The 10 biggest steals from the 2014 NFL Draft


Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. Shannon Sharpe and Joe Montana. Will Shields and Terrell Davis. Some of the best players in NFL history weren’t first-round draft choices; instead, they were later-round guys who most teams thought were full of flaws.

Oh, how plenty of franchises went on to regret those scouting reports. Multiple trips to the Pro Bowl, several Super Bowl rings and a bust or two in Canton show just how wrong they were in their analysis.

These types of errors occur every year in the NFL Draft, as players who will go on to be stars in the league slip past team after team after team. Their tumble down the board is amazing to watch, as franchise’s reach for potential and miss the talent sitting there right in front of them.

The 2014 NFL Draft will prove to be no different. History says that there will be some “steals” that will emerge, guys who went outside of the first round and turned into all-time greats.

Who will they be? Here are our 10 candidates for the biggest steals of the 2014 NFL Draft. Guys had to be taken in the second round or later to be considered.


10. Aaron Murray (QB | Kansas City Chiefs)

A bum knee won’t derail Murray’s career

Before tearing his ACL in November, Murray was rewriting the SEC record books. So he can obviously play quarterback at a high level. But because he’s less than six months removed from a major injury, his stock slipped in the draft. But the Chiefs, who are in the midst of contract negotiations with current starter Alex Smith, swooped in at pick No. 163 in the fifth round to grab their guy; Murray could certainly be the QB of the future in KC.

9. Carlos Hyde (RB | San Francisco 49ers)

Hyde is the heir apparent in San Francisco

Running backs weren’t a priority in this year’s draft, evidenced by the fact that when Bishop Sankey was taken two picks before Hyde at No. 54, it was the latest the first RB had ever been selected. But that doesn’t mean the cream of the crop can’t play, with Hyde clearly atop that list. At 6-foot and 230 pounds, he’s a bruising runner who will ultimately replace Frank Gore on a team that still values power football.


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  • Stephen Hwang

    McCarron: From what I’ve heard, it’s his arrogance, not self-confidence that hurt him

    Lee: Absolutely agree. Best route runner in this class and only fell due to injury concerns and hands.

    Ealy: Not the biggest fan of his. He wasn’t anything special when he played.

    Carr: Huge arm, bad receivers (take out Davante), hopefully he works out

    Tripp: LOVE THIS GUY. Phenomenal talent.

    Moses: He wasn’t that amazing on film. He was slow, played high a lot.


    Latimer: Had issues with routes/hands. He’s just fast.

    Murray: Love this guy, sad he went to the Chiefs

    Hyde: Best back in this class. No question.

    • Stephen Hwang

      Also to add: Andre Hal, E.J. Gaines, Chris Borland, Bridgewater (for how he fell), Xavier Su’a-Filo, Louis Nix (if he gets his knee situation fixed).

    • Anonymous

      Actually, all the analysts had noting but glowing things to say about Latimer’s hands. I heard he dropped one pass (that was on him) all year last season.

    • FletchNasty

      Cody Latimer had only 1 drop in his on-target passes this season and he won all of his 50/50 or jump balls this season! He’s very much improved since his 1st season at Ohio St.

    • Anonymous

      McCarron had to be arrogant about football. He is just a part of Alabama and his girls bitch

      • Rebar

        Id be a lil arrogant too if i knew K. Webb was waiting at home for me so i think i would give him a pass on the abundant self confidence LMAO

      • Anonymous

        Bet you’d love to have her!

  • Nathan

    No Nix?

  • Chip Armonaitis

    For some reason, productive players dropped while projects got picked. Shayne Skov of Stanford and Max Burroughs of Michigan State, two talented players who played at high levels never even got picked. You can not convince me that they are not better than at learst 30 players who were drafted by various teams.

  • Michael

    If teams were turned off by McCarron’s self confidence, I can’t believe that Manziel was drafted so high. I would take McCarron over Manziel any day!

    • Mike

      Agreed,don’t see why teams would pass on McCarron’s capabilities over remarks you’d want to hear from your QB. Plus the kid can play and from what I hear is great off the field, as well. Their loss is a Bengals future QB. Good luck to McCarron.

  • Dale

    Living in Alabama I can attest that there was no greater QB in the draft than A.J. McCarron. Nor a better person – a 5 year old cancer patient befriended by AJ and his fiancĂ© will be the Flower Girl at their wedding; the fellow student at AL with cerybrial (sorry can’t find a version Spell Check will accept) palsy that he got a position in the eq

  • Dale

    Living in Alabama there was no better QB in the draft than A.J. McCarron. In 4 years at AL he played in 3 National Championships, starting and winning in 2. And following him closely in local news here, there was no better PERSON

    • Cp

      AJ is not an NFL QB. All teams agree. He may be the best guy on the planet, but he isn’t an NF QB

    • Anonymous

      BAMA wishes for AJ Anal job. Dey love Dem beads!

  • Cp

    He doesn’t have the arm. Bottom line. Andy D doesn’t either , but still better than AJs arm

  • royhobbs7

    Unfortunately for my Giants, Lee will be more productive than Beckham (12th pick in 1st round). Donald was the obvious pick for the Giants, but as usual, they fell in love with a player (OBJ) and did not look at the bigger picture; I.e., lots of other good in draft who may actually outperform Beckham, especially in their rookie year.

  • Steve the Dog Man

    Have to agree with you on Derek Carr. Derek put up record numbers as a quarterback with a team that had almost NO running game what so ever. Email-bombed the Vikings to no avail. Can you imagine him with Adrian Peterson standing behind him instead of nobody?

  • Austin

    I love the David Yankey pick for the Vikes. I believe he will start day one for Minnesota.

