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

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIMay 11, 2014

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Logan Thomas #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies passes against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium on September 26, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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
TeamGradesQuick Analysis
Arizona CardinalsA+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 FalconsB+A lot of safe but effective choices. Should help team bounce back from lackluster 2013 campaign.
Baltimore RavensA-Invested a lot in defense. Should be set to return to elite form within two years.
Buffalo BillsCCrazy cost to trade up for Sammy Watkins. That will define the success of this draft.
Carolina PanthersB-Like almost every pick. Unfortunately, Cam Newton still doesn't have a left tackle.
Chicago BearsBEvery pick made sense in terms of needs. New defensive linemen must prove themselves.
Cincinnati BengalsC+Darqueze Dennard a Round 1 steal. Jeremy Hill an intriguing running back. AJ McCarron made little sense in fifth round.
Cleveland BrownsB+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 CowboysA-Jerry Jones wasn't all that flashy. It still helped the Cowboys improve in key areas.
Denver BroncosAThe rich get richer. Bradley Roby and Cody Latimer make this another strong haul for John Elway and Co.
Detroit LionsD+Perplexing neglect of the secondary until Round 4. Eric Ebron brings yet another dimension to Detroit's offense.
Green Bay PackersBGreat top two picks; multiple receivers late. Could have used more defenders.
Houston TexansA+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 ColtsDDealt the first-rounder to Cleveland that eventually became Johnny Manziel. What the Colts did have wasn't put to notable use.
Jacksonville JaguarsDA rough go for the AFC South. Baffling to take Blake Bortles at No. 3 overall, which offset most progress made later on.
Kansas City ChiefsD-Unless Aaron Murray becomes the heir apparent, very little was unearthed from this class for Kansas City.
Miami DolphinsFDubious small-school selections and reaches in first two rounds. An obscure draft for first-year general manager Dennis Hickey.
Minnesota VikingsA+Maybe the best draft of anyone. Huge props to GM Rick Spielman while under terse examination.
New England PatriotsDJimmy Garoppolo as Tom Brady's successor? Oft-injured Dominique Easley in Round 1? Question marks all over the place.
New Orleans SaintsA-Brandin Cooks and Stanley Jean-Baptiste alone warrant such a high mark.
New York GiantsBDynamic weapon in Odell Beckham Jr., added to backfield and boosted depth in key spots.
New York JetsA-Capitalized on deep draft by using every pick. Not everyone will fit, but great first two rounds.
Oakland RaidersAGreat, safe pick in Round 1; landed their favorite QB in Derek Carr to start Day 2.
Philadelphia EaglesD+Took two Oregon players later, proving coach Chip Kelly runs the show. Jordan Matthews the only great value.
Pittsburgh SteelersBSubstantial risk in several prospects. Upside of Ryan Shazier, Dri Archer and Martavis Bryant bring much needed explosiveness.
San Diego ChargersCWisely went defense early. Not too many great prospects other than first-rounder Jason Verrett, though.
San Francisco 49ersA+Another savvy draft by GM Trent Baalke. Tough to criticize any pick. Plugged immediate need holes and invested in future/depth.
Seattle SeahawksB-Russell Wilson has two new receivers, but how much will either contribute in 2014?
St. Louis RamsAImproved toughness in the trenches in Round 1, landmark choice in Michael Sam in seventh round.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersA-Got playmakers for QB Josh McCown. Did well with what they had after a big haul in free agency.
Tennessee TitansC-Didn't make many splash picks. Took some underrated defenders. Invested first-rounder in offensive line for second year in a row.
Washington Redskins CNot 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 StarTribune.com. "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 CBSSports.com 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.

