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2014 NFL Draft 1st Round Grades
1. Houston Texans-Jadeveon Clowney DE/OLB South Carolina
The Houston Texans made a great choice by drafting a once in a generation type of player by drafting Jadeveon Clowney who is a freak of nature. Opposing quarterbacks are going to have nightmares for many years when facing the Texans as Watt and Clowney are going to be wrecking havoc.
2. Saint Louis Rams-Greg Robinson OT Auburn
No question that this pick made Sam Bradford a very happy man as he will no longer have to worry about getting hit so much now since he has the big Greg Robinson protecting his blindside.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars-Blake Bortles QB UCF
The Jacksonville Jaguars finally have a quarterback, but did they select the right one? Do not get me wrong Blake Bortles has a bunch of potential but Teddy Bridgewater would have been the safer choice as Bortles is still very raw.
4. Buffalo Bills-Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
The Bills traded up to select Sammy Watkins who was arguably the best receiver in the draft but with youngsters such as Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin was it necessary to trade up and draft Watkins? Only time will tell if Watkins was worth the trade but right now it sort of seems like overkill.
5. Oakland Raiders-Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
The Raiders finally add a young pass rusher who can develop into a force to reckon with and with veterans such as Lamar Woodley and Justin Tuck to coach him up the sky is the limit for Mack as he will be in good hands.
6. Atlanta Falcons-Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
As many people know Matt Ryan had a down season for his standards but to be fair any QB would have trouble with the amount of pressure he was getting. This is why picking Jake Matthews over a pass rusher such as Anthony Barr was the best bet for the Falcons as a team moving forward.
7. Tamp Bay Buccaneers-Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
Another Texas A&M Aggie is off the board but it is not Johnny Manziel. Mike Evans is no slouch himself though as he will create one of the best WR duos in the NFL alongside Vincent Jackson.
8. Cleveland Browns-Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
The Browns get a boost to their secondary as they pair up Justin Gilbert with Joe Haden to create one of the better CB tandems in the NFL.
9. Minnesota Vikings-Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
With their first pick the Vikings may have found Jared Allen's replacement in Anthony Barr who is a better athlete than football player at the moment but with a little coaching the sky is the limit.
10. Detroit Lions-Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
The Lions just put the NFL on notice with the selection of North Carolina TE Eric Ebron as he is one of the better TEs I have seen in a while. Whenever I watch him play he reminds me of Vernon Davis, that by itself should speak volumes about this young man's potential. Pair him with Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush and you have yourself a deadly offense.
Best Pick from the first 10 selections
11. Tennessee Titans-Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
Taylor Lewan to the Titans is interesting since they already have Micheal Roos playing LT at a high level and recently signed Micheal Oher to a big contract to play RT for them. If they let Micheal Roos walk after this season then this pick makes a lot more sense or if they move Micheal Oher to the inside to play Guard.
12. New York Giants-Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
The New York Giants drafted a WR who they might not have needed since they recently drafted Ruben Randle and locked up WR Victor Cruz to a big contract. They basically drafted someone who is going to be third on the depth chart instead of addressing a bigger need such as the DB or LB position.
13. Saint Louis Rams-Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
The rich just keep getting richer as the Rams select Aaron Donald with their second pick in the first round. Donald joins a group that consists of Micheal Brockers, Chris Long and Robert Quin. If that does no scare opposing QBs then I do not know what will.
14. Chicago Bears- Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
The Chicago Bears decided to add some youth in their secondary which they sorely needed as Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings are not getting any younger.
15. Steelers- Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
The Steelers draft a LB which they needed but they may not have drafted the right one as ILB CJ Mosley from Alabama was still on the board who in my opinion is the better LB. Shazier may be the better athlete from the two but he lacks the instincts that a LB at the next level needs to excel.
16. Dallas Cowboys- Zack Martin OG/OT Notre Dame
Jerry Jones made a smart move (can't believe I just said that) by not drafting infamous QB Johnny Manziel and taking the safe route by drafting the best Guard prospect in the draft to help shore up the Offensive Line.
