2014 NFL Draft Grades: Round 1 Results and Scores for Each Team

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
2014 NFL Draft Grades: Round 1 Results and Scores for Each Team
Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

Jadeveon Clowney didn't have to wait any picks to hear his name called on Thursday, while Johnny Manziel had to wait until the 22nd pick.

The Houston Texans made the dynamic defensive end from South Carolina the first overall selection in this draft. The selection was not a surprise. Plenty of the selections after that were.

Here are my scores for each selection.  

All scores out of 10.  

 


1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

The Texans couldn't resist the urge of the draft's most exciting talent. Clowney has a rare blend of athleticism that will make him a force as a pass-rusher. 

In Houston, however, he will be playing in a 3-4. Clowney is best suited to be an end in a 4-3. Concerns of his ability to handle the switch are the reason for the slight knock on the Texans' draft score. 

Score:  9

 

2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington): Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Greg Robinson has to refine his skills in pass protection. Still, his physical tools are dominant, and he has the potential to be dominant in both the run and pass game. 

The Rams have Jake Long at tackle, but he is coming off an injury, and his career has been on a downhill slide. The fit and Robinson's upside mean St. Louis could not have done any better with this selection.  

Score: 10 

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida 

The Jacksonville Jaguars couldn't resist the allure of grabbing a potential franchise quarterback. Blake Bortles has size and great mobility in the pocket. He doesn't have the strongest arm or the greatest accuracy. 

Those facts make him a bit of a reach here. Still, if the Jaguars are convinced he can be a quality quarterback, he was worth the reach. 

Score: 8


4. Buffalo BillsSammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (Trade)

The Bills made the first big splash of this draft by trading up with the Cleveland Browns. It wasn't cheap. As CBS' Jason La Canfora reports, the Bills sent the ninth pick in this draft and also their first- and fourth-round picks in the 2015 draft. 

Watkins is the kind of explosive receiver the Bills need to open up their offense. This is a deep draft at receiver, however, which means the value the Bills gave up was not worth it. 

Score: 6

 

5. Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo

After years of head-scratching selections in the draft, the Raiders took the player that many had as the best available when their selection was made. 

Oakland needs increased physicality in the front seven, and it desperately needed an increased presence in the pass rush. Mack will provide both. 

Score: 10

 

6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M 

Jake Matthews just may be the safest pick in this draft. He is NFL-ready in pass blocking, and his bloodlines certainly project NFL success. 

Matthews will be an instant boost to the Falcons' pass protection. This was a good value, fit and strong selection. 

Score: 9

 

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

There were a lot of interesting options here for the Buccaneers. They could have tried to identify their quarterback of the future or grab an elite tackle like Taylor Lewan

Instead, they grabbed the big Mike Evans. Evans is 6'5" and has great hands. Along with Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers now offer new quarterback Josh McCown the kind of weapons he had in Chicago last season. 

Score: 8

  

8. Cleveland Browns: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State (Trade)

This is just baffling. Perhaps the Vikings would have selected Justin Gilbert, but it was an overreaction for the Browns to trade up just to draft Gilbert. 

La Canfora reports that the Browns gave up their pick in the fifth round to move up one spot. 

Gilbert is an exciting athlete, but this is a deep draft for cornerbacks. Also, the Browns were in a good position to draft their quarterback of the future. 

Score: 5

 

9. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA *Trade

Anthony Barr's athleticism makes him a potentially lethal pass-rusher. He is, however, raw and unrefined. 

The Vikings are wise to beef up their front seven, but this was too early to draft such a raw player. 

Score: 7

 

10. Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina 

Paired with wide receiver Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron's speed and ability to get deep will make the Lions offense an even bigger threat to hit for big plays. 

Still, the Lions should have made a selection to improve other areas of their team with this selection. 

Score: 6

 

11. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

I really like this pick. Sure, the Titans have a solid left tackle with Michael Roos, but he is 31 and has just one year left on his contract. 

On the right side, the Titans signed Michael Oher to fill a gaping hole, but Oher was not good last season. 

Taylor Lewan is a great prospect, and he can be a cornerstone player along the offensive line. 

Score: 10

 

12. New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU

Eli Manning is at his best when throwing the ball down the field. Manning chucked 27 interceptions last year while forcing the ball into tight coverage too often. 

Odell Beckham Jr. will help open up the field for the Giants. He is speedy and has good ball skills. He is also a dynamic kick returner. 

Score: 8

 

13. St. Louis Rams: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The St. Louis Rams may have the best defensive line in football now. Already having Robert Quinn and Chris Long on the edge of the line, St. Louis added a dynamic threat in the interior. 

Aaron Donald is explosive and strong. He will make plays by penetrating into the backfield. Offensive lines are going to have a hard time stopping the Rams' front four. 

Score: 9

 

14. Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

Kyle Fuller is an aggressive cover man and a solid value here. After coming in last in the league in rush defense last season, however, the Bears would have been better served adding someone to their front seven. 

There was worthy talent available in that area, and most notably Florida State's Timmy Jernigan.

Score: 6 

  

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan ShazierOLB, Ohio State 

For the Steelers defense to be the aggressive and fearsome unit we've grown accustomed to, Pittsburgh needs linebackers who can get to the passer. 

