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2014 NFL Draft Winners and Losers

May 14, 2014 | by Nick Wagner | Comments (0)
Derek Carr was taken in the second round by the Oakland Raiders.
Derek Carr is stoked to be a Raider. (Guardianlv.com)

Yeah, yeah… we get it. Grading a draft before any of these players steps onto an NFL field is a bit silly. But why else would we spend so much time studying and grading prospects if not to be able to commend or criticize teams’ Draft Day performances? While time may be the final judge of these draft classes, we’ll take a crack at being the first to pass judgment, based on our obviously impeccable draft boards. Yes, you can even bet on NFL draft.

WINNERS

Oakland Raiders

Not only did the Raiders pass on a quarterback with the No. 5 pick (remember that the next quarterback wasn’t taken until No. 22), but they got the passer they wanted all along in Round Two in Derek Carr (Fresno State Bulldogs). This was a major steal, considering in our final Mock Draft we thought Carr would go as high as eighth overall. Having Matt Schaub around will allow Oakland to give Carr some time to learn the offense before getting thrown to the wolves (we know Carr can take a little ribbing, as you can see in the video below, but can he take an NFL pounding? Time will tell.)

Guard Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State Bulldogs) brings a powerful blocking style and was a nice value in Round Three. First rounder Khalil Mack (Buffalo Bulls) will have the opportunity to learn the art of pass rushing from veteran Justin Tuck. Oakland also added size to its defense in 6′2″, 330-pound defensive tackle Justin Ellis (Louisiana Tech Bulldogs) and 6′3″, 205-pound defensive back Keith McGill (Utah Utes).

Houston Texans

The masses cry: “But they don’t have a quarterback!” Who cares? It’s not often you have a chance to land a guy with Hall of Fame potential, and Houston wisely took Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina Gamecocks) No. 1 overall. New coach Bill O’Brian didn’t stop there, adding three more possible starters in guard Xavier Su’a-Filo (UCLA Bruins), blue-collar tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz (Iowa Hawkeyes) and massive defensive tackle Louis Nix (Notre Dame Fighting Irish).

Strong-armed Tom Savage (Pittsburgh Panthers) could compete with Ryan Fitzpatrick for playing time, and even if both quarterbacks fail miserably, the team added some nice pieces to help whoever is throwing passes in 2015… Marcus Mariota (Oregon Ducks) perhaps?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Recent free agent acquisition Josh McCown had success last year in Chicago throwing to the big-bodied receiving tandem of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, so Tampa went with 6′5″ wideout Mike Evans (Texas A&M Aggies) and 6′6″ tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Washington Huskies) to line up with 6′5″ Vincent Jackson. Meanwhile, speedster Robert Herron (Wyoming Cowboys) provides additional depth at wide receiver and could wind up as a sixth round steal.

Injuries ravaged the Buccaneers offensive line last season, so fifth rounders Kadeem Edwards (Tennessee State Tigers) and Kevin Pamphile (Purdue Boilermakers) should provide valuable depth.

Minnesota Vikings

One of the most active teams in the 2014 draft had to be the Minnesota Vikings. First they flat out stole a fifth round pick from the Browns to move down one spot where they still came away with linebacker Anthony Barr (UCLA Bruins), who along with third round pick defensive end Scott Crichton (Oregon State Beavers) fills a big hole in the pass rushing department after the loss of 32-year-old Jared Allen to the Chicago Bears.

Pre-draft, we felt like the only remaining passengers on the Teddy Bridgewater bandwagon, so obviously the move to trade up to the final pick in Round One to take the most pro-ready signal caller in this draft is one the RotoRob.com crew will applaud.

LOSERS

Dallas Cowboys

Aside from wisely passing on Johnny Football and grabbing versatile offensive lineman Zach Martin (Notre Dame Fighting Irish) at pick No. 16, the Cowboys’ draft left us scratching our heads. Trading their third round pick to the hated Redskins to move up only 13 spots in Round Two in order to reach for defensive end/linebacker ‘tweener Demarcus Lawrence (Boise State Broncos) was not a wise move for a team lacking quality depth across the roster.

