Going into this draft we expected there to be a lot of drama, and boy did the NFL deliver. Even though Dallas wasn’t nearly on the level of Philadelphia or Chicago, this may have been the most exciting first round since Johnny Manziel was drafted. Here are my takeaways from the 2018 edition of the NFL Draft.
Giants Sticking With Eli
I love Saquon Barkley, but I don’t think this was a smart pick for the Giants. You don’t get the chance to pick second every year without giving up major assets, and to not use that pick on one of the five first-round quarterbacks to eventually replace your 37-year-old starter could be a critical mistake down the road for a franchise coming off of a 3-13 season. Remember, Adrian Peterson only played in five playoff games in Minnesota. Having a great running back does not necessarily lead to team success.
Denver’s Defense is Awesome
Going into Friday night, I had a vision of Bradley Chubb and Myles Garrett dominating opposing tackles for the next decade. When that didn’t happen, the Broncos made my favorite pick of the first round. Chubb and Von Miller are going to be a terror for the AFC West going forward. Even though the Broncos are still looking for stability at quarterback, this pick puts their defense back among the elite in the NFL, and they have proven you can win a Super Bowl that way.
Poor Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford signs with the Eagles, then the Eagles draft his replacement in Carson Wentz. Bradford signs with the Cardinals, they draft his replacement in Josh Rosen. Now it’s not all terrible for Bradford, he is still going to be making $20 million this year, but this selection is going to give him a rather short leash.
I am also a big fan of the chip on Josh Rosen’s shoulder. I can’t help but think of Aaron Rodgers when I see what has happened to him the past year. PAC-12 quarterback, supposed to be one of the top two picks, takes an ego-shattering draft day fall. Also, they kinda look alike in a weird way which I find rather interesting. For what it’s worth, I also think he is going to be the best quarterback in his draft class.
Easily the coolest moment of the draft was Ryan Shazier announcing the Steelers pick. It was partially sad watching him grimace as he struggled to walk to the stage, but it is 1,000,000x better than what he could have been like after watching that devastating injury last season. Shazier supplied hope to all of us and seeing his progress is great to see.
The other great story was the culmination of an unlikely dream in Shaquem Griffin. Through the past year, we have seen the slow decline of the Seattle Seahawks from perennial Super Bowl contenders to a fringe playoff team. Griffin is going to supply a beacon of light for this franchise, and I have a feeling he will make Pete Carroll and the 12th man very happy over the next couple of years.
The Cleveland Browns are certainly an interesting football team. They go against the grain once again by selecting Baker Mayfield with the first pick. People are killing them all over the internet for this pick and time will tell how right or wrong they were. I am going to go on the record and say that Baker Mayfield will be the franchise guy Browns fans have longed for. He has the personality and the chip on his shoulder to continue doing what he has done his whole life; proving people wrong. I am very excited to see what Mayfield has in store playing with weapons like Josh Gordon, Carlos Hyde, Jarvis Landry, and Nick Chubb.
David Akers is the GOAT
After watching what Drew Pearson did last year in Philadelphia, I needed someone to really stick it to Dallas fans. All week I was thinking about potential former Eagles that could troll the heck out of their fanbase. Would it be Brian Dawkins? Brian Westbrook? Asante Samuel? The Eagles didn’t select any of them, but turned to beloved kicker David Akers, and he killed it. His voice, and the fact that he was a kicker made it 10x funnier, but if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is.
These were my takeaways from the NFL Draft. Is it almost September?