2014 NFL Draft Picks: Final Analysis for Top Prospects, Hidden Gems and More

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2014

Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end de Carolina del Sur, sostiene un jersey de los Texans de Houston luego de ser la primera selección del draft de la NFL. A su lado el comisionado de la liga, Roger Goodell, el jueves 8 de mayo de 2014. (Foto AP/Craig Ruttle)
Craig Ruttle/Associated Press

Even though we spend a lot of time talking about teams finding steals in the later rounds, what ultimately makes or breaks an NFL draft class is the first round and the star players who draw all the headlines. 

All 32 teams enter the draft hoping to find a superstar, but if even one player in a class emerges at that level, it's a huge win for the NFL. The league has been on a roll finding first-round studs lately with Andrew Luck and Luke Kuechly two years ago and Sheldon Richardson last year. 

As we put a bow on this year's draft extravaganza, we've got a final look at how the top prospect fits with his new team, a hidden gem who will emerge and a team ready to take the next step. 

 

Arizona Cardinals (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
127Deone BuchannonSSWashington State
252Troy NiklasTENotre Dame
384Kareem MartinDENorth Carolina
391John BrownWRPittsburgh State
4120Logan ThomasQBVirginia Tech
5160Ed StinsonDEAlabama
6196Walt PowellWRMurray State

NFL.com

Atlanta Falcons (Grade: C+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
16Jake MatthewsOTTexas A&M
237Ra'Shede HagemanDTMinnesota
368Dezmen SouthwardFSWisconsin
4103Devonta FreemanRBFlorida State
4139Prince ShemboOLBNotre Dame
5147Ricardo AllenCBPurdue
5168Marquis SpruillILBSyracuse
7253Yawin SmallwoodOLBConnecticut
7255Tyler StarrOLBSouth Dakota

NFL.com

Baltimore Ravens (Grade: B+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
117C.J. MosleyILBAlabama
248Timmy JerniganDTFlorida State
379Terrence BrooksFSFlorida State
399Crockett GillmoreTEColorado State
4134Brent UrbanDTVirginia
4138Lorenzo TaliaferroRBCoastal Carolina
5175John UrschelOGPenn State
6194Keith WenningQBBall State
7218Mike CampanaroWRWake Forest

NFL.com

Buffalo Bills (Grade: C+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
14Sammy WatkinsWRClemson
244Cyrus KouandjioOTAlabama
373Preston BrownILBLouisville
4109Ross CockrellCBDuke
5153Cyril RichardsonOGBaylor
7221Randell JohnsonOLBFlorida Atlantic
7237Seantrel HendersonOTMiami

NFL.com

Carolina Panthers (Grade: C)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
128Kelvin BenjaminWRFlorida State
260Kony EalyDEMissouri
392Trai TurnerOGLSU
4128Tre BostonSSNorth Carolina
5148Bene BenwikereCBSan Jose State
6204Tyler GaffneyRBStanford

NFL.com

Chicago Bears (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
114Kyle FullerCBVirginia Tech
251Ego FergusonDTLSU
382Will SuttonDTArizona State
4117Ka'Deem CareyRBArizona
4131Brock VereenFSMinnesota
6183David FalesQBSan Jose State
6191Pat O'DonnellPMiami
7246Charles Leno Jr.OTBoise St.

NFL.com

Cincinnati Bengals (Grade: B-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
124Darqueze DennardCBMichigan State
255Jeremy HillRBLSU
388Will ClarkeDEWest Virginia
4111Russell BodineCNorth Carolina
5164AJ McCarronQBAlabama
6212Marquis FlowersOLBArizona
7239James WrightWRLSU
7252Lavelle WestbrooksCBGeorgia Southern

NFL.com

Cleveland Browns (Grade: B+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
18Justin GilbertCBOklahoma State
122Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&M
235Joel BitonioOTNevada
371Christian KirkseyOLBIowa
394Terrance WestRBTowson
4127Pierre DesirCBLindenwood

NFL.com

Dallas Cowboys (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
116Zack MartinOTNotre Dame
234Demarcus LawrenceDEBoise State
4119Anthony HitchensOLBIowa
5146Devin StreetWRPittsburgh
7231Ben GardnerDEStanford
7238Will SmithOLBTexas Tech
7248Ahmad DixonSSBaylor
7251Ken BishopDTNorthern Illinois
7254Terrance MitchellCBOregon

