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Pick-by-pick analysis of the NFL Draft's first round

05/08/2014 7:56 PM

05/09/2014 7:37 AM

Here’s a pick-by-pick analysis of the first round.

1. Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, 6-6, 266, South Carolina

Bio:

Two-year starter who declared after a junior year in which he had 40 tackles, 11 1/2 for loss and three sacks. Is 21 years old. 34 1/2-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 4.53 40-yard dash. 21 bench reps. 37 1/2-inch vertical. 124-inch broad jump. 7.27 3-cone drill. 4.43 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Excellent size and length, though he’s built to be a 4-3 defensive end, not a 3-4 rush linebacker. Still, he demonstrates the athleticism to possibly pull it off, though he’s the kind of guy to adjust your system to. Boasts outstanding timed speed, acceleration and power. Isn’t very agile but can chase plays down from behind and has good instincts. Was much better as a sophomore, when he won SEC Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 54 tackles, 23 1/2 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. Production fell off significantly as a junior, but teams schemed against him heavily. Scouts apparently have concerns about his work ethic and sense of entitlement. Did not always play hard in 2013.

Analysis:

Clowney is the most gifted player in the draft, so it's hard to blame the pick. The fit will be interesting — the Texans run a 3-4 defense and Clowney isn't a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker. But there's a good chance defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel figures out the best way to use him. Clowney and J.J. Watt could be a destructive force up front.

2. St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson, 6-5, 332, Auburn

Bio:

Two-year starter who declared for the draft after his junior season. Is 21 years old. 35-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 4.92 40-yard dash. 32 bench reps. 28 1/2-inch vertical. 113-inch broad jump. 7.80 three-cone drill. 4.86 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Massive frame and impressive run blocker who can overwhelm defenders. Needs to be become more consistent in pass protection but physical gifts give him a high ceiling.

Analysis:

Robinson is an interesting fit with the Rams, who already have a starting left tackle in Jake Long. But Long is recovering for a knee injury, so Robinson offers nice protection there. He might start out as a guard or play right tackle while being groomed to protect the blindside The worst-case scenario for Robinson is that he becomes a very good guard due to his size and pass-protection issues, but if the Rams took him over Matthews, that means they think they can clean him up and help him live up to his massive potential.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blake Bortles, 6-5, 232, Central Florida

Bio

: Two-year starter who completed 259 of 382 passes (67.8 percent) for 3,581 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2013. Is 22 years old. Has 9 3/8-inch hands. 4.93 40-yard dash. 32 1/2-inch vertical. 115-inch broad jump.

Consensus:

Has the size, mobility and intangibles to be a very good player in several different schemes. Arm strength isn't elite but gets the job done.

Analysis:

The Jaguars fake out everybody and take Bortles instead of linebacker Khalil Mack or receiver Sammy Watkins. Bortles is a big, strong, pro-style quarterback who has the tools to be a good quarterback. Now it's up to offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch to develop him.

4. Buffalo Bills: WR Sammy Watkins, 6-1, 211, Clemson

Bio:

Three-year starter who caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. Is 20 years old. 32-inch arms. 9 5/8-inch hands. 4.43 40-yard dash. 16 bench reps. 34-inch vertical. 126-inch broad jump. 6.95 3-cone drill. 4.34 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Has elite acceleration and vertical speed. Also has very good hands — he can high-point and track the football. Is threat to run after the catch and has some return ability, too. Needs to improve his route running. Needs to do a better job of taking care of the ball — lost four of seven fumbles in his career.

Analysis:

The Bills traded their 2014 first-round pick and a first-rounder in 2015 to get Watkins, an electric playmaker who gives last year's first-round pick, quarterback E.J. Manuel, another weapon. It's a steep price to pay for an undersized No. 1 receiver, but he does have the talent to help the Bills.

5. Oakland Raiders: LB Khalil Mack, 6-3, 251, Buffalo

Bio:

Four-year starter who had 100 tackles, 19 for loss and 10 1/2 sacks in 2013. Is 23 years old. 33 1/4-inch arms. 10 1/4-inch hands. 4.65 40-yard dash. 23 bench reps. 40-inch vertical. 128-inch broad. 7.08 3-cone drill. 4.18 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Prototypical 3-4 rush linebacker. Excellent workout numbers back up his outstanding production on the field in a weaker conference than other top prospects. Has proven to be durable. Above average instincts. Displays great quickness off the snap and can convert speed to power — he can hold up at the point of attack. Has multiple pass rush moves, plays hard is often around the ball. Flashes potential in coverage. Plays hard.

