2014 NFL Draft: Round 1 Results, Grades and Best Prospects Available for Day 2

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2014 NFL Draft: Round 1 Results, Grades and Best Prospects Available for Day 2
Harry How/Getty Images

Jadeveon Clowney to the Houston Texans? Check. Greg Robinson to the St. Louis Rams? Check. Blake Bortles to the Jacksonville Jaguars!? Well, there goes my draft.

The first round of the 2014 NFL draft was bonkers. Just when you thought you had a team's selection pegged, it went in a completely different direction.

Some have argued that this is one of the strongest drafts in recent memory, and that may have played into the unpredictability of the first round. So much talent was available that some players may have been overlooked by the draft experts.

Below are the full results for Round 1 and grades for all 32 teams.

 

Round 1 Draft Grades
Team Picks Analysis Grade
Arizona Cardinals (27) Deone Bucannon, SS Think Jimmie Ward would've been better pick, but Deone Bucannon gives Cardinals the safety they need. B-
Atlanta Falcons (6) Jake Matthews, OT Love this pick. Jake Matthews is the most NFL-ready player in the draft. Fits in perfectly with Falcons team primed for quick turnaround. A+
Baltimore Ravens (17) C.J. Mosley, ILB Not a slam dunk, but Mosley fills a big need. B
Buffalo Bills (4) Sammy Watkins, WR E.J. Manuel will be a lot happier now. Bills grabbed best WR in the draft. A
Carolina Panthers (28) Kelvin Benjamin, WR Fills huge need for Panthers. Not sold on Benjamin being the guy. Love the height, hate how much work he needs. B-
Chicago Bears (14) Kyle Fuller, CB Not sure if Kyle Fuller can be elite, lockdown corner, but consistent coverage guys are becoming a highly valued commodity. B
Cincinnati Bengals (24) Darqueze Dennard, CB Desperately needed to draft a corner. Managed to get the second-best CB at 24. As good as Bengals could've hoped for. While lacking elite speed, Dennard is great in coverage. A-
Cleveland Browns (8) Justin Gilbert, CB; (22) Johnny Manziel, QB Grabbed best corner in draft and one of best QBs. Not a bad draft haul. Gotta applaud Cleveland's aggressiveness as well. Trent Richardson trade paid huge dividends. A+
Dallas Cowboys (16) Zack Martin, OT Seems a bit high for Martin given that he'll probably move to the inside. Probably should've looked defense. B
Denver Broncos (31) Bradley Roby, CB Roby has a lot of upside considering his incredible speed. Could be potential steal. B+
Detroit Lions (10) Eric Ebron, TE Really like this pick, considering Gilbert was already gone. Putting Ebron in this passing attack is downright scary. Lions can add corner in second round. B+
Green Bay Packers (21) Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS Great pick by Green Bay. Clinton-Dix is best safety in draft and will contribute right away for Packers. A
Houston Texans (1) Jadeveon Clowney, DE Clowney is best player in the draft. Putting him on same defense as J.J. Watt will be a terror for opposing offenses. A
Indianapolis Colts N/A N/A N/A
Jacksonville Jaguars (3) Blake Bortles, QB Not a fan of this pick. Could come back to bite me, but Bortles has Blaine Gabbert written all over him. Has potential, but mechanical flaws are too big to overlook right now. Should've gone with Khalil Mack. C-
Kansas City Chiefs (23) Dee Ford, DE Dee Ford has big upside, but not really sure where he fits in at Kansas City right now. C+
Miami Dolphins (19) Ja'Wuan James, OT Understand looking at a tackle, but some better options were still on the board. C
Minnesota Vikings (9) Anthony Barr, OLB; (32) Teddy Bridgewater, QB Bad from drafting Barr is outweighed by good in drafting Bridgewater. Bridgewater is best QB in draft, so to get him at end of 1st round is a major steal. B+
New England Patriots (29) Dominique Easley, DT Typical Patriots pick in that they grabbed a talented guy with some red flags. New England can afford to take the risk that Easley will stay healthy. B
New Orleans Saints (20) Brandin Cooks, WR Gives Saints a home-run threat who can also help in return game. Cooks should develop quickly with Drew Brees throwing him passes. A-
New York Giants (12) Odell Beckham, WR Seems like a reach, but Eli Manning won't complain about getting another weapon for the passing game. B
New York Jets (18) Calvin Pryor, FS Heavy hitter who will need to rein in aggression. One of the best safeties in the draft. A-
Oakland Raiders (5) Khalil Mack, OLB Raiders knocked it out of the park. Mack is a tremendous pass-rusher who can help in other areas, as well. A
Philadelphia Eagles (26) Marcus Smith, DE Understand looking for a pass-rusher, but Philly could've waited a little bit if Smith was their guy. C-
Pittsburgh Steelers (15) Ryan Shazier, OLB No doubting Shazier's athletic ability. Still a bit of a risk, but should flourish in Steelers defense. B
San Diego Chargers (25) Jason Verrett, CB Filled need and got great value. Verrett should become solid contributor in secondary. A-
San Francisco 49ers (30) Jimmie Ward, SS Putting Ward and Eric Reid in the same secondary is a scary thought. Only problem is Niners should've addressed other areas first. B-
Seattle Seahawks N/A N/A N/A
St. Louis Rams (2) Greg Robinson, OT; (13) Aaron Donald, DT Rams grabbed best offensive lineman and best defensive tackle. Great haul in first round. Good things are happening in St. Louis. A+
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7) Mike Evans, WR Gives passing game another tall target. Evans can be red-zone threat right away. B+
Tennessee Titans (11) Taylor Lewan, OT Not completely sold on OT being biggest position of need. Slew of other options out there so early into 1st round. C
Washington Redskins N/A N/A N/A

