I think QB prospects are overrated this year. Well I do. Manziel has a lot of really, really bad traits, like an average arm, and piss poor pocket presence, and Blake Bortles is Christian Ponder + (Christian Ponder, but plays with less anxiety and is better throwing on the run). Derek Carr may have an arm, but he doesn't have downfield accuracy. I like Teddy B., but he's dumb too, though I think he has his head on right. (As a note, since everyone calls me racist when I bring this up, Kaepernick, Newton, and Wilson are all not dumb, and I spent a lot of time defending Newton's intelligence prior to the 2011 draft). No, my state of perplexity comes from the lack of praise for a Quarterback, the one that is currently ranked #13 on your sites prospect rankings. Aaron Murray is the best QB prospect of the last 2 years. I don't really expect or want a response. I'd be shocked if he made it out of the 2nd, and wouldn't bat an eye if he went #1 overall. I'm annoyed that other people don't see this, and do things that are offensively wrong, like ranking him 13th on a list of QB prospects for 1 year. I just want, when he turns out to be the best QB in this class, for the people who have the most influence on the internet over those who are interested perspectives on the draft, to remember, and look back, and go, oh, someone told us that."

First of all, I can understand your feelings regarding the quarterbacks. Most draft analysts have Houston going with a quarterback, but I don't feel there is one who is worthy of that pick this year, thus I have the Texans going with Jadeveon Clowney. I feel strongly that they will pass on the quarterbacks for Clowney.

Secondly, I would disagree with you on a few things. One, I don't think that Teddy Bridgewater is dumb. I've heard scouts question a variety of aspects about his game, but intelligence isn't one of them. He's known as a film junkie, hard worker and a smart quarterback. Sources have confirmed that for me.

Thirdly, I disagree about Aaron Murray. Well before the injury, I knew scouts who had him coming in with a third-day grade. Perhaps he bucks the trend and becomes a good pro, but to me, he looks like an NFL backup. Murray doesn't have a complete skill set, by any means, while also having repeated meltdown performances during his collegiate career. He had a great supporting cast as well. I think Murray could be a good backup in the NFL, but I don't see a starter there or a prospect with huge upside to develop.

I asked some scouts about Murray, and this was the response: "Solid backup and maybe spot starter in time. Fourth to fifth round due to dearth of talent at the position."

So, there you have it. That's a great thing about the draft is people can have such a variety of opinions and everybody has a chance at being right. If Murray pans out, I'll be happy to say that I was wrong to rate him low. I have said that about Russell Wilson, but even the Seahawks had a misevaluation there. If they knew he would be that good, they would have taken him in the first round and not waited.

From John Tijerina, Corpus Christi

"I'm suppose to write you that I disagree with your mock draft selection by the Texans. Sorry, but I think you are right on with the pick. Heard nothing but how Geno Smith was going to be the first pick in last years draft.....he fell to the second round. Everything I heard about from arm strength to NFL ready having played in a pro scheme with Geno; I'm now hearing about with Teddy Bridgewater. Brotles is a project/risk from a small school not worthy of the 1st pick. Manziel needs to run to set up his passing.....carries the ball like a loaf of bread. He will be a turnover machine much like the knock on Vick. Good job."

Thanks Jon. I think you're spot on; none of the quarterbacks are worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. Passing on Clowney to reach for a quarterback is foolish. Clowney and J.J. Watt provide an answer to stopping Andrew Luck.

From Michael Cahill, Kingston, New York

"I follow your mocks for months, as well as I do Walt's, I think the top of this draft is loaded and teams have great opportunities. Although Sammy Watkins is a top notch wideout, I do believe Mike Evans is the better choice to go first off the board. I also think there is no way Cleveland doesn't go QB. Especially if Johnny Football is there. This year's draft is loaded and they could land a WR later in the round, perhaps, Benjamin, Lee, Cooks or Beckham or Landry."

Thanks for the email, Michael. I think you can make an argument for Mike Evans if a team is looking for a big wide receiver. I don't think Watkins will go after Evans, but you never know what can transpire in the lead up and during the draft.

I agree the Browns are likely to address quarterback early. Right now, I have them doing the inverse with landing a receiver first and a quarterback second, but it could definitely be flipped around. I agree with you that there should be good receivers available later in the first as well. I think Benjamin, Lee and Beckham are going to be really good in the NFL.

Once again send questions/comments via email or on Twitter @draftcampbell.

2014 NFL Draft Mailbag Archive:

2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - March 23
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - Aug. 5
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - July 22
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - July 9
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - June 26
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - June 2
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - May 16


NFL Free Agents - April 19

2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17

2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28

2014 NBA Mock Draft - March 26

NFL Picks - Feb. 2

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