The 2014 NFL Draft is considered one of the best drafts in the modern era. In just five full seasons, 34 guys in this class have participated in the Pro Bowl with many being multiple All-Pro selections. Outside of the stars selected, there have been a fair amount of non-Pro Bowlers or All-Pro members that have made significant contributions to […]
The 2014 NFL Draft is considered one of the best drafts in the modern era. In just five full seasons, 34 guys in this class have participated in the Pro Bowl with many being multiple All-Pro selections. Outside of the stars selected, there have been a fair amount of non-Pro Bowlers or All-Pro members that have made significant contributions to their respective teams.
That being said, there have been a fair amount of first-round selections that did not pan out while later selections in Round Two and beyond have had better careers.
Last week I re-drafted the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft and made a 2019 Mock Draft. Today, I decided to re-draft Round One of the 2014 NFL Draft. Much like 2018’s re-draft, trades that occurred that night are not counted, rather the original picks 1-32 remain with that team.
1. Houston Texans – Khalil Mack
- Original Selection: Jadeveon Clowney
There was a debate going on at the time on who should the Texans select first overall. Many believed it was going to be Clowney or Mack to improve their defense, while others believed Houston should secure their franchise quarterback.
Clowney took a bit to develop but in recently has turned out to be a good selection for the Texans. However, I am going to the former Buffalo Bull in Khalil Mack. Mack developed into a star pass rusher right away which included a 15 sack season in just his second year and never missed a game for the Oakland Raiders. Imagine a defensive line with J.J. Watt and Khalil Mack? Scary.
2. St. Louis Rams – Odell Beckham Jr.
- Original Selection: Greg Robinson
Robinson was drafted to be the next best Left Tackle in the NFL. He did start for the majority of his time in St. Louis but never developed into the star the Rams had hoped for.
The Rams also needed help at the wide receiver position at the time and what better way to rebuild that offense with Beckham Jr. Beckham has had over 1,000 yards in four of the five seasons with the Giants and recently was traded to the Cleveland Browns. He became a star in the league immediately and would have fit nicely in the Rams offense.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Derek Carr
- Original Selection: Blake Bortles
Jacksonville needed a quarterback but in this re-draft they get they pick the right one in Carr. Bortles was the starter during his five seasons in Duval but constantly struggled with turnovers and never developed in the star they had hoped for.
Carr is a different story. Take in the second-round by Oakland, he turned the franchise around and has become a consistent starter for the team. Things would have looked completely different if the Jaguars took a different QB.
4. Cleveland Browns – Teddy Bridgewater
- Original Selection: Sammy Watkins (pick traded to Buffalo)
Buffalo traded up to take the Clemson wide receiver but in this re-draft, the pick stays with Cleveland. They take a quarterback too in Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater had his moments and looked to be the future in Minnesota. Sadly, a 2016 preseason knee injury derailed his moment and has yet to be a full-time starter and is now the backup to Drew Brees in New Orleans.
Injuries can happen at any time so I think Bridgewater is still a top QB in this draft class. Before Baker Mayfield, the Browns had a history of bad quarterback play and Bridgewater could have fixed that problem long before Mayfield.
5. Oakland Raiders – Aaron Donald
- Original Selection: Khalil Mack
Khalil Mack may be off the board here but Oakland still gets a stud lineman in Donald. Viewed as undersized at the Defensive Tackle position, the former Pittsburgh Panther showed the scouts wrong here, winning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in back to back seasons (2017 & 2018). Not a bad second option for the Raiders here.
6. Atlanta Falcons – Taylor Lewan
- Original Selection: Jake Matthews
Matthews had been good for the Falcons here but Lewan has been a lot better. With three Pro Bowls under his belt, Lewan has shown that he is one of the best Left Tackles in the NFL. His recent extension showed that he is here to stay and could have been a better option to protect Matt Ryan.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers –Mike Evans
- Original Selection: Mike Evans
Evans stays with the team that drafted him in this re-draft. Evans had had over 1,000 yards in every season so far and is one of the top receivers in the NFL right now. No matter who throws him the ball in Tampa Bay, Evans stays a consist target. The Bucs got is right here.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Jadeveon Clowney
- Original Selection: Justin Gilbert (pick traded to Cleveland)
The Browns traded down and took Oklahoma State corner Justin Gilbert who is considered one the biggest draft bust in recent years. The Vikings keep their pick here and select Clowney.
