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Live 2014 NFL Draft Grades

These Live 2014 NFL Draft Grades will be posted minutes after each pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

2014 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Team Grades

  1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE/OLB, South Carolina: B+ Grade
    I'm going to mark this pick in. Some believe Khalil Mack will be the choice, but that doesn't make much sense, and it goes against what we reported in the NFL Draft Rumor Mill today. The Texans are unwilling to move down from No. 1 unless they receive a Robert Griffin-type package. That's why the Falcons stopped trying to obtain the top choice. General manager Rick Smith is throwing a ton of crap out there to generate interest for this selection, but only because he wants multiple future first-rounders. He knows how great Jadeveon Clowney can be, so he's only willing to part with him if he can get a ridiculous deal. But that's just not going to happen for a non-quarterback. Besides, Mack over Clowney? The Texans can't be that incompetent. A trusted source of ours actually laughed off speculation that Houston prefers Mack.

    As for this actual grade, I'm not in love with this selection, but I don't know what else Houston could do. There's no sure-fire quarterback prospect, so that's not really an option. The Texans can't allow the greatest pass-rushing prospect in a very long time to slip through their fingers, so they shouldn't take minimal compensation for this pick. Clowney is not ideal for the 3-4, but then again, neither was Mario Williams, and he still played great in that scheme. If motivated, Clowney will be dominant.

    Clowney's motivation is the big issue though. I don't trust him to stay clean. There are major questions about his work ethic and his entourage. Perhaps J.J. Watt can help him with the former, but Clowney could still get into trouble because of the people he hangs out with - especially in a city like Houston. Still though, it's a chance the Texans have to take because they don't have any other realistic options.

    Follow @walterfootball for updates.

  2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn: C Grade
    I'm really not a big fan of this pick. I don't hate it, but I feel like the Rams should have gone with Sammy Watkins instead. St. Louis has Jake Long and Joseph Barksdale, who played well last year. Greg Robinson is obviously an upgrade over the latter - or the former if he can't return from injury - but Jeff Fisher has a great track record of getting the most out of his linemen. I get that Robinson is very talented, but why not take another great prospect at a different position instead?

  3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida: B- Grade
    Wow! No one saw this coming. No one. ESPN's Britt McHenry said that the Jaguars were considering a quarterback, but everyone assumed it was going to be Johnny Manziel. This is nuts.

    I can't hate this pick because the Jaguars absolutely had to find a franchise quarterback. But this choice is questionable. There were much better prospects available, including Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins. Some could even argue that Johnny Manziel is the superior talent.



  4. Buffalo Bills: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: C+ Grade
    The Bills get an A for Sammy Watkins. He's a stud, and he's going to be a great receiver in the NFL. Having said that, they get a D for moving up. They surrendered a first-round pick in 2015, and given that the quarterback is still E.J. Manuel, it's likely that Cleveland will have an additional top-12 selection in 2015 NFL Draft.

    I really hate it when teams trade up like this. It's only a good idea if they're one player away. The Bills are most definitely not one player away.

  5. Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo: A+ Grade
    Absolutely love this pick. Khalil Mack was the No. 2 prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft, so the Raiders are getting great value with the fifth pick, thanks to Jacksonville's incompetence. Reggie McKenzie signed a bunch of aging pass-rushers this offseason, but they need young blood at the position. Mack might even have a bit of a chip on his shoulder after falling to No. 5, so that makes this selection even sweeter.

  6. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M: A Grade
    Would anyone be surprised if Jake Matthews ends up being the best tackle in this draft? No one should be. Jake Matthews doesn't have Greg Robinson's athleticism, but he's still a stud, and he's the best the Falcons could have hoped for without trading up (Khalil Mack was not getting by Oakland). Protecting Matt Ryan is paramount, especially after this past season, and Atlanta has just added a major piece to keep its quarterback off the ground.





  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M: A- Grade
    This makes a ton of sense. The Buccaneers jettisoned the lethargic Mike Williams this offseason, which opened up an even bigger need for a No. 2 receiver. Mike Evans was the top player available - I wasn't really sure he'd be here - so Tampa Bay is getting great value with a receiver projected to be the next Vincent Jackson. How will the NFC South teams deal with two Vincent Jacksons?

  8. Cleveland Browns: Justin Gibert, CB, Oklahoma State: C+ Grade This is such a Cleveland Browns pick. Really. They had a chance to potentially turn their entire franchise around with Johnny Manziel. Instead, they take a cornerback? It doesn't make much sense. But then again, this is a franchise that hasn't been in the playoffs in more than 10 years for a reason.

