2014 Nfl Draft Round 1 Analysis Essay

CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco analyzes each pick from Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft, grading each team on its draft-night selections.

Grades:Round 1 • Round 2 • Round 3 • Round 4 • Round 5 • Round 6 • Round 7

1ATexans select: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

I love this pick. He is the draft's best player. I would have traded down, but he will be a star.

2B+Rams select: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

An easy pick. They had to take Robinson. He will play guard and then move to left tackle.

3A+Jaguars select: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

Love this pick. I knew they loved Bortles and they had to get a quarterback. He's the right guy.

4C-Bills select: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

They need an explosive playmaker, and I like Watkins. But moving up can be risky. Does he put them over the top? They gave up too much.

5B+Raiders select: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

This is a no-brainer for the Raiders. He is an elite pass rusher and they need one in the worst way.

6A-Falcons select: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

They have their left tackle and got what some think is the safest player in the draft. Good pick.

7B+Buccaneers select: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

This is who they wanted. They were scared he wouldn't be there. They had to get a playmaker opposite Vincent Jackson.

8CBrowns select: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

I liked two other corners better, but they need corner help. Why not a QB?

9BVikings select: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

I like this pick for a team that needed to get faster at linebacker. He will amp up the blitz package.

10C-Lions select: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

This kid has a ton of talent, but is he really a need? They had other more pressing needs.

11CTitans select: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

I don't get this pick after signing Michael Oher. Is this the end for Michael Roos? They had other needs.

12B+Giants select: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

I might be in the minority on this pick, but I like it. He will be better than Mike Evans. They need a receiver to go with Victor Cruz.

13ARams select: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

What a great pick from the Rams. They get one of the best defensive players in the draft at this spot.

14ABears select: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

I love this pick. Fuller is the top corner in my mind and they need corners in a division with two good passers.

15B+Steelers select: Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State

This is a speed pick for a team that needs it on defense. I like the player, but can he hold up inside?

16B+Cowboys select: Zack Martin, OG, Notre Dame

This is a good pick for a team that needed line help. They didn't get caught up in the hype. The line will be damn good.

17BRavens select: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

They need help next to Daryl Smith, and he isn't a kid anymore. It's a good, solid pick.

18B-Jets select: Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville

They had to get safety help, so this makes sense. He is a thumper in the run game, which will help.

19BDolphins select: Jawuan James, OT, Tennessee

They had to get a tackle, and he's played at a high level in a good league. Good pick.

20B+Saints select: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

They had to get faster on offense, and he does that for them. I like the move to get him.

21APackers select: Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

This is a great pick. They needed range in the secondary and they now have it. Love it.

22ABrowns select: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

This is a smart move by the Browns. They had to get a quarterback. Great move.

23C-Chiefs select: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

Don't they have Justin Houston and Tamba Hali? They had other needs. Strange pick.

24B+Bengals select: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Bengals had to get a corner with age creeping in, so it makes sense. I might have gone Bradley Roby, but it's close.

25B+Chargers select: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

If he was an inch or two taller, he would have gone higher. He fills a big need. Good pick.

26BEagles select: Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville

The Eagles need a young pass rusher, and he can provide that. He's athletic and fits their scheme. I get it.

27BCardinals select: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State

They had to get a safety to upgrade the back end. He's a good football player who will hit you. I like Jimmie Ward more, but that's nitpicking.

28CPanthers select: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

They had to get a receiver, but I don't like this pick. He is second-round talent in my book. Why not Marqise Lee?

29APatriots select: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

This is a terrific pick. He would have been a top-10 pick if not for injuries to both knees. He will be a star -- if healthy.

30B49ers select: Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois

He is a heck of a football player, but with Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid was that really a need?

31B+Broncos select: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Great pick. I thought he was one of the top two cornerbacks in the draft. And he fills an immediate need.

32B-Vikings select: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

I like the Vikings going up to get Bridgewater. It makes sense when you don't have a quarterback.

