NFL 1st Round Recap
"With the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Houston Texans select..."
Ryan Fox (@Spider_Fox87)
After months and months of scouting and mock drafts, the magical night finally came at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. There have been many speculations of which prospect would be taken, which team would make that big trade to move on up, which team would reach, and which prospect would have the largest fall. The draft kicked off at 8:00 p.m. and everybody waited with anticipation of who would be picked.
By the time the clock struck midnight, all 32 first round picks were in the books. Here is the quick recap of all the first round action of the 2014 NFL Draft.
1. Houston Texans – DE Jadevon Clowney, South Carolina (1st Overall) - This wouldn’t be the first time the Houston Texans selected a DE with the number one pick overall (2006 DE Mario Williams). The Texans needed an explosive player to play opposite of J.J. Watt and Clowney fits the bill.
2. St. Louis Rams – OT Greg Robinson, Auburn (2nd Overall) – It was going to be the Washington Redskins at this slot but they traded it to the Rams back in 2012 when they traded up with the Rams to get RGIII. Robinson gives the Rams a big body to help keep QB Sam Bradford up and off his back. More than not, will be slide into the outside. Could Robinson be the second coming of Orlando Pace? Only time can tell
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Blake Bortles, University of Central Florida (3rd Overall) – The first quarterback taken in the draft. Hopefully he can succeed where former Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert (10th overall taken in 2011) failed.
4. Buffalo Bills (from Cleveland Browns) – WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson (4th Overall) – The first trade of the draft nets the best WR prospect of the draft. Gives Bills QB E.J. Manuel another weapon to throw to besides WR Stevie Johnson.
Buffalo Bills Receive: 4th overall pick in 2014
Cleveland Browns Receive: 9th overall pick in 2014, a 1st-round pick in 2015 and 4th-rounder in 2015.
5. Oakland Raiders – LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo (5th Overall) – Mack was considered by a few people as the best player in the draft, even as high as the #1 pick overall. Has the athleticism to cover in passing situation and stuff the run.
6. Atlanta Falcons – OT Jack Matthews, Texas A & M (6th Overall) – The first Aggie to be taken, not Johnny Manziel. Jack Matthews continues the football legacy of the Matthews family now by adding some much needed protection to keep Atlanta QB Matt Ryan upright.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – WR Mike Evans, Texas A & M (7th Overall) – The 6’5” wide out was the 2nd Aggie to be taken. He will give whoever is the Buccaneers QB another giant target to go along with their own 6’5” WR in Vincent Jackson.
8. Cleveland Browns (From Minnesota Vikings) – CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State (8th Overall) – Browns saw from Seattle Seahawks that the best way to build a championship team is through defense and through the secondary. This picks will give the Browns a shutdown corner that the Browns are lacking to pair up with DB Joe Haden.
Cleveland Browns Receive: 8th overall pick in 2014
Minnesota Vikings Receive: 9th overall pick in 2014, 5th round pick (145th pick overall)
9. Minnesota Vikings (from Cleveland Browns) – OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA (9th Overall) – This pick fits a big need on defense for the Vikings (they were ranked dead last in defense last year). Vikings also runs a 3-4, which fits perfectly to Barr’s playing style
10. Detroit Lions – TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina (10th Overall) – A little questionable pick since the Lions already have Brandon Pettigrew. He could be used like a Jimmy Graham/Vernon Davis like a big target in the slot, which then in turn can address a BIG need for another receiving target not named Calvin Johnson.
11. Tennessee Titans – OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan (11th Overall) – This pick gives the Titans a boost into an aging offensive line as well as somebody who has power and speed to maneuver at both tackle positions.
12. New York Giants – WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (12th Overall) – Another LSU wide out to pair up with their own in Rueben Randle. Beckham, Jr. brings a lot of speed and can help stretch the field, taking some coverage off of Randle and WR Victor Cruz.
13. St. Louis Rams - DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh (13th Overall) – A lot of NFL experts were down on Donald due to his size. However his technique, speed, and power are not something to be taken lightly. With this pick, the Rams shore up the defensive trenches like they did with their first pick in shoring up their offensive trenches.
14. Chicago Bears – DB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (14th Overall) – While the Bears shored up the front 7 in free agency, they decided to shore up the secondary with the draft. Fuller can
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio State (15th Overall) – Renowned defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau must have convinced the Steelers to draft this guy. Shazier has gotten speed, power, and size that can be not only cultivated but nurtured into becoming a dominating force for years to come. He also fills a void left by LB LaMarr Woodley, who left the Steelers in free agency.
