|John Raoux/Associated Press|
|Central Florida's Justin Holman is charged with replacing Blake Bortles at quarterback.|
Our final look at who's replacing the 2014 draft picks from the FBS ranks covers the leagues outside of the so-called "Big Five" -- the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt, as well as the independents.The Mountain West led the way with 16 picks. C-USA had 11, the ACC 10 (including four first-rounders), the independents nine (all but one from Notre Dame), the MAC eight and the Sun Belt four.
Georgia Southern is moving from the FCS ranks into the Sun Belt, and while we didn't include the Eagles' two picks in the Sun Belt total, we are taking a look at who will replace their draftees.
In addition, Tulane is moving from C-USA to the AAC and Western Kentucky from the Sun Belt to C-USA. They are listed under their new leagues, though the draftees total obviously counts for their former leagues.
LB Yawin SmallwoodRound 7 (253), Atlanta Falcons
Possibilities: New coach Bob Diaco, who had been defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, prefers to run a 3-4 set but doesn't appear to have the necessary components. The UConn linebacker situation won't be sorted out until fall camp. Among the leading contenders for starting spots are juniors Graham Stewart (a 6-foot-1, 227 pounder who began his career at Florida), Marquise Vann (6-0, 226) and Jefferson Ashiru (6-2, 230), sophomore Jon Hicks (6-2, 233) and redshirt freshman Cam Stapleton (6-4, 226).
DT Shamar StephenRound 7 (220), Minnesota Vikings
Possibilities: Senior Angelo Pruitt (6-2, 287), who started 10 games at end last season, seems likely to start in Stephen's old tackle spot this fall. Pruitt is a squatty presence who could be a needed disruptor in the middle.
FS Lonnie BallentineRound 7 (256), Houston Texans
Possibilities: Junior Reggis Ball (5-11, 200) started twice last season at strong safety and should be a fulltime starter at free safety this fall. He has shown he can be good in run support, but his ball skills are a question. His brother, Reggie, is a former quarterback at Georgia Tech, and another brother, Marcus, is a former safety at Memphis.
CB Kenneth AckerRound 6 (180), San Francisco 49ers
Possibilities: The Mustangs will have two new starting cornerbacks: sophomore Horace Richardson (6-0, 190) and junior J.R. Richardson (5-9, 182); they are not related. Both suffered knee injuries in 2012 before returning last season. J.R. Richardson might be the team's fastest player (he has been clocked in 4.34 seconds in the 40). SMU has another non-related Richardson starting in the secondary, too: SS Darrion Richardson.
QB Garrett GilbertRound 6 (214), St. Louis Rams
Possibilities: Sophomore Neal Burcham (6-3, 207) started two games last season when Gilbert was injured and will head into fall camp atop the depth chart. But he will have to hold off JC transfer Matt Davis (6-2, 210), a former four-star recruit who spent one season at Texas A&M before moving on to a junior college for the 2013 season. Davis, who chose SMU early this month, is a dual-threat guy, while Burcham is more of a traditional dropback passer. Before his senior season in high school, Burcham was co-MVP at the ESPN Elite 11 QB Showcase; the other co-MVP was Jameis Winston.
WR Ryan GrantRound 5 (142), Washington Redskins
Possibilities: Senior Xavier Rush (6-2, 194) started four games last season when the Green Wave opened in three-receiver sets; that gives him 10 starts in three seasons. His production dropped from 43 catches in 2012 to just 17 last season -- 60 fewer receptions than Grant. Rush, who is majoring in neuroscience, is a former sprinter for Tulane's track team.
QB Blake BortlesRound 1 (3), Jacksonville Jaguars
Possibilities: Sophomore Justin Holman (6-4, 207) will go into fall drills atop the depth chart. He is a running threat and had an OK spring. Redshirt freshman Pete DiNovo (6-1, 205) and sophomore Nick Patti (5-10, 205), an Orlando native who has transferred home from Boise State, also will compete. DiNovo probably was the steadiest of the quarterbacks during the spring, but Holman has a higher upside and a stronger arm.
