NFL Draft

Revisiting the 2014 NFL Draft

I thought for the draft this year I would do a series looking back at each draft from 2012 through 2017 and seeing what information we can get by breaking each draft down based mainly on career earnings So far we have gone over the 2012 and 2013 draft so now it is time for the 2014 NFL draft. For each draft we will break things down by position and the round in which the players were drafted. The 2023 salary data is included in all analysis.

Career Length

For a players career length we are looking at how many times the player finished an NFL season on a roster, practice squad included. Here is the breakdown by round.

Draft RoundYears in NFLYears with 1 team
Top 108.35.4
18.05.4
27.04.5
35.73.4
45.93.5
54.52.6
64.32.3
73.42.1

This was certainly a much better group than the 2013 NFL draft with players having longer careers overall and with the team that drafted them despite being drafted a year later. This year the 3rd and 4th rounds ran a bit closer while the 5th and 6th could be grouped together. Round 7 had a slightly longer career with the draft team than the prior draft seasons. Six players lasted a decade with the team who drafted them.

Performance by Original Draft Round

We re-ranked every player based on how much they earned over their initial four year rookie contract. Here was the breakdown for the 2014 draft based on the initial draft position, the average result, and what percentage finished in the top 100.

RoundAvg Redraft RankTop 10Top 32Top 64Top 100
Top 1052.130.0%60.0%80.0%90.0%
151.59.1%50.0%59.1%81.8%
282.915.6%25.0%50.0%59.4%
3117.10.0%11.1%25.0%44.4%
4124.50.0%2.5%15.0%40.0%
5149.20.0%2.8%13.9%25.0%
6164.80.0%0.0%10.3%15.4%
7178.30.0%2.4%7.3%17.1%

This was a very strong first round with 60% of the top 10 picks currently ranking in the top 32 and 50% of the rest of the first rounders landing in the top 32. The hit rates for top 100 is currently over 80%. The average position of these players is right around 50. The 2nd round had some hits and misses  50% of the players landed in the top 64 which is solid but only 60% were in the top 100 which isn’t terrible but also not great. Rounds 3 and 4 had solid hit rates but limited impact players. Round 7 saw a big tick up from the past two years.

If we just look at overperforming or underperforming their initial round of selection we get the following hit rates.

RoundOverperformedUnderperformedHit Target
Top 1070.0%30.0%
19.1%50.0%40.9%
225.0%50.0%25.0%
325.0%55.6%19.4%
440.0%35.0%25.0%
538.9%41.7%19.4%
653.8%25.6%20.5%
756.1%43.9%

This looks like a very good draft at the top and solid results from late in the draft, relative to where the player was selected. The middle of the draft may have been a slight disappointment overall.

Performance by Position

Here is the breakdown for each position and where they ranked in earnings over rookie contract.

PositionDraftedTop 10Top 32Top 64Top 100
LT616.7%50.0%50.0%83.3%
OG180.0%22.2%33.3%44.4%
QB1414.3%21.4%35.7%42.9%
WR3411.8%20.6%35.3%41.2%
EDGE248.3%16.7%25.0%45.8%
C140.0%14.3%42.9%50.0%
IDL234.3%13.0%17.4%34.8%
LB300.0%10.0%26.7%40.0%
CB320.0%9.4%21.9%40.6%
S200.0%0.0%10.0%30.0%
RT70.0%0.0%28.6%28.6%
RB180.0%0.0%11.1%22.2%
TE100.0%0.0%10.0%30.0%
P10.0%0.0%0.0%100.0%
K20.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%

While there were not a lot of left tackles selected here, the results were good for the players who were selected. Guard was a pretty safe pick with over 20% of the players landing top 32. QB was solid and this was the first year that wide receiver started to stand out. The non-premier positions did not have any players really break the mold as “unicorn” types.

What if we just limit this to the hit rates of players taken in the top 100 ?

