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NFL Draft Grades 2014: Round 1 Results and Analysis of Shocking Storylines

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NFL Draft Grades 2014: Round 1 Results and Analysis of Shocking Storylines
Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

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 playeror playersthe 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
Pick Team Player Position School
1. Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE/OLB South Carolina
2. Rams (from WSH) Greg Robinson OT Auburn
3. Jaguars Blake Bortles QB UCF
4. Bills* Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
5. Raiders Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
6. Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
7. Buccaneers Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
8. Browns* Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
9. Vikings* Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
10. Lions Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
11. Titans Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
12. Giants Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
13. Rams Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
14. Bears Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
15. Steelers Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
16. Cowboys Zack Martin OG/OT Notre Dame
17. Ravens C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
18. Jets Calvin Pryor FS Louisville
19. Dolphins Ja'Wuan James OT Tennessee
20. Saints* Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
21. Packers Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
22. Browns* Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
23. Chiefs Dee Ford DE/OLB Auburn
24. Bengals Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
25. Chargers Jason Verrett CB TCU
26. Eagles* (from IND) Marcus Smith DE/OLB Louisville
27. Cardinals* Deone Bucannon SS Washington State
28. Panthers Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State
29. Patriots Dominique Easley DT Florida
30. 49ers Jimmie Ward SS Northern Illinois
31. Broncos Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
32. Vikings* Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

NFL.com

 

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 pickor at least be picked within the top fivebut 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.

Unlike Jacksonville, Minnesota has a plethora of weapons for Bridgewater. With Adrian Peterson, Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson, the Louisville product has several options on offense.

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

Which storyline is the most surprising?

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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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