As always, the first round of the 2014 NFL draft was anything but predictable.
While some events like Jadeveon Clowney going No. 1 overall were somewhat expected, there was no shortage of tumult. Keeping track of all of the moves that were made can get confusing, but each team got the players they wanted. (Whether or not it was the player—or players—the fan base wanted is a different story.)
For several prospects like Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel, the first round didn't go exactly as planned, but both players ended up landing with a franchise that makes perfect sense for their style of play.
On the other hand, a few teams took some reaches in the opening round that might not pay off. Before the second day of the draft gets underway, below are the first-round results along with some analysis of the most shocking storylines from Day 1.
|2014 First Round Selections|
|1.||Texans||Jadeveon Clowney||DE/OLB||South Carolina|
|2.||Rams (from WSH)||Greg Robinson||OT||Auburn|
|6.||Falcons||Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M|
|7.||Buccaneers||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M|
|8.||Browns*||Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma State|
|10.||Lions||Eric Ebron||TE||North Carolina|
|12.||Giants||Odell Beckham Jr.||WR||LSU|
|14.||Bears||Kyle Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech|
|15.||Steelers||Ryan Shazier||OLB||Ohio State|
|16.||Cowboys||Zack Martin||OG/OT||Notre Dame|
|20.||Saints*||Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon State|
|22.||Browns*||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|24.||Bengals||Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan State|
|26.||Eagles* (from IND)||Marcus Smith||DE/OLB||Louisville|
|27.||Cardinals*||Deone Bucannon||SS||Washington State|
|28.||Panthers||Kelvin Benjamin||WR||Florida State|
|30.||49ers||Jimmie Ward||SS||Northern Illinois|
|31.||Broncos||Bradley Roby||CB||Ohio State|
Jaguars Take Blake Bortles at No. 3 Overall
A team with several needs all over the field, the Jacksonville Jaguars went with quarterback Blake Bortles at No. 3 overall.
To be honest, Bortles might materialize into a great quarterback at the next level. But with an offense that features no talent around him, the former UCF signal-caller faces a situation similar to what Geno Smith did during his rookie campaign.
Chris B. Brown of Grantland made his thoughts known on the choice by the Jags:
While there's not much I agree with from Skip Bayless, the ESPN analyst didn't mince his words about the pick:
Without Maurice Jones-Drew in the backfield or Justin Blackmon for the foreseeable future, Bortles is set up to fail in Jacksonville. But the team still has time to make up for its woeful start in the coming rounds.
Vikings Move Back Into First Round for Teddy Bridgewater
While one quarterback went entirely too high in the first round, another went extremely low.
Teddy Bridgewater may have wanted to be the No. 1 overall pick—or at least be picked within the top five—but Minnesota is a great fit for the signal-caller. The Vikings traded back into the first round and got a face of the franchise.
Bryan Fischer of NFL.com provides his analysis of the moves by the Vikes:
The Vikings could have gone a number of directions, but they shored up both sides of the ball in the best way possible. They landed a perfect Jared Allen replacement in the athletic Barr and only had to give up a fourth-round pick (outside the top 100, too) to move up and grab a polished passer. Norv Turner will really like what he's getting in Bridgewater.
The quarterback also has a great track record of success, something that made him a great pick for coach Mike Zimmer, per Albert Breer of NFL Network:
Given the team's current quarterback depth chart, featuring Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder, Bridgewater could win the starting job immediately. And in a town desperate to win, Bridgewater brings that mentality to the Vikes right away.
Second Round Loaded With Talent
There's no question about the depth of this year's draft, and that's evident by the prospects that remain available heading into the second round. Amazing players at nearly every position are still on the board as Day 2 gets underway.
Need a quarterback? Take Derek Carr. What about a wide receiver? Marqise Lee and Cody Latimer are your guys. In need of a gritty defensive lineman? Ra'Shede Hageman and Kony Ealy are ripe for the picking.
Then there's the fact that no running back was taken in the first round for the second consecutive year. However, names like Carlos Hyde, Bishop Sankey and Tre Mason will be outstanding offensive weapons for any team next season.
For teams like the Jaguars—sorry to keep belaboring the point—the second and third rounds are crucial. In a draft where talent is teeming, look for several second-rounders to make an instant impact.
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