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Re-drafting the Top 20 Picks of 2014 NFL Draft

The final one-fourth of the 2014 National Football League regular season is about to kick off, and plenty about the current state of the league remains unknown. Only four teams in the AFC are technically out of the playoff race heading into Week 14. The AFC North has four teams above .500, and any of those sides could end up winning the division. Meanwhile, the NFC South doesn't have a single team with a winning record. Odds are that a NFC South team with a 7-9 record will end up hosting a Wild Card Weekend game in January 2015, possibly versus a 10-6 side.

Fans and analysts alike have, since the start of the first training camps on the league calendar, had about half of a year to evaluate rookies that were acquired by teams during the May 2014 NFL Draft. Somewhat surprising is that not a single first-year quarterback, not even a certain phenom who came out of Texas A&M, has yet proven himself to be a legitimate franchise QB. The wide receiver class, however, could be the best that has come out of any NFL draft in history. One player, in particular, looks to be a superstar in the making, the next great wide receiver to rival the likes of Calvin Johnson and Josh Gordon.

There was one big question swirling around the NFL heading into the night of May 8 and the first night of the NFL Draft: Was there any way that the Houston Texans could possibly pass on prospect-for-the-ages defensive end Jadeveon Clowney? The Texans could not, as it turned out, and the pick hasn't worked out for the club...yet. It is early days into his pro career, of course, and Clowney still has freakish physical qualities that make him a player who could, if he can remain healthy and if he decides to put in the necessary work, be a game-changer. That said, the Texans would likely go another route were the draft to be held today.

20 Houston Texans: LB Khalil Mack

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

19 St. Louis Rams: QB Derek Carr

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

18 Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Blake Bortles

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

17 Cleveland Browns: WR Mike Evans

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

16 Oakland Raiders: DE Jadeveon Clowney

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

15 Atlanta Falcons: OT Greg Robinson

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Sammy Watkins

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

13 Buffalo Bills: WR Odell Beckham Jr.

William Perlman/NJ Advance Media for NJ.com via USA TODAY Sports

12 Minnesota Vikings: LB Anthony Barr

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

11 Detroit Lions: DT Aaron Donald

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

10 Tennessee Titans: OT Taylor Lewan

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

9 New York Giants: OT Jake Matthews

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

8 St. Louis Rams: LB C.J. Mosley

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

7 Chicago Bears: CB Kyle Fuller

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

6 Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Kelvin Benjamin

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

5 Dallas Cowboys: G Zack Martin

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

4 Baltimore Ravens: LB Ryan Shazier

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

3 New York Jets: CB Justin Gilbert

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2 Miami Dolphins: OT Ja'Wuan James

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1 Arizona Cardinals: S Deone Bucannon

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona fans fearing the worst with quarterback Carson Palmer lost for the season (torn ACL) may want the club to grab a QB here who can, after sitting behind Palmer for several months, take the field in place of Palmer and of Drew Stanton. Bucannon has been a perfect fit in the Arizona defense, playing more as a linebacker than as a safety. NFL teams live and die on quarterback play, which puts Manziel and Bridgewater in-play here. Bucannon has performed well enough for the Cardinals to stick with the original plan and hope that Stanton can limit mistakes in the final month of the regular season.

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Re-drafting the Top 20 Picks of 2014 NFL Draft