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2014 NFL Draft Results: Team-by-Team Grades for Overall Picks and Trades

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.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2016

Despite months of buildup, the 2014 NFL draft seemingly came and went in an instant.

But now that it's over, let the dissection begin.  

Below, you'll find grades for all 32 teams following the conclusion of all seven rounds, as well as a closer look at a pair of teams that stood out.

2014 NFL Draft Results
Round 1TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1.TexansJadeveon ClowneyDE/OLBSouth Carolina
2.Rams (from WSH)Greg Robinson OTAuburn
3.JaguarsBlake BortlesQBUCF
4.Bills*Sammy WatkinsWRClemson
5.RaidersKhalil Mack OLBBuffalo
6.FalconsJake MatthewsOTTexas A&M
7.BuccaneersMike Evans WRTexas A&M
8.Browns*Justin Gilbert CBOklahoma State
9.Vikings*Anthony Barr OLBUCLA
10.LionsEric Ebron TENorth Carolina
11.TitansTaylor Lewan OTMichigan
12.GiantsOdell Beckham Jr.WRLSU
13.RamsAaron DonaldDTPittsburgh
14.BearsKyle Fuller CBVirginia Tech
15.SteelersRyan ShazierOLBOhio State
16.CowboysZack MartinOG/OTNotre Dame
17.RavensC.J. Mosley ILBAlabama
18.JetsCalvin Pryor FSLouisville
19.DolphinsJa'Wuan JamesOTTennessee
20.Saints*Brandin Cooks WROregon State
21.PackersHa'Sean Clinton-DixFSAlabama
22.Browns*Johnny Manziel QBTexas A&M
23.ChiefsDee Ford DE/OLBAuburn
24.BengalsDarqueze Dennard CBMichigan State
25.ChargersJason Verrett CBTCU
26.Eagles* (from IND)Marcus Smith DE/OLBLouisville
27.Cardinals*Deone Bucannon SSWashington State
28.PanthersKelvin Benjamin WRFlorida State
29.PatriotsDominique Easley DTFlorida
30.49ersJimmie Ward SSNorthern Illinois
31.BroncosBradley Roby CBOhio State
32.Vikings*Teddy BridgewaterQBLouisville
Round 2TeamPlayerPositionSchool
33.TexansXavier Su'a-Filo OGUCLA
34.Cowboys*Demarcus Lawrence DEBoise State
35.Browns Joel Bitonio OTNevada
36.Raiders Derek Carr QBFresno State
37.FalconsRa'Shede Hageman DTMinnesota
38.BuccaneersAustin Seferian-Jenkins TEWashington
39.Jaguars Marqise Lee WRUSC
40.Lions*Kyle Van Noy OLBBYU
41.Rams*Lamarcus Joyner CBFlorida State
42.Eagles*Jordan MatthewsWRVanderbilt
43.Giants Weston RichburgCColorado State
44.Bills*Cyrus Kouandjio OTAlabama
45.Seahawks*Paul Richardson WRColorado
46.Steelers Stephon TuittDT/DENotre Dame
47.Redskins*Trent Murphy OLBStanford
48.Ravens Timmy Jernigan DT/DE Florida State
49.Jets Jace Amaro TETexas Tech
50.Chargers*Jeremiah Attaochu OLBGeorgia Tech
51.Bears Ego Ferguson DTLSU
52.Cardinals Troy Niklas TENotre Dame
53.PackersDavante Adams WRFresno State
54.Titans*Bishop SankeyRBWashington
55.BengalsJeremy Hill RBLSU
56.Broncos* (from SF)Cody Latimer WRIndiana
57.49ers*Carlos Hyde RBOhio State
58.SaintsStanley Jean-Baptiste CBNebraska
59.ColtsJack Mewhort OTOhio State
60.PanthersKony Ealy DEMissouri
61.Jaguars*Allen Robinson WRPenn State
62.PatriotsJimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois
63.Dolphins*Jarvis Landry WRLSU
64.Seahawks Justin BrittOTMissouri
Round 3TeamPlayerPositionSchool
65.TexansC.J. Fiedorowicz TEIowa
66.RedskinsMorgan Moses OTVirginia
67.Dolphins*Billy Turner OTNorth Dakota State
68.FalconsDezmen SouthwardSWisconsin
69.BuccaneersCharles Sims RBWest Virginia
70.49ers*Marcus Martin CUSC
71.BrownsChristian Kirksey OLBIowa
72.VikingsScott Crichton DEOregon State
73.BillsPreston Brown ILBLouisville
