Re-doing the 2014 NFL Draft

The 2014 NFL Draft class included big names such as Odell Beckman Jr., Derek Carr, Aaron Donald and many more. We decided to take a look back at the top 15 picks of the draft and see what teams should have done differently.

Houston Texans: Original Pick – Jadeveon Clowney (DE) → Pick Redo – Derek Carr (QB)

The Houston Texans haven’t had a “good” QB once in their 15 coming on to 16 years of being a franchise.  One can argue that they had a pretty good QB in Matt Schaub during his hay days of being in a Texans uniform.  In his six years of being their franchise QB, Schaub made the playoffs twice.  Both times going one-and-done.  It’s safe to say that Derek Carr is the best player to come out of this draft so far.  The Texans failed with the David Carr project, but as they say, two times a charm, right?

St. Louis/LA Rams: Original Pick – Greg Robinson (OT) → Pick Redo – Odell Beckham Jr. (WR)

Please, for the love of god, get this team an offensive weapon.  People once asked if there was any possible way of stopping the Rams on offense.  Now people are asking if there even is an offense in LA.  The Rams statistically had the worst offense this past season.  I don’t know if there would be much of a change with a weapon like OBJ but there’s a good chance the Rams would have at least been able to average enough points a game to pass up the one win Cleveland Browns.  

Jacksonville Jaguars: Original Pick – Blake Bortles (QB) → Pick Redo – Khalil Mack (LB)

The 2016 NFL defensive player of the year is the obvious pick here.  You can almost say that Mack has been the best player from this draft and has the most upside to him.  Mack has made a weak Raiders’ defense, that ranked 23 in rushing defense and 20 in points given up a game, look good.  Bortles possesses a lot of potential but time is running out for him.  The Jaguars have had only one season with more than three wins since Bortles has come in.  With Bortles throwing 17, 18, and 16 interceptions in each of the past three years, respectively.  Although, 16 interceptions is an “improvement” from last season, Bortles has not been able to succeed even with numerous receiving weapons on the team.  The Jags are better off with the very talented Mack.  

Buffalo Bills: Original Pick – Sammy Watkins (WR) → Pick Redo – Mike Evans (WR)

The Bills made an interesting decision giving up their first round pick in this draft and a 2015 first and fourth rounder for the Browns fourth overall pick.  They had the right thing going by getting one of the many talented receivers in this draft, however, I believe they picked the wrong one.  Sammy Watkins has been fine playing for the Bills.  The only problem is there hasn’t been much playing from him.  The past two years Watkins has suffered several injuries that make his future availability a concern.  Mike Evans, however, is bigger standing at a near six foot five inches and weighing about 20 pounds more than Watkins.  Mike Evans contains more than just speed and hands and is a legit machine when he steps out on the field.  

Oakland Raiders: Original Pick – Khalil Mack (LB) → Pick Redo – Aaron Donald (DT)

It’s obvious that Mack is the better pick for the team, however, I have him going earlier in this draft redo.  Aaron Donald is the best option for a team that struggles at stopping the run.  Donald has yet to miss a pro-bowl in his three year career and has gotten first-team all pro honors the past two seasons.  Besides, Donald fits in perfectly with the Raiders.  Nothing like the most penalized team drafting a player that lives for racking up fines and drawing unsportsmanlike penalties.  

Atlanta Falcons: Original Pick – Jake Matthews (OT) → Pick Redo – Taylor Lewan (OT)

Jake Matthews is still coming along. Once named the worst tackle in the NFL after the 2014 season, he has drastically improved in the past two years.  However, we’re talking about the sixth overall pick of the draft not the 60th.  Taylor Lewan has been a much better player, even making the pro-bowl this past season.  Lewan, without a doubt, is a much better selection here.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Original Pick – Mike Evans (WR) → Pick Redo – Sammy Watkins (WR)

Mike Evans was a great pick at this slot, but in a 2014 redo he’s going earlier.  In 2014, Tampa Bay thought they had a semi-future QB in an aging Josh McCown.  The Bucs were in need of a reliable receiving weapon and if healthy, Sammy Watkins is that guy.    

