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NFL Draft 2014: Rounds 1-3 Results, Grades and Top Steals

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel reacts after being selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Thursday, May 8, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMay 10, 2014

Through three rounds of the 2014 NFL draft, we have seen some interesting storylines materialize. 

One, which is no surprise, has been the plight of the quarterbacks. For instance, Johnny Manziel was selected 19 picks after Blake Bortles was, and two-time national champion AJ McCarron hasn't been selected at all to this point. 

There is also the plight of the running back, as a draft-record 53 selections occurred before Washington's Bishop Sankey heard his name called as the first running back off the board. 

Just as a little spoiler, both of those positions figure into the top steals over the first three rounds that I'll feature below. First, however, have a look at all the results for each of the first three rounds along with my grade for each pick:

 

2014 Round 1
PickTeamPlayerGradeAnalysis
1.TexansJadeveon Clowney, DE, South CarolinaA-Clowney was the best player available. He will increase Houston's pass rush.
2.Rams (from WSH)Greg Robinson, OT, AuburnARobinson is a potentially dominant lineman in the pass and run game.
3.JaguarsBlake Bortles, QB, UCFB-A surprise pick that the current Jaguars regime will be hoping pans out.
4.Bills*Sammy Watkins, WR, ClemsonAThe Bills made a bold move to grab the best WR to help bring balance to their offense.
5.RaidersKhalil Mack, OLB, BuffaloA+The Raiders lucked out with Mack falling into their lap.
6.FalconsJake Matthews, OT, Texas A&MAMatthews is a polished pass-blocker who will contribute right away.
7.BuccaneersMike Evans, WR, Texas A&MAEvans will pair with Vincent Jackson to give new quarterback Josh McCown lengthy targets like he had last year.
8.Browns*Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma StDThe Browns shouldn't have traded up one spot to make this pick, but Gilbert has big potential.
9.Vikings*Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLACBarr is a bit of a project pick for a franchise that needs instant impact.
10.LionsEric Ebron, TE, UNCC-Ebron is a decent value, but the Lions should've addressed the D or O-Line
11.TitansTaylor Lewan, OT, MichiganB+Lewan is a potential franchise left tackle and instantly improves the Titans by allowing Michael Oher to move inside.
12.GiantsOdell Beckham Jr., WR, LSUBBeckham is the kind of deep threat the Giants need to open up their vertical offense.
13.RamsAaron Donald, DT, PittBAn explosive DT who will help give the Rams one of the best D-Lines in the NFL.
14.BearsKyle Fuller, CB, Virginia TechBWould've liked to see Bears go D-Line, but Fuller is a strong prospect.
15.SteelersRyan Shazier, OLB, Ohio StateC+A bit of a reach, but the Steelers have a great track record drafting LBs.
16.CowboysZack Martin, OG/T, Notre DameB+Martin will help give the Cowboys a strong offensive line.
17.RavensC.J. Mosley, ILB, AlabamaB+Ravens found a player to help solidify their front seven.
18.JetsCalvin Pryor, S, LouisvilleAPryor is a hard-hitting safety who will fit right in with the Jets.
19.DolphinsJa'Wuan James, OT, TennesseeC+James was a bit of a reach, but the Dolphins definitely need help on the O-Line
20.Saints*Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon StateB+The Saints found an explosive playmaker to replace Darren Sproles.
21.PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, AlabamaAThe Packers needed a free safety, and Clinton-Dix was the best available.
22.Browns*Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&MA+It is a steal to get a quarterback with Manziel's talent at No. 22.
23.ChiefsDee Ford, DE, AuburnCThe Chiefs reached for Ford and did so when pass rush was already a strength.
24.BengalsDarqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan StAA wonderful corner prospect who will be groomed to take over for the aging Terence Newman.
25.ChargersJason Verrett, CB, TCUB+The Chargers needed help in the secondary and grabbed a natural cover man.
26.Eagles* (from IND)Marcus Smith, DE, LouisvilleCMarcus Smith went earlier than most expected, but the Eagles needed someone to boost their pass rush.
27.Cardinals*Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington StBBuccanon is an accomplished safety, but the Cardinals should've gone D-Line
28.PanthersKelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida StA-A lengthy target for a team desperate for competent receivers.
29.PatriotsDominique Easley, DT, FloridaCA reach here, but the Patriots needed the depth on the D-Line
30.49ersJimmie Ward, SS, N. IllinoisC-The 49ers needed secondary help but should've grabbed an accomplished corner.
31.BroncosBradley Roby, CB, Ohio StateBThe Broncos needed corner help, but Roby is not the most polished corner.
32.Vikings*Teddy Bridgewater, QB, LouisvilleAA strong move by the Vikings to get back into the first round and grab their possible QB of the future.

