2014 NFL Draft 1st Round Grades

Credit: The State

I’m hoping to get this blog going again, so here’s the grades for every pick in the first round in the 2014 draft. Sorry for posting this somewhat late.

1: Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

Grade: A

 

Jadeveon Clowney is the only prospect worth the #1 overall pick, despite what Skip Bayless thinks. The Texans might have to wait until the 2015 Draft to find their franchise quarterback, but at least they can enjoy pummeling the other AFC South quarterbacks in the meantime.

 

2: St. Louis Rams – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

Grade: B-

 

Greg Robinson is certainly worthy of the #2 overall pick, but I’m not convinced he was the best possible pick. I still think they should have drafted Sammy Watkins instead, to give Sam Bradford a true #1 receiver. Their current offensive is capable, but their receiving corps isn’t. But still, the athletic Robinson has the potential to be an All-Pro lineman, assuming he develops his pass protection.

 

3: Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

Grade: C+

 

This isn’t a terrible pick, since the Jaguars are desperate for a franchise quarterback, and Bortles end up being that. But still, Bortles only has an above-average arm and he’s not a top-3 talent. Khalil Mack should have been the pick here.

 

4: Buffalo Bills – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Grade: C

 

Sammy Watkins has All-Pro potential and this is a great pick by the Bills. So why the “C” grade? The Bills gave up a 2015 first round pick to trade up. EJ Manuel likely isn’t the long term answer, so this prevents the Bills from potentially landing Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston in next year’s draft. Bills fans better hope Manuel massively improves with Watkins on the team.

 

5: Oakland Raiders – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Grade: A+

 

Great job by the Raiders for picking up an elite prospect and not reaching for a quarterback (they would later be able to steal Carr in the second round). Mack instantly improves their pass rush, which is essential when they have to face Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers twice a year.

 

6: Atlanta Falcons – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

Grade: A

 

The Falcons wanted Clowney or Mack, but they weren’t willing to surrender too much to trade up for them. Jake Matthews is a nice consolation prize. Matthews is more NFL-ready than Robinson, and he’s played both left and right tackle, so there won’t be much of a learning curve. He’s also a better pass protector than Robinson at the moment. Do not be surprised if he has the better career. Matt Ryan can sleep peacefully at nights.

 

7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Grade: A

 

Many reports said the Bucs would draft Manziel if available, but they were probably bogus. Evans is a better prospect, anyways, and Josh McCown can hold the fort until the 2015 Draft. How are defenses supposed to stop two Vincent Jacksons? This isn’t fair. The Buccaneers just got much better offensively.

 

8: Cleveland Browns – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State

Grade: B-

 

Why did the Browns feel the need to trade with the Vikings to make this pick? The Vikings weren’t likely going to pick him in the first place. It’s also debatable if Gilbert is even the top corner in the class (many have argued for Foller or Roby), let alone a top-10 talent. However, three things keep this from being a bad grade. 1: cornerback help was desperately needed across from Joe Haden. 2: there weren’t any quarterbacks or wideouts worth taking here. And finally 3: they were able to grab the Bills 2015 first round pick, which will likely be in the top-12, so this is an automatic win. The Browns’ defense just got better, so this is still a solid selection.

 

9: Minnesota Vikings – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

Grade: B+

 

This isn’t a flashy pick, but it’s a solid one. Barr is still raw, and he was shut down by Joel Bitonio of Nevada, but he still has immense talent and upside. He’s also a great fit for Mike Zimmer’s defense, so this deserves a good grade. The Vikings need to improve their defense with the other teams in the NFC North having great offenses.

 

10: Detroit Lions – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Grade: C

 

Everyone is praising this pick, but I’m not a huge fan of it. Eric Ebron, while the top tight end in the class, has been slightly overhyped and not worthy of a top-10 pick. This would make sense if the Lions didn’t resign Brandon Pettigrew, but they did, so why spend such a high pick on a tight end?

 

11: Tennessee Titans – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Grade: A-

 

Some have criticized this pick, but this is a fantastic selection. Michael Roos won’t be on the team much longer, so Lewan will be the left tackle of the future. Locker will have solid protection, and won’t have anymore excuses for mediocre play.