Analysis:

The Raiders already have some capable pass rushers, including Justin Tuck, Lamarr Woodley and Kevin Burnett. And they also have a speedy young linebacker in Sio Moore. But Mack is a complete player, capable of doing a number of things, and this is another classic case of taking the best player available.

6. Atlanta Falcons: OT Jake Matthews, 6-5, 308, Texas A

Bio:

Four-year starter. Is 22 years old. 33 3/8-inch arms. 8 7/8-inch hands. 5.07 40-yard dash. 24 bench reps. 30 1/2-inch vertical. 105-inch broad jump. 7.34 3-cone drill. 4.47 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

The son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews is a rock-solid player with a very high floor. Good in run and pass protection and has experience at both tackle positions.

Analysis:

The Falcons’ offensive line needed a boost, and it gets it with Matthews, who is one of the safest picks in the draft due to his talent and bloodlines. Quarterback Matt Ryan, who was harrassed all year by opposing pass rushers, must be doing flips.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans, 6-5, 231, Texas A

Bio:

Two-year starter who caught 69 passes for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2013. Is 20 years old. 35 18-inch arms. 9 5/8-inch hands. 4.53 40-yard dash. 12 bench reps. 37-inch vertical. 7.08 3-cone drill. 4.26 20-yard shuttle. 11.58 60-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Excellent size and length. Has great ball skills — knows how to track the ball and win contested throws. Strong hands. Showed up when it mattered. Repeatedly bailed out Johnny Manziel on tape. Long strider who will not run away from NFL defensive backs, so he will be forced to box out defenders and win contested balls. Is very competitive and tough and must learn to keep his emotions under control on the field.

Analysis

: Evans is a nice fit in Tampa, where new quarterback Josh McCown will have two starting outside receivers who stand over 6 feet 4 and can win jump balls. Evans is a classic possession receiver, despite his somewhat stiff hips, and will add some physicality to an offense that could use it.

8. Cleveland Browns: CB Justin Gilbert, 6-0, 202, Oklahoma State

Bio:

Three-year starter who had 42 tackles, seven pass breakups and seven interceptions in 2013. Is 22 years old. 33 1/8-inch arms. 8 5/8-inch hands. 4.37 40-yard dash. 20 bench reps. 35 1/2-inch vertical. 126-inch broad. 6.92 3-cone drill. 4.39 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Looks the part — great athlete with long arms and great timed speed and recovery skills. Excellent ball skills (seven interceptions in 2013). Playmaker. Talented kick returner. Durable. Inconsistent technique and tackling. Not particularly physical. Needs to be coached up but has the talent to be top-notch cover corner.

Analysis:

The Browns trade up from No. 9 to take Gilbert. The need is real for Cleveland, which badly needs an athletic cornerback to pair with star Joe Haden. Gilbert’s got all the skills, he just needs to be coached up. The Browns flipped a fifth to move up one spot. Look for the Browns to grab a quarterback and receiver with their upcoming picks.

9. Minnesota Vikings: OLB Anthony Barr, 6-4, 255, UCLA

Bio:

Three-year starter who had 83 tackles, 21 1/2 for loss and 13 sacks in 2013. Is 22 years old. 33 1/2-inch arms. 9 3/8-inch hands. 4.66 40-yard dash. 15 bench reps. 34 1/2 vertical. 119-inch broad. 6.82 3-cone drill. 4.19 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Has all the athleticism you’d ever want — has a quick first step with a closing burst to get to the quarterback and chase plays down from behind. Has not missed a game in two seasons. Is a bit raw, has only been playing the position a few years. Needs to be more consistent diagnosing plays but is adequate. Does not always play hard. Needs to get much stronger, only 15 bench reps. Disappears too often for his talent.

Analysis:

Interesting and surprising pick for the Vikings, who look to boost their pass rush with this athlete with upside. Has all the talent in the world. There’s a need here, too — Chad Greenway is getting older, and there’s little other established talent at this position.

10. Detroit Lions: TE Eric Ebron, 6-4, 250, North Carolina

Bio:

Two-year starter who declared for the draft after catching 62 passes for 973 yards and three touchdowns in 2013. Is 21 years old. 33 1/4-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 4.60 40-yard dash. 24 bench reps. 32-inch vertical. 120-inch broad jump.

