2014 NFL Draft

2014 NFL Draft Picks: Rounds 1-3 Results and Analysis of Top Prospects

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Brandin Cooks of the Oregon State Beavers poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #20 overall by the New Orleans Saints during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 10, 2014

After a long offseason full of player analysis and mock drafts, the first three rounds of the 2014 NFL draft seemed to go by in the blink of an eye.

It's safe to say every team got better on Thursday and Friday; however, due to some intelligent selections, some teams may have improved more than others.

The importance of selecting prospects with good upside who can contribute sooner rather than later and seem to fit the schematics of a team is second to none.

Building through the draft is big part of building a successful NFL franchise. Selecting the right player can propel a team deep into the playoffs; making a bad decision can set a team back for years.

We won't know the true impact of this draft for quite some time, but it's never too early to look ahead and analyze the draft's top prospects and how they fit on their new teams.

Let's take a look at the complete list of selections through the first three rounds and highlight some top players who are sure to make a big splash in the NFL right away.

 

Round 1

2014 NFL Draft: Round 1 Selections
PickTeamPlayer
1Houston TexansJadeveon Clowney
2St. Louis RamsGreg Robinson
3Jacksonville JaguarsBlake Bortles
4Buffalo BillsSammy Watkins
5Oakland RaidersKhalil Mack
6Atlanta FalconsJake Matthews
7Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike Evans
8Cleveland BrownsJustin Gilbert
9Minnesota VikingsAnthony Barr
10Detroit LionsEric Ebron
11Tennessee TitansTaylor Lewan
12New York GiantsOdell Beckham Jr.
13St. Louis RamsAaron Donald
14Chicago BearsKyle Fuller
15Pittsburgh SteelersRyan Shazier
16Dallas CowboysZack Martin
17Baltimore RavensC.J. Mosley
18New York JetsCalvin Pryor
19Miami DolphinsJa'Wuan James
20New Orleans SaintsBrandin Cooks
21Green Bay PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix
22Cleveland BrownsJohnny Manziel
23Kansas City ChiefsDee Ford
24Cincinnati BengalsDarqueze Dennard
25San Diego ChargersJason Verrett
26Philadelphia EaglesMarcus Smith
27Arizona CardinalsDeone Bucannon
28Carolina PanthersKelvin Benjamin
29New England PatriotsDominique Easley
30San Francisco 49ersJimmie Ward
31Denver BroncosBradley Roby
32Minnesota VikingsTeddy Bridgewater
NFL.com

How devastating will the pairing of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney be in Houston this year?

Clowney will have a bit of a learning curve to face, as he's been dominating the college ranks as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme. Now, he will move into the outside linebacker position in Houston's 3-4 base defense.

Still, his freakish athleticism will allow him to make a smooth transition. After all, according to a tweet from Fox Sports NFL, Clowney is already calling out a division-rival quarterback:

When the Buffalo Bills moved up in the draft to select wide receiver Sammy Watkins, there was no happier man on earth than quarterback EJ Manuel. His tweet really summed up how he was feeling:

As Manuel continues his development as an NFL quarterback, the Bills needed to surround him with viable weapons. Due to a versatile and exciting skill set, Watkins will play a major role on this young offense moving forward.

Watch out for Brandin Cooks with the New Orleans Saints. Cooks is one of the most explosive receivers in this year's draft, and with Drew Brees at the helm he's poised to make a huge impact during his rookie season.

After losing Darren Sproles, Cooks will certainly fill the void of a shifty, field-stretching target for Brees.

 

Round 2

2014 NFL Draft: Round 2 Selections
PickTeamPlayer
33Houston TexansXavier Su'a-Filo
34Dallas CowboysDemarcus Lawrence
35Cleveland BrownsJoel Bitonio
36Oakland RaidersDerek Carr
37Atlanta FalconsRa'Shede Hageman
38Tampa Bay BuccaneersAustin Seferian-Jenkins
39Jacksonville JaguarsMarqise Lee
40Detroit LionsKyle Van Noy
41St. Louis RamsLamarcus Joyner
42Philadelphia EaglesJordan Matthews
43New York GiantsWeston Richburg
44Buffalo BillsCyrus Kouandjio
45Seattle SeahawksPaul Richardson
46Pittsburgh SteelersStephon Tuitt
47Washington RedskinsTrent Murphy
48Baltimore RavensTimmy Jernigan
49New York JetsJace Amaro
50San Diego ChargersJeremiah Attaochu
51Chicago BearsEgo Ferguson
52Arizona CardinalsTroy Niklas
53Green Bay PackersDavanate Adams
54Tennessee TitansBishop Sankey
55Cincinnati BengalsJeremy Hill
56Denver BroncosCody Latimer
57San Francisco 49ersCarlos Hyde
58New Orleans SaintsStanley Jean-Baptiste
59Indianapolis ColtsJack Mewhort
60Carolina PanthersKony Ealy
61Jacksonville JaguarsAllen Robinson
62New England PatriotsJimmy Garoppolo
63Miami DolphinsJarvis Landry
64Seattle SeahawksJustin Britt
NFL.com

