2014 NFL draft: 10 names to watch

Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks sheds Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks sheds a blocker during a game against the East Carolina Pirates at Bank of America Stadium. (Sept. 3, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images, 2011

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College football returns next week and the NFL not too long after that. So let's look down the road to early May, when the two merge for the NFL draft. A look at likely top-10 picks:

1. JADEVEON CLOWNEY

DE, South Carolina (junior)

A scary pass rusher who has the speed to get into the backfield with ease and the strength to punish opposing players. Check out the video of his amazing hit in the Outback Bowl against Michigan.

2. TEDDY BRIDGEWATER

QB, Louisville (junior)

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Smart pocket passer might turn out to be better than any of the quarterbacks taken in the 2013 draft.

3. TAJH BOYD

QB, Clemson (senior)

Consistent passer with good mobility would be an ideal fit for any team looking to implement the spread-option offense that's sweeping the NFL.

4. MARQISE LEE

WR, USC (junior)

Two-sport star is a speedy pass-catcher and kick returner with good hands, but could a new quarterback hurt his production?

5. DE'ANTHONY THOMAS

RB, Oregon (junior)

A versatile weapon who can line up in the backfield, split out wide or as a returner.

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6. JAKE MATTHEWS

OT, Texas A&M (senior)

Son of Hall-of-Famer Bruce Matthews (and heir apparent to second overall pick Luke Joeckel) is a strong, physical presence and a top blocker.

7. SAMMY WATKINS

WR, Clemson (junior)

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Look for Boyd's new top target to rebound from a disappointing sophomore season.

8. ANTHONY BARR

OLB, UCLA (senior)

Former Bruins running back has scary speed and agility, and his technique should only improve with another year under his belt.

9. CYRUS KOUANDJIO

OT, Alabama (junior)

Versatile enough to open up running lanes at right tackle or protect the quarterback at left tackle, where he'll play this season.

10. JOHNNY MANZIEL

QB, Texas A&M (sophomore)

Can declare because he is three years removed from high school. A lot of questions both on and off the field, but if "Johnny Football" can answer them all, he could be too tempting to pass up.

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