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2014 First Round Review

Picks 17-32 | Round Two | Round Three | Round Four | Round Five | Round Six | Round Seven | 'If I Were GM' Mock

1) Houston Texans - Jadeveon Clowney (DE/OLB South Carolina) Jadeveon Clowney 2014 NFL Draft

Despite all the smoke, all the posturing, Houston did exactly what we thought they were going to do all along. Jadeveon Clowney is far and away the best player in the 2014 NFL Draft and it's as simple as that. No need to over think this pick. Clowney will be perfectly fine at outside linebacker considering his remarkable athleticism. Paired up with J.J Watt, the Texans now have one of the most feared front sevens in the NFL.

Grade: A+

2) St Louis Rams - Greg Robinson (OT Auburn) Greg Robinson NFL

It was no secret that the Rams were going to add an offensive lineman at some point and Robinson was the favorite by many. He's still a little raw, but that shouldn't matter because it looks like he'll start at guard and give them a fierce run blocker to open up holes for Zach Stacy. Because of Robinson's rare combination of power and athleticism have drawn comparisons to Orlando Pace and Larry AllenĀ He's their left tackle of the future.

Grade: A

3) Jacksonville Jaguars - Blake Bortles (QB Central Florida) Blake Bortles NFL Draft

It didn't take long for us to get the first shocker of the 2014 NFL Draft. We all expected defensive minded Gus Bradley to take the stud pass rusher in Khalil Mack, and if not Sammy Watkins was supposed to be the guy. Even if they went quarterback Johnny Manziel was considered more likely than Blake Bortles. I'm not a fan of this pick at all. To me, the Jaguars could have came back in the second round and got a guy like Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr who aren't that far behind Bortles. However, Jacksonville must truly believe that Bortles is their guy. For their sake hopefully this isn't a repeat of the Blaine Gabbert situation.

Grade: C-

4) TRADE! Buffalo Bills - Sammy Watkins - (WR Clemson) Sammy Watkins 2014 NFL Draft

Buffalo had been rumored to be interested in trading up for Sammy Watkins but this isn't the type of move we're used to seeing from the Bills. It cost them next year's first round pick but they got their number one target and the top offensive playmaker in this year's draft. Watkins will immediately become the focal point of the Bills offense and help E.J Manuel out tremendously. Buffalo took Manuel to be their franchise quarterback and they're aggressively supporting his cause. I like it!

Grade: A

5) Oakland Raiders - Khalil Mack (OLB Buffalo) Khalil Mack 2014 NFL Draft

Nobody expected Oakland to do what they did; stay at home and take the best available player. Instead of trading out of this pick or reaching for somebody the Raiders actually got a steal in Khalil Mack. The NCAA's all-time leader in tackles for loss and forced fumbles is an elite pass rusher who I compare favorably to Von Miller. For a team that desperately lacks playmakers on defense Mack will be a Godsend and actually give them somebody for opposing teams to fear. Congratulations Raiders fans!

Grade: A+

6) Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews (OT Texas A&M) Jake Matthews 2014 NFL Draft

Once Khalil Mack fell past Jacksonville it surprised me that the Falcons didn't move up a spot or two for Khalil Mack, but considering what Buffalo had just given up to move up five spots it's hard to say what the cost would have been. Atlanta is a team with a lot of needs with offensive tackle being high on that list. Many people rumored that Atlanta was higher on Taylor Lewan than Jake Matthews but Matthews is undoubtedly the better prospect and they made the right move. He'll be their franchise left tackle for ten plus years.

Grade: A

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mike Evans (WR Texas A&M) Mike Evans 2014 NFL Draft

With Johnny Manziel still on the board a lot of people expected the Bucs to pull the trigger on Mr. Football but instead played it safe and went with the stud receiver. Late in the draft process there were rumors that Mike Evans could go in the top five and was considered by some to be even better than Sammy Watkins, so Tampa was no doubt ecstatic so get him at seven. Evans is six foot five, runs a 4.4 forty, can win jump balls, is physical; basically he's Vincent Jackson who he'll now team up with.

Grade: B+

8) TRADE! Cleveland Browns - Justin Gilbert (CB Oklahoma State) Justin Gilbert NFL Mock Draft

I'm not as big of a fan of Justin Gilbert as some are, but it's hard to argue with Cleveland picking up a top talent at cornerback and snagging a first round pick next year at the same time. Cleveland was in need of a cornerback to play opposite Joe Haden and now with Gilbert the two will make up one of the best young corner tandems in the league.