74.GiantsJay Bromley DTSyracuse
75.RamsTre Mason RBAuburn
76.LionsTravis Swanson CArkansas
77.49ers (from TEN)Chris Borland ILBWisconsin
78.Redskins*Spencer Long OGNebraska
79.RavensTerrence Brooks SFlorida State
80.JetsDexter McDougle CBMaryland
81.Raiders* Gabe JacksonOGMississippi State
82.BearsWill Sutton DTArizona State
83.Texans* (from PIT)Louis Nix DTNotre Dame
84.CardinalsKareem Martin DENorth Carolina
85.PackersKhyri Thornton DTSouthern Mississippi
86.EaglesJosh Huff WROregon
87.ChiefsPhillip Gaines CBRice
88.BengalsWill Clarke DEWest Virginia
89.ChargersChris Watt OGNotre Dame
90.ColtsDonte Moncrief WROle Miss
91.Cardinals*John Brown WRPittsburg State
92.PanthersTrai Turner OGLSU
93.Jaguars*Brandon Linder OGMiami (Fla.)
94.Browns*Terrance West RBTowson
95.BroncosMichael Schofield OTMichigan
96.Vikings (from SEA)Jerick McKinnon RBGeorgia Southern
97.SteelersDri Archer RB/WRKent State
98.PackersRichard RodgersTECalifornia
99.RavensCrockett Gillmore TEColorado State
100.49ersBrandon Thomas OG/OTClemson
Round 4TeamPlayerPositionSchool
101.Eagles*Jaylen Watkins CBFlorida
102.RedskinsBashaud Breeland CBClemson
103.FalconsDevonta Freeman RBFlorida State
104.Jets (from TB)Jalen Saunders WROklahoma
105.Patriots*Bryan Stork CFlorida State
106.49ers*Bruce Ellington WRSouth Carolina
107.RaidersJustin Ellis DTLouisiana Tech
108.Seahawks*Cassius Marsh DEUCLA
109.BillsRoss Cockrell CBDuke
110.RamsMaurice Alexander SUtah State
111.Bengals*Russell Bodine CNorth Carolina
112.TitansDaQuan Jones DTPenn State
113.GiantsAndre Williams RBBoston College
114.Jaguars (from BAL)Aaron Colvin CBOklahoma
115.JetsShaquelle Evans WRUCLA
116.Raiders*Keith McGill CBUtah
117.BearsKa'Deem Carey RBArizona
118.SteelersMartavis Bryant WRClemson
119.CowboysAnthony Hitchens OLBIowa
120.CardinalsLogan Thomas QBVirginia Tech
121.PackersCarl Bradford OLBArizona State
122.Titans*Marqueston Huff CBWyoming
123.Seahawks*Kevin Norwood WRAlabama
124.ChiefsDe'Anthony Thomas RBOregon
125.Dolphins*Walt Aikens CBLiberty
126.SaintsKhairi Fortt OLBCalifornia
127.Browns (from IND)Pierre Desir CBLindenwood
128.PanthersTre Boston SNorth Carolina
129.49ersDontae Johnson CBNorth Carolina State
130.PatriotsJames White RBWisconsin
131.Bears*Brock VereenSMinnesota
132.SeahawksKevin Pierre-Louis OLBBoston College
133.LionsNevin Lawson CBUtah State
134.RavensBrent Urban DT/DEVirginia
135.TexansTom Savage QBPittsburgh
136.LionsLarry Webster TE/DEBloomsburg
137.JetsDakota Dozier OTFurman
138.RavensLorenzo Taliaferro RBCoastal Carolina
139.FalconsPrince Shembo OLBNotre Dame
140.PatriotsCameron Fleming OTStanford
Round 5TeamPlayerPositionSchool
141.Eagles*Taylor Hart DEOregon
142.RedskinsRyan Grant WRTulane
143.BuccaneersKadeem Edwards OGTennessee State
144.JaguarsTelvin Smith OLBFlorida State
145.Vikings*David Yankey OGStanford
146.Cowboys* (from OAK)Devin Street WRPittsburgh
147.FalconsRicardo Allen CBPurdue
148.Panthers*Bene Benwikere CBSan Jose State
149.Buccaneers*Kevin Pamphile OTPurdue
150.49ers* (from DET)Aaron Lynch DESouth Florida
151.TitansAvery Williamson ILBKentucky
152.GiantsNat Berhe SSan Diego State
153.Bills*Cyril Richardson OGBaylor
154.JetsJeremiah George ILBIowa State
155.DolphinsArthur Lynch TEGeorgia
156.Broncos*Lamin Barrow OLBLSU
157.SteelersShaquille Richardson CBArizona
158.Lions*Caraun Reid DTPrinceton
159.Jaguars (from BAL)Chris Smith OLB/DEArkansas
160.CardinalsEd Stinson DEAlabama
