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LSU Football: 2014 NFL Draft Tracker, Analysis and Results

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2014

LSU Football: 2014 NFL Draft Tracker, Analysis and Results

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    USA TODAY Sports

    It's another year and another phenomenal draft class for Les Miles and the LSU Tigers.

    This class is highlighted, not by defensive stars, but by four likely early-round selections on offense.

    Leading the way is first-round talent Odell Beckham Jr. at receiver. He is joined by fellow receiver Jarvis Landry and running back Jeremy Hill.

    Running that offense last year was quarterback Zach Mettenberger, and while he probably won't be a first-round pick, he won't last on the board too much longer.

    We'll break down the prospects of the big four, as well as the rest of LSU's draft hopefuls. Then check back on draft day for updates on where these players were drafted and how they'll fit in with their new teams.

WR Odell Beckham

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    Drafted: Round 1, Pick 12 to NY Giants

    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 198 pounds

    Analysis: Odell Beckham came off the board a bit earlier than most expected, but Eli Manning has to be happy. The Giants were in need of a playmaker and Beckham is one of the best in the draft. He is also one of the best returners in the class, making this a high-value pick. He'll replace Hakeem Nicks and should make an immediate impact.

    Replacement: Replacing the dynamic Odell Beckham will be tricky for LSU, as it also loses Jarvis Landry and Kadron Boone. The top returning receiver is Travin Dural. Outside of Dural are several other options, including former junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie. Additionally, 5-star recruit Malachi Dupre and 4-star Trey Quinn will join this summer, both of whom could have an immediate impact.

DL Ego Ferguson

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    Drafted: Round 2, Pick 51 to Chicago

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 315 pounds

    Analysis: Ego Ferguson came off the board earlier than expected when he was swiped up at Round 2 by the Chicago Bears. After adding Kyle Fuller at Round 1, the Bears continued to restock their defense by adding a talented defensive tackle in Ferguson. He'll bring a Chicago-type mentality ot the defense iwht his physical play.

    Replacement: With the rotating nature of its defensive line, LSU won’t be left completely bare after losing both Ferguson and Anthony Johnson. Christian LaCouture and Quentin Thomas are expected to take over the starting roles, while Greg Gilmore and Maquedius Bain should rotate in as the second unit.

     

RB Jeremy Hill

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Drafted: Round 2, Pick 55 to Cincinnati

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 233 pounds

    Analysis: Bishop Sankey set off the domino effect when he was the first running back off the board at Pick 54, and Jeremy Hill didn't last long after that. The Bengals plucked him off the board with the next pick, and he'll figure into the mix immediately. Cincinnati added a great NFL-ready talent to its offense with the pick of Hill.

    Replacement: LSU will return two experienced players at running back: Terrence McGee and Kenny Hilliard. While those two are atop the depth chart going into the summer, they’ll have to watch their backs. The Tigers are welcoming in the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit from the 247Sports composite rankings, Leonard Fournette, who will undoubtedly challenge for the starting role. He has been compared favorably to Adrian Peterson.

WR Jarvis Landry

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    Drafted: Round 2, Pick 63 to Miami

    Height: 5'11"

    Weight: 205 pounds

    Analysis: Jarvis Landry isn't the biggest or fastest receiver in this draft, but he has incredible hands and will be effective due to his consistency. The Dolphins were in need of offensive playmakers, and Landry could contribute right away.

    Replacement: Replacing Landry will be tricky for LSU, as it also lost Odell Beckham Jr. and Kadron Boone. The top returning receiver is Travin Dural. Outside of Dural are several other options, including former junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie. Additionally, 5-star recruit Malachi Dupre and 4-star Trey Quinn will join this summer, both of whom could have an immediate impact.

     

OG Trai Turner

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    Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

    Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 3, Pick 92 to Carolina

    Height: 6'3"

    Weight: 310 pounds

    Analysis: Adding another piece around Cam Newton, the Panthers went to the offensive line, taking Trai Turner at Round 3. Turner has great potential and size, and he shouldn't be relied on to start immediately. With some time and polishing, Turner could turn into a great blocker at the next level.

    Replacement: Evan Washington, who filled in for Turner at times last year, is the front-runner to replace him full-time in 2014. However, he’ll be challenged by a couple other prospects: Fehoko Fanaika and Ethan Pocic.