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

The 2014 NFL draft was the 79th annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible football players to the league. The draft, officially the "Player Selection Meeting",[1] was held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York, on May 8th through May 10th, 2014.[2][3][4] One of the most anticipated drafts in recent years kicked off on May 8, 2014 at 8 pm EDT.[5] The draft was moved from its traditional time frame in late April due to a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall.[6]

There was early discussion and rumors leading up to the draft on the future of staying at the current location in New York City, where it has been held since 1965. Given the increased interest the draft has garnered over the past decade,[7] there was belief that the event may have outgrown Radio City Music Hall, which has been the venue for the past nine drafts. The possibility of extending the draft to four days was also being discussed throughout the months leading up to the draft. The NFL decided in that summer that the 2015 NFL Draft will take place at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

The Houston Texans opened the draft by selecting defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from the University of South Carolina. The last time a defensive player was taken with the first overall selection was in 2006, when the Texans selected Mario Williams.[8] The Texans also closed the draft with the selection of safety Lonnie Ballentine of the University of Memphis as Mr. Irrelevant, which is the title given to the final player selected.[9]

The 2014 NFL draft made history when the St. Louis Rams selected Michael Sam in the seventh round. Sam, who became the first openly gay player to ever be drafted in the NFL, was selected 249th out of 256 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. After this, Sam's jersey was the second best selling rookie jersey on the NFL's website. [10] Sam came out publicly in the months leading up to the draft.[11]

A few notable players drafted in 2014 were Jimmy Garappolo, Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr, Blake Bortles, Khalil Mack, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald, Anthony Barr, Allen Robinson, Jadeveon Clowney, Mike Evans, Devonta Freeman, and Sammy Watkins.

Early entrants[edit]

Main article: List of 2014 NFL draft early entrants

A record 98 underclassmen announced their intention to forgo their remaining NCAA eligibility and declare themselves available to be selected in the draft.[12] When including four players who received degrees but still had eligibility remaining, the number swells to 102.[13] Fourteen underclassmen—plus Teddy Bridgewater who graduated with eligibility remaining—were selected in the draft's first round,[14] including the first four and six of the first ten players selected.[15]


The following is the breakdown of the 256 players selected by position:

Determination of draft order[edit]

Further information: National Football League draft § Rules for determining draft order

The draft order is based generally on each team's record from the previous season, with teams which qualified for the postseason selecting after those which failed to make the playoffs.[16] The Houston Texans with a 2–14 record in 2013 held the first selection of each round. The Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens finished 2013 with identical 8–8 records and strength of schedule ratings, hence a coin flip was used to determine the selection order — the Cowboys won the flip and thus selected ahead of the Ravens.[17]

Player selections[edit]