12: New York Giants – Odell Beckham, WR, LSU

Grade: B-

 

The Giants needed another receiver with Hakeem Nicks gone, so this isn’t a bad pick. Zack Martin would had been preferable (a quality wide receiver could had been picked in the second round), but I can’t blame them for going after the speedy Beckham. Hopefully they have a plan to protect Eli Manning, though, because they just passed up a fantastic prospect in Martin.

 

13: St. Louis Rams – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

Grade: A+

 

Holy crap, how did the Rams manage to make their already awesome defensive front even better? As good as the Seahawks’ and 49ers’ defensive fronts are, the Rams may have just passed them. Donald should had been picked a while ago. Kaepernick, Wilson, and Palmer all just crapped their pants.

 

14: Chicago Bears – Kyle Fuller, CB/S, Virginia Tech

Grade: A-

 

The Bears desperately needed to upgrade their secondary, and many have argued that Fuller is the best cornerback in the class. He can play either cornerback or safety, so his versatility makes him valuable. This is a good pick.

 

15: Pittsburgh Steelers – Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State

Grade: B+

 

Usually, the Steelers simply grab a falling defensive prospect and laugh at the other teams’ stupidity. However, that didn’t quite happen this year, but that’s no problem. This is a solid pick. Shazier was an underrated prospect, and he fills a need. He could be an early favorite for DROY.

 

16: Dallas Cowboys – Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame

Grade: B

 

The Cowboys really needed to fix their defense, but perhaps Martin was too good to pass up. The offensive line needed fixing, so this is a nice pick. At the very least, they didn’t reach for a 3rd round center like they did last year. Other teams will still score 30+ on the Cowboys, but at least Romo won’t get too hurt trying to keep up.

 

17: Baltimore Ravens – CJ Mosley, ILB, Alabama

Grade: C-

 

Yet another pick that media talking heads praise, but this isn’t a very good selection. Mosley has injury history, and many scouts consider him to be damaged goods. This fills a need, but this has serious bust potential. The Ravens are having an unusually mediocre offseason (see: stupid Steve Smith deal), I expected better from Ozzie Newsome.

 

18: New York Jets – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville

Grade: B+

 

This is a nice pick. Pryor is exactly what Rex Ryan loves to see in his players. It would have been nice for them to address their anemic offense, but there were plenty of options in round two (they ended up drafting Jace Amaro). The secondary just got much better. Too bad this likely won’t save Rex Ryan’s job when Geno Smith (and Michael Vick) predictably fail.

 

19: Miami Dolphins – Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee

Grade: BUTT FUMBLE

 

Yes, I have a butt fumble grade, for picks so bad they don’t deserve a letter grade (similar to Walter Football’s “Millen” grade). I understand that the Dolphins are desperate to protect Ryan Tannehill, but that’s no excuse to reach on a 3rd round right tackle prospect. Miami didn’t even bother to trade down for him, which is what cements this “butt fumble” grade.

 

20: New Orleans Saints – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Grade: A-

 

The Saints needed a new receiver, and Cooks is a great target for Drew Brees. Cooks is similar to DeSean Jackson in that they’re both small but speedy. Hopefully, Cooks doesn’t have the DeSean Jackson attitude. But, Brees will love airing it out to Cooks, so this is a great selection. Cooks could be an early favorite for the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

 

21: Green Bay Packers – HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Grade: A

 

Ted Thompson has to be laughing right now. HaHa should had been a top 15 pick, yet the Packers somehow managed to draft him, without trading up. He immediately improves Green Bay’s atrocious secondary. This is why the Packers are always in the playoffs, whereas other teams are always picking in the top 10.

 

22: Cleveland Browns – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

Grade: C

 

I have my doubts about Manziel. To me, he’ll probably be a one-year wonder and then fall off once NFL defenses figure him out. He will have to learn that he can’t play like he did in college and have all of his limbs intact. That said, the Browns are desperate for a franchise quarterback, and Manziel has already sparked the fan base, so I can’t blame them for taking him.

 

23: Kansas City Chiefs – Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn

Grade: BUTT FUMBLE

 

Dee Ford has been overrated by the media. He’s a good player, but he’s a 2nd round prospect. Out of all the teams that could have reached for him in the 1st, Kansas City is the most perplexing. The Chiefs don’t even have a need at OLB, so why reach for Ford? That’s why this is a butt fumble grade.