RB Storm JohnsonRound 7 (222), Jacksonville Jaguars
Possibilities: UCF will have a much easier time replacing Johnson than Bortles. Sophomore William Stanback (5-11, 221) had a strong true freshman campaign as the No. 2 tailback in 2013, and sophomore Dontravious Wilson (5-10, 212) had a good spring and opened some eyes after serving mainly as a special-teams performer last season.
DE Aaron LynchRound 5 (150), San Francisco 49ers
Possibilities: USF lost both starting ends as well as the top reserve at the position, and senior Elkino Watson (6-2, 289) could end up moving from tackle to take one of the end spots. USF has better depth at tackle than end, and in an attempt to get the best linemen on the field, moving Watson -- who is active despite his squatty build -- makes sense. Junior Eric Lee (6-3, 257) will head into fall camp atop the depth chart at the other end spot. He was a reserve last fall but didn't make a tackle.
CB Keith ReaserRound 5 (170), San Francisco 49ers
Possibilities: Reaser missed the final six games with a torn ACL, so the Owls already have played without him. The man who replaced him is gone, so junior Cre'von LeBlanc (5-11, 175), last season's main nickel back, and redshirt freshman Ronnie Scott (5-10, 165) are expected to battle during fall camp for the starting role. It would be a surprise if LeBlanc, who had a good spring, isn't the starter.
OLB Randell JohnsonRound 7 (221), Buffalo Bills
Possibilities: Both starting outside linebackers spots are open, and junior Freedom Whitfield (6-2, 200) and sophomore Robert Relf (6-3, 220) will head into fall camp atop the depth chart at the positions; they combined for nine tackles last season.
DT Justin EllisRound 4 (107), Oakland Raiders
Possibilities: Junior Vernon Butler (6-3, 309) is in line to replace Ellis, a 350-pounder who was stout against the run. Butler has played extensively as a reserve in his first two seasons, and made 43 tackles last season. He has a chance to contend for all-league honors.
DE IK EnemkpaliRound 6 (210), New York Jets
Possibilities: Senior Andre Taylor (6-4, 253), who has 35 career tackles, emerged from spring practice as the projected starter. He needs to prove he can provide a pass rush.
OT Garrett ScottRound 6 (199), Seattle Seahawks
Possibilities: Junior Sebastian Johansson (6-4, 284), a native of Sweden, heads to fall camp atop the depth chart at left tackle. Johansson, whose nickname is, appropriately enough, "Swede," started at left guard last season.
Middle Tennessee State
DT Jimmy StatenRound 5 (172), Seattle Seahawks
Possibilities: Sophomore Shaquille Huff (6-1, 297) had a strong spring and put himself in good position to take over for Staten. Huff was second on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss in a reserve role last season and should prove to be a disruptive presence in the middle as a starter.
CB Phillip GainesRound 3 (87), Kansas City Chiefs
Possibilities: Senior Malcolm Hill (5-11, 190) started at strong safety last season but is moving back to corner to take Gaines' vacant starting spot. He has made the move before: In 2012, he started the first seven games at strong safety before an injury forced him to move to corner for the last half of the season. He has 26 career starts, the most of any Owls player. Hill has five interceptions and 12 pass breakups in his career, and he will team with senior Bryce Callahan to give Rice one of the best cornerback duos in Conference USA this season.
NT Khyri ThorntonRound 3 (85), Green Bay Packers
Possibilities: Thornton played nose tackle in Southern Miss' funky 4-2-5 set last season, but the Golden Eagles are going to a 4-3 scheme this fall and the nose tackle position is no more. Junior Rakeem Nunez-Roches (6-2, 290) will fill Thornton's absence. Nunez-Roches played in just two games last season before suffering a knee injury and missing the rest of the season. His return should be a big boost to the Golden Eagles; he was a starter in 2012 and is good against the run. He has all-conference talent.
Nike college uniforms for 2014Take a look at Nike's latest updates to college football uniforms for the 2014 season.
LB Andrew JacksonRound 6 (203), Indianapolis Colts
Possibilities: Junior Daqual Randall (6-0, 245) started twice last season and seems to have the needed physical nature to replace the productive Jackson, who had a combined 326 tackles in the past three seasons.