Grade: B+

9) TRADE! Minnesota Vikings - Anthony Barr (OLB UCLA) Anthony Barr 2014 NFL Draft

To me the surprise wasn't that Minnesota passed on Johnny Manziel, it was that they passed on Aaron Donald. We had heard all along that Anthony Barr was a polarizing prospect that might not go as high as we originally thought but Minnesota did the right thing in taking him here. Though he's only played defense for two years Anthony Barr has been nothing short of dominant as a pass rusher racking up over 40 tackles for loss and almost 25. Anthony Barr will come in as a strongside linebacker pass rusher and help fill the void left by Jared Allen.

Grade: A

10) Detroit Lions - Eric Ebron (TE North Carolina) Eric Ebron 2014 NFL Draft

I like Eric Ebron as a player, but this pick doesn't make a whole lot of sense for the Lions. Drafting a tight end is a luxury move, and when you already have the likes of Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Reggie Bush and even Brandon Pettigrew who was just resigned to a four year contract this offseason it's hard to see where Ebron makes this team better. There are only so many footballs to go around and with so many other needs on defense the Lions pick of Ebron is yet another misstep for Martin Mayhew. When will this team learn that defense wins championships??? Aaron Donald, Haha Clinton-Dix and C.J Mosley would all have been more sensible picks at this position.

Grade: D

11) Tennessee Titans - Taylor Lewan (OT Michigan) Taylor Lewan Mock Draft

I believe Justin Gilbert, Anthony Barr and Eric Ebron were all targets for the Titans and when they all went off the board right before their pick they panicked a little bit. Anybody who has been following our site knows I'm not a fan of Taylor Lewan's at all and considering they have Michael Roos and Michael Oher already it wasn't a dire need either. Granted Roos is in the last year of his deal but I just don't like the value or need fit here. Virginia Tech's Kyle Fuller would have been my choice here as the replacement for Alterraun Verner.

Grade: D

12) New York Giants - Odell Beckham Jr. (WR LSU) Odell Beckham 1st Round

This pick was an absolute shocker to me. It wasn't the fact that they took Odell Beckham who is a fine player, but the fact that they passed on Aaron Donald really surprised me. The Giants have suffered a great deal of attrition to their once dominant defensive line and Donald was viewed as the drafts most impactful defensive tackle. I have no problem with them taking Odell Beckham and maybe the Giants just weren't enamored with Donald's measureables and lack of prototypical size. Paired with Victor Cruz and replacing the oft-injured Hakeem Nicks, Odell Beckham will make Eli Manning's job just got a lot easier.

Grade: B

13) St Louis Rams - Aaron Donald (DT Pittsburgh) Aaron Donald 1st Round

Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and now Aaron Donald??? Look out! Aaron Donald is the most explosive defensive tackle in this year's draft and has dominated at all stops, however his lack of prototypical size and length caused him to fall just a little lower than we expected. Paired with anchor Michael Brockers though, Donald will be freed up to attack upfield and wreak havoc along with Quinn and Long. St Louis had some other needs in the secondary but Donald was just too good to pass up.

Grade: A

14) Chicago Bears - Kyle Fuller (CB Virginia Tech) Kyle Fuller 1st Round

Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are both nearing the end of the line so in Kyle Fuller the Bears got their shutdown cornerback of the future. Fuller is a tremendous talent who excels in man coverage, is physical and also supports the run very well. Considering how bad their safeties were last year Haha Clinton-Dix would have been a worthy selection, but I've got no problems with them taking Fuller here.

Grade: A-

15) Pittsburgh Steelers - Ryan Shazier (LB Ohio State) Ryan Shazier Bengals

Usually the Steelers sit back and take somebody who has fallen down the draft board due to need. Instead the Steelers reached for a player I'm not a fan of and at a position which wasn't even one of their three biggest needs. Ike Taylor is 35 years old so it was stunning to me that they passed on Darqueze Dennard who is the top cornerback in this draft in my mind. Pittsburgh also has needs at offensive line and wide receiver which would have been better served here. Secondarily I don't see how Shazier fits in Pittsburgh's defense. Shazier played last year at 225 pounds and profiles as a weakside linebacker. It's hard to argue with the Steelers track record but I don't get this one at all.

Grade: F

16) Dallas Cowboys - Zack Martin (OL Notre Dame) Zack Martin NFL

For once Dallas did the sensible thing ignoring the glitz and the glamour and took the best available player at a position of need. Dallas needed to upgrade both their guard spots and right tackle Doug Free is entering the last year of his contract. Zack Martin is viewed as one of the safest and most NFL ready prospect in this draft and will be a starter for this team from day one. Likely he'll start at guard this year before kicking out to right tackle next.

Grade: A


Picks 17-32

Round Two

Round Three

Round Four

Round Five

Round Six

Round Seven

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