NFL Draft 2014: Rounds 1-7 Results, Grades and Hidden Gems

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NFL Draft 2014: Rounds 1-7 Results, Grades and Hidden Gems
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The 2014 NFL draft has finally ended after three days, immense suspense and drama, and 256 total selections. There are a lot of picks to process, assess and grade for all 32 teams, but thanks to the fact that this was a particularly deep pool of incoming professional players, many franchises fared rather well.

Although many of the big-name prospects went in Thursday's first round, there were some steals to be had as the draft progressed, especially on Day 3.

Bear in mind that Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman, now the highest-paid cornerback in the league, was selected in the fifth round in 2011. Thus, there is likely some starting-caliber talent that came off the board even at the latter stages of this draft. They may not have a massive impact right away, but should prove to be diamonds in the rough in time.

Below is a look at grades for each team, deeper analysis of a few hidden gems from the final five rounds and a list of complete results thereafter. 

2014 NFL Draft Team Grades
Team Grades Quick Analysis
Arizona Cardinals A+ Deone Bucannon brings attitude to the secondary. Troy Niklas is a great target with plenty of upside at tight end. Logan Thomas is the ideal project QB.
Atlanta Falcons B+ A lot of safe but effective choices. Should help team bounce back from lackluster 2013 campaign.
Baltimore Ravens A- Invested a lot in defense. Should be set to return to elite form within two years.
Buffalo Bills C Crazy cost to trade up for Sammy Watkins. That will define the success of this draft.
Carolina Panthers B- Like almost every pick. Unfortunately, Cam Newton still doesn't have a left tackle.
Chicago Bears B Every pick made sense in terms of needs. New defensive linemen must prove themselves.
Cincinnati Bengals C+ Darqueze Dennard a Round 1 steal. Jeremy Hill an intriguing running back. AJ McCarron made little sense in fifth round.
Cleveland Browns B+ Filled many needs, selected QB of the future, but didn't address big hole at receiver. May use one of two 2015 first-round picks to acquire one via trade.
Dallas Cowboys A- Jerry Jones wasn't all that flashy. It still helped the Cowboys improve in key areas.
Denver Broncos A The rich get richer. Bradley Roby and Cody Latimer make this another strong haul for John Elway and Co.
Detroit Lions D+ Perplexing neglect of the secondary until Round 4. Eric Ebron brings yet another dimension to Detroit's offense.
Green Bay Packers B Great top two picks; multiple receivers late. Could have used more defenders.
Houston Texans A+ Bolstered both lines, got Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 overall, stole Louis Nix in Round 3 and picked up potential franchise QB steal in Tom Savage.
Indianapolis Colts D Dealt the first-rounder to Cleveland that eventually became Johnny Manziel. What the Colts did have wasn't put to notable use.
Jacksonville Jaguars D A rough go for the AFC South. Baffling to take Blake Bortles at No. 3 overall, which offset most progress made later on.
Kansas City Chiefs D- Unless Aaron Murray becomes the heir apparent, very little was unearthed from this class for Kansas City.
Miami Dolphins F Dubious small-school selections and reaches in first two rounds. An obscure draft for first-year general manager Dennis Hickey.
Minnesota Vikings A+ Maybe the best draft of anyone. Huge props to GM Rick Spielman while under terse examination.
New England Patriots D Jimmy Garoppolo as Tom Brady's successor? Oft-injured Dominique Easley in Round 1? Question marks all over the place.
New Orleans Saints A- Brandin Cooks and Stanley Jean-Baptiste alone warrant such a high mark.
New York Giants B Dynamic weapon in Odell Beckham Jr., added to backfield and boosted depth in key spots.
New York Jets A- Capitalized on deep draft by using every pick. Not everyone will fit, but great first two rounds.
Oakland Raiders A Great, safe pick in Round 1; landed their favorite QB in Derek Carr to start Day 2.
Philadelphia Eagles D+ Took two Oregon players later, proving coach Chip Kelly runs the show. Jordan Matthews the only great value.
Pittsburgh Steelers B Substantial risk in several prospects. Upside of Ryan Shazier, Dri Archer and Martavis Bryant bring much needed explosiveness.
San Diego Chargers C Wisely went defense early. Not too many great prospects other than first-rounder Jason Verrett, though.
San Francisco 49ers A+ Another savvy draft by GM Trent Baalke. Tough to criticize any pick. Plugged immediate need holes and invested in future/depth.
Seattle Seahawks B- Russell Wilson has two new receivers, but how much will either contribute in 2014?
St. Louis Rams A Improved toughness in the trenches in Round 1, landmark choice in Michael Sam in seventh round.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers A- Got playmakers for QB Josh McCown. Did well with what they had after a big haul in free agency.
Tennessee Titans C- Didn't make many splash picks. Took some underrated defenders. Invested first-rounder in offensive line for second year in a row.
Washington Redskins C Not a lot of standout players, but no first-round pick. Morgan Moses was strong pick to improve offensive line in Round 3.

