A Recap of the First Round

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft is in the books, and with it came all the surprise picks, trades and notable omissions that we've come to expect from the annual event. Here's a recap of the picks and trades teams have made so far as we prepare for tonight's second and third rounds.

No. 1 Overall Pick - Houston Texans select Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

There was a lot of suspense as to what the Texans would do with their top pick, but once the pick was revealed, it felt like a destiny fulfilled. Now, we get to see if Clowney, J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing and Whitney Mercilus can become the dominating collective force they appear to be on paper.

No. 2 -- St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) select Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

St. Louis taking the consensus top offensive lineman was expected at this spot.

No. 3 -- Jacksonville Jaguars select Blake Bortles, QB, UCF

This qualified as the first big surprise of the draft. Bortles' name had been floated among the top quarterbacks of this draft, but the common thought was that if the Jaguars went quarterback, it would be Teddy or Johnny. The Dave Caldwell-Gus Bradley regime has been generating a upward-trending culture in Duval, but their ultimate success will hinge on this pick.

No. 4 -- Buffalo Bills trade No. 9 overall pick, No. 109 overall pick and a 2015 first round pick to Cleveland for No. 4 overall pick, select Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Watkins possesses the potential to be the most explosive offensive weapon in the AFC East. The Bills certainly gave up some serious value to move up five spots to get him, but his arrival may help Buffalo contend for the division title sooner rather than later.

 

No. 5 -- Oakland Raiders select Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

The Raiders hope to get many years of great edge rushing from Mack, even if they continue churning coaches and general managers.

No. 6 -- Atlanta Falcons select Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Like the Rams, the Falcons used their top pick to take a top prospect to address their top issue: protecting the quarterback.

No. 7 -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

The Buccaneers have a solid roster, and that afforded them the chance to double down on one position and create one of the most threatening boundary receiver duos in the league in Evans and established veteran Vincent Jackson. With a good quarterback, Tampa Bay will be home to an explosive deep passing attack.

 

No. 8 -- Cleveland Browns trade No. 9 overall pick and No. 145 overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings for No. 8 overall pick, select Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St.

After moving back from the fourth spot, the Browns jumped one spot up to secure a top cornerback to pair with Joe Haden. If another pick they made later this round pans out, the Browns' quality roster may vault the franchise into playoff contention in the very near future.

No. 9 -- Minnesota Vikings (via Cleveland Browns via Buffalo Bills) select Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Minnesota will expect Barr to become a fearsome edge rushing across from Everson Griffen.

No. 10 -- Detroit Lions select Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Somewhat of a surprise given the presence of Joseph Fauria and Brandon Pettigrew on the roster, but Ebron will be an immediate plug-and-play seam threat for Matthew Stafford and the Lions' offense.

 

No. 11 -- Tennessee Titans select Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Top tackles continued falling off the board as the Dolphins' pick approached.

No. 12 -- New York Giants select Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

In the upper echelon of receivers in a wideout-rich draft, maybe Beckham's presence can continue misleading people that Eli Manning is in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

No. 13 -- St. Louis Rams select Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

The Texans defensive front will likely garner most of the headlines going into the 2014 season, but the addition of Donald creates an incredibly fearsome unit in St. Louis. The tandem of Chris Long, William Hayes, Robert Quinn and Donald will certainly help the Rams compete in the incredibly tough NFC West.

No. 14 -- Chicago Bears select Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech

After Peanut Tillman left to reunite with Lovie Smith in Tampa, the Bears needed to restock their secondary. Fuller will help them do just that.

No. 15 -- Pittsburgh Steelers select Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State

The son of the Dolphins team chaplain, Shazier is a high-character, blazingly-fast middle linebacker that will be a key step in injecting youth into the core of the Steelers' defense.

No. 16 -- Dallas Cowboys select Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame

Reportedly a top target of the Dolphins, Dallas snagged one of the draft's most complete linemen three picks before Miami had a chance.

 

No. 17 -- Baltimore Ravens select C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Many expected the Dolphins to take Shazier or Mosley with their first round selection, but they both came off the board, again, just a few picks before they got a chance.

No. 18 -- New York Jets select Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Continuing their habit of stocking Rex Ryan's defense with first round draft selections, the Jets finally made a serious attempt to solidify the back end.

No. 19 -- Miami Dolphins select Ja'Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

The Dolphins addressed a need, but didn't get the value many were hoping at with the 19th pick. It's believed that Miami could have traded back (perhaps taking the deal that New Orleans gave to Arizona in the next pick) to collect more selections and still nab a tackle of James' caliber. An apparent reach for need, but no one will be complaining if James solidifies the Dolphins' offensive line for years to come.

No. 20 -- New Orleans Saints traded the No. 27 overall pick and No. 91 overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 20 overall pick, select Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St.

Another highly-athletic weapon to be plugged into the rigid rotation of Drew Brees' receiving targets.

No. 21 -- Green Bay Packers select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

The Packers' passing defense hasn't been good for a while. Hopefully, the rangy Clinton-Dix can change that.

No. 22 -- Cleveland Browns trade No. 26 overall pick and the No. 83 overall pick for the No. 22 overall pick, select Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

One thing is definitely certain: things are about to get interesting in Cleveland. I get the feeling that a Tebow-magnitude debate about 'it factor' vs. excelling in a traditional way may be on the horizon, but Johnny Football has a chance to take an underrated roster as far as his ability will allow starting day one.

No. 23 -- Kansas City Chiefs select Dee Ford, DE, Auburn

With two premier edge rushers in Tamba Hali and Justin Houston already on the roster, the Ford selection makes one wonder whether either of those veterans' days with the team are numbered.

No. 24 -- Cincinnati Bengals select Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St.

2012 first round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick hasn't quite panned out, but he will be a fine complement to Dennard and Leon Hall going forward.

No. 25 -- San Diego Chargers select Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

The Chargers were desperate for a cornerback. The run on the position continued.

No. 26 -- Philadelphia Eagles (via Cleveland Browns via Indianapolis Colts) select Marcus Smith, DE, Louisville

No. 27 -- Arizona Cardinals (via New Orleans Saints) select Deone Bucannon, S, Washington St.

No. 28 -- Carolina Panthers select Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida St.

A big-bodied, wide-radius target for Cam Newton. Though he may lack the refinement you like to see from a first round pick, his physical tools made him too tempting for the receiver-needy Panthers to pass up.

No. 29 -- New England Patriots select Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

Considered a top talent in the interior line, Easley slid down the board because of two separate ACL injuries he suffered in while at Florida. If those issues don't resurface, could be another exceptional value pick for the Patriots.

No. 30 -- San Fransisco 49ers select Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

They drafted Eric Reid early last season and signed Antone Bethea, which will likely give small-school alum Ward plenty of time to acclimate to the NFL before being pegged as a full time starter.

No. 31 -- Denver Broncos select Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St.

Denver continued to augment its secondary in the draft after adding Aquib Talib and T.J. Ward in free agency to go along with Rahim Moore and Chris Harris, Jr.

No. 32 -- Minnesota Vikings trade No. 40 overall pick and No. 108 overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks for No. 32 overall pick, select Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville.

The Vikings re-entered the first round to get a chance at Teddy before Houston or Oakland got back on the clock. The Miami area native will be playing outside in November for the next two seasons, so his ball handling/arm strength abilities will be put to the test fairly early.


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