In the history of the NFL Draft, you would be hard pressed to find a draft with the number of storylines this draft looked to have. Round one of the 2014 NFL Draft did not disappoint. In fact, the number of storylines seemed to have multiplied since yesterday, before Jadeveon Clowney was announced as the draft’s top pick. Here’s a list of notable winners and losers of round one, from my point of view.
1. Cleveland Browns / City of Cleveland: The Browns needed this in the worst way, but the City of Cleveland may have needed it even more.
After two trades and a questionable choice with the number 8 pick, it looked like another one of those draft nights in Cleveland, but the stars were aligned to have ‘Johnny Football’ fall in their laps at number 22. Manziel is already a hit in Cleveland. Could he be that sports icon Cleveland lost when Lebron James took his talents to South Beach? Very possible.
2. St. Louis Rams / Sam Bradford: When, word got out yesterday, that the Rams had informed Sam Bradford that he was still the man in St. Louis, you knew that a QB wouldn’t be their pick at the number 2 spot.
Bradford, not only got that bit of good news. He, also received help on the offensive line, as the Rams drafted Greg Robinson from Auburn. Then, the Rams went defense with their choice of Aaron Donald at number 13. Not anything dazzling by any stretch, but solid picks nonetheless.
3. The NFC South: The Atlanta Falcons got the left tackle they needed in Jake Matthews. Tampa Bay got a nice weapon to play opposite Vincent Jackson, in Mike Evans. Both from Texas A&M. In New Orleans, the Saints look to replace Darren Sproles with Brandin Cooks out of Oregon State. Really nice picks for each team.
The other team in the division, the Carolina Panthers needed a receiver, it’s questionable if it should have been FSU’s Kelvin Benjamin. When, a receiver with Benjamin’s size falls that far, it’s for a reason. Still could end up being big help for Cam Newton, but we’ll see. All in all, great night for the division.
4. Oakland Raiders: There are needs everywhere on the Raiders roster, so the route they would take with the 5th pick was a big mystery. Saying the Raiders haven’t drafted well over the years would be an understatement.
So, Khalil Mack being probably the best player on the board at the time, made it a lot harder for Oakland to screw the pick up. They actually got it right and could have a real gem.
5. Jerry Jones: Manziel was on the board. He was there for the taking, but shockingly Jones and the Cowboys didn’t take the bait, and that was the right choice.
Say what you want about Tony Romo, overall he is a good QB. He’s seemingly never delivered in money situations, but it would have been foolish to add the circus that will be ManzielMania, to a team that’s already a bigger circus than Barnum and Bailey.
1. Buffalo Bills: Unfortunately, for Bills fans, their favorite team has been on the wrong side of lists like this far too often. The Bills needed a receiver true enough, but trading up to get Sammy Watkins with the 4th pick was questionable at best.
Watkins, is a talent, but he’s only one of maybe the deepest position in this draft. The Bills had many other needs. Trading up to get Watkins was bad but trading future picks for a team still trying to build from the ground up was terrible
2. Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron may be a talent, and he was already a winner yesterday, before the draft began when his girlfriend said yes to his marriage proposal. However, the team that drafted him at number 10 last night didn’t come out looking so well.
That’s no knock on Ebron. The Lions have a multitude of tight ends, and have many other needs. This is a team that made the playoffs in 2012. They may be only a few moves away from being a playoff contender again this season or next. Drafting a tight end wasn’t the way to go.
3. Blake Bortles / Teddy Bridgewater: Don’t get me wrong, the fact that each of these players is about to live out their dream of playing in the NFL is a great thing. It’s just that we may not ever see either player reach their full potential. It would have been better for them, if a more established franchise had drafted them.
The Jaguars and Vikings are nowhere near established. The Vikes do have Adrian Peterson for Bridgewater to lean on, but who does Bortles have to lean on in Jacksonville? It will be a daunting task for either to be labeled successful when this draft analyzed years from now, but I’m sure both are up for the challenge.
4. Jadeveon Clowney: Yeah. You remember him? The number 1 pick overall? With Johnny Football stealing the show last night, it was easily forgettable that Clowney was announced as the first overall pick.
The fanfare surrounding Manziel was more that of a top pick than Clowney ‘ was. It has to be a good feeling for Clowney to be the first pick, but to be overshadowed by Manziel has to leave a sour taste.
5. Philadelphia Eagles: Sure, they filled a need for a pass rusher in drafting Marcus Smith out of Louisville, but you just have to wonder if Chip Kelly really wanted to draft Manziel. Kelly, had Manziel committed to play his college ball at Oregon, until he changed his mind and chose Texas A&M.
Apparently, the Eagles are happy with Nick Foles running their offense, but how exciting would it have been to see Manziel running Kelly’s all out attack? Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know.
These are just a few of the storylines out Day 1 of the NFL Draft. I’m sure Day 2 will add even more…….