One of the most anticipated drafts in years, the 2014 NFL Draft certainly didn't lack any drama. Whether it was the fall of Johnny Manziel or the surprise moves of the Vikings, there was plenty of fun to be had at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday night.
Here are some quick-reaction grades to how just about every team did in the first round.
Passed with flying colors
Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney (1st overall)
The skinny: Despite all the trade talk, all the Khalil Mack talk and all the quarterback talk, the Texans didn't overthink things and took the best player in the draft. J.J. Watt gets a running mate to chase Andrew Luck around and the player destined to become the top pick in the draft does just that as the first SEC defensive end ever taken in the top spot.
St. Louis Rams: Greg Robinson (2nd), Aaron Donald (13th)
The skinny: Jeff Fisher was the master of smokescreens in this draft. The Rams picked up one of the best blocking offensive linemen in a few years in Robinson and the most dominant defensive player in college football from last year. The Rams' front four might be the best in football and will be well equipped to handle Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Carson Palmer six times a year.
Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack (5th)
The skinny: It's very strange to see the Raiders all the way up here in rarefied air, but it happens from time to time. They got lucky with Jacksonville going with a quarterback, and like the Texans, they didn't overthink things and nabbed Mack. He should be a huge weapon in the AFC West, giving Oakland a player some think could be the best in the draft.
Cleveland Browns: Justin Gilbert (8th), Johnny Manziel (22nd)
The skinny: Johnny Cleveland! Manziel will get all the attention, but the Browns had a very good first-round draft and did so by moving around quite a bit. The trade down to pick up extra picks, including a first-rounder next year, from Buffalo was a fantastic move. Not sure why they gave up a pick to flip-flop with Minnesota, but they landed a corner a lot of folks ranked as the best in the draft. And of course: Johnny Football!
Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr (9th), Teddy Bridgewater (32nd)
The skinny: The Vikings could have gone a number of directions, but they shored up both sides of the ball in the best way possible. They landed a perfect Jared Allen replacement in the athletic Barr and only had to give up a fourth-round pick (outside the top 100, too) to move up and grab a polished passer. Norv Turner will really like what he's getting in Bridgewater.
Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley (17th)
The skinny: No surprise to see Ozzie Newsome this high up. The Ravens didn't have to do a thing and landed one of the smartest linebackers to come out of the college ranks in a few years. He'll fit right in on that defense and amazingly was the first ever Alabama player taken by Newsome in the first round.
Green Bay Packers: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (21st)
The skinny: Once again, Ted Thompson just hangs around and has a potential top 10 pick fall into his lap in the 20's. Clinton-Dix fills a need for the team and should be able to play center field for the secondary early on.
General manager gets a sticker
Atlanta Falcons: Jake Matthews, (6th)
The skinny: The Falcons didn't mortgage their draft future for Clowney and solidified the offensive line for years to come with one of the safest picks in the draft. Hard to beat that, especially if you're Matt Ryan.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans (7th)
The skinny: This was perhaps the most popular selection in mock drafts, and for a reason. The team had a massive need for a wide receiver after the Mike Williams trade, and they found a fantastic replacement to pair with Vincent Jackson. Good luck with this pair, defensive backs.
Cincinnati Bengals: Darqueze Dennard (24th)
The skinny: It was no surprise to see the team stay put at No. 24 and address its biggest area of need by adding a young corner in Dennard. He will benefit from playing against A.J. Green in practice every day and be able to learn from veterans such as Leon Hall. Dennard is one of the most physical corners in the draft and should fit in nicely in Cincinnati's division.
Arizona Cardinals: Deone Bucannon (27th)
The skinny: A few folks will consider this a reach, but Bucannon was going to be the third safety off the board, anyway, and he goes to a spot where he could start from Day 1. Plus, in the NFC West, you need a hard-hitting defense, and Bucannon is a thumper.
New England Patriots: Dominique Easley (29th)
The skinny: Raise your hand if you're surprised the Patriots didn't trade back. The team stayed put and got Easley, who could've been a top 15 talent if he were fully healthy. He should be back by camp and provide some much needed depth.
Seattle Seahawks: Traded out of the 1st round
The skinny: It was no surprise to see Pete Carroll and company trade out of the 32nd pick. They grabbed an early second-round pick and a high-fourth-rounder while avoiding a more costly first-rounder who might not have played right away.
