GREAT BLUE NORTH DRAFT REPORT
NEWS AND INFORMATION ON THE NFL DRAFT



    2014 DRAFT BY THE NUMBERS

The just concluded 2014 draft started when Houston selected South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney with the #1 pick and ended when the Texans made Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine this year's 'Mr Irrelevent' by choosing him with the 256th and final pick. Along the way, Johnny Fooball landed in Cleveland and pro sports had its first openly gay player drafted when St. Louis selected Missouri DE Michael Sam late in the final round.

However, some things don't change all that much. Once again, for example, the SEC again led all conferences with 48 players selected this weekend, although that igure was down from 63 when the conference had more than twice as many players selected as every other conference in the country. In contrast, this year, the ACC gave the SECa run for its money finishing second to the SEC with 42 players selected up from 31 the previous year. Meanwhile, the PAC-12 had 34 players selected this year, while the BIG TEN had 30 (up from 22 last year). At the same time, the Big XII had just 17 players selected, just one more than the Mountain West, while the All-American conference had 12, and both the C-USA and MAC conferences each had 8 players drafted.

In fact, the the draft remains pretty much the preserve of the major conference schools. Indeed, with Notre Dame added in, schools from BCS conferences accounted for 70% of all players selected this weekend, although that figure is down somewhat from 75% last year, a figure that had remained pretty consistent over the past decade or so. However, there is still a place at the draft table for non-D1A players. This year, for example, 27 lower-level players - 11% of the total - heard their names called this weekend, although this was down slightly from 31 in 2013. That includes multiple picks from 4 non-D1A programs including Coastal Carolina, Tennessee State, Georgia Southern and Towson. Former Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who was a surprise late second-round pick by New England, was the first non-D1A player selected. Meanwhile North Dakota State G/T Billy Turner went early in the round to Miami, while Pittsburg State WR/KR John Brown (to Arizona), Towson RB Terrance West (to Cleveland) and Georgia Southern RB Jerick McKinnon (to Minnesota) were selected late in the third.

The SECs dominance of the 2014 draft was led by LSU and Alabama, which 9 and 8 players selected respectively this past weekend, while resurgent Notre Dame also had 8 players selected. At the same, national champion Florida State had 7 players selected after the Seminoles led all schools last year with 11 players drafted. Meanwhile, Ohio State and Stanford each had 6 players selected, while UCLA, North Carolina, Clemson, Wisconsin and Baylor each had 5 players selected.

Meanwhile, today's trivia question is 'what do Concordia-St. Paul, Bloomsburg, Liberty, Lindenwood, Maine, Marist, Northwest Missouri State, Saginaw Valley State, Towson and Pittsburg State have in common.' And the answer they all had more players selected at the 2014 draft than national power Texas which was shutout at the draft for the first time since 1937. Heck, even an Ivy league school - Princeton - and a Canadian school - McGill - had at least one player selected which may explain why Mack Brown is out at Texas and Charlie Strong, whose Louisville Cardinals had three first round picks this week, is in!

Shoudda stood in school ... Its been a well-documente fact that a record number of underclassmen entered this year's draft, but if there was a message from the NFL this weekend it was stay in school unless you are sure. On the one hand, underclassmen made up roughly half of all the players selecetdin this year's opening round including junior DE Jadeveon Clowney and redshirt sophomore OT Greg Robinson who were the first two players off the board.  At the same time, WRs Sammy Watkins (4th to Buffalo) and Mike Evans (7th to Tampa Bay), along with CB Justin Gilbert (8th to Cleveland)and TE Eric Ebron (10th to Detroit) were other underclassmen to be selected in the top 10. On the other hand, other underclassmen such as QBs Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater; RBs Ka'Deem Carey and Lache Seastrunk, WR Marqise Lee, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, G/T David Yankey and DT Timmie Jernigan all went considerably later than any of them feared in their worst nightmares. At least they were drafted. Indeed, underclassmen like WRBrandon Coleman, TE Xavier Grimble, OT Tiny Richardson, DE/OLB Adrian Hubbard, DTs Anthony Johnson, Kelcy Quarles, and George Uko, CBs Louchiez Purifoy and Victor Hampton and SS Dion Bailey weren't selected at all.

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