The Ultimate 2014 NFL Draft Guide
You've never gone so long without football.
For months, you've wandered across a parched and barren wasteland. No wings. No beer. No fat-guy touchdowns. With your mind being assaulted by hype, spin, rumors and tail-chasing news cycles, you trudged forward as best you could for as long as you could manage.
Now, with parched mouth and bleary eyes, you're crawling toward autumn with the last of your strength. Suddenly, you look up and see a radiant neon beacon of art-deco glory: the Radio City Music Hall.
The NFL draft is finally here, and your suffering is over.
Let Bleacher Report's crack NFL staff help you up, dust you off and give you a VIP tour.
We have all the must-know info. We have the big boards and big names, mock drafts and expert analysis. We have the latest news and rumors, in-depth profiles on the most intriguing prospects and firsthand accounts of what it feels like to go through the process. We have team-by-team primers for all 32 NFL squads and up-to-the-minute predictions from our top NFL experts.
Now straighten your hair, fix your tie and get ready for three straight days of glitz, glamour, glad-handing and gridiron on the NFL's grandest stage.
Where, When and How to Watch
Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York City
When: Thursday, May 8 (first round), 8 p.m. ET; Friday, May 9 (second and third rounds), 7 p.m. ET; Saturday, May 10 (fourth through seventh rounds), noon ET.
How to Watch: ESPN, NFL Network (on TV), Bleacher Report TeamStream (live video analysis on mobile).
Complete Draft Order
By now, most hardcore NFL fans know exactly where their team is picking in the first round—but tiebreakers, coin flips and compensatory picks make figuring out the order of every single draft pick a chore.
Fortunately, Bleacher Report hasn't just put together a seven-round, 256-pick list of the entire 2014 NFL draft but a full breakdown of all the teams that are most likely to move up or down. In that list, it's easy to see exactly where (and how) your chosen NFL squad holds precious draft selections; stay tuned to find out if they stand pat or take control of the board.
If you still hadn't heard where your team is slotted, or you just want to see where the others ended up, here's the complete first-round order:
1. Houston Texans
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
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 (from Indianapolis Colts)
27. New Orleans Saints
28. Carolina Panthers
29. New England Patriots
30. San Francisco 49ers
31. Denver Broncos
32. Seattle Seahawks
Matt Miller's Top 100 Big Board
You want to know who the best players available are? You want to know just how much value your team got with each of its picks throughout the draft?
Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller has published his 365-prospect final rankings, and his top 100 big board is right here:
|2||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina||6'6"||266|
|6||Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M||6'5"||308|
|7||Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma State||6'0"||202|
|8||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M||6'5"||231|
|12||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M||6'0"||207|
|13||Eric Ebron||TE||North Carolina||6'4"||250|
|15||Derek Carr||QB||Fresno State||6'2"||214|
|16||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||FS||Alabama||6'1"||208|
|17||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||LSU||5'11"||198|
|18||Kyle Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech||6'0"||190|
|21||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida||6'5"||232|
|23||Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan State||5'11"||199|
|25||Timmy Jernigan||DT||Florida State||6'2"||299|
|26||Zack Martin||OT||Notre Dame||6'4"||308|
|27||Carlos Hyde||RB||Ohio State||6'0"||230|
|30||Jimmie Ward||SS||Northern Illinois||5'11"||193|
|31||Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon State||5'10"||189|
|32||Bradley Roby||CB||Ohio State||5'11"||194|
|33||Jace Amaro||TE||Texas Tech||6'5"||265|
|35||Kyle Van Noy||OLB||BYU||6'3"||243|
|36||Davante Adams||WR||Fresno State||6'1"||212|
|37||Ryan Shazier||OLB||Ohio State||6'1"||237|
|40||Jeremiah Attaochu||OLB||Georgia Tech||6'3"||252|
|41||Demarcus Lawrence||DE||Boise State||6'3"||251|
|43||Weston Richburg||C||Colorado State||6'3"||298|
|45||Charles Sims||RB||West Virginia||6'0"||214|
|47||Louis Nix III||DT||Notre Dame||6'2"||331|
|48||Will Sutton||DT||Arizona State||6'0"||303|
|55||Scott Crichton||DE||Oregon State||6'3"||273|
|60||Lamarcus Joyner||CB||Florida State||5'8"||184|
|61||Allen Robinson||WR||Penn State||6'2"||220|
|65||Jimmy Garoppolo||QB||Eastern Illinois||6'2"||226|
|68||Terrence Brooks||FS||Florida State||5'11"||198|
|69||Deone Bucannon||SS||Washington State||6'1"||211|
|71||Storm Johnson||RB||Central Florida||6'0"||209|
|73||Devonta Freeman||RB||Florida State||5'8"||206|
|74||Kelvin Benjamin||WR||Florida State||6'5"||240|
|75||Troy Niklas||TE||Notre Dame||6'6"||270|
|76||Bruce Ellington||WR||South Carolina||5'9"||197|
|78||Kareem Martin||DE||North Carolina||6'6"||272|
|87||Stephon Tuitt||DT||Notre Dame||6'5"||304|
|90||Carl Bradford||OLB||Arizona State||6'1"||250|
|91||Telvin Smith||ILB||Florida State||6'3"||218|
|92||Kevin Pierre-Louis||OLB||Boston College||6'0"||232|
|93||Gabe Jackson||OG||Mississippi State||6'3"||336|
|96||Jack Mewhort||OT||Ohio State||6'6"||309|
|98||DaQuan Jones||DT||Penn State||6'4"||322|
Matt Miller's Final Mock Draft
You know how Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Matt Miller ranks the top 365 draftable prospects. Now, find out which teams he thinks they best fit with in his final seven-round mock draft.