    • BSDavid7

      I completely agree, I was praying Tampa would take him in the 5th but they took Kadeem Edwards first then traded back in to the 5th to get Kevin Pamphile. He will have a long great career in Minnesota

  • Jim

    As a UGA fan I love it that Aaron Murray made the list. KC fans will love him.
    I wholeheartedly agree with David Yankey. I wanted the Falcons to pick him which would have given Atlanta two great young offensive linemen for the next ten years. I am still hurting over Atlanta’s failure to draft Yankey and Thomas Dimitroff really dropped the ball there especially since they could have drafted Yankey as late as the 4th round.
    I think Reshead Hageman would have been good for your list. I turned a cartwheel when Atlanta grabbed him in the 2nd round.

  • Steve

    Donte Moncrief…15 WR taken…production in the toughest conference in college football, with a mediocre QB…height/weight/speed measurables close to guys like Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson and Julio Jones. Nearly as fast as Brandin Cooks, nearly as big as Kelvin Benjamin and just as productive as Odell Beckham-all 1st round picks, and he went in the 3rd.

  • JT

    Im not an Ohio St fan but Carlos Hyde is going to be a beast.The 49ers screwed the Bills plan and beat them to him.He will be the work horse back by week 3.

    • Sailshak

      Jeremy Hill is better than Hyde. Hill ran over, through, around and then accelerated away from defenders in his two years at LSU. He is also a fantastic receiver coming out of the backfield. LSU also happens to play in the best conference in the country, the SEC. That will show up next season as Hill will start from day one. Wish the Saints had gotten him so we could pile on more points as we sweep the dirty birds again.

      • Kieren

        Hyde is the best RB coming out of the draft. No doubt. The 49ers a true Super Bowl team recognized that and jumped on him. The Bengals my team chose Hill over Hyde. Mistake. Hyde will be starting in 49ers land by mid season.

        • john

          Jeremy “real Deal” Hill is a bad man. he will not be given the starting role. He will take it

      • Litework

        @Sailshak Wish the Seahawks would have grabbed him so we embarrass the Aints as we always do.

        • WJOinfo

          Shehawks were shitting in their pants during the last minute of that playoff game. Nothing embarrassing about that unless you’re a Shehawk………….Who Dat!

  • Rudell

    Im very impressed with Mr Gettlemans eye for talent and once again i think he has hit a home run with ealy

  • Melvin Taylor

    Alabama fan since 1962. I picked A.J. McCarron to go 5th round or later. Love Alabama AJ need to improve accuracy, feet movement, arm strength I hope he makes the team. A lot of the guys that played with AJ are in the NFL, he never had to win a game with his arm. Good luck AJ.

  • Sailshak

    What?? No Jeremy Hill? This guy can run over, through, around and away from defenders. He also was one of the best pass catching backs in college last year. This guy is a BEAST. He is better than Carlos Hyde. You will see it as he will be a day one starter.

  • ford

    I love how people think they know more than scouts who do this for a living. Anyway, sources say McCarron fell due to sheer arrogance in interviews and poor reviews by his own teammates regarding his locker room presence. Also when a guy plays on a team like Alabama, FSU, LSU, etc., you need to review them as an individual, keeping in mind that they play around massive amounts of talents that can make them look waaaaaayyy better than they really are. Case in point, McCarron plays behind an NFL-Quality line that gives him all the time in the world. And after standing in the pocket all day he lofts one out to some of the best receivers in the country. Not to say that it’s that easy, but you need to review him as an individual, not playing for the tide. One final note- the one time in recent memory he was under constant pressure from a good pass rush was the bowl game against Oklahoma, where he failed miserably in getting the ball out accurately. Anyway that’s my two cents on him since these guys seem to think he’s the next Tom Brady.

  • Anonymous

    Great arm, real competitor, will shine for sure. A real steal!

  • rich

    Kareem Carey of Arizona Wildcats best rb in draft.

  • Tim

    I would have to add Michael Sam in here. Anytime you can pick up the SEC Defensive Player of the Year past the 1st round it is a steal! Plus he was picked up in the 7th round…

    • rodb

      AGREED!!! I hated seeing him come around UGA’s tackles when ever he da@$ well felt like it! gay or not, last round or first round what a steal. I hope to goodness he makes the team.

      • jray

        Why? Sam had ONE good year and if MU didn’t have the record in the SEC they had, he wouldn’t even been DPoY. If Georgia had had the national title game in their sights as MU did, then Ramik Wilson would have a strong argument for DPoY.
        Interesting that St Louis drafted him when they are pretty stacked at DE, tells me it was more likely for publicity.

  • TeeDubya

    I thought Michael Sam wuda been #1 on this list… Dude is a BEAST on the field… & he damn near got picked last! His off the field life is a distraction (2 much media frenzy), but he WON’T play “gay” on the field… Ijs

  • Anonymous

    What about Jarvis Landry? He catches everything in the zip code and rarely drops a pass. Look at how he fell due to a hamstring pull at the combine. I think the Dolphins got a major steal on this guy.

  • DrFaust

    Not a single name listed in this article can legitimately lay claim to being a “steal” in this draft. They are all players expected to be drafted roughly where they were drafted. This is no better than the type of front running journalism one finds on Bleacher Report.

  • bmarr

    I was at game last year where M. Lee was injured and could barely walk, but during the game winning 4th qtr drive he caught three crucial first downs to extend the drive. After each he limped off the field, rested one play, then come back on to make the big play. If healthy, Lee will be a fantastic pro and a great addition to a locker room.

  • V.F.L

    Bishop Sankey was hands down the number one most versatile running back/.I like hill but Sankey will be up for rookie of the year honors,bet tha