Like stated earlier, it took Clowney a while to develop but has become a star pass rusher lining opposite J.J. Watt. Putting him on a line with Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffin and Linval Joseph could make this one of the best defensive lines in football.
9. Buffalo Bills – Anthony Barr
- Original Selection: Anthony Barr (pick traded to Minnesota)
Barr was selected 9th overall by the Minnesota Vikings after trading down. He stays at nine here but this time with the original holders of that pick in the Buffalo Bills.
Buffalo has been in need for a linebacker that can be a solid run stopper and pass rusher and gets a good combo backer in Barr.
10. Detroit Lions – Zack Martin
- Original Selection: Eric Ebron
Ebron struggled in Detroit and found success once he left The Motor City, becoming a reliable target for Andrew Luck in 2018. To improve their offensive line, I have the Lions taking Zack Martin here, who is one of the best offensive guards in all of football.
11. Tennessee Titans – C.J. Mosley
- Original Selection: Taylor Lewan
With Lewan off the board, the Titans grab the Alabama prospect in Mosley to improve their linebacking core.
Mosley was great from the start, earning a Pro Bowl and Second-team All-Pro honors in just his rookie season, showing right away he is one of the top linebackers in the league.
12. New York Giants – Brandin Cooks
- Original Selection: Odell Beckham Jr.
Beckham Jr. may be off the board in this re-draft, but they get another great wide receiver in Cooks. He is not a star like Beckham but is a vertical threat that has had three 1,000 yard seasons with three separate teams. He would of become Eli Manning’s favorite target right away.
13. St. Louis Rams – Jake Matthews
- Original Selection: Aaron Donald
No Donald here and they have Beckham Jr. to start the re-draft. To improve their offensive line and protect the quarterback, they go with Matthews here.
14. Chicago Bears – Kyle Fuller
- Original Selection: Kyle Fuller
The Bears got it right with Fuller in the real draft, so they stick with their plan and draft the Virginia Tech corner in this re-draft. Fuller had his up and downs but finally showed that he was a first-round talent, having seven interceptions and earning his first Pro Bowl in 2018 as well as a First-team All-Pro selection.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ryan Shazier
- Original Selection: Ryan Shazier
Much like the Bears, Pittsburgh got it right in Shazier. Shazier was a consist starter in the Steelers defense and looked to be a rising star in the NFL.
Unfortunately, he sustained a severe back injury in a 2017 Monday Night game against the Bengals, forcing him to miss the rest of the 2017 season and all of 2018. We are not sure if he will be able to fully play again but signs are looking up as he was seen on social media slowly jogging in his quest to get back on the field. You can never predict injuries, so he stays here in the re-draft.
16. Dallas Cowboys – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
- Original Selection: Zack Martin
Martin is long gone in the re-draft so the Cowboys select Clinton-Dix in order to improve the teams secondary. He was a consist starter during his time in Green Bay and was traded to the Washington Redskins halfway through the 2018 season. Dallas wouldn’t make that mistake in trading a star safety.
17. Baltimore Ravens – Devonta Freeman
- Original Selection: C.J. Mosley
The Ravens have not had consistency in the running back department in quite some time. They fill that need in this re-draft in taking a fourth-round selection in Freeman.
Freeman was a consistent running back in Atlanta’s offense until a foot/groin injury limited him to two games in 2018. Still, you can’t help but wonder how so many teams passed up on the former Florida State Seminole.
18. New York Jets – Jarvis Landry
- Original Selection: Clavin Pryor
Pryor never developed into the starting safety that New York had hoped for and was replaced by Jamal Adams a few seasons later. Here, I have them taking Beckham’s teammate and friend in Landry.
Landry was a ball magnet during his time in Miami and even now in Cleveland, which included a league-high 112 receptions in 2017. A definite improvement the Jets would like to have in the wide receiver department.
19. Miami Dolphins – Davante Adams
- Original Selection: Ja’Wuan James
James was great during his time in Miami, being a consist starter for them in five seasons. However, I have Adams going here to as he showed to be one of the more underrated wide receivers in the NFL.
