After an entertaining opening round, the 2014 NFL draft rolls on for six more rounds over the next two days. While the players drafted in Round 1 are the headliners, there's still plenty of work left to do for front offices to complete successful classes.
It will be interesting to see if the chaotic trends of Day 1 carry over to the remaining rounds or if things begin to stabilize with most of the big names off the board. The NFL probably hopes its the former after Mike Humes of ESPN noted the record ratings for Thursday:
ESPN averages 6.8 overnight for NFL Draft Rd 1, network's highest-rated 1st Rd coverage on record (since '98)— Mike Humes (@MikeHumesESPN) May 9, 2014
Perhaps the extra couple weeks of hype worked after all. Let's check out all of the important viewing information for Friday and Saturday, followed by a look back at the first round and a breakdown of some intriguing prospects still on the board.
Where: Radio City Music Hall in New York City
When: 7 p.m. Friday (Rounds 2-3) and noon Saturday (Rounds 4-7)
Watch: NFL Network and ESPN
Live Stream: NFL Draft Live
Round 1 Results
|1||Texans||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||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||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||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|
Picks via NFL.com; *Denotes Trade
Top Remaining Prospects
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The fact that Lee didn't get selected in the opening round was one of the biggest surprises on Day 1. There was a high number of teams drafting in the second half of the round that had a need at the position but went in another direction. The Carolina Panthers took a wideout but opted for Kelvin Benjamin.
If Lee was able to enter the draft following his monster 2012 season, he could have been a top-10 pick. Instead, his stock apparently dropped considerably following an injury-plagued junior campaign, causing him to fall out of Round 1 completely.
A chart from John Pollard of Stats does show Lee was still able to make plays at every level, just not with the same frequency:
Marqise Lee's 2013 Receiving Map. pic.twitter.com/OfMu08sKNS— John Pollard (@JPSTATS) May 8, 2014
Ultimately, at this point, Lee is nothing short of a bargain. While he comes with some risk, given the injury concerns, the upside is enormous if he can return to full strength. He would make sense for the Cleveland Browns at No. 35 as they look to build around Johnny Manziel.
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
There was a time early in the draft process when it appeared Carr could go as early as No. 8 to the Minnesota Vikings. That was before the quarterback class as a whole took a hit, which resulted in Blake Bortles being the only one selected inside the top 20.
Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater were taken in the late stages of the round, leaving Carr as the best available quarterback. The slide could easily get a prospect down, but he tried to keep things positive by looking ahead to Day 2:
Looking forward to being on a NFL team tomorrow!! God is so good! Can't wait to finally know where we're going and get to #work!— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) May 9, 2014
Carr enjoyed a monster senior season that saw him rack up 50 touchdowns and over 5,000 yards. He finished his college career with a terrific 113-to-24 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He showed off a very good combination of arm strength and accuracy in the process.
The biggest concern is probably the lower-level competition he faced at Fresno State. It makes the jump to the NFL a little tougher, increasing the risk of taking him in the first round. He becomes a safer option starting in the second round and could end up going right away at No. 33.
Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
Nix possesses the talent necessary to become a star at the next level. At Notre Dame, there were times when he showed the ability to dominate games. It didn't happen on a regular basis, however, which probably concerned teams and prevented him from going in the opening round.
Who is the best player left on the board?
Front offices tend to play it more conservative with their first pick. Boom-or-bust options like Nix need one team to fall in love for them to come off the board early, and it appears that didn't happen. But he shouldn't have to wait much longer.
Once again, it's an issue of value. Nix is a potential game-changer at the defensive tackle position. That makes him a good option for the Atlanta Falcons at No. 37. Atlanta finished 31st in the league against the run last season.