 

2014 Round 2
PickOverallTeamPickGradeAnalysis
133Houston TexansXavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLABSu'a-Filo is a needed addition to the O-Line, but the Texans should've grabbed a QB.
234Dallas Cowboys*Demarcus Lawrence, OLB, Boise StC+The Cowboys gave up too much value to grade this favorably.
335Cleveland BrownsJoel Bitonio, OT, NevadaCGiven the possible suspension of Josh Gordon, it was shocking the Browns didn't go WR.
436Oakland RaidersDerek Carr, QB, Fresno StA+The Raiders must be ecstatic to get Mack in the first and still find a QB as talented as Carr.
537Atlanta FalconsRa'Shede Hageman, DT, MinnesotaB+The Falcons added needed size and strength on the D-Line
638Tampa Bay BuccaneersAustin Seferian-Jenkins (TE) WashingtonC+Tight end was not a big need in Tampa. Seferian-Jenkins will have to improve his consistency to warrant the pick.
739Jacksonville JaguarsMarqise Lee, WR, USCB+Lee has injury issues, but he is a talented WR and the Jaguars needed a weapon.
840Detroit Lions*Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYUB-I like the Lions targeting an LB, but they didn't have to trade up to address the need.
941St. Louis Rams*Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida StBJoyner is small but explosive, and the Rams had the resources to trade up.
1042Philadelphia Eagles*Jordan Matthews, WR, VanderbiltB+With the top receiver prospects going off the board, the Eagles made an aggressive and needed move.
1143New York GiantsWeston Richburg, C, Colorado St.C+The Giants boosted their rebuilding of the offensive line with a solid center, but not at the best value
1244Buffalo Bills*Cyrus Kouandjio, T, AlabamaA-A good value pick who fills a need.
1345Seattle Seahawks*Paul Richardson, WR, ColoradaBA small receiver who will add more explosiveness to Seattle.
1446Pittsburgh SteelersStephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre DameB+A strong interior presence for the Steelers' rebuild of their defense.
1547Washington Redskins*Trent Murphy, OLB, StanfordBThe Redskins were wise to target defense. Murphy is an explosive LB.
1648Baltimore RavensTimmy Jernigan, DT, Florida StateAMost had Jernigan going in the first round. He is a good fit and value for Baltimore.
1749New York JetsJace Amaro, TE, Texas TechAThe Jets need offensive playmakers, and that's what Amaro is at TE.
1850San Diego Chargers*Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Ga TechC+The Chargers made an aggressive move to try and boost their pass rush. They have too many needs on defense to give up value.
1951Chicago BearsEgo Ferguson (DT) LSUB+The Bears had to add muscle to the interior of their D-Line. Ferguson brings that.
2052Arizona CardinalsTroy Niklas, TE, Notre DameC+Niklas has potential but is raw. This was too early for the Cardinals to take a project pick.
2153Green Bay PackersDavante Adams, WR, Fresno StB+This was a solid value and it was a smart decision to give Aaron Rodgers another weapon.
2254Tennessee TitansBishop Sankey, RB, WashingtonAFinally! An RB was drafted. The Titans have a potentially great offensive line. Sankey will flourish behind good blocking.
2355Cincinnati BengalsJeremy Hill, RB, LSUC+Hill is an upgrade over Green-Ellis, but the Bengals didn't need to adress RB.
2456Denver Broncos*Cody Latimer, WR, IndianaBLatimer is a good value here. The Broncos needed another receiver.
2557San Francisco 49ers*Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio StC+Hyde fits the 49ers' physical style, but San Francisco has plenty of depth at the position.
2658New Orleans SaintsStan Jean-Baptiste, CB, NebraskaB+After spending the first pick on a WR, the Saints were wise to add a corner here.
2759Indianapolis ColtsJack Mewhort, OT, Ohio StB+When you have a QB like Andrew Luck, you make sure he is protected.
2860Carolina PanthersKony Ealy, DE, MissouriBGreat value here, but I'm surprised the Panthers didn't grab an LT.
2961Jacksonville Jaguars*Allen Robinson, WR, Penn StateB+The Jaguars are making sure new QB Bortles has weapons. Robinson is a good value.
3062New England PatriotsJimmy Garoppolo, QB, E IllinoisBThe Patriots have another QB to groom and now have the freedom to trade R. Mallett.
3163Miami Dolphins*Jarvis Landry, WR, LSUBThe Dolphins need more weapons on offense. Landry was a decent value.
3264Seattle SeahawksJustin Britt, OT, MissouriDThe Seahawks have had success drafting players that appeared to be reaches, but not when it comes at O-Line.

