We’ll update this post throughout the first round of the draft with notes about each player selected.
1. HOUSTON: JADEVEON CLOWNEY, DE, SOUTH CAROLINA, 6-5, 266
No big surprise here, as the Texans select Clowney, who many considered the best player in the draft. AFC South quarterbacks can officially begin nervous quaking, with Clowney joining J.J. Watt on a now even-more scary defensive line.
2. ST. LOUIS (from Washington): GREG ROBINSON, OT, AUBURN, 6-5, 332
Two picks, two SEC players. Rams pick up a big left tackle to protect Sam Bradford (they hope).
3. JACKSONVILLE: BLAKE BORTLES, QB, CENTRAL FLORIDA, 6-5, 232
Johnny Football had to wait. The first quarterback selected was Bortles, whom Scout.com did not rank as a high-school prospect. But he used a stellar 2013 season at UCF in the American Athletic Conference to boost his stock — and he boosted it even higher than nearly everybody thought.
4. BUFFALO (from Cleveland): SAMMY WATKINS, WR, CLEMSON, 6-0, 214
The Bills traded up to snag the ultra-athletic wideout, four years after they selected C.J. Spiller, a fellow Clemson alum, with the ninth overall pick. Those two will team with second-year QB E.J. Manuel to try to revitalize the struggling Bills’ offense.
5. OAKLAND: KHALIL MACK, OLB, BUFFALO UNIVERSITY, 6-2, 252
Shaky QB class scares even the Raiders away, though Mack is a fine talent.
6. ATLANTA: JAKE MATTHEWS, OT, TEXAS A&M, 6-5, 308
One of Johnny Manziel’s chief protectors is selected ahead of him.
7. TAMPA BAY: MIKE EVANS, WR, TEXAS A&M, 6-4, 231
… and Manziel’s favorite target goes before him, too.
8. CLEVELAND (from Minnesota): JUSTIN GILBERT, CB, OKLAHOMA STATE, 6-0, 202
Most assumed one-spot trade-up was so Browns could draft Manziel. They go defense instead.
9. MINNESOTA (from Buffalo, through Cleveland): ANTHONY BARR, LEO, UCLA, 6-5, 255
The first Pac-12 player selected finds his way into the top 10. Vikings got a good one.
10. DETROIT: ERIC EBRON, TE, NORTH CAROLINA, 6-4, 253
Many thought him to be the best tight end in the draft, and here he is rounding out the top 10. Meanwhile, Austin Seferian-Jenkins waits.
11. TENNESSEE: TAYLOR LEWAN, OT, MICHIGAN, 6-7, 312
Will Lewan be blocking for Jake Locker in the future, or for somebody else? That’s the question of most interest around these parts.
12. NEW YORK GIANTS: ODELL BECKHAM, WR, LSU, 5-11, 198
Wasn’t his team’s leading receiver in 2013, but still racked up 1,152 yards on 59 catches.
13. ST. LOUIS: AARON DONALD, DT, PITTSBURGH, 6-1, 288
Rams go back to the trenches for this pick, this time snagging an imposing figure to help anchor what should be an even better defensive line.
14. CHICAGO: KYLE FULLER, CB, VIRGINIA TECH, 5-11, 193
Fuller will become the third member of his family to play in the NFL. He has two brothers with NFL experience (and another still at VaTech).
15. PITTSBURGH: RYAN SHAZIER, OLB, OHIO STATE, 6-1, 237
Leading tackler in the Big Ten last season with 143 in 14 games, including six sacks.
16. DALLAS: ZACK MARTIN, OG, NOTRE DAME, 6-4, 309
The Cowboys could have made some serious noise by drafting Manziel, but they decide to supplement their offensive line instead.
17. BALTIMORE: C.J. MOSLEY, ILB, ALABAMA, 6-2, 237
Compared to years prior, we had to wait a relatively long time for the draft’s first Alabama pick. Note: Mosley is not the same person as this C.J. Mosley. But you knew that already.
18. NEW YORK JETS: CALVIN PRYOR, FS, LOUISVILLE, 5-11, 211
Pryor is the first safety off the board. Jets getting a big hitter here, as evidenced by his college highlight reel.
19. MIAMI DOLPHINS: JA’WUAN JAMES, OT, TENNESSEE, 6-6, 315
Started more games in his career than any offensive lineman in Tennessee history.
20. NEW ORLEANS: (from Arizona): BRANDIN COOKS, WR, OREGON STATE, 5-9, 189
One of the Pac-12′s most exciting players to watch in 2013, and now he gets to catch passes from Drew Brees. Saints traded up to get him.
21. GREEN BAY: HA HA CLINTON-DIX, FS, ALABAMA, 6-1, 208
Packers used age-old draft strategy — take the guy with the funniest name.
22. CLEVELAND (from Philadelphia): JOHNNY MANZIEL, QB, TEXAS A&M, 5-11, 207
It was a long and well-publicized wait for Manziel, as the Browns finally take him with their second pick — and after their second trade — of the first round.
23. KANSAS CITY: DEE FORD, DE, AUBURN, 6-2, 252
One Auburn stud Washington State didn’t have to deal with in the 2013 opener — Ford missed that game and one more with an injury, but still finished the season with 10.5 sacks.
24. CINCINNATI: DARQUEZE DENNARD, CB, MICHIGAN STATE, 5-11, 199
Won the Jim Thorpe award as the nation’s best defensive back in 2013.
25. SAN DIEGO: JASON VERRETT, CB, TEXAS CHRISTIAN, 5-9, 189
Scout.com rated him as a 2-star prospect coming out of Santa Rosa Junior College.
26. PHILADELPHIA (from Indianapolis through Cleveland): MARCUS SMITH, LEO, LOUISVILLE, 6-3, 258
Had 14.5 sacks last season, and played quarterback in high school.
27. ARIZONA (from New Orleans): DEONE BUCANNON, SS, WASHINGTON STATE, 6-1, 216
WSU’s first first-round pick since Marcus Trufant (2003).
28. CAROLINA: KELVIN BENJAMIN, WR, FLORIDA STATE, 6-5, 242
FSU didn’t win the national championship with Famous Jameis alone. Benjamin is an enormous target.
29. NEW ENGLAND: DOMINIQUE EASLEY, DT, FLORIDA, 6-1, 288
Some expressed concern over his injury history — two ACL surgeries — but it didn’t keep him out of the first round.
30. SAN FRANCISCO: JIMMIE WARD, FS, NORTHERN ILLINOIS, 5-10, 197
Intercepted seven passes in 2013, but sat out scouting combine with a foot injury.
31. DENVER: BRADLEY ROBY, CB, OHIO STATE, 5-11, 195
Was a standout on special teams in college in addition to playing corner.
32. MINNESOTA (FROM SEATTLE): TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, QB, LOUISVILLE, 6-2, 214
Unsurprisingly, the Seahawks traded their only pick of the first round in exchange for the 40th (second round) and 108th (fourth round) overall picks. Minnesota moves up to take Bridgewater, the third and final quarterback selected in the first round.