16. Dallas Cowboys – OT Zack Martin, Notre Dame (16th Overall) – A lot thought Johnny Manziel will be selected here. Instead the Cowboys decided to go with a versatile offensive lineman who can be plugged at both guard and tackle positions. Not to mention he’s the first player selected from the Fighting Irish to be selected in this draft.
17. Baltimore Ravens – LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama (17th Overall) – Another 3-4 linebacker that comes into another 3-4 system run by a defensive oriented coach in John Harbaugh. Can play both outside or slide to play in the inside.
18. New York Jets – FS Calvin Pryor, Louisville (18th Overall) – This is the 6th year in a row and the third DB the Jets took with their first round pick. Pryor is that physical, hard-hitting, and speedy defensive back that tickles the fancy of Jets head coach Rex Ryan.
19. Miami Dolphins – OT James Ja’wuan, South Tennessee (19th Overall) – A must need pick for the Dolphins since their offensive line was depleted due to the loss of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Ja’wuan brings not only a big, strong body but also some versatility (can play both right guard and right tackle).
20. New Orleans Saints (from Arizona Cardinals) – WR Brandon Cook, Oklahoma State (20th Overall) – After losing slot WR Lance Moore and trading away RB Darren Sproles, the Saints needed an explosive playmaker. Cook has that explosive speed and playmaking ability that would make Saints QB Drew Brees very happy.
New Orleans Saints Receive: 20th overall pick in 2014
Arizona Cardinals Receive: 27th overall pick in 2014, 3rd round pick (91st overall) in 2014
21. Green Bay Packers – S Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama (21st Overall) – Was surprised by this pick. Thought the Packers would go with an offensive weapon to replace the departed TE Jermichael Finely and WR James Jones.
22. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles) – QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A & M (22nd Overall) – It was the pick that made the entire Dog Pound howl with excitement. Manziel comes into a situation where he has a plethora of offensive weapons (TE Jordan Cameron, RB Ben Tate, and WR Joshua Gordon). However he’s in the 22nd slot where two previous Cleveland QBs (Brady Quin in 2007 and Brandon Weeden in 2012) failed to produce.
Cleveland Browns Receive: 22nd overall pick in 2014
Philadelphia Eagles Receive: 26th overall pick in 2014, 3rd round pick (83rd overall) in 2014
23. Kansas City Chiefs – DE Dee Ford, Auburn (23rd Overall) – Another questionable pick. Probably as an insurance policy to DEs Tamba Hali and Justin Houston since the Chiefs defense struggled after both of them missed time last year due to injury
24. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State (24th Overall) – Bengals get a big surprise in a form of a physical, fast cornerback they thought was not going to be there when they went on the clock.
25. San Diego Chargers – DB Jason Verrett, TCU (25th Overall) – Size is the only knock on Verrett. Has the speed, physicality, and determination to possibly play on the outside. Could be the Anti-Welker solution for the Chargers.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland Browns) – LB Marcus Smith, Louisville (26th Overall) – The Browns received this pick from the Indianapolis Colts in the Trent Richardson last season. A big time head scratchers. Many feel that the Eagles reached on a guy that was pegged as a mid to high 2nd round draft pick.
27. Arizona Cardinals (from New Orleans Saints) - S Deone Bucannon, Notre Dame (27th Overall) – Following the Seahawks model, the Cardinals are shoring up their secondary. Bucannon brings size and speed in the safety spot and can team up with Tyrann Mathieu to form a deadly one-two punch.
28. Carolina Panthers – WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State (28th Overall) – Perhaps the biggest wide receiver in the first round. That not only gives QB Cam Newton an offensive weapon that he sorely needed but also a big time target to throw to rather than relying on smaller receivers (i.e. Steve Smith).
29. New England Patriots – DT Dominique Easley, Florida State (29th Overall) – A fast defensive tackle with explosive power. Fits the Patriot model player of somebody with some risk involved but the reward will be well worth it.
30. San Francisco 49ers – SS Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (30th Overall) – Size is a concern with Ward (5’11’’ and 193lbs) for the strong safety position. Plan might be to move him to the free safety or even the nickel back role.
31. Denver Broncos – CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State (31st Overall) – This pick fills a much needed void. Although Broncos got CB Aquib Talib, they still lost CBs Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Champ Bailey. Though Roby has the talent, still needs some polishing on attentiveness and focus on the play
32. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (32nd Overall) – The last pick of the first round. Considered to be the most “NFL-ready” QB prospect, has a lot of poise and mental strength. Can read a defense and make adjustments necessary better than the other QB prospects.
Minnesota Vikings Receive: 22nd overall pick in 2014
Seattle Seahawks Receive: 2nd round pick (40th overall) in 2014, 4rd round pick (108th overall) in 2014
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