Selections via NFL.com

Thursday wasn't a banner day for all, of course. Plenty of top prospects failed to hear their names called during Round 1.

Among those on the outside looking in, these five stars shouldn't have to hold out much longer to find their new destination.

 

Top Players Available

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Although Derek Carr slipped through the first round, he probably won't have to wait too long to hear his name on Friday. He could easily go in the first five picks.

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel presented a scenario in which Carr ends up in Houston, where his brother famously flamed out after being the expansion franchise's first draft pick:

Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders if the Fresno State signal-caller will fall to the Oakland Raiders as a result of the Texans avoiding another Carr brother:

Carr has a great arm, can read the secondary well and is athletic enough to buy himself some time in the pocket. Getting him in the second round would be a great value pick.

 

Marqise Lee, WR, USC

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Some teams may have been scared off by Marqise Lee's poor season at USC. No Trojans came out looking good after that tumultuous season, so you can't hold it against Lee too much.

The former Trojan is a solid route-runner with home-run ability. Although there are some injury concerns, he seems to have moved on and be back to 100 percent.

The skills that Lee demonstrated in his freshman and sophomore seasons in Los Angeles are still there.

Whatever team ends up with Lee may get one of the best receivers to come out of this draft. Dan Greenspan thinks he could follow in the footsteps of Keenan Allen:

The Carolina Panthers in particular may regret passing on Lee in favor of Kelvin Benjamin.

 

Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame

While Stephon Tuitt is far from the best pass-rusher in the draft, he's big, strong and can get after the quarterback. You wouldn't expect a 304-pounder to be so athletic, which in part makes him such an intriguing option for NFL teams.

Tuitt is one of those players who probably could've sneaked into the first round in most years, but the depth of this draft has likely pushed him into the second. Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times thinks that he might be an option for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Tuitt tends to rely on his strength a little too often, and that will be found out quickly in the NFL. He needs to develop another move or two to really make the most of what is his impressive potential.

 

Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

Few players have such a massive ceiling coupled with such a low floor. If Ra'Shede Hageman puts it all together, he could grow into a force on the defensive line, but that's a big if right now.

Still, Danny Kelly of Field Gulls was surprised to see Hageman fall out of the first round:

The former Minnesota defensive tackle is physically imposing and surprisingly nimble for being 310 pounds. He can get into the gaps or stand back a bit and swat passes at the line of scrimmage.

Of course, Hageman rarely made his presence felt for an entire game. He had too many patchy performances in which he would disappear completely for large stretches.

Drafting him in the second round would be well worth the gamble, though, and David Helman of DallasCowboys.com thinks the Cowboys might be a good destination:

 

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

When you look at how far Kony Ealy has come in such a short time, you can't help but get wrapped up in his potential. Ealy definitely has some concerns, namely his one-dimensional defensive arsenal and unrefined skill set.

The former Missouri defensive end has a wealth of speed and gets off the snap quickly. He's your prototypical high-risk, high-reward pass-rusher.

For what it's worth, Ealy has no doubt about his ability to adapt to any defense, per Tod Palmer of The Kansas City Star:

I honestly feel that I could fit into any system or position if given the right tools and instruction. I’ve always been confident. At every level, I’ve always excelled and I look forward to having the opportunity to prove that I can do so at the next level. This isn’t my first rodeo, it’s just a bigger stage.

If Ealy can add a bit more muscle and become a more versatile defender, then a trip to Hawaii could be in the offing.

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