    I don't hate Justin Gilbert. He was the No. 1 corner in this class, and he'll be great across from Joe Haden. I also like how the Browns obtained Buffalo's No. 1 pick in 2015. That's what keeps this from being a C- or a D. I just don't get the logic of passing on a franchise signal-caller and also moving up one spot to secure Gilbert. It just shows that the Browns only liked one player at this spot, so they didn't have any sort of Plan B.

  9. Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA: B Grade
    This is a pretty decent pick. The Vikings needed someone to replace Jared Allen, and Anthony Barr is the top pass-rusher available. Some even considered Barr to be superior to Khalil Mack. If you're wondering about Barr's fit in a 4-3 defense, Mike Zimmer's scheme calls for a pass-rushing linebacker. Minnesota will use Barr like Von Miller. I don't have as big of a problem for Minnesota passing on Johnny Manziel because he doesn't really fit Norv Turner's offense. The Vikings can get Derek Carr later.



  10. Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: C+ Grade
    I can't say I'm crazy about this pick. There's a reason tight ends have fallen in recent years, and Eric Ebron is viewed as a slightly overrated prospect. Talented tight ends can be acquired later, especially with Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Troy Niklas available in Round 2. I don't hate this selection though because Matthew Stafford needs more weapons, and Ebron is definitely an upgrade over the disappointing Brandon Pettigrew.

  11. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan: A- Grade
    Taylor Lewan, or one of Michael Oher or Michael Roos will have to play guard in 2014. Lewan, of course, will be the left tackle of the future once Roos moves on, so this pick makes a ton of sense. Lewan was also arguably the prospect available, as Mel Kiper promised that he would not escape the top six. There are some character issues with him, but there's no doubt that Jake Locker's protection has improved tremendously. There are no now excuses for Locker.

  12. New York Giants: Odell Beckham, WR, LSU: B+ Grade
    I was pleading for Zack Martin in my live blog, but Odell Beckham works for New York. Hakeem Nicks is gone, so the Giants needed to find a new receiver to help Eli Manning. Beckham was the best receiver available by a wide margin, and some even considered him to be a better prospect than Mike Evans. I wouldn't agree with that, but Beckham gives Manning a great downfield threat and a dynamic weapon in the return game.



  13. St. Louis Rams: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh: A Grade
    Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald. Holy crap. The Rams already had a ridiculous defensive line, and now it's somehow even better.

    I love this pick. Donald should have been a top 10 selection, and he would have gone in that range had the earlier teams not been so incompetent. He was arguably the top player available, and he will be a full-time starter once Kendall Langford moves on. Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Carson Palmer are not happy campers right now.

  14. Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller, CB/S, Virginia Tech: B+ Grade
    Everyone on ESPN is saying that the Bears landed a talented cornerback, but I'm not so sure Kyle Fuller plays corner. I've heard they like him as a safety. He does fit what Phil Emery looks for in defenders, and that's why I had him selecting Fuller in my mock. There's no doubt that he fills a big need, and he was undoubtedly one of the better players on the board.

  15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State: B Grade
    Talented prospects tend to fall to the Steelers - David DeCastro and then Jarvis Jones - but that wasn't the case this year. That's fine because the Steelers are still making a decent selection. Ryan Shazier is a speedy linebacker who will upgrade the middle of the defense. Pittsburgh's defense was very slow last year, so Shazier was taken to compensate for that.

  16. Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin, G/OT, Notre Dame: B Grade
    So much for Johnny Manziel being the pick. He was never a realistic option, though this is a bit of an upset in that the Cowboys aren't upgrading the third-worst defense of all time (according to yardage allowed). However, this pick still makes sense. The Cowboys needed a guard upgrade for 2014 and a future right tackle if they can't retain Doug Free. Zack Martin was expected to go around the 12th pick, so there's a decent amount of value here. Having said that, Jones may regret not upgrading his stop unit when the Eagles, Redskins and Giants all put up 30 on his team.

    Follow @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Team Grades
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Other 2014 Mock Drafts: Charlie Campbell (5/8) /Goals (5/3) /Not Mock (4/27) /Emmitt Mock (4/20) /Trades Mock (4/13) /Celebrity Mock (4/11) /Backward Mock (4/4) /April Fools Mock (4/1) /Reader Mock /Free Agent Mock (3/6) /Overreaction Mock (12/30)
2015 NFL Mock Draft (UPDATED 12/17): Round 1 /Picks 17-32 /Round 2 /Round 3
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2008 NFL Draft Re-Mock / 2007 NFL Draft Re-Mock / 2006 NFL Draft Re-Mock / 2005 NFL Draft Re-Mock / 2004 NFL Draft Re-Mock / 2003 NFL Draft Re-Mock / 2002 NFL Draft Re-Mock
2016 NFL Mock Draft (UPDATED 7/24): Round 1 /Picks 17-32
Other 2016 Mock Drafts: Charlie Campbell (11/29)



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