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

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2014 NFL Draft Picks: Final Analysis for Top Prospects, Hidden Gems and More
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)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 27 Deone Buchannon SS Washington State
2 52 Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
3 84 Kareem Martin DE North Carolina
3 91 John Brown WR Pittsburgh State
4 120 Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech
5 160 Ed Stinson DE Alabama
6 196 Walt Powell WR Murray State

NFL.com

Atlanta Falcons (Grade: C+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 6 Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
2 37 Ra'Shede Hageman DT Minnesota
3 68 Dezmen Southward FS Wisconsin
4 103 Devonta Freeman RB Florida State
4 139 Prince Shembo OLB Notre Dame
5 147 Ricardo Allen CB Purdue
5 168 Marquis Spruill ILB Syracuse
7 253 Yawin Smallwood OLB Connecticut
7 255 Tyler Starr OLB South Dakota

NFL.com

Baltimore Ravens (Grade: B+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 17 C.J. Mosley ILB Alabama
2 48 Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State
3 79 Terrence Brooks FS Florida State
3 99 Crockett Gillmore TE Colorado State
4 134 Brent Urban DT Virginia
4 138 Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Coastal Carolina
5 175 John Urschel OG Penn State
6 194 Keith Wenning QB Ball State
7 218 Mike Campanaro WR Wake Forest

NFL.com

Buffalo Bills (Grade: C+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 4 Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
2 44 Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama
3 73 Preston Brown ILB Louisville
4 109 Ross Cockrell CB Duke
5 153 Cyril Richardson OG Baylor
7 221 Randell Johnson OLB Florida Atlantic
7 237 Seantrel Henderson OT Miami

NFL.com

Carolina Panthers (Grade: C)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 28 Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State
2 60 Kony Ealy DE Missouri
3 92 Trai Turner OG LSU
4 128 Tre Boston SS North Carolina
5 148 Bene Benwikere CB San Jose State
6 204 Tyler Gaffney RB Stanford

NFL.com

Chicago Bears (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 14 Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech
2 51 Ego Ferguson DT LSU
3 82 Will Sutton DT Arizona State
4 117 Ka'Deem Carey RB Arizona
4 131 Brock Vereen FS Minnesota
6 183 David Fales QB San Jose State
6 191 Pat O'Donnell P Miami
7 246 Charles Leno Jr. OT Boise St.

NFL.com

Cincinnati Bengals (Grade: B-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 24 Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
2 55 Jeremy Hill RB LSU
3 88 Will Clarke DE West Virginia
4 111 Russell Bodine C North Carolina
5 164 AJ McCarron QB Alabama
6 212 Marquis Flowers OLB Arizona
7 239 James Wright WR LSU
7 252 Lavelle Westbrooks CB Georgia Southern

NFL.com

Cleveland Browns (Grade: B+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 8 Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
1 22 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
2 35 Joel Bitonio OT Nevada
3 71 Christian Kirksey OLB Iowa
3 94 Terrance West RB Towson
4 127 Pierre Desir CB Lindenwood

NFL.com

Dallas Cowboys (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 16 Zack Martin OT Notre Dame
2 34 Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State
4 119 Anthony Hitchens OLB Iowa
5 146 Devin Street WR Pittsburgh
7 231 Ben Gardner DE Stanford
7 238 Will Smith OLB Texas Tech
7 248 Ahmad Dixon SS Baylor
7 251 Ken Bishop DT Northern Illinois
7 254 Terrance Mitchell CB Oregon

NFL.com

Denver Broncos (Grade: B-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 31 Bradley Roby CB Ohio State
2 56 Cody Latimer WR Indiana
3 95 Michael Schofield OT Michigan
5 156 Lamin Barrow OLB LSU
6 207 Matthew Paradis C Boise State
7 242 Corey Nelson OLB Oklahoma

NFL.com

Detroit Lions (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 10 Eric Ebron TE North Carolina
2 40 Kyle Van Noy OLB BYU
3 76 Travis Swanson C Arkansas
4 133 Nevin Lawson CB Utah State
4 136 Larry Webster DE Bloomsburg
5 158 Caraun Reid DT Princeton
6 189 T.J. Jones WR Notre Dame
7 229 Nate Freese K Boston College

NFL.com

Green Bay Packers (Grade: A-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS Alabama
2 53 Davante Adams WR Fresno State
3 85 Khyri Thornton DT Southern Miss
3 98 Richard Rodgers TE California
4 121 Carl Bradford OLB Arizona State
5 161 Corey Linsley C Ohio State
5 176 Jared Abbrederis WR Wisconsin
6 197 Demetri Goodson CB Baylor
7 236 Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley St.

