These Live 2014 NFL Draft Grades will be posted minutes after each pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Follow @walterfootball
2014 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16
| Picks 17-32
| Team Grades
2014 NFL Mock Draft
Houston Texans: Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA: B+ Grade
The Texans had to address their offensive line, and they're doing so with a player who fits the exact range. I've had Xavier Su'a-Filo in the first round of my mock, but the caveat was that the Chiefs would trade into the top of the second round for him. This is a solid choice.
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Dallas Cowboys: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State: C+ Grade
The Cowboys lost the trade because they gave up a valuable third-round pick to move up to No. 34. I guess they were concerned that the Falcons would select him. This pick obviously makes sense from a needs standpoint because Dallas is desperate at defensive end after losing DeMarcus Ware. He also fits the range. I'd like this pick a lot more if the Cowboys didn't give up so much.
Cleveland Browns: Joel Bitonio, OT/G, Nevada: B- Grade
Josh Gordon is likely done for the year, and the Browns take a right tackle? Well, it fills a need because Cleveland has a huge hole at guard. Bitonio could start at right tackle, which would move Mitchell Schwartz inside. Bitonio could be the starting guard as well. Still, considering the desperate need at wideout, and all of the talented players remaining at the position, it's curious that the Browns didn't find Johnny Manziel a weapon.
Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: C- Grade
I don't understand this pick very much. It's not terrible because there's good value with Derek Carr here, but he's not going to help the Raiders win now. That's exactly what they need to do though because Reggie McKenzie and the coaches will be fired otherwise. I get the feeling that incompetent owner Mark Davis stepped in and made this selection for the team, because it doesn't match what McKenzie has done this offseason. Plus, it's not like Carr is a great talent anyway. He was absolutely awful against USC.
Atlanta Falcons: Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/DT, Minnesota: C Grade
How many defensive linemen do the Falcons need? They signed so many this offseason, and they had so many other needs. There's decent value with Ra'Shede Hageman, so this pick isn't terrible, but Hageman is blocked with all of the talent ahead of him on the depth chart. He's also basically a height-weight-speed guy, so he has a high bust rate. I feel like Atlanta panicked a bit because all of the players it was considering went off the board (Deone Bucannon, Dee Ford).
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington: B+ Grade
There are some character issues with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, so he's not a slam-dunk pick or anything, but this is a solid choice for the Buccaneers, who add yet another weapon for Josh McCown. They had to find an upgrade at the tight end position, and Seferian-Jenkins is one of three who fit this range.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Marqise Lee, WR, USC: A Grade
Marqise Lee fell into the second round because of a minor injury concern, but there's no question that this is a steal for the Jaguars - and they needed one after reaching on Blake Bortles in the first round. With Justin Blackmon out indefinitely, Jacksonville needed a No. 1 wideout, and it may have found one with Lee, who was projected to be a top-10 selection prior to the 2013 collegiate season.
Detroit Lions: Kyle Van Noy, DE/OLB: B Grade
This pick makes a lot of sense. It may seem odd because the Lions have run a traditional 4-3, but they'll have a hybrid stop unit under Jim Caldwell. With that in mind, Detroit had to find a pass-rushing linebacker, and Kyle Van Noy is arguably the top player available who fits that profile. This is about the area where I expected Van Noy to go.
St. Louis Rams: Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State: B Grade
Lamarcus Joyner was arguably the next-best defensive back on the board, so it shouldn't be a surprise that the Rams selected him. The Rams had terrible corner play this past season from Cortland Finnegan, who is no longer on the roster. An upgrade had to be made, and Joyner could easily qualify as one.
Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: B- Grade
This pick is interesting in that it's the complete opposite of what the Eagles did in the first round. With Marcus Smith, they made a reach, but traded down while doing so. Here, they moved up and took a player who could have gone a bit earlier. I like Jordan Matthews - he has the size that Chip Kelly wants - but with all of the receiving talent available in the second round, why even move up? Philadelphia could have just sat there and still obtained a solid wideout.
New York Giants: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State: B+ Grade
So, the J.D. Walton signing means nothing, then? That's how it seems right now, but either Walton or Weston Richburg (likely the former) will play guard, filling a huge need. We spoke to some teams that thought Richburg would be chosen in the first round, so the Giants are getting solid value, all while protecting Eli Manning, which is obviously important.
Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama: C- Grade
Ugh, Bills, what are you doing? Cyrus Kouandjio didn't look like a draftable prospect against Oklahoma in the bowl matchup. He had some other poor performances in 2013. He was seen as a borderline first-round prospect, but then some medical concerns came into question. Kouandjio should have been taken in third round, so this is a reach. He fills a big need for a right tackle, but Buffalo once again made a poor decision in this draft.
Seattle Seahawks: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado: A- Grade
Unlike the Eagles, the Seahawks traded down (multiple times) and picked their receiver. That's why they're getting a much better grade. Paul Richardson fills a huge need that had to be filled even before Golden Tate left for Detroit (as Cris Carter would agree). Richardson needs to bulk up, but he's athletically impressive, which fits what the Seahawks typically go for.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame: A Grade
The best pick in the second round thus far. Stephon Tuitt was once seen as a first-round prospect. He struggled in 2013, but only because he put on a lot of bad weight. He has a lot of natural talent though, so if Pittsburgh can coach him up, it'll finally find the answer at defensive end that it has been looking for this entire time. The Texans were considering Tuitt at No. 33, so the Steelers are getting great value.
Washington Redskins: Trent Murphy, DE/OLB, Stanford: C+ Grade
I like that the Redskins traded down for Trent Murphy, but that's what's keeping this from being a C- or a D. The Redskins have tons of needs and a limited amount of picks, so it's strange that they went with such a luxury pick. Murphy will provide depth for now, but he could eventually start if the team can't re-sign Brian Orakpo. That's fine, and I'd understand it if Washington was obtaining this great value, but that's not the case with Murphy.
Baltimore Ravens: Timmy Jernigan, NT, Florida State: C+ Grade
Timmy Jernigan is apparently going to play nose tackle because he makes no sense as a five-technique in Baltimore. The Ravens actually wanted to add a nose tackle to challenge Terrence Cody so they could move Haloti Ngata outside, so this does make sense as a scheme fit, despite what Todd McShay said during ESPN's telecast. It just wasn't expected - and I thought Jernigan would drop because of his failed drug test. We spoke to a couple of teams that took Jernigan, Zach Mettenberger and the other players who tested positive off their board. Baltimore may have been able to obtain Jernigan in the third round.
New York Jets: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: A Grade
This is a great pick. It just makes so much sense. Jace Amaro could have gone much earlier than this, so he obviously fits the range. He also fills a huge need because the Jets didn't have anything at tight end. Geno Smith needs a safety valve to help him develop, and Amaro should be a great weapon for him.
San Diego Chargers: Jeremiah Attaochu, DE/OLB, Georgia Tech: B+ Grade
The pass-rushers are flying off the board - even Trent Murphy is gone - so I can understand why the Chargers made the move up for Jeremiah Attaochu. They desperately needed to upgrade their ability to get to the quarterback because they need to rattle Peyton Manning to have a chance against him. Attaochu is a bit raw, but he has a ridiculous amount of potential.
Chicago Bears: Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU: C- Grade
I don't think this is as much of a reach as Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are making it out to be. I had him in the third round though, so the Bears are still taking him too early. Ego Ferguson fills a need, but Chicago could have waited on him and chosen another (better) defender who could help them against Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford.
Arizona Cardinals: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame: A Grade
I'm a bit surprised that the Cardinals spent such a high pick on a pass-catching tight end, but I don't think Carson Palmer will complain too much. He'll love having such a dependable, intermediate target at his disposal. Troy Niklas could have easily gone at the beginning of the second round, so unlike their first pick, this provides a ton of value.
Green Bay Packers: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State: B+ Grade
The Packers lost James Jones, who ruined his career by leaving Aaron Rodgers and signing with the Raiders, so they had to find a new receiver. Davante Adams was a solid second-round prospect heading into the draft, so this pick makes sense from a need and a range perspective. Aaron Rodgers should be happy.
Tennessee Titans: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington: B Grade
Bishop Sankey has made history by becoming the first running back in a draft ever chosen after pick No. 37. I did not think Sankey was going to be the first back off the board, but he makes sense for a team that just lost Chris Johnson to the Jets. The Titans didn't have a viable starting running back on the roster, so that has likely changed.
