Well, the NFL Draft has finally come and finally gone. It’s a lot of build-up and a long weekend of football talk. However, it is one of the most important weekend’s to NFL teams. A strong draft can turn a bad time good in little time. When you consider the first three rounds are filled with starters you realize how big it is and why it warrants so much attention. This draft was no different. Every draft has winners and losers so let’s look at how some of the teams fared.
Baltimore Ravens –
First thing they did was trade their picks to move back and get more picks. Something every aging team like the Ravens should do. By doing so, they were able to grab two first rounders that filled two big needs. A tight end who can catch, Hayden Hurst – 25th overall, and a future quarterback, Lamar Jackson – 32nd overall. We all know Flacco is on his way out but the Jackson pick puts him on notice. Jackson is a big talent and will be given the chance to start sooner than not.
Los Angeles Chargers –
Finding safety Derwin James still available at the 17th pick was very lucky but the Chargers were smart enough to not let him fall any further. James was predicted to be a top ten guy no problem. But once the trading up began and with teams trying to grab certain players, big talent can fall through the cracks. Derwin James is a big time talent and will be starting for the Bolts next year and many more after.
Denver Broncos –
Everyone expected them to grab one of the quarterbacks but they bucked that move and got the best pass rusher in the draft with defensive end Bradley Chubb. Elway is sticking with Case Keenum for now and the Broncos will be better for it. Getting wide receiver Courtland Sutton and running back Royce Freeman with their next two picks will provide Keenum with every chance to succeed.
Cleveland Browns –
Of course you can’t have a draft losers list without the Browns. This year is tough because they did get some solid talent. However, with all those picks, they could have done so much more. It became common knowledge the day before the draft they were taking Baker Mayfield with their first pick which is bad because they could have got with their fourth pick. Then they used the fourth pick for cornerback Denzel Ward of Ohio State. Ward is a heck of a player and will be a good starter for the Browns. However, they left so much talent on the board. First, they ignored the best player in the draft, Saquon Barkley. Then, they ignored the best pass rusher, Bradley Chubb, in the draft. Getting Barkley first and then Mayfield at four only makes sense. But this is the Browns we are talking about. Why would they start making sense now…
Buffalo Bills –
The Bills traded in order to move up to the seventh pick. They fell hard for Josh Allen and his strong arm and made the move to get him. But they were not finished as they then traded up again to get Tremaine Edmunds. As with the Browns, these are good picks. However, all the maneuvering will make you scratch your head. Giving up picks to move up in the draft puts a ton of pressure on those guys to succeed. If one busts you’ve set your franchise back a few years. Especially if one is a quarterback.
Oakland Raiders –
The Raiders are a team of potential and have been for a few years now. They seemed one good off-season away from living up to some of that potential. Well, this isn’t that off-season. Taking Kolton Miller in the first round addresses their need for an offensive tackle. However, there were better ones on the board and they had traded down. All the trade netted them was a 3rd and 5th round. Then they grab a pair of FCS players before taking Maurice Hurst. Hurst from Michigan is a first round talent but was recently discovered to have a serious heart condition. Once again, too much maneuvering. Why trade down for nothing? A question the Raiders will have to live with for some time.