Well, today was going to shape up to be a very interesting day in the 2014 NFL Draft. With the new format, teams who make some interesting picks & go with strategies for their franchises that may not have gone so well have 24 hours to sleep on it & figure out who to make trades with or figure out where they can get better with particular players on the board who fell in terms of spots where they were thought to be drafted.
However, the fun started before day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft even began.
San Francisco 49ers Get Stronger By Trading For Stevie Johnson
The San Francisco 49ers, with all of their picks in the NFL Draft this year, got stronger by trading a 2015 draft pick to the Buffalo Bills for wide receiver Stevie Johnson, to bolster an offense that featured Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree & Anquan Boldin. Throw in Kyle Williams as a returner & the 49ers have an absolutely loaded offense to go up against the Seattle Seahawks this season.
The 49ers have enough offensive threats on the outside & one of the best tight ends in the game, all will be able to go head up against the vaunted Seahawks secondary that locked down the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game in January.
Johnson was the odd man out in Buffalo after the Bills drafted Sammy Watkins out of Clemson with the #4 pick in the NFL Draft last night. Johnson, at times, was a bit of a malcontent & had fallen out of favor in Buffalo. Both teams ended up being winners in the deal. The Bills keep their offense progressing & get draft picks to build on for next year. The 49ers put together a stronger offensive unit that will match the excellence of their defense for next season, showing the fans that it will be playoffs or nothing next year.
Cleveland Browns Josh Gordon Possibly Suspended By NFL For Second Failed Drug Test
This is the case of a guy who just doesn’t get it. At all. Josh Gordon, the Cleveland Browns #1 receiver last season & a guy who was expected to put up big numbers for the upcoming 2014 NFL season now that Johnny Manziel is in town, is now facing a season-long suspension for his second failed drug test.
Through reports from ESPN & other media outlets, the drug that he failed on was marijuana. Gordon failed drug tests in college because of marijuana, even to the point where he was kicked off of the Baylor football team. Gordon, who had 87 catches for over 1,600 yards & 9 touchdowns last season, was one of the few bright spots on the Browns offense that went through 3 different quarterbacks before the end of the season.
I feel bad for the Cleveland fans, seriously. Last night, the team gets Manziel & elite cornerback Justin Gilbert in the first round of the draft, basically, a perfect first round, & now this comes out. Plus, the Browns did not get a wide receiver in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft as of this writing.
I firmly expect that that will change tommorow with some solid talent still on the board, but I am sure had the Browns known about this situation, they would have maybe made a deal for Stevie Johnson or drafted a receiver earlier on, or maybe made a move up to get Sammy Watkins instead of letting Buffalo get him.
Gordon has to hope that the allegations are either false or possibly can challenge any possible rulings that the NFL comes down with. Right now, the NFL is not playing around with issues such as substance abuse, just like the league suspended Justin Blackmon from the Jacksonville Jaguars, a player that the team was looking at to be a franchise wide receiver & now he is suspended indefinitely because of drug tests.
On To The Actual NFL Draft – Day 2 – Second/Third Round
There were quite a few interesting set ups on day 2 of the NFL Draft. This is the part of the draft where the framework of the team is really put together to fill needs across the entire team, not necessarily the absolutely best athletes that you have to have & you will figure out how to put them into a team’s scheme.
This is where players will need to start to prove themselves on being able to stay on a roster for a long period of time & be able to prove that they can be a starter & a great role player in the NFL.
Much of the hype going into Friday night was whether the Houston Texans, who need a quarterback right now, would go after Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, the brother of David Carr, the first Houston Texans quarterback who never came into his own & was beaten up badly in his seasons as a starter.
The team had already picked up their main defensive stud in Jadeveon Clowney with the #1 overall pick on Thursday night, but the team needed to take care of the offensive issues. Well, they didn’t take a quarterback, but instead, worked on locking up the offensive line by taking Xavier Su’a-Filo from UCLA, a guy who has been a solid guard in the Pac-12 & gave UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley time to shine in the pocket & on the run throughout the last two seasons.
Carr didn’t last too much longer on the board in the second, however, as the Oakland Raiders drafted him, which was a popular pick in the bay area due to Carr playing close to home for many years & many Raiders fans had a chance to be familiar with his work.
Carr will be able to backup starting quarterback Matt Schaub, who was actually the starter for the Houston Texans for several seasons & was depended on to be the man who led the Texans to the SuperBowl, but after his issues the last two seasons with interceptions, the Texans fans got him out of town & Schaub was replaced by T.J Yates & when Yates went down with an injury & poor play, Case Keenum came in.
It was time for a change for Schaub & David Carr will be able to learn from Schaub about being a professional & knowing how to handle adversity off the field as well as on.
The Texans weren’t the only team that was looking to take care of the offensive issues from the last season. The Jacksonville Jaguars, who have become the laughing stock of the NFL for the last 5 seasons, needed to take care of some major offensive woes.
The team had put faith in Blaine Gabbert. Fail. Then they put some faith in Chad Henne. We shall see how that goes but it seems as though Henne is holding the fort down until Blake Bortles is ready to go. The team believed that Justin Blackmon was going to be a big time receiver, which that turned out to be a complete bust. The team looked to this NFL Draft for some receiver help & got two great college players in Marquise Lee from USC & Allen Robinson from Penn State.
Having the young offense in Jacksonville may not give massive results right now, but the Jaguars will be able to grow & mature together & in about a year could be a real threat in the AFC South.
Another team that many people had questions & concerns about the direction of their franchise was the Detroit Lions. The Lions, who barely missed the playoffs last season after a late season collapse in the NFC North, knew that the team needed some defensive help, particularly in the defensive backfield, which is suspect, at best.
Being from Michigan, I am all too familiar with the Detroit Lions fan plight over the last 50+ years & have been a huge fan of this organization for all of the years I have been on this great Earth (30 to be exact). When the team took TE Eric Ebron from North Carolina, there was a huge groan because the team has taken so many offensive players in the past few years, with many of them not panning out.
The addition of Ebron to the team puts all of the pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL today.
If the Lions aren’t making a run deep into the playoffs, with a new coach in Jim Caldwell, who worked with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis with the Colts, the best wide receiver in football in Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate from the Seattle Seahawks, Joseph Fauria from UCLA who was a great red zone threat last year, Brandon Pettigrew, who if he can get his hands straight can be one of the better tight ends in the league along with Ebron, who is being compared to Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints in terms of his ability to go up & get the ball; Reggie Bush coming out of the backfield being a great receiver, after all of that, if Stafford can’t make the playoffs, he is not the answer to getting the Lions to an NFC Championship Game or possibly a SuperBowl.
In round 2, the Lions took a linebacker from BYU named Kyle Van Noy to help sure up that part of the defensive unit & in round 3, the team took a center from Arkansas named Travis Swanson to eventually replace long-time center Dominic Raiola. The Lions have made great strides on offense & the defensive unit has lagged behind, particularly in pass defense. Van Noy will help with that area as not only can he go into the hole & play the run & help support Ndamakong Suh, Nick Fairley & last year’s first round pick Ziggy Ansah.
Tommorow night we will have a breakdown of day 3 of the NFL Draft & a draft overview on Saturday night.
Round 2 Results
|34.||Cowboys*||Demarcus Lawrence||DE||Boise State|
|36.||Raiders||Derek Carr||QB||Fresno State|
|40.||Lions*||Kyle Van Noy||OLB||BYU|
|41.||Rams*||Lamarcus Joyner||CB||Florida State|
|43.||Giants||Weston Richburg||C||Colorado State|
|46.||Steelers||Stephon Tuitt||DT/DE||Notre Dame|
|48.||Ravens||Timmy Jernigan||DT/DE||Florida State|
|49.||Jets||Jace Amaro||TE||Texas Tech|
|50.||Chargers*||Jeremiah Attaochu||OLB||Georgia Tech|
|52.||Cardinals||Troy Niklas||TE||Notre Dame|
|53.||Packers||Davante Adams||WR||Fresno State|
|56.||Broncos* (from SF)||Cody Latimer||WR||Indiana|
|57.||49ers*||Carlos Hyde||RB||Ohio State|
|59.||Colts||Jack Mewhort||OT||Ohio State|
|61.||Jaguars*||Allen Robinson||WR||Penn State|
|62.||Patriots||Jimmy Garoppolo||QB||Eastern Illinois|
Note: An asterisk (*) indicates that a trade was made for the pick
Picks Acquired by Trade
Seahawks acquire No. 40 pick from Vikings
Cowboys acquire No. 34 pick from Redskins
Redskins acquire pick No. 47 from Cowboys
Lions acquire No. 40 pick from Seahawks
Rams acquire No. 41 pick from Bills
Seahawks acquire No. 45 pick from Lions
Eagles acquire No. 42 pick from Titans
Bills acquire No. 44 pick from Rams
Titans acquire No. 54 pick from Eagles
Chargers acquire No. 50 pick from Dolphins
Dolphins acquire No. 57 pick from Chargers
Broncos acquire No. 56 pick from 49ers
49ers acquire No 63 pick from Broncos
49ers acquire No. 57 pick from Dolphins
Dolphins acquire No. 63 pick from 49ers
Jaguars acquire No. 61 pick from 49ers
Round 3 Results
|67.||Dolphins*||Billy Turner||OT||North Dakota State|
|69.||Buccaneers||Charles Sims||RB||West Virginia|
|72.||Vikings||Scott Crichton||DE||Oregon State|
|77.||49ers (from TEN)||Chris Borland||ILB||Wisconsin|
|79.||Ravens||Terrence Brooks||S||Florida State|
|81.||Raiders*||Gabe Jackson||OG||Mississippi State|
|82.||Bears||Will Sutton||DT||Arizona State|
|83.||Texans* (from PIT)||Louis Nix||DT||Notre Dame|
|84.||Cardinals||Kareem Martin||DE||North Carolina|
|85.||Packers||Khyri Thornton||DT||Southern Mississippi|
|88.||Bengals||Will Clarke||DE||West Virginia|
|89.||Chargers||Chris Watt||OG||Notre Dame|
|90.||Colts||Donte Moncrief||WR||Ole Miss|
|91.||Cardinals*||John Brown||WR||Pittsburg State|
|93.||Jaguars*||Brandon Linder||OG||Miami (Fla.)|
|96.||Vikings (from SEA)||Jerick McKinnon||RB||Georgia Southern|
|97.||Steelers||Dri Archer||RB/WR||Kent State|
|99.||Ravens||Crockett Gillmore||TE||Colorado State|
Note: An asterisk (*) indicates that a trade was made for the pick
Picks Acquired by Trade
Cardinals acquire No. 91 pick from Saints
Eagles acquire No. 83 pick from Browns
Redskins acquire No. 78 pick from Cowboys
49ers acquire No. 70 pick from Jaguars
Dolphins acquire No. 67 pick from Raiders
Raiders acquire No. 81 pick from Dolphins
Texans acquire No. 83 pick from Eagles
Jaguars acquire No. 93 pick from Patriots
Browns acquire No. 94 pick from 49ers
(thanks to Bleacher Report for NFL Draft List)