 

24: Cincinnati Bengals - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

Grade: A

 

This pick makes so much sense. The Bengals needed cornerback help with the departure of Mike Zimmer. Dennard could had gone earlier, so the Bengals are happy he landed with them.

 

25: San Diego Chargers – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

Grade: B-

 

Jason is shorter than ideal for an outside cornerback at 5’9”, which is why many teams wouldn’t take him in the 1st round, but he’s an extremely skilled player who makes the Chargers’ secondary better. The team desperately needed someone to help them beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

 

26: Philadelphia Eagles – Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville

Grade: C+

 

Many have criticized this pick, and this is indeed a reach. But, Smith fills a need, is the type of player Chip Kelly loves, and the team traded down for him. This pick really shouldn’t surprise people in the first place; many people hinted that he would sneak into the first round. I’m not going to criticize this pick too much, but I still think they could have chosen a better prospect.

 

27: Arizona Cardinals – Deonne Bucannon, S, Washington State

Grade: B-

 

Some are deeming this a big reach, but I don’t have a problem with it. I love Bucannon and felt like he was being seriously underrated during the draft process. He’s a tough, physical safety who makes an already stingy Cardinal defense even more aggressive. While he could technically have been a 2nd round pick, there’s no guarantee he would have made it to the Cardinals’ 2nd round selection, so I think this pick is justified.

 

28: Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

Grade: D-

 

Benjamin is talented, but he was overrated during most of the draft process. That is until recently, when people figured out he isn’t a hard worker and drops a ton of passes. There were better receivers available (Marquise Lee), and Benjamin won’t immediately be able to help Cam Newton out very much.

 

29: New England Patriots – Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

Grade: C

 

Easley is a surprise 1st round selection. He has the talent to be chosen in the top 15, but he has torn ACL’s and is a huge injury risk. He could end up being a beast for the Patriots, but he’s more likely to piss off the coaches when he’s always hurt.

 

30: San Francisco 49er’s – Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois

Grade: C+

 

Ward has some fans in the scouting community, but he still shouldn’t have been chosen in the 1st round. I’m still shocked; why didn’t the 49er’s use some of their extra picks to move up and choose a stud receiver or defensive back? That would have made more sense than this pick.

 

31: Denver Broncos – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

Grade: A-

 

There is plenty of risk with this selection, but the potential rewards are tremendous, so I like it. Roby would have been a top 10 pick in the 2013 draft had he declared. He was dreadful during the past season, but many coaches believe they can coach him up. If the Broncos manage to do that, they could field one of the top defenses in the NFL.

 

32: Minnesota Vikings – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

Grade: B+

 

Teddy Bridgewater fell victim to over-analyzing late in the draft process, so it’s nice to see him still be picked in the 1st round. Bridgewater is extremely intelligent and has experience in a pro-style offense, and I don’t understand why many people didn’t like him. At worst, he’s a serviceable starter for the Vikings, which is still better than what they had. I think Derek Carr would have been a better quarterback for the Vikings, but this is still a solid choice.

Grades of Each 1st Round Selection

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Image Credit: Yahoo Sports

For the first “real” post of Wild Western Football, I decided to grade each first round selection of the 2013 NFL Draft.

1. Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan

    Grade: A-

This simply makes the most sense for the Chiefs. The Chiefs don’t want to spend the money on a free agent tackle. Branden Albert will probably only be around for one more season, and the Chiefs need someone to protect Alex Smith. Luke Joeckel also makes sense, however Fisher is more athletic and has more upside. The Chiefs already have a great running game. If they spend their 3rd round pick on a good receiver, then they can have a capable passing attack; something they’ve been lacking for years. I fully expect the Chiefs to improve this upcoming season, and maybe even contend for a wild-card spot in the playoffs.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M

    Grade: C-

I don’t think this was the best possible pick for Jacksonville. Don’t get me wrong, I think Joeckel will be a fantastic tackle. However, the Jaguars have a lot of money to spend; they could have signed someone like Andre Smith, and used this pick on an elite pass-rusher… or even a quarterback. Some people say this is a “safer” pick; however, that doesn’t make it a good one. Dion Jordan would have made more sense. They could have had someone who can disrupt Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub.

