Complete NFL Draft: 4 Potential First-Round Surprises

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As of Wednesday, the 2014 NFL Draft is officially one month away. Draft experts like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay will continue to put out mock drafts up until the final seconds tick off on Houston’s No. 1 overall pick. Now, these mock drafts have a lot of basis — they take into account a player’s talent, a team’s need, and even whom a team might have on its big board. This isn’t to say that draft experts are always right or never right — it’s to say that there’s naturally a lot of speculation.

The speculation starts with the teams themselves. For example, certain teams will have individual workouts with players whom they believe they would like to take and have a chance to select. So when a team with one of the last picks in the first round works out players who are anticipated to go in the top 10 – well, that only generates more speculation. Regardless of a team’s pre-draft actions, there’s really no way to be sure what any team might do. Instead of predicting which team will take a certain prospect, here are four potential events that might occur in the first round that most people won’t be expecting.

Source: Marianne O’Leary / Flickr

1. Five quarterbacks are taken in the first round

When you consider that last year there was just one quarterback taken in the first round, this probably seems ludicrous. But in reality, that’s even more of a reason that five is plausible. There’s always a need for elite quarterbacks, as it seems like there’s always a handful of teams trying to upgrade their chosen gunslinger. And since this draft has a wealth of potential top hurlers, teams will assuredly gamble to try and pin down their future franchise quarterback.

Of all the quarterbacks, the five could be Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, and AJ McCarron. Albeit Bridgewater’s stock took a dip after his performance at the combine, his highlights and athleticism reveal enough about his potential. Carr is more similar to Bortles in that he played at a smaller school with less competition, but he has terrific size and instincts to become a top NFL quarterback. McCarron is probably the biggest stretch of the five. In what he lacks in size and arm strength, though, he makes up for in accuracy and his ability to win: He led Alabama to two national titles, and he was more than just a game manager.

As a whole, this is a deep class of quarterbacks who appear to have very high ceilings. The demand for franchise-caliber quarterbacks is up after last season, and that’s why, come May, we could see five taken in the first round.

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