NFL.com

Houston Texans (Grade: A-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 1 Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
2 33 Xavier Su'a-Filo OG UCLA
3 65 C.J. Fiedorowicz TE Iowa
3 83 Louis Nix DT Notre Dame
4 135 Tom Savage QB Pittsburgh
6 177 Jeoffrey Pagan DE Alabama
6 181 Alfred Blue RB LSU
6 211 Jay Prosch FB Auburn
7 216 Andre Hal CB Vanderbilt
7 256 Lonnie Ballentine FS Memphis

NFL.com

Indianapolis Colts (Grade: D)
Round Pick Selection Position College
2 59 Jack Mewhort OT Ohio State
3 90 Donte Moncrief WR Mississippi
5 166 Jonathan Newsome DE Ball State
6 203 Andrew Jackson ILB Western Kentucky
7 232 Ulrick John OT Georgia State

NFL.com

Jacksonville Jaguars (Grade: B+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 3 Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
2 39 Marqise Lee WR USC
2 61 Allen Robinson WR Penn State
3 93 Brandon Linder OG Miami
4 114 Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma
5 144 Telvin Smith ILB Florida State
5 159 Chris Smith DE Arkansas
6 205 Luke Bowanko C Virginia
7 222 Storm Johnson RB Central Florida

NFL.com

Kansas City Chiefs (Grade: C+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 23 Dee Ford DE Auburn
3 87 Phillip Gaines CB Rice
4 124 De'Anthony Thomas RB Oregon
5 163 Aaron Murray QB Georgia
6 193 Zach Fulton OG Tennessee
6 200 Laurent Duvernay-Tardif OT McGill

NFL.com

Miami Dolphins (Grade: C+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 19 Ja'Wuan James OT Tennessee
2 63 Jarvis Landry WR LSU
3 67 Billy Turner OT North Dakota State
4 125 Walt Aikens CB Liberty
5 155 Arthur Lynch TE Georgia
5 171 Jordan Tripp OLB Montana
6 190 Matt Hazel WR Coastal Carolina
7 234 Terrence Fede DE Marist

NFL.com

Minnesota Vikings (Grade: B+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 9 Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
1 32 Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville
3 72 Scott Crichton DE Oregon State
3 96 Jerick McKinnon RB Georgia Southern
5 145 David Yankey OG Stanford
6 182 Antone Exum CB Virginia Tech
6 184 Kendall James CB Maine
7 220 Shamar Stephen DT Connecticut
7 223 Brandon Watts OLB Georgia Tech
7 225 Jabari Price CB North Carolina

NFL.com

New England Patriots (Grade: B-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 29 Dominique Easley DT Florida
2 62 Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois
4 105 Bryan Stork C Florida State
4 130 Jame White RB Wisconsin
4 140 Cameron Flemming OT Stanford
6 179 Jon Halapio OG Florida
6 198 Zach Moore DE Concordia-St. Paul
6 206 Jemea Thomas CB Georgia Tech
7 234 Jeremy Gallon WR Michigan

NFL.com

New Orleans Saints (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 20 Brandin Cooks WR Oregon State
2 58 Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
4 126 Khairi Fortt ILB California
5 167 Vinnie Sunseri SS Alabama
5 169 Ronald Powell OLB Florida
6 202 Tavon Rooks OT Kansas State

NFL.com

New York Giants (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 12 Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
2 43 Weston Richburg C Colorado State
3 74 Jay Bromley DT Syracuse
4 113 Andre Williams RB Boston College
5 152 Nat Berhe SS San Diego State
5 174 Devon Kennard OLB USC
6 187 Bennett Jackson CB Notre Dame

NFL.com

New York Jets (Grade: A-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 18 Calvin Pryor FS Louisville
2 49 Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech
3 80 Dexter McDougle CB Maryland
4 104 Jalen Saunders WR Oklahoma
4 115 Shaq Evans WR UCLA
4 137 Dakota Dozier OT Furman
5 154 Jeremiah George ILB Iowa State
6 195 Brandon Dixon CB Northwest Missouri State
6 209 Quincy Enunwa WR Nebraska
6 210 IK Enemkpali DE Louisiana Tech
6 213 Tajh Boyd QB Clemson
7 233 Trevor Reilly OLB Utah

