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.
|2014 NFL Draft: Round 1 Selections|
|1||Houston Texans||Jadeveon Clowney|
|2||St. Louis Rams||Greg Robinson|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Blake Bortles|
|4||Buffalo Bills||Sammy Watkins|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Khalil Mack|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Jake Matthews|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans|
|8||Cleveland Browns||Justin Gilbert|
|9||Minnesota Vikings||Anthony Barr|
|10||Detroit Lions||Eric Ebron|
|11||Tennessee Titans||Taylor Lewan|
|12||New York Giants||Odell Beckham Jr.|
|13||St. Louis Rams||Aaron Donald|
|14||Chicago Bears||Kyle Fuller|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||Ryan Shazier|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Zack Martin|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||C.J. Mosley|
|18||New York Jets||Calvin Pryor|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Ja'Wuan James|
|20||New Orleans Saints||Brandin Cooks|
|21||Green Bay Packers||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix|
|22||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||Dee Ford|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Darqueze Dennard|
|25||San Diego Chargers||Jason Verrett|
|26||Philadelphia Eagles||Marcus Smith|
|27||Arizona Cardinals||Deone Bucannon|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Kelvin Benjamin|
|29||New England Patriots||Dominique Easley|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||Jimmie Ward|
|31||Denver Broncos||Bradley Roby|
|32||Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater|
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.
|2014 NFL Draft: Round 2 Selections|
|33||Houston Texans||Xavier Su'a-Filo|
|34||Dallas Cowboys||Demarcus Lawrence|
|35||Cleveland Browns||Joel Bitonio|
|36||Oakland Raiders||Derek Carr|
|37||Atlanta Falcons||Ra'Shede Hageman|
|38||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Austin Seferian-Jenkins|
|39||Jacksonville Jaguars||Marqise Lee|
|40||Detroit Lions||Kyle Van Noy|
|41||St. Louis Rams||Lamarcus Joyner|
|42||Philadelphia Eagles||Jordan Matthews|
|43||New York Giants||Weston Richburg|
|44||Buffalo Bills||Cyrus Kouandjio|
|45||Seattle Seahawks||Paul Richardson|
|46||Pittsburgh Steelers||Stephon Tuitt|
|47||Washington Redskins||Trent Murphy|
|48||Baltimore Ravens||Timmy Jernigan|
|49||New York Jets||Jace Amaro|
|50||San Diego Chargers||Jeremiah Attaochu|
|51||Chicago Bears||Ego Ferguson|
|52||Arizona Cardinals||Troy Niklas|
|53||Green Bay Packers||Davanate Adams|
|54||Tennessee Titans||Bishop Sankey|
|55||Cincinnati Bengals||Jeremy Hill|
|56||Denver Broncos||Cody Latimer|
|57||San Francisco 49ers||Carlos Hyde|
|58||New Orleans Saints||Stanley Jean-Baptiste|
|59||Indianapolis Colts||Jack Mewhort|
|60||Carolina Panthers||Kony Ealy|
|61||Jacksonville Jaguars||Allen Robinson|
|62||New England Patriots||Jimmy Garoppolo|
|63||Miami Dolphins||Jarvis Landry|
|64||Seattle Seahawks||Justin Britt|
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.
|2014 NFL Draft: Round 3 Selections|
|65||Houston Texans||C.J. Fiedorowicz|
|66||Washington Redskins||Morgan Moses|
|67||Miami Dolphins||Billy Turner|
|68||Atlanta Falcons||Dezmen Southward|
|69||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Charles Sims|
|70||San Francisco 49ers||Marcus Martin|
|71||Cleveland Browns||Christian Kirksey|
|72||Minnesota Vikings||Scott Crichton|
|73||Buffalo Bills||Preston Brown|
|74||New York Giants||Jay Bromley|
|75||St. Louis Rams||Tre Mason|
|76||Detroit Lions||Travis Swanson|
|77||San Francisco 49ers||Chris Borland|
|78||Washington Redskins||Spencer Long|
|79||Baltimore Ravens||Terrence Brooks|
|80||New York Jets||Dexter McDougle|
|81||Oakland Raiders||Gabe Jackson|
|82||Chicago Bears||Will Sutton|
|83||Houston Texans||Louis Nix|
|84||Arizona Cardinals||Kareem Martin|
|85||Green Bay Packers||Khyri Thornton|
|86||Philadelphia Eagles||Josh Huff|
|87||Kansas City Chiefs||Phillip Gaines|
|88||Cincinnati Bengals||Will Clarke|
|89||San Diego Chargers||Chris Watt|
|90||Indianapolis Colts||Donte Moncrief|
|91||Arizona Cardinals||John Brown|
|92||Carolina Panthers||Trai Turner|
|93||Jacksonville Jaguars||Brandon Linder|
|94||Cleveland Browns||Terrance West|
|95||Denver Broncos||Michael Schofield|
|96||Minnesota Vikings||Jerick McKinnon|
|97||Pittsburgh Steelers||Dri Archer|
|98||Green Bay Packers||Richard Rodgers|
|99||Baltimore Ravens||Crockett Gillmore|
|100||San Francisco 49ers||Brandon Thomas|
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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