Consensus:

Is widely regarded as the best tight end in the draft. Drops some catchable balls, but his athleticism and ball skills are legit. Has the ability to be a vertical threat, make contested catches, beat linebackers one-on-one and run after the catch. Needs to improve his effort and technique as a blocker. A little more bulk would help.

Analysis:

The Lions have no shortage of weapons for quarterback Matt Stafford now. In addition to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, the Lions have three capable tight ends in Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria and now Ebron. Stafford officially has no excuses — the Lions took another receiving weapon over a cornerback like Darqueze Dennard, a safety like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or a pass rusher like Aaron Donald. From the Chiefs’ point of view, Ebron is the first player taken who really breaks fans’ hearts, but there was always little-to-no chance he’d fall to No. 23.

11. Tennessee Titans: OT Taylor Lewan, 6-7, 309, Michigan

Bio:

Four-year starter. Is 22 years old. 33 7/8-inch arms. 9 1/4-inch hands. 4.87 40-yard dash. 29 bench reps. 30 1/2-inch vertical. 117-inch broad jump. 7.39 three-cone drill. 4.49 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation:

Has the size, length and athleticism to be a very good pro, especially in a zone-blocking scheme. Tough and nasty competitor whose lack of ideal strength keeps him from being elite.

Analysis:

Interesting pick here. Lewan is a fine player, but the Titans already have one of the best offensive lines in football. Michael Roos is solid at left tackle, but he’s 32 years old. They also signed Michael Oher to play right tackle this offseason. It will be interesting to see where Lewan fits in early. As for the Chiefs, some people had Lewan dropping into the 20s but there was always no chance of that happening.

12. New York Giants: WR Odell Beckham Jr, 5-11, 198, LSU

Bio:

Three-year starter who caught 59 passes for 1,152 yards and 8 touchdowns in 2013. Is 21 years old. 32 3/4-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 4.43 40-yard dash. 7 bench reps. 38 1/2-inch vertical. 122-inch broad jump. 6.69 3-cone drill. 3.94 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Comes from a family of LSU athletes — his father played football and his mother was a track star. Has been productive since he stepped on campus. Can create separation and has good hands, but needs to be more consistent catching the ball. Has been productive as a kickoff returner. Scouts are divided on whether he has elite top-end speed.

Analysis:

The Giants pass on two glaring needs (receiver and defensive line) to take a versatile, big-play wideout. The Giants already have a capable No. 1 wideout in Victor Cruz, a 2012 second-round pick in Rueben Randle and veteran wideout Mario Manningham, but Beckham can bring some juice to the offense.

13. St. Louis Rams: DT Aaron Donald, 6-1, 285, Pittsburgh

Bio:

Three-year starter who had 59 tackles, 28 1/2 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in 2013. Is 22 years old. 32 5/8-inch arms. 9 7/8-inch hands. 4.68 40-yard dash. 35 bench reps. 32-inch vertical jump. 116-inch broad jump. 7.11 3-cone drill. 4.39 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Prototype three-technique tackle is incredibly productive and disruptive. Size is only concern but he dominated all comers at the Senior Bowl and checks all the boxes. Has excellent quickness of the snap and plays hard. Has 29 1/2 career sacks.

Analysis:

Love this pick. LOVE IT. Not only do the Rams take the best player on the board, they get a guy who will give them one of the most fearsome pass rushes in pro football. Robert Quinn is an elite end, Chris Long is a tier behind and Michael Brockers is a former first-round pick in 2012 who still has time to develop. The Rams have invested some money in another defensive tackle, Kendall Langford, but he’s more of a run stuffer. The Rams are going to get after people, and new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams loves it. Meanwhile, Johnny Manziel — who some were linking to the Rams — continues to fall.

14. Chicago Bears: CB Kyle Fuller, 6-0, 190, Virginia Tech

Bio:

Four-year starter who had 24 tackles, 10 pass breakups and two interceptions in only nine games in 2013. Is 22 years old. 32 7/8-inch arms. 9 3/8-inch hands. 4.49 40-yard dash. 12 bench reps. 38 1/2-inch vertical. 128-inch broad. 6.90 3-cone drill. 4.19 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Has NFL bloodlines. Long arms. Physical and aggressive. Willing, reliable tackler in run support. Flashes good ball skills — can break on the ball and make plays. Has a closing burst. Good awareness and instincts. Has experience playing nickel. Excellent intangibles. Needs to get stronger. Has dealt with injuries this year. There's some disagreement about his press-man coverage ability.

