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2014 NFL Draft Results: Rounds 1-3 Grades, Updated Selection Order, Storylines

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies takes the stage after he was picked #22 overall by the Cleveland Browns 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
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2014

The first round is a party. The second and third rounds are where surprising stars can be unearthed. After that, teams are looking for diamonds in the rough or depth players. 

And the whole thing is a blast, isn't it?

Below, we'll cover all of the bases in this year's draft, from grading the first three rounds to going over the major storylines thus far and taking a look at the remaining picks. Stay glued to those couches, folks, we still have over half of the draft to go! 

Let's start by reviewing the draft grades for every team after the first two days.

2014 NFL Draft Grades
TeamSelectionsGradeAnalysis
Houston TexansJadeveon Clowney, Xavier Su'a-Filo, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Louis NixAOne of the steadiest, strongest drafts thus far. Clowney is obviously a potential superstar, while Su'a-Filo was the best available guard and many had Nix projected as the best 3-4 nose tackle in this draft. At least on paper, a great start to Bill O'Brien's regime.
St. Louis RamsGreg Robinson, Aaron Donald, Lamarcus Joyner, Tre MasonAAnother strong draft from the Rams. Started with the best tackle and interior defensive lineman, added the versatile Joyner to the secondary and a bit of lightning in Mason to pair with the thunder of Zac Stacy.
Jacksonville JaguarsBlake Bortles, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Brandon LinderA-The Bortles pick still feels like a slight reach, but the Jags identified what they wanted to improve—the passing game—and did just that. Getting Lee and Robinson in the second round was a coup.
Buffalo BillsSammy Watkins, Cyrus Kouandjio, Preston BrownBWatkins is dynamic, but did the Bills give up too much to get him? Kouandjio and Brown were nice value picks.
Oakland RaidersKhalil Mack, Derek Carr, Gabe JacksonAHow often do you find yourself agreeing with every decision the Raiders have made in a draft? They nabbed a future star in Mack, their future starter at quarterback in Carr and a mauler at guard in Jackson. Oakland is killing this draft.
Atlanta FalconsJake Matthews, Ra'Shede Hageman, Dezmen SouthwardB+Atlanta nabbed one of the safest prospects in Matthews, then got an intriguing, if inconsistent, talent for the defensive line in Hageman. Southward offers versatility in the secondary.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersMike Evans, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Charles SimsB+Well, the Bucs look a lot scarier on offense, huh? Evans is going to be a stud, and if Seferian-Jenkins can remain motivated, he really upgrades the tight end position. Sims gives the Bucs good depth behind Doug Martin at running back.
Cleveland BrownsJustin Gilbert, Johnny Manziel, Joel Bitonio, Christian Kirksey, Terrance WestA-It's hard to argue with any of the selections the Browns have made—they've taken good players and nice values across the board—especially when you consider they also secured Buffalo's first-round pick next year. But you have to wonder if bypassing the receiver position with Josh Gordon potentially facing a season-long ban was wise.
Minnesota VikingsAnthony Barr, Teddy Bridgewater, Scott Crichton, Jerick McKinnonB+A lot of upside and projects in this draft, with the exception of Bridgewater, who is a day one starter. The Vikings have certainly nabbed some intriguing talents.
Detroit LionsEric Ebron, Kyle Van Noy, Travis SwansonBThe Lions got good players, but didn't address arguably their biggest need at corner. Tight end in particular felt like a luxury pick, though Ebron is a special talent. Interesting draft from the Lions.
Tennessee TitansTaylor Lewan, Bishop SankeyB+Lewan was an excellent value, even if he wasn't a huge need. Sankey certainly was a big need, and will likely be a huge part of Tennessee's offense next season.
New York GiantsOdell Beckham Jr., Weston Richburg, Jay BromleyBBeckham gives Eli Manning another weapon to work with in the passing game. Richburg continues the revamping of the offensive line. Not the sexiest draft from New York, but a steady one.
Chicago BearsKyle Fuller, Ego Ferguson, Will SuttonB-Fuller certainly has a ton of upside, though corner didn't seem like the team's biggest need. Defensive tackle was, and they addressed that with Ferguson and Sutton, though the former was a huge reach in the second round.
Pittsburgh SteelersRyan Shazier, Stephon Tuitt, Dri ArcherBWas Shazier a reach? Perhaps a slight one, but he's a versatile player at linebacker. Tuitt could be one of the steals of the draft if he stays motivated. Archer gives the Steelers some sizzle to pair with Le'Veon Bell's steak.
Dallas CowboysZack Martin, Demarcus LawrenceB-Martin's versatility on the line makes him a plug-and-play starter, while Lawrence is an intriguing edge-rusher. Still, you wonder if the Cowboys could have done more to improve the defense thus far.
