Jadeveon Clowney was the story of the night Thursday after being taken first in the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, but he's got some teammates waiting to learn which NFL team they're going to join. Those players are, in order of who's likely to be taken first:
What are NFL scouts saying about Bruce Ellington?
South Carolina fans know what kind of player Bruce Ellington is, but what do professional talent evaluators think?
Ellington, whose stock has risen rapidly in recent weeks, was projected by Mel Kiper to be taken by the Cleveland in the first round, but the Browns ended up trading up to take Johnny Manziel instead. Kiper's evaluation of Ellington is definitely on the high end, though. SB Nation's Mocking The Draft ranks Ellington as the 19th-best wide receiver available. With just four wide receivers taken in the first round, Ellington might be a bit more questionable than originally expected to be a sure-fire day two selection.
The Browns have another chance to take Ellington with the 35th pick, and the Philadelphia Eagles are another team that may be interested in Ellington as a potential replacement for the speed they lost when DeSean Jackson left the franchise. In the first round, the Eagles traded down to take Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith, so receiver continues to be a position of need.
Finally, commenter DX-Tex titillates us with the knowledge that Bill O'Brien and the Texans are also quite fond of Mr. Ellington. Can you imagine Clowney, D.J. Swearinger, Johnathan Joseph, and Ellington each donning the red and blue?
Mocking The Draft lists Hampton as the No. 9 overall cornerback in the draft and is the 60th-best player available entering day two. That would seem to give him a decent chance of getting scooped up with one of the 64 selections that will be made on Friday evening.
Given his history of off-field issues, Hamton is more likely to be docked for the NYC incident (from which he and Kelcy Quarles have since been exonerated). Hampton may find himself dropping to the late rounds given his lrecent run-in with the law, or a team might be willing to take a chance on him, considering that he hasn't gotten into any major trouble since his first year at South Carolina.
Quarles isn't as likely to be taken today, but he has a shot. His projections have hovered around the third and fourth rounds, and while his and Hampton's run-in with TMZ and the NYPD raised some eyebrows in recent weeks, they've been exonerated, and it was the first time Quarles has gotten into any meaningful trouble. Who might consider taking Quarles? New England, with its aging defensive line seemed like a possibility, but the Pats ended up taking Dominique Easley with their first pick
Although widely considered an intriguing prospect given the perception that he's underrated and that he played a bigger role in the Gamecocks' recent success than apparent at first glance, Shaw has never been considered more than a late-round prospect, so don't expect him to come off the board today.