Analysis:

Not a bad pick for the Bears, who have a pair of aging cornerbacks in Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings. Fuller has been a late riser, but he’s a really nice fit as a zone cover man in the Bears’ scheme. Chicago also needs a safety, and they passed on the best two on the board in Louisville’s Calvin Pryor and Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Ravens, Jets, Cardinals and Packers remain possible landing spots for both, Chiefs fans. As far as Manziel goes, the Cowboys, Jets and Cards remain possible landing spots.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers: ILB Ryan Shazier, 6-1, 237, Ohio State

Bio:

Two-year starter who had 134 tackles, 22 1/2 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2013. Is 21 years old. 32 3/8-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 4.38 40-yard dash. 25 bench reps. 42-inch vertical. 130-inch broad. 6.91 3-cone drill. 4.21 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Off-the-charts athleticism and production. Best profiles as 4-3 weakside linebacker but could play inside in a 3-4. Can be a three-down player. Instincts and awareness can improve in pass coverage but has the tools to do it. Lack of size can be an issue when teams run right at him. Plays hard.

Analysis:

Probably best as an inside linebacker. Gives that unit some youth and juice. Trust Dick LeBeau to develop him this guy. The passed on a big-play WR like Brandin Cooks or a physical corner like Darqueze Dennard. Both were needs.

16. Dallas Cowboys: OL Zack Martin, 6-4, 308, Notre Dame

Bio:

Four-year starter. Is 23 years old. 32 7/8-inch arms. 9 1/2-inch hands. 29 bench reps. 28-inch vertical. 106-inch broad jump. 7.65 three-cone drill. 4.59 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Experienced and technically sound. Lacks ideal length at tackle but his ability to execute combo blocks and get to the second level makes him an intriguing fit at guard, where he doesn’t have any experience but easily projects as an early starter. Understands angles, is smart and gives effort.

Analysis:

Tremendous restraint by Jerry Jones here, passing on Johnny Manziel and taking the best available lineman, which happens to be a need. Cowboys also needed a defender, but Martin is a plug-and-play guy. Very solid pick. The Chiefs would have loved him, but the chances have always been against him falling to No. 23. Meanwhile, Manziel is still on the board, with only the Jets and Cardinals as possible landing spots.

17. Baltimore Ravens: ILB C.J. Mosley, 6-2, 234, Alabama

Bio:

Four-year starter who had 108 tackles and nine for loss in 2013. Is 21 years old. 333/8-inch arms. 10 3/4-inch hands. 4.63 40-yard dash. 15 bench reps. 35-inch vertical. 118-inch broad. 7.30 3-cone drill. 4.40 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Average build, good athleticism. Very productive with excellent instincts. Has good intangibles, hard worker and gives great effort. Solid tackler. Shows enough competence in pass coverage to be a three-down player. Durability is a concern, has been nicked up in college.

Analysis:

That’s a very solid pick for the Ravens, who can slide Mosley next to Daryl Smith, despite the fact they took former K-State linebacker Arthur Brown last year. Mosley is arguably the best player on the board. He’s a solid, three-down player, provided he can stay healthy.

18. New York Jets: S Calvin Pryor, 5-11, 207, Louisville

Bio:

Three-year starter who declared for the draft after a junior season in which he had 75 tackles, five pass breakups and three interceptions in 2013. Is 21 years old. 31 3/8-inch arms. 9 1/8-inch hands. 4.58 40-yard dash. 18 bench reps. 35 1/2-inch vertical. 116-inch broad. 6.98 3-cone drill. 4.30 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Has good bulk. Is an intimidator, a violent hitter who knocked out a handful of opponents last season. Overruns plays too much. Good athlete with enough range to play center field but is probably better served in the box, where he can be around the action. Flashes OK-to-good ball skills. Good instincts. Hasn't played much man coverage. Plays hard.

Analysis:

The Jets have a huge need at safety and Pryor is the best guy on the board. Good pick, though it probably broke some Chiefs’ fans hearts. Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee, Darqueze Dennard, Johnny Manziel and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix still on the board for the Chiefs.