LB Lamin Barrow

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    Drafted: Round 5, Pick 156 to Denver

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 237 pounds

    Analysis: Going off the board in Round 5 as expected, Lamin Barrow will head to a Super Bowl contending team in Denver. He won't need to be a starter immediately but should be at least a special teams contributor.

    Replacement: Lamin Barrow filled the all-important weakside linebacker position for LSU, and the Tigers will replace his production with a position switch. Kwon Alexander will move from the strong to the weak side to take Barrow’s place—and he could end up even more productive than Barrow.

QB Zach Mettenberger

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    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 178 to Tennessee

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 224 pounds

    Analysis: Four rounds after expected, Zach Mettenberger finally came off the board. He isn't mobile and has some question marks off the field. However, he's big and has one of the strongest arms in this class. He'll be able to sit behind Jake Locker early in his career as he adjusts to the NFL game. This could end up being a phenomenal steal for the Titans.

    Replacement: When Zach Mettenberger went down against Arkansas, LSU fans were thrilled to see Anthony Jennings come in and lead the Tigers to victory, solidifying their present and future. However, that future with Jennings might not be so certain. After a great debut, he struggled in the Outback Bowl against Iowa. Now he’s being challenged vehemently by incoming freshman Brandon Harris—stay tuned this fall.

RB Alfred Blue

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Drafted: Round 6, Pick 181 to Houston

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 223 pounds

    Analysis: Alfred Blue as NFL size but average athleticism, making him a solid sixth-round pick for Houston. The Texans have Arian Foster as their No. 1 back, but he's had injury issues. Blue will provide some good depth to the running back corps and could see time early in his career.

    Replacement: LSU will return two experienced players at running back: Terrence McGee and Kenny Hilliard. While those two are atop the depth chart going into the summer, they’ll have to watch their backs. The Tigers are welcoming in the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit from the 247Sports composite rankings, Leonard Fournette, who will undoubtedly challenge for the starting role. He has been compared favorably to Adrian Peterson.

WR James Wright

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Drafted: Round 7, Pick 239 to Cincinnati

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 203 pounds

    Analysis: James Wright didn't catch a single pass as a senior for LSU, but that didn't stop him from getting drafted. He had 25 catches for 304 yards for his career but mostly played a special-teams role last season, which is his likely landing spot at the pro level.

    Replacement: The top returning receiver for LSU is Travin Dural. Outside of Dural are several other options, including former junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie. Additionally, 5-star recruit Malachi Dupre and 4-star Trey Quinn will join this summer, both of whom could have an immediate impact.

S Craig Loston

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    Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 4, Pick 134 to Baltimore

    Height: 6'1"

    Weight: 217 pounds

    Stat Line: 57 TAK, 4 TFL, 1 SACK, 3 INT, 6 PD

     

    Craig Loston is a prototypical hard hitter and great zone safety. While he's a great tackler, he often sells out for the big hit rather than wrapping up. That could leave him susceptible to missed tackles at the next level. He'll need some development, but he has the potential to a be a reliable player in the secondary.

    Loston is in many ways a similar prospect as 2013 first-round draft pick and former LSU safety, Eric Reid. While perhaps not quite as athletic as Reid, Loston possesses a similar well-built frame, good instincts for the position and is a fearless hitter. Loston attacks downhill, showing rare acceleration and explosion as an open-field hitter. - Rob Rang, CBSSports.com

DL Anthony Johnson

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    Matt Miller Draft Projection: Round 4, Pick 135 to Houston

    Height: 6'2"

    Weight: 308 pounds

    Stat Line: 35 TAK, 9 TFL, 3 SACK, 1 INT, 2 PD, 3 QBH

     

    Anthony Johnson is a big defensive lineman and looks every bit like a player who could be an outstanding NFL defender. He has the inherent skill, but he hasn't shown the consistency necessary to garner a high pick. He'll need to improve in several areas, including pass-rushing, but with the right guidance, he could grow into a very good interior lineman.

    NFL scouts have waited eagerly for LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson to show why he was nicknamed "Freak" as a high school player. They are still waiting.

    The No. 1 prospect at his position as a recruit in 2011, Johnson never produced the numbers to match the potential. He will get a chance to show something at LSU's Pro Day next week, but the proof is already in the pudding.

    Based on his college tape, Johnson is likely a third- or fourth-round pick when the draft rolls around in May, and by one estimation has boom or bust potential. He's flashed his potential, but never developed into a dominant player. - Jim Kleinpeter, The Times-Picayune

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