Baltimore RavensC.J. Mosley, Timmy Jernigan, Terrence Brooks, Crockett GillmoreB+The Ravens really improved defensively with their first three picks. All should make an impact next season, and all were nice values. Gillmore gives them a tight end to work in with Dennis Pitta.
New York JetsCalvin Pryor, Jace Amaro, Dexter McDougleA-I love the first two picks. Pryor is a Rex Ryan guy, and he'll be an excellent safety at the next level. Amaro isn't an in-line blocker at tight end, but he'll be an excellent receiver and security blanket as the Jets continue to improve the offense.
Miami DolphinsJa'Wuan James, Jarvis Landry, Billy TurnerCJames was the biggest reach of the first round. Turner is a project, though he has upside. The Dolphins knew they needed to rebuild the offensive line, but did they find the right guys to do it? Landry will give Ryan Tannehill another nice weapon in the passing game.
New Orleans SaintsBrandin Cooks, Stanley Jean-BaptisteB+Only two players, but two very, very intriguing players. Cooks is a dynamo after the catch and will take over the Darren Sproles role in this offense, while Jean-Baptiste is a bigger corner that will likely be in vogue now, given the success of Richard Sherman.
Green Bay PackersHa Ha Clinton-Dix, Davante Adams, Khyri Thornton, Richard RodgersB+The Packers have addressed their biggest needs, and Clinton-Dix and Adams in particular were strong selections. A nice draft thus far.
Kansas City ChiefsDee Ford, Phillip GainesCFord was a surprise, with Tamba Hali and Justin Houston already on the edge. Gaines has talent but feels like a project. These are picks that could make a ton of sense in three years, but don't seem to help the Chiefs a ton in the short term.
Cincinnati BengalsDarqueze Dennard, Jeremy Hill, Will ClarkeBDennard falling into their laps was nothing short of a blessing. Hill is an intriguing pick and likely signifies the end of the road for BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Clarke will be added to the defensive line rotation.
San Diego ChargersJason Verrett, Jeremiah Attaochu, Chris WattB+Quietly a strong draft from the Chargers. Verrett is a plug-and-play starter and Watt was a nice value in the third round that will upgrade the offensive line. Attaochu is a project, but his upside is immense and he was easily the best 3-4 OLB remaining in this draft.
Philadelphia EaglesMarcus Smith, Jordan Matthews, Josh HuffC+A bit of a curious draft from the Eagles. Smith was a reach, but the Eagles did add a pick when they traded back and he addresses a huge need off the edge. Matthews was an excellent selection and should be this team's slot receiver immediately. Huff will be a special-teamer early on, but does a little bit of everything for you at receiver. Will they address the secondary in day three?
Arizona CardinalsDeone Bucannon, Troy Niklas, Kareem Martin, John BrownBInteresting players across the board. Not finding Carson Palmer's eventual replacement a bit curious. Brown is hardly known and tiny, but very explosive at wide receiver. Could be a reach, or could be the "Where did this guy come from?" pick of the draft.
Carolina PanthersKelvin Benjamin, Kony Ealy, Trai TurnerBBenjamin fills a huge need, though he's a project. Turner is another player with talent but in need of some polish. Ealy was a great value for where he was selected.
New England PatriotsDominique Easley, Jimmy GaroppoloB-Easley has top-15 talent. He's also torn the ACL in each of his knees in the past three years. Huge risk, potentially huge reward. Garoppolo was clearly drafted to be Tom Brady's heir apparent, but was it wise to go that route in the second round for a team competing for the Super Bowl?
San Francisco 49ersJimmie Ward, Carlos Hyde, Marcus Martin, Chris Borland, Brandon ThomasB+Such an interesting draft. Ward fills a need, as the Niners see him initially as a slot corner. Hyde may have been the best running back on the board, but he joins a pretty crowded backfield. Martin may be the best center in this draft. Borland isn't very big or athletic, but he's here to play. Thomas will have to sit a year due to injury, but his upside is big. Hard to judge this draft in the present, but sure looks like the Niners added a lot of quality players.
Denver BroncosBradley Roby, Cody Latimer, Michael SchofieldBRoby and Latimer have big upside, though both may be projects, and Schofield gives them added depth on the offensive line. Solid start for the Broncos.
WashingtonTrent Murphy, Morgan Moses, Spencer LongC-Moses was a great value, but both Murphy and Long were reaches. Add in the fact that they didn't have a first-round selection (though that RG3 guy is pretty good) and this has been a disappointing draft for Washington.
Seattle SeahawksPaul Richardson, Justin BrittCQuestion Seattle's draft at your own peril—their unorthodox picks at the time seem to always turn to gold down the road—but both selections carry question marks. Richardson is lighting in a bottle at wide receiver given his blazing speed, but he is very slight. Britt was a bit of a reach given some of the other offensive lineman on the board. Still, Seattle has been right more than they've been wrong in recent years, so time will tell.
Indianapolis ColtsJack Mewhort, Donte MoncriefB-Mewhort is very versatile on the offensive line and could contribute immediately. Moncrief is more of a project and will probably be buried on the depth chart at wide receiver, a pretty deep position in Indy.

