2014 NFL Draft: Handing out Grades to every first round pick

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25. San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU

May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Jason Verrett (TCU) poses for a photo with commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected as the number twenty-five overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to the San Diego Chargers at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Verrett was the guy I thought the Chargers would target all along and he makes perfect sense for a franchise that is in dire need of an upgrade at cornerback.

He might be small, but he plays bigger than a lot of taller guys in this draft. He’s a natural athlete with a ton of balance and lateral agility.

I had him higher rated than Dennard so the Chargers are getting a pretty good player in Verrett.

He’s very good value here for San Diego.

Grade: A-

26. Philadelphia Eagles (via Cleveland, Indianapolis): Marcus Smith, LB, Louisville 

I didn’t see this pick coming.

However the Eagles get a pretty good pass rusher in Smith, who finished second in the FBS with 14.5 sacks, and brought pressure from just about every possible spot on the defensive line for Louisville.

Smith is a bit of a tweener though at 6’3″ and 251 pounds, but should fill a role in the Philadelphia defense as a hybrid pass rusher.

Most had Smith as a second-round project so this is a bit of a reach for the Eagles, although they still come away with a pretty good player.

Grade: C+

27. Arizona Cardinals (via New Orleans): Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

The Cardinals get a player in Bucannon who brings some hard-hitting ability to the Arizona secondary.

He plays the run pretty well but struggles some in coverage.

Bucannon is a good prospect who had a second-round tag, but fills a need with the Cardinals.

It’s a bit of a reach but a good pick as Bucannon can get to the ball, sideline to sideline, and make the necessary plays from the safety spot.

Grade: B-

28. Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State

The Panthers could have gone either offensive line or wide receiver here and come away with a pretty good target in Benjamin.

Benjamin is a tall target who Cam Newton not only needs, but should love.

He has prototypical dimensions (6’5″, 240) for the position, and he understands how to use them and has nice speed to go with it.

The Panthers lost their top three receivers in free agency and needed to get some quality young talent at the position.

They did well although it could take Benjamin some time to emerge as a top threat.

Grade: B+