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
1Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE/OLB South Carolina
2Rams (from WSH) Greg Robinson OT Auburn
3Jaguars Blake Bortles QB UCF
4Bills* Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
5Raiders Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
6Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
7Buccaneers Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
8Browns* Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
9Vikings* Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
10Lions Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
11Titans Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
12Giants Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
13Rams Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
14Bears Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
15Steelers Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
16Cowboys Zack Martin OG/OT Notre Dame
17Ravens C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
18Jets Calvin Pryor FS Louisville
19Dolphins Ja'Wuan James OT Tennessee
20Saints* Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
21Packers Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
22Browns* Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
23Chiefs Dee Ford DE/OLB Auburn
24Bengals Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
25Chargers Jason Verrett CB TCU
26Eagles* (from IND) Marcus Smith DE/OLB Louisville
27Cardinals* Deone Bucannon SS Washington State
28Panthers Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State
29Patriots Dominique Easley DT Florida
3049ers Jimmie Ward SS Northern Illinois
31Broncos Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
32Vikings* Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

 

Round 2 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
33Texans Xavier Su'a-Filo OG UCLA
34Cowboys* Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State
35Browns Joel Bitonio OT Nevada
36Raiders Derek Carr QB Fresno State
37Falcons Ra'Shede Hageman DT Minnesota
38Buccaneers Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington
39Jaguars Marqise Lee WR USC
40Lions* Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
41Rams* Lamarcus Joyner CB Florida State
42Eagles* Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
43Giants Weston Richburg C Colorado State
44Bills* Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama
45Seahawks* Paul Richardson WR Colorado
46Steelers Stephon Tuitt DT/DE Notre Dame
47Redskins* Trent Murphy OLB Stanford
48Ravens Timmy Jernigan DT/DE Florida State
49Jets Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
50Chargers* Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech
51Bears Ego Ferguson DT LSU
52Cardinals Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
53Packers Davante Adams WR Fresno State
54Titans* Bishop Sankey RB Washington
55Bengals Jeremy Hill RB LSU
56Broncos* (from SF) Cody Latimer WR Indiana
5749ers* Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State
58Saints Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
59Colts Jack Mewhort OT Ohio State
60Panthers Kony Ealy DE Missouri
61Jaguars* Allen Robinson WR Penn State
62Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois
63Dolphins* Jarvis Landry WR LSU
64Seahawks Justin Britt OT Missouri
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

 

Round 3 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
65Texans C.J. Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
66Redskins Morgan Moses OT Virginia
67Dolphins* Billy Turner OT North Dakota State
68Falcons Dezmen Southward S Wisconsin
69Buccaneers Charles Sims RB West Virginia
7049ers* Marcus Martin C USC
71Browns Christian Kirksey OLB Iowa
72Vikings Scott Crichton DE Oregon State
73Bills Preston Brown ILB Louisville
74Giants Jay Bromley DT Syracuse
75Rams Tre Mason RB Auburn
76Lions Travis Swanson C Arkansas
7749ers (from TEN) Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin
78Redskins* Spencer Long OG Nebraska
79Ravens Terrence Brooks S Florida State
80Jets Dexter McDougle CB Maryland
81Raiders* Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi State
82Bears Will Sutton DT Arizona State
83Texans* (from PIT) Louis Nix DT Notre Dame
84Cardinals Kareem Martin DE North Carolina
85Packers Khyri Thornton DT Southern Mississippi
86Eagles Josh Huff WR Oregon
87Chiefs Phillip Gaines CB Rice
88Bengals Will Clarke DE West Virginia
89Chargers Chris Watt OG Notre Dame
90Colts Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss
91Cardinals* John Brown WR Pittsburg State
92PanthersTrai Turner OG LSU
93Jaguars* Brandon Linder OG Miami (Fla.)
94Browns* Terrance West RB Towson
95Broncos Michael Schofield OT Michigan
96Vikings (from SEA) Jerick McKinnon RB Georgia Southern
97Steelers Dri Archer RB/WR Kent State
98Packers Richard Rodgers TE California
99RavensCrockett Gillmore TE Colorado State
10049ers Brandon Thomas OG/OT Clemson
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

 

