The Gent’s Draft Review: Round 1
In case you missed it (where were you?), round 1 of the NFL draft took place last night. Here are my key points for what was a fun night full of twists and turns.
Let’s get straight into it.
Laremy Tunsil Needs to Change His Social Media Passwords: Not what you want on your big day. Tunsil’s twitter got hacked just as things kicked off and briefly had a video up of him wearing a gas mask bong (that really is the best way to describe it). The picture was immediately taken down, but you can’t help but feel that the damage was already done at that point, as he tumbled to the 13th spot to be picked up by the Miami Dolphins, a team that’s been no stranger to players with “character issues”, they claim they’d already seen it and probably couldn’t care less. The Dolphins get the player that at one point was considered the consensus number 1 pick and in my opinion, far and away the best offensive lineman in the draft. Sometimes “character issues”, seems a bit strong for what is simply a young man being a young man. I’d hate to see how many NFL players have worse videos hiding on their phones.
Trades! We wanted trades and we got them… but do any of them actually make any sense? The Titans moved up to 8 to pick up Jack Conklin, a pick I did in fact like, but I can’t help but feel he’d have been there at 15, or Tunsil would have been. Maybe there’s a chance that New York would have grabbed him at 10, so I don’t want to be over critical, but still it’s strange. Then there’s the trade between the Bears and Bucs, where both teams seemed to get the player they wanted, but probably would have got it in their original space. There were some good trades though. Denver moving up to stop other teams moving back into the 1st to pick up Paxton Lynch was a master stroke. The Niners moving in to pick up a 2nd round talent could be frowned upon, but the fact is there is a lot of team with offensive line needs and they simply leap frogged the early teams in round 2 to get him. Finally the trade from Washington to swap places with the Texans, whilst clearly having the Doctson over Fuller on their draft board was masterful, forcing the Texans to give something up to get a player they had no interest in. On the whole though a lot of teams did pick up a player they would have taken in the original position, but it doesn’t hurt to add some certainty.
Ezekiel Elliott – Under Pressure: We can talk about how the Cowboys will be the perfect fit for Elliott, with that incredibly talented offensive line, but boy is he under a lot of pressure to perform from day one. I have been guilty of adding to the stupid comments about the Cowboys, being one of many people that has joked that “I could run behind that line”, which shows that the general belief is that if you can’t run behind that line, then you’re simply not very good. Elliott, playing in Dallas is immediately under the spotlight. Elliott’s talent is not under scrutiny here, but there is no doubt an expectation to perform from him like no other player in the league.
Picks I Liked…
Leonard Floyd: I love this pickup for the Bears, even if it was a little strange that they felt they had to move up to get him. Tall and lean, but uses his speed around right tackles. Might struggle against the bigger QBs, but that’s where Pernell McPhee comes in. Floyd is the final piece in the puzzle for the Bears line-backer group.
LaQuan Treadwell: Easily my favourite receiver in the draft, but just wasn’t what other teams were looking for. Treadwell however is a perfect fit for the Vikings. Violent in his blocking as well as being a decent possession receiver, Treadwell should add a new dimension to this team.
Robert Nkemdiche: This seems like a nice fit. Pairing Nkemdiche with Campbell, gives the Cards some serious beef up front. Anyone worried about his character issues should be fairly happy that he is in the right place for these to manifest themselves in a slightly less extreme way.
DeForest Buckner/Joshua Garnett: In Buckner the Niners got a steal, but maybe upset a few people that thought they should have picked up an offensive lineman. Anyone worried about that didn’t have to wait too long to see that they had a plan there too. Niners get instantly better in the trenches. Buckner in particular, could have some fun against some of the weaker NFC West offensive lines.
Darron Lee: The Jets are a team that will spend a lot of time in sub next year. Darron Lee is a guy you can put in for all 3 downs. Lee is a great scheme fit for the Jets.
Taylor Decker/ Ryan Kelly: The Lions and Colts needed offensive linemen… and they picked them. Pat on the back guys.
Shaq Lawson: Bye bye Mario Williams, hello Shaq Lawson. Bills D-line stays nasty.
Karl Joseph: I was a little critical of the pick at the time, but with a clear (slightly more sober) head, I really like the pick. Raiders fill a need, which is what Reggie has done well so far.
The crazy thing about this draft is the amount of players still on the board…
Myles Jack: Kinda broke my heart seeing him waiting to be picked. Injury concerns have this top 5 talent drop down the rankings and tumble to at least the 2nd round. Someone please give this man a chance!
Reggie Ragland: My favourite player in the draft will (hopefully) be a 2nd round pick. Still I think he has a lot to offer teams. Someone will get a bargain.
Chris Jones, A’Shawn Robinson, Jarran Reed, Austin Johnson, Andrew Billings: All potential 1st round talent at defensive tackle. All still on the board. Some teams are going to get a bargain at DT.
That’s day one. See you again for day 2!