Even though they're all pouring over the same game film, workouts from the NFL Scouting Combine and pro-day performances, we're not going to get all NFL evaluators on the same page when it comes to certain draft prospects.
There are always some players that are polarizing, and this year is no exception.
In fact, there's still widespread disagreement on where some of this year's most talented prospects should be picked. With that in mind, here's a look at five of this year's biggest draft enigmas -- some of the prospects that draw the most varied opinions among the scouting community.
There's plenty to like when you watch the former Texas A&M QB make those breathtaking plays, but then you start to hear the questions: Is he mature enough? Is he big enough at 6-foot, 207 pounds? Will his game translate at the next level? Why do I see tape of him scrambling on a play where he had an opportunity to make a good throw from a clean pocket? Now, we're talking about him as a likely top-10 pick, and I have him as the No. 1 QB on my board, but some people would tell me I'm crazy for valuing him that high.
Thomas looks the part -- no QB prospect this year looks better. After his sophomore season at Virginia Tech, there was talk that he could eventually be a No. 1 overall pick. Now, Thomas is telling people he's hearing he could be picked anywhere from Rounds 1-7. What happened? Well, we saw flashes of brilliance at times over the last two seasons, but he was very up and down. There was no consistency, and his stock sank. Take in his total body of work, and he's mentioned most frequently as a middle-round guy. But it won't surprise me at all if he's drafted earlier. Maybe even in the second round -- some confident coach could look at his potential and say, "I'll fix all his issues and make him a stud." At 6-6, 248, a lot of people would say, "If I make a mistake, I'd rather it be on Thomas' dimensions than Manziel's."
ASJ was clearly on the rise coming off the 2012 season, but he didn't come anywhere close to playing at the same level last season. We watched and wondered what happened as a player so talented just didn't look like the same guy. A guy who had the makings of becoming a first-round lock will be waiting longer than we once expected to hear his name called. We should be talking about him battling Eric Ebron for the No. 1 spot at tight end, but that's not happening. He has the talent, but he didn't play like he should have in 2013. Still, turn on his tape, and you'll see him do things that make you think he could be unbelievably special.
The talent Hageman flashes is very impressive. You just don't see it enough on tape. When we talk about the top defensive tackles in this draft, the names that always come up are Timmy Jernigan, Aaron Donald and Louis Nix. Hageman gets left out because he's never been consistent enough, but some teams will see his potential and find him hard to pass up.
Sutton was amazing in 2012, racking up 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. Then he gained weight before last season and wasn't the same guy, recording just four sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. He lost some of his quickness, and it cost him. So, teams are trying to figure out which Sutton is going to show up in the NFL. Can he get back to being the guy we saw with double-digit sacks that was a violent disruptor in the backfield, or is he the player we saw last year who became much more of a hold-the-point-of-attack guy?