FS Jonathan DowlingRound 7 (247), Oakland Raiders
Possibilities: Senior Ricardo Singh (5-11, 190) backed up Dowling last season and should take over for him this fall. Singh has just 12 tackles in his career, and his most noteworthy time has come on special teams. He was shot in 2012 outside a Bowling Green, Ky., bar by someone who fired into the crowd.
DE Jonathan NewsomeRound 5 (166), Indianapolis Colts
Possibilities: Junior Michael Ayers (6-1, 238), who has made 20 tackles in two seasons, will take over at rush end for Newsome. Ayers has zero sacks and zero tackles for loss in his career, and eight of his career tackles came last season in a win over Army.
QB Keith WenningRound 6 (194), Baltimore Ravens
Possibilities: Wenning was a four-year starter. Sophomore Ozzie Mann (6-1, 205) and redshirt freshman Jack Milas (6-0, 215) will battle it out in fall camp for the right to take Wenning's place. Mann is the steadier quarterback of the two, while Milas looks to have the stronger arm.
OLB Khalil MackRound 1 (5), Oakland Raiders
Possibilities: The Bulls run a 3-4 set and only have to replace one starting linebacker. But that linebacker is Mack, arguably the best player in school history and easily the best in the past 50 years. Sophomore Jarrett Franklin, who at 6-0 and 200 pounds is three inches shorter and 46 pounds lighter than Mack, will be given the task of replacing the first-rounder. Franklin runs well and had 21 tackles as a true freshman reserve last season.
WR/RB Dri ArcherRound 3 (97), Pittsburgh Steelers
Possibilities: Archer missed two games and was limited in the 10 others, so the Golden Flashes are used to playing without him. Quicksilver sophomore Ernest Calhoun (5-6, 150), who played sparingly last fall, looks to be the new slot man. Also a candidate is junior Josh Boyle (5-9, 173), who has moved inside from wide receiver. He went to the same high school -- Venice (Fla.) High -- as Archer.
TE Rob BlanchflowerRound 7 (230), Pittsburgh Steelers
Possibilities: Who knows who will replace Blanchflower. UMass has a new coach (Mark Whipple) and a new offense, and the starter won't be determined until fall camp. JC transfer Jean Sifrin (6-7, 250) is mammoth and likely will be given every opportunity to win the job. There's also JC transfer Jon Denton (6-6, 260). The top holdover looks to be junior Brandon Howard (6-5, 250), who had four receptions last season.
SS Jimmie WardRound 1 (30), San Francisco 49ers
Possibilities: Junior Marlon Moore (5-9, 193) has one thing in common with Ward -- both are from Mobile, Ala. Moore started nine games at cornerback last season and made the move to strong safety this spring. While he is on the small side, he is solid in coverage and should cover a lot of ground.
DT Ken BishopRound 7 (251), Dallas Cowboys
Possibilities: Redshirt freshman William Lee (6-2, 302) will head into fall camp atop the depth chart at defensive tackle. Bishop was productive for an interior player (71 tackles, seven tackles for loss), and Lee is not going to be able to match that. Lee, who has gained 20 pounds since signing with NIU in February 2013, is expected to be stout against the run.
College football cheerleadersTake a look at the cheerleaders of college football in action during the 2013 season.
CB Travis CarrieRound 7 (219), Oakland Raiders
Possibilities: The Bobcats' likely starters at corner appear to be juniors Devin Bass (5-9, 180) and Ian Wells (5-11, 202). JC transfer Brett Layton (5-11, 190) arrives in the summer and could get into the mix, as could junior Devin Jones (6-1, 202).
DE Demarcus LawrenceRound 2 (34), Dallas Cowboys
Possibilities: The battle for Lawrence's starting spot will be decided during fall camp. Senior Beau Martin (6-2, 254), who began his career at Division II Colorado State-Pueblo, had four sacks as a reserve last season; he and sophomore Kamalei Correa (6-3, 247) are the main contenders, with sophomore Sam McCaskill (6-3, 249) having an outside shot at winning the job.
C Matt ParadisRound 6 (207), Denver Broncos
Possibilities: Paradis played eight-man football in high school in Council, Idaho, then walked-on at Boise State and became one of the better centers on the West Coast. Junior Marcus Henry (6-3, 285) started at right guard last season but was moved inside during spring practice and appears set to become Paradis' replacement.
