Following a long period of workouts that included the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine and individual pro days, college football stars who entered the player selection process are now hoping to hear their names called when the 2014 NFL Draft opens on Thursday, May 8. Superstar talents including former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney – who many project to be the No. 1 overall pick – and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins are among the hundreds of players looking to latch on with one of the 32 teams in the National Football League and come Thursday, many will watch as their dreams become reality.

Making final preparations before beginning the draft process from Radio City Music Hall in New York City with the No. 1 overall selection, the Houston Texans have a number of needs but if they hold onto the top pick, various NFL Draft prognosticators think the AFC South franchise will select Jadeveon Clowney. Though a need for help at the quarterback position certainly exists in Houston following the trading of former signal-caller Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders, Houston may not be looking to spend that high a pick on any of the QB’s in the 2014 class. Draft-eligible QB’s including Johnny Manziel, former UCF star Blake Bortles, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr – whose brother David was selected with the top pick by the Texans in 2002 – stand as possible options but the South Carolina defensive end appears to be the leader for the top slot.

While the NFL Draft serves as an exciting time for professional football hopefuls and their families, many college coaches use the time to send their former players off one final time. Consistently among the nation’s top programs, the University of Alabama and head football coach Nick Saban have seen many Crimson Tide talents take their abilities to the next level and because of the way Saban’s program is structured, success with the Tide will in many cases lead to player selection in the NFL Draft, something the four-time National Champion is extremely proud of.

“We've had a lot of guys drafted, probably more in the last three, four, five years than anybody else in the country and have been very proud of the way our players have done in the NFL,” Saban, who will be one of 11 college coaches in attendance for Thursday night’s opening round, said recently. “We're going to have probably two or three guys in the first round, probably a couple more guys in the second round. So it's going to be exciting and I just wish all of our players out there the very best of luck in the draft.”

Zack Martin NFL Draft Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin (L) is expected to go in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Reuters

2014 NFL Draft – Order of Picks

1. Houston Texans

2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Oakland Raiders

6. Atlanta Falcons

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Minnesota Vikings

9. Buffalo Bills

10. Detroit Lions

11. Tennessee Titans

12. New York Giants

13. St. Louis Rams

14. Chicago Bears

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

16. Dallas Cowboys

17. Baltimore Ravens

18. New York Jets

19. Miami Dolphins

20. Arizona Cardinals

21. Green Bay Packers

22. Philadelphia Eagles

23. Kansas City Chiefs

24. Cincinnati Bengals

25. San Diego Chargers

26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts)

27. New Orleans Saints

28. Carolina Panthers

29. New England Patriots

30. San Francisco 49ers

31. Denver Broncos

32. Seattle Seahawks

Jadeveon Clowney NFL Draft Former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney could be the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Getty Images

2014 NFL Draft: DATE, TIME & VIEWING INFO (All Times Eastern)

First Round – Thursday, May 8 at 8pm

Rounds 2 and 3 – Friday, May 9 at 7pm

Rounds 4 through 7 – Saturday, May 10 at 12pm

TV COVERAGE: ESPN / ESPN2 / NFL Network

LIVE STREAM: CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE