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2014 NFL Draft: First-round results, headlines, best drafts

By Ryan Lewis Published: May 9, 2014

As expected, the first round of the 2014 NFL draft was a wild one, especially in Cleveland. 

The first two picks went largely as expected, and then things got interesting very quickly. 

Here's a review of the most notable headlines and selections from the first round, not including the Browns' selections at No. 8 and No. 22. 

No. 1 Houston Texans — The Texans ultimately chose largely considered the draft's best talent, South Carolina defensive Jadeveon Clowney, with the No. 1 overall pick. They'll pair him along with J.J. Watt to form truly one of the best combinations not only as pass rushers but at any position in the league. How teams will block both Watt and Clowney will surely be a challenge. 

No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars — The Jaguars pulled the first surprise of the draft right in front of the Browns when they took Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles. Many mock drafts had Bortles lasting until around the early teens or the 20th pick to the Arizona Cardinals. 

No. 4 Buffalo Bills (via Cleveland Browns) — The Browns and Bills pulled off the first trade of the draft. What made it even more interesting: the steep price the Bills paid to do it, giving up a first-round pick and a fourth-round next year to move up only five spots; and that they took the wide receiver many thought should go to the Browns, Clemson's Sammy Watkins. Watkins could be viewed in a similar light as Julio Jones, who the Browns could have taken a few years ago but chose to accept a trade with the Atlanta Falcons instead. That draft resulted in the selection of defensive tackle Phil Taylor. If Watkins turns out to be a stud, it'll be another reminder of what could have been, though adding a first-round pick was a solid price to only move down to No. 9. 

No. 15 Pittsburgh Steelers — The Steelers passed on a cornerback and took Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. Shazier will bring a new dynamic of speed and explosiveness and now joins Jarvis Jones as recent first-round picks in the Steelers' front seven. The Steelers had other needs, like cornerback and offensive line, but their linebacking corps continues to be bolstered each year. 

No. 17 Baltimore Ravens — As does the Ravens' linebacking corps with the selection of Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. Mosley was one of the most productive players and was a force in the SEC for multiple seasons. He might not be Ray Lewis, but he's a talented linebacker with a knack for making plays. Both Pittsburgh and Baltimore are securing the linebacker position in unison. 

No. 24 Cincinnati Bengals — The Bengals came away with one of the best values in the first round by taking Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. Dennard made a name for himself as one of the nation's top cornerbacks and came up big in Michigan State's Big Ten Title game win over Ohio State. There were some that viewed Dennard and Justin Gilbert, the Browns' pick at No. 8, as similar talents.

Three teams came away with two first-round picks Thursday night—the St. Louis Rams, the Minnesota Vikings and the Browns. All three, per many experts, did very well. 

The St. Louis Rams, at No. 2 and No. 13, addressed each line by taking Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Many had each player in their top-10 overall rankings. 

The Minnesota Vikings selected UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr and then traded back into the first round with Seattle to take Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. 

The Browns, of course, traded up and down and ended up with Gilbert and Manziel. Though the Browns also nabbed an extra first-round pick in next year's draft. 


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