19. Miami Dolphins: RT Ju’Wuan James, 6-6, 311, Tennessee

Bio:

Four-year starter. Is 21 years old. 35-inch arms. 897/8-inch hands. 5.34 40-yard dash. 22 bench reps. 29-inch vertical. 103-inch broad jump. 7.42 three-cone drill. 4.56 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation:

Great length. Started all 49 games during his career. Light on his feet but needs to refine his footwork and technique. Better pass protector than run blocker.

Analysis:

The Dolphins reached to take a tackle I happen to like, so it’s not a bad pick. More importantly for the Chiefs, they’re guaranteed to have two from the following group available in Brandin Cooks, Marqise Lee, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Darqueze Dennard. Manziel, too. Not a bad group to pick from.

20. New Orleans Saints: WR Brandin Cooks, 5-10, 189, Oregon State

Bio:

Two-year starter who caught a Pac-12 record 128 passes for 1,730 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013. Is 20 years old. 30 3/4-inch arms. 9 5/8-inch hands. 4.33 40-yard dash. 16 bench reps. 36-inch vertical. 120-inch broad jump. 6.76 3-cone drill. 3.81 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Productive, athlete slot receiver with the courage to go over the middle. Has reliable hands and can track the ball. Is durable, which is important considering lack of size and length. Doesn’t play to his timed speed. Must be more consistent as a blocker.

Analysis:

The Saints give up a third to move up from No. 27 to take the dynamic pass catcher from Oregon State. He will easily fill in for Lance Moore, who departed this offseason, and give Drew Brees another big-play threat. Good pick for the Saints.

21. Green Bay Packers: S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, 6-1, 208, Alabama

Bio:

Two-year starter who declared for the draft after a junior season in which he had 51 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions in 2013. Is 21 years old. 32 3/8-inch arms. 9-inch hands. 4.58 40-yard dash. 11 bench reps. 33-inch vertical. 119-inch broad. 7.16 3-cone drill. 4.16 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Looks the part — good size and long arms. Marries very good instincts with good range and athleticism, though his combine numbers were a bit of a disappointment. Flashes playmaking ability and good hands but needs to be more consistent. Not a big hitter but is a reliable tackler.

Analysis:

This is good value for the Packers, who need a free safety to play next to Morgan Burnett. Clinton-Dix is great at nothing but is solid at everything. Leaves Lee, Manziel or Dennard for the Chiefs.

22. Cleveland Browns: QB Johnny Manziel, 6-0, 207, Texas A

Bio:

Two-year starter who completed 300 of 429 passes (69.9 percent) for 4,114 yards, 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2013. Is 21 years old. 9 7/8-inch hands. 4.68 40-yard dash. 31 1/2-inch vertical. 113-inch broad jump.

Evaluation:

Undisciplined gunslinger with rare competitiveness and escapability. Quick delivery and good arm strength are enticing, but his footwork and accuracy need to improve. Has the biggest hands of the top four quarterbacks, despite height. Boom or bust.

Analysis:

The Browns give up a third-round pick and move up to take the biggest boom-or-bust prospect in the draft. He is a great fit in Cleveland, though. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s offense can get the most out of his skills. Most importantly, his selection allows the Chiefs to presumably pick between Darqueze Dennard and Marqise Lee.

23. Kansas City Chiefs: OLB Dee Ford, 6-2, 252, Auburn

Bio:

Two-year starter who had 29 tackles, 14 1/2 tackles for loss and 10 1/2 sacks in 2013. Is 23 years old. 32 7/8-inch arms. 10 1/4-inch hands. 4.59 40-yard dash. 29 bench reps. 35 1/2-inch vertical. 124-inch broad. 7.07 3-cone drill. 4.73 20-yard shuttle.

Consensus:

Has small frame and short arms but fits the profile of a 3-4 rush linebacker. Boasts excellent get off and acceleration off the edge. Has a knack for getting to the quarterback (20 1/2 career sacks). Violent hands. Plays hard. Doesn’t have a ton of experience in coverage but has the athleticism to develop. Needs to gain strength — is often moved on double teams. Durability is a concern — has been dinged his entire career.

Analysis: The Chiefs pass on Marqise Lee and Darqueze Dennard and take an explosive pass rusher to get after Peyton Manning and the rest of the AFC West. Ford has some durability concerns and he needs to get stronger against the run but there’s no doubting his pass-rush ability off the edge. He’ll eventually replace Tamba Hali, 30, and team up with Justin Houston to form a very intriguing pass rush.

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