Written by: Jack Bourgeois
New York Giants
Dave Gettleman and the New York Giants aced this draft. They filled holes while simultaneously taking the best player available. Obviously drafting Saquon Barkley at #2 shadows all other picks, but the Giants were able to find solid draft prospects throughout the remaining rounds. Both second and third round picks Will Hernandez (OG), and Lorenzo Carter (DE) were steals for where they went. The two rookies will easily slide in to fill the shoes of Justin Pugh, who left in free agency, and Jason Pierre Paul, who was traded to Tampa. The team needed to be able to protect their aging quarterback as well as open up running lanes for the team’s new offensive centerpiece in Saquon, and filled those needs perfectly. They also grabbed N.C. State defensive tackle B.J. Hill in the third and the most underrated quarterback in the draft in Kyle Lauletta, who actually has a great chance to become Eli’s replacement down the road. New York landed three day one starters and possibly the franchise’s QB of the future, earning A+ draft grade honors in my book.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yes, Tampa attempted to have a parrot read off one of the team’s picks. And yes, it failed miserably, resulting in the Bucs being the butt of several jokes over the weekend. Luckily for the team, their draft success looks to be no laughingstock. They were able to trade out of the 7th overall pick with Buffalo and received the 12th overall selection, along with multiple 2nd rounders. They used this draft equity to get the #1 DT prospect, Washington University’s Vita Vea, and to solidify their secondary with North Carolina’s M.J. Stewart and Auburn’s Carlton Davis. They used their own 2nd rounder to draft USC running back Ronald Jones, which was a huge need for the team. To top it all off, they took Division II tackle/guard Alex Cappa out of Humboldt State, who was a stand out at Senior Bowl and might be the meanest offensive lineman in the draft.
If you can’t tell from the video, Von Miller is ecstatic that the draft’s best defensive lineman, NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb, fell to the Broncos at pick #5. The whole world expected the Browns to take the edge rusher at number four. Once the announcement was made that Denzel Ward would be headed to Cleveland, John Elway couldn’t dial the phone fast enough to get the pick in, disregarded all trade offers and taking Chubb without hesitation. Miller is already on record before the draft stating, “He’s Khalil Mack and Von Miller put together.” Now, one of the greatest pass rushers in the game has a sidekick to instantly create possibly the best edge rushing duo in the entire league. No wonder Von is jumping for joy!
New Orleans Saints
The New Orlean Saints were the only team on draft night to have to trade multiple 1st round picks in order to move up in round one. They jumped from the 27th pick to the Green Bay Packers’ 14th, which cost them their 1st, a 5th, and next year’s 1st, to select Marcus Davenport, our #2 ranked defensive end but someone who is still very raw at the position. It’s clear that the Saints are willing to go all in on the 1–2 years that they expect to have Drew Brees, but it was far too much draft capital to give up. The Saints could have easily stayed put, still acquired defensive end Harold Landry, who has a very similar skill set, and saved next year’s 1st. Simply put, it’s far too rich for my taste, but maybe New Orleans is only a defensive end away from a Super Bowl. That’s their thought process, anyway.
Although the Miami Dolphins had a strong draft and acquired the likes of versatile Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, as well as the extremely athletic Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki, they let the opportunity of a lifetime slide through their fingertips. The Dolphins were only a pick behind Oakland, who was openly shopping the number ten spot with Josh Rosen still on the board, but decided not to attempt to move up to secure a franchise QB. Instead, they stayed put, letting the Arizona Cardinals move up five spots, costing them only their 1st, 3rd and 5th round picks. A worthy price to pay for the future face of the franchise, especially when Miami still isn’t sure how healthy Ryan Tannehill will be in 2018.
With the 27th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft the Seattle Seahawks select…. Rashaad Penny??? What??? Now don’t get me wrong, I love the player, but I just hate the pick! I think the SDSU running back has the opportunity to be in the conversation with Saquon Barkley as this class’s best back when it’s all said and done. The issue is that Seattle’s offensive line resembles a slice of swiss cheese, and operates like a turnstile at a New York subway station. For the sake of Russell Wilson’s health, the Seahawks should have addressed the offensive line woes several drafts ago, but they are still blind to the amount of punishment their franchise QB has taken over the years. Seattle should have taken a page out of Dallas’s book and invested multiple 1st and 2nd round picks into the offensive line; instead, they grab an elite weapon whose weakness is pass protection. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? REALLY? C’MON MAN!!!!