Rnd.Pick #NFL teamPlayerPos.CollegeConf.Notes
11Houston TexansClowney, JadeveonJadeveon Clowney DESouth CarolinaSEC
12St. Louis RamsRobinson, GregGreg Robinson OTAuburnSECfrom Washington [R1 - 1]
13Jacksonville JaguarsBortles, BlakeBlake Bortles QBUCFThe American
14Buffalo BillsWatkins, SammySammy Watkins WRClemsonACCfrom Cleveland [R1 - 2]
15Oakland RaidersMack, KhalilKhalil Mack LBBuffaloMAC
16Atlanta FalconsMatthews, JakeJake Matthews OTTexas A&MSEC
17Tampa Bay BuccaneersEvans, MikeMike Evans WRTexas A&MSEC
18Cleveland BrownsGilbert, JustinJustin Gilbert CBOklahoma StateBig 12from Minnesota [R1 - 3]
19Minnesota VikingsBarr, AnthonyAnthony Barr LBUCLAPac-12from Buffalo via Cleveland [R1 - 4]
110Detroit LionsEbron, EricEric Ebron TENorth CarolinaACC
111Tennessee TitansLewan, TaylorTaylor Lewan OTMichiganBig Ten
112New York GiantsBeckham, Jr., OdellOdell Beckham, Jr. WRLSUSEC
113St. Louis RamsDonald, AaronAaron Donald DTPittsburghACC
114Chicago BearsFuller, KyleKyle Fuller CBVirginia TechACC
115Pittsburgh SteelersShazier, RyanRyan Shazier LBOhio StateBig Ten
116Dallas CowboysMartin, ZackZack Martin GNotre DameInd. (FBS)
117Baltimore RavensMosley, C. J.C. J. Mosley LBAlabamaSEC
118New York JetsPryor, CalvinCalvin Pryor SLouisvilleThe American
119Miami DolphinsJames, Ja'WuanJa'Wuan James OTTennesseeSEC
120New Orleans SaintsCooks, BrandinBrandin Cooks WROregon StatePac-12from Arizona [R1 - 5]
121Green Bay PackersClinton-Dix, Ha HaHa Ha Clinton-Dix SAlabamaSEC
122Cleveland BrownsManziel, JohnnyJohnny Manziel QBTexas A&MSECfrom Philadelphia [R1 - 6];
2012 Heisman Trophy winner [N 2]
123Kansas City ChiefsFord, DeeDee Ford DEAuburnSEC
124Cincinnati BengalsDennard, DarquezeDarqueze Dennard CBMichigan StateBig Ten
125San Diego ChargersVerrett, JasonJason Verrett CBTCUBig 12
126Philadelphia EaglesSmith, MarcusMarcus Smith LBLouisvilleThe Americanfrom Indianapolis via Cleveland [R1 - 7]
127Arizona CardinalsBucannon, DeoneDeone Bucannon SWashington StatePac-12from New Orleans [R1 - 8]
128Carolina PanthersBenjamin, KelvinKelvin Benjamin WRFlorida StateACC
129New England PatriotsEasley, DominiqueDominique Easley DTFloridaSEC
130San Francisco 49ersWard, JimmieJimmie Ward SNIUMAC
131Denver BroncosRoby, BradleyBradley Roby CBOhio StateBig Ten
132Minnesota VikingsBridgewater, TeddyTeddy Bridgewater QBLouisvilleThe Americanfrom Seattle [R1 - 9]
233Houston TexansSu'a-Filo, XavierXavier Su'a-Filo GUCLAPac-12
234Dallas CowboysLawrence, DeMarcusDeMarcus Lawrence DEBoise StateMWfrom Washington [R2 - 1]
235Cleveland BrownsBitonio, JoelJoel Bitonio OTNevadaMW
236Oakland RaidersCarr, DerekDerek Carr QBFresno StateMW
237Atlanta FalconsHageman, Ra'ShedeRa'Shede Hageman DTMinnesotaBig Ten
238Tampa Bay BuccaneersSeferian-Jenkins, AustinAustin Seferian-Jenkins TEWashingtonPac-12
239Jacksonville JaguarsLee, MarqiseMarqise Lee WRUSCPac-12
240Detroit LionsVan Noy, KyleKyle Van Noy LBBYUInd. (FBS)from Minnesota via Seattle [R2 - 2]
241St. Louis RamsJoyner, LamarcusLamarcus Joyner SFlorida StateACCfrom Buffalo [R2 - 3]
242Philadelphia EaglesMatthews, JordanJordan Matthews WRVanderbiltSECfrom Tennessee [R2 - 4]
243New York GiantsRichburg, WestonWeston Richburg CColorado StateMW
244Buffalo BillsKouandjio, CyrusCyrus Kouandjio OTAlabamaSECfrom St. Louis [R2 - 5]
245Seattle SeahawksRichardson, PaulPaul Richardson WRColoradoPac-12from Detroit [R2 - 6]
246Pittsburgh SteelersTuitt, StephonStephon Tuitt DENotre DameInd. (FBS)
247Washington RedskinsMurphy, TrentTrent Murphy LBStanfordPac-12from Dallas [R2 - 7]
248Baltimore RavensJernigan, TimmyTimmy Jernigan DTFlorida StateACC
249New York JetsAmaro, JaceJace Amaro TETexas TechBig 12
