NFL Draft: A Stellar Day 1 With A Few Surprises...

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

"This is a guy..." "He fits the scheme..." The hoard of NFL Draft Day announcers cliched their way through the first day of the draft. Deep in talent, certain recent trends maintained their steam, with corner backs and safeties leading the way; nine taken in the first round. No running backs heard their names called, to the chagrin of Joe McAtee... The big story of the night was the fall of quarterbacks. Jacksonville twirled it's mustache early, taking Blake Bortles at #3 overall. Then came the lull until Cleveland - in an eerily reminiscence reprise of Brady Quinn's draft day - moved up from #26 to #22 to take Johnny Manziel...

The first real reach of the day came when Miami - picking at #19 - took Tennessee right tackle Ja'wuan James. While I like the choice - if it were, say, in the second or third round - it left me scratching my head, with tackles Cyrus Kouandjio, Antonio Richardson, and Morgan Moses still on the board? Another odd choice was Kansas City taking Dee Ford over Kony Ealy at #23.

The team who gets the "What the %#@&!" award has to be Philadelphia, when they stretched their draft arm to snag Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith. This was an odd moment, causing an awkward Rich Eisen to elongate his commonly uttered "Weeeeell..." as he looked toward Mike Mayock to take the commentary ball...

The team who get an "A" for their 2014 NFL Draft - Day 1?

The Rams take the day for solid, well defined moves. There was nothing sexy about taking an offensive tackle at #2 overall, with their fans drooling for play makers like Sammy Watkins and Khalil Mack still on the board. But it was the right move, and coupled with their taking Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald at #13 overall, they announced to the tough NFC West that an already physical Rams team was about to turn the corner to King Kong status. St. Louis fans will be maniacally pleased, that when I took a short tour of comment threads for other NFC West teams, the use of four letter words was both abundant, and common...

Houston may have overplayed their desire to trade down for a quarterback. With Bortles, Manziel and Bridgewater gone, they may be in a position to take Derek Carr with Day 2's first pick, but do they have the stones to ring the Carr bell a second time in team history? Seattle needs a guard in a huge way, but did their move out of the first round cost them a shot at Xavier Sua' Filo or Gabe Jackson? San Fransico went for the safety position again, which did cause me to do a double take when defensive tackles Louis Nix III, Timmy Jerrnigan and Ra'Shead Hageman were still on the board? Green Bay taking free safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was sound, but there's this guy named Aaron Rodgers who may have been hoping for some offensive line help? New Orleans went for wide receiver Brandon Cooks at #20, but I really think Jordan Matthews would have been both a reach, and a better fit.

All in all, Day 1 of the 2014 NFL draft looks solid. The second round will be interesting, and I've been saying for some time that this is where NFL teams will succeed or fail this year. This round is still loaded with position players - if not down right luxury picks - that'll have coaches and GM-s straining against reason's leash. Hitting a solid need on Day 2 should be the road taken, and the desire to snag a quarterback by needy teams will cause a shift down the second round board. I can see five quarterbacks going in the second round, which should open up options for teams to jump on top position prospects before the talent curve drops off a cliff prior to round three.

Thoughts on Day 2 of the NFL Draft? Hit the comment thread, and let us know what you think...

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