2014 NFL Draft: Round One Thoughts

2014 NFL Draft: Round One Thoughts

1. Houston Texans - Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Houston might have thought long and hard about Khalil Mack here, and they still need a quarterback, but Clowney has been described as a "generational talent." Hard to argue with this one (for now).
2. St. Louis Rams (from WSH) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Robinson was the highest graded offensive lineman on most boards and the Rams need to protect whomever is under center next year. Not a surprise, and a solid pick.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida
The first surprise of the first round, the Jags once again go all-in on a quarterback early in the first round. Will Bortles compare to Ben Roethlisberger or Blaine Gabbert?
4. Buffalo Bills (from CLE) - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Buffalo traded a 1st and 5th round picks in 2015 to Cleveland to move up from 9 to 4.
Buffalo made the bold play to pay with a couple picks next year to get Watkins, the best offensive weapon in this year's draft.
5. Oakland Raiders - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Hard to argue with the Raiders getting a kid at five that some thought could go first.
6. Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
The seventh player in his family to reach the NFL, Matthews might be the safest pick in this draft. Great addition for the Falcons.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Evans will play opposite Vincent Jackson, giving Josh McCown the opportunity to throw to two big receivers as he did in Chicago.
8. Cleveland Browns (from MIN) - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Gilbert can be an elite returner and a shut-down corner. Across from Joe Haden, the Browns secondary is now elite.
9. Minnesota Vikings (from BUF via CLE) - Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
Cleveland traded a 5th round pick (#145) to Minnesota to move up from 9 to 8.
Barr is an athletic outside linebacker who can get to the quarterback; adding that to a defensive that just lost Jared Allen fills a need.
10. Detroit Lions - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
The Lions could have used help on defense, but adding another big weapon for Matthew Stafford makes their offense more dangerous in an scary division.
11. Tennessee Titans - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Tennessee needed secondary help and have questions at quarterback, but added a top-tier offensive lineman to an already-deep group. This is an intriguing pick; the Titans had more pressing needs.
12. New York Giants - Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU
Eli Manning desperately needed someone other than Victor Cruz to run precise routes and catch the ball. There's more work to do, but Beckham is a nice addition for the G men.
13. St. Louis Rams - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
The Rams owned Thursday night! They landed the top offensive and defensive tackles, both of whom will make an immediate impact.
14. Chicago Bears - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State
A bit of a surprise, Shazier is one of the fastest linebackers in this year's class. Great landing spot for a talented player.
16. Dallas Cowboys - Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
The Cowboys could have had Manziel and they could have had either of the top safeties. But they went with a good tackle to protect Tony Romo.
17. Baltimore Ravens - CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Ravens still need to fill the void left when Ray Lewis retired, and may have done that with an elite inside linebacker here.
18. New York Jets - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
Big-hitting Pryor is the first safety off the board after many thought Chicago and Dallas would look there. Physical player.
19. Miami Dolphins - Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
The Dolphins offensive line issues have been well documented over the last seven months. James not the top name in the class but a big body.
20. New Orleans Saints (from ARI) - Brandon Cooks, WR, Oregon State
New Orleans traded a 3rd round pick to Arizona to move up from 27 to 20.
The Saints traded up to get an elusive, fast receiver to for Drew Brees. Cooks on turf is a scary proposition.
21. Green Bay Packers - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Clinton-Dix fits a need in Green Bay, who used their first round pick on another Alabama player last year (Eddie Lacy).
22. Cleveland Browns (from PHI) - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Cleveland traded a third round pick (#83) to Philadelphia to move up from 26 to 22
Boom. Johnny Football to Cleveland, where he'll have Josh Gordon and.... That being said, Manziel and Gilbert is one helluva first round.
23. Kansas City Chiefs - Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
More speed on the defensive line for the Chiefs, who will once again chase Peyton Manning if they want to win a division title.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
A good, physical corner who will step into the lineup right away for the Bengals. Addresses a need immediately. Excellent choice.
25. San Diego Chargers - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
An excellent cover corner who fell because he's short.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (from CLE) - Marcus Smith, OLB/DE, Louisville
A versatile player who played inside and at end for Louisville, he was Mel Kiper's 80th-ranked prospect. A bit of a reach here.
27. Arizona Cardinals (from NO) - Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State
A big kid (6-1, 211) who piled up a lot of tackles in the Pac-12. Maybe a little high for him in the first round, but the Cardinals needed a safety.
28. Carolina Panthers - Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Steve Smith is gone, so the Panthers went and got a BIG (6-5, 240) receiver for Cam Newton. Some questions about his hands and routes.
29. New England Patriots - Dominique Easley, DL, Florida
An enormous talent who can play inside or outside, the Pats may see him as Richard Seymour 2.0. He suffered two torn ACLs at Florida.
30. San Francisco 49ers - Jimmy Ward, S, Northern Illinois
The fourth safety off the board in the first round, Ward is strong in coverage and a good tackler.
31. Denver Broncos - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Just under six feet tall, didn't have a great final season at Ohio State but he has a ton of athletic ability. Had some recent off field issues.
32. Minnesota Vikings (from SEA) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Lousiville
Minnesota traded a fourth round pick (#108) to move up from 40 to 32.
The defending champions traded out of the first round and Minnesota jumped ahead of Houston to grab Bridgewater. Great pick for the Vikings.

Closing Thoughts

  • 9 defensive backs (5 corners, 4 safeties) came off the board in the first round.
  • 3 quarterbacks went in the first round - only one in the top 21 selections.
  • Cleveland added two picks next year to moved down from 4 to 9, then moved back up to 8. They also unloaded a third to move up four spots to 22 to get Manziel.
  • Minnesota added a 5th round pick to move down one spot from 8 to 9, then traded away a fourth to move up to get Bridgewater.

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