161.PackersCorey Linsley COhio State
162.EaglesEd Reynolds SStanford
163.ChiefsAaron Murray QBGeorgia
164.BengalsAJ McCarronQBAlabama
165.ChargersRyan Carrethers DTArkansas State
166.ColtsJonathan Newsome DEBall State
167.SaintsVinnie Sunseri SAlabama
168.*FalconsMarquis Spruill ILBSyracuse
169.Saints (from NE via PHI)Ronald Powell OLBFlorida
170.49ersKeith Reaser CBFlorida Atlantic
171.Dolphins*Jordan Tripp OLBMontana
172.SeahawksJimmy Staten DTMiddle Tennessee
173.SteelersWesley Johnson OTVanderbilt
174.GiantsDevon Kennard OLBUSC
175.RavensJohn Urschel OGPenn State
176.PackersJared Abbrederis WRWisconsin
Round 6TeamPlayerPositionSchool
177.TexansJeoffrey Pagan DEAlabama
178.Titans*Zach Mettenberger QBLSU
179.Patriots*Jon Halapio OGFlorida
180.49ers*Kenneth Acker CBSouthern Methodist
181.Texans (from OAK)Alfred Blue RBLSU
182.Vikings*Antone Exum CBVirginia Tech
183.Bears (from TB)David Fales QBSan Jose State
184.VikingsKendall James CBMaine
185.Buccaneers (from BUF)Robert Herron WRWyoming
186.Redskins*Lache Seastrunk RBBaylor
187.GiantsBennett Jackson CBNotre Dame
188.RamsE.J. Gaines CBMissouri
189.LionsTJ Jones WRNotre Dame
190.DolphinsMatt Hazel WRCoastal Carolina
191.BearsPat O'Donnell PMiami (Fla.)
192.SteelersJordan Zumwalt OLBUCLA
193.Chiefs (from DAL)Zach Fulton OGTennessee
194.RavensKeith Wenning QBBall State
195.JetsBrandon Dixon CBNorthwest Missouri State
196.CardinalsWalter Powell WRMurray State
197.PackersDemetri Goodson CBBaylor
198.Patriots (from PHI)Zach Moore DEConcordia-St. Paul
199.Seahawks*Garrett Scott OTMarshall
200.ChiefsLaurent Duvernay-Tardif OTMcGill
201.ChargersMarion Grice RBArizona State
202.SaintsTavon Rooks OTKansas State
203.ColtsAndrew Jackson ILBWestern Kentucky
204.PanthersTyler Gaffney RBStanford
205.Jaguars (from SF)Luke Bowanko CVirginia
206.PatriotsJemea Thomas SGeorgia Tech
207.BroncosMatt Paradis CBoise State
208.SeahawksEric Pinkins SSan Diego State
209.JetsQuincy Enunwa WRNebraska
210.JetsIK Enemkpali DELouisiana Tech
211.TexansJay Prosch FBAuburn
212.BengalsMarquis Flowers OLBArizona
213.JetsTajh Boyd QBClemson
214.RamsGarrett Gilbert QBSMU
215.SteelersDaniel McCullers DTTennessee
Round 7TeamPlayerPositionSchool
216.TexansDre Hal CBVanderbilt
217.RedskinsTed Bolser TEIndiana
218.Ravens*Michael Campanaro WRWake Forest
219.RaidersT.J. CarrieCBOhio
220.Vikings*Shamar Stephen DTConnecticut
221.Bills*Randell Johnson OLBFlorida Atlantic
222.JaguarsStorm Johnson RBUCF
223.VikingsBrandon Watts OLBGeorgia Tech
224.Eagles*Beau Allen DTWisconsin
225.Vikings* (from NYG)Jabari Price CBNorth Carolina
226.RamsMitchell Van Dyk OTPortland State
227.Seahawks*Kiero Small FBArkansas
228.Redskins*Zach HockerKArkansas
229.Lions* (from CHI)Nate Freese KBoston College
230.SteelersRob Blanchflower TEMassachusetts
231.CowboysBen Gardner DEStanford
232.Colts (from BAL)Ulrick John OTGeorgia State
233.JetsTrevor Reilly OLBUtah
234.DolphinsTerrence Fede DEMarist
235.Raiders (from ARZ)Shelby Harris DEIllinois State
236.PackersJeff Janis WRSaginaw Valley
237.Bills*Seantrel Henderson OTMiami (Fla.)
238.Cowboys (from KC)Will Smith ILBTexas Tech
239.BengalsJames Wright WRLSU
240.ChargersTevin Reese WRBaylor
241.Rams (from IND)Christian Bryant SOhio State
242.Broncos* (from NO)Corey Nelson OLBOklahoma
243.49ers (from CAR)Kaleb Ramsey DTBoston College
244.PatriotsJeremy Gallon WRMichigan
245.49ersTrey Millard FBOklahoma
246.Bears*Charles Leno OTBoise State
