Sunday is here, my body is sore and my house is a mess. The 2018 NFL draft has come and gone and it was a great one. After some medicine and a few bottles of water, the light on my cell phone screen no longer makes my eyes cringe. This draft was one to remember especially round 1. There were many big winners and losers from this draft, and here I am to give my uneducated expert opinion.
Baker Mayfield was drafted as the 1st overall pick. It seemed like this was the least likely option leading up until Thursday morning when the Vegas odds for Baker to go number 1 went to something close to +400 to -325. This selection really set the tone that we should expect the unexpected. The Giants made the right choice for the future and drafted Saquon Barkley. This left the New York Jets GM looking like a genius for moving up early in the year from pick 6 to 3. The Jets had prime options between, Darnold, Rosen, and Allen. They went USC quarterback Sam Darnold, hopefully the nightmare of Mark Sanchez and the butt fumble have faded and he can break the streak of unsuccessful quarterbacks out of USC.
Cleveland will be Cleveland. Following the Darnold pick, Cleveland was back on the clock and to me the pick seemed pretty clear. I sat in the living thinking about how good Myles Garrett and Bradley Chubb will look on the same D-line and how this pick could lead to a successful season ahead. Then pick is in: Denzel Ward. Yes,Denzel Ward! Denzel is a great player but I did not see him going in the top 5 and neither did the “experts”. Cleveland drafted based on filling a huge need and I respect it, but I am still a bit baffled as they let the number 2 overall player slip through their fingers. Draft night must have felt like Christmas morning for the Broncos when Chubb was gift wrapped in a box waiting for them at pick #5. The Broncos defensive front 7 becomes even scarier.
After the first 5 picks I was 2 for 5; at 40% which is just a tidbit higher than my free throw percentage. The Colts are up the pick is in, Quenton Nelson. All I can say is that man is going to be great because the guy just looks mean. It seems as very expert in the world is measuring Nelson already for his Gold Jacket. If Nelson can’t help keep Luck healthy no one can.
Pick 7 is here and the Bills finally did it. They traded up to get their QB. I looked at my fiancée and said the Quarterback being drafted here will be named Josh. Little did she know Allen, and Rosen share the same first name. Josh Allen is now the savior of the Bills Mafia (Don’t worry we will be writing a segment on them soon, they sure know how to throw a party). Picks 8 and 9 were great value picks. The Bears got themselves a centerpiece to their D in Roquan Smith. The 49ers grab Left Tackle Mike Mcglinchey, no shock on how Notre Dame averaged almost 270 yards per game with Nelson, and Mcglinchey on the same side.
At pick 10 the Raiders are on the clock. Wait a minute, we have a trade. The Arizona Cardinals are now on the clock, and go with Josh Rosen. There are two things I am pretty sure will happen in Arizona:. Sam Bradford will be an excellent mentor to Josh Rosen and Josh Rosen will probably have the opportunity to play since Bradford is more delicate then a fresh carton of eggs. Bradford is a good quarterback who I actually root for but just can’t seem to stay healthy. I expect Rosen to play in a minimum of 6 games.
Miami Dolphins (11)- Minkah Fitzpatrick. He is a great player who will step in on day one and make an impact for the Dolphins. Fitzpatrick can play almost every position within the secondary. I expect him to be used very similar to how Bruce Arians used Tyrann Mathieu. He was a leader for the Tide on defense and will bring that same leadership to the Dolphins locker room.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12)– Vita Vea DT from Washington. Vita is a big dude standing at 6 foot 5 inches 340 pounds, and runs a 5.1 40 time and 41 reps on the bench press. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers line may now be the scariest in the NFL, with JPP, McCoy, Curry and Vea this foursome will be causing havoc on opposing offenses all season long.
Washington Redskins (13)- Da’Ron Payne DT from Alabama. Honestly, the first person who I could say I didn’t know much about. I watched some film after the draft and the man can ball with constant pressure in the middle. The Redskins are building a nice young d-line pairing with Payne and Jonathan Allen.
New Orleans Saints (14)– They trade up to pick 14 so they could grab what most people assume will be the replacement for Drew Brees. My phone was buzzing as all my friends saying they are going all in for Lamar Jackson. The pick is in, Marcus Davenport. My guess is the Saints felt like they were a DE away from the NFC Championship Game and not a cornerback.
