Last week, the first round of the NFL draft captivated audiences, but fans were left wondering “why?”
Whether it was the flurry of trades, disappointing draft-day drops, or fantastic selection, the first round produced a full range of emotions. With three of my teams picking in the top six, I was especially interested and hyped up.
Here are my thoughts on the top ten picks...
1. QB Jared Goff to Los Angeles Rams- Most Consequential Pick
The first selection of the draft was no surprise, given the ransom the Rams gave the the Titans to move from 15 to one. Goff will be the Day 1 starter and the man to lead the Rams into Los Angeles and, hopefully, to the playoffs. The pick is good in the long-term, but Los Angeles isn’t going to reach the playoffs this year, Goff or not.
2. QB Carson Wentz to Philadelphia Eagles- Most Intriguing Pick
The Eagles, another team who traded up for a quarterback, didn’t surprise with their selection of North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Despite having former Rookie of the Year Sam Bradford and free agent signee Chase Daniel, Philadelphia decided to go with Wentz as the future of the franchise. With so many quarterbacks, there will be an epic quarterback competition, but trading away Bradford would make for an ideal situation- Wentz can develop while Daniel starts, then assume the role of Philly’s savior.
3. DE Joey Bosa to San Diego Chargers- Scariest Pick
A couple months ago, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa was the top player on the board. Entering last night, the possibility he wouldn’t even go in the top five was real. Instead, the Chargers made an electrifying pick with Bosa over the expected Laremy Tunsil. Bosa is the best pass-rusher in the draft and fills one of the Chargers’ biggest needs. He also gives San Diego the superstar it hasn’t had on defense since Junior Seau. Selecting Bosa was the right move, period.
4. RB Ezekiel Elliott to Dallas Cowboys- Most Exciting Pick
Sometimes it just feels great to be a Cowboys fan and last night was one of those times. For Dallas, the choice was corner Jalen Ramsey, arguably the best player in the draft, or running back Ezekiel Elliott, an elite rusher who draws comparisons to Adrian Peterson. The Cowboys took Elliott, even though they have two 1,000-yard rushers in Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris in their backfield. Defense was a major need, but the addition of Elliott will take pressure off Romo and, behind the best offensive line in football, the Cowboys offense will be the best in the NFC. This was a Cowboys pick and one that could pay off in the playoffs.
5. CB Jalen Ramsey to Jacksonville Jaguars- Most Obvious Pick
Drafting Jalen Ramsey had to be a no-brainer, a slam dunk, for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The addition of Ramsey gives the porous Jacksonville secondary a shutdown corner and favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year. The Jags picked for both need and for the best player on the board and they’ll get a potential All-Pro.
6. OT Ronnie Stanley to Baltimore Ravens- Most Disappointing Pick
Baltimore was unable to trade up with Dallas to snatch Jalen Ramsey, but they were still able to address a big need on the offensive line. I wanted the Ravens to get linebacker Myles Jack, who fell out of the first round entirely, so I was disappointed with the Ravens selection of Stanley, who wasn’t even viewed as the best tackle in the draft. The positives with the selection are Stanley’s character and ability to fill a hole on the offensive line, but I really would’ve liked for Baltimore to bolster their defense with this pick, with Jack, who they could get in the second round, or DeForest Buckner.
7. DE DeForest Buckner to San Francisco 49ers- Most Fitting Pick
After the Ravens passed on Buckner, Chip Kelly and the 49ers took the Oregon product. Buckner is an upgrade on a roster with needs at every position. The 49ers quarterback position will still be up for grabs with Paxton Lynch falling to the mid-20s.
8. OT Jack Conklin to Tennessee Titans- Most Ignored Pick
The Titans, who traded down to 15, moved up to the 8th spot, presumably to draft Laremy Tunsil, who was a possible top overall pick. Tennessee chose an offensive tackle, but the pick was Jack Conklin. With Conklin, the Titans filled a need and now have two solid young tackles to protect Marcus Mariota. It won’t bring the Titans anywhere close to the playoffs, though.
9. LB Leonard Floyd to Chicago Bears- Most Under-the-Radar Pick
The Bears are trying to load up on talent on defense and the addition of Leonard Floyd should bolster their linebacker position. Floyd gives Chicago a premier pass rusher, even if the Bears had to move up over the Giants to get him.
10. CB Eli Apple to New York Giants- Most Puzzling Pick
This pick was flat-out puzzling. The Giants addressed their secondary needs with the addition of high-priced free agent Janoris Jenkins, and then they overdraft a corner that was projected to go in the mid-20s. Then again, last time New York picked a prospect much higher than expected, it was Odell Beckham Jr.
-Kid Reporter John