250San Diego ChargersAttaochu, JeremiahJeremiah Attaochu LBGeorgia TechACCfrom Miami [R2 - 8]
251Chicago BearsFerguson, EgoEgo Ferguson DTLSUSEC
252Arizona CardinalsNiklas, TroyTroy Niklas TENotre DameInd. (FBS)
253Green Bay PackersAdams, DavanteDavante Adams WRFresno StateMW
254Tennessee TitansSankey, BishopBishop Sankey RBWashingtonPac-12from Philadelphia [R2 - 9]
255Cincinnati BengalsHill, JeremyJeremy Hill RBLSUSEC
256Denver BroncosLatimer, CodyCody Latimer WRIndianaBig Tenfrom Kansas City via San Francisco [R2 - 10]
257San Francisco 49ersHyde, CarlosCarlos Hyde RBOhio StateBig Tenfrom San Diego via Miami [R2 - 11]
258New Orleans SaintsJean-Baptiste, StanleyStanley Jean-Baptiste CBNebraskaBig Ten
259Indianapolis ColtsMewhort, JackJack Mewhort OTOhio StateBig Ten
260Carolina PanthersEaly, KonyKony Ealy DEMissouriSEC
261Jacksonville JaguarsRobinson, AllenAllen Robinson WRPenn StateBig Tenfrom San Francisco [R2 - 12]
262New England PatriotsGaroppolo, JimmyJimmy Garoppolo QBEastern IllinoisOVC
263Miami DolphinsLandry, JarvisJarvis Landry WRLSUSECfrom Denver via San Francisco [R2 - 13]
264Seattle SeahawksBritt, JustinJustin Britt OTMissouriSEC
365Houston TexansFiedorowicz, C. J.C. J. Fiedorowicz TEIowaBig Ten
366Washington RedskinsMoses, MorganMorgan Moses OTVirginiaACC
367Miami DolphinsTurner, BillyBilly Turner OTNorth Dakota StateMVFCfrom Oakland [R3 - 1]
368Atlanta FalconsSouthward, DezmenDezmen Southward SWisconsinBig Ten
369Tampa Bay BuccaneersSims, CharlesCharles Sims RBWest VirginiaBig 12
370San Francisco 49ersMartin, MarcusMarcus Martin CUSCPac-12from Jacksonville [R3 - 2]
371Cleveland BrownsKirksey, ChristianChristian Kirksey LBIowaBig Ten
372Minnesota VikingsCrichton, ScottScott Crichton DEOregon StatePac-12
373Buffalo BillsBrown, PrestonPreston Brown LBLouisvilleThe American
374New York GiantsBromley, JayJay Bromley DTSyracuseACC
375St. Louis RamsMason, TreTre Mason RBAuburnSEC
376Detroit LionsSwanson, TravisTravis Swanson CArkansasSEC
377San Francisco 49ersBorland, ChrisChris Borland LBWisconsinBig Tenfrom Tennessee [R3 - 3]
378Washington RedskinsLong, SpencerSpencer Long GNebraskaBig Tenfrom Dallas [R3 - 4]
379Baltimore RavensBrooks, TerrenceTerrence Brooks SFlorida StateACC
380New York JetsMcDougle, DexterDexter McDougle CBMarylandACC
381Oakland RaidersJackson, GabeGabe Jackson GMississippi StateSECfrom Miami [R3 - 5]
382Chicago BearsSutton, WillWill Sutton DTArizona StatePac-12
383Houston TexansNix, LouisLouis Nix DTNotre DameInd. (FBS)from Pittsburgh via Cleveland and Philadelphia [R3 - 6]
384Arizona CardinalsMartin, KareemKareem Martin DENorth CarolinaACC
385Green Bay PackersThornton, KhyriKhyri Thornton DTSouthern MissC-USA
386Philadelphia EaglesHuff, JoshJosh Huff WROregonPac-12
387Kansas City ChiefsGaines, PhillipPhillip Gaines CBRiceC-USA
388Cincinnati BengalsClarke, WillWill Clarke DEWest VirginiaBig 12
389San Diego ChargersWatt, ChrisChris Watt GNotre DameInd. (FBS)
390Indianapolis ColtsMoncrief, DonteDonte Moncrief WROle MissSEC
391Arizona CardinalsBrown, JohnJohn Brown WRPittsburg State (KS)MIAAfrom New Orleans [R3 - 7]
392Carolina PanthersTurner, TraiTrai Turner GLSUSEC
393Jacksonville JaguarsLinder, BrandonBrandon Linder GMiamiACCfrom New England [R3 - 8]
394Cleveland BrownsWest, TerranceTerrance West RBTowsonCAAfrom San Francisco [R3 - 9]
395Denver BroncosSchofield, MichaelMichael Schofield OTMichiganBig Ten
396Minnesota VikingsMcKinnon, JerickJerick McKinnon RBGeorgia SouthernSoConfrom Seattle [R3 - 10]
3*97Pittsburgh SteelersArcher, DriDri Archer RBKent StateMAC
3*98Green Bay PackersRodgers, RichardRichard Rodgers TECaliforniaPac-12
3*99Baltimore RavensGillmore, Crockett

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