The first round of the 2014 NFL draft is in the books, and the results were as astonishing and compelling as ever, beginning with the No. 1 overall selection of Jadeveon Clowney to the Houston Texans.
Clowney is the first defender taken with the top choice since the Texans took Mario Williams—now a member of the Buffalo Bills. Speaking of that latter team, they made a bold trade up and spent a 2015 Round 1 pick to do so, acquiring Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
That opportunity presented itself thanks to the Cleveland Browns' willingness to trade down. New general manager Ray Farmer would trade up twice more on the evening, nabbing Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert and Texas A&M Heisman quarterback Johnny Manziel.
And there's more where that came from, prompting Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman to tweet this:
That was the best first round I've ever seen in the NFL draft.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) May 9, 2014
Here is a look at all 32 picks in the books so far, along with predictions for Friday's second and third rounds and an updated draft order.
|1.||Texans||Jadeveon Clowney||DE/OLB||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||OG/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/OLB||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|
Asterisk indicates trade was made to acquire pick.
Day 2 Draft Predictions: 1st 3 Off the Board
Oakland Raiders (via Houston, No. 33 overall): Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
The best quarterback left on the board is Carr, and the Raiders have been rumored to be interested in him. Although they have Matt Schaub already, they can move into the Houston Texans' spot from No. 36 and still hang onto their third-round choice.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday that the Texans are mulling trading out of the first pick in the second round, while colleague Ed Werder noted how Carr's family lineage could rule out landing with the Texans:
Here we go again: Texans listening to offers and open to moving the top pick in the second round.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2014
Epic failure of David Carr as #Texans first-ever draft choice, though not his fault alone, impacts consideration of QB brother Derek today— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) May 9, 2014
Bleacher Report expert Matt Miller weighed in on the potential smokescreen tactics Oakland has been using regarding Carr, along with the dilemma besetting Houston:
Raiders put out a lot of smoke that they wanted Derek Carr at No. 5. Maybe they meant at No. 36— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 9, 2014
You do have to wonder, if the Texans aren't drafting a QB at 33, just who the heck is their starter?— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) May 9, 2014
The Texans need a quarterback of their own, yet should have faith in reputed QB guru and head coach Bill O'Brien to mold anyone general manager Rick Smith brings in. How long can they afford to wait for a quality option, though?
Carr has exceptional arm talent and threw a ridiculous 50 touchdown passes as a senior. His superior life experience to the other underclassmen that were chosen ahead of him should make Carr marketable to teams seeking a mature, fiery leader under center.
"He's very, very accurate and very athletic. He has a ton of velocity but can make the touch throws as well. To me, he's a guy that could really rip it, get it out of his hands really quick," said Fresno State coach Tim DeRuyter, per SFGate.com's Vic Tafur.
One underrated element to Carr's game is his speed, as he ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
The Raiders need some excitement, and there's no guarantee that Schaub will pan out after an awful 2013 campaign in Houston. This would be a neat, full-circle sort of trade up by Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, and he can give his QBs a receiver weapon early in Round 3 from the deep pool of playmakers available.
Washington Redskins (No. 34 overall): Kony Ealy, DL, Missouri
Depth is necessary across the defensive line, and Ealy is the best possible fit for Washington at this point. Ealy is athletic enough to stand up and has the functional strength and leverage to make an immediate impact in the rotation.
The National Football Post's Dion Caputi shares Miller's opinion in that he feels Kony should be off the board already:
Very surprised Kony Ealy is still around. A top 15 talent, in my view. Lesser expectations + more patience will only help him develop.— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) May 9, 2014
Washington needs to make a splash, and can get a first-round caliber talent early in the second after losing out on a No. 2 overall choice thanks to the Robert Griffin III trade. Veteran safety Ryan Clark shores up the secondary, so the focus must shift to the front seven.
Perhaps a disappointing 4.93-second 40 time at the combine may be hurting Ealy's stock and caused him to fall that far.
But some players just have better game speed, which could very well be the case with Ealy here. Registering eight sacks this past year in the SEC can't be a fluke, and it suggests Ealy could even start right away in the pros.
Just look at what's happened in the NFC East this offseason. The Redskins can't have enough dynamic players in the trenches to stymie the Philadelphia Eagles' high-octane offense, and the Dallas Cowboys have once again invested a first-round pick in the offensive line. A slew of signings in free agency also fortified the New York Giants' O-line, creating an even bigger need for a spark in the defensive trenches.
All of these factors point to Ealy as a logical choice to land in the nation's capital at No. 34.
Cleveland Browns (No. 35 overall): Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Hailing from a pro-style offense in Happy Valley, Robinson has an understanding of NFL concepts, a developed route tree and the size, physicality and ball skills to match.
It's easy to get lost in how many wideouts are great in this class, per the Philadelphia Daily News' David Murphy:
Allen Robinson > Most of the guys who will get drafted ahead of him in the first round (notable exceptions include Evans, Watkins)— David Murphy (@ByDavidMurphy) May 8, 2014
Robinson is also ranked No. 6 in CBSSports.com's prospect rankings, behind only Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks—all of whom were drafted in the top 20.
USC's Marqise Lee is the only player ahead of Robinson still on the board, but he doesn't bring to the table as much of what the Browns should be looking for. Cleveland needs another threat opposite Josh Gordon, because Greg Little just isn't going to cut it with his frequent drop issues.