Cincinnati Bengals: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU: D Grade
What a terrible pick. The only thing preventing this from being a Millen is that Jeremy Hill could have been chosen a bit earlier than this. But this makes no sense. The Bengals already have Giovanni Bernard and BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the roster, so they didn't need to add Hill. Furthermore, Hill has been arrested twice over the past few years, so I better not hear from any Cincinnati fans telling me that the front office no longer selects players with character concerns.
Denver Broncos: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana: A- Grade
Peyton Manning gets another receiver. Well, he needs one, considering Eric Decker left for the Jets and Wes Welker isn't going to be around much longer. Cody Latimer is physically impressive, and he provides great value at this selection, given that some projected him to sneak into the first round.
San Francisco 49ers: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: C Grade
Note to NFL teams: Stop taking running backs so early! They are a dime a dozen, and there is a much better class of backs coming in 2015 (go here for my 2015 NFL Mock Draft). I don't like this pick very much. The 49ers have Frank Gore now and Marcus Lattimore for the future, so where does Carlos Hyde fit in? Hyde is at least the consensus No. 1 back in this class, but this just seems like another wasted second-day choice used on a runner for San Francisco.
New Orleans Saints: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska: C+ Grade
Stanley Jean-Baptiste has a ton of potential, given his massive 6-foot-3 frame. Tall corners are all the range now, so it's easy to understand why a team would take Jean-Baptiste in the second round. The problem is that the Nebraska product is a fourth-round talent. He struggled at times at Nebraska. He may fill a need, however.
Indianapolis Colts: Jack Mewhort, OT/G, Ohio State: B Grade
This is a solid choice. The Colts' No. 1 priority was protecting Andrew Luck, whose offensive line struggled immensely at times. Jack Mewhort fits the range, and he can also play both tackle and guard. Mewhort may eventually move outside, but he'll immediately start at the latter position.
Carolina Panthers: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri: A Grade
What tremendous value. Kony Ealy could have gone as high as No. 16 to Dallas, and I wouldn't have complained too much. It's insane that he dropped all the way to No. 60, and the Panthers obviously recognize that they got a steal because they're not filling a need - at least not an immediate one. Greg Hardy will be hitting free agency next year, and it will be difficult to retain him. Ealy can learn behind him and Charles Johnson and eventually start in 2015.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State: C+ Grade
It's a little weird that the Jaguars are spending another pick on a receiver when they already have Marqise Lee and Cecil Shorts, and potentially Justin Blackmon returning in the future. I like the value for Allen Robinson, who could have gone 15 picks earlier, but another wideout wasn't needed, and even if Jacksonville was set on drafting him, it shouldn't have moved up.
New England Patriots: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: MILLEN Grade
Finally, a Millen grade! Here's why: The Patriots are in an arms race with the Broncos to reach the Super Bowl. Both teams have done many things this offseason to put themselves in a "win-now" mode. This pick does not help New England win now. Rather than give Tom Brady a better weapon, or improved blocking, or someone to help on defense, Bill Belichick pissed off Brady by making this choice. With the Patriots and Broncos being so close, this second-round pick could end up making the difference.
I have nothing against Garoppolo. He could evolve into a decent starter, though I doubt it. I just absolutely hate this fit.
Miami Dolphins: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU: B- Grade
The Dolphins showed a ton of interest in receivers during the pre-draft process, and it's easy to see why. They had nothing beyond the inconsistent Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. That's no longer the case, as Jarvis Landry will step in and likely become the team's new slot receiver. I think this is a bit of a reach, but it's nothing egregious.
Seattle Seahawks: Justin Britt, OT, Missouri: SIX SEASONS AND A MILLEN Grade
Uhh... what? I get that the Seahawks love athletic players, but come on... Justin Britt is a seventh-round/UDFA prospect. There's no reason to select him this early. I'm not saying it's impossible that Britt will ever develop into a solid blocker, but this is a ridiculous reach.
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2014 NFL Draft Grades - Round: Picks 1-16 | Picks 17-32 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Team Grades
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