OT Charles Leno Jr.Round 7 (246), Chicago Bears
Possibilities: Junior Rees Odhiambo (6-4, 300), who started at right tackle last season, will be moved to the left side to replace Leno. Odhiambo is a physical player who is a good run blocker, but he missed spring drills, which hurts the line's cohesiveness.
C Weston RichburgRound 2 (43), New York Giants
Possibilities: Richburg was the first center selected in the draft and had started the Rams' past 50 games, so there is going to be a drop-off. Sophomore Fred Zerblis (6-3, 295), a native of the Atlanta area who has some of the most distinctive hair you will see in college football this season, was Richburg's backup last season and played in four games. But Zerblis could prove to be a better fit at guard. Redshirt freshman Jake Bennett (6-3, 275) and senior Mason Meyers (6-3, 300) also can play center and guard; those three will be the starting interior linemen, but who plays center and who plays guard will be determined in fall camp.
TE Crockett GillmoreRound 3 (99), Baltimore Ravens
Possibilities: Senior Kivon Cartwright (6-4, 245) played extensively last season and caught 27 passes for 462 yards and six touchdowns. He is an All-MWV candidate. JC transfers Christian Montes (6-4, 255) and Steven Walker (6-2, 240) will see time in double-tight end formations.
QB Derek CarrRound 2 (36), Oakland Raiders
Possibilities: Junior Brian Burrell (6-4/219) has good size and a nice arm, but Carr's departure leaves a huge gap to fill. Burrell threw just 12 passes last season -- 647 fewer than Carr -- in his first go-round with the Bulldogs after transferring in from a junior college.
WR Davante AdamsRound 2 (53), Green Bay Packers
Possibilities: Senior Josh Harper (6-1, 184), a returning starter, should take over Adams' role as the go-to receiver. Juniors Justin Johnson (6-1, 202) and Aaron Peck (6-3, 211) likely will fill the two receiver spots that are vacant. Senior Greg Watson (5-10, 199) also is a candidate. Peck played well late last season; that and his size makes him one to watch this fall.
OT Joel BitonioRound 2 (35), Cleveland Browns
Possibilities: Redshirt freshman Austin Corbett (6-4, 280) began his career as a 250-pound walk-on. He now is a 280-pounder who has big shoes to fill on a line without much depth or experience.
San Diego State
S Nat BerheRound 5 (152), New York Giants
Possibilities: San Diego State uses a 3-3-5 set on defense, with three safeties; two of those safeties need to be replaced. Sophomore Brandon Porter (5-11, 195) is first in line to replace Berhe. Porter, from the New Orleans area, played in nine games as a true freshman last season and made two tackles -- 97 fewer than Berhe.
S Eric PinkinsRound 6 (208), Seattle Seahawks
Possibilities: Sophomores Malik Smith (6-0, 185), who played a lot as a true freshman reserve last season, and Na'Im McGee (6-0, 200), a junior college transfer who enrolled in January and went through spring practice, are the main contenders for Pinkins' old spot.
Top college RBs to watch in 2014Take a look ahead to the 2014 college football season with the best running backs to follow this fall.
San Jose State
CB Bené BenwikereRound 5 (148), Carolina Panthers
Possibilities: Junior Jimmy Pruitt (6-0, 192) started the first two games at corner last season before becoming the starting strong safety; he will be back at corner this fall. He was key reserve at corner in 2012 and had 11 pass breakups.
QB David FalesRound 6 (183), Chicago Bears
Possibilities: Senior Blake Jurich (6-4, 234) and junior Joe Gray (6-2, 201) will battle it out in summer camp. Gray was seen as a recruiting coup when he signed out of Los Angeles' Dorsey High in 2011, but he has attempted four passes in his career. Going into his redshirt freshman season in 2011, Jurich was considered the Spartans' quarterback of the future, but he hasn't done much, either, with 20 career pass attempts.
