Tag Archives: Blake Bortles

Learning from the 2014 NFL Draft

This was one of the deepest draft classes of all time. There was so much talented to be distributed and many teams got future stars with their investment. Let’s break down this 2014 NFL Draft to see what exactly happened last weekend.

First off, 14 quarterbacks were selected, three in the first round. Blake Bortles was the first of many to come. Probably the biggest surprise was Jimmy Garoppolo being picked in the 2nd round by the New England Patriots. That’s the highest the Patriots have drafted a quarterback in the draft since Tom Brady took over as the starter. This was considered a steal from Houston, who was planning on taking a quarterback with their next pick. Brady still has two to three, maybe even four more years left in him, so what does that mean for Garoppolo? Well, if he got drafted by the Texans, he probably would have been rushed in to start on week one. With the Patriots, Garoppolo will learn from Brady and will be groomed into an NFL-ready quarterback. He probably won’t be starting any time soon unless Brady gets injured, but this could be a Brett Favre/Aaron Rodgers type of deal that Bill Belichick is going for. If Garoppolo ends up succeeding Brady and exceeding expectations, this could be one of the greatest draft picks of the Patriots’ franchise.

This draft also marked the first time since 1937 where no Texas player was drafted. It also broke the record for the longest time gone before a running back got picked. The first player didn’t get off the board until the Tennessee Titans selected Bishop Sankey in the second round with the 54th overall pick. Sankey will make a good replacement for Chris Johnson, who is now with the Jets.

I thought that a lot of teams got much better through this draft, starting with Jacksonville. The Jaguars got their franchise quarterback and then built the rest of the draft around him. They got the former Wide Receiver-of-the-Year winner Marqise Lee out of USC and then also added Allen Robinson from Penn State, a big target for Bortles to throw to.

The St. Louis Rams took advantage of their great draft picks with players that can start right away for the team. They solidified both their offensive line with Greg Robinson of Auburn and their defensive line with Aaron Donald out of Pitt. They got Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner who can play both corner and safety. They also finished their draft in style by selecting Michael Sam in the 7th round, making him the first NFL player to be openly gay. He will definitely be a back-up in the league, but will make the most out of his opportunities once he gets the chance.

The Houston Texans also had a great draft, despite not selecting a quarterback till the 135th pick with Tom Savage out of Pitt. However, they did manage to grab Jadeveon Clowney and they continued to bulk up the trenches with the addition of Xavier Su’a-Filo, the guard from UCLA, and Louis Nix III, the defensive tackle from Notre Dame. Their defensive line is now settled with veteran J.J. Watt already establishing himself as one of the best in the business.

There is so many other things to say about this draft, like how the Baltimore Ravens replaced Ray Lewis with Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and how the Green Bay Packers improved their secondary with fellow Alabama star Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. However, none of this matters until opening kickoff when all of these players have made their mark on the gridiron. For all we know, some of these players might end up as busts or some of them might end up as future Hall of Famers. You never know in the great world of the NFL.


2014 NFL Draft Round One Results

It was a night full of surprises and great picks. Dreams came true while others might have to wait for their chance to get drafted by an NFL team. Here’s the first five picks of the draft:

1. Houston Texans- Jadeveon Clowney DE from South Carolina

The Texans basically picked the best player in the draft when selecting this beast of a pass rusher. Clowney is definitely a Pro Bowl talent and he also has the pleasure of teaming up with J.J. Watt. If I were Andrew Luck, I would be shaking in my cleats every time I took the field against this defense.

2. St. Louis Rams- Greg Robinson OT from Auburn

The Rams need to protect Sam Bradford, who is very injury-prone. They believe that Robinson can protect their franchise on the offensive line. He is one of the best offensive tackles in the draft and can make a big impact on day one. Emphasis on the big, standing at 6’5″ and 332 pounds!

3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Blake Bortles QB from UCF

Bortles can just drive down the street to play for his new team. This prototypical quarterback is ready to play in the NFL. He has the arm strength and the mobility in the pocket to become a starter in the league for years to come. The Jaguars needed a franchise quarterback and they got one in Bortles.

4. Buffalo Bills- Sammy Watkins WR from Clemson

The Bills traded up to get this pick and it looks like it paid off. Watkins is by far the best receiver in the draft and he will make a good fit with E.J. Manuel and the Bills’ offense. He’s a dynamic play-maker that can get yards after the catch, which is something very valuable in the NFL.

5. Oakland Raiders- Khalil Mack OLB from Buffalo

Buffalo stole Watkins from the Raiders, but they ended up getting the next best thing in Mack. This pass rusher was one of the best linebackers in all of college football last year. He will definitely make some big plays in Oakland and give their linebacker corps some much-needed depth.

Other Great Picks

Atlanta Falcons select OT Jake Matthews 6th overall. No matter where Matthews went, is was going to be a great selection for any team. The Falcons needed to bulk up their offensive line to improve their running game and that’s what Matthews brings to the table. He’s the cousin of Clay Matthews and the part of the Matthews football family tree that has produced great players over the years.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers select WR Mike Evans 7th overall. Besides Watkins, Evans was the most NFL-ready receiver. He’s big like Calvin Johnson and will be a great asset to Vincent Jackson. His role in the passing game will greatly benefit a team that does not have a solid foundation at the quarterback position.

St. Louis Rams select DT Aaron Donald 13th overall. First Chris Long, then Robert Quinn, then Michael Brockers and now Aaron Donald. I think it’s safe to say that the Rams have now solidified the best defensive line in football. Donald will make an excellent addition to this much-improved defense.

There were a lot of other great picks, but the one that made the biggest headlines was Johnny Manziel going to the Cleveland Browns for the 22nd pick in the draft. The Browns shocked a lot of people when they didn’t take Manziel earlier at number 8 when they took CB Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State instead. They were very fortunate that Manziel slid down to 22 and will become the 3rd quarterback selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round since 2007. He will also be the 21st quarterback for the Browns since 1999. Hopefully, he can produce a great future for the Browns that has not found a superstar quarterback in a long time.

Some other notable mentions are CB Kyle Fuller to the Bears at 14, MLB C.J. Mosley to the Ravens at 17, WR Brandin Cooks to the Saints at 20, WR Kelvin Benjamin to the Panthers at 28, and finally QB Teddy Bridgewater to the Vikings as the last pick in the first round. Stay tuned for rounds 2 and 3 later tonight. For more information on this year’s draft, click here.