2014 NFL Draft: 10 players teams will regret passing on

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  1. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    • By Bryan Fischer
    • College Football 24/7 writer
    • Published: May 12, 2014 at 03:41 p.m.
    • Updated: May 12, 2014 at 04:15 p.m.



    If there's one constant for players not picked in the top five of the draft, it's their inevitable sound bite about how they'll make teams that passed on them regret it in the NFL. While it will take awhile before we find out about how good the 2014 draft class will turn out, here are 10 players who teams might regret passing on in the draft down the road (in alphabetical order):


    Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin

    Drafted: Packers, 176th overall (5th round)
    Analysis: Just ask Big Ten fans how happy they are to see Abbrederis in the NFL and not back at Wisconsin. A former walk-on, he's put in the hard work to reach this point and is one of the more polished pass catchers in the draft. He's quicker than his 4.5 40-yard dash suggests and has terrific hands. He knows how to run routes with the best of them and can easily slide in as a go-to option for Aaron Rodgers.
    Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin

    Drafted: 49ers, 77th overall (3rd round)
    Analysis: Many saw Borland going as high as the beginning of the second round, but he found a good home later in the draft in San Francisco. He's not the biggest or fastest linebacker in the game, but he's instintive and simply makes plays when you need them. With a big front to help keep blockers off him, he can be the sure tackler the 49ers need in the middle of its defense. He will probably be a top-notch special teams player as well.
    Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

    Drafted: Vikings, 32nd overall (1st round)
    Analysis: Bridgewater was the top quarterback in the class for months before he started to slide, but the Vikings wisely moved back into the first round to grab him. There are negatives, most notably his frame, but he can make all the throws and might be the best equipped out of anybody in this year's group to start early as a rookie. Learning from Norv Turner will help tremendously, and nobody will be surprised when he has the most consistent career among this year's quarterbacks.

    Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

    Drafted: Steelers, 118th overall (4th round)
    Analysis: There were certainly questions surrounding Bryant that caused him to drop, but he has the physical tools to be a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver in the league with some good coaching. He can return kicks if needed and has good speed for a 6-foot-4 receiver, with a 4.4-second 40. Bryant is going to have to get up to speed quickly in the NFL, but at the very least he should be an early threat down in the red zone for the Steelers. Mike Tomlin has already stated Bryant could start as a rookie for the team.
    Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

    Drafted: Packers, 21st overall (1st round)
    Analysis: The Alabama product was considered a possible top 10 pick in the draft but fell to the Packers in a bit of luck for Ted Thompson's crew. He was graded about the same as Calvin Pryor, the first safety taken, but had to wait in the green room a bit longer to hear his name called so a few teams could regret passing him over. He plays more of a center field role instead of being in the box but in today's pass-happy NFL, having the range Clinton-Dix does is hard to find. He does a good job of tackling in the open field and should be a starter early in his career. Given some of the receivers and tight ends in the division, the Packers may have gotten a steal in the 1st round.
    Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

    Drafted: Bengals, 55th overall (2nd round)
    Analysis: Character concerns were a big reason Hill dropped into the late 2nd round but few are denying what kind of talent he is on the field. He's got ideal size and speed and knows how to burst through holes and get past the second level. He has to get better at being a receiving threat out of the backfield but he should see early playing time. If Hill can quickly pick up protection schemes, he can be a big part of the Bengals offense.
    Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

    Drafted: Ravens, 48th overall (2nd round)
    Analysis: Jernigan was rated by a number of analysts as a top 20 player in 2014 and possibly the second-best defensive tackle in the draft behind Aaron Donald. He's a big load in the middle who can shoot the gap and get to the quarterback at over 300 pounds. Jernigan is known for his strength and can really help a team's run defense, too. If he picks up everything in the meeting room, watch out.


    Marqise Lee, WR, USC

    Drafted: Jaguars, 39th overall (2nd round)
    Analysis: Once a lock for the first round, his injury history and subpar play his final season at USC seemed to pull him down the draft board more than most thought. Mike Mayock said it was a "bonanza" for Jacksonville to get a player like this in the second round, and it's easy to see why if you put on his tape from two years ago. He doesn't have the hands or speed of other receivers, but he is more athletic than he looks and can add something in the return game, too. Plus, he's competitive and won't be a concern off the field.
    Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame

    Drafted: Texans, 83rd overall (3rd round)
    Analysis: The fall of Nix during the draft was interesting to follow, but if healthy, it's clear the team got a big-time presence in the middle of its 3-4 at an outstanding value. He's got great size and one of the better first steps you'll see from a 340-pounder. Having somebody who can take on a double team and still get into the backfield is rare. Plus, he'll be a star off the field, given his colorful personality.
    Ronald Powell, LB, Florida

    Drafted: Saints, 169th overall (5th round)
    Analysis: Injuries are a big factor with Powell, but when he was healthy at Florida he showed he can be an impact player on defense. His flexibility in playing either end or outside linebacker is a plus, and he is one of the more athletic players you'll find for his size. A former No. 1 recruit, he still needs some time to develop since he doesn't have a ton of snaps under his belt, but he has all the potential to turn into a Pro Bowler for Rob Ryan.
    Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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