SS Maurice AlexanderRound 4 (110), St. Louis Rams
Possibilities: Senior Frankie Sutera (6-1, 201) has played a lot the past two seasons, including starting in the Poinsettia Bowl win over Northern Illinois last season, and he will get Alexander's old spot. Sutera will be playing this fall as a graduate student; he already has a degree in human movement science.
CB Nevin LawsonRound 4 (133), Detroit Lions
Possibilities: Senior Rashard Stewart (5-11, 185) has played in 36 games in his career. He has good speed and should be an asset in press-man coverage. Stewart also has shown an ability to be an effective blitzer. As with Lawson, he is a native of south Florida (Stewart is from Miami, Lawson from Fort Lauderdale).
FS Marqueston HuffRound 4 (122), Tennessee Titans
Possibilities: Senior Darrenn White (6-0, 192) started the first six games at strong safety last season before being lost for the season with a shoulder injury. He made the move to free safety this spring under a new coaching staff, and though he missed some time because of injuries, he did enough to sit atop the depth chart heading into fall camp.
WR Robert HerronRound 6 (185), Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Possibilities: Senior Dominic Rufran was the Cowboys' leading receiver last season, and the question is which receiver steps up to replace Herron's production (72 receptions, nine TDs). Senior Jalen Claiborne (5-9, 175) and sophomore Tanner Gentry (6-2, 190) each started at least eight games last season, but sophomore Jake Maulhardt (6-6, 215) looks to have passed Gentry in the pecking order. He had a strong spring and his size obviously is intriguing. At the least, Wyoming looks to have four solid receivers even without Herron for an offense that seems likely to throw the ball less than it did last season, when it threw on almost 52 percent of plays from scrimmage.
NT Ryan CarrethersRound 5 (165), San Diego Chargers
Possibilities: Senior Dexter Blackmon (6-4, 268) looks to be the guy who most likely takes over Carrethers' starting spot. Blackmon played extensively as a reserve last season and showed some big-play ability, but his lack of bulk could be an issue.
QB Jerick McKinnonRound 3 (96), Minnesota Vikings
Possibilities: Georgia Southern is making the move from the FCS ranks to FBS this season. The Eagles are eligible for the Sun Belt title, but not for the postseason. In addition to moving up in class, Georgia Southern also has a new coach, Willie Fritz, who comes from FCS member Sam Houston State, so the offenses and defenses are changing. McKinnon -- drafted as a running back -- started five games at quarterback and four at running back in the Eagles' triple-option attack last season. A move to a spread offense means the starting jobs at quarterback and running back won't be decided until fall camp, though sophomore Kevin Ellison (6-0, 181) looks to be the favorite at quarterback. He started six games last season. Senior Ean Days (5-11, 233), who began his career at Illinois, might be the top contender at tailback.
CB Lavelle WestbrooksRound 7 (252), Cincinnati Bengals
Possibilities: The defense is going from a 4-3 to a 4-2-5, though there still will be some 4-3 looks this fall. Seniors Valdon Cooper (5-11, 179), another guy who began his career at Illinois, and Nick Wright (6-0, 191) started games at corner last season, and there also are holdovers Darius Jones (5-10, 178), a sophomore, and Tay Hicklin (5-10, 188), a junior who was a high school teammate of Jadeveon Clowney's; Hicklin was the Eagles' main nickel back last season. Georgia Southern also signed two junior college defensive backs who could be in the mix at corner in Caleb Williams (5-9, 170) and Darrius White (6-0, 180).
OT Ulrick JohnRound 7 (232), Indianapolis Colts
Possibilities: Sophomore Michael Ivory (6-5, 360) sure is a big guy, but his ability to hold up against speed rushers will be something to watch. He is a junior college transfer who enrolled in January and went through spring drills; he needs to lose some weight. He was recruited by some schools as a guard.
OLB Kyle Van NoyRound 2 (40), Detroit Lions
Possibilities: Junior Bronson Kaufisi (6-7, 263) started at defensive end last season, but was moved to Van Noy's old weak-side linebacker spot in the spring in the Cougars' version of the 3-4. Does he have the needed athleticism to play his new position? Coaches think so. The hope is Kaufisi transitions seamlessly into his new position. If he doesn't, there are options -- but not experienced ones. Senior Michael Alisa has been a running back for the past three seasons, but he will return to linebacker -- his original position -- and should get into the mix. Freshmen also will have a shot, including Troy Hinds, who is returning from a Mormon mission.