Lee is more of a slot option, while Robinson is a surefire outside weapon, and NBC Sports noted how much he improved his measurable athleticism at the Nittany Lions' pro day:
Which Day 2 prospect will have the best rookie season?
Uncertainty about quarterbacks is still a prominent theme on Day 2 of the draft. The Texans seem reluctant to take a flier on the signal-caller who seemed to be the consensus best remaining on the board. They may even luck into trading out of No. 33 and gaining valuable assets because of their lack of conviction about any individual at the position, but they must find a better solution than Ryan Fitzpatrick or Case Keenum.
Plenty of movement could happen at the top of Round 2, and given the depth of this draft, NFL fans will want to stay parked in front of the TV on Friday evening. There are still plenty of starters available, and Ealy and Robinson are just two of them.
|38||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|40||Seattle Seahawks (from Minnesota Vikings)|
|43||New York Giants|
|44||St. Louis Rams|
|49||New York Jets|
|53||Green Bay Packers|
|56||San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City Chiefs)|
|57||San Diego Chargers|
|58||New Orleans Saints|
|61||San Francisco 49ers|
|62||New England Patriots|
|69||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|74||New York Giants|
|75||St. Louis Rams|
|77||San Francisco 49ers (from Tennessee Titans)|
|80||New York Jets|
|83||Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland Browns through Pittsburgh Steelers)|
|85||Green Bay Packers|
|87||Kansas City Chiefs|
|89||San Diego Chargers|
|91||Arizona Cardinals (from New Orleans Saints)|
|93||New England Patriots|
|94||San Francisco 49ers|
|96||Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks)|
|97||Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)|
|98||Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)|
|99||Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)|
|100||San Francisco 49ers (compensatory selection)|
|104||New York Jets (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)|
|108||Seattle Seahawks (from Minnesota Vikings)|
|110||St. Louis Rams|
|113||New York Giants|
|114||Jacksonville Jaguars (from Baltimore Ravens)|
|115||New York Jets|
|121||Green Bay Packers|
|124||Kansas City Chiefs|
|125||San Diego Chargers|
|126||New Orleans Saints|
|127||Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis Colts)|
|129||San Francisco 49ers|
|130||New England Patriots|
|133||Detroit Lions (compensatory pick)|
|134||Baltimore Ravens (compensatory pick)|
|135||Houston Texans (compensatory pick)|
|136||Detroit Lions (compensatory pick)|
|137||New York Jets (compensatory pick)|
|138||Baltimore Ravens (compensatory pick)|
|139||Atlanta Falcons (compensatory pick)|
|140||New England Patriots (compensatory pick)|
|143||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|145||Minnesota Vikings (from Cleveland Browns)|
|146||Seattle Seahawks (from Oakland Raiders)|
|150||St. Louis Rams (from Jacksonville Jaguars)|
|152||New York Giants|
|153||St. Louis Rams|
|154||New York Jets|
|159||Jacksonville Jaguars (from Baltimore Ravens)|
|161||Green Bay Packers|
|163||Kansas City Chiefs|
|165||San Diego Chargers|
|167||New Orleans Saints|
|169||New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots through Philadelphia Eagles)|
|170||San Francisco 49ers|
|173||Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)|
|174||New York Giants (compensatory selection)|
|175||Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)|
|176||Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)|
|181||Houston Texans (from Oakland Raiders)|
|183||Chicago Bears (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)|
|185||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Buffalo Bills)|
|187||New York Giants|
|188||St. Louis Rams|
|193||Kansas City Chiefs (from Dallas Cowboys)|
|195||New York Jets|
|197||Green Bay Packers|
|198||New England Patriots (from Philadelphia Eagles)|
|200||Kansas City Chiefs|
|201||San Diego Chargers|
|202||New Orleans Saints|
|205||Jacksonville Jaguars (from San Francisco 49ers)|
|206||New England Patriots|
|209||New York Jets (compensatory selection)|
|210||New York Jets (compensatory selection)|
|211||Houston Texans (compensatory selection)|
|212||Cincinnati Bengals (compensatory selection)|
|213||New York Jets (compensatory selection)|
|214||St. Louis Rams (compensatory selection)|
|215||Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)|
|221||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|225||Carolina Panthers (from New York Giants)|
|226||St. Louis Rams|
|229||Dallas Cowboys (from Chicago Bears)|
|232||Indianapolis Colts (from Baltimore Ravens)|
|233||New York Jets|
|235||Oakland Raiders (from Arizona Cardinals)|
|236||Green Bay Packers|
|238||Dallas Cowboys (from Kansas City Chiefs)|
|240||San Diego Chargers|
|241||St. Louis Rams (from Indianapolis Colts)|
|242||San Francisco 49ers (from New Orleans Saints)|
|243||San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina Panthers)|
|244||New England Patriots|
|245||San Francisco 49ers|
|247||Oakland Raiders (from Seattle Seahawks)|
|248||Dallas Cowboys (compensatory pick)|
|249||St. Louis Rams (compensatory pick)|
|250||St. Louis Rams (compensatory pick)|
|251||Dallas Cowboys (compensatory pick)|
|252||Cincinnati Bengals (compensatory pick)|
|253||Arlanta Falcons (compensatory pick)|
|254||Dallas Cowboys (compensatory pick)|
|255||Atlanta Falcons (compensatory pick)|
|256||Houston Texans (compensatory pick)|