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
Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida: B+ Grade
I know some Florida fans are confused that Jaylen Watkins was chosen before Marcus Roberson and Loucheiz Purifoy because he was behind both on the depth chart. But this makes a lot of sense. Jaylen Watkins has the speed and athleticism that Chip Kelly likes. He'll be a solid nickel and special-teams contributor.
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Washington Redskins: Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson: A- Grade
Bashaud Breeland is a slightly better cornerback prospect than Jaylen Watkins. If it weren't for some character concerns, he may have been chosen in the second round. Washington, of course, needs secondary help, so this is a very good selection.
Atlanta Falcons: Devonta Freeman, RB, Florida State: A- Grade
There were some less-talented running backs chosen before Devonta Freeman, so I really like this value for Atlanta. Steven Jackson was a major disappointment this past year, so the Falcons need to find a long-term solution who could perhaps step in this season if Jackson struggles again. Freeman has Rookie of the Year potential if Jackson gets hurt.
New York Jets: Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma: C Grade
The Jets needed a receiver very badly, so this pick makes at least some sense. The thing is that there were better receivers available. Jalen Saunders was viewed as a Round 5-6 prospect, so New York is reaching once again.
New England Patriots: Bryan Stork, C, Florida State: C+ Grade
This is a bit early for Bryan Stork, who was projected as a fifth-rounder by some teams we've spoken to, thanks to some medical concerns. It shouldn't be a surprise the Patriots took a center though, as the position was a huge hole on the roster last year.
San Francisco 49ers: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina: A Grade
Bruce Ellington could have easily gone in the second round, and no one would have had an issue with it. The 49ers are stealing him in the fourth round. Ellington is still raw, but he doesn't have to play anytime soon with Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Stevie Johnson all ahead of him. But Ellington can sit and learn for a year or two before becoming a big contributor.
Oakland Raiders: Justin Ellis, NT, Louisiana Tech: B Grade
I don't feel very strongly about this pick either way. There were some better players available, but Just Ellis fits the range and fills a need for a team that has some major defensive tackle issues.
Seattle Seahawks: Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA: B Grade
The Seahawks were going to consider Marcus Smith at No. 32 if they didn't trade out. They needed a pass-rusher after losing Chris Clemons to the Jaguars; not to mention that Cliff Avril is entering his contract season. Cassius Marsh makes sense here. He's a fourth-round prospect, so he fits the range.
Buffalo Bills: Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke: B- Grade
I didn't quite understand the need, but the Bills brought in a bunch of cornerbacks throughout the pre-draft process, so it's no surprise to see them select one at this juncture. Ross Cockrell, a tall corner, was seen as a fourth-round prospect.
St. Louis Rams: Mo Alexander, S, Utah State: D Grade
Mo Alexander is a reach. He has off-the-field issues, so he was projected to go much later. The Rams, however, have shown that they don't care about such things. They're filling a need, but I don't get why they'd pass on someone like Dion Bailey.
Cincinnati Bengals: Russell Bodine, C, North Carolina: B- Grade
As with the Patriots, the Bengals are making a very slight reach, but filling a huge need in the process. The Bengals have a huge hole at center, so this fourth-rounder could actually start right away.
Tennessee Titans: DaQuan Jones, NT, Penn State: A- Grade
It's about time the Titans secured some new pieces for their 3-4. I don't like their scheme change because they don't have 3-4 personnel, but DaQuan Jones will really help. He's a talented nose tackle who should see a decent amount of action as a rookie. He could have gone earlier than this, so I like this pick a lot.
New York Giants: Andre Williams, RB, Boston College: B Grade
As my editor put it, "Because the Giants need a running back who can't catch." I think this pick is OK. The Giants needed a running back, and I know one team that was really hoping that Andre Williams would fall to them at the end of the fourth round.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma: B- Grade
Aaron Colvin tore his ACL during the Senior Bowl practices, so it's highly unlikely that he'll be able to play until 2015. He would have been a second-round prospect had he stayed healthy, so the Jaguars are getting some value here and doing their best 49ers impersonation. They still need corner help though because Colvin won't be able to play right away.