The Oakland Raiders grabbed their quarterback of the future early in the second round, selecting Derek Carr at No. 36th overall. Carr's solid build and strong arm bode well for his NFL future; however, he will need some time to develop.

Luckily, the Raiders acquired the services of Matt Schaub over the offseason. Schaub's presence will give Carr the time he needs to improve his fundamentals and become a solid starting quarterback.

The Jacksonville Jaguars made a huge splash in Round 2.

After selecting Blake Bortles with the third-overall pick, the Jaguars needed to supply him with weapons. Adding Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson did just that.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com certainly feels Lee and Robinson will fit Bortles' style at the quarterback position, according to his tweet:

One thing is certain: The Jaguars absolutely appear to be giving Bortles every chance possible to succeed.

The New England Patriots selected Jimmy Garoppolo late in the second round. Could it be the Patriots just acquired Tom Brady's successor?

Garoppolo showed a great amount of talent while at Eastern Illinois. He needs development, but he shows plenty of promise. Learning under Brady for a couple of seasons could do wonders for his future in the NFL.

 

Round 3

2014 NFL Draft: Round 3 Selections
PickTeamPlayer
65Houston TexansC.J. Fiedorowicz
66Washington RedskinsMorgan Moses
67Miami DolphinsBilly Turner
68Atlanta FalconsDezmen Southward
69Tampa Bay BuccaneersCharles Sims
70San Francisco 49ersMarcus Martin
71Cleveland BrownsChristian Kirksey
72Minnesota VikingsScott Crichton
73Buffalo BillsPreston Brown
74New York GiantsJay Bromley
75St. Louis RamsTre Mason
76Detroit LionsTravis Swanson
77San Francisco 49ersChris Borland
78Washington RedskinsSpencer Long
79Baltimore RavensTerrence Brooks
80New York JetsDexter McDougle
81Oakland RaidersGabe Jackson
82Chicago BearsWill Sutton
83Houston TexansLouis Nix
84Arizona CardinalsKareem Martin
85Green Bay PackersKhyri Thornton
86Philadelphia EaglesJosh Huff
87Kansas City ChiefsPhillip Gaines
88Cincinnati BengalsWill Clarke
89San Diego ChargersChris Watt
90Indianapolis ColtsDonte Moncrief
91Arizona CardinalsJohn Brown
92Carolina PanthersTrai Turner
93Jacksonville JaguarsBrandon Linder
94Cleveland BrownsTerrance West
95Denver BroncosMichael Schofield
96Minnesota VikingsJerick McKinnon
97Pittsburgh SteelersDri Archer
98Green Bay PackersRichard Rodgers
99Baltimore RavensCrockett Gillmore
100San Francisco 49ersBrandon Thomas
NFL.com

The Washington Redskins didn't have many picks early in the draft; however, selecting Morgan Moses in the third round was brilliant.

Robert Griffin III needs some help along the offensive line, and Moses appears to be very much NFL ready. Moses should get the nod to start at right tackle from Day 1 and help keep Griffin upright.

Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com looked to like the selection, according to his tweet after the pick:

The St. Louis Rams continued a great haul in this year's draft, selecting the speedy Tre Mason in the third round.

St. Louis has a young, budding offense, and pairing Mason with Zac Stacy will form a great, versatile backfield.

Not only is Mason quick, but he can catch out of the backfield and serve as a returner as well. General manager Les Snead's decision to select the running back was easy, according to a tweet from ESPN's Josina Anderson:

It was a big fall from grade for defensive tackle Louis Nix III. Formerly heralded as a potential first-round prospect, he fell toward the middle of the third round.

Houston was right there to scoop him up and add him to a scary defensive line with Watt and Clowney. After his selection, Nix spoke of his excitement to play with his new teammates, according to a tweet from the Texans:

Standing across from this defensive line won't be fun for any of the NFL's quarterbacks this season.

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