Linebacker CJ Mosley out of Alabama, a steal for the Ravens at #17
We’re going to look at each team and see what they did well in the draft and what they didn’t do so well…
Cards GM Steve Keim recently said they were operating on a “best player available” basis. The Cards took Safety Deone Bucannon out of Washington State in the first round. Arizona were originally on the board at 20 and could have taken arguably the drafts best safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix but chose to trade down so the Saints could move up. As part of that trade they picked up a 3rd round pick and used it on John Brown, a 5’10 speedster out of Pittsburg State. Brown is good, as is Bucannon but personally we’d have stayed put and taken the man with the best name in the draft Ha’sean ‘Ha Ha’ Clinton Dix. They did pick up tight end Troy Niklas in the 2nd round and he’s the size of a bus so it’s not all bad. Good but not enough to turn the tide in the tough NFC West.
After a poor 2013 the Atlanta Falcons found themselves with the number 6 pick. GM Thomas Dimitroff is known for making a splash come draft time. Dimitroff held off on the splash and made the right pick in Aggies Tackle Jake Matthews. After spending his college career protecting Johnny Manziel, the statue like Matt Ryan should be easy. Dimitroff made excellent use of their early second round pick too drafting Ra’Shede Hageman, a promising Defensive tackle who shows signs of developing a into a inside pass rusher in the NFC South. The Falcons aren’t that far away and they would contend 2013 was an anomaly and have improved where needed, even picking up running back Devonta Freeman in the late rounds.
The Ravens picked up C.J. Mosley who was inexplicably still on the board at number 17. Had they gone on to draft Tim Tebow, Ja’Marcus Russell and Ryan Leaf, they would still be getting a positive mark. C.J. Mosely, along with Michael Sam, was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Jadeevon Clowney, Jarvis Jones, Maurice Claibourne, Nick Fairly, Eric Berry & Patrick Willis are all former recipients of this award, they don’t give it out for just showing up. Picking up Defensive Lineman Timmy Jernigan in the second round made this a solid draft for the ever impressive Ozzie Newsome, who continues to get it right year after year.
With the 4th Pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Buffalo Bills…..mortgage their future
Doug Whaley traded down in 2013 and snagged EJ Manuel. In 2014 he traded up and took Sammy Watkins and so the story of Doug Whaley will be written, on the success or failure of these two. In moving up acquire Watkins, Whaley traded away the 2015 1st and 4th round draft picks, handing away any chance to draft a top ranked QB in 2015 should Manuel turn out not to be THE guy or his dodgy knees continue on being dodgy. This means the Bills could go 3 drafts and picked 1 QB in the first round who didn’t work out. This generally doesn’t bode well for the longevity of GM’s. So lets hope it works out for Doug Whaley because it’s not like he has to dethrone the Patriots, stop the surging Dolphins or contend with a strengthened Jets team.
See Part 2 Here where we look at the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals & Cleveland Browns