The 2018 National Football League Draft was poised to be great before the Draft even opened. It started with the announcement that analysts wouldn’t tweet out the picks prior to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reading the pick on the stage which meant that there actually was a point to watching the Draft. Sure, you could easily just wait for the tweets but really the suspense of the picks can be quite intense (at least it was for me especially with the first overall pick). The suspense of the draft continued when news broke late last night that Josh Allen had once sent out racist tweets and it sent shock waves because nobody had any idea that these tweets even existed until someone leaked them right before the draft (I could write a whole post on how I feel about said person but I’ll save that for another day) and made analysts question how this would affect his draft stock.
But what really set this Draft up for success is that there was no indication as to who the top pick of the draft would be. In years past there has always been one draft prospect that has shown themselves as the front runner, but this year the Cleveland Browns had worked hard to divert suspicion. Now if you saw Baker Mayfield’s recreation of Brett Favre’s Draft Day photo, then you would’ve known that he knew that he would be going to Cleveland long before his name was called as the first pick of the ’18 Draft.
So let’s walk through the most notable picks of the opening round of the Draft and starting with the top two picks. The Browns in a somewhat shocking move selected Baker Mayfield with the top pick of the draft. Now for the past week I have heard multiple analysts compare Mayfield to Johnny Manziel.
I have heard multiple analysts say that Mayfield has a Johnny Manziel-esque attitude but really Mayfield’s talent speaks louder than his childish antics. I have no doubts that Mayfield isn’t going to do well in Cleveland he just has to believe that he belongs there. With the second pick of the draft the New York Giants took Saquon Barkley and really their offensive line just got a lot better. Quarterback Eli Manning now has Odell Beckham Jr and Barkley as weapons which will only lead to big plays and touchdowns.
The Jets surprised me when they selected QB Sam Darnold with the third pick because they had veteran Josh McGown and just signed Minnesota Vikings Teddy Bridgewater during the off-season. Plus let’s not forget about poor Christian Hackenburg who with this pick was told that he’ll never be the starting QB for the Jets and if he wants to have a chance to see action will have to find it with another team. But Darnold has said that he’s okay with any role within the Jets organization which is encouraging to hear from the newest member of the squad.
The Denver Broncos selected Bradley Chubb, a highly ranked prospect with the fifth pick and he’s rumored to be the next Von Miller. Chubb also has a really motivating story going from being a seven hundredth rank player in his recruiting class to the fifth pick of the draft just proves that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything.
The Buffalo Bills traded with Tampa Bay for the Buccaneer’s seventh pick to take QB Josh Allen, which shows that his admitting to the tweets and profusely apologizing for his actions as a dumb teenager coupled with his talent were enough for a team to take a chance on him. Plus the more I think about it, the most I think that Allen could learn a lot from McCarron and prove to be an integral part of the Bills offense.
The Arizona Cardinals traded for Oakland’s tenth pick to select Josh Rosen, making it the first time in the history of the draft that four QBs had been selected in the top ten picks of the draft. This pick is also interesting for two reasons, one the Cardinals are saying that they aren’t sure if Sam Bradford is going to be available the entire season and two because the team also signed former Chicago Bears Mike Glennon and just like last year Glennon’s new team has signed a QB within weeks of him signing his contract (and we all know how it played out in Chicago). The Cardinals might also be saying that Rosen is the future of the team.
With their 24th pick the Carolina Panthers selected DJ Moore out of Virginia, making him the first wide receiver taken off the board. This is the first time since 2010 that a WR wasn’t selected in the top 20 picks of the draft.
I have to mention Hayden Hurst who the Baltimore Ravens selected at 25 purely because of his luscious Thor-like red locks. Also he has an interesting story, spent three years in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization and is one of the older prospects, which works well in his favor. His being almost 25 gives the Ravens some assurances that they don’t need to worry about his off-the-field antics because he’s a little bit more mature. Also his selection shows that you’re never too old to make your dreams come true.
And finally after trading with Atlanta for the 32nd pick of the opening round, the Baltimore Ravens select Lamar Jackson and really this selection is even more exciting than if he had gone to New Orleans (as was rumored). Jackson is going to have the opportunity to learn from Joe Flacco and get some time to get adjusted to the professional system, which will only increase his already outstanding talent.
Other notable transactions from the opening round:
- Oakland trades a third round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Martavis Bryant.
- Tennessee Titans selected Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans who is the eighth Bama LB taken in the first or second round of the draft.
- Seahawks selected Rashaad Penny a running back out of San Diego State which seemed to stump the ESPN analyst.
- Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier walked on stage to present the team’s 28th pick of the Draft, which wins for best moment of the draft.
- This is the first time ever that brothers have been taken in the first round of the NFL Draft.
And there you have it, the most notable selections from the opening round of the 2018 NFL Draft. This year has been historic with four QBs in the top ten, no WRs taken in the top twenty picks, two brothers being selected in the first round for the first time in draft history, and most importantly Ryan Shazier walking across the stage marking his slow recovery from the horrible injury during that fateful Monday Night Football game.
Hopefully you’re happy with your teams selections during the opening rounds and we’ll see what the other rounds of the Draft have in store.