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Five prospects worth trading up for in 2014 NFL Draft

The trade market on draft day is driven by supply and demand at a particular position. Teams will assign value to every player in the draft, but place a bullseye on the players viewed as "tipping points" at each position. Although these players might not be considered the best prospect at their respective positions, they typically represent the last of the blue-chip prospects at a spot, enhancing their value to teams desperately looking to fill a void.

Looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft, I believe there are a handful of prospects already donning the bullseye on draft boards around the league. While this list can certainly change based on free-agent signings and veteran trades altering the draft needs of teams at the top of the board, I'm convinced these five guys will shape the trade market on draft day. Here's why:

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Why is he in demand?
Evans' potential as a No. 1 receiver has created a buzz around the league due to recent dominance of big-bodied receivers. Last season, six of the top seven receivers in the NFL measured in at 6-foot-3 or taller, and recorded impressive size-speed measurements at their respective workouts prior to entering the league. With Evans' athletic qualifications on par with some of the elite receivers in the game, teams are poised to target the Texas A&M star as a potential difference maker in the passing game. While most observers assume Sammy Watkins would be the player of choice for teams in need of a No. 1 receiver, instincts indicate that Evans' superior size and ball skills could make him a more desirable commodity on draft day.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Why is he in demand?
The offensive tackle class features three blue-chip prospects -- Greg Robinson, Jake Matthews and Lewan -- at the top of the board. Although the talent difference is negligible between the top three players, there is a stark contrast between the first tier and second tier at the position. Thus, teams entering the draft in desperate need of a franchise-caliber offensive tackle will point to the third-ranked player at the position as the tipping point in the draft. With most observers assuming Robinson and Matthews will come off the board in that order, it's very likely that Lewan's name will be at the top of trade discussions on draft day. The Michigan standout has put together an impressive reel of game tape and ranks as one of the best athletes at the position. Given the importance of finding a blindside blocker with exceptional athleticism and technical skills, the market will certainly bubble up with teams looking to make a play for Lewan.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Why is he in demand?
The emergence of the tight end as the queen on the chessboard has prompted teams to scour the college ranks for athletic playmakers at the position. Ebron is unquestionably the most gifted player at the position in the 2014 draft class, exhibiting a unique combination of speed, quickness and athleticism. Additionally, he is a "catch-and-run" specialist adept at turning short passes into big gains on quick routes, crossers and bubble screens. With several teams in need of a dynamic weapon in the middle, the desire to grab the top prospect at the position will lead to a few trade proposals on draft day.

Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

Why is he in demand?
The lack of proven pass rushers in the draft will prompt teams to spend a lot of time studying Ford's game and potential fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker/4-3 defensive end. He was the most dominant pass rusher at the Reese's Senior Bowl, displaying remarkable first-step quickness and burst off the edge. Throw in his impressive performances against Texas A&M and Florida State, and it's easy to project Ford's disruptive potential as an edge player in an aggressive defensive scheme. Thus, teams unable to make a play for Jadeveon Clowney will focus their efforts on securing the talents of the Auburn standout on draft day. With Ford's talent warranting a mid-to-late first-round grade, teams looking to land the dynamic pass rusher must jump ahead of the squad with the biggest need at the position (Dallas Cowboys). Given Jerry Jones' freewheeling ways, the market for Ford could be hotter than any other prospect in the draft.

C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Why is he in demand?
Mosley is the top inside linebacker prospect in the 2014 class -- and it's not even close. He is a superior athlete at the position with the potential to be an exceptional "three-down" linebacker as a pro. Given the challenges of finding explosive linebackers with the ability to stay on the field in every situation, it is quite possible that a team with a desperate need for a versatile second-level defender makes a strong play for Mosley at the bottom of the first round. Looking at the first-round draft spots in the 20s as Mosley's sweet spot on the board based on his overall value, I believe a team will need to jump ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals to secure its chances of landing the Alabama star.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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