May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) shakes hands with Roger Goodell after being selected as the number one overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the Houston Texans at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The much anticipated 2014 NFL draft is in the books, and what better way to kick off the OTA season than with some fresh NFL power rankings. The draft resulted in big changes for many teams and lacked much needed upgrades for others. With this draft as deep as it has ever been in recent years, there is no excuse to not improve your team somehow or someway. Yet some teams managed to fall short.
Let’s get into it.
32. Washington Redskins
How did the Redskins get better exactly? They didn’t. With their future compromised from trading up to draft RGIII, the Redskins had to nail this draft with the picks they had. Well, they drafted a kicker, that should tell you enough. In all seriousness though, they reached for Trent Murphy in the 2nd round, but made up for that by drafting Morgan Moses later. This team is largely dependent on the success and health of Robert Griffin III, which is not something that I would bank on.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
If anyone of you have read any of my thoughts about the quarterbacks in this draft, you would know why the Jaguars are here. It simply comes down to the fact that, while they drafted two receivers with major upside and #1 receiver potential, they still have no one to throw them the ball. Blake Bortles is a development project, who knows maybe he will be a good QB at some point, but right now he is not fit to start in the NFL. I had him with a third round grade on account of his shaky footwork, mechanical flaws and accuracy issues. The only thing that he really has going for him is his prototypical size and athleticism for the position.
30. Cleveland Browns
The Browns had a good draft, let’s make that clear, but in the wake of Josh Gordon‘s potential season ending suspension, the Browns neglected to draft a replacement for him. I am a huge Johnny Football fan, he was my highest ranked quarterback, but his situation is the exact opposite as Bortles, he has no one to throw the ball to. The Brown’s offense lacks any game altering talent besides Manziel, at least Teddy has Adrian Peterson to hand it off too. The only thing the Browns have going for them at this point is that scary defense they are building, starting with their secondary.
29. Miami Dolphins
Ever since the Richie Incognito scandal, the Dolphins seemed to be spiraling down a path of no return. The Dolphins lack cohesion and chemistry on the team, the front office reached on a tackle in the first round, and Ryan Tannehill has not proved his worth of being a top 10 selection. They finished 8-8 last season ending on two terrible games, and continued the bad vibes through the draft.
28. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys lost a ton of talent on the defensive side of the ball, which is where they were lacking talent in the first place. They have a potent offense with Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray and Jason Witten, but as long as they don’t field a defense and Tony Romo continues to be well, Tomy Romo, then this team isn’t going anywhere except down.
27. Tennessee Titans
The Titans held two picks in the top 100 and with them they accomplished two things: they successfully wasted a first round pick on a tackle who won’t even start, and they replaced the running back they could have easily just re-signed. They lost Chris Johnson and Alterraun Verner to free-agency, two of the best at their positions, and failed to capitalize on the opportunity to add young, impact players to the team through the draft. Jake Locker won’t be successful as long as this team keeps losing talent and wasting draft picks.
26. Houston Texans
The Texans had a fantastic draft, but much like the Jaguars, they do not have an NFL starting quarterback on the roster, unless they wish to give the reigns to Ryan Fitzpatrick for the season. With all the talent on this team, the only people they can blame for not making the playoffs is themselves. Derek Carr was available when they picked in the second round and Teddy Bridgewater was available two picks before that. Grab your franchise QB. At least it will be fun watching Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt terrorize quarterbacks for 16 games next season.
25. Buffalo Bills
This draft was focused on allowing EJ Manuel to succeed, as evident on giving up two first rounders for Sammy Waktins. They added talent thought the draft, but I am just not ready to have the Bills higher until I see what Manuel can do with his sophomore season.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs did a great job in adding talent through free agency this offseason on the defensive side of the ball. They brought in Josh McCown after a breakout season and drafted playmakers like Mike Evans and Austin Seferian-Jenkins to help him out. The potential for a turnaround and good football is there, but let’s not forget that this team didn’t win a game until week 10 last season.
23. Minnesota Vikings
I really liked what the Vikings did in the draft, and I think that adding Teddy Bridgewater brings them closer to the 10 win season they had in 2012. They have a stockhold of talent on offense now with Peterson, Patterson and Bridgewater, the only thing to fix now is the defense. They added talented-but-raw pass rusher Anthony Barr in the first round as a building block for the defense.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are this far down mostly because I don’t know if they will be the same team from the first or second half of last season when they arrive in 2014. They had a solid draft, grabbing two first-round talents in Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt, along with a nice dynamic duo at receiver with Dri Archer and Martavius Bryant. But with Big Ben regressing, the Steelers are no longer shoe-ins to make the playoffs every year.
21. Detroit Lions
The Lions gave their offense a help by adding big weapons to divert attention away from “Megatron”, but what about that secondary? The first two rounds are where teams find impact starters, yet the Lions drafted a tight end when they re-signed Brandon Pettigrew and a middle linebacker. The Lions will always be a threat though, simply because of that high-octane offense.