3. Miami Dolphins: Dion Jordan, OLB, Oregon

    Grade: A

Surprise! When the Dolphins traded up to this spot, everyone expected them to take Lane Johnson. However, the Dolphins shocked everyone by taking Dion Jordan instead. Although an offensive tackle is also a huge need with the departure of Jake Long, this pick also makes sense. If the Dolphins want to beat the Patriots, they need to get to Tom Brady. Dion Jordan will certainly help in that department. Plus, the ‘Phins didn’t give up too much for this, so it’s also good value. Some people are concerned that Jordan might not be a great scheme fit for the Dolphins, however I don’t have any doubts that the Dolphins will find a use for him.

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma

    Grade: B

The Eagles simply had to go with this pick. Most of their offensive line (minus Evan Mathis) is in shambles. They need a speedy and athletic tackle for Chip Kelly’s offense, and that’s exactly what Johnson will be. Johnson is raw, considering he has only played the position for two years, but he has huge upside. Expect the Eagles to draft Geno Smith in the 2nd Round to run Chip Kelly’s offense.

5. Detroit Lions: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU

    Grade: B-

Ansah is the ultimate boom-or-bust player in this year’s draft. He is new to football, so he is extremely raw and needs a lot of work. If he gets the proper coaching and mentoring, he could end up being the next Jason Pierre-Paul. However, he could also end up being a complete bust. The Lions have better hope he develops into a player that makes Aaron Rodger’s life unhappy. Overall, I think the Lions made a good pick here.

6. Cleveland Browns: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

    Grade: D+

Really? Mingo? The Browns thought he was the best pick for them? Barkevious Mingo is obviously a very talented player, no doubt about it. However, even he admits to taking plays and even entire games off. He has questionable work ethic and could end up being very unreliable. Also, Cleveland already has some decent pass rushers. Geno Smith would have been a better pick here.

7. Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina

    Grade: B-

This one is tough to grade. Guards are very rarely taken in the top-10. But, this draft class stinks at the top, and the guards in this class are elite. This was probably the best Arizona could have possibly done, with all the elite tackles off the board. If they want Carson Palmer to survive, they absolutely must protect him. Even if it means grabbing a guard at the 7th pick. Plus, Cooper will make what little running game the Cardinals have better. They didn’t have many options at this spot.

8. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

    Grade: A

This is a fabulous pick, and a sign that the Rams are quickly going in the right direction. The Rams were desperate for receiving help after losing Danny Amendola to the Patriots. The Rams have a bunch of picks from last year’s trade with Washington, so they aren’t sacrificing too much. Tavon Austin is a stud at receiver and is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. Sam Bradford has a giant smile on his face right about now. The Rams could be contending for the playoffs this upcoming season.

9. New York Jets: Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama

    Grade: D+

Blegh. That’s the best way to sum up this pick. Dee Milliner is a fine cornerback, however he is seriously overrated. He is not a play-maker (only 6 interceptions in 3 years), and also plays for a defense that’s stacked with talent everywhere. Cornerback isn’t even a top need for the Jets, even with the Darelle Revis trade. Their passing defense was still above average without him. Milliner will not likely be able to perform to the expectations of replacing a future Hall of Famer. Geno Smith, or a receiver, would have been a better pick.

10. Tennessee Titans: Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

      Grade: B-

This is just like the Cardinals picking Jonathan Cooper, as the Titans didn’t really have any other choice. They need to find someone who can protect Jake Locker from the interior pass rush, and also blast open holes for the dance-happy Chris Johnson. This is a fine pick, but the Titans were probably hoping for a cornerback here instead.

11. San Diego Chargers: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

      Grade: B-

The Chargers were desperate for a tackle, so they mildly reached for one. I can’t exactly blame them, their offensive line is awful. Their only good player on that line, Louis Vasquez, signed with the Broncos. They absolutely had to protect Philip Rivers, and give San Diego’s running backs a chance to make plays. Rivers might be regressing, but it’s impossible to tell with the Charger’s Swiss cheese offensive line. They had to make this pick.

12. Oakland Raiders: D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston

      Grade: C-

Darn it, Raiders. It looked like Oakland was about to pull off a brilliant move. The Raiders needed a second round pick, so they traded their 3rd overall pick to the Dolphins to receive one. Everyone thought they were targeting Shariff Floyd with the 3rd pick. When Floyd was still available at #12, the Raider’s management looked like geniuses. I was fully prepared to give an A++ grade. But then the pick came in: D.J. Hayden?!?! Only the Raiders could manage to blow a huge opportunity like this. Hayden is a 2nd round prospect, and he has medical issues. The Raiders have too many needs to be taking risks like this. Raiders fans must be very disappointed that they passed on Floyd. The only thing that keeps this from getting an F grade is the fact that they got a 2nd round pick out of the deal. They better pick wisely.