17. Baltimore Ravens- CJ Mosley ILB Alabama
The Ravens draft the best LB prospect in this year's draft in CJ Mosley from Alabama. CJ Mosley can start from day one and can help the Ravens play the level of defense they are so used to.
18. New York Jets-Calvin Pryor FS Louisville
The Jets keep adding play makers to their Rex Ryan lead defense who is usually one of the better units in the NFL and Calvin Pryor should help keep it that way.
19. Miami Dolphins-Ja'Wuan James OT Tennessee
The Miami Dolphins finally got their RT to protect Ryan Tannehill, but did they reach for one? Ja'Wuan James fits the Dolphins Zone Blocking Scheme which is a plus but that does not change the fact that the Dolphins reached with their first pick. Can you really blame a team for filling in a position of need though?
20. New Orleans Saints-Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
The Saints traded up to draft one of the more explosive play making receivers in this year's draft in Brandin Cooks. Cooks can be thought of as a poor man's Tavon Austin as both players have similar playing styles to their lack of size (Cooks is a little under 5 foot 10 inches) but when you put him on a Drew Bree's lead offense he is a threat to score on any given play.
21. Green Bay Packers-Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
The Packers take a huge step forward in improving their defense by selecting FS Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix from Alabama as he was regarded as one of the top two safeties along side Calvin Pryor.
22. Cleveland Browns-Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
The myth the legend Johnny Manziel is finally selected with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft. Only time will tell if Manziel's game will translate over to the NFL and the Browns were probably the best team for him to go to as they could use the spark in their offense and fan base.
23. Kansas City Chiefs-Dee Ford DE/OLB Auburn
As if the Chiefs defense was not good enough they add another player who could eventually develop into a dangerous pass rusher at the next level in Dee Ford.
24. Cincinnati Bengals-Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
With such a solid team the Bengals went with the BPA approach with their first pick by selecting CB Darqueze Dennard who will try and bring the No Fly Zone to Cincinnati.
25. San Diego Chargers-Jason Verrett CB TCU
The Chargers desperately needed help in the secondary as Eric Weddle can not do everything by himself and that is exactly what they got by selecting Jason Verett from TCU.
26. Philadelphia Eagles-Marcus Smith DE/OLB Louisville
The Eagles surprised everyone by selecting OLB Marcus Smith in the first round since many considered him a 2nd round player. Since he does fill a need it was not the worst pick made but it was surprising.
27. Arizona Cardinals-Deone Bucannon SS Washington State
The Cardinals just gave Tyrann Mathieu a partner in crime by selecting SS Deone Bucannon from Washington State. Some people may view it as a reach but they did not have many other options this late in the first round and Bucannon's upside may have been to much to pass up.
28. Carolina Panthers-Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State
The Panthers desperately needed to add weapons around Cam Newton but Kelvin Benjamin was not the answer with other receivers such as Jordan Matthews and Devonte Adams still on the board. Benjamin is mostly known for his game winning touchdown catch in the BCS Championship Game.His route running needs a lot of work and he does not have great speed so all you really have is a tall guy who can catch which is no longer enough for receivers in the NFL as DBs are becoming more physical.
29. New England Patriots-Dominique Easley DT Florida
With Vince Wilfork at the end of his football career the Patriots made the smart pick by selecting his replacement in Florida DT Dominique Easley.
30. San Francisco 49ers-Jimmie Ward SS Northern Illinois
After losing Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner in free agency it was no secret that the 49ers were in need of safety help. Jimmie Ward and Eric Reid will make a great safety duo for many years to come.
31. Denver Broncos-Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
It is safe to say that the Broncos are okay on the offensive side of the ball so they could focus and fixing the defense with their first pick and they did just that by selecting Ohio State CB Bradley Roby.
32. Minnesota Vikings-Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
Adrian Peterson finally gets to play with a real QB as the Vikings selected former Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater who in my opinion was the best QB from the 2014 class. Teddy Bridgewater has no real flaws in his game other than being a little small but people said the same thing about Russell Wilson and look at him now.