NFL Draft Grades 2014: Scoring Results of Each Team's Rookie Class

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIMay 15, 2014

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08:  Taylor Lewan of the Michigan Wolverines poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was picked #11 overall by the during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on May 8, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

After a long offseason full of prospect analysis, combine workouts, pro days and countless mock drafts, the 2014 NFL draft was a sight for sore eyes.

With so much anticipation and excitement leading up to the NFL's spectacle at Radio City Music Hall, the draft's three days seemed to go by in a blur. Now that 256 selections are in the books, it's time to see how each team fared.

It's time for draft grades.

Each franchise heads into the draft with the hopes of securing prospects who will solidify its roster for years to come. We may not know the exact impact of these rookies for a season or two, but we can always speculate.

Based on the potential of each team's draft class, the value of each player drafted and how well needs were filled, let's look at how each franchise fared this year.


2014 NFL Draft Grades

2014 NFL Draft Grades
Arizona CardinalsB
Atlanta FalconsB+
Baltimore RavensB+
Buffalo BillsB
Carolina PanthersC
Chicago BearsC
Cincinnati BengalsC+
Cleveland BrownsA
Dallas CowboysC-
Denver BroncosB
Detroit LionsC+
Green Bay PackersB-
Houston TexansA
Indianapolis ColtsC
Jacksonville JaguarsA-
Kansas City ChiefsC-
Miami DolphinsC-
Minnesota VikingsB+
New England PatriotsD+
New Orleans SaintsB-
New York GiantsB
New York JetsB+
Oakland RaidersA-
Philadelphia EaglesD+
Pittsburgh SteelersB-
San Diego ChargersC
San Francisco 49ersC+
Seattle SeahawksD+
St. Louis RamsA
Tampa Bay BuccaneersB-
Tennessee TitansB
Washington RedskinsC
Sean O'Donnell's Grades


San Francisco 49ers

Grade: C+

The 49ers made some smart moves throughout the draft; however, a couple of questionable decisions prevented the team from coming away with a higher grade.

Selecting Jimmie Ward in the first round addressed a need for the team, albeit not an immediate one.

When Donte Whitner left in free agency, the 49ers brought in the reliable Antoine Bethea to pair with last year's first-round selection Eric Reid. Both of these players should begin the season in starting roles.

This gives Ward a little time to develop and find a role with the team. He has a slender 5'11", 193-pound frame that could be considered smallish in nature for an NFL safety. We'll have to see how he'll be able to contribute early in his career.

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports put it best in this tweet:

The Carlos Hyde selection in the second round came with great value, although once again, it didn't fill an immediate team need. San Francisco is very deep at the running back position; however, Hyde can be viewed as a nice future replacement for Frank Gore.

Marcus Martin may have been San Francisco's best selection. The former USC center was an absolute steal in the third round. He's a big-bodied center with an aggressive mean streak in the middle of the line. Martin fits in perfectly in the tough NFC West.

With so many draft picks this year, it was slightly disappointing to see the team's lack of aggressiveness to move around more frequently and obtain earlier selections to grab prospects capable of making a more immediate impact.


Philadelphia Eagles

Grade: D+

As it stands right now, the 2014 NFL draft wasn't exactly a home run for the Eagles.

The first odd decision the Eagles made was trading back from No. 22 to No. 26 overall with plenty of need-filling prospects on the board.

Wide receiver, safety and cornerback were all glaring needs for this team entering the draft. There may not have been an available wide receiver the team liked at the time, and that's fine. However, with safeties Deone Bucannon and Jimmie Ward and cornerbacks Darqueze Dennard, Jason Verrett and Bradley Roby available, it's difficult to conceive why the team opted to trade.

At No. 26, the Eagles decided to go with a linebacker. Marcus Smith appears to fit the Eagles defense nicely and will probably be the long-term replacement for the aging Trent Cole.

Smith may have been a bit of a reach for the Eagles. After all, many analysts—including—didn't have any higher than a second-round grade on the Louisville product.

Chip Kelly has heard some backlash from the Smith selection; however, he made a great point, according to a tweet from Reuben Frank of

Jordan Matthews was a great selection for Philadelphia in the second round. Wide receiver was a big need for this team, and Matthews should fit nicely.

With Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper on the outside and Darren Sproles lining up in multiple positions, Matthews figures to see plenty of time in the slot.

At 6'3" and 212 pounds, Matthews is big and strong enough to make contested catches over the middle and has reliable hands that should make him a favorable target for Nick Foles.

Jaylen Watkins was another nice selection by Philadelphia. He is a versatile defensive back who can play outside cornerback, in the slot and at safety. He will need time to develop, but he should find a spot on special teams initially.


Tennessee Titans

Grade: B

The Titans had a strong draft haul in terms of addressing team needs and getting value from their picks.

Selecting Taylor Lewan at No. 11 overall may have baffled some; however, this was a brilliant move. Lewan is a mauler in the trenches and is possibly the most athletic offensive tackle in this year's draft. There was great value with this pick.

Even though the Titans brought Michael Oher in as a right tackle, he has been entirely inconsistent and Lewan adds insurance. Also, left tackle Michael Roos is getting up there in age, which only makes the Lewan pick seem more sensible.

The Titans are already receiving plenty of praise for the Lewan selection. Paul Kuharsky of tweeted a comment from an NFL general manager:

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean tweeted a reaction he saw from Mark Dominik on ESPN:

Running back became an immediate team need once the Titans released Chris Johnson. Adding Bishop Sankey in the second round was a perfect example of getting value from a pick and addressing a need at the same time.

Sankey is only 5'9" and 209 pounds, but he is a bruiser between the tackle. He has the ability to do it all, getting tough yards on the inside and bouncing to the outside. He has the durability to handle a heavy load and will be a great complement to Shonn Greene.

Quarterback remains a questionable position for this team. Jake Locker has been inconsistent, and his durability remains a concern. The Titans got some great value selecting the strong-armed Zach Mettenberger in the sixth round; however, he's recovering from an ACL injury and may not be able to compete for a starting role this season.

Mettenberger does have plenty of upside, and he could make this sixth-round selection pay off in a big way.