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NFL Draft: Top 5 ASU Prospects for 2014

With a handful of former Sun Devil stars preparing for pro careers, it's never to early to take a look at what current Sun Devils could hear their names called on draft day.

Will Sutton should be the first Sun Devil drafted in 2014.
Will Sutton should be the first Sun Devil drafted in 2014.

With the 2013 NFL Draft fast approaching, the Arizona State football program will soon announce that more Sun Devils have entered the professional ranks.

Fan favorites like Brandon Magee, Josh Hubner and Cameron Marshall are among those who have a chance at hearing their names called this weekend, and they will surely be joined by some of their former teammates down the line.

Though a full season of football is still ahead of us, it's never too early to look at the top Sun Devil draft prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft.

1. Will Sutton

The dominant nose tackle surely would have been the first Sun Devil off the board this year, but the Tempe Tantrum elected to come back to school for his senior season.

If he left Arizona State, Sutton would have likely been a high to mid-round selection and could have provided a team with a disruptive presence on a rotational basis. However, Sutton believes he has the potential to get even better under the tutelage of Todd Graham and he hopes to add to his impressive numbers from last season.

The consensus first team All-American recorded 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks last season, and another equally productive season could push him into the Top 50 on many teams' draft boards.

Sutton's 6-foot-1 frame is his obvious limitation, but if his motor improves and he stays healthy, there's no reason Sutton can't be a great value pick next year.

2. Marion Grice

The Arizona State coaching staff is touting Grice as the most complete back in the country for good reason.

His combination of size and speed makes life miserable for opponents and his performances against Arizona and Navy are just a glimpse of what Sun Devil fans can expect this season.

As the Sun Devils' feature back, Grice will have an opportunity to rise up draft boards and prove that he can be an every-down back in the professional ranks.

Because Grice has just one season at the FBS level, his draft stock really depends on his production level and durability this year.

A healthy Grice could have pro scouts chomping at the bit to make him an early round selection, but a few bumps and bruises would definitely force teams to rethink how they see him fitting into their long-term plans.

Perhaps Grice's greatest advantage is his ability to catch the football, as the all-purpose back could pan out to be the ultimate threat for the team that scoops him up.

3. Carl Bradford

Though the dynamic Devilbacker will still have a year of eligibility left after his 2013 campaign, Bradford will have to resist the temptation of turning pro if he puts together another brilliant season.

As a sophomore, Bradford became an opposing quarterback's worst nightmare this side of Will Sutton by tallying 20.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.

This year will offer Bradford a chance to boost his impressive resume and another banner season for the rising junior could force him into a tough decision.

There's increasing sentiment that Bradford will ultimately become the highest drafted Sun Devil of any current player, but only time will tell if the California native will make the leap to the pros after this season.

4. Evan Finkenberg

Come fall, the Sun Devil left tackle will enter his fourth season as a starting offensive lineman for Arizona State.

Though it's often easy to overlook linemen, Finkenberg's body of work will draw recognition from teams throughout the NFL as his steady presence has helped jumpstart the careers of backs like Cameron Marshall and Marion Grice.

Finkenberg projects as a future pro because of his ability to play both guard and tackle, but also because of his above-average speed.

The Tesoro High School product runs a 4.9 in the 40-yard dash, which makes him a threat to work to the second level of a defense on any running play.

Furthermore, Finkenberg is among the most vocal players on the offensive line and his willingness to lead by example and through his voice will definitely appeal to pro scouts.

5. Chris Coyle

There are plenty of reasons why teams will pass on Chris Coyle in the 2014 draft. His size leaves much to be desired, his blocking is still a work in progress and his speed isn't top of the line.

However, one team will take a risk, and that team will get a hard-working grinder.

In 2013, Coyle became a Sun Devil record holder by breaking the school's single-season tight end receptions mark and this year, more records could fall.

Coyle improved throughout spring practices and culminated his work with a three-touchdown performance in the spring game. More importantly, the rising senior showed signs of progress by delivering a pair of textbook blocks on running plays that asked him to pull across the formation.

If Coyle continues to make on-field strides while beefing up in the weight room, he could become an effective receiving threat on offenses looking for a second tight end to help expand the playbook.

Honorable Mentions (In alphabetical order)

Osahon Irabor: Irabor is quietly becoming a lockdown corner in the Pac-12, but it remains to be seen if he can match up against wide receivers with NFL futures.

Taylor Kelly: The Sun Devil dual-threat will need a monster season to have a shot at leaving school early, but crazier things have happened.

Junior Onyeali: Onyeali has the skill set to be an effective NFL player and a full season of good health would do wonders for his draft stock.

Kevin Ozier: It took him awhile to develop, but Ozier could morph into an effective possession receiver at the next level.

Chris Young: The junior college transfer is a Todd Graham favorite and he can definitely help a team looking for a high-energy guy to play a niche role.