Ryan Shazier would appear to be a bit of a reach here, but the Steelers have a great track record of identifying talent at linebacker. 

Score: 8

 

16. Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame 

With the addition of the polished and talented Zack Martin, the Cowboys' offensive line is in great shape. Martin may end up at right tackle or guard, but he will be a great addition. 

Still, the Cowboys needed to make defense a priority, and with all the safeties in this class still available, Dallas should have improved its secondary.  

Score: 6

 

17. Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

C.J. Mosley is the best interior linebacker in this class. He has good athleticism, played in an advanced system at Alabama under Nick Saban and has the skills to be solid in the pass and run game. 

Mosley may not be as dominant as the great Ray Lewis, but he can solidify the position for Baltimore for a long time. 

Score: 8

 

18. New York Jets: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville 

The Jets' already physical defense just got a little more intimidating by adding hard-hitting safety Calvin Pryor. 

Ideally, the Jets would have added a dynamic offensive weapon here, but the value on Pryor makes this a strong selection. 

Score: 8

 

19. Miami Dolphins: Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

The Dolphins were in a rough position here. They desperately needed help along the offensive line, and they knew there would be a lot of teams targeting offensive line that draft behind them. 

Ja'Waun James is a strong prospect, but he may not have the quickness to handle left tackle. He was a bit of reach at No. 19. 

Score: 6

 

20. New Orleans Saints: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State (Trade)

Brandin Cooks' potential in the Saints offense with quarterback Drew Brees is certainly exciting, and the Saints needed athletes at receiver. 

However, this is a deep draft for receiver, and the Saints have needs in their defensive front seven. La Canfora reports the Saints gave up a third-round selection to make this jump. Cooks is a good fit, but New Orleans gave up too much to get him. 

Score: 7

 

21. Green Bay Packers: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has excellent range and instincts, and the Packers had a big need at safety. There is some concern given that Alabama's defensive players over recent history have not produced up to their draft status, but this was a good value and strong selection.  

Score: 9

 

22. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M (Trade)

Well wouldn't you know it, the Browns passed up multiple opportunities to draft Johnny Manziel and somehow managed to still land him at No. 22 after trading a third-round selection to Philadelphia to move up four spots, as La Canfora reports

There is no denying Manziel's potential, and at No. 22, this was a great selection. 

Score: 10

 

23. Kansas City Chiefs: Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn

The Chiefs should've traded back, and perhaps they tried but couldn't find any takers. Still, they reached for Dee Ford. That is especially true considering that they didn't have a big need in the pass-rush department.

Ford is talented, and he will boost what was already a strength for Kansas City, but I don't like the reach considering it wasn't a huge need.  

Score: 5 

 

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

The Bengals' biggest need was not at corner, but given that incumbent starter Terence Newman is 35, the depth will be welcomed.

Making this an even more solid selection is that the physical Darqueze Dennard was a good value.  

Score: 9

 

25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

After pass defense was the weakness of this team last season, finding competent cover men in this draft was a priority for the Chargers. 

They landed a good one with Jason Verrett. He lacks height at 5'9", but if nothing else, he will be effective against the slot.

Score: 9 

 

26. Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville (Trade)

After finishing last in the NFL in pass defense last season, the Eagles had a clear priority. Marcus Smith will help in this regard with his ability to get to the passer. 

Still, I would have loved to see them grab someone for the secondary—in particular, the player who wound up going at No. 27. 

Score: 7  

  

27. Arizona CardinalsDeone Bucannon, S, Washington State (Trade)

Deone Bucannon is an athletic safety with a nose for making plays. He is a solid value here. This was one of the Cardinals' needs, and Bucannon is the last safety available with the potential to make an instant impact. 

Score: 9

 

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State 

The Panthers had several needs entering the draft. One of the most glaring was at left tackle, and there was still some decent talent on the board at the position. 

Wide receiver was another huge need, however, and Kelvin Benjamin will make an instant impact on third downs and in the red zone with his 6'5" frame. 

Grade: 8 

 

29. New England Patriots: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

This pick was a bit of a surprise. Dominique Easley was not expected to go this early. His presence in the interior to the defensive line will help solidify the Patriots defense, but New England did a poor job of maximizing its value. 

Grade: 5

 

30. San Francisco 49ers: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois 

The 49ers secondary was depleted this offseason. Jimmie Ward may have been drafted to be a corner. Ward has the athleticism to make the switch, and he is a bit undersized for safety.  

I'm left to wonder, however, if the 49ers would not have been better off drafting a player who spent his time in college at corner. There was plenty of talent available at the position. 

Grade: 7

 

31. Denver Broncos: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

As I just mentioned, the 49ers passed on proven college corners. Bradley Roby is one of those corners. Roby is a tremendous athlete with huge upside. 

The Broncos needed the depth at corner, and going defense was the way to go. 

Grade: 9

 

32. Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville (Trade)

The Vikings made sure that Thursday would go out with a bit of action, as according to La Canfora, they gave up the 108th selection to the Seattle Seahawks to jump up eight spots.

I like this move. The Vikings could use the extra draft pick, but had they stayed where they were, Teddy Bridgewater likely would have been gone.

The Vikings need a quarterback to build around, and Bridgewater can be that guy.  

Grade: 10

Load More Stories

Follow B/R on Facebook

NFL Draft

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.