NFL.com

Denver Broncos (Grade: B-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
131Bradley RobyCBOhio State
256Cody LatimerWRIndiana
395Michael SchofieldOTMichigan
5156Lamin BarrowOLBLSU
6207Matthew ParadisCBoise State
7242Corey NelsonOLBOklahoma

NFL.com

Detroit Lions (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
110Eric EbronTENorth Carolina
240Kyle Van NoyOLBBYU
376Travis SwansonCArkansas
4133Nevin LawsonCBUtah State
4136Larry WebsterDEBloomsburg
5158Caraun ReidDTPrinceton
6189T.J. JonesWRNotre Dame
7229Nate FreeseKBoston College

NFL.com

Green Bay Packers (Grade: A-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
121Ha Ha Clinton-DixFSAlabama
253Davante AdamsWRFresno State
385Khyri ThorntonDTSouthern Miss
398Richard RodgersTECalifornia
4121Carl BradfordOLBArizona State
5161Corey LinsleyCOhio State
5176Jared AbbrederisWRWisconsin
6197Demetri GoodsonCBBaylor
7236Jeff JanisWRSaginaw Valley St.

NFL.com

Houston Texans (Grade: A-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
11Jadeveon ClowneyDESouth Carolina
233Xavier Su'a-FiloOGUCLA
365C.J. FiedorowiczTEIowa
383Louis NixDTNotre Dame
4135Tom SavageQBPittsburgh
6177Jeoffrey PaganDEAlabama
6181Alfred BlueRBLSU
6211Jay ProschFBAuburn
7216Andre HalCBVanderbilt
7256Lonnie BallentineFSMemphis

NFL.com

Indianapolis Colts (Grade: D)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
259Jack MewhortOTOhio State
390Donte MoncriefWRMississippi
5166Jonathan NewsomeDEBall State
6203Andrew JacksonILBWestern Kentucky
7232Ulrick JohnOTGeorgia State

NFL.com

Jacksonville Jaguars (Grade: B+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
13Blake BortlesQBCentral Florida
239Marqise LeeWRUSC
261Allen RobinsonWRPenn State
393Brandon LinderOGMiami
4114Aaron ColvinCBOklahoma
5144Telvin SmithILBFlorida State
5159Chris SmithDEArkansas
6205Luke BowankoCVirginia
7222Storm JohnsonRBCentral Florida

NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs (Grade: C+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
123Dee FordDEAuburn
387Phillip GainesCBRice
4124De'Anthony ThomasRBOregon
5163Aaron MurrayQBGeorgia
6193Zach FultonOGTennessee
6200Laurent Duvernay-TardifOTMcGill

NFL.com

Miami Dolphins (Grade: C+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
119Ja'Wuan JamesOTTennessee
263Jarvis LandryWRLSU
367Billy TurnerOTNorth Dakota State
4125Walt AikensCBLiberty
5155Arthur LynchTEGeorgia
5171Jordan TrippOLBMontana
6190Matt HazelWRCoastal Carolina
7234Terrence FedeDEMarist

NFL.com

Minnesota Vikings (Grade: B+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
19Anthony BarrOLBUCLA
132Teddy BridgewaterQBLouisville
372Scott CrichtonDEOregon State
396Jerick McKinnonRBGeorgia Southern
5145David YankeyOGStanford
6182Antone ExumCBVirginia Tech
6184Kendall JamesCBMaine
7220Shamar StephenDTConnecticut
7223Brandon WattsOLBGeorgia Tech
7225Jabari PriceCBNorth Carolina

NFL.com

New England Patriots (Grade: B-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
129Dominique EasleyDTFlorida
262Jimmy GaroppoloQBEastern Illinois
4105Bryan StorkCFlorida State
4130Jame WhiteRBWisconsin
4140Cameron FlemmingOTStanford
6179Jon HalapioOGFlorida
6198Zach MooreDEConcordia-St. Paul
6206Jemea ThomasCBGeorgia Tech
7234Jeremy GallonWRMichigan

NFL.com

New Orleans Saints (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
120Brandin CooksWROregon State
258Stanley Jean-BaptisteCBNebraska
4126Khairi ForttILBCalifornia
5167Vinnie SunseriSSAlabama
5169Ronald PowellOLBFlorida
6202Tavon RooksOTKansas State

