The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft has come and gone, and not without a few surprises. Some guys were taken early, some late, and some not at all.
It’s kind of the nature of the business–things will not always go as analysts think or as teams plan. Here are some of the biggest surprises from the first round:
- The Texans took Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 pick: Yes, his name has been in conversations about who the Texans would take for months, but what Houston was planning to do was clouded in so much secrecy that whoever the team took would have been a surprise.
- Jacksonville took Blaine Gabbert II Blake Bortles with the No. 3 pick: If Johnny Manziel was not taken by the Texans it was widely believed he wouldn’t make it past Jacksonville.
- Johnny Manziel’s free fall to No. 22: If Houston didn’t take him either Jacksonville or Cleveland was expected to. When that didn’t happen the free fall was on till Cleveland finally decided to do so at No. 22. Had they not traded up you have to wonder if the Texans would have taken him in the second round.
- Marqise Lee is still on the board: The USC wide receiver was expected to go in the top 20, but instead remains out of work going in to the second day of the draft. As talented as he is the only reason could be his injury history over the last two years.
- Dallas made a smart pick: With all the talk about Manziel it ended up being a shocker that the Cowboys didn’t take him at No. 16. Instead they actually covered a serious need and took a quality offensive tackle in Notre Dame’s Zach Martin.
- Teddy Bridgewater nearly fell out of the first round: After being in conversations involving the No. 1 pick his stock had taken a serious hit in the months leading up to the draft. Had Seattle not spent a ton of money on its secondary recently and needed to trade out of the first round he would probably still be on the board going in to Day Two.
- Buffalo giving up the house to draft Sammy Watkins: Watkins was expected to go high, but there is a good chance that he would have been available late in the top ten for them to take. Instead they give up two first round picks and a fourth to move up five spots. Now if only they had someone to throw the ball to him….