247.RaidersJonathan Dowling CBWestern Kentucky
248.CowboysAhmad Dixon SBaylor
249.RamsMichael Sam DEMissouri
250.RamsDemetrius Rhaney CTennessee State
251.CowboysKen Bishop DTNorthern Illinois
252.BengalsLavelle Westbrooks CBGeorgia Southern
253.FalconsYawin Smallwood ILBConnecticut
254.CowboysTerrance Mitchell CBOregon
255.FalconsTyler Starr OLBSouth Dakota
256.TexansLonnie Ballentine SMemphis
*pick acquired by trade. Source: NFL.com
2014 NFL Draft Grades
TeamNotable PicksDraft GradeTrade GradeComments
Arizona CardinalsSS Deone Bucannon (27), TE Troy Niklas (52), QB Logan Thomas (120)BBArizona addressed a key need at safety and also landed a QB for the future in Logan Thomas.
Atlanta FalconsOT Jake Matthews (6), DL Ra'Shede Hageman (37), RB Devonta Freeman (103)A-BThe Falcons managed to acquire a pro-ready OT in Round 1 without trading up but could have used a DE.
Baltimore RavensILB C.J. Mosley (17), DT Tim Jernigan (48), S Terrence Brooks (79)BBBaltimore added some excellent defensive pieces and filled a need at TE in Round 3.
Buffalo BillsWR Sammy Watkins (4), OT Cyrus Kouandjio (44)CDBuffalo gave up a first-round pick in 2015 to move up five spots to draft WR Sammy Watkins.
Carolina PanthersWR Kelvin Benjamin (28), DL Kony Ealy (60)CBThe Panthers made some head-scratching moves early. WR Kelvin Benjamin fills a need but is a boom-or-bust talent.
Chicago BearsCB Kyle Fuller (14), DT Ego Ferguson (51)BBChicago went defense with its first three picks, a smart move based on the Bears' performance a year ago.
Cincinnati BengalsCB Darqueze Dennard (24), RB Jeremy Hill (55), DE Will Clarke (88)BBCincinnati addressed needs at CB and DE over the first two days and landed a QB to perhaps challenge Andy Dalton.
Cleveland BrownsCB Justin Gilbert (8), QB Johnny Manziel (22), OL Joel Bitonio (35), RB Terrance West (94)B+AThe Browns made just one pick on Day 3, but landed a handful of offensive talents early after taking CB Justin Gilbert eighth overall.
Dallas CowboysOT Zack Martin (16), DE Demarcus Lawrence (34)BAThe Cowboys addressed their defensive line deficiencies and got an elite tackle to protect Tony Romo in Round 1.
Denver BroncosCB Bradley Roby (31), WR Cody Latimer (56)B-BCB Bradley Roby could turn out to be a big pickup for Denver if he can avoid trouble off the field.
Detroit LionsTE Eric Ebron (10), OLB Kyle Van Noy (40)BB-Detroit added another playmaker in TE Eric Ebron, but could have done a better job bolstering its secondary.
Green Bay PackersFS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21), WR Davante Adams (53)ABS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was the perfect addition in Round 1 and WR Davante Adams should step in and contribute right away.
Houston TexansDE Jadeveon Clowney (1), OG Xavier Su'a-Filo (33), TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (65), DT Louis Nix (83), QB Tom Savage (135)AB+DE Jadeveon Clowney is a franchise-changing talent and DT Louis Nix was a steal in Round 3. QB Tom Savage also has potential.
Indianapolis ColtsOL Jack Mewhort (59), WR Donte Moncrief (90)CBThe Colts made some odd moves, none stranger than OT Jack Mewhort in Round 2 when better linemen were still available.
Jacksonville JaguarsQB Blake Bortles (3), WR Marqise Lee (39), WR Allen Robinson (61)AAJacksonville appears to be headed in a new direction after one of the franchise's more impressive drafts.
