With the first round of the NFL Draft in the books, it is time to analyze which teams selected the best and worst prospects. Unlike most drafts, this year’s was particularly chaotic as there were several trades and shocking selections that caught the surprise of the masses.
Here are the winners and losers from last night’s NFL Draft:
1) Dever Broncos
Although the Broncos did not trade up or down within the first round, they received a gift with Bradley Chubb still being on the board with the fifth selection. Chubb, in my opinion, was the second best player in the draft behind Saquon Barkley and most mock drafts had Chubb off the board by the fourth selection.
Now, the Broncos’ defensive line is absolutely stacked with two potential All-Pro defensive ends with Nick Chubb and Von Miller. With the acquisition of Case Keenum during the offseason, the Broncos addressed some of their offensive concerns. However, Denver’s defense was not as dominant as it used to be and the addition of Chubb could potentially lead to a playoff berth this season. Chubb is the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year and should be a phenomenal pass rusher for years to come.
2) Green Bay Packers
Last night was extremely eventful for the Packers organization. At the start of the draft, the Packers had the 14th selection in the first round. However, Green Bay was able to trade the pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for an extra first round pick next season. After that, the Packers decided to reenter the first round by trading the 27th pick in the first round (from the Saints) along with a third-round pick and a sixth-round pick.
With the 18th pick in the NFL Draft, the Packers addressed a major need and selected cornerback Jaire Alexander out of Louisville. Green Bay now has a young core of defensive backs as Alexander will join second-year cornerback Kevin King as the faces of their secondary in the future. Alexander ran a 4.38 at the NFL Combine and has used his speed to intercept five passes in his sophomore season.
Even if Alexander does not pan out, the Packers still received an extra first-round pick in next year’s draft which was a phenomenal deal. I personally do think that Alexander will be a solid pro so the trades were won by the Packers for several reasons.
3) Buffalo Bills
Entering the draft, the Bills had the 12th and the 22nd picks in the first round. However, the Bills made several trades to move up in the NFL Draft to select two extremely talented players.
One glaring hole on Buffalo’s roster was the absence of a star quarterback. The Bills decided to trade last season’s starter Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns and needed a potential franchise quarterback. The Bills decided to trade up to the seventh pick in the NFL Draft and selected quarterback Josh Allen out of Wyoming. John Allen, for a brief period of time, was rumored to potentially be the first pick of the draft and the Bills got an absolute steal with him sliding to the seventh pick.
However, the Bills were not done after acquiring Allen. The Bills also traded up to the 16th pick in order to select linebacker Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech. Edmunds is extremely raw but has the height and speed to be a potentially elite linebacker in the NFL. Edmunds was projected in some mock drafts to be a top ten selection and the Bills got a steal with him still being available at 16.
1) Cleveland Browns
Thursday night was supposed to be full of optimism for Browns fans all over the nation. The team had two of the top four selections in the draft and were expected to take two quarterback Sam Darnold and either running back Saquon Barkley or defensive end Bradley Chubb. Instead, the Browns reached and took quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first selection even though he was probably still going to be available by the fourth selection.
With the fourth selection, the Browns still had the option to select defensive end Bradley Chubb. However, the Browns decided to take cornerback Denzel Ward out of Ohio State instead. Although I still think that Ward will be a solid NFL player, I still believe that Chubb will be a future Hall of Famer. The Browns had the opportunity to establish one of the best defensive fronts in football by pairing Bradley Chubb with Myles Garrett.
If Mayfield does not work out, this will probably go down as one of the dumbest draft selections of all-time. Mayfield has a tremendous amount of talent but also comes with a lot of baggage due to his eccentric personality. After the whole Johnny Manziel fiasco, the Browns better hope that Mayfield is successful.
2) New Orleans Saints
As I mentioned earlier, the Packers were one of the biggest winners last night due to their ability to acquire an extra first-round selection in next year’s draft. Therefore, one of the biggest losers from last night would be Green Bay’s trading partner which is the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints traded up from the 27th selection to select Marcus Davenport with the 14th selection. Although Davenport was moving up draft boards in recent weeks, he was definitely not worth two separate first round selections. If the Saints were in such desperate need for a defensive lineman, they could have kept next year’s first round pick and selected Harold Landry with the 27th selection.
Overall, Davenport is extremely talented but the Saints definitely gave up too much in order to select him. The Saints could have drafted another defensive end later in the draft while using next year’s first round selection to address another position of need.