13.  New York Jets: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

       Grade: C

Once again, the Jets disappoint with another unimpressive pick. Sheldon Richardson is a fine prospect, however Star Lotulelei and Shariff Floyd are both superior… and available. When Richardson faced the Kentucky Wildcats, he was shut down by guard Larry Warford. Richardson had to go up against other linemen to make plays in the game. I’m not convinced he can beat the upper-level offensive linemen in the NFL. So the Jets basically traded the best cornerback in the NFL for Sheldon Richardson and a 3rd round pick next year. Did they take advice from Matt Millen?

14. Carolina Panthers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

      Grade: A+

The Panthers have to be laughing at all the idiot teams picking ahead of them. Star is a top 10 prospect in this draft and they were able to grab him at 14. Some people believe Shariff Floyd is a better prospect; however the differences between the two are minimal. The Panthers could have drafted either one and gotten an A+ grade. Star fills a need and he is a steal at this juncture. Way to go, Panthers.

15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

      Grade: A

This is a quality, and expected, draft pick. The Saint’s secondary was awful this past season, and safety help was desperately needed. So, they drafted the top safety prospect in the draft class. Not much explaining is necessary.

16. Buffalo Bills: E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida St.

      Grade: D

This is an extremely risky pick by the Bills. E.J. Manuel is more of a 2nd round prospect, but apparently the Bills wanted to get him before the Eagles could have. But why draft Manuel, instead of Geno Smith or Ryan Nassib? Geno Smith is the best quarterback prospect in this class, and Ryan Nassib was Doug Marrone’s quarterback at Syracuse. I don’t understand why the Bills’ front office decided to go with Manuel. The only thing that saves this from being an F- (or worse) is the fact that Manuel has huge upside, but this pick still reeks of bust potential. Bills fans should hold their breath.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia

      Grade: A++

This is a perfect example of why teams like the Steelers are always contending for Super Bowls, whereas teams like the Browns and Jaguars are always picking in the top 10. This is also a reason why I think Combine numbers get way too much attention. Jarvis Jones is worthy of being a top-5 pick but dumb teams paid too much attention to his 40 time at the Combine. Some scouts don’t think he’ll be an effective player in the NFL. Those dumb scouts obviously didn’t watch him in his game against Alabama, who are almost an NFL team themselves. The Steelers will field yet another Pro-Bowler on defense and laugh at the terrible teams who passed on him.

18. San Francisco 49ers: Eric Reid, S, LSU

      Grade: C+

This is who the 49ers traded up for? Reid is a fine prospect, and he also fills a position of need, but did the 49ers really have to trade up for him? This safety class is loaded with talent; they probably could have landed Reid, Matt Elam, or Jonathan Cyprien with the 31st pick. I understand why they traded up, they have more draft picks than they can use. But if a team trades up, you expect them to take a better play-maker. It would have been nicer to see them draft someone like Cordarrelle Patterson with this pick. But, who knows, maybe the 49er’s know something we don’t.

19. New York Giants: Justin Pugh, OT/G, Syracuse

      Grade: C

It’s so un-Giants like to make this kind of pick. Justin Pugh is more of a 2nd round prospect, was it really necessary to reach for him like this? There were better options available. I’m disappointed that a usually smart front office would make this pick. He fills a position of need, but that’s about it.

20. Chicago Bears: Kyle Long, G/OT, Oregon

      Grade: C-

Two reaches at offensive line in a row. Sure, the Bears are desperate to protect Jay Cutler, but Long may have been available for them at round 2. They probably would have been better off taking Tyler Eifert or a defender with this pick.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

      Grade: B+

I don’t think tight end is a need for the Bengals; however Eifert was probably too good to pass up here. Since the Bengals have to face the elite defenses of the Steelers and Ravens, it’s never a bad idea to draft a good offensive weapon. Andy Dalton will be happy to utilize Eifert, since Dalton doesn’t have a cannon for an arm. Expect the Bengals to use their 2nd round pick on a running back.