PositionDraftedTop 10Top 32Top 64Top 100
LT333.3%66.7%66.7%100.0%
QB540.0%60.0%80.0%80.0%
WR1526.7%46.7%73.3%80.0%
LB80.0%37.5%50.0%87.5%
OG110.0%36.4%45.5%63.6%
EDGE1216.7%33.3%41.7%58.3%
CB90.0%33.3%44.4%55.6%
IDL911.1%22.2%33.3%33.3%
C50.0%20.0%60.0%80.0%
S50.0%0.0%20.0%60.0%
RT30.0%0.0%66.7%66.7%
RB80.0%0.0%12.5%25.0%
TE70.0%0.0%14.3%42.9%

The wide receiver numbers here stand out as a positive with 80% of them in the top 100 and almost 50% finishing in the top 32. Linebacker and guard did not have the higher end success but did do well in the top 64 and linebacker continues to be a very safe pick in terms of having a longer career. Edge, corner and IDL had more of a boom/bust profile this year. Running back was probably the worst draft selection this year.

Who Had the Best and Worst Drafts

The Raiders blew everyone away, landing two of the top five picks (Derek Carr and Khalil Mack) in this year’s draft. Unfortunately for the Raiders, Mack was gone from the team after a few years and they didn’t hit much more after this. The Cowboys had the number two draft with DeMarcus Lawrence and Zack Martin leading the way. Both players have helped them form a core that has been in and out of the playoffs since 2014. The Jaguars surprisingly came in third with some solid but not standout players. Their total is somewhat inflated by their own decision to extend Blake Bortles.

This was back to back years for the Colts arguably having the worst draft. This is the reason why it is pretty fair to argue that they wasted the Luck years. The worst bang for the buck was from the Jets “historic” 12 person draft. Quincy Enunwa was the top player for the Jets while none of their top picks even lasted 4 seasons with the team.

TeamPicksNet Earnings
Raiders8$402,200,382
Cowboys9$234,465,149
Jaguars9$219,895,718
Rams11$192,109,734
Packers9$185,868,342
Patriots9$170,036,475
Vikings10$132,790,855
Titans6$129,958,346
Giants7$127,011,136
Falcons9$126,836,242
Browns6$124,268,242
Dolphins8$121,020,548
Bears8$120,625,938
Ravens9$104,751,277
Buccaneers6$101,501,991
Chiefs6$101,497,017
Saints6$92,872,417
Broncos6$89,896,601
Commanders8$83,329,992
Texans10$80,969,956
Cardinals7$75,146,570
Lions8$73,488,827
Bills7$71,970,147
49ers12$71,071,157
Panthers6$64,104,488
Steelers9$59,602,905
Seahawks9$52,347,699
Bengals8$31,129,981
Chargers6$21,073,922
Eagles7$16,824,819
Jets12$15,509,279
Colts5$13,256,680

The Final Draft Rankings

When re-assessing the draft here is where the average pick came from in each final draft tier.

RoundAvg. Draft Slot
Top 1029.7
154.5
2103.0
3110.0
4132.2
5138.3
6156.5
7189.6

Our new top 10 consists of four wide receivers, two quarterbacks, two edges, one interior defensive line, and one left tackle. Three top 10 picks actually finished in the top 10. They were Khalil Mack, Jake Matthews, and Mike Evans.  Aaron Donald and Brandin Cooks were 1st rounders who finished in the top 10 and the remainder were from the second round, so this seems to be a pretty strong year for identifying talent in the right spots. The biggest riser was Charles Leno (228 slot jump)

Here are the top 100 players ranked by career earnings over their rookie contract.