Grades are personal opinion.

Hidden Gems in the Draft

Round 3, No. 96 overall: Jerick McKinnon, RB, Minnesota Vikings

Instead of the powerful Toby Gerhart behind Adrian Peterson, Minnesota has opted for a small-school speedster out of Georgia Southern to spell the best back in the NFL.

McKinnon was a phenom at the NFL Scouting Combine, putting up an improbable 32 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and running a 4.37-second 40-yard dash. There is so much to like about him, and he also played quarterback in an option-heavy rushing attack in college.

ESPN's Chris Sprow noted how dangerous McKinnon can be in outlining how dire the No. 2 running back spot behind Peterson was before this pick:

A compact 5'9", 209-pound frame with a low center of gravity should dismiss at least some concerns about the level of collegiate competition he faced.

Questions linger about his ability to catch the ball, but the Vikings have plenty of weapons who can do that, and Peterson can certainly teach McKinnon a thing or two about being as complete a player as possible at the position.

"He's elusive, he has great speed in the open field," said general manager Rick Spielman, per the Associated Press, via "He kind of gives us that dynamic third-down type back that will give us a little spark when he comes in."

This is a big pickup for Minnesota to help spell Peterson as his career continues. The hope is that the Vikings finally got a viable quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater to alleviate some of the burden. McKinnon's explosiveness suggests he can detract attention and punishment from both of those players, help Minnesota with chunk plays and be a critical change of pace it needs.

The creative offensive mind of play-caller Norv Turner promises to make the most of McKinnon's abilities, too.

Round 4, No. 120 overall: Logan Thomas, QB, Arizona Cardinals

Thomas could not have hoped for a better possible situation than landing in the desert. Head coach Bruce Arians should embrace taking on the challenge of developing Thomas behind Carson Palmer.

Arians has tutored the likes of Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck at the dawns of their respective careers, and gave Palmer new life en route to a 10-6 record in 2013. That bodes well for Thomas, whose cannon arm and prototypical size translate perfectly to Arians' vertical passing offense.

The Cardinals have lethal weapons in place in Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd on the outside. Plus, they added Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas in Round 2. He measured 6'6" and 270 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine and has a ton of potential still to tap.

That goes for Thomas, too, who is the same height, has massive 10 7/8" hands and will be in a much better position to succeed than he has been as a college player. Bruce Feldman of points out a notable statistic that hampered Thomas last season, along with lackluster protection:

It remains to be seen if he can elevate the play of those around him, but the flashy plays, arm talent and 4.61-second speed in the 40-yard dash make him an absolute steal in Round 4.

More than anything, it's the circumstances surrounding his arrival in Arizona that makes general manager Steve Keim looks like a genius in this instance. After all the hype surrounding Thomas extinguished in the wake of a poor senior season at Virginia Tech, don't be surprised if he turns a ton of heads in training camp.

Round 6, No. 182 overall: Antone Exum, DB, Minnesota Vikings

These steals offer somewhat of a narrow scope, as this is the second Viking and ex-Virginia Tech Hokie to be named, but Exum warrants it at the stage he went in the draft.

Sherman was mentioned before, and a big reason why he succeeds as one of the premier corners is because of his ability to play press coverage, his ball skills and a fearlessness at the point of attack. Exum possesses those traits, and was overshadowed somewhat by fellow Hokie and first-round cornerback Kyle Fuller.

Thanks to his bulk at 6'0" and 213 pounds, there's a chance Exum can slide over and play more safety than corner. Matt Vensel of The Minneapolis Star Tribune hinted at this in his analysis:

A torn ACL cut his senior season to three games, but the upside is there to take a late-round flier on him. New head coach Mike Zimmer will love having someone like Exum in the secondary to move around, since he's good enough in coverage to play outside or in the nickel and dime packages at cornerback or safety.

Who was your favorite steal in the 2014 NFL draft?

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Exum knocked down 16 passes and had five interceptions as a junior and could have come out for last year's draft. Now that he's in the fold, he should be able to roam around the secondary and make a splash just about anywhere in the defensive backfield.