Good pick, good fit
New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. (12th)
The skinny: Eli Manning needed another weapon at wide receiver in the worst way and might have gotten one of the best with Beckham. Linebacker C.J. Mosley would have helped more on the defensive side, but Beckham makes plenty of sense.
Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller (14th)
The skinny: A perfect player to play the nickel before taking over for Charles Tillman or Tim Jennings, the savvy Fuller will be a great addition to the Chicago secondary.
Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin (16th)
The skinny: Jerry, how could you! The Cowboys passed on Johnny Manziel, but they did address a much more pressing need in beefing up the offensive line with one of the most versatile linemen in the draft. Tony Romo, bad back and all, is pretty happy after Thursday night.
New York Jets: Calvin Pryor (18th)
The skinny: The crowd at Radio City Music Hall might not have loved the pick, but the team can get a wideout later in the draft. Pryor is a big hitter Rex Ryan will love, and he addresses a need in a division with some loaded offenses.
New Orleans Saints: Brandin Cooks (20th)
The skinny: Cooks was the best receiver in college football last year and one of the most electric players in the draft. You can certainly understand his addition to the offense. He's a savvy pass catcher who should be able to drop right into the Saints after running similar route concepts at Oregon State.
San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett (25th)
The skinny: Verrett went right in the range that was projected for him, and San Diego gets a smooth corner who can play inside and out. Needs plus value equal a checkmark for this organization in the first round.
San Francisco 49ers: Jimmie Ward (30th)
The skinny: This draft is a luxury for the 49ers, given how loaded the roster is. Ward might have been taken a tad high, but he can play nickel for the team before taking over as starting safety in a season or two.
Denver Broncos: Bradley Roby (31st)
The skinny: John Elway didn't have to do anything but sit around and watch Roby fall into his lap. Though there are concerns about him, his junior year tape showed he had top 15 talent, and the Broncos are the beneficiaries of him sliding to the bottom of the round.
Good job, good effort
Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron (10th)
The skinny: After all the talk of Sammy Watkins, the Lions ended up with a terrific receiving threat in the uber-athletic Ebron. They didn't really have a pressing need at the position, but picked up a playmaker. Lions fans probably are happy, but defensive help would have been nice.
Tennessee Titans: Taylor Lewan (11th)
The skinny: The Titans could have gone a number of directions, but landed one of the three elite tackles in the draft by picking Lewan. In retrospect, you kind of have to wonder why the front office gave Michael Oher a four-year, $20 million deal, though.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ryan Shazier (15th)
The skinny: They could have gone with a number positions on defense, but they got a linebacker who can come off the edge and drop back into coverage with ease. He's a hard-nosed player and should be able to contribute early on special teams too.
Kansas City Chiefs: Dee Ford (23rd)
The skinny: Just about everybody was thinking wideout for the team, but with so much depth at the position in this draft, Andy Reid wisely opted to get a pass rusher. Ford will provide insurance for Tamba Hali and Justin Houston and give the team another pass rusher to throw at Peyton Manning.
Philadelphia Eagles: Marcus Smith (26th)
The skinny: Sure, it was a bit of a reach, but Smith's name had been rising up boards in recent months. They could have used a cornerback like the higher-rated Bradley Roby, but they addressed a need by getting an outside linebacker who can come off the edge and spell Trent Cole.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles (3rd)
The skinny: Yes, the Jaguars needed a quarterback of the future, but there were so many players with higher grades available that this was certainly a reach for the team. Bortles is considered to need as much as a year of seasoning in the league before he's ready to start, so that's a lot of pressure to put on him with the third overall pick.
Miami Dolphins: Ja'Wuan James (19th)
The skinny: Did the team address a need here? Yes, it did. Did it reach to draft James? Absolutely. Sure, the Dolphins liked him ahead of Cyrus Kouandjio and Xavier Su'a-Filo, but they could have moved back and added picks and still landed him. They could have even nabbed him in the second round. Time will tell on James, but from a value standpoint, it's hard to like what the Dolphins did, with so many issues.
Buffalo Bills: Sammy Watkins (4th)
The skinny: This might draw some heat, but the Bills traded way too much to move up five picks to get a wide receiver, even one as good coming out of college as Watkins. The offense will love Watkins' ability, but the team paid a ton -- the No. 9 pick this year, plus a first-rounder and fourth-rounder next year -- to move up to get a player at a position that hasn't panned out all that much in the top 10.
Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.