2018 NFL Draft Recap: The Surprises and the Trades
This NFL Draft was one of the first in a long time where nobody seemed to know who the first pick would be. It was a draft that could possibly have five quarterbacks in round one. Could history be made with two brothers being picked on day one? Let’s take at some of the stories in Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Cleveland Browns pick Baker Mayfield
At this time a year ago, many of the experts would have told you that USC QB Sam Darnold would have gone first. At the beginning of the season, the sentiment was still the same. But, as the season wore on, it was clear that the top pick would be revisited and any of the top quarterbacks could be that pick. Heck, there was even a possibility that Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley could be number one.
When it was all said and done the Browns chose Mayfield and some heads are still shaking. One of the first things that come off about this kid is his mouth and attitude. Some would say it could hurt him in this league, but he would tell you differently. The knock is that he is just six feet tall and tradition says you do not pick this type of QB at one.
The positive is that he is flat out a winner. He won at the high school level and when it was time to go to college he got just one offer, Washington State. Instead of going there, he decided he would walk on at Texas Tech. He would stay one year and then walk on again at Oklahoma and win three Big 12 titles along with a Heisman Trophy.
If he can bring maturity and a level head to the NFL, he will bring the passion and production that he has shown. Of course, it’s Cleveland, so give it some time.
N.Y. Giants get Saquon Barkley, not a QB
The talk has been loud and clear among the football fanatics. It was time for the G-Men to look to the future and Eli Manning’s replacement. This was the perfect draft for such a thing with all the talent available. So when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped up to the podium, that is exactly what was expected.
Well, what happened was the Giants decided they would bank on Manning and get him the best back in the draft in Barkley. They decided that Barkley’s skills and athleticism for a back his size were too good to pass on. His power and downfield speed will bring a dimension of football sorely needed in the big market of NY/NJ.
Some say that this was too early to choose a running back, but hey, this was the norm back in the day. We all know that the position has been devalued over the past years and some will still criticize the pick.
The thing is, when you look at his college numbers, you had to take him seriously. He can not only run the ball, he can catch it out of the backfield as well. He will be the instant starter for the Giants and it will not take long to figure out if the team and their front office got this pick right.
Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and Josh Rosen make four QB’s in Round 1
There was not much question that these guys would go in the first round. But that they would be part of history was another thing. For the first time in NFL draft history, there were four quarterbacks chosen in the first ten picks.
For the Jets, the choice was not that hard as Darnold was the top-rated player at his position. For all the quarterbacks the Jets whiffed on in recent memory, they had to get this one right. That will be told in the future, but for sure they got a guy with a high football IQ. A guy that can read the field and is very accurate.
Time will tell if Darnold can handle the pressure that comes with the history of the Jets picks at his position. He will have plenty to learn and the fact that he gets to learn from Josh McCown will be a big plus for him.
The first trade of the night came from the Buffalo Bills, a team that made no secret fo the fact that they needed one of these QBs. After making the playoffs last year, they were not looking to fall off and got the guy some consider the best at his position in the draft.
Allen brings elite arm strength with a touch of elusiveness. Playing at Wyoming, in the brutal cold and horrible weather makes him a perfect fit in Buffalo. He will need to be patient, but maybe not for too long. A.J. McCarron is not the long-term answer.
One thing for sure is that the Bills needed a quarterback and they had to move up to get him. They did just that and now the crazed fans of Buffalo get to see where this kid can take them.
He said that when it was all said and done in the future, he would be the only one left standing from this group. Reports are saying that he was flat out pissed that it took till the 10th pick in the draft for him to go off the board. Well, there may be a good reason for that Josh. Still, the Arizona Cardinals thought he was worth trading up for.
He comes to the NFL known for his penchant for getting injured. He has already hurt his shoulder and more than that, he suffered not one, but two concussions last year. It’s gonna take some work to avoid that against bigger and stronger competition.
He feels slighted eve telling a reporter that there were nine mistakes chosen ahead of him. So, he is motivated and has talent and in Arizona, he chose the right team to prove the critics wrong.
Of course, history was made when Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds became the first brother to be chosen on day one. Tremaine went 16 after the Bills made another trade up to get him and the Steelers made Terrell the 28th pick. The cool part of the Steelers pick was to see Ryan Shazier walk on the stage to announce the pick.
The Patriots always seem to make the right choice and of course, that is how you become great right? With the 31st pick in the draft, they picked up talented Georgia running back Sony Michel. The other story to sum up the round was quarterback number five to the Baltimore Ravens. A lot of folks were wondering if any team would pick Lamar Jackson at the top of the draft and when he was not, it looked like his waiting time might take a while. Well, the Ravens thought he was worth the gamble and they may have been right. He will need to do a lot of polishing up, but without a doubt, he will be a future talent as the replacement for Joe Flacco.