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NFL Draft: A liveblog

May 8, 2014 - Zach Baker
So, it's finally here. I'll be watching the entire first round of the NFL Draft and chiming in with thoughts as we go along. I'll be watching the NFL Network's coverage, so I wouldn't feel the need to overdue the Mel Kiper hair observations.

You also can follow me on Twitter @Zachthewriter.

I still have the Browns taking Johnny Manziel, but that's more a guess. And the way the last few days have gone, I doubt I'm the only one just guessing.

I'll start the live coverage at 8 p.m.

The Browns pick No. 4 of course, and everyone I know has an opinion on whom they should select. While I'd favor Sammy Watkins, the wide receiver, I can't say anything would be too much of a disappointment. Fact is, the Browns have been so bad, so long, that they need almost everything. The franchise has three players that I view as top tier: Receiver Josh Gordon, left tackle Joe Thomas and corner Joe Haden. And the Browns need more than one receiver, tackle and corner.

I'm not opposed to quarterback Johnny Manziel but not in love with him either. He was a great college player. No one knows, though, how that will translate. I prefer Blake Bortles among the available quarterbacks. But let's face it. There's no Andrew Luck in this draft, no near-sure thing. Everything's a gamble, which probably is why this draft has more intrigue for Browns fans than any I can remember.

Well, that and the Browns have two picks.

Let's get it started in here...

1. Houston Texans

Even though they've been on the clock since December, the Texans still are likely to take 10 more minutes. The draft isn't good on quick decisions.

And cue the overdramatic network prologues. The NFL Draft really should start with a Ric Flair promo. Just saying.

I can't imagine the Browns passing on Khalil Mack if he's still around at No. 4. But who knows at this point. How weird is it? They're playing Van Halen in the background.

Roger Goodell is getting booed. Nice start. And now HE gives a prologue.

1. Houston Texans are on the clock.

2 minutes left on the clock. Why?

Texans select: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina.

No real surprise here. This kid is explosive, and you don't need to be a scout or an expert to see that. But he will need to be that in the pros, almost right away, or the quick to judge portion of the fans and media will label him a disappointment and fast. The pressure will be on, and the critics will be ready to pounce. But the talent is there.

No. 2: St. Louis Rams on the clock. A lot of the ways this one can go.

Sometimes I think analysts are just in stream of consciousness cliché mode.

Ty Burrell from Modern Family is here for some reason.

Rams pick: Greg Robinson, tackle out of Auburn. I'm always surprised when an offensive lineman is taken so high. But that's just because the Cleveland Browns took Joe Thomas at No. 3 in 2007, and as great as he is, the Browns have been just as awful with him. I know that's simplistic.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Spoilers are all over the place.

Jaguars take Blake Bortles. The audible shock is there. Well, that's the QB I wanted. And the Browns are on the clock. And can someone please tell the people at Radio City that chanting "what" is so 13 years ago?

I think Browns will take Mack, because I didn't think he'd last to 4.


The Browns and Bills have made a trade, because that's just what the Browns do.

So to move down four spots, the Browns get the Bills first rounder next year and another pick. That's quite a haul. But at some point you have to TAKE somebody.

Bills take Sammy Watkins at No. 3. That's a surprise.

Raiders on the clock: Well, Khalil Mack's career's over. He was taken by the Raiders. He has the "at least I'll get a big paycheck" look.

So Atlanta is on the clock. Word around Twitter was it wanted Mack badly. So... now what?

The answer? Jake Matthews, tackle from Texas A&M and MY GOODNESS does he look like his dad. Pedigree generally means nothing, unless it's the Matthews family. They breed HOF caliber players.

Tampa Bay on the clock at No. 7. Mike Evans? Could see it. I do see Manziel still being there for the Browns at No. 9. Or maybe the Browns will trade that pick too.

Buccaneers take Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M. Not a surprise. And now the Browns made another trade to move up to eight. And at this point, my head is spinning.