Cleveland Browns: Original Pick – Justin Gilbert (CB) → Pick Redo – Teddy Bridgewater (QB)

Nothing really needs to be said about the Browns original pick here.  The only thing Justin Gilbert was good at was throwing bottles of dip spit at other vehicles.  The Browns made a bold decision trading down from the fourth overall slot for this pick and a future first and fourth round pick.  QB has been the one position the Browns seem to fail at filling.  A former offensive rookier of the year and 2015 pro-bowler, Teddy Bridgewater would be that franchise QB the Browns have longed for.  What a perfect pick for the Browns, they find the franchise guy they have been looking for only to have him suffer a serious non-contact injury that will keep Bridgewater out for two seasons.  You can say, “there’s always next year”.  

Minnesota Vikings: Original Pick – Anthony Barr (LB) → Pick Redo – Same

Minnesota’s defense continues to get better each year.  Why change something that doesn’t need to be fixed?  Minnesota made a solid pick by drafting the two-time pro-bowler.

Detroit Lions: Original Pick – Eric Ebron (TE) → Pick Redo – Zach Martin (OG)

There’s nothing bad to say about Ebron, but there’s also nothing good to say about him either.  He’s an average tight end that has yet to have the breakout season the Lions have been looking for.  Zach Martin has been a key part to one of the best offensive lines the NFL has ever seen over in Dallas.  It may not have been a position in need for the Lions at the time but there’s nothing wrong with adding a future three-time pro-bowler to the starting lineup.  

Tennessee Titans: Original Pick – Taylor Lewan (OT) → Pick Redo – Devonta Freeman (RB)

Taylor Lewan is turning out to be a great pick by the Titans here, but coming into the  draft the team lacked a balanced offense.  In fact, the Titans didn’t have any offense coming into 2014.  Devonta Freeman has been a tank for the Atlanta Falcons having a breakout year in 2015 and continuing his dominance into 2016.  The former fourth round pick was a steal, but in a redo he’d forsure be taken before his original slot.  

New York Giants: Original Pick – Odell Beckham Jr. (WR) → Pick Redo – Jake Matthews (OT)

The New York Giants’ offense coming into the 2014 draft was atrocious.  Their run game was non-existent which made the passing game much tougher to execute because of the lack of talent at the receiving position.  OBJ was a great selection, however, he’s gone in this redo.  This pick came down to Cam Robinson and Jake Matthews.  Robinson has been inconsistent and lost his starting job in 2016.  My pick is Jake Matthews, he is starting to develop into a fine offensive tackle and would somewhat help their run game problems in the future.  

St. Louis Rams: Original Pick – Aaron Donald (DT) → Pick Redo – Jadeveon Clowney (DE)

The St. Louis Rams made no mistake by drafting Aaron Donald here.  They drafted a dominant offensive weapon by selecting Odell Beckham Jr.  With Donald gone and Chris Long aging the Rams go ahead and draft Clowney.  Clowney, if healthy can be an absolute monster with Robert Quinn playing opposite of him. That would be quite the pass rushing duo in LA.  

Chicago Bears: Original Pick – Kyle Fuller (CB) → Pick Redo – CJ Mosley (LB)

Kyle Fuller has been absolutely mediocre for the Bears.  With an aging LB core coming into the draft CJ Mosley is the best pick.  A two time pro-bowler, Mosley is an all-around effective player who would be a huge upgrade to an aging Bears defense.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Original Pick – Ryan Shazier (LB) → Draft Redo – Same

With the last pick in this 2014 draft redo the Pittsburgh Steelers select Ryan Shazier.  Shazier is coming along to be a dominant linebacker for the Steelers.  He made his first pro-bowl this past season and has dramatically improved since his rookie season three years ago.  He is not only effective in the run game but can also be a viable help in the passing game.  

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