20. Arizona Cardinals – DeMarcus Lawrence
- Original Selection: Brandin Cooks (pick traded to New Orleans)
Arizona stick with their 20th selection in the re-draft and select Cowboys second rounder in Lawerence. He struggled in the early part of his career but improved greatly the last two seasons with 14.5 and 10.5 sacks respectively. He recently signed a five-year, $105 million dollar contract so he will be on the Cowboys for the long haul.
The Cardinals could use a guy like Lawerence on the defensive side, especially lining up opposite Chandler Jones.
21. Green Bay Packers – Eric Ebron
- Original Selection: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Ebron might not have been worth the 10th overall selection but fits well here at pick 21. Like stated earlier, he finally developed into the reliable pass-catching tight end in 2018 with Andrew Luck throwing him the ball.
Throw him in Green Bay’s offense, he could have developed a lot quicker.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Malcolm Butler
- Original Selection: Johnny Manziel (pick traded to Cleveland)
The Super Bowl XLIX hero gets selected in the first round of this re-draft. Butler developed as a nice starting corner for the Patriots and earned a big payday with the Tennessee Titans.
Another undrafted gem shows that just because you’re aren’t drafted, it doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Dee Ford
- Original Selection: Dee Ford
He may be on a new team in 2019 but Kansas City sticks with Ford in the re-draft. Ford was an in-and-out starter in Kansas City’s defense but had a career year in 2018 with 13 sacks. He was franchised tagged by Kansas City but is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Darqueze Dennard
- Original Selection: Darqueze Dennard
Dennard never developed into a full-time starter but has been a consistent rotational defensive back for the Bengals and started a few games at the nickel position. He stays here in the re-draft.
25. San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett
- Original Selection: Jason Verrett
Verrett has the talent to be a starting corner but injuries have derailed his momentum so far. He recently signed with the San Francisco 49ers, hoping to get his career back on track.
Like I said, you can’t predict injuries, so he stays here in the re-draft.
26. Cleveland Browns – Joel Bitonio
- Original Selection: Marcus Smith (pick traded to Philadelphia)
Bitonio was a second-round selection but moves up to the first round in the re-draft. It took him a few seasons but finally looks to be one of the best guards in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns, earning a Pro Bowl and Second-team All-Pro selection in 2018.
27. New Orleans Saints – Telvin Smith
- Original Selection: Deone Bucannon (pick traded to Arizona)
Smith somehow fell to the fifth-round but there is no way that happens a second time around. He became the starter for Jacksonville and is one of the more underrated linebackers in the NFL.
A Pro Bowl and a Second-team All-Pro selection in 2017, Smith could have been a star in New Orleans defense.
28. Carolina Panthers – Allen Robinson
- Original Selection: Kelvin Benjamin
Benjamin had a great rookie season but injuries and inconsistent play the following years hurt his chances to be a great wide receiver in the NFL.
I have Carolina selecting the Penn State receiver in Robinson here. The second-round selection had a solid NFL career so far, which included a 1,400 yard and 14 touchdown season in 2014. He could have become Cam Newton’s favorite target in Carolina.
29. New England Patriots – Carlos Hyde
- Original Selection: Dominique Easley
Easley was more of a rotational defensive lineman for the Patriots and most recently the Los Angeles Rams. In the re-draft, I have them taking Hyde from Ohio State.
Hyde has bounced around a few teams since being drafted and could have been a consistent starter for Tom Brady and New England’s offense.
30. San Francisco 49ers – Sammy Watkins
- Original Selection: Jimmie Ward
Ward was not a bad selection for the 49ers but never developed into the starting safety San Francisco had hoped for. I have them taking Watkins here to boost their receiving core.
Watkins had a few good seasons with multiple teams thus far. He may not have worth the 4th overall selection but is a good pick at 30.
31. Denver Broncos – Trai Turner
- Original Selection: Bradley Roby
Roby came into Denver as the third cornerback and played in a more rotational role in the defense.
Turner, a third-round selection, has become a consistent starter for Carolina and has earned four straight Pro Bowl selections from 2015-2018. Turner would no doubt be an improvement for Denver’s offensive line.
32. Seattle Seahawks – James White
- Original Selection: Teddy Bridgewater (pick traded to Minnesota)
The reigning Super Bowl Champions at the time traded out of the first round but given there are no draft night trades, I have them selecting fifth-round Wisconsin running back White.
White has never been named to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro but has become a legit weapon in New England’s offense as a receiving back. White and Marshawn Lynch could have formed a nice 1-2 punch in the running game.