NFL.com

New York Giants (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
112Odell Beckham Jr.WRLSU
243Weston RichburgCColorado State
374Jay BromleyDTSyracuse
4113Andre WilliamsRBBoston College
5152Nat BerheSSSan Diego State
5174Devon KennardOLBUSC
6187Bennett JacksonCBNotre Dame

NFL.com

New York Jets (Grade: A-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
118Calvin PryorFSLouisville
249Jace AmaroTETexas Tech
380Dexter McDougleCBMaryland
4104Jalen SaundersWROklahoma
4115Shaq EvansWRUCLA
4137Dakota DozierOTFurman
5154Jeremiah GeorgeILBIowa State
6195Brandon DixonCBNorthwest Missouri State
6209Quincy EnunwaWRNebraska
6210IK EnemkpaliDELouisiana Tech
6213Tajh BoydQBClemson
7233Trevor ReillyOLBUtah

NFL.com

Oakland Raiders (Grade: B+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
15Khalil MackOLBBuffalo
236Derek CarrQBFresno State
381Gabe JacksonOGMississippi State
4107Justin EllisDTLouisiana Tech
4116Keith McGillCBUtah
7219Travis CarrieCBOhio
7235Shelby HarrisDEIllinois St.
7247Jonathan DowlingSSWestern Kentucky

NFL.com

Philadelphia Eagles (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
126Marcus SmithOLBLouisville
242Jordan MatthewsWRVanderbilt
386Josh HuffWROregon
4101Jaylen WatkinsCBFlorida
5141Taylor HartDEOregon
5162Ed ReynoldsFSStanford
7224Beau AllenDTWisconsin

NFL.com

Pittsburgh Steelers (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
115Ryan ShazierOLBOhio State
246Stephon TuittDENotre Dame
397Dri ArcherRBKent State
4118Martavis BryantWRClemson
5157Shaquille RichardsonCBArizona
5173Wesley JohnsonOTVanderbilt
6192Jordan ZumwaltILBUCLA
6215Daniel McCullersDTTennessee
7230Rob BlanchflowerTEMassachusetts

NFL.com

San Diego Chargers (Grade: B)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
125Jason VerrettCBTCU
250Jeremiah AttaochuOLBGeorgia Tech
389Chris WattOGNotre Dame
5165Ryan CarrethersDTArkansas State
6201Marion GriceRBArizona State
7240Tevin ReeseWRBaylor

NFL.com

San Francisco 49ers (Grade: A)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
130Jimmie WardSSNorthern Illinois
257Carlos HydeRBOhio State
370Marcus MartinCUSC
377Chris BorlandILBWisconsin
3100Brandon ThomasOTClemson
4106Bruce EllingtonWRSouth Carolina
4129Dontae JohnsonCBNorth Carolina State
5150Aaron LynchDESouth Florida
5170Keith ReaserCBFlorida Atlantic
6180Kenneth AckerCBSMU
7243Kaleb RamseyDEBoston College
7245Trey MillardFBOklahoma

NFL.com

Seattle Seahawks (Grade: B-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
245Paul RichardsonWRColorado
264Justin BrittOTMissouri
4108Cassius MarshDEUCLA
4123Kevin NorwoodWRAlabama
4132Kevin Pierre-LouisOLBBoston College
5172Jimmy StatenDTMiddle Tennessee State
6199Garrett ScottOTMarshall
6208Eric PinkinsFSSan Diego State
7227Kiero SmallRBArkansas

NFL.com

St. Louis Rams (Grade: A)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
12Greg RobinsonOTAuburn
113Aaron DonaldDTPittsburgh
241Lamarcus JoynerCBFlorida State
375Tre MasonRBAuburn
4110Mo AlexanderSSUtah State
6188E.J. GainesCBMissouri
6214Garrett GilbertQBSMU
7226Mitchell Van DykOTPortland St.
7241C.B. BryantFSOhio State
7249Michael SamDEMissouri
7250Demetrius RhaneyCTennessee St.

