The 2014 NFL Draft: A magical day where NFL hopefuls learn where they will be playing. There is excitement, mayhem, and in the case of the New York Jets, there is plenty of booing. Despite what ESPN and the NFL Network would have you believe, there were other players drafted that were not named Johnny Manziel. Cleveland decided to live action role play the movie Draft Day while the war rooms were busy at work. We are going to focus on the NFC West and the NFC South.
Seattle Seahawks – Being the champs has its ups and downs. Seattle made it no secret that it wanted to trade out of the first round. It took them a while, but they found a partner in Minnesota, who was downright desperate to grab a quarterback before the second round began. Minnesota failed once, but not twice. In exchange for trading the 32nd pick away, Seattle acquired Minnesota’s 2nd round pick(40) and 4th round pick(108).
San Francisco 49ers – In one of the picks that had me scratching my head a little, the 49ers went with a small, but hard hitting defensive back in Jimmie Ward from Northern Illinois. At only 5ft10, Ward will need to bulk up a bit to be able to handle the rigors of the NFL season. As long as he stays on the field, San Francisco gets a hard hitting player who is great at getting to the ball.
Arizona Cardinals – Arizona saw an opportunity to get an extra pick by trading with New Orleans. They gave their 20th and got the 27th and 91st picks. They used their pick to get safety Deone Bucannon from Washington State. With a sub 4.5 40 yard time and 109 tackles, this is a hard hitting player that looks to be an excellent fit.
St. Louis Rams – St. Louis was very busy and had two picks in the first round. The first pick was at #2 and was the last pick they received from the Robert Griffin III trade. With it, they selected Greg Robinson, the highest rated offensive lineman in the draft. With Sam Bradford having durability issues, the Rams need to continue to bolster his protection. With the second pick at #13, the Rams selected defensive tackle Aaron Donald from Pitt. Donald had 10 sacks last year for the Panthers and is extremely athletic. He led all defensive tackles in the combine 40, 3 cone drill, and broad jump. With proper coaching, Donald will be a beast.
Carolina Panthers – Carolina went big. To pair with their big quarterback, the Panthers drafted wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State. Benjamin is a big 6ft5 target that hauled in 54 catches for 1011 yards and 15 touchdowns while winning a national championship last year. Benjamin isn’t very fast or particularly strong, but you can’t teach height and he has it. Benjamin has all the makings of a good possession receiver.
New Orleans Saints – New Orleans needed some help offensively for Drew Brees and saw an opportunity to move up and nab Biletnikoff award winner Brandin Cooks from Oregon State. While in his last season at Oregon State, Cooks caught 128 passes for 1730 yards and 16 touchdowns. To jump from 27 to 20, New Orleans gave Arizona the 27th, and 91st picks.
Atlanta Falcons – Atlanta is the next stop for a family synonymous with the NFL. The Falcons used their 6th pick to draft 6ft5 offensive tackle Jake Matthews from Texas A&M. As a part of the family that has produced two Clay Matthews, and Bruce Matthews to name a few, Jake has all the physical talents to give Matt Ryan a lot of protection.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa Bay needs help in a lot of areas, but there is a gaping hole at wide receiver with the departure of Mike Williams. The Bucs filled that need by drafting Mike Evans from Texas A&M at #7. Evans caught 69 passes for 1394 yards and 12 touchdowns last year. With Evans lining up against Vincent Jackson, that’s one less need for the Bucs.
Host of The College Cram, NFL and NCAA writer on the National Gridiron Network
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