They ultimately didn’t make a pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, but the team that blew out the Broncos three months ago had a huge influence over the process.
The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII by dramatically reversing the pass-happy trend of the NFL and playing stout defense, particularly in the secondary and in the pass rush. As a result, last night’s haul included a record nine defensive backs, including four safeties. Six pass rushers came off the board as well, led by Jadeveon Clowney.
Clowney becomes the first defensive player taken No. 1 overall since the last time the Texans held the first overall pick in 2006, when they selected Mario Williams. Houston also becomes only the fourth franchise to make a defensive player the first overall selection, joining the Colts (Bubba Smith in 1967 and Steve Emtman in 1992), the Bills (Walt Patulski in 1972 and Bruce Smith in 1985), and the Cowboys (Ed Jones in 1974 and Russell Maryland in 1991).
That’s good news for the remaining defensive players, specifically the remaining defensive backs and pass rushers. As teams turn to the final six rounds to fill needs, fewer of the players they need are still available. Which means that plenty of defensive backs and pass rushers will be drafted higher than they otherwise would have been.
Especially if the push continues for more and more and more pass rushers and defensive backs.