The pick is in: and the Browns take.........Justin Gilbert, DB from Oklahoma State. Hey, they need help there. Not a high profile pick, but hey, just win on Sundays.

Gilbert and Joe Haden together is not a bad strategy. But I'd like more offensive firepower than having a good defense in an offensive league.

The Vikings take Anthony Barr, LB, from UCLA. Well, Mike Zimmer would figure to go defense. I still think Zimmer will be a great head coach.

Barry Sanders makes the Lions pick. They take select Eric Ebron from North Carolina. Lions will have some really great receiving options next season. Titans up next.

Titans select Taylor Lewan, tackle from Michigan. Now the Giants are up; it'd be funny if they took Manziel, but I don't think they will.

At No. 12, the Giants select Odell Beckham, wide receiver from LSU. The Johnny Football watch continues.

So now it's the Rams, which makes me wonder if Jeff Fisher will complain about Bernie Kosar to whomever he picks.

Rams select Aaron Donald, DT from Pittsburgh. Dallas looks like the next possibility for Manziel.

Bears on the clock. Bears select Kyle Fuller, DB, Virginia Tech. At this point I just hope Dallas doesn't take Manziel, because I already can envision the hype next fall.

Steelers picking at No. 15 is just strange. Just like if the Browns' first pick was in the 20s, that'd be strange as well.

And Steelers take Ryan Shazier from Ohio State, meaning there's another Buckeye my friends never will cheer for again.

The Cowboys take Zack Martin, a guard from Notre Dame. So Johnny Football isn't going to play 10 times on Sunday Night Football this year. Manziel keeps falling.

Ravens take C.J. Mosley, LB from Alabama. Ozzie Newsome loves linebackers, and to get one from Alabama has to bring a smile to his face. And, Ozzie makes so few mistakes (well, aside from Kyle Boller).

Jets take safety Calvin Pryor from Louisville. Miami to follow.

Dolphins take Ja'Wuan James, tackle from Tennessee. Interesting now to see if AZ goes with a quarterback...Oh, wait a second, a trade. Saints are now at No. 20.

Saints take Brandin Cooks, wide receiver from Oregon State. Huh. I'd have figured defense. Green Bay up next.

The NFL Network coverage is all-Johnny Manziel, all the time.

Packers select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, a defensive back from Alabama. Maziel still is on the board for the Eagles.

The Browns have traded again, and now another pick. So the Browns take Johnny Football. Oh, this is gonna be something. And Rich Eisen says the Browns will start in Baltimore, which isn't the schedule I remember seeing.

So the Browns have a quarterback, and the hype. We'll see what happens.

Chiefs take Dee Ford, a defensive end from Auburn. Cincinnati is up next.

Bengals take Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State. That's a good pick for them. Chargers up next as my phone explodes with texts about Manziel. Again, Browns need to start winning before I get excited about them. Nothing in the offseason can solve that.

Chargers draft Jason Verrett, CB of TCU. Heading into the home stretch now.

Eagles take Marcus Smith, a linebacker from Louisville. Arizona, after flipping with the Browns, on the clock at No. 26.

Cardinals nab Deone Bucannon, safety from Washington State. I'd have figured they'd go QB there. It looks more and more like Derek Carr and Bridgewater will slide to the second round.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR from Florida State goes to Carolina.

Patriots select Dominique Easley, a defensive tackle from Florida. Oh, it's the Patriots, whatever.

49ers take Jimmy Ward, defensive back, from Northern Illinois. NFL Network's Mike Mayock said he projected him for the second or third round. Ohio's State's Bradley Roby still is on the board.

And Roby is off the board. He goes to Denver. The corner is the second Buckeye taken in the first round. My mom usually would cheer loudly when a Buckeye was selected. Unless he was selected by the Steelers. So Roby still is in our good graces.

And what would tonight be if we didn't have another trade. Minnesota is on the clock, and the speculation on the NFLN is that they will go quarterback. So Carr or Bridgewater?

Bridgewater goes to Minnesota. Good for him. And my work is done. See you in August, Johnny.


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