Looking forward, there are bound to be plenty more steals to discuss in the years to come from what should be considered one of the best drafts in the modern era. These are merely three of the several notables who figure to make a big impact.

Speed tends to kill in the modern NFL, which is why McKinnon is bound to thrive despite his diminutive size and inferior competition faced. Thomas landed in the best spot possible based on Arians' developing of QBs, and fits the dual-threat prototype in terms of physical tools to justify his fourth-round selection.

As for Exum, his obvious physicality and size are enviable traits that should have been coveted earlier on despite his injury red flags. A lot of what determines a player's fate in the pros is where he begins his career and how he fits into that organization's puzzle. All three of these studs are in position for greatness in the NFL on that basis, and have translatable abilities that are ideal for the league's pass-happy climate.

Round 1 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
1 Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE/OLB South Carolina
2 Rams (from WSH) Greg Robinson OT Auburn
3 Jaguars Blake Bortles QB UCF
4 Bills* Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
5 Raiders Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
6 Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
7 Buccaneers Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
8 Browns* Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
9 Vikings* Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
10 Lions Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
11 Titans Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
12 Giants Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
13 Rams Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
14 Bears Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
15 Steelers Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
16 Cowboys Zack Martin OG/OT Notre Dame
17 Ravens C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
18 Jets Calvin Pryor FS Louisville
19 Dolphins Ja'Wuan James OT Tennessee
20 Saints* Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
21 Packers Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
22 Browns* Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
23 Chiefs Dee Ford DE/OLB Auburn
24 Bengals Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
25 Chargers Jason Verrett CB TCU
26 Eagles* (from IND) Marcus Smith DE/OLB Louisville
27 Cardinals* Deone Bucannon SS Washington State
28 Panthers Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State
29 Patriots Dominique Easley DT Florida
30 49ers Jimmie Ward SS Northern Illinois
31 Broncos Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
32 Vikings* Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

Round 2 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
33 Texans Xavier Su'a-Filo OG UCLA
34 Cowboys* Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State
35 Browns Joel Bitonio OT Nevada
36 Raiders Derek Carr QB Fresno State
37 Falcons Ra'Shede Hageman DT Minnesota
38 Buccaneers Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington
39 Jaguars Marqise Lee WR USC
40 Lions* Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
41 Rams* Lamarcus Joyner CB Florida State
42 Eagles* Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
43 Giants Weston Richburg C Colorado State
44 Bills* Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama
45 Seahawks* Paul Richardson WR Colorado
46 Steelers Stephon Tuitt DT/DE Notre Dame
47 Redskins* Trent Murphy OLB Stanford
48 Ravens Timmy Jernigan DT/DE Florida State
49 Jets Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
50 Chargers* Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech
51 Bears Ego Ferguson DT LSU
52 Cardinals Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
53 Packers Davante Adams WR Fresno State
54 Titans* Bishop Sankey RB Washington
55 Bengals Jeremy Hill RB LSU
56 Broncos* (from SF) Cody Latimer WR Indiana
57 49ers* Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State
58 Saints Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
59 Colts Jack Mewhort OT Ohio State
60 Panthers Kony Ealy DE Missouri
61 Jaguars* Allen Robinson WR Penn State
62 Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois
63 Dolphins* Jarvis Landry WR LSU
64 Seahawks Justin Britt OT Missouri

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

Round 3 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
65 Texans C.J. Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
66 Redskins Morgan Moses OT Virginia
67 Dolphins* Billy Turner OT North Dakota State
68 Falcons Dezmen Southward S Wisconsin
69 Buccaneers Charles Sims RB West Virginia
70 49ers* Marcus Martin C USC
71 Browns Christian Kirksey OLB Iowa
72 Vikings Scott Crichton DE Oregon State
73 Bills Preston Brown ILB Louisville
74 Giants Jay Bromley DT Syracuse
75 Rams Tre Mason RB Auburn
76 Lions Travis Swanson C Arkansas
77 49ers (from TEN) Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin
78 Redskins* Spencer Long OG Nebraska
79 Ravens Terrence Brooks S Florida State
80 Jets Dexter McDougle CB Maryland
81 Raiders* Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi State
82 Bears Will Sutton DT Arizona State
83 Texans* (from PIT) Louis Nix DT Notre Dame
84 Cardinals Kareem Martin DE North Carolina
85 Packers Khyri Thornton DT Southern Mississippi
86 Eagles Josh Huff WR Oregon
87 Chiefs Phillip Gaines CB Rice
88 Bengals Will Clarke DE West Virginia
89 Chargers Chris Watt OG Notre Dame
90 Colts Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss
91 Cardinals* John Brown WR Pittsburg State
92 Panthers Trai Turner OG LSU
93 Jaguars* Brandon Linder OG Miami (Fla.)
94 Browns* Terrance West RB Towson
95 Broncos Michael Schofield OT Michigan
96 Vikings (from SEA) Jerick McKinnon RB Georgia Southern
97 Steelers Dri Archer RB/WR Kent State
98 Packers Richard Rodgers TE California
99 Ravens Crockett Gillmore TE Colorado State
100 49ers Brandon Thomas OG/OT Clemson

