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Samsonite Make Your Case: Top Dog

Posted Feb 28, 2014

With the Combine in the rear view mirror it's time to start evaluating the college talent. Which player is most worthy of the No. 1 selection? Let us know by voting in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll.

The pre-draft period seems like a never-ending process. The evaluation of the incoming players is a non-stop routine from the regular season through the bowl games, to the postseason all-star season and into the Combine and beyond.

More than 330 players descended upon Indianapolis last week for the NFL’s annual Scouting Combine and the media got its first chance to not only see these players but to talk to and get to know them as well. Some years there is a consensus No. 1 overall pick that most agree on by now but 2014 is shaping up a little different.

There are three quarterbacks – Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles – who most believe will be top 10 picks, and there are dynamic athletes like defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Sammy Watkins whop are highly regarded also. There’s a strong group of tackles – led by Jake Matthews – who many believe are worthy of discussion for the top spot too.

So, with some more knowledge at our disposal after returning from the Combine we thought it was time to make a decision and choose our top overall picks. This week’s Samsonite Make Your Case poll question is: Who should be the No. 1 overall pick in the draft?

PFW's Andy Hart says ...

Jadeveon Clowney

Clowney is the easy call here. A year ago he was seen as a generational talent – the next Lawrence Taylor. Now, after a year in which his effort was questioned as much as his production, people have lost interest? Ridiculous. Had he taken the year off, people would still be raving about his work as a sophomore. So because he did his best to stay healthy and be ready for the NFL, he’s no longer elite? Dumb.

Plus, how many elite pass rushers and former top draft picks have had questions about their motor or maximizing their talents? Guys like Julius Peppers and Mario Williams have had very impressive careers after dealing with such critiques.

Clowney is a guy who can change a game, change a defense. He’s a rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. His talent is unquestionable. Even if there are doubts about his motor, isn’t it part of a coach’s job to get the most out of his players? Clowney has more physical talent than anyone in this draft at a position that’s among the most important in the NFL. That’s the plain and simple truth. All the rest is just noise.

PFW's Paul Perillo says ...

Sammy Watkins

I really want to like one of the top quarterbacks but the more I watch the more questions I have about all of them. I believe they are good but not elite. The best athlete with the fewest questions surrounding him in my view is Watkins and that’s why he gets the top spot.

Obviously it’s a passing game and in my mind that means you need to find players who most help you throw the ball and stop people from doing it. That means quarterbacks, receivers, edge rushers and cover men. Clowney is dynamic but who knows how he’ll respond once he gets the money, and I don’t think any edge guys or passers are worthy.

Watkins has a great blend of size and speed. He has great hands and makes big plays all over the field. He’s the type of dynamic athlete who can transform an offense and make defenses take notice. He’ll not only make big plays but he’ll open up space for others to do so.

He’s constant threat and his athleticism is on par with anyone’s in this draft. With no sure franchise quarterback to take, Watkins would add an element to any offense he works in. He’s No. 1.

Now it's the fans turn to cast their vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.

Click here to vote on a mobile device.

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