The prospect rankings have been in place for a long time, but with time ticking away, there are certain players who might shift drastically up the pecking order between now and the red-ringed date of April 25.
Here we take a look at what these players could also do for the franchises that are currently rank outsiders across NFL sportsbooks to win Super Bowl LIV.
Trayvon Mullen, Clemson (CB)
In recent years, there has been something of a ‘gold rush’ for good cornerbacks, and a simple case of demand exceeding supply can often see some unexpected first- and second-round picks. Many teams are currently below par in Mullen’s position, meaning that he could go surprisingly early, and the optimism surrounding him is well-justified:
Amongst the teams lacking in defensive aptitude are the Oakland Raiders. Currently bearing futures odds of up to +8000 to win the next Super Bowl, they have the fourth pick after allowing the highest number of regular season points against them.
The Miami Dolphins, who are considered by every bookmaker that matters to be NFL’s rank outsiders, also have an incentive to consider defensive talent as a priority. The Florida franchise are priced at as much as +20000 in the Super Bowl futures, and although there are other cornerbacks who may be a more attractive prospect in the short term, sometimes an element of surprise can see the odds drop drastically.
Ranking accuracy: C-
Marquise Brown, Oklahoma (WR)
Brown’s offensive ability has been well-documented throughout his college career, and his efforts almost single-handedly kept Oklahoma’s price in college football future markets relatively short.
For that reason alone, an Arizona Cardinals side with the privilege of having the very first pick could do a lot worse than take a chance on him before another franchise does. Their own odds in the Super Bowl futures (as much as +15000) are a stark reflection of the fact they ended the regular season having scored the lowest number of points.
However, it is Brown’s sheer speed that truly stuns the opposition, and he possesses strength in the straight-line run. Ultimately, Brown’s ranking should be somewhere between six and ten places higher, but the current table has called his projected time of picking just about right.
Ranking accuracy: B-
Carl Granderson, Wyoming (DE)
Top-ranked attendee Nick Bosa seems to be the pass rusher that every franchise wants, but if it is pure muscle and colossal physical prowess a coach wants, then the 250-pound, 1.87m-tall Granderson is the ideal solution.
Along with the Cardinals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos were the only teams to go on an ‘L4’ streak during the regular season, and both are priced at as much as +8000 to reach Super Bowl LIV. No team ever achieves that ‘feat’ without lacking in the muscle department.
Granderson is not just all about muscle though, and his equally-formidable brains will be an asset wherever he winds up. His anticipation and vision give him an optimal timeframe with which to second-guess opposition quarterbacks, and he also excels at selling the rush upfield, which maximizes his chances of getting the passer.
Ranking accuracy: B