For this mock, he drafted each prospect based on what he thinks each team should do, not necessarily what he's hearing the team will do.
Miller has also turned in a last-day mock of the first round—his ultimate guess at where the biggest names will end up. If you want to know how the board will break for your team on Thursday night, hit up Miller's final mock here.
Bleacher Report Expert Predictions
The draft can be one of the craziest, most unpredictable events on the entire NFL calendar. From wild reaches to stunning falls, blockbuster trades to missed-pick snafus, the draft is notoriously tricky to predict—why else would mock drafts flood the Internet every spring?
The Bleacher Report crew of NFL experts banded together to predict the unpredictable.
In a series of 26 prop-bet style categories, from "First Quarterback Taken" to "College Conference with Most First-Round Picks," our experts projected and predicted all of the headline-grabbing twists and turns of the draft.
They predict a long, grim time in the green room for a certain quarterback, a trade-heavy first round and the most likely landing spots for top prospects like Sammy Watkins, Carlos Hyde and Eric Ebron.
Expert Draft Notebooks
Among Bleacher Report's NFL lead writers are three of the most tuned-in reporters in the business, and they have all the latest news, notes and nuggets from around the NFL—plus their own insightful analysis.
Dan Pompei's Read Option column is a weekly must-read, and his draft-week installment is no different. It starts with an in-depth look at why Khalil Mack is a serious candidate for the No. 1 overall pick, contains news about the latest trade rumors and takes a hard look at eight polarizing prospects whom NFL scouts just can't agree on.
Mike Freeman's 50-Point Stance, a PED-enhanced "fabulously awesome draft week edition" of his usual 10-Point Stance column, lives up to the billing: It has 50 points' worth of analysis, facts, news, rumors, speculation, videos and tweets. It's not just about the draft, either; Freeman talks about Ndamukong Suh, concussions, Darren Sharper and a host of other topics.
Matt Miller's Scouting Notebook is always full of great tidbits. This week's edition has quotes from NFL scouts who took a look at Miller's draft board and gave him valuable, anonymous feedback. To see where real NFL teams agree and disagree with Miller, check out his final, predraft Scouting Notebook.
The Stars of the 2014 NFL Draft
In every draft, there are a few names that everyone can't wait to hear called.
Not just the top few picks but the electrifying talents, bigger-than-life characters and enigmas. There are players who were college superstars, but whose talents may not translate to the pro game. There are players who carry vague baggage, and we won't be sure how far down draft boards it'll take them.
The biggest name is the one that has been on the lips of the football-watching world ever since the hit in the above video: Jadeveon Clowney.
His name has been shouted from the rooftops as a once-in-a-generation talent and whispered in dark tones as a potential problem child. While some analysts chipped in their two cents with their opinion of his character or lack of production, Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey broke down Clowney's tape to find out the truth.
Of course, the best name in the draft won't be called by Roger Goodell on the Radio City Music Hall stage at all: "Johnny Football." Johnny Manziel's nickname was well-earned in his two years as Texas A&M's starting quarterback. The Heisman Trophy on his mantle would capture plenty of interest, even if his off-field exploits and debatable field-reading skills didn't make his draft stock a moving target.
Bleacher Report Lead Writer Matt Bowen, who spent seven years breaking down quarterback play as an NFL safety, analyzed exactly what Manziel brings to the table—and where he needs to improve to become as brilliant in the pros as he was in college.
Jason Cole broke down everything else about Manziel, from the off-field issues that dogged him to the current mindset of NFL decision-makers.
Quarterbacks are always a big draw; a first-round quarterback can set a franchise up for 15 years—or set it back three years. Teddy Bridgewater was penciled in as the No. 1 overall pick of this draft practically since before the 2013 draft, but his stock has taken a tumble after his rough pro day.
Another quarterback who just might be the first signal-caller off the board, Derek Carr, is in a hauntingly familiar situation. Cole broke down the story of how Carr escaped the shadow of his big brother, 2002 No. 1 overall pick David.
