Upon the conclusion of the 2014 NFL draft, we begin to ask ourselves certain questions.
Which team had the best draft haul? Which rookies are poised to make immediate impacts?
These two questions quickly become the most highly debated topics in the sports world. There are plenty of opinions regarding draft grades, overall team hauls, rookie phenoms and schematic fits.
Everyone wants to know how his team did.
Well, we'll take a stab at it here.
With team needs, draft value and schematic fits all taken into consideration, let's overview each team's draft grade and list each one's most impactful rookie.
2014 NFL Draft Grades and Impact Rookies
|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||Kelvin Benjamin||C|
|Chicago Bears||8||Kyle Fuller||C|
|Cincinnati Bengals||8||Darqueze Dennard||C+|
|Cleveland Browns||6||Justin Gilbert||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||Jack Mewhort||C|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||9||Allen Robinson||A-|
|Kansas City Chiefs||6||Dee Ford||C-|
|Miami Dolphins||8||Ja'Wuan James||C-|
|Minnesota Vikings||10||Anthony Barr||B+|
|New England Patriots||9||Bryan Stork||D+|
|New Orleans Saints||6||Brandin Cooks||B-|
|New York Giants||7||Odell Beckham Jr.||B|
|New York Jets||12||Calvin Pryor||B+|
|Oakland Raiders||8||Khalil Mack||A-|
|Philadelphia Eagles||7||Jordan Matthews||D+|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||9||Ryan Shazier||B-|
|San Diego Chargers||6||Jason Verrett||C|
|San Francisco 49ers||12||Jimmie Ward||C+|
|Seattle Seahawks||9||Justin Britt||D+|
|St. Louis Rams||11||Aaron Donald||A|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6||Mike Evans||B-|
|Tennessee Titans||6||Taylor Lewan||B|
|Washington Redskins||8||Morgan Moses||C|
Sean O'Donnell's Grades
Impact Rookie: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
Draft Grade: A-
Jacksonville had one of the draft's best hauls this year.
The team surprised many by selecting Blake Bortles at No. 3 overall. Bortles is more of a developmental quarterback and may not be ready to see the field as a rookie.
Although, in the following rounds, it became apparent the Jaguars were ready to give Bortles every chance to succeed.
In the second round, Jacksonville selected two wide receivers—Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson.
Lee was the sexy pick here, as his fall down draft boards gave the Jaguars great value. However, due to Lee's previous injury history, we'll have to wait and see what kind of durability he can provide in the NFL.
This makes Robinson the player to watch.
The 6'2", 220-pound wide receiver has plenty of tools at his disposal. He's not a burner but has very reliable hands, great leaping ability and the strength to haul in passes over the middle.
Bleacher Report's Kyle J. Rodriguez tweeted some very high praise for the wide receiver:
Won't surprise me if Allen Robinson ends up being the best wide receiver from this class tbh.— Kyle J. Rodriguez (@ColtsAuth_Kyle) May 12, 2014
Robinson is a big target, and his length makes him even larger. He flourished at Penn State due to his ability to bring down contested balls, as defensive backs have a difficult time matching up with his mix of a great vertical jump and strength to come away with the reception.
Expect Robinson to do some big things in Jacksonville immediately.
New Orleans Saints
Impact Rookie: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
Draft Grade: B-
The Saints came into the draft knowing they needed to surround Drew Brees with more weapons. The team provided the solution to that problem in the first round.
Brandin Cooks is an electrifying wide receiver. Despite standing at 5'10" and weighing 189 pounds, he's very shifty and has the ability to make defenders whiff on a regular basis.
After the departure of Darren Sproles in free agency, the Saints suddenly lacked an explosive playmaker. Sure, Kenny Stills was a field-stretching wonder during his rookie season, but Sproles incorporated much more versatility than simply being a deep threat.
That's where Cooks will come in.
Here's a look at what the wide receiver has to offer, according to a tweet from Bleacher Report's Matt Bowen:
Expect the Saints to line Cooks up all over the field in attempt to create mismatches against opposing defenses. It would not be surprising to see him lined up out wide, in the slot and even in the backfield on occasion.
Cooks will be every bit what Sproles was to this team—and possibly even more.
Impact Rookie: Justin Britt, OT, Missouri
Draft Grade: D+
Seattle had an underwhelming draft overall. However, under Pete Carroll, that seems to be the ongoing trend. That's not to say his drafts haven't worked out—his Super Bowl ring says otherwise. They've just been rather unconventional.
The Seahawks selected Paul Richardson with their first pick in the second round; however, with a wide receiver corps featuring Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse, he may have difficulty finding the field on a regular basis.
This brings us to Britt—the team's second choice in the second round.
Yes, this selection may have been a bit of a reach. After all, CBSSports.com (among others) had Britt tagged as a fifth-round prospect. Despite being selected earlier than expected, Britt will work out nicely in Seattle.
ESPN Stats & Info tweeted out a telling statistic regarding why the Britt selection was so important:
Seahawks finish up the 2nd round with OT Justin Britt. Russell Wilson was pressured at the 3rd-highest pct last season #SEApick— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 10, 2014
Even though Britt played left tackle in college, he's best suited as a right tackle in the NFL. That's good news for Seattle, as right tackle is a big need for this team.
Britt held his own against Jadeveon Clowney when Missouri met South Carolina last season. If he can handle college's most elite pass-rusher, there's no reason to doubt his ability to do the same in the NFL.
Expect Britt to earn a starting role immediately and supplant Michael Bowie at right tackle.