The second day is in the books and the assessments have begun. Which teams hit and which teams missed so far in the 2014 NFL draft?
Pittsburgh Steelers – Stephon Tuitt
If not for a broken foot there is no question Notre Dame defensive end Stephon Tuitt was a first round talent. His size-speed ratio is off the charts and makes him a perfect fit at defensive end for the Pittsburgh Steelers who are looking to get more pass rush from those positions.
New York Jets – Jace Amaro
He may not have that flashy look of an Eric Ebron or Austin Seferian-Jenkins but Jace Amaro was more productive in 2013 than either of those players. He’s got plenty of size and leg power to go up and get the football with the soft hands to bring it down. While not blazing fast, he can get downfield quickly and the New York Jets need that.
Houston Texans – Louis Nix
Obviously concerns about his injury history caused the freefall for nose tackle Louis Nix and the Houston Texans are thanking their lucky stars. After adding Jadeveon Clowney opposite J.J. Watt to bolster the pass rush, they now suddenly have one of the best run stuffers in the 2014 NFL draft who is an ideal fit for their scheme.
Oakland Raiders – Gabe Jackson
With running backs Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew inhouse, the Oakland Raiders want to ground and pound the football. Gabe Jackson is a massive mauler out of Mississippi State built for that kind of offense. Don’t let it fool you though. He’s also very stout in pass protection. A quality find.
San Francisco 49ers – Marcus Martin
Their bay area neighbors were quite busy on Day 2 as the San Francisco 49ers moved all over the board. One of their biggest hits was USC center Marcus Martin. While not a technician yet, he’s the most talented of the centers in the draft and a threat to start opening day as the heir apparent to Jonathan Goodwin.
Dallas Cowboys – Demarcus Lawrence
I understand trading up in the 2014 NFL draft to get a pass rusher for the Dallas Cowboys. My issue is the one they chose. Demarcus Lawrence is a good athlete with pass rush skill but nearly every scouting report I’ve read or written about him says he’s a much better fit at 3-4 outside linebacker. Could this be an overreach by Jerry Jones to get another Demarcus in the building?
Atlanta Falcons – Ra’Shede Hageman
Of all the teams in the draft the Atlanta Falcons continue to puzzle me. It seems like they’re immune to drafting pass rushers every year. They had a great chance to get one in the 2nd round and instead took Ra’Shede Hageman. Granted his upside is impressive, but he’s primarily a run stuffer at this stage of his career.
Seattle Seahawks – Justin Britt
Being the world champions gets you a free pass and the Seattle Seahawks know that. I on the other hand feel no obligation to not criticize a pick. Justin Britt was a Day 3 offensive lineman on almost every board. He’s a great technician with versatility but he operated in a spread offense and was never much of a run blocker.
New York Giants – Jay Bromley
I completely understand the New York Giants getting a defensive tackle. Still, if it had to be Jay Bromley they could’ve waited another round or gotten somebody better. Bromley is good against the run but inconsistent. I felt there were bigger and stronger type to choose from and more dynamic pass rushers too, something they typically covet.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Brandon Linder
With David Yankey, Cyril Richardson and Dakota Dozier still on the board the Jacksonville Jaguars actually traded up to get Miami guard Brandon Linder. I applaud his toughness and durability but I think this is too safe of a pick simply because he’s more coachable than some other players might be in this 2014 NFL draft.