Oakland Raiders (15)– Kolton Miller OT from UCLA. Miller will come in and compete for a starting role on day one. Is he a Gruden Grinder? I guess we will find out. Truth be told I believe he is a year or two away from being a legit starter in this league, but the potential is there.
Buffalo Bills (16) – Traded with Baltimore for this pick.Tremaine Edmunds. Earlier in the draft they got their future leader of the Offense. This time they grab Edmunds to fill that role on Defense. Edmunds has a nose for the football, I expect him to step in and bring some swagger to this defensive unit.
Los Angeles Chargers (17)– I still think San Diego sounds better. Derwin James from FSU is the guy. Physical, scrappy, and versatile. This kid is tough an will starting off right from the getco.
Green Bay Packers (18)– Jaire Alexander. When you have Aaron Rodgers the safest move most times can be to improve your Defense. I remember watching the combine thinking wow this kid is fast 4.38 on the 40 with a great change of direction.
Dallas Cowboys (19)– Leighton Vander Esch LB from Boise State. I didn’t get the pick, and I still don’t. In my opinion I think they should have taken a WR or asked Witten about his retirement plans.
Detroit Lions (20)– Keeping Stafford on his feet and having running lanes for Blount and Co. are a priority in Detroit. Insert Frank Ragnow from Arkansas: This guy’s highlight tape looks very different from mine. His is great, and mine stinks.
Cincinnati Bengals (21)– The best Bengals team was built with a strong O-line. Billy Price, C from Ohio State is not flashy, but looks like every good lineman from the Big 10.
Tennessee Titans (22)-Alabama Defense again in the first round. Rashaan Evans at OLB. Evans can fly around the edge and is above average in the run game.
New England Patriots (23)– Isaiah Wynn, tackle from Georgia. Wynn will get the first crack to start at tackle to be the replacement for Nate Solder. Not typical tackle size, but if it doesn’t work out he will be a great guard.
Carolina Panthers (24)– D.J Moore WR from Maryland. Norv Turner is coming to town to be the Offensive Coordinator and Cam needs weapons since Olsen and McCaffrey can’t do it all.
Baltimore Ravens (25)– Hayden Hurst from University of South Carolina. Not the best numbers in college only 44 receptions and 2 TD’s but has a good tape. Baltimore trying to find a replacement safety blanket since the departure of Dennis Pitta.
Atlanta Falcons (26)- Calvin Ridley, wide receiver from Alabama. What a pick! The Falcons definitely went best player available. Julio Jones, Sanu, Ridley, Freeman, and Coleman. This offense is stacked now.
Seattle Seahawks (27)– Rashaad Penny RB From San Diego State. Personally I love Penny and I think he is great. I also think he is great at the end of the 2nd Round or the beginning of the third round.
Pittsburgh Steelers (28)– Ryan Shazier walking out to make this pick was one the coolest and was the most inspiring thing of the night. The determination on his face was uncanny. He calls out Terrell Edmund Safety from VT. There are now two brothers drafted in the first round. They said one brother belonged and Terrell didn’t.
Jacksonville Jaguars (29) – Taven Bryan. The Jaguars are sticking to the process that made them elite in 2017: a great defense. Bryan will add great depth to the front 4.
Minnesota Vikings (30)– Mike Hughes cornerback from UCF. He will contribute on defense and be a playmaker for the Special Teams. Hughes was all over the field for UCF and can see him doing the same for the Vikings.
New England Patriots (31) – Bill knows what he is doing, and he knows he got a steal in Sony Michel, RB from Georgia. The best player comparison for Michel is Alvin Kamara. Sony is going to be a great weapon for Tom Brady. I think this pick has the potential to win rookie of the year.
Baltimore Ravens (32) – Lamar Jackson, quarterback from Louisville. Joe Flacco can’t play forever and the ability to get a fifth year option on Lamar was almost as good as the trade the Eagles made.
This draft I can honestly say was one of the most exciting drafts in recent years. I spent most of Friday night and Saturday debating on how much better or worse all these teams are now.The opening of the NFL season cannot come soon enough.