NFL.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Grade: A-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
17Mike EvansWRTexas A&M
238Austin Seferian-JenkinsTEWashington
369Charles SimsRBWest Virginia
5143Kadeem EdwardsOGTennessee St.
5149Kevin PamphileOTPurdue
6185Robert HerronWRWyoming

NFL.com

Tennessee Titans (Grade: B-)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
111Taylor LewanOTMichigan
254Bishop SankeyRBWashington
4112DaQuan JonesDTPenn State
4122Marqueston HuffFSWyoming
5152Avery WilliamsonILBKentucky
6178Zach MettenbergerQBLSU

NFL.com

Washington Redskins (Grade: C+)
RoundPickSelectionPositionCollege
247Trent MurphyOLBStanford
366Morgan MosesOTVirginia
378Spencer LongOGNebraska
4102Bashaud BreelandCBClemson
5142Ryan GrantWRTulane
6186Lache SeastrunkRBBaylor
7217Ted BolserTEIndiana
7228Zach HockerKArkansas

NFL.com

Top Prospect: DE Jadeveon Clowney to Houston Texans

For all the talk about whether or not Jadeveon Clowney was a perfect fit for Houston's 3-4 defensive scheme, especially when the Texans already have JJ Watt on one end, keep in mind that this is a freak athlete who has shown no weaknesses on the field. 

Even those who choose to question Clowney's work ethic can't argue what he said after being drafted, via NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

There's also the simple matter of teams never having enough pass-rushers, especially when they play in a division with Andrew Luck. Bleacher Report NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller likes the Texans' front seven a lot more today:

Clowney is athletic enough to drop into coverage if asked, but his best asset is going to be coming off the edge and attacking quarterbacks. It doesn't matter what your scheme is, that player is going to have tremendous value in today's NFL. 

 

Hidden Gem: QB Logan Thomas to Arizona Cardinals (Fourth round)

There were few prospects as fascinating as Logan Thomas. The former Virginia Tech quarterback was one of the best pure athletes available, but no one knows exactly what to do with him. Chris Sprow of ESPN notes that his ability on the practice field is reminiscent of two outstanding young quarterbacks:

No one is saying that Thomas will turn into Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson, but that's the kind of talent he has. 

However, the Cardinals did themselves a favor by taking Thomas where they did. Carson Palmer is still the starter and doesn't have immediate competition for the gig. He's also 34 years old and is entering the final year of his contract. 

The coaching staff can work with Thomas behind the scenes this year, hoping to see progress in his ability as a pocket passer, then make a decision about the position next offseason. 

There's also the chance that Thomas never plays quarterback in the NFL, which would seem to make this a wasted pick, but that's where things get interesting. He's 6'6", 248 pounds, ran a 4.63 40 at the combine and spent some time early in his college career practicing at tight end. 

With that combination of size and speed, as well as some experience playing the position, Thomas could switch to tight end and be a matchup nightmare for linebackers and cornerbacks in the red zone. 

At least he gives the Cardinals some flexibility with their offense, which is all you can ask for from a player who is a big project. 

 

Team That Made Biggest Jump: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The first thing that anyone wanted to talk about with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after they added 6'4" Mike Evans and 6'5" Austin Seferian-Jenkins to play alongside 6'5" Vincent Jackson was how they would make a great intramural basketball team. 

It's also an indication of where the NFL is going. Teams are looking for bigger, faster, physical cornerbacks, so offenses are forced to build around bigger, faster, physical wide receivers. 

One reason Johnny Manziel looked so good throwing the ball last year is because he was able to throw it up to let Evans go get it. And Seferian-Jenkins caught 21 touchdowns in three years at Washington. 

Dave Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com, via CBSSports.com, noted how perfectly Lovie Smith's draft strategy fits with new quarterback Josh McCown's ability:

Starting quarterback Josh McCown had a pair of tall trees in Chicago with Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall and now he has his own version in Tampa with the trio of Jackson, Evans and Seferian-Jenkins. Tampa added Charles Sims who is relatively small at 6-feet, but he has the most reliable set of hands among running backs in this draft class.

Tampa Bay couldn't throw the ball last season, ranking 30th in completion percentage and last in yards and yards per attempt. That won't be the case next season with so many new weapons added to a depleted receiving corps. 

With the offense taking pressure off a defense that finished middle of the pack in rushing and passing yards allowed, things are going to get mighty interesting in Tampa Bay. 

 

Unless otherwise noted, draft results via NFL.com.

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