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14 first-rounders, including 6 of top 10, started in Week 1


A bit less than half of the 2014 first-round picks -- 14 of 32 -- started their first NFL games this past weekend.

Also of interest: Three undrafted free agents were among the 35 rookie starters.

Seven teams started at least two rookies, with the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders starting three each. There were eight teams that started zero rookies: the Chicago Bears, the Denver Broncos, the Detroit Lions, the New England Patriots, the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles, the San Diego Chargers and the Tennessee Titans.

The total of 35 rookie starters was four fewer than in 2013, 15 fewer than in '12 and 12 fewer than in '11. In the past 10 seasons, the 35 rookie starters was the sixth-most; it also was behind the 39 that started in 2010 and the 36 in 2008. It was ahead of the 34 in 2006, the 32 in 2007 and '09 and the 26 in '05.

Seven second-rounders started this past weekend, as did four third-rounders, two fourth-rounders, a fifth-rounder, three sixth-rounders and one seventh-rounder.

Six top-10 picks started. Those who didn't: second pick Greg Robinson of the St. Louis Rams, third pick Blake Bortles of Jacksonville, eighth pick Justin Gilbert of the Cleveland Browns and 10th pick Eric Ebron of Detroit.

Among schools, Miami and Ohio State had the most rookie starters, with three each; included for UM were seventh-rounder Seantrel Henderson (Buffalo) and undrafted free agent Allen Hurns (Jacksonville). Clemson, Louisville, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas A&M had two each.

The SEC led the way with 10 rookie starters, followed by the ACC with seven and the Pac-12 with five. The Big Ten and Mountain West had three each, the ACC and MAC had two each, and the Big 12, independents and FCS ranks had one each.

The most "popular" position for rookie starters was guard, with seven. Linebacker was second with six, including Jadeveon Clowney, who played defensive end at South Carolina. The only positions without rookie starters were running back and defensive end. There were just two cornerbacks, and one was the San Francisco 49ers' Jimmie Ward, who played safety in Northern Illinois. Five college corners were drafted in the first round but none started. The other rookie starting corner was E.J. Gaines, who was drafted in the sixth round by St. Louis.

Here's a complete list of the rookie starters:

FB Ray Agnew, UDFA, Cleveland Browns (Southern Illinois)
TE Jace Amaro, 2nd round, New York Jets (Texas Tech)
LB Anthony Barr, 1st round, Minnesota Vikings (UCLA)
WR Kelvin Benjamin, 1st round, Carolina Panthers (Florida State)
G Joel Bitonio, 2nd round, Cleveland Browns (Nevada)
C Russell Bodine, 4th round, Cincinnati Bengals (North Carolina)
SS Bashaud Breeland, 4th round, Washington Redskins (Clemson)
OT Justin Britt, 2nd round, Seattle Seahawks (Missouri)
LB Preston Brown, 3rd round, Buffalo Bills (Louisville)
SS Deone Bucannon, 1st round, Arizona Cardinals (Washington State)
QB Derek Carr, 2nd round, Oakland Raiders (Fresno State)
LB Jadeveon Clowney, 1st round, Houston Texans (South Carolina)
DT Davon Coleman, UDFA, Dallas Cowboys (Arizona State)
WR Mike Evans, 1st round, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Texas A&M)
G Zach Fulton, 6th round, Kansas City Chiefs (Tennessee)
CB E.J. Gaines, 6th round, St. Louis Rams (Missouri)
OT Seantrel Henderson, 7th round, Buffalo Bills (Miami)
WR Allen Hurns, UDFA, Jacksonville Jaguars (Miami)
G Gabe Jackson, 3rd round, Oakland Raiders (Mississippi State)
OT Ja'Wuan James, 1st round, Miami Dolphins (Tennessee)
WR Marqise Lee, 2nd round, Jacksonville Jaguars (USC)
G Brandon Linder, 3rd round, Jacksonville Jaguars (Miami)
C Corey Linsley, 5th round, Green Bay Packers (Ohio State)
LB Khalil Mack, 1st round, Oakland Raiders (Buffalo)
G Zack Martin, 1st round, Dallas Cowboys (Notre Dame)
OT Jake Matthews, 1st round, Atlanta Falcons (Texas A&M)
G Jack Mewhort, 2nd round, Indianapolis Colts (Ohio State)
LB C.J. Mosley, 1st round, Baltimore Ravens (Alabama)
FB Jay Prosch, 6th round, Houston Texans (Auburn)
S Calvin Pryor, 1st round, New York Jets (Louisville)
G Weston Richburg, 2nd round, New York Giants (Colorado State)
TE Richard Rodgers, 3rd round, Green Bay Packers (California)
LB Ryan Shazier, 1st round, Pittsburgh Steelers (Ohio State)
CB Jimmie Ward, 1st round, San Francisco (Northern Illinois)
WR Sammy Watkins, 1st round, Buffalo Bills (Clemson)

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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