NFL.com

Oakland Raiders (Grade: B+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 5 Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
2 36 Derek Carr QB Fresno State
3 81 Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi State
4 107 Justin Ellis DT Louisiana Tech
4 116 Keith McGill CB Utah
7 219 Travis Carrie CB Ohio
7 235 Shelby Harris DE Illinois St.
7 247 Jonathan Dowling SS Western Kentucky

NFL.com

Philadelphia Eagles (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 26 Marcus Smith OLB Louisville
2 42 Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt
3 86 Josh Huff WR Oregon
4 101 Jaylen Watkins CB Florida
5 141 Taylor Hart DE Oregon
5 162 Ed Reynolds FS Stanford
7 224 Beau Allen DT Wisconsin

NFL.com

Pittsburgh Steelers (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 15 Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State
2 46 Stephon Tuitt DE Notre Dame
3 97 Dri Archer RB Kent State
4 118 Martavis Bryant WR Clemson
5 157 Shaquille Richardson CB Arizona
5 173 Wesley Johnson OT Vanderbilt
6 192 Jordan Zumwalt ILB UCLA
6 215 Daniel McCullers DT Tennessee
7 230 Rob Blanchflower TE Massachusetts

NFL.com

San Diego Chargers (Grade: B)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 25 Jason Verrett CB TCU
2 50 Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech
3 89 Chris Watt OG Notre Dame
5 165 Ryan Carrethers DT Arkansas State
6 201 Marion Grice RB Arizona State
7 240 Tevin Reese WR Baylor

NFL.com

San Francisco 49ers (Grade: A)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 30 Jimmie Ward SS Northern Illinois
2 57 Carlos Hyde RB Ohio State
3 70 Marcus Martin C USC
3 77 Chris Borland ILB Wisconsin
3 100 Brandon Thomas OT Clemson
4 106 Bruce Ellington WR South Carolina
4 129 Dontae Johnson CB North Carolina State
5 150 Aaron Lynch DE South Florida
5 170 Keith Reaser CB Florida Atlantic
6 180 Kenneth Acker CB SMU
7 243 Kaleb Ramsey DE Boston College
7 245 Trey Millard FB Oklahoma

NFL.com

Seattle Seahawks (Grade: B-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
2 45 Paul Richardson WR Colorado
2 64 Justin Britt OT Missouri
4 108 Cassius Marsh DE UCLA
4 123 Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
4 132 Kevin Pierre-Louis OLB Boston College
5 172 Jimmy Staten DT Middle Tennessee State
6 199 Garrett Scott OT Marshall
6 208 Eric Pinkins FS San Diego State
7 227 Kiero Small RB Arkansas

NFL.com

St. Louis Rams (Grade: A)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 2 Greg Robinson OT Auburn
1 13 Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
2 41 Lamarcus Joyner CB Florida State
3 75 Tre Mason RB Auburn
4 110 Mo Alexander SS Utah State
6 188 E.J. Gaines CB Missouri
6 214 Garrett Gilbert QB SMU
7 226 Mitchell Van Dyk OT Portland St.
7 241 C.B. Bryant FS Ohio State
7 249 Michael Sam DE Missouri
7 250 Demetrius Rhaney C Tennessee St.

NFL.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Grade: A-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 7 Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
2 38 Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington
3 69 Charles Sims RB West Virginia
5 143 Kadeem Edwards OG Tennessee St.
5 149 Kevin Pamphile OT Purdue
6 185 Robert Herron WR Wyoming

NFL.com

Tennessee Titans (Grade: B-)
Round Pick Selection Position College
1 11 Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
2 54 Bishop Sankey RB Washington
4 112 DaQuan Jones DT Penn State
4 122 Marqueston Huff FS Wyoming
5 152 Avery Williamson ILB Kentucky
6 178 Zach Mettenberger QB LSU

NFL.com

Washington Redskins (Grade: C+)
Round Pick Selection Position College
2 47 Trent Murphy OLB Stanford
3 66 Morgan Moses OT Virginia
3 78 Spencer Long OG Nebraska
4 102 Bashaud Breeland CB Clemson
5 142 Ryan Grant WR Tulane
6 186 Lache Seastrunk RB Baylor
7 217 Ted Bolser TE Indiana
7 228 Zach Hocker K Arkansas

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. 

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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.

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 

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