The first round of the 2014 NFL draft was unsurprisingly surprising.
Er, something like that.
The first two picks—Jadeveon Clowney to the Houston Texans and Greg Robinson to the St. Louis Rams—went according to plan, but then the "norm" went out the window. The Jacksonville Jaguars took Blake Bortles at No. 3, Johnny Manziel slipped all the way to No. 22, the Philadelphia Eagles took a former quarterback in Marcus Smith to help their pass rush, Teddy Bridgewater slipped in at the end of the first round and there were plenty of other unforeseen developments.
Here's a look at how the entire first round played out, along with each team's grade:
|1||Houston Texans||Jadeveon Clowney||A|
|2||St. Louis Rams||Greg Robinson||A|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Blake Bortles||B-|
|4||Buffalo Bills||Sammy Watkins||B+|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Khalil Mack||A|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Jake Matthews||A-|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans||A-|
|8||Cleveland Browns||Justin Gilbert||B|
|9||Minnesota Vikings||Anthony Barr||B-|
|10||Detroit Lions||Eric Ebron||B+|
|11||Tennessee Titans||Taylor Lewan||A-|
|12||New York Giants||Odell Beckham Jr.||B+|
|13||St. Louis Rams||Aaron Donald||A|
|14||Chicago Bears||Kyle Fuller||B|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||Ryan Shazier||B|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Zack Martin||A-|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||C.J. Mosley||B+|
|18||New York Jets||Calvin Pryor||B+|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Ja'Wuan James||C+|
|20||New Orleans Saints||Brandin Cooks||A|
|21||Green Bay Packers||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||A-|
|22||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel||A|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||Dee Ford||B|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Darqueze Dennard||A-|
|25||San Diego Chargers||Jason Verrett||A-|
|26||Philadelphia Eagles||Marcus Smith||B-|
|27||Arizona Cardinals||Deone Bucannon||B-|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Kelvin Benjamin||C+|
|29||New England Patriots||Dominique Easley||B|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||Jimmie Ward||B|
|31||Denver Broncos||Bradley Roby||B|
|32||Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater||A|
Having two first-round picks clearly tends to help a little bit—the only teams that entered Thursday with two selections ended up as arguably the night's biggest winners.
The St. Louis Rams, a team rumored to be interested in moving their picks, made away like bandits, getting the draft's best offensive lineman—a stud in the run game who will be helpful in the physical NFC West—and the best interior defensive lineman, adding to what is now arguably the top D-line in the league.
Praise was seemingly endless—and deserving—all night long, but this comparison by CBS Sports' Will Brinson was undoubtedly the most fitting:
Rams defensive line pic.twitter.com/FnCfnWaFVD— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) May 9, 2014
Then you had the Cleveland Browns, who not only traded down to get cornerback Justin Gilbert at No. 8 and traded up to snag Manziel at No. 22, but added a 2015 first-round draft pick, as well.
Gilbert pairs with Joe Haden to create one of the most talented cornerback tandems in the league (while also allowing Buster Skrine to move to the slot), and that extra pick will be nice down the road but grabbing the electrifying quarterback so late in the first round is the true gem.
Shortly after his brilliant night, general manager Ray Farmer summed up his new QB, via the team's official Twitter feed:
#Browns GM Ray Farmer on Manziel: "Passionate, relentless, fearless.''— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) May 9, 2014
Another winner on the night, the Minnesota Vikings, didn't start with two picks but ended up that way after making a late deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
Anthony Barr at No. 9 gives them a game-changing pass-rusher with the tantalizing potential to develop into a three-down player, and Bridgewater at No. 32 is going to look like a steal in a couple of years.
NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah put it simply:
Love the Vikings draft. They picked up my 6th (Barr) and 11th (Bridgewater) rated players.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 9, 2014
Heck, even the consensus "losers" of the night because of perceived reaches did well to fill needs.
The Miami Dolphins badly needed offensive line help and added Ja'Wuan James, while the Philadelphia Eagles selected Marcus Smith to help the pass rush.
Both players were typically regarded as second-round prospects, which is why the selections will be criticized, but it's hard to blame front offices for being aggressive and taking the guys they wanted.
And now a look ahead to Day 2:
|6||38||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|8||40||Seattle Seahawks (from Minnesota)|
|11||43||New York Giants|
|12||44||St. Louis Rams|
|17||49||New York Jets|
|21||53||Green Bay Packers|
|24||56||San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City)|
|25||57||San Diego Chargers|
|26||58||New Orleans Saints|
|29||61||San Francisco 49ers|
|30||62||New England Patriots|
|5||69||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|10||74||New York Giants|
|11||75||St. Louis Rams|
|13||77||San Francisco 49ers (from Tennessee)|
|16||80||New York Jets|
|19||83||Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland)|
|21||85||Green Bay Packers|
|23||87||Kansas City Chiefs|
|25||89||San Diego Chargers|
|27||91||Arizona Cardinals (from New Orleans)|
|29||93||New England Patriots|
|30||94||San Francisco 49ers|
|32||96||Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)|
|33||97||Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory)|
|34||98||Green Bay Packers (compensatory)|
|35||99||Baltimore Ravens (compensatory)|
|36||100||San Francisco 49ers (compensatory)|
The first round is over, but the excitement is just coming to a head.
With tremendous talents such as Louis Nix III, Marqise Lee, Kony Ealy, Timmy Jernigan, Jace Amaro, Ra'Shede Hageman and Derek Carr still remaining, there are sure to be plenty more "winners" over the weekend.