NFL Draft Order 2014: Previewing 1st-Round Teams and Top Prospects

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NFL Draft Order 2014: Previewing 1st-Round Teams and Top Prospects
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Pick Team
1 Houston Texans
2 St. Louis Rams (via Washington)
3 Jacksonville Jaguars
4 Cleveland Browns
5 Oakland Raiders
6 Atlanta Falcons
7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8 Minnesota Vikings
9 Buffalo Bills
10 Detroit Lions
11 Tennessee Titans
12 New York Giants
13 St. Louis Rams
14 Chicago Bears
15 Pittsburgh Steelers
16 Dallas Cowboys
17 Baltimore Ravens
18 New York Jets
19 Miami Dolphins
20 Arizona Cardinals
21 Green Bay Packers
22 Philadelphia Eagles
23 Kansas City Chiefs
24 Cincinnati Bengals
25 San Diego Chargers
26 Cleveland Browns (via Indianapolis)
27 New Orleans Saints
28 Carolina Panthers
29 New England Patriots
30 San Francisco 49ers
31 Denver Broncos
32 Seattle Seahawks

The top of the 2014 NFL draft class is loaded with tantalizing prospects who will make an immediate impact for their new teams next season.

The order is set for Round 1, but it will not likely stand as teams trade up or down to land players that they covet.

Here's a look at the current order for the opening round of action, which will commence on May 8 in New York City:

There's plenty of speculation about what will happen at the top of the draft because there is a handful of intriguing top prospects who could all go No. 1 overall.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Houston needs a quarterback, which is why many mock drafts have Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater being selected No. 1 overall.

Of the three, Bridgewater offers the best immediate return, according to NFL Network's Mike Mayock, via Mike Huguenin of "Mayock said Bridgewater is the 'most NFL-ready' quarterback in the draft. 'I think [UCF's Blake] Bortles can be ready shortly thereafter.'"

Bortles has drawn comparisons to Andrew Luck, thanks to his ideal size, strength and leadership, but he isn't nearly as polished as the Indianapolis Colts quarterback. 

The real wild card at the top is Manziel, who could quickly develop into a superstar or who could become a tremendous bust, depending on how things pan out.

However, there is a defensive prospect that could prompt the Texans to look for a signal-caller after Round 1.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The latest buzz coming out of Texas is that Houston is leaning toward pass-rusher extraordinaire Jadeveon Clowney at the top of the draft, as pointed out by Lance Zierlein of Sports Talk 790:

Which player will be selected No. 1 overall?

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The defensive end out of South Carolina is one of the most exciting defensive prospects to come into the league in years. His extraordinary blend of size (6'5" and 266 lbs), speed (4.53-second 40-yard dash) and freakish athleticism is a package every team would love to land.

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins out of Clemson will also see his name called early. He's been compared to A.J. Green and Julio Jones by many media analysts throughout the scouting process and will be an instant-impact starter for the team that drafts him.

“I’m willing to go to any team and try and have that instant impact,” he said at his pro day, as noted by Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press

The entire draft class is deep, and stars will be found in every round. 

These prospects who are expected to be drafted early in the proceedings carry a heavy burden of expectations, though, and it's guaranteed they won't all succeed at the next level. 

It's just as common for a first-round prospect to become a bust than it is for them to become Pro Bowlers, which is one of the reasons the draft is always full of drama.

Everyone has an opinion about where players should land, but in the end it's up to each team to draft according to its needs. It will be fascinating to see where the chips fall this upcoming May.

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