2014’s Most Balanced And Unbalanced Drafts

Teams entered last week’s NFL draft with many different positions and areas they planned to focus on, but depending on how the draft played out, many clubs didn’t end up addressing all their needs. For instance, few would have guessed heading into the draft that neither the Panthers nor the Ravens would come out of the weekend having added an offensive tackle.

Whether intentional or not, a handful of teams ended up specifically focusing on one area of the ball in the draft, selecting far more offensive players than defensive players, or vice versa. Listed below are the teams who had the most offensive-heavy drafts, teams who had defensive-heavy drafts, and the clubs who managed to perfectly balance their picks. Let’s check out the lists….

Most offensive-heavy drafts:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6 offense, 0 defense): After spending big to add defensive end Michael Johnson and cornerback Alterraun Verner in free agency, the Buccaneers were the only NFL team not to draft at least one defensive player. Instead, the club focused on adding weapons for new quarterback Josh McCown, including wide receiver Mike Evans and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (6 offense, 3 defense): It wasn’t until they drafted their fifth player, in the fourth round, that the Jaguars eventually selected a defensive player, having focused early on landing a quarterback (Blake Bortles) and pass-catchers (Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson).
  • New England Patriots (6 offense, 3 defense): After nabbing defensive tackle Dominique Easley in round one, the Patriots turned to offensive players for their next five picks, including second-rounder Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • Washington Redskins (5 offense, 2 defense): The Redskins picked a couple defenders in the first four rounds, grabbing linebacker Trent Murphy and cornerback Bashaud Breeland, but they tipped the scales by leaning heavily toward offensive players with their late-round picks.

Most balanced drafts:

  • New York Jets (6 offense, 6 defense)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (4 offense, 4 defense)
  • Carolina Panthers (3 offense, 3 defense)
  • Cleveland Browns (3 offense, 3 defense)
  • Denver Broncos (3 offense, 3 defense)
  • San Diego Chargers (3 offense, 3 defense)
  • Tennessee Titans (3 offense, 3 defense)

Most defensive-heavy drafts:

  • Atlanta Falcons (7 defense, 2 offense): Offensive and defensive lines were viewed as two of the top priorities for the Falcons, but after addressing those positions in the first two rounds, Atlanta went on a linebacker frenzy in the mid-to-late rounds, snatching up four of them.
  • Dallas Cowboys (7 defense, 2 offense): The Cowboys reportedly had three defensive players on their wish list in the first round, but when Anthony Barr, Aaron Donald, and Ryan Shazier came off the board, the team picked offensive tackle Zack Martin instead. Dallas remedied that by making seven of its final eight picks defensive players.
  • Minnesota Vikings (7 defense, 3 offense): The Vikings made defense their focus in the mid-to-late rounds — their last five picks were defenders, including three defensive backs. Minnesota also selected a defensive player with its first pick, drafting linebacker Anthony Barr ninth overall.
  • Oakland Raiders (6 defense, 2 offense): The Raiders’ approach looked similar to the Vikings’, as Oakland grabbed a linebacker (Khalil Mack) with its top-10 pick, then used its last five picks on defenders, with a couple offensive players sandwiched in between.
  • Philadelphia Eagles (5 defense, 2 offense): Losing DeSean Jackson made wide receiver a priority for the Eagles in the draft, so the team snatched up Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff in rounds two and three. Outside of those two picks though, it was an exclusively defensive draft for Philadelphia.

Pro Football Rumors’ list of draft results by team was used in the creation of this post.

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