RankNamePositionEarningsOriginal Draft SlotChange in Draft SlotYears PlayedYears With Draft Team
1Derek CarrQB$160,147,4813635109
2Aaron DonaldIDL$146,892,00013111010
3Jimmy GaroppoloQB$145,502,9416259103
4Khalil MackEDGE$131,595,98051104
5Demarcus LawrenceEDGE$111,926,38734291010
6Davante AdamsWR$108,615,0005347108
7Brandin CooksWR$99,988,4122013103
8Mike EvansWR$95,655,6407-11010
9Jake MatthewsLT$95,554,8236-31010
10Allen RobinsonWR$90,542,5006151104
11Zack MartinOG$79,341,0001651010
12C.J. MosleyLB$76,718,000175105
13Taylor LewanLT$71,088,23511-299
14Joel BitonioOG$70,617,64835211010
15Odell Beckham Jr.WR$69,709,00012-385
16Corey LinsleyC$63,107,000161145107
17Jarvis LandryWR$63,079,412634694
18Charles Leno Jr.LT$58,707,000246228107
19Jadeveon ClowneyEDGE$58,556,0001-18105
20Teddy BridgewaterQB$55,203,125321294
21Dee FordEDGE$54,953,62523285
22Kyle FullerCB$54,000,00014-897
23Gabe JacksonOG$52,970,000815897
24Stephon TuittIDL$50,951,440462288
25Anthony BarrLB$50,361,8829-1698
26Sammy WatkinsWR$49,714,1184-2293
27Jimmie WardCB$48,325,092303109
28Bradley RobyCB$44,770,281313105
29Brandon LinderC$41,577,412936488
30Christian KirkseyLB$41,292,5307141106
31Trai TurnerOG$40,580,529926196
32DaQuan JonesIDL$40,157,00011280107
33Morgan MosesRT$38,329,3536633107
34Lamarcus JoynerS$38,328,17741795
35Anthony HitchensLB$37,607,0001198484
36Kyle Van NoyLB$35,400,00040492
37Ja\’Wuan JamesRT$31,081,00019-1895
38Weston RichburgC$29,500,00143574
39Matt ParadisC$29,406,10020716885
40John BrownWR$28,645,460915194
41Devon KennardLB$27,705,39517413384
42Billy TurnerOG$27,458,000672592
43Blake BortlesQB$27,116,0023-4085
44Eric EbronTE$25,500,00010-3484
45Justin BrittC$25,360,327641986
46Logan ThomasQB$24,882,10012074101
47Shelby HarrisEDGE$23,922,32423518892
48Laurent Duvernay-TardifOG$23,625,31120015297
49Devonta FreemanRB$23,430,3961035486
50Trent MurphyEDGE$23,213,91447-374
51Quincy EnunwaWR$22,370,74120915866
52Avery WilliamsonLB$20,837,1251519974
53T.J. CarrieCB$20,721,25521916694
54Zach FultonC$20,142,25019313974
55Aaron ColvinCB$20,093,0211145974
56Jerick McKinnonRB$18,651,638964094
57Marqise LeeWR$17,231,25039-1876
58Ricardo AllenS$17,152,9121478987
59Jason VerrettCB$16,780,93525-3495
60Paul RichardsonWR$16,643,75045-1564
61Donte MoncriefWR$16,237,705902964
62Pierre DesirCB$16,189,8731276582
63Timmy JerniganIDL$16,122,29448-1563
64Telvin SmithLB$15,507,0001448055
65James WhiteRB$15,331,2501306588
66Justin EllisIDL$14,233,4711074195
67Darqueze DennardCB$14,143,57024-4386
68Beau AllenIDL$14,100,00022415674
69Terrance MitchellCB$14,066,93325418591
70Cameron FlemingLT$13,615,0001407094
71Shamar StephenIDL$13,393,75822014986
72Tre BostonS$13,295,0001285675
73Carlos HydeRB$13,278,67657-1684
74A.J. McCarronQB$13,016,1471649084
75Preston BrownLB$12,727,61873-264
76Spencer LongC$12,297,00078264
77Deone BucannonLB$11,727,52927-5075
78Ha-Ha Clinton-DixS$11,609,00021-5774
79Nevin LawsonCB$11,079,8211335485
80Kareem MartinEDGE$10,900,05884474
81Michael SchofieldOG$10,888,056951493
82Pat O’DonnellP$10,750,000191109108
83Kevin Pierre-LouisLB$10,672,3171324993
84Jeremiah AttaochuEDGE$10,032,24650-3495
85Bashaud BreelandCB$9,253,6501021784
86Ryan ShazierLB$9,191,00015-7166
87Chris SmithEDGE$9,111,5681597273
88Kelvin BenjaminWR$8,811,94128-6053
89Ross CockrellCB$8,569,8821092081
90Andre HalS$8,357,00021612655
91Cassius MarshEDGE$8,004,4711081783
92Greg RobinsonLT$7,790,0002-9063
93Terrence BrooksS$7,509,83879-1482
94Brent UrbanIDL$7,478,42313440107
95Xavier Su’a-FiloOG$7,352,14833-6294
96Aaron LynchEDGE$7,073,3981505474
97C.J. FiedorowiczTE$6,621,44065-3244
98Ryan GrantWR$6,520,8821424464
99E.J. GainesCB$4,836,2501888963
100Richard RodgersTE$4,776,03098-2104
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Jason Fitzgerald

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