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NFL Draft: Four SEC players in top 10 and Manziel still on the board

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Three SEC players went in the top ten and for the second season in a row a player from the MAC was drafted in the top five. Here is a quick rundown of the top ten picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.

1. Houston Texans: DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney was expected by many to be the first player drafted, and the Texans made him wait before the pick became official. Clowney is the fifth player from the SEC to be drafted number one overall since 2004.

2. St. Louis Rams: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn

For the first time since 2010 the top two picks in the NFL Draft came form the same conference. In 2010 it was Oklahoma and Nebraska accounting for the top four picks. Robinson is the first Auburn offensive tackle to go in the first round since Victor Riley in 1998.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blake Bortles, UCF

Jacksonville pulled off the first puzzling draft decision of the night by drafting Bortles with the third overall pick. Bortles is now the highest draft pick and just the second first round draft pick in school history. The last UCF player to go in the first round was quarterback Daunte Culpepper in 1999.

4. Buffalo Bills (from Cleveland Browns): WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson

For the second straight season a Clemson wide receiver was drafted in the first round. The Bills traded up to get the player who may be the best receiver in the draft and we will finally get a chance to see CJ Spiller and Watkins on the field at the same time.

5. Oakland Raiders: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo

The MAC defensive star that seemingly came out of nowhere is the second MAC player in two seasons to go in the first five picks of the NFL Draft.

6. Atlanta Falcons: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

If you were curious why Johnny Manziel has been so effective for the Aggies, take a look at the draft. For the second straight season the Aggies sent an offensive linemen in the first ten picks of the draft (Luke Joeckel last year). Johnny Manziel sits waiting and sipping water in the back.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M

Tampa Bay picks up one of the top wide receivers by choosing the second straight player out of Texas A&M. Evans is the first wide receiver in school history to be drafted in the first round.

8. Cleveland Browns (from Minnesota Vikings): CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

This may be the strangest move of the draft. For some reason the Browns, having already traded down earlier, felt it necessary to move up one pick in order to draft a cornerback. Justin Gilbert is a good player, but there does not seem to have been any sort of demand to make this move for Cleveland, but they are the Cleveland Browns after all.

9. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo via Cleveland): LB Anthony Barr, UCLA

The Vikings passed on a chance to draft Manziel but do so by picking up a solid defensive addition in Barr. The Vikings could have used some help at quarterback, but adding Barr is not exactly a poor decision.

10. Detroit Lions: TE Eric Ebron, North Carolina

The Lions already have a franchise quarterback so there was no need to make a move for Manziel. Instead they add what could be the best tight end prospect in the draft and give Matt Stafford a nice target to compliment the wide receivers already on the field.

Players by Conference: SEC (4), ACC (2), AAC (1), Big 12 (1), MAC (1), Pac-12 (1)

 

NFL Draft: Jadeveon Clowney fifth SEC player since 2004 to go No. 1

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For the fifth time since 2004, a player from the SEC was drafted number one overall in the NFL Draft. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was drafted with the first pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans Thursday night in New York City. Clowney is the first defensive player to be drafted with the top pick in the draft since the Texans drafted Mario Williams out of NC State in the 2006 draft.

Clowney will be a great addition to the Texans, a franchise in need of getting tougher on defense but not one with a tremendous amount of ground to make up in the AFC South. New head coach Bill O’Brien, who coached Penn State the past two seasons, may still be searching for his franchise quarterback but he may be able to pick up a nice option in the second round. Having Clowney though makes Houston a more difficult team to guard against with J.J. Watt already demanding attention from opposing offensive lines. With Watt one one side and Clowney likely on the other, Houston could have a tenacious defensive line.

Clowney is the second number one overall draft pick in South Carolina history. He joins running back George Rogers, who was drafted first overall by the New Orleans Saints in the 1981 NFL Draft. Since 2004 the SEC has now had five number one overall picks in the draft, but the rest have been quarterbacks. Eli Manning (Ole Miss) was drafted by San Diego in 2004 before being traded away to the New York Giants. LSU’s JaMarcuss Russell was drafted by Oakland in 2007, Georgia’s Matt Stafford was drafted by Detroit in 2009 and Cam Newton was taken by Carolina in 2011.

Auburn linebacker Audray Bruce was the last defensive player from the SEC to be drafted number one overall, going to the Atlanta Falcons in the 1988 NFL Draft.