There was a time when the 2014 NFL Draft was supposed to be loaded with quarterbacks.
That ultimately didn’t happen, with only three QBs taken in the first round. Now, two weeks into the NFL season, the rest of the 2014 NFL Draft is off to a shaky start.
None of the three 1st-round quarterbacks are starting. If you count injuries, only two of the top five picks in the draft are expected to start in Week 3. Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Marcus Smith, who was taken at No. 26 overall, not only didn’t play against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday, he was deactivated.
Whether this is the result of a smarter, more cautious approach to playing rookies from NFL coaches, or it’s a sign that the 2014 draft class is a bust, a lot of guys who were expected to contribute right away can’t get on the field.
Eleven 1st-round picks currently aren’t playing. Three are injured, and the other eight are on the bench:
- Jadeveon Clowney (1st pick, Houston Texans) — injured in Week 1
- Greg Robinson (2nd pick, St. Louis Rams) — 2nd string
- Blake Bortles (3rd pick, Jacksonville Jaguars) — 2nd string
- Jake Matthews (6th pick, Atlanta Falcons) — injured in Week 1, might be back for Week 3
- Taylor Lewan (11th pick, Tennessee Titans) — 2nd string
- Odell Beckham Jr. (12th pick, New York Giants) — injured in preseason
- Johnny Manziel (22nd pick, Cleveland Browns) — 2nd string
- Dee Ford (23rd pick, Kansas City Chiefs) — 2nd string, has played nine total snaps this year
- Darqueze Dennard (24th pick, Cincinnati Bengals) — missed Week 1 due to injury, zero defensive snaps in Week 2
- Marcus Smith (26th pick, Philadelphia Eagles) — inactive in Week 2
- Teddy Bridgewater (32nd pick, Minnesota Vikings) — 2nd string
Not having a 1st-rounder who contributes right away isn’t necessarily a death sentence. Some of the best teams in the league are on this list. The Bengals, Eagles, and Texans are all 2-0.
But it’s an ominous sign that more than a third of the 1st-rounders from the most recent draft aren’t playing.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.