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.