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

Round 4 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
101 Eagles* Jaylen Watkins CB Florida
102 Redskins Bashaud Breeland CB Clemson
103 Falcons Devonta Freeman RB Florida State
104 Jets (from TB) Jalen Saunders WR Oklahoma
105 Patriots* Bryan Stork C Florida State
106 49ers* Bruce Ellington WR South Carolina
107 Raiders Justin Ellis DT Louisiana Tech
108 Seahawks* Cassius Marsh DE UCLA
109 Bills Ross Cockrell CB Duke
110 Rams Maurice Alexander S Utah State
111 Bengals* Russell Bodine C North Carolina
112 Titans DaQuan Jones DT Penn State
113 Giants Andre Williams RB Boston College
114 Jaguars (from BAL) Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma
115 Jets Shaquelle Evans WR UCLA
116 Raiders* Keith McGill CB Utah
117 Bears Ka'Deem Carey RB Arizona
118 Steelers Martavis Bryant WR Clemson
119 Cowboys Anthony Hitchens OLB Iowa
120 Cardinals Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech
121 Packers Carl Bradford OLB Arizona State
122 Titans* Marqueston Huff CB Wyoming
123 Seahawks* Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
124 Chiefs De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon
125 Dolphins* Walt Aikens CB Liberty
126 Saints Khairi Fortt OLB California
127 Browns (from IND) Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
128 Panthers Tre Boston S North Carolina
129 49ers Dontae Johnson CB North Carolina State
130 Patriots James White RB Wisconsin
131 Bears* Brock Vereen S Minnesota
132 Seahawks Kevin Pierre-Louis OLB Boston College
133 Lions Nevin Lawson CB Utah State
134 Ravens Brent Urban DT/DE Virginia
135 Texans Tom Savage QB Pittsburgh
136 Lions Larry Webster TE/DE Bloomsburg
137 Jets Dakota Dozier OT Furman
138 Ravens Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Coastal Carolina
139 Falcons Prince Shembo OLB Notre Dame
140 Patriots Cameron Fleming OT Stanford

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

Round 5 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
141 Eagles* Taylor Hart DE Oregon
142 Redskins Ryan Grant WR Tulane
143 Buccaneers Kadeem Edwards OG Tennessee State
144 Jaguars Telvin Smith OLB Florida State
145 Vikings* David Yankey OG Stanford
146 Cowboys* (from OAK) Devin Street WR Pittsburgh
147 Falcons Ricardo Allen CB Purdue
148 Panthers* Bene Benwikere CB San Jose State
149 Buccaneers* Kevin Pamphile OT Purdue
150 49ers* (from DET) Aaron Lynch DE South Florida
151 Titans Avery Williamson ILB Kentucky
152 Giants Nat Berhe S San Diego State
153 Bills* Cyril Richardson OG Baylor
154 Jets Jeremiah George ILB Iowa State
155 Dolphins Arthur Lynch TE Georgia
156 Broncos* Lamin Barrow OLB LSU
157 Steelers Shaquille Richardson CB Arizona
158 Lions* Caraun Reid DT Princeton
159 Jaguars (from BAL) Chris Smith OLB/DE Arkansas
160 Cardinals Ed Stinson DE Alabama
161 Packers Corey Linsley C Ohio State
162 Eagles Ed Reynolds S Stanford
163 Chiefs Aaron Murray QB Georgia
164 Bengals AJ McCarron QB Alabama
165 Chargers Ryan Carrethers DT Arkansas State
166 Colts Jonathan Newsome DE Ball State
167 Saints Vinnie Sunseri S Alabama
168 *Falcons Marquis Spruill ILB Syracuse
169 Saints (from NE via PHI) Ronald Powell OLB Florida
170 49ers Keith Reaser CB Florida Atlantic
171 Dolphins* Jordan Tripp OLB Montana
172 Seahawks Jimmy Staten DT Middle Tennessee
173 Steelers Wesley Johnson OT Vanderbilt
174 Giants Devon Kennard OLB USC
175 Ravens John Urschel OG Penn State
176 Packers Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