22. Atlanta Falcons: Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington

      Grade: A-

With Tyler Eifert off the board, the Falcons went with the next biggest need, cornerback. This is a quality pick, and he will make the Atlanta defense better. This was an obvious pick so there’s not much to say.

23. Minnesota Vikings: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida

      Grade: SUPER A++

The Vikings got the ultimate steal in the 1st round. What are the other teams smoking? Sharrif Floyd looked like a lock to be a top-5 pick, and was even discussed as a possibility for the #1 overall pick. How the hell did he fall so much? The Vikings got a fantastic defensive lineman to pair up with Jared Allen. Jay Cutler may have just crapped his pants.

24. Indianapolis Colts: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.

      Grade: B

The Colts have a lot of holes to fill on defense, so they could have gone anywhere with this pick. Bjoern Werner at one point was thought to be a top-10 pick, so he provides nice value here.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida St.

      Grade: A-

The Vikings made yet another solid pick with the 25th pick. They needed some cornerback help to try to stop Aaron Rodgers and Calvin Johnson. I’ve seen Rhodes mocked much higher so the Vikings are fortunate to land him here.

26. Green Bay Packers: Datone Jones, DE, UCLA

      Grade: B

The Packers need pass-rushing help, so this pick makes sense. They need to slow down Adrian Peterson and Colin Kaepernick any way they can. There’s no reason to explain much. Or maybe I’m just being lazy with the descriptions.

27. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson

      Grade: A

DeAndre Hopkins is my favorite receiver in this draft, so the Texans are very fortunate to grab him with the 27th pick. They desperately needed a #2 receiver across from Andre Johnson. Johnson is aging, so Hopkins will have to replace him as the #1 receiver. Luckily for the Texans, Hopkins is perfectly capable of doing that. Matt Schaub will now have no excuses not to lead his team deeper into the playoffs.

28. Denver Broncos: Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina

      Grade: A-

This isn’t a sexy pick, but it makes sense. Denver lacked an interior pass rush, so Williams will definitely provide that. I have no doubt the Broncos will utilize Williams very well, as they have great coaching staff and an already elite defense. The Broncos should be making a Super Bowl run this year.

29. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

      Grade: B

The Vikings killed the 1st Round. They looked like the smartest team in the league. They stole one of the best defensive tackles, grabbed some needed cornerback help, and now they drafted an explosive receiver to replace Percy Harvin. The only reason this grade isn’t an A is because the Vikings gave up a lot to get this selection: gave up a 3rd and 4th rounder, and then swapped 2nd round picks with the Patriots. However I really like Patterson, so I think he’s worth it. If Manti Te’o falls to them in Round 2 (or they draft a different linebacker), then the Vikings would have filled the majority of their needs in just 2 rounds. That is some genius drafting right there. Minnesota could be a dark-horse NFC Championship game contender.

30. St. Louis Rams: Alec Ogletree, MLB, Georgia

      Grade: A

The Rams really needed a linebacker upgrade, so this is a very good pick. Like I said earlier, the Rams could be contending for the playoffs this upcoming season.

31. Dallas Cowboys: Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin

      Grade: JERRY JONES DOING THE BUTT-FUMBLE DANCE

I can’t take this selection seriously, so I can’t grade it seriously either. This is easily the worst selection of the 1st Round. I understand the Cowboys are desperate to protect Tony Romo, but there was absolutely zero reason to reach for a center that is a 3rd Round prospect. If the Cowboys wanted to upgrade the offensive line, there were much better options available, like Larry Warford or Melenik Watson. The Cowboys could have also gone with Matt Elam for safety help. This is proof that the Cowboys will never win another Super Bowl with Jerry Jones running things… even if Tony Romo does pick up his game.

32. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Elam, S, Florida

      Grade: A

The Ravens are laughing at the Cowboys for passing on Elam, so now they will get a fine replacement for Ed Reed. If only they didn’t pay Flacco a ridiculous amount of money.

First Post of Wild Western Football

Hey guys,

This is the first post on Wild Western Football! (You don’t say?) I am hoping to post news, updates, and commentary on the happenings of the Mountain West Conference, as well as the AFC West and NFC West. I will also occasionally post about other football related stuff. For example my first “real” post will be a grade of each first round picks. After the entire draft is done, I will post grades of the draft picks of each AFC West and NFC West teams. Check in again soon!

-Josh