 

Major Storylines

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Sammy Watkins of the Clemson Tigers poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #4 overall by the Buffalo Bills during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City
Elsa/Getty Images

Once Jadeveon Clowney was selected with the top overall pick, most folks probably thought Johnny Manziel's landing spot would become the major talking point. And while it eventually would, a few other surprises superseded the Johnny Football circus.

For starters, the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Blake Bortles surprised most folks. Give the Jags credit—they hid their intentions expertly, though some folks thought Khalil Mack or Sammy Watkins would have represented better value. But the Jags came into this draft knowing they wanted to upgrade the passing game and did just that, also adding wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round.

Gus Bradley may be a defensive coach, but he certainly has an improved offense now.

Things heated up even more at No. 4, when the Bills traded the No. 9 pick and first- and fourth-round picks in 2015 to the Cleveland Browns for the right to move up to No. 4 and select Sammy Watkins (the team would later get that fourth back by trading Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers).

It was about that point that the Browns became the center of this year's draft. When it was their turn to pick at No. 8 (they traded with Minnesota to move up a spot), everyone eagerly anticipated the selection of Manziel. Instead, it was Justin Gilbert who was selected.

And thus began Manziel's slide. When he was available at No. 16 for the Dallas Cowboys, the Internet basically imploded. Would Jerry Jones do it? Would he add the Manziel circus to the Cowboys circus?

No, he wouldn't. Neither would Chip Kelly at No. 22, as the Eagles traded the pick to the Browns, who finally ended Manziel's slide and capped off a huge day for Cleveland. Gilbert, Manziel and a 2015 first-rounder—could life get any better for the Browns?

Heck, Johnny Football even answered every question he was presented with at his first team press conference with aplomb. Here are a few highlights, via the Browns' official Twitter account and Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com:

But things got worse before they got better. Before the second round began on Friday, it leaked that Josh Gordon could be suspended for an entire season for violating the league's substance abuse policy, via SportsCenter on Twitter:

Yikes. And the Browns upper echelon knew about this well before the draft, yet decided against drafting a receiver in the first round. That was somewhat understandable, given the depth at the position this year. But surely the Browns would draft a receiver at some point in the second or third round then, right?

Well, no, they didn't. And now, the team's need for a player at the position is one of the biggest storylines remaining in the draft. 

In general, those are the types of storylines that remain. Will the Cowboys continue to get help on defense? Will the Arizona Cardinals draft Carson Palmer's eventual replacement? Will the Texans draft a quarterback at all to compete for the starting job?

Depth is now the name of the game for most teams. But, as always, it will be fascinating to see which teams unearth those hidden gems. 

 

