The NFL Draft concluded its first two rounds of the drafts with mixed results. Some teams, walked away with some truly inspired picks that are bound to help next season while others weren’t as lucky. Of course, the Cleveland Browns stunned fans when they decided to go with quarterback Baker Mayfield compared to the other names in the mix. In fact, quite a few players didn’t line up with many draft day predictions that analysts had cemented weeks ago.
When Cleveland opened the draft taking the quarterback from Oklahoma, people were quick to be critical. Mayfield was not considered the best option in this draft and he’s over six feet tall which is a big risk. However, plenty of players were allegedly planning to refuse to play for the Browns so it makes sense the team would go with someone who was interested. Of course, the team now has a roster of middling quarterbacks, and it’s unclear if Mayfield is going to be the answer to their question.
With the second pick in the draft, the New York Giants also surprised many by choosing running back Saquon Barkley. Arguably, the Penn State player was the best in the draft, and many people expected him to be picked early on. However, the Giants haven’t shared whether Davis Webb is prepared to be the next face of the franchise. New York fans are certainly hoping so, considering the young quarterback has worked incredibly hard these past two years but if he isn’t then taking Barkley is a mistake. Yet, he might turn out to be the fix to the Giants’ long time rushing problem.
Unsurprisingly, the Jets went with USC quarterback Sam Darnold with their pick. The other New York team has been hot on Darnold in the offseason and he was certainly the safest choice. Josh Allen and Josh Rosen both seem more talented but come with some concerns about their attitude. Allen was picked seventh by the Bills, but the Buffalo players already are asking for answers about his racist tweets. Meanwhile Rosen’s ego has him enraged that he was picked tenth by the Arizona Cardinals rather than first, which means he could be another Manziel fiasco.
Denzel Ward and Bradley Chubb round out the top five picks in the 2018 Draft. Ward was taken by the Cleveland Browns, which fulfills a life long dream of his. Originally from Ohio, Ward had some moving words about his father. Chubb is arguably the better defensive player but it makes sense that the Browns would like a passionate young guy. The Denver Broncos took Chubb and he’ll definitely make many quarterbacks get worried.
Shockingly, a majority of the first round picks ended up being defensive players or men on the O Line. It goes to show how much of a problem the NFL has with protecting the quarterback and trying to stop the pass. It’s a smart move by many teams to sure up the less newsworthy players who can help them win in the long run. There are plenty of guys who can work as acceptable wide receivers, hopefully this will help make the league more competitive.
Some teams got some absolute steals in the draft. The San Diego Chargers safety, Derwin James, from Florida State with the seventeenth pick. He’s able to do so much and such a major grab that far into the first round. The Packers also grabbed someone right after with cornerback Jaire Alexander from Louisville. The kid has a lot of confidence but not a big attitude problem, which should elevate that Green Bay defense. It seems like the Packers definitely knew which cornerbacks they were looking for because in the second round they snagged a nice choice as well, Joshua Jackson from Iowa.
Meanwhile the Chicago Bears grabbed one of the best wide receivers in the draft with Anthony Miller from Memphis. He went in the second round with the fifty-first pick, and is a saving grace for Mitchell Trubisky. Maybe the Bears offense won’t be such a mixed bag anymore. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the second round to also buff up their offense taking a running back. With the thirty-eighth pick, the Bucs took Ronald Jones II from USC who might be one of the best running backs in the draft.
Interestingly enough, the New England Patriots did not a take a quarterback early into the draft. It was reported that Kraft wanted Belichick to find the next big thing this year so they can train a back up for Brady. Naturally, most fans pointed out that Belichick had two hand picked replacements for the aging veteran that the Patriots ended up trading away.
However, it sounds like the New York Giants might be planning a bit for the future. In the fourth round the team took Richmond quarterback, Kyle Lauletta. He’s an aggressive and quick passer who excels with accurate short/medium throws. New York will definitely have to see which player has more upside, Webb or Lauletta, heading into the summer. They aren’t the only ones to use the later rounds to secure picks with both the Steelers and the Jaguars finding their new backups.
The Dallas Cowboys added a myriad of wide receivers to their roster following the release of Dez Bryant. While Ezekiel Elliott has carried their team the past two years, it’s becoming clear they will need to expand their depth elsewhere. The underrated Cedric Wilson was taken in the sixth round, and he has an impressive route running ability. In the third round, Dallas took Michael Gallup of Colorado State who seems ready to enter the starting lineup right away.
The NFL Draft isn’t over yet, and there’s probably more drama to come. However, many fans were quick to complain about some of the attitude problems with the first round picks. Obviously, Josh Rosen is the biggest ego to come to mind considering some of his interview statements. There’s plenty of talent in this draft, and many of them will have to back up their words on the field. Leonard Fournette got in similar trouble last year but was able to showcase his elite running ability so anything is possible.