If you're the best player in college football, surely you'll have a fruitful NFL career, right? Johnny Manziel will be the 18th Heisman winning QB eligible to play in the NFL in the last 30 years. Six of the 18 winners started less than 10 games in their NFL career, including three - Jason White, Eric Crouch, and Charlie Ward - who never attempted a pass. Only two, Carson Palmer and Vinny Testaverde, started 80 or more games in the NFL, the equivalent of 5 full seasons.
When the Texans took Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick it marked the 9th time in the last 10 years (2005-2014) that the franchise exercising the first overall selection made a head-coaching change in that offseason. They also became the 4th team in the common draft era to select multiple defenders with first overall picks, having selected Mario Williams first overall in 2006, joining the Bills, Colts, and Cowboys.
The Bills, who have had 2 pass TD or less in 25 straight games dating back to 2012, hope that 4th overall pick WR Sammy Watkins can help turn their offense around. Watkins, who tied Gaines Adams (2007) as the highest drafted player from Clemson in the common draft, is the 2nd Clemson wide receiver taken in as many years (DeAndre Hopkins, 27th in 2013). It is the 5th time a Clemson receiver has been taken in the first round of the common draft and 3rd time the pick has been made by the Bills, having selected Jerry Butler (1979) and Perry Tuttle (1982) previously.
For the 4th time in the last 5 years, the Browns spent a first round pick on defense, taking Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert 8th overall. Gilbert, a 2013 2nd-team AP All-American, is the only player to intercept Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III during their collegiate careers, and he will have a chance to do it again in 2014 when the Browns host Luck's Colts in Week 14.
The Titans drafted an offensive lineman in the first round for the 2nd consecutive year, selecting Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan 11th overall. 2014 is the 5th straight year a Big Ten offensive lineman has been taken in the first round, the longest active streak for any conference. The Big Ten will need to churn out first round linemen until 2018 to break the common draft record, however, shared by the SEC (1998-2005) and Pac-10 (1990-1997) which did so for 8-straight drafts.
New Orleans to New York
The Giants used a pick in one of the first 3 rounds on a wide receiver for the 7th time in the last 9 years, selecting LSU WR Odell Beckham with the 12th overall pick. Beckham, the first LSU wide receiver taken in the first round since 2007, should have no problem relating to his new quarterback, Eli Manning. Both Manning and Beckham are New Orleans natives and prepped at Isidore Newman high school.
Perhaps nobody should have been surprised when the Bears selected Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller with the 14th overall pick. Since 2004, a defender has been taken at that spot in 11 of the 12 years, the only exception being tackle Chris Williams in 2008. Some notable names taken 14th overall include Rams DE Robert Quinn (2011), Seahawks safety Earl Thomas (2010), and Patriots CB Darrelle Revis (2007).
In selecting Johnny Manziel 22nd overall, the Browns became the third team in the common draft era to draft two quarterbacks in the first round in a 3-year span (Brandon Weeden, 2012), joining the Colts (Art Schlichter 1982, John Elway 1983) and Seahawks (Dan McGwire 1991, Rick Mirer 1993) - neither of whom found their quarterback of the future.
The Minnesota Vikings have passed for 300+ yards only once in their last 26 games, but hope that QB Teddy Bridgewater, the first Louisville QB ever taken in the first round, can turn things around. Bridgewater was the 3rd Louisville player taken in the first round, the first time they have had three first round picks in school history, and is the 3rd QB taken with the final pick in the first round in the common draft era. The QBs taken with the final pick previously are Patrick Ramsey (2002) and Mark Malone (1980), neither of whom ended their career with a winning record
7th round picks
What kind of chance do Michael Sam and the rest of the 7th round picks in the draft have at making their team? Last year, 34 of the 48 (70.8%) 7th round draft picks were on a roster, IR, or the practice squad at Week 1 of the 2013 season. As for Sam specifically, Fisher made 27th picks in the 7th round in his previous drafts throughout his career with the Titans and Rams. Of those 27 7th-round picks, 16 (59.3 percent) played in at least one regular-season game for Fisher's team that same season, with names including Cortland Finnegan (2006), Cary Williams (2008), and Daryl Richardson (2012).
More Photo Essays:
- New CFB unis we're most looking forward to seeing
- Marcus Peters, Randy Gregory headline NFL DROY candidates
- Preseason Fantasy Stock Watch
- 2015 All-Pro Team projections
- Fantasy 'Franchise Tag' players for drafts
- Non-QBs drafted No. 1 overall in modern era power rankings
- Todd Gurley, Amari Cooper lead NFL OROY candidates
- High-risk/high-reward fantasy players for 2015
- Preseason fantasy stock watch