Remaining Picks

Rounds 4-7 NFL Draft Order
PickOverallTeam
Round 4
1101Philadelphia Eagles (from Houston)
2102Washington Redskins
3103Atlanta Falcons
4104New York Jets (from Tampa Bay)
5105New England (from Jacksonville)
6106San Francisco (from Cleveland)
7107Oakland Raiders
8108Seattle Seahawks (from Minnesota)
9109Buffalo Bills
10110St. Louis Rams
11111Seattle Seahawks (from Detroit)
12112Tennessee Titans
13113New York Giants
14114Jacksonville Jaguars (from Baltimore)
15115New York Jets
16116Oakland Raiders (from Miami)
17117Chicago Bears
18118Pittsburgh Steelers
19119Dallas Cowboys
20120Arizona Cardinals
21121Green Bay Packers
22122Tennessee Titans (from Philly)
23123Cincinnati Bengals
24124Kansas City Chiefs
25125Miami Dolphins (from San Diego)
26126New Orleans Saints
27127Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)
28128Carolina Panthers
29129San Francisco 49ers
30130New England Patriots
31131Denver Broncos
32132Seattle Seahawks
33133Detroit Lions (compensatory)
34134Baltimore Ravens (compensatory)
35135Houston Texans (compensatory)
36136Detroit Lions (compensatory)
37137New York Jets (compensatory)
38138Baltimore Ravens (compensatory)
39139Atlanta Falcons (compensatory)
40140New England Patriots (compensatory)
Round 5
1141Philadelphia Eagles (from Houston)
2142Washington Redskins
3143Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4144Jacksonville Jaguars
5145Minnesota Vikings (from Cleveland)
6146Detroit Lions (from Oakland via Seattle)
7147Atlanta Falcons
8148Minnesota Vikings
9149Buffalo Bills
10150San Francisco 49ers (from Detroit via Jacksonville)
11151Tennessee Titans
12152New York Giants
13153Buffalo Bills (from Rams)
14154New York Jets
15155Miami Dolphins
16156Chicago Bears
17157Pittsburgh Steelers
18158Dallas Cowboys
19159Jacksonville Jaguars (from Baltimore)
20160Arizona Cardinals
21161Green Bay Packers
22162Philadelphia Eagles
23163Kansas City Chiefs
24164Cincinnati Bengals
25165San Diego Chargers
26166Indianapolis Colts
27167New Orleans Saints
28168Carolina Panthers
29169New Orleans Saints (from New England via Philadelphia)
30170San Francisco 49ers
31171Miami Dolphins (from Denver via San Francisco)
32172Seattle Seahawks
33173Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory)
34174New York Giants (compensatory)
35175Baltimore Ravens (compensatory)
36176Green Bay Packers (compensatory)
Round 6
1177Houston Texans
2178Washington Redskins
3179New England Patriots (from Jacksonville)
4180San Francisco (from Cleveland)
5181Houston Texans (from Oakland Raiders)
6182Atlanta Falcons
7183Chicago Bears (from Tampa Bay)
8184Minnesota Vikings
9185Tampa Bay (from Buffalo Bills)
10186Tennessee Titans
11187New York Giants
12188St. Louis Rams
13189Detroit Lions
14190Miami Dolphins
15191Chicago Bears
16192Pittsburgh Steelers
17193Kansas City Chiefs (from Dallas)
18194Baltimore Ravens
19195New York Jets
20196Arizona Cardinals
21197Green Bay Packers
22198New England Patriots (from Philadelphia)
23199Cincinnati Bengals
24200Kansas City Chiefs
25201San Diego Chargers
26202New Orleans Saints
27203Indianapolis Colts
28204Carolina Panthers
29205Jacksonville Jaguars (from San Francisco)
30206New England Patriots
31207Denver Broncos
32208Seattle Seahawks
33209New York Jets (compensatory)
34210New York Jets (compensatory)
35211Houston Texans (compensatory)
36212Cincinnati Bengals (compensatory)
37213New York Jets (compensatory)
38214St. Louis Rams (compensatory)
39215Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory)
Round 7
1216Houston Texans
2217Washington Redskins
3218Cleveland Browns
4219Oakland Raiders
5220Atlanta Falcons
6221Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7222Jacksonville Jaguars
8223Minnesota Vikings
9224Buffalo Bills
10225Carolina Panthers (from N.Y. Giants)
11226St. Louis Rams
12227Seattle Seahawks (from Detroit)
13228Tennessee Titans
14229Dallas Cowboys (from Chicago)
15230Pittsburgh Steelers
16231Dallas Cowboys
17232Indianapolis Colts (from Baltimore)
18233New York Jets
19234Miami Dolphins
20235Oakland Raiders (from Arizona)
21236Green Bay Packers
22237Philadelphia Eagles
23238Dallas Cowboys (from Kansas City)
24239Cincinnati Bengals
25240San Diego Chargers
26241St. Louis Rams (from Indianapolis)
27242Denver Broncos (from New Orleans via 49ers)
28243San Francisco 49ers (from Carolina)
29244New England Patriots
30245San Francisco 49ers
31246Denver Broncos
32247Oakland Raiders (from Seattle Seahawks)
33248Dallas Cowboys (compensatory)
34249St. Louis Rams (compensatory)
35250St. Louis Rams (compensatory)
36251Dallas Cowboys (compensatory)
37252Cincinnati Bengals (compensatory)
38253Atlanta Falcons (compensatory)
39254Dallas Cowboys (compensatory)
40255Atlanta Falcons (compensatory)
41256Houston Texans (compensatory)
ESPN

 

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