New England Patriots

The window of opportunity appears to be closing on the Patriots as Tom Brady gets older, so we thought Coach Bill Belichick would use this draft to load up for one more Super Bowl push, but instead they drafted like a team in rebuilding mode. Defensive tackle Dominique Easley (Florida Gators) may be the only player to have an impact in year one, as New England was without a selection in the third round and took quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois Panthers) in the second.

Philadelphia Eagles

Putting the Eagles on this list was a tough call since we really liked the addition of wide receivers Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt Commodores) and Josh Huff (Oregon Ducks). However, Philadelphia had a golden opportunity to improve a weak secondary in the first round when cornerback Darqueze Dennard (Michigan State Spartans) practically fell into its lap. Then, much to the dismay of our friend Mark T. Wilson (TruLuvSportsTalk), who joined us for our first ever live Draft coverage on the RotoRob Fantasy Football Weekly Podcast, Coach Chip Kelly instead opted to trade back, leaving the Eagles unable to address the defensive backfield until Day Three. Passing on Dennard could come back to haunt Philly in a pass-happy NFC East.

Cleveland Browns

We’ve been accused in the past of excessively hating on the Browns. We actually have nothing against the team, but they just can’t seem to get anything right and this draft was no exception. While he may turn out to be a good player, wasting a pick to move up one draft slot for cornerback Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State Cowboys) was probably unnecessary. Later in the round, Cleveland moved up to draft its latest (future) bust quarterback, the suddenly weapon-less Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M Aggies). Just business as usual for this downtrodden franchise. Couple those moves with the news that star wide receiver Josh Gordon could be facing a year-long suspension and the Browns are far and away our biggest losers of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who you thought did well in the 2014 NFL Draft and who bombed.

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2002 MLB Draft Recap: Part III

May 10, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (0)
The 6′3”, 195-pound Hermida made late moves up draft boards, adding 20 pounds to his frame in his senior year of high school. It’s hard to classify him as a bust because he played eight years in the Major Leagues, but his three best years were bunched together from 2007-09, and his last few years were spent trying to recapture that production before he flamed out with the Padres in 2012 — the last time he graced a major league diamond with his presence. Last year, Hermida showed good on-base skills in the Indians’ organization, but never got the call to Cleveland.
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2002 MLB Draft Recap: Part II

May 5, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (1)
Scroll down from the top of the 2002 Draft, and here is your first player to make an All-Star team. Greinke is still going strong as one of the game’s top pitchers for the Dodgers, but made his mark in Kansas City with a devastating curveball and a Cy Young season in 2009. He had his share of off-the-field issues, dealing with depression and social anxiety disorder to the point that he almost quit baseball after the 2005 season, but stuck with it and is all the wiser (and richer) for it today. At 6′2”, 195 pounds, Greinke isn’t an overpowering presence, but he is calm and composed and has excellent command of his pitches.
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2002 MLB Draft Recap: Part I

April 26, 2014 | by Michael Seff | Comments (2)
Where to begin? Injuries were the crux of the problem for Bullington, and after a torn labrum, his velocity in the majors was never quite where it was in college. Even in the minors, he never posted the strikeout numbers expected of a top pick, averaging just 6.7 K/9 IP over eight entirely underwhelming seasons.
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2014 RotoRob NFL Mock Draft

January 8, 2014 | by Josh Johnson | Comments Comments Off
We’ve entered a new age in the NFL. Gone are the days of $50 million guaranteed contracts to the No. 1 overall picks, meaning teams looking to trade up no longer financially cripple their franchises by doing so. This has led to a number of draft pick swaps in recent years, and this year could very well play out in the same fashion. We see the Rams as the most likely top five team to trade down, but none of the top 10 picks being dealt should be a shocker. Now, we present to you, three different Mock Drafts (for the non-playoff teams) by the RotoRob.com Legion of Pigskin Boom. All of our writers agree on just two picks, so sit back, pour yourself a coffee and enjoy.
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