New York Jets: Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA: C- Grade
Oh, Jets... Another receiver reach. Shaq Evans was a consensus Round 6-7 prospect, so it's becoming clear that New York's front office doesn't understand how value works in the draft. The team has done nothing to make me change my mind about having them draft first next year (see my 2015 NFL Mock Draft here).
Oakland Raiders: Keith McGill, CB, Utah: A Grade
This is a steal. Keith McGill easily could have gone in the second round. He's a big corner who has great athleticism, and it's not like he didn't play well throughout his college career. The Raiders wanted to add to their cornerback corps, so this selection just makes so much sense.
Chicago Bears: Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona: B- Grade
I thought the Bears would pick a running back, but I figured it would be later, given all of their issues on defense. Ka'Deem Carey fits the range and fills a need as depth behind Matt Forte. He's also a good match for Marc Trestman's offense, but Chicago should have addressed the other side of the ball.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson: A+ Grade
There's no reason Martavis Bryant should have lasted this long. He's a freak-of-nature receiver who could evolve into a Pro Bowl-caliber talent if coached right. He's very raw, so he has lots of work in front of him, but the Steelers are getting a steal in the middle of the fourth round while filling a need.
Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Hitchens, LB, Iowa: JOHNNY MILLEN Grade
And the first UDFA prospect is off the board. No surprise, given who's making the pick. I heard zero buzz about Anthony Hitchens, so I'm sure many teams expected to sign him after the draft. Jerry Jones needs a GM.
Arizona Cardinals: Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech: B- Grade
Not bad. Logan Thomas has first-round physical talent, but has played like an undraftable player at times. Bruce Arians might be able to coach him up and turn him into a decent starter. More likely though, Thomas will bust. It's worth the risk in the fourth round.
Green Bay Packers: Carl Bradford, ILB, Arizona State: A+ Grade
Another steal, and it's not a surprise that the perennial winners are making them. Carl Bradford could have easily been chosen in the second round, and I'm not sure why he fell this far. Bradford can play either outside or inside linebacker in the 3-4, though he'll probably be stationed at the latter position in Green Bay, given what the team has on its roster. He fills a big need inside.
Tennessee Titans: Marqueston Huff, S/CB, Wyoming: C+ Grade
There were better options available for the Titans at this juncture, but it's not a terrible pick. I would have liked Tennessee to pick a pass-rusher or a more natural cornerback, but secondary help is needed. I had Marqueston Huff in the fifth round, so it's a bit of a reach.
Seattle Seahawks: Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama: B+ Grade
I guess the front office agrees with Cris Carter. Another receiver isn't a surprise, given the team's need at the position. Kevin Norwood fits the range toward the end of the fourth round, so this is a decent selection. I like that the Seahawks moved down multiple times to acquire him.
Kansas City Chiefs: De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon: C+ Grade
Wow. This is a couple of rounds earlier than De'Anthony Thomas was expected to go, but the Oregon play-maker should be a good weapon for Alex Smith. Kansas City's quarterback can't throw deep, so he'll need another target to dump the ball off to. Thomas also serves as a needed backup for Jamaal Charles, a need created by Knile Davis' injury.
Miami Dolphins: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty: A- Grade
Someone in our Draft Day feature begged the Dolphins for more height in the secondary. He got his wish with the tall Walt Aikens. Cortland Finnegan is currently slated to start at corner for Miami, which has "disaster area" written all over it. Even though he's a fourth-round pick, Aikens could end up starting over the anemic Finnegan at some point this season.
New Orleans Saints: Khairi Fortt, ILB, California: B Grade
This is a solid pick. I thought Khairi Fortt would be chosen around this range, and he also fills a need for the Saints. David Hawthorne hasn't played well for them over the past couple of seasons, so it's possible that Fortt could step in as the starter in 2015.
