NFL Draft Grades: Teams That Failed Big Time in 2014

Andrew Tornetta@AndrewTornettaCorrespondent IIMay 13, 2014

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick answers a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

When handing out grades for the 2014 NFL draft, there were plenty of teams that earned straight A's across the board.

However, there were others that seemed to treat the draft like an underachieving student would treat a final examwith a number of bad decisions culminating with a less than impressive grade.

Whether it be due to reaching on too many players, not addressing needs or even just taking too many risks, there are plenty of reasons why a team can fail in a draft.

The good news for these teams is that unlike school, your grade doesn't dictate future success, as any number of these so-called "bad picks" could turn into great players.

But with that said, let's take a look at the teams that at first glance didn't do as well as they could have.


New England Patriots

As sacrilegious as it may be to question Bill Belichick, it's tough to defend many of his draft picks over the course of the weekend.

For a team that's fighting for a Super Bowl with the window closing on Tom Brady's career, the Patriots drafted like a team that was rebuilding.

As talented as Dominique Easley is, he is coming off a second season in which he tore his ACL (the first one was in 2011) and likely won't be counted on as anything more than a rotational player in his first year.

Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

However, the Easley selection wouldn't have been as big of a gamble if the Patriots hadn't wasted their second-round pick on a backup quarterback.

Considering the 36-year-old Brady has already said he will play until he's 40, Jimmy Garoppolo seems less likely to be the next Aaron Rodgers and more likely to be Ryan Mallett 2.0—a player who spends four years on the bench before leaving via trade or free agency when his contract expires.

Following the Garoppolo selection, the rest of the draft was filled with either developmental players (Bryan Stork, Jon Halapio, Zach Moore, Jemea Thomas, Jeremy Gallon) or players who have clear starters ahead of them on the depth chart (James White, Cameron Fleming).

It's possible that in three years we might say the Patriots started their next dynasty with this draft, but right now it's looking like they got a whole lotta nothing.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Sammy Watkins of the Clemson Tigers poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #4 overall by the Buffalo Bills during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City
Elsa/Getty Images


Buffalo Bills 

Sammy Watkins is clearly one of the best players in the draft class and should be a great weapon at the next level.

However, the price the Bills paid to get him was absurd, as Bleacher Report's Ian Wharton mentioned.

After it was all said and done, Buffalo essentially traded its 2014 and 2015 first-round picks along with Stevie Johnson (who was traded to recoup their lost fourth-rounder) for Watkins.

They later added Cyrus Kouandjioa player whom Mel Kiper Jr. called the riskiest offensive lineman in the draft—and followed that up with Preston Brown, Ross Cockrell, Cyril Richardson, Randell Johnson and Seantrel Henderson.

Brown and Cockrell have the potential to be solid, yet unspectacular players, while Richardson was a good value but is right alongside Kouandjio with a high bust factor.

If Watkins can turn into a superstar and Kouandjio and Richardson work out, then the Bills will have done well.

However, they didn't address their biggest need at tight end, and I don't have faith in either one of the offensive linemen to work out.

Factor that in with the ridiculous price they paid for Watkins, and suddenly their draft grade drops off significantly.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 15:  Trent Richardson #34 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the NFL game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/G
Andy Lyons/Getty Images


Indianapolis Colts

With their first two picks, the Colts drafted Jack Mewhort and Donte Moncrief, two high-upside players who have the potential to develop into perennial Pro Bowlers.

The problem for the Colts is that they traded away their first-round pick for Trent Richardson, who could possibly be one of the worst running backs in the NFL.

Obviously, that essentially kills any chance the Colts had of earning a passing grade.

Drafting two good players combined with three developmental ones (Jonathan Newsome, Andrew Jackson, Ulrick John), along with striking out on your first-round pick is far from a success.


Andrew Tornetta is the Miami Dolphins' Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his B/R archive and stay updated on his latest articles by becoming a fan.