Kansas City ChiefsDE Dee Ford (23), CB Phillip Gaines (87), RB De'Anthony Thomas (124), QB Aaron Murray (163)B-BDE Dee Ford should boost a pass rush that fell off dramatically last season and RB De'Anthony Thomas and QB Aaron Murray are intriguing.
Miami DolphinsOT Ja'Wuan James (19), WR Jarvis Landry (63)BB-The Dolphins made it their mission to bolster their offensive line, taking two tackles within their first three picks.
Minnesota VikingsOLB Anthony Barr (9), QB Teddy Bridgewater (32), DE Scott Crichton (72)B+AMinnesota acquired a boom-or-bust prospect in LB Anthony Barr and landed its QB of the future in Teddy Bridgewater all in Round 1.
New England PatriotsDT Dominique Easley (29), QB Jimmy Garoppolo (62)D+B-Taking QB Jimmy Garoppolo in Round 2 when Tom Brady is the face of the franchise?
New Orleans SaintsWR Brandin Cooks (20), CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (58)CBNew Orleans didn't fare too well after its first two picks and trading up for WR Brandin Cooks cost it a third-round pick.
New York GiantsWR Odell Beckham (12), C Weston Richburg (43)B-BWR Odell Beckham Jr. is a big pickup for the Giants, but to come right back with C Weston Richburg in Round 2?
New York JetsFS Calvin Pryor (18), TE Jace Amaro (49), QB Tajh Boyd (213)BBThe Jets added a ton of players to the mix, including three WRs.
Oakland RaidersOLB Khalil Mack (5), QB Derek Carr (36), OG Gabe Jackson (81)B+AOakland did well on draft weekend, landing LB Khalil Mack at No. 5 overall and acquiring its QB of the future in Derek Carr early in Round 2.
Philadelphia EaglesDE Marcus Smith (26), WR Jordan Matthews (42)C+B-WR Jordan Matthews was a nice addition in Round 2, but DE Marcus Smith was likely a reach at No. 26.
Pittsburgh SteelersOLB Ryan Shazier (15), DL Stephon Tuitt (46)C-ADespite desperately needing offensive weapons, Pittsburgh drafted just one WR, and not until Round 4.
San Diego ChargersCB Jason Verrett (25), OLB Jeremy Attaochu (50)B-BThe Chargers got their CB in Round 1 and added an edge-rusher in Round 2. Third-round pick G Chris Watt was also a nice add.
San Francisco 49ersSS Jimmie Ward (30), RB Carlos Hyde (57), OG Marcus Martin (70), ILB Chris Borland (77), WR Bruce Ellington (106)A-AThe Niners landed WR Steve Johson from Buffalo in exchange for a conditional pick and traded up to get RB Carlos Hyde in Round 2
Seattle SeahawksWR Paul Richardson (45), OL Justin Britt (64)CB-Seattle's first two picks were bizarre, but the Seahawks managed to salvage the weekend with some underrated Day 3 adds.
St. Louis RamsOT Greg Robinson (2), DT Aaron Donald (13), CB Lamarcus Joyner (41), RB Tre Mason (75), DE Michael Sam (249)ABThe Rams made some brilliant moves in the early stages and landed a great value pick in DE Michael Sam.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersWR Mike Evans (7), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (38)B+BTampa Bay used all six of its picks on offense but landed a handful of playmakers.
Tennessee TitansOT Taylor Lewan (11), RB Bishop Sankey (54), QB Zach Mettenberger (178)B-BOT Taylor Lewan is a stellar prospect, and RB Bishop Sankey fills a key need.
Washington RedskinsLB Trent Murphy (47), OT Morgan Moses (66), RB Lache Seastrunk (186)CB+The Redskins didn't find themselves on the clock until pick No. 47, but they managed to add some potential starters in OT Morgan Moses and CB Bashaud Breeland.
Source: NFL.com

