Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft is now officially in the books. It was a very interesting 1st round that came with a few trades, a few surprises, but most things played out as expected. Over the past 3 months, draft experts have been laying out any and all possibilities for the outcome of the NFL Draft. Many have been suggesting that The Houston Texans could do a multitude of things with the #1 overall pick in the draft. Some have suggested that they should select Johnny Manziel because they need a quarterback and he played his college ball in the state of Texas while some have suggested trading the asset of the #1 overall pick, move back in the draft, and collect an extra set of picks. And the majority of people have implored the Texans to simply to the right thing and select the best player in the draft. And that is what they did. They selected Jadeveon Clowney because he is a “freak of nature”. At his size, Clowney is listed at 6’5 1/4″ and 266 pounds, his speed, size, and power are unmatched. He posted a very impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.53 seconds, the fastest of any defensive lineman in this years draft. I believe this was the right selection by The Texans, but don’t be surprised if Khalil Mack is the best defensive player to come out of this years draft. Oh no wait, he was drafted by The Oakland Raiders so never mind.
The first surprise to come out of the 1st round was the selection of Blake Bortles 3rd overall by The Jacksonville Jaguars. I understand that he is your prototypical quarterback, standing 6’5″ and weighing in at 232 pounds, and he played his college football in the state of Florida, and Jacksonville desperately needs a quarterback, BUT I think that it was a reach taking Bortles this early. The 2nd quarterback selected was Johnny Manziel at #22, so the Jaguars definitely could have capitalized on having the #3 pick by trading back in the draft, still drafting Bortles, and picking up an extra pick or 2 in the 2nd or 3rd round.
The first trade occurred at the 4th overall pick in the draft, where The Buffalo Bills traded up from the 9th pick to acquire, who I believe is the best wide receiver in the draft, Sammy Watkins. The Bills traded their 9th pick this year and their 1st and 5th round picks in the 2015 to The Cleveland Browns for the 4th overall pick. Personally, I like this move because I feel that Watkins has the potential to be one of the best wide outs in the NFL for the next 8-10 years. This is a move that I have been talking about for weeks, only I was hopeful that The New York Jets (having 1,278 draft picks this year) would have taken advantage of such an opportunity. Instead, The Jets drafted Calvin Pryor, a hard hitting safety from Louisville. I like Pryor, and while I believe he is the best safety in the draft, I would have been much happier with a cornerback (Darqueze Dennard) or a wide receiver (Brandin Cooks) at the 18th overall pick in the draft. I believe that John Idzik was thinking about position depth in this years draft when he made this selection. There is plenty of talent at cornerback and wide receiver, but the talent at safety is scarce. Also, The Jets do have another 11 picks in this years draft, so I’m sure they will fulfill their needs at wide receiver, cornerback, tight end, and most importantly WIDE RECEIVER. Did I say wide receiver??
The Jets crosstown riv…..oh wait they play in the same building and they’re not rivals, but anyway, The New York Giants did select a wide receiver with the 12th overall pick in the draft. They chose a very talented playmaker in Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU. I think The Giants should have drafted an offensive lineman here, because you can have all the talent you want at wide receiver, but if you can’t protect your quarterback, and provide him with enough time to throw the ball, then your talent at wide receiver will be all for naught. However, you can’t solve all of your problems in 1 pick, so we will have to wait and see what The New York Giants do with their other 6 draft picks.
Ah yes, which brings us to little Johnny football, aka Johnny Manziel. Manziel “dropped” down to the 22nd pick in the 1st round. ESPN kept showing his face on the screen as if we were supposed to feel bad for him for sitting in the spot light for 3 hours. I think he and his millions will be just fine (as he so clearly let us know by rubbing his fingers together on his way on stage as if to say “show me the money”). And despite all the money he did lose by not being drafted until 22nd, he did not get drafted into a bad situation. If you look at all of the possible teams that could have drafted him, The Minnesota Vikings or Jacksonville Jaguars, he actually landed in the best situation. The Browns offensive line isn’t terrible and Manziel will have 2 viable options at pass catching positions (Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron). Having a reliable running back would help Manziel out, but it’s a better situation than his fellow competitor Blake Bortles is in.
All-in-all I think it was an entertaining 1st round with a lot of interesting picks and moves. I do have a gripe with the NFL though, with the way the draft is run. Let’s use the very first pick of the entire draft as an example. The Houston Texans have known they were going to pick #1 overall for quite some time now. They obviously had decided before 8:00 p.m. last night that they were not going to trade their pick and they were going to select Jadeveon Clowney. So, why in the world did it take them nearly 7 minutes to announce their selection?!?!?! I’ll tell you why. Now, I don’t want to get all conspiracy theory on everybody, but the NFL is a money making business just like any business in the world. I have said many times before, and I will say it again: Everything is about money. The longer the draft takes, the more money the NFL makes. To keep watching the 2014 NFL Draft, you can tune in to ESPN tonight at 7:00 p.m. and coverage will continue at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Enjoy!!
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