 

2014 Round 3
PickOverallTeamPlayerGrade
165Houston TexansC.J. Fiedorowicz,TE, IowaB-
266Washington RedskinsMorgan Moses, OT, VirginiaA
367Miami DolphinsBilly Turner, OT, NDSUB+
468Atlanta FalconsDez Southward, S, WisconsinB+
569Tampa Bay BuccaneersCharles Sims, RB, W VirginiaB-
670Jacksonville JaguarsMarcus Martin, C, USCB+
771Cleveland BrownsChris Kirksey, OLB, IowaC
872Minnesota VikingsScott Crichton, DE, Oregon StB
973Buffalo BillsPreston Brown, ILB, LouisvilleC+
1074New York GiantsJay Bromley, DT, SyracuseB-
1175St. Louis RamsTre Mason, RB, AuburnA
1276Detroit LionsTravis Swanson, C, ArkansasB+
1377San Francisco 49ers (from Tennessee) Chris Borland, ILB, WisconsinB+
1478Washington Redskins*Spencer Long, OG, NebraskaC+
1579Baltimore RavensTerrence Brooks, S, Florida StB
1680New York JetsDex McDougle, CB, MarylandC
1781Oakland Raiders*Gabe Jackson, OG, Miss StB+
1882Chicago BearsWill Sutton, DT, Arizona StB+
1983Houston Texans*Louis Nix III, DT, Notre DameA
2084Arizona CardinalsKareem Martin, DE, UNCB
2185Green Bay PackersKhyri Thornton, DT, So MissB
2286Philadelphia EaglesJosh Huff, WR, OregonB
2387Kansas City ChiefsPhillip Gaines, CB, RiceC-
2488Cincinnati BengalsWilliam Clarke, DE, W VirginiaB
2589San Diego ChargersChris Watt, OG, Notre DameB+
2690Indianapolis ColtsDonte Moncrief, WR, Ole MissB
2791Arizona Cardinals (from New Orleans)John Brown, WR, Pitt StB-
2892Carolina PanthersTrai Turner, OG, LSUC
2993Miami Dolphins*Brandon Linder, OG, MiamiB
3094Cleveland Browns*Michael Schofield, OT, MichiganB-
3195Denver BroncosMichael Schofield, OT, MichiganB-
3296Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle)Jerick McKinnon, RB, G SouthernB+
3397Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory)Dri Archer, RB, Kent StB+
3498Green Bay Packers (compensatory)Richard Rodgers, TE, CaliforniaB+
3599Baltimore Ravens (compensatory)Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado StB-
36100San Francisco 49ers (compensatory)Brandon Thomas, OG, ClemsonB

 

Top Steals  

No. 22: Browns select Johnny Manziel 

I get why teams passed on Johnny Manziel. With all of the talented players in this draft who felt like sure-fire bets to succeed, it was justifiable to pass on the question marks around Manziel, which included his less-than-ideal size (6'0", 207 lbs), per NFL.com, and volatile playing style. 

Still, it was rather shocking to see a guy with the kind of arm talent Manziel possesses remaining available at pick No. 22. 

The Browns, who have been insanely active over the past couple of days, gave up their third-round selection in this year's draft in order to swap picks with the Eagles to jump up from No. 26 and draft Manziel

I am of the school of thought that Manziel will be a very good quarterback in the NFL. Even if he doesn't pan out, however, this was still a worthwhile selection.

Manziel brings with him energy and excitement. This will help breathe life into a Browns' franchise that needs it. For the Browns to get him with their second selection in the draft, it was a complete steal.  

 

No. 54: Titans select Bishop Sankey

There was a time not all that long ago when the notion of calling the first running back selected in the NFL draft a steal would be absurd. Of course, there was a time not so long ago when running back was a coveted position in the draft. 

Times have changed, though, and teams now wait to identify their future ball-carriers much later than usual.

As a result, a running back was not selected until pick No. 54 in this year's draft, and the Titans lucked out. Looking to replace Chris Johnson, Tennessee landed Bishop Sankey.

Sankey will be competing with Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster in the backfield, but he has more than enough talent to make each of them an afterthought. 

Sankey is not intimidated by following Johnson and had this to say after being selected (h/t ESPN.com): 

Only time will tell. No one really knows what tomorrow is going to bring. It's up to us to prepare the day for whatever situation we're put in. that's something that I'm going to do. Just worry about myself and control that I can control and be the best football player that I can be.

Sankey finished as Washington's all-time leading rusher. He is not the biggest or fastest back in this draft, but he is the most well-rounded and complete one.

Sankey has good vision and knows how to churn out positive yards. He will flourish behind the Titans' potentially excellent offensive line. 

 

No. 66: Redskins select Morgan Moses  

Morgan Moses has the power and feet that would have made him a worthy selection in the second round. That didn't happen, though, as he slid into the third round, allowing the Redskins to reap the benefits. 

Moses is slightly inconsistent in his technique and isn't quick enough to handle playing left tackle, but he is an ideal right tackle. 

The Redskins have veteran Tyler Polumbus on the right side, but his performance has been declining lately. My guess is that Moses will supplant Polumbus by Week 1 and hold the starting job for years to come. He will provide an instant boost to the running game and was a great value pick. 

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