One of the most interesting figures in the draft class is Khalil Mack. At every step in his young football life, he was an unheralded nobody who blew everything up whenever he got a chance. Now, as Schottey tells Mack's tale, the pass-rusher out of tiny Buffalo has a legitimate shot to be drafted No. 1 overall.
A lot less is said about Anthony Barr, who at times in the draft cycle has been alongside Mack as a top-tier pass-rushing linebacker prospect. Schottey looked at why Barr both intrigues and repels evaluators.
What about Jake Matthews? Manziel's protector at Texas A&M and the son of a Hall of Famer, he's slipped from a lock for the first few picks to the bottom half of the top 10—and maybe the third left tackle off the board. I wrote about why he could be the biggest steal of the draft.
Another guy who could be the first off the board at his position or fall much farther than that: Darqueze Dennard, the physical cornerback from Michigan State who could be the best man-to-man corner in the draft or a penalty machine. Bowen broke down film to find Dennard's ceiling, floor and scheme fit.
One last name to watch: pass-rusher Michael Sam. Next season, we should expect that a player's sexuality, whatever it might be, isn't worth mentioning. If and when a team turns in a draft card with his name on it, Sam will be the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Freeman explained why that's so important—for NFL players like Wade Davis, who had to live in the closet, as well as for future rookies who won't have to face Sam or Davis' burden.
Bleacher Report Scouting Database
Whether you're doing last-minute info-cramming on your favorite prospects, looking to go in-depth on players available at a certain position or shouting "Who?" at your TV after your favorite team just turned in a card, the Bleacher Report Scouting Report Database has you covered.
Draft experts Ryan Lownes, Ryan McCrystal, Alex Dunlap, Darren Page and Ian Wharton teamed up to fill out extensive scouting reports for hundreds of prospects; with more than a dozen (or two or three dozen) prospects scouted at every position, it's a comprehensive guide to every prospect you'll want to know more about.
Team-by-Team Draft Primers
- Dolphins primer (Frenz)
- Jets primer (Frenz)
- Bills primer (Frenz)
- Patriots primer (Frenz)
- Steelers primer (Hangst)
- Ravens primer (Hangst)
- Browns primer (Hangst)
- Bengals primer (Hangst)
- Raiders primer (Hansen)
- Broncos primer (Hansen)
- Chargers primer (Hansen)
- Chiefs primer (Hansen)
- Colts primer (Davenport)
- Jaguars primer (Davenport)
- Titans primer (Davenport)
- Texans primer (Davenport)
- Cowboys primer (Gagnon)
- Redskins primer (Gagnon)
- Giants primer (Gagnon)
- Eagles primer (Gagnon)
- Vikings primer (Kruse)
- Lions primer (Kruse)
- Packers primer (Kruse)
- Bears primer (Kruse)
- 49ers primer (Langland)
- Seahawks primer (Langland)
- Cardinals primer (Langland)
- Rams primer (Langland)
- Falcons primer (Bardeen)
- Buccaneers primer (Bardeen)
- Saints primer (Bardeen)
- Panthers primer (Bardeen)
Now this, right here? This is what you really came for.
As fascinating as the big names, big personalities, poker-game gamesmanship and stage hugs can be, what you really want to know is what picks your team has, what kinds of players it needs and who'll likely be available at each of those spots.
Bleacher Report's NFL Divisional Lead Writers Knox Bardeen, Erik Frenz, Brad Gagnon, Andrea Hangst, Christopher Hansen, Zach Kruse and Tyson Langland, along with NFL Analyst Gary Davenport, have put together team-by-team draft primers that'll give you the information you're really after.
View from the Draft Floor...and the Front Office
Lost in all the TV lights, tickers, sidebars and highlight packages are the actual human beings who are involved in this process.
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Matt Bowen went through the process as a prospect; here's his take on the experiences and emotions of that day.
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Greg Gabriel was on the other end of the draft-day phone calls—in NFL war rooms as a scout and executive. Here's his insider's guide to draft day.
Day 1 Predictions
Bleacher Report NFL Lead Writer Michael Schottey has been covering the draft for more than a decade, and he's seen a lot of wild stuff go down.
His predictions for the first round contain surprises big (Aaron Donald goes in the top 10) and small (four cornerbacks will be taken in the first round). He also has an interesting thought on who'll be the first quarterback off the board.
Hit it here for all of Schottey's first-day draft predictions.
Ultimate Draft Hype Tape
You probably thought you were ready for the NFL draft.
You probably thought you were excited for the NFL draft.
But after hearing all the unfamiliar names, the dry facts and figures, and the weights, measures and statistics for four long months, here's a vivid reminder of what the NFL draft is all about: football.
College football's most exciting players are about to make the NFL that much better, and Bleacher Report's video team has put together a killer hype tape to get you amped for the possibility of seeing these players on Sundays.
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