The first round of the 2014 NFL draft was full of surprises, trades, notable players dropping down the board and enough intrigue to fill seven rounds, let alone one.
So what will we get for an encore?
More of the same, likely. Before you go worrying about the big-name talent that has already been selected, just consider some of the talent still available, via Football Perspective:
Marqise Lee, Timmy Jernigan, Ra'Shede Hageman, Jace Amaro, Kony Ealy, Louis Nix, Derek Carr some of the top names left.— Football Perspective (@fbgchase) May 9, 2014
There's a lot of talent there, and that list doesn't even include Stephon Tuitt, Allen Robinson, Xavier Su'a-Filo, Jimmy Garoppolo, Morgan Moses or Cyrus Kouandjio.
You don't want to miss Friday at the draft, folks. With all of the viewing info you need below and a few predictions, you'll be set for another exciting evening of the draft.
Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York, New York
When: Friday at 7 p.m. ET
Watch: ESPN (7-8 p.m.); ESPN2 (8-11:30 p.m.); NFL Network
Derek Carr Will Be the Next Starting QB of the Houston Texans
The Texans were this close to having their choice between Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. One would guess Bridgewater would have been the pick, but the Minnesota Vikings ruined that.
Now, they'll have their pick between Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo, and Carr seems the most likely choice. Starting the draft with Jadeveon Clowney and Carr is a pretty nice haul for Houston and a pretty solid consolation for Carr, who seemed to pop up on the screen every time the Cardinals were scheduled to pick.
For what it's worth, Bruce Arians felt bad about that, as he told Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports:
Arians felt "terrible" that D. Carr had been linked to #azcardinals & was shown on TV waiting during 1st rd. "wasn't going to happen."— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) May 9, 2014
It's unlikely Carr will have many, if any, of those awkward moments in the second round.
Marqise Lee Won't Get Past the Cleveland Browns at No. 35
And it's very possible that a team interested in acquiring his services could look to move up to No. 34, where Washington selects, to get ahead of the Browns, a team that would be wise to add another receiver opposite of Josh Gordon.
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated shares this sentiment:
Also, any team wanting Marqise Lee better trade up to 33 or 34. Otherwise, he is going to be Johnny's new target.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) May 9, 2014
Just imagine if the Browns end up with Justin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel and Lee with their first three picks. What a draft that would be.
Wide Receivers Will Rule the Next Two Rounds
You could be looking at a second round where Lee, Allen Robinson, Cody Latimer, Davante Adams, Jordan Matthews and Jarvis Landry all go off the board.
With teams like the Browns, Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers, among others, all in the market for receivers, the position could account for a huge chunk of picks in the second and third rounds.
Running Backs Will Finally Start Coming Off the Board
If you thought last year's devaluing of the running backs was an outlier, think again. From Fox Sports NFL:
No running backs were taken in the first round for the SECOND straight year. Back-to-back for the first time in NFL history.— FOX Sports NFL (@NFLonFOX) May 9, 2014
On Friday, four or five running backs will likely come off the board, headlined by Carlos Hyde, Tre Mason and Jeremy Hill. The Jaguars are the first logical spot where we could see a running back picked in the second round, but the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, among others, could target the position.
Jace Amaro Will Be One of the Steals of the Second Round
The tight end is a receptions machine and a player I thought the Patriots would pick in the first round. He won't be around for them in the second, as I could see Houston, Washington, Oakland, Seattle or the New York Giants nabbing him within the first 11 picks of the second round.
He's not a great in-line blocker, no, but his ability to force mismatches on the outside and work up the seam make him an intriguing prospect. For a team looking to provide its quarterback with a security blanket, Amaro has to be very appealing.