Cleveland Browns: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood: C Grade
I really want to give the Browns a Millen because what they're doing is ridiculous. Who the hell is Johnny Manziel going to throw to? Do they want him to bust? Why aren't they getting him a wideout? Unfortunately, this isn't a Millen because Pierre Desir provides great value in the fourth round. Desir could have gone at the top of the third. This doesn't fill any sort of need, however.
Carolina Panthers: Tre Boston, S, North Carolina: B Grade
I don't love this pick, but I don't have any issues with it either. Tre Boston fits the range - I had him at the top of the fifth round in my final mock - and he fills a need in the wake of Michael Mitchell defecting for Pittsburgh.
San Francisco 49ers: Dontae Johnson, CB/S, N.C. State: B+ Grade
It's no surprise that the 49ers are picking another defensive back, given that the area is their biggest weakness. Dontae Johnson is a big, athletic defensive back who has tons of potential to turn into a solid starter if coached well. This is a pretty decent pick, as Johnson could have gone a bit earlier.
New England Patriots: James White, RB, Wisconsin: C Grade
Bill Belichick doesn't have a running back he can trust, but I'm not sure if James White will be that guy. White is a reach, as he was projected to go a bit later than this. I don't hate this pick, but New England could have done better.
Chicago Bears: Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota: A- Grade
No surprise that the Bears are picking a defensive back. They traded up into this slot, but it's worth it because Brock Vereen is a minor steal. Vereen was projected by some to be a third-round pick, so this is a nice value selection.
Seattle Seahawks: Kevin Pierre-Louis, LB, Boston College: B Grade
The Seahawks are selecting an athletic player? You don't say! Kevin Pierre-Louis has very good potential, and he was expected to go in this range. Seattle had to find some linebacker depth, so why not?
Detroit Lions: Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: B Grade
This pick makes sense. The Lions have cornerback issues, though they weren't going to take one as early as No. 10 because they like their young players at the position. They had to take one at some point though, and Nevin Lawson fits this range.
Baltimore Ravens: Brent Urban, DE/DT, Virginia: B Grade
I heard that the Ravens wanted to fix their defensive line in the draft, so I'm not surprised that they've taken two players up front. Brent Urban was considered to be a fourth-round prospect, so he is a logical pick at this juncture.
Houston Texans: Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh: A Grade
Wow. I thought the Texans would pick Tom Savage in the third round. The fact that they were able to obtain him here is ridiculous. Savage was never the second-round prospect the media made him out to be, but he has good skill and could emerge as a solid starter, especially with Bill O'Brien coaching him up. Nice job by the Texans.
Detroit Lions: Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg: C Grade
I had the Lions picking Larry Webster - at No. 189. This is a reach, but Webster fills a need. Detroit lost Willie Young to Chicago via free agency, so it needed to find a defensive end.
New York Jets: Dakota Dozier, G, Furman: B Grade
It's nice to see the Jets not reaching for a change. Dakota Dozier was projected as a fourth-round prospect, and he happens to fill a need with guard being so thin. I haven't said this much about New York's selections, but this is a solid move.
Baltimore Ravens: Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina: C+ Grade
This is a bit earlier than I thought Lorenzo Taliaferro would go, and there are better running backs available. The Ravens are at least filling a huge need in the wake of Ray Rice's issues.
Atlanta Falcons: Prince Shembo, DE/OLB, Notre Dame: B- Grade
The Falcons finally get their pass-rushing linebacker. They showed a ton of interest in Prince Shembo throughout the pre-draft process, so it's no surprise that they're picking him a little earlier than he was projected to go.
New England Patriots: Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford: A Grade
Some thought Cameron Fleming would go as high as the second round, so this is terrific value for the Patriots. Fleming doesn't fill a huge need for the Patriots, but they did have to get some tackle depth.
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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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