Round 6 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
177 Texans Jeoffrey Pagan DE Alabama
178 Titans* Zach Mettenberger QB LSU
179 Patriots* Jon Halapio OG Florida
180 49ers* Kenneth Acker CB Southern Methodist
181 Texans (from OAK) Alfred Blue RB LSU
182 Vikings* Antone Exum CB Virginia Tech
183 Bears (from TB) David Fales QB San Jose State
184 Vikings Kendall James CB Maine
185 Buccaneers (from BUF) Robert Herron WR Wyoming
186 Redskins* Lache Seastrunk RB Baylor
187 Giants Bennett Jackson CB Notre Dame
188 Rams E.J. Gaines CB Missouri
189 Lions TJ Jones WR Notre Dame
190 Dolphins Matt Hazel WR Coastal Carolina
191 Bears Pat O'Donnell P Miami (Fla.)
192 Steelers Jordan Zumwalt OLB UCLA
193 Chiefs (from DAL) Zach Fulton OG Tennessee
194 Ravens Keith Wenning QB Ball State
195 Jets Brandon Dixon CB Northwest Missouri State
196 Cardinals Walter Powell WR Murray State
197 Packers Demetri Goodson CB Baylor
198 Patriots (from PHI) Zach Moore DE Concordia-St. Paul
199 Seahawks* Garrett Scott OT Marshall
200 Chiefs Laurent Duvernay-Tardif OT McGill
201 Chargers Marion Grice RB Arizona State
202 Saints Tavon Rooks OT Kansas State
203 Colts Andrew Jackson ILB Western Kentucky
204 Panthers Tyler Gaffney RB Stanford
205 Jaguars (from SF) Luke Bowanko C Virginia
206 Patriots Jemea Thomas S Georgia Tech
207 Broncos Matt Paradis C Boise State
208 Seahawks Eric Pinkins S San Diego State
209 Jets Quincy Enunwa WR Nebraska
210 Jets IK Enemkpali DE Louisiana Tech
211 Texans Jay Prosch FB Auburn
212 Bengals Marquis Flowers OLB Arizona
213 Jets Tajh Boyd QB Clemson
214 Rams Garrett Gilbert QB SMU
215 Steelers Daniel McCullers DT Tennessee

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

Round 7 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
216 Texans Dre Hal CB Vanderbilt
217 Redskins Ted Bolser TE Indiana
218 Ravens* Michael Campanaro WR Wake Forest
219 Raiders T.J. Carrie CB Ohio
220 Vikings* Shamar Stephen DT Connecticut
221 Bills* Randell Johnson OLB Florida Atlantic
222 Jaguars Storm Johnson RB UCF
223 Vikings Brandon Watts OLB Georgia Tech
224 Eagles* Beau Allen DT Wisconsin
225 Vikings* (from NYG) Jabari Price CB North Carolina
226 Rams Mitchell Van Dyk OT Portland State
227 Seahawks* Kiero Small FB Arkansas
228 Redskins* Zach Hocker K Arkansas
229 Lions* (from CHI) Nate Freese K Boston College
230 Steelers Rob Blanchflower TE Massachusetts
231 Cowboys Ben Gardner DE Stanford
232 Colts (from BAL) Ulrick John OT Georgia State
233 Jets Trevor Reilly OLB Utah
234 Dolphins Terrence Fede DE Marist
235 Raiders (from ARZ) Shelby Harris DE Illinois State
236 Packers Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley
237 Bills* Seantrel Henderson OT Miami (Fla.)
238 Cowboys (from KC) Will Smith ILB Texas Tech
239 Bengals James Wright WR LSU
240 Chargers Tevin Reese WR Baylor
241 Rams (from IND) Christian Bryant S Ohio State
242 Broncos* (from NO) Corey Nelson OLB Oklahoma
243 49ers (from CAR) Kaleb Ramsey DT Boston College
244 Patriots Jeremy Gallon WR Michigan
245 49ers Trey Millard FB Oklahoma
246 Bears* Charles Leno OT Boise State
247 Raiders Jonathan Dowling CB Western Kentucky
248 Cowboys Ahmad Dixon S Baylor
249 Rams Michael Sam DE Missouri
250 Rams Demetrius Rhaney C Tennessee State
251 Cowboys Ken Bishop DT Northern Illinois
252 Bengals Lavelle Westbrooks CB Georgia Southern
253 Falcons Yawin Smallwood ILB Connecticut
254 Cowboys Terrance Mitchell CB Oregon
255 Falcons Tyler Starr OLB South Dakota
256 Texans Lonnie Ballentine S Memphis

Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

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