OT Zack MartinRound 1 (16), Dallas Cowboys
Possibilities: Junior Ronnie Stanley (6-5, 318) started all 13 games at right tackle last season, but moved to left tackle in the spring to replace Martin and looked fine at his new position. Stanley was a highly touted left tackle in high school at powerhouse Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. His old starting spot at right tackle likely will go to redshirt freshman Mike McGlinchey (6-7, 300), who is a cousin of Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
DE Stephon TuittRound 2 (46), Pittsburgh Steelers
Possibilities: New defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder prefers a four-man front, so the Irish's days as a mostly 3-4 team are gone. We said "mostly" because there will be some 3-4 looks. Thus, Tuitt's spot as a 3-4 end technically is gone. The starting ends in the 4-3 this season likely will be senior Ishaq Williams (6-5, 271), who hasn't come close to living up to his high school hype, and junior Romeo Okwara (6-4, 258), whom we will talk about more in a minute. Williams was a national recruit out of high school in Brooklyn, N.Y., but his supposed high-level athleticism hasn't translated all that well to college football.
TE Troy NiklasRound 2 (52), Arizona Cardinals
Possibilities: As talented as Niklas is, the drop-off might not be that much at all. Senior Ben Koyack (6-5, 261) was considered one of the nation's best pass-catching tight ends in high school in Pennsylvania, and Irish coaches think he is athletic enough to be split wide. If he has the season expected of him, he will be one of the first three or four tight ends drafted in 2015.
NT Louis Nix IIIRound 3 (83), Houston Texans
Possibilities: As noted above, the 3-4 is no more, so the nose tackle spot is gone. Instead, there were will be two defensive tackles. One for sure will be junior Sheldon Day (6-2, 290), who started eight times as an end last season. Coaches are extremely high on Day, and Brian Kelly has said he could see time at end because of his pass-rush ability. The hope, though, is that he can be disruptive in the middle. The other likely starter at tackle is sophomore Jarron Jones (6-5, 310), who certainly looks the part of a future star. He started once last season against Stanford, and made 20 tackles. The key for him is holding up against the run this fall.
G Chris WattRound 3 (89), San Diego Chargers
Possibilities: The Irish will have two new starting guards this season, junior Conor Hanratty (6-4, 309) -- the son of former Irish and NFL QB Terry Hanratty -- and sophomore Steve Elmer (6-5, 317). Both made four starts last season. Elmer, in particular, would seem to have a high ceiling.
OLB Prince ShemboRound 4 (139), Atlanta Falcons
Possibilities: Shembo's spot as an outside 'backer in the 3-4 is gone. We mentioned Okwara earlier; he made one start last season and will be counted on to provide a steady pass rush this fall. End is a dicey position for the Irish. Neither Okwara or Williams has done much, though in Okwara's defense, he hasn't received that many opportunities. Depth behind those two is unproven.
CB Bennett JacksonRound 6 (187), New York Giants
Possibilities: Jackson's replacement won't be decided until fall camp. The leading contenders will be sophomore Cole Luke (5-11, 190) and senior Cody Riggs (5-9, 190), who transferred from Florida and has immediate eligibility as a graduate student. Riggs started all 12 games at safety for Florida last season, but he prefers playing corner.
WR T.J. JonesRound 6 (189), Detroit Lions
Possibilities: Jones' role as the go-to receiver should go to junior DaVaris Daniels, assuming he re-enrolls after being suspended for the spring semester for academic reasons. If Daniels (6-1, 203) -- who had 49 receptions and seven TDs last season -- doesn't re-enroll, the receiver situation becomes dicey because there's no one else on the roster who is proven. Junior Chris Brown (6-1, 191), who had 15 receptions last season, including a career-high five in the Pinstripe Bowl victory over Rutgers, looks as if he will be a starter regardless. Sophomores Will Fuller (6-0, 171), C.J. Prosise (6-0, 220) and Corey Robinson (6-4, 205) -- the son of NBA Hall-of-Famer David Robinson -- also will be in the hunt for playing time.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.