Round 4 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
101Eagles* Jaylen Watkins CB Florida
102Redskins Bashaud Breeland CB Clemson
103Falcons Devonta Freeman RB Florida State
104Jets (from TB) Jalen Saunders WR Oklahoma
105Patriots* Bryan Stork C Florida State
10649ers* Bruce Ellington WR South Carolina
107Raiders Justin Ellis DT Louisiana Tech
108Seahawks* Cassius Marsh DE UCLA
109Bills Ross Cockrell CB Duke
110Rams Maurice Alexander S Utah State
111Bengals* Russell Bodine C North Carolina
112Titans DaQuan Jones DT Penn State
113Giants Andre Williams RB Boston College
114Jaguars (from BAL) Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma
115Jets Shaquelle Evans WR UCLA
116Raiders* Keith McGill CB Utah
117Bears Ka'Deem Carey RB Arizona
118Steelers Martavis Bryant WR Clemson
119Cowboys Anthony Hitchens OLB Iowa
120Cardinals Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech
121Packers Carl Bradford OLB Arizona State
122Titans* Marqueston Huff CB Wyoming
123Seahawks* Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
124Chiefs De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon
125Dolphins* Walt Aikens CB Liberty
126Saints Khairi Fortt OLB California
127Browns (from IND) Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood
128Panthers Tre Boston S North Carolina
12949ers Dontae Johnson CB North Carolina State
130Patriots James White RB Wisconsin
131Bears* Brock Vereen S Minnesota
132Seahawks Kevin Pierre-Louis OLB Boston College
133Lions Nevin Lawson CB Utah State
134Ravens Brent Urban DT/DE Virginia
135Texans Tom Savage QB Pittsburgh
136Lions Larry Webster TE/DE Bloomsburg
137Jets Dakota Dozier OT Furman
138Ravens Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Coastal Carolina
139Falcons Prince Shembo OLB Notre Dame
140Patriots Cameron Fleming OT Stanford
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

 

Round 5 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
141Eagles* Taylor Hart DE Oregon
142Redskins Ryan Grant WR Tulane
143Buccaneers Kadeem Edwards OG Tennessee State
144Jaguars Telvin Smith OLB Florida State
145Vikings* David Yankey OG Stanford
146Cowboys* (from OAK) Devin Street WR Pittsburgh
147Falcons Ricardo Allen CB Purdue
148Panthers* Bene Benwikere CB San Jose State
149Buccaneers* Kevin Pamphile OT Purdue
15049ers* (from DET) Aaron Lynch DE South Florida
151Titans Avery Williamson ILB Kentucky
152Giants Nat Berhe S San Diego State
153Bills* Cyril Richardson OG Baylor
154Jets Jeremiah George ILB Iowa State
155Dolphins Arthur Lynch TE Georgia
156Broncos* Lamin Barrow OLB LSU
157Steelers Shaquille Richardson CB Arizona
158Lions* Caraun Reid DT Princeton
159Jaguars (from BAL) Chris Smith OLB/DE Arkansas
160Cardinals Ed Stinson DE Alabama
161Packers Corey Linsley C Ohio State
162Eagles Ed Reynolds S Stanford
163Chiefs Aaron Murray QB Georgia
164Bengals AJ McCarron QB Alabama
165Chargers Ryan Carrethers DT Arkansas State
166Colts Jonathan Newsome DE Ball State
167Saints Vinnie Sunseri S Alabama
168*Falcons Marquis Spruill ILB Syracuse
169Saints (from NE via PHI) Ronald Powell OLB Florida
17049ers Keith Reaser CB Florida Atlantic
171Dolphins* Jordan Tripp OLB Montana
172Seahawks Jimmy Staten DT Middle Tennessee
173Steelers Wesley Johnson OT Vanderbilt
174Giants Devon Kennard OLB USC
175Ravens John Urschel OG Penn State
176Packers Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

 

