Packers: Re-grading the 2014 draft class seven years on
After a disappointing early playoff exit the season prior, the Green Bay Packers entered the 2014 NFL Draft with the hope of getting some help for a deep playoff run and beyond.
Their top needs were at safety, tight end, and wide receiver.
With nine picks in total, they had plenty of opportunities to add talented players, just as they did the year prior.
Packers 2014 draft class
- Round 1 (21): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S
- Round 2 (53): Davante Adams, WR
- Round 3 (85): Khyri Thornton, DT
- Round 3 (98): Richard Rodgers, TE
- Round 4 (121): Carl Bradford, LB
- Round 5 (161): Corey Linsley, C
- Round 5 (176): Jared Abbrederis, WR
- Round 6 (197) Demetri Goodson, CB
- Round 7 (236): Jeff Janis, WR
Final grade: B
The Packers hit home runs on a couple of picks but struck out on many others.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was exactly what the defense needed early in his career. Safety was a major need entering the offseason, and Clinton-Dix became an instant starter.
In four-and-a-half seasons in Green Bay, Clinton-Dix made 14 interceptions. He had game-changing ability. In 2016, he went to the Pro Bowl and was a second-team All-Pro.
But unfortunately Clinton-Dix was never able to recapture that form again. He missed too many tackles and made mistakes. Ha Ha still came up with some big plays, but he struggled to consistently play well. As a result, the Packers traded him to the Washington Football Team. Since then, he’s spent time with the Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys.
In the second round, the Packers hit a home run by drafting Davante Adams.
Adams replaced James Jones, who left in free agency, and initially began life as the number three receiver behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Fast forward to 2021, and he’s one of the Packers’ greatest ever receivers, with 6,568 yards and 62 touchdowns in seven seasons. He’s also a four-time Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro in 2020.
Corey Linsley was one of the picks of the draft. A starter for seven seasons in Green Bay and a first-team All-Pro in 2020, the Packers landed one of the league’s best centers in the fifth round.
But unfortunately, many of the picks were strikeouts.
Third-round pick Khyri Thornton never played a regular season game for the Packers. Richard Rodgers was an average player, although he did catch the “Miracle in Motown” Hail Mary.
Carl Bradford, Jared Abbrederis, and Demetri Goodson didn’t play much. Jeff Janis spent most of his time on special teams although he did make a stunning Hail Mary catch over Patrick Peterson to save the Packers’ season, so he deserves to go in the Hall of Fame for that alone.
Overall, a good class. The Packers found a couple of stars, a solid starter, and a couple of contributors. But there were too many misses for this to be an all-time great class.