Who's the Best? Ranking Cyclone No. 5

Hidden in a 3-9 season was plenty of quality-to-elite talent. It's one man's list, but we've set off to rank Iowa State's best players, counting down from No. 50 all the way to No. 1. In this installment we rank player No. 5

The debate's getting serious.

AllCyclones.com began listing ISU's best 50 players for 2014 earlier, Nos. 50-26 — using production, potential, positional value and a little bit of by-the-gut reasoning.

Now we get to the nitty-gritty, beginning our one-by-one countdown of No. 25 to No. 1, a task that'll run through Spring Football.

The envelope, please ...

No. 5: Quenton Bundrage, Wide Receiver, JR

Bundrage is in a group of what we consider five elite players on our list, coming off a breakout sophomore season and he'll have defensive coordinators game-planning around him in 2014.

And consider, his game has as many holes as a putting green.

Bundrage drops too many passes, even ones right in his breadbasket, he rounds off his routes frequently and his blocking is suspect.

"He had a productive sophomore campaign with a number of touchdowns (nine) and a lot of plays that were left out there," Paul Rhoads said. "That's what we got to get Q to focus on is making every catch. He makes the tough catch, but we need him to make all the simple catches."

The drops are frustrating and there's no sure sign the problem's been corrected, especially after Bundrage had three slip through his hands in the Spring Game.

But ...

... You see him make a one-handed grab with a defensive back draped all over him, or watch him house a 97-yard touchdown on a quick slant, and you let yourself live with the inconsistencies. Should Bundrage devote the necessary time to smooth the roughness off his game, we could be looking at one of the best wide receivers in the nation.

  • Bundrage's Best Case Scenario: Cuts down on the drops, still makes the spectacular plays, nears his total of nine touchdowns in 2013 and leaves early for the NFL as one of country's most productive wideouts.

  • Bundrage's Worst Case Scenario: ISU chooses not to live with his inconsistencies, not with a loaded wide receiver corps, and Bundrage sees his stats dip drastically.

  • Reason for the Ranking: This is the first in a group of five elite players, who before the spring began were perceived as the five guys with the best shot at a pro career. Bundrage is at No. 5 and not No. 3 because his positional value is negated by the Cyclones having a lot of good receivers (five in the top 50 and that was conservative).


    It is with caution that I dip my toe into what will likely be choppy waters. Ranking Iowa State's 50 best players is an arduous task. With a number that allows for the two-deep (22 on each side) plus a few, any omission might be construed as an insult. That's not at all what I set out to do here. I wanted to locate and then rank the most valuable Cyclones for the 2014 football season. Read that again. For the 2014 football season. Not from last season. Or for 2017. How'd I do this? I looked at production, sure, and of course I looked at short-term potential — can this player contribute in 2014, and at what level?

    Phone calls were made, brains were picked, contributions considered. I tried to think like an NFL executive: Quarterback, offensive tackle, defensive end, cornerback are by many accounts the most important positions in football, but I didn't always obey that rule, not unless the talent stacked up. I went back to my notes for the first and second watches of all the 2013 games, but those were last season's schemes, at least on offense, and I project the change to Mark Mangino's scheme will shake things up.

  • 50: Brian Peavy

  • 49: Jevohn Miller

  • 48: Pierre Aka

  • 47: Joel Lanning

  • 46: Kamari Syrie

  • 45: Colin Downing

  • 44: Kamari Cotton-Moya

  • 43: Michael Warren

  • 42: Kenneth Lynn

  • 41: Justin Madison

  • 40: Duaron Williams

  • 39: Tad Ecby

  • 38: Tyler Brown

  • 37: Mitchell Meyers

  • 36: Gabe Luna

  • 35: Cole Netten

  • 34: Rob Standard

  • 33: Dondre Daley

  • 32: Wendell Taiese

  • 31: Jared Brackens

  • 30: T.J. Mutcherson

  • 29: Oni Omoile

  • 28: Trent Taylor

  • 27: Sam E. Richardson

  • 26: Devlyn Cousin

  • 25: Terry Ayeni

  • 24: Qujuan Floyd

  • 23: Jake Campos

  • 22: Allen Lazard

  • 21: Luke Knott

  • 20: Jamison Lalk

  • 19: Jacob Gannon

  • 18: Jordan Harris

  • 17: Grant Rohach

  • 16: D'Vario Montgomery

  • 15: David Irving

  • 14: Cory Morrissey

  • 13: Jarvis West

  • 12: Devron Moore

  • 11: Tom Farniok

  • 10: DeVondrick Nealy

  • 9: Sam B. Richardson

  • 8: Dale Pierson

  • 7: Aaron Wimberly

  • 6: Daniel Burton

  • 5: Quenton Bundrage

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