Round 6 NFL Draft Results
Pick Team Player Position School
177Texans Jeoffrey Pagan DE Alabama
178Titans* Zach Mettenberger QB LSU
179Patriots* Jon Halapio OG Florida
18049ers* Kenneth Acker CB Southern Methodist
181Texans (from OAK) Alfred Blue RB LSU
182Vikings* Antone Exum CB Virginia Tech
183Bears (from TB) David Fales QB San Jose State
184Vikings Kendall James CB Maine
185Buccaneers (from BUF) Robert Herron WR Wyoming
186Redskins* Lache Seastrunk RB Baylor
187Giants Bennett Jackson CB Notre Dame
188Rams E.J. Gaines CB Missouri
189Lions TJ Jones WR Notre Dame
190Dolphins Matt Hazel WR Coastal Carolina
191Bears Pat O'Donnell P Miami (Fla.)
192Steelers Jordan Zumwalt OLB UCLA
193Chiefs (from DAL) Zach Fulton OG Tennessee
194Ravens Keith Wenning QB Ball State
195Jets Brandon Dixon CB Northwest Missouri State
196Cardinals Walter Powell WR Murray State
197Packers Demetri Goodson CB Baylor
198Patriots (from PHI) Zach Moore DE Concordia-St. Paul
199Seahawks* Garrett Scott OT Marshall
200Chiefs Laurent Duvernay-Tardif OT McGill
201Chargers Marion Grice RB Arizona State
202Saints Tavon Rooks OT Kansas State
203Colts Andrew Jackson ILB Western Kentucky
204Panthers Tyler Gaffney RB Stanford
205Jaguars (from SF) Luke Bowanko C Virginia
206Patriots Jemea Thomas S Georgia Tech
207Broncos Matt Paradis C Boise State
208Seahawks Eric Pinkins S San Diego State
209Jets Quincy Enunwa WR Nebraska
210Jets IK Enemkpali DE Louisiana Tech
211Texans Jay Prosch FB Auburn
212Bengals Marquis Flowers OLB Arizona
213Jets Tajh Boyd QB Clemson
214Rams Garrett Gilbert QB SMU
215Steelers Daniel McCullers DT Tennessee
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.

 

Round 7 NFL Draft Results
PickTeam Player Position School
216Texans Dre Hal CB Vanderbilt
217Redskins Ted Bolser TE Indiana
218Ravens* Michael Campanaro WR Wake Forest
219Raiders T.J. Carrie CB Ohio
220Vikings* Shamar Stephen DT Connecticut
221Bills* Randell Johnson OLB Florida Atlantic
222Jaguars Storm Johnson RB UCF
223Vikings Brandon Watts OLB Georgia Tech
224Eagles* Beau Allen DT Wisconsin
225Vikings* (from NYG) Jabari Price CB North Carolina
226Rams Mitchell Van Dyk OT Portland State
227Seahawks* Kiero Small FB Arkansas
228Redskins* Zach Hocker K Arkansas
229Lions* (from CHI) Nate Freese K Boston College
230Steelers Rob Blanchflower TE Massachusetts
231Cowboys Ben Gardner DE Stanford
232Colts (from BAL) Ulrick John OT Georgia State
233Jets Trevor Reilly OLB Utah
234Dolphins Terrence Fede DE Marist
235Raiders (from ARZ) Shelby Harris DE Illinois State
236Packers Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley
237Bills* Seantrel Henderson OT Miami (Fla.)
238Cowboys (from KC) Will Smith ILB Texas Tech
239Bengals James Wright WR LSU
240Chargers Tevin Reese WR Baylor
241Rams (from IND) Christian Bryant S Ohio State
242Broncos* (from NO) Corey Nelson OLB Oklahoma
24349ers (from CAR) Kaleb Ramsey DT Boston College
244Patriots Jeremy Gallon WR Michigan
24549ers Trey Millard FB Oklahoma
246Bears* Charles Leno OT Boise State
247Raiders Jonathan Dowling CB Western Kentucky
248Cowboys Ahmad Dixon S Baylor
249Rams Michael Sam DE Missouri
250Rams Demetrius Rhaney C Tennessee State
251Cowboys Ken Bishop DT Northern Illinois
252Bengals Lavelle Westbrooks CB Georgia Southern
253Falcons Yawin Smallwood ILB Connecticut
254Cowboys Terrance Mitchell CB Oregon
255Falcons Tyler Starr OLB South Dakota
256Texans Lonnie Ballentine S Memphis
Asterisk indicates pick was acquired via trade.