2014 NFL Draft: First (Round) Thoughts

By Russell S. Baxter

Pro Football Guru

A few random thoughts and numbers attached to the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft:

--The Houston Texans made defensive end Jadeveon Clowney the first overall pick, the 13th defensive lineman to be taken first overall in the common draft (1967-14) and the first since the Texans made defensive end Mario Williams the first selection in 2006...

--Here’s some more on the Clowney pick, marking the second year in a row that a quarterback was not the first overall pick in the draft (the Kansas City Chiefs made tackle Eric Fisher the first pick in 2013). It marked the first time since 1996 (wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson: Jets) and 1997 (tackle Orlando Pace: Rams) that a quarterback was not the top selection two consecutive years…

--Putting a bow on the Clowney selection, here’s the breakdown of first overall picks dating back to 1967: Quarterbacks (20), defensive linemen (13), running backs (7), offensive linemen (4), wide receivers and running backs (2)…

--The Jacksonville Jaguars grabbed quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick. The only previous player picked in the first round of the common draft from Central Florida was also a quarterback. In 1999, the Minnesota Vikings opted for quarterback Daunte Culpepper…

--With the second overall pick, the St. Louis Rams drafted a tackle in the first round for the third time in 10 years, opting for Greg Robinson (Auburn). The team also added defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 13th overall pick. Since 2007, the Rams have drafted 10 players in the first round, five of those defensive linemen…

--The Oakland Raiders opted for linebacker Khalil Mack with the fifth overall pick, the first overall choice from the University of Buffalo in the Common Draft Era (1967-14). Meanwhile, including the addition of wide receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick this year, the Buffalo Bills have drafted 52 players in the first round dating back to 1967…

--Texas A&M University was well represented in the first round, with tackle Jake Matthews (6: Atlanta Falcons), wide receiver Mike Evans (7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and quarterback Johnny Manziel (22: Cleveland Browns) all being selected. That means the school has had six players selected in the first round since 2011. From 2004-10, no player from Texas A&M was picked in the first round…

--The Jets take opted for safety Calvin Pryor (Louisville) with the 18th overall pick. Since 2010, the team has drafted six defensive players and zero offensive players in the first round. Of course, their second first-round pick a year ago was defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year…

--For the third time since 2007, the Browns drafted two players in the first round. And for the third time, their second selection was a quarterback and all taken with the 22nd overall pick. Cleveland opted for Brady Quinn in 2007, Brandon Weeden in 2012 and Johnny Manziel in 2014…

--There were nine defensive backs drafted in 1st round in the 2014 draft, the most at that position in the common draft era. There were seven defensive backs taken in the first round in 1998, ‘06, ‘07, ‘10 and ’13. In case you’re counting elsewhere, there were 18 defensive players and 14 offensive players taken in the first round…

--The University of Louisville had three players taken in the first round in Pryor (Jets), outside linebacker Marcus Smith (Eagles) and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings). From 1967-13, the Cardinals had six players selected in the first round…

--Speaking of Bridgewater, Minnesota traded back up into the first round to grab the quarterback with the 32nd overall pick. It marked the third consecutive year that the Vikings drafted at least two players in the first round. The Purple Gang has now added a total of seven players in the first round dating back to 2012…

--A little oddity. For the sixth consecutive year, no player was drafted in the first round from the University of Miami, Florida. Why is that significant? Only Southern Cal (66) has had more players drafted in the first round than the Hurricanes (56) since 1967. Even more impressive is the fact that Miami produced 25 first-round picks in an eight-year span from 2001-08…

--Finally, the Washington Redskins did not trade back into the first round, hence no first-round selection for the second straight year. But in case you think this is a recent phenomenon, think again. Dating back to 1967, the Redskins have selected only 25 players in the first round. This year marked the 25th time in 48 drafts over that span that Washington did not pick a player in the first round…