The 2014 NFL draft lived up to the hype. With a massive amount of buildup, speculation, buzz and more surrounding it, this event parlayed months and months of momentum into an explosion of surprise picks, game-changing trades and more.
Now it’s time to try and make sense of it all.
Keep reading for a look at a team-by-team list of selections, notable picks for each franchise and more.
|Team||# of Picks||Notable Selection||Grade|
|Arizona Cardinals||7||Deone Bucannon||B|
|Atlanta Falcons||9||Ra'Shede Hageman||B+|
|Baltimore Ravens||9||C.J. Mosley||B+|
|Buffalo Bills||7||Sammy Watkins||B|
|Carolina Panthers||6||Kony Ealy||C|
|Chicago Bears||8||Kyle Fuller||C|
|Cincinnati Bengals||8||Darqueze Dennard||C+|
|Cleveland Browns||6||Johnny Manziel||A|
|Dallas Cowboys||9||Zack Martin||C-|
|Denver Broncos||6||Bradley Roby||B|
|Detroit Lions||8||Eric Ebron||C+|
|Green Bay Packers||9||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||B-|
|Houston Texans||10||Jadeveon Clowney||A|
|Indianapolis Colts||5||Donte Moncrief||C|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||9||Marqise Lee||A-|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||De'Anthony Thomas||C-|
|Miami Dolphins||8||Jarvis Landry||C-|
|Minnesota Vikings||10||Teddy Bridgewater||B+|
|New England Patriots||9||Cameron Fleming||C|
|New Orleans Saints||6||Brandin Cooks||B-|
|New York Giants||7||Odell Beckham Jr.||B|
|New York Jets||12||Jace Amaro||B+|
|Oakland Raiders||8||Khalil Mack||A-|
|Philadelphia Eagles||7||Jaylen Watkins||D+|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||9||Ryan Shazier||B-|
|San Diego Chargers||6||Jason Verrett||C|
|San Francisco 49ers||12||Marcus Martin||C+|
|Seattle Seahawks||9||Kevin Norwood||D+|
|St. Louis Rams||11||Aaron Donald||A|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6||Mike Evans||B-|
|Tennessee Titans||6||Bishop Sankey||B|
|Washington Redskins||8||Morgan Moses||C|
Best Draft: Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns only had six selections in this draft, tied for the least amount of any team, but they certainly made the most of them.
Not only did the club get an immense value on a first-round franchise quarterback, but also immensely improved its defense, offensive line and rushing attack.
Here’s a look at the players Cleveland used its selections on:
|1||8||Justin Gilbert, Cornerback, Oklahoma State||A-|
|1||22||Johnny Manziel, Quarterback, Texas A&M||A+|
|2||35||Joel Bitonio, Offensive Lineman, Nevada||B|
|3||71||Christian Kirksey, Inside Linebacker, Iowa||C+|
|3||96||Terrance West, Running Back, Towson||B+|
|4||127||Pierre Desir, Cornerback, Lindenwood||B+|
Johnny Manziel was the highlight of the draft for this up-and-coming organization, but it decided to move down from No. 4, and then back up from No. 9, in order to nab Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State with the No. 8 selection.
The cornerback possesses tremendous athleticism and will make the Browns secondary one of the most feared in the league. Joe Haden and Gilbert will be able to lock down the opposition for years to come and will make it tough to throw on the outside against this team.
Head coach Mike Pettine understands firsthand how powerful a dynamic duo at the cornerback position can be, as he served as the New York Jets’ defensive coordinator when the club was winning and boasted a tandem of Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis at the position.
While this was a big move for the team, the late first-round selection of Manziel was more important and even had Gilbert excited. As per CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman, the Pokes product was quite excited when he heard the news:
Justin Gilbert said when he heard team drafted Manziel, he lowered the window & started yelling "Cleveland Browns! We're here now!"— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 9, 2014
He should be, as Manziel brings some credibility at a position that has been anything but stable since the team was revived in 1996.
Mike Mayock of NFL Network praised the pick, noting that the team can ease Manziel into the starting role thanks to Brian Hoyer’s presence:
I give (general manager) Ray Farmer and (head coach) Mike Pettine a lot of credit. There's hope for the city of Cleveland. Johnny Manziel is going to bring his electrification to the city of Cleveland. The Browns have Brian Hoyer, and he was playing pretty well until he got hurt. Hoyer can be the bridge if the Browns need a bridge. I think, because of Manziel's style, that he can play Day 1. This kid can make plays with his arm and legs until he learns how to be a pocket quarterback.
It shouldn’t take long for a star like Johnny Football to get on the field, as his unique skill set will ignite an emerging Browns offensive attack.
He’ll also get some help from running back Terrance West out of Towson, a vastly underrated rusher with lightning-quick speed and home run capabilities. The third-rounder will form a dangerous platoon with Ben Tate and the rest of the Cleveland backs.
That rushing attack should be boosted due to the presence of Joel Bitonio, the team’s second-round offensive lineman out of Nevada. He’s an incredible athlete who has a lot of upside and should be able to carve out an immediate role for the club.
Factor in the addition of third-round linebacker Christian Kirksey and fourth-round corner Pierre Desir, and you are looking at a team that will likely have all of its draft picks not only make the roster, but also play a role in the near future.
That is about as great of a draft as a club could have, especially considering the limited amount of picks the Browns had to work with.