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Blake Bortles of the UCF Knights poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #3 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York
Elsa/Getty Images

Despite coming off a 4-12 season, things are actually starting to look up for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who snared their quarterback of the future in Blake Bortles in Round 1 and then made it their mission to acquire some weapons for him on Day 2.

Landing USC's Marqise Lee at No. 39 overall was a tremendous value pick and could turn out to be one of the draft's biggest steals down the road. 

A nagging knee injury that limited Lee last season hurt his stock leading up to the draft, but his separation skills and big-play ability ranks him right alongside any other receiver in this draft outside of Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans. 

Adding Penn State wideout Allen Robinson 22 picks later could also prove huge for Jacksonville, especially with the team seemingly prepared to move on without suspended receiver Justin Blackmon

General manager Dave Caldwell recently said the team has "moved on for this year" and head coach Gus Bradley echoed those sentiments with the following comment, per NBC Sports Pro Football Talk's Mike Wilkening: "Well, we haven’t heard much, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going in the right direction."

The Jaguars were able to acquire Robinson after trading up into the second round, sending the San Francisco 49ers a third- and fifth-round pick in exchange for a shot at a big target for Bortles.

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 10: Wide receiver Allen Robinson #8 of the Penn State Nittany Lions catches a long 3rd down reception over cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste #16 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game at Memorial Stadium on November 10, 2012 i
Eric Francis/Getty Images

Caldwell made another trade on Day 2, sending a fourth- and sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for a third-round selection that turned into Miami guard Brandon Linder.

The moves were clearly made in an effort to make Bortles' life easier, as noted by the Florida Times-Union's Hays Carlyon:

Jacksonville would use its first three picks of Day 3 on defense, before picking up another ACC offensive lineman in Virginia's Luke Bowanko and productive Central Florida running back Storm Johnson. 

Although Johnson turned out to be a seventh-round pick, he lands in a unique situation as he remains close to where he played his college football and has already established chemistry with Bortles.

With the pieces the Jaguars added, they are sure to be much-improved in 2014 and could have an outside chance at making the playoffs considering the current state of the AFC South. 

 

St. Louis Rams

May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Greg Robinson (Auburn) poses with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number two overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the St. Louis Rams at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Ada
USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Rams, who play in the NFL's toughest division by far, entered the 2014 NFL draft with minimal room for error but managed to knock it out of the park by adding some big-time pieces on both sides of the ball, including one of the most polarizing prospects of this year's class.

With one of their four seventh-round picks, the Rams selected Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player to be drafted into the NFL.

Sam won SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors last season and brings tremendous edge-rushing skills and energy to the table.

Coming into Thursday's first round, no one knew for sure whether the Rams would hold onto their two picks or perhaps make a trade. St. Louis not only kept the picks, but landed two studs in Auburn tackle Greg Robinson and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald at No. 2 and No. 13, respectively, per ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen:

Robinson is without a doubt the top tackle in this year's class and will allow the Rams to do a much better job of protecting franchise quarterback Sam Bradford, who is coming off ACL surgery

Meanwhile, Donald adds power and quickness to an already-formidable defensive front in St. Louis.

But it didn't end there. The Rams would add nine more players to the mix over the final two days, including a pair of solid Day 2 selections in Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner and Auburn running back Tre Mason, who joins his former teammate, per ESPN Stats & Info:

St. Louis traded up three spots in Round 2 to land Joyner at No. 41, sending the No. 44 pick and a fifth-round selection to the Buffalo Bills. In addition to his size and speed, Joyner's instincts, playmaking ability and versatility make him one of the top Day 2 pickups of any team, as pointed out by USA Today's Paul Myerberg:

And while Mason isn't the explosive power runner Steven Jackson used to be, his combination of quickness and vision make him an ideal third-round pickup. Mason is also versatile enough to contribute in the passing game for St. Louis.

It also doesn't hurt that Mason rushed for 1,800-plus yards and 23 touchdowns behind Robinson last year at Auburn. Playing alongside a familiar face could certainly assist in Mason's transition and development.

While the NFC West is sure to remain one of the most competitive divisions in football next season, the Rams appear ready to challenge the defending Super Bowl champions and others with a retooled offense.

 

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