NFL Draft: Round 1 Reactions
1. Jared Goff to the Los Angeles Rams
Goff can be what the Rams need, a competent complement to Todd Gurley. Gurley is the focal point of the offense, Goff needs to be consistently accurate pushing the ball downfield to create big plays in the passing game. The Rams will rely on Tavon Austin and Gurley heavily in the passing game also to allow for an easier transition to the NFL for the rookie starter.
2. Carson Wentz to the Philadelphia Eagles
A pro-ready quarterback who isn’t going to start for a year or two. I have no idea why the Eagles were so desperate to add a quarterback who they aren’t even going to start as a rookie. Roseman has compared this situation to the Seahawks with Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson. That just highlights how brainless they are.
3. Joey Bosa to the San Diego Chargers
I don’t understand where Bosa plays in a 3-4. The Chargers need an interior presence with Attaochu and Ingram established outside. Bosa could be a hugely valuable pass rusher in nickel situations as a complement to those guys, but this was a shocking move.
4. Ezekiel Elliott to the Dallas Cowboys
The minimum expectation for Elliott should be 1,600 yards rushing behind that offensive line. His versatility as a receiver and pass protector will only help to prolong the career of Tony Romo.
5. Jalen Ramsey to the Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars needed a safety more than they need a cornerback so it’s a surprise that Ramsey is going to play outside. He should be a really good cornerback but could be an immediate All Pro as a safety.
6. Ronnie Stanley to the Baltimore Ravens
Stanley is a good player, a great pass protector and an assignment run blocker. He shouldn’t have a huge impact on the short-term outlook for the Ravens but could be a long-term staple of the offense.
7. DeForest Buckner to the San Francisco 49ers
Buckner is a monster. He and Armstead alongside each other will be unfair. They obviously played together in college, but as both develop into NFL players they should become a more dominant force. Buckner and Armstead can combine to shut down the interior of running plays while still creating push as individuals when rushing the passer.
8. Jack Conklin to the Tennessee Titans
Three picks for a right tackle. Jon Robinson loves toughness and is obviously trying to build a run-first team, but even if Conklin lives up to expectations this was a wild overpay. Especially when Tunsil was still on the board.
9. Leonard Floyd to the Chicago Bears
Floyd is a complete project. He likely won’t be an off-ball linebacker in Chicago so his ability to rush the passer is pushed into the spotlight. Floyd has a lot of athleticism but needs to prove that he can be the guy the Bears envision him being.
10. Eli Apple to the New York Giants
Apple’s ball skills are a major problem, which makes him a weird pick considering how much the Giants paid Janoris Jenkins. He is very young and a good athlete so his value is likely in the long term rather than the short term. Taking Apple ahead of Hargreaves and Jackson is baffling.
11. Vernon Hargreaves to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hargreaves could be the best cornerback in this class. He needs to show better discipline in off coverage, something that should be important in Tampa, but has the potential to shut down defenders like Desmond Trufant.
12. Sheldon Rankins to the New Orleans Saints
Rankins is Geno Atkins-lite. He’ll be hugely valuable to the Saints as an interior disruptive force who could also move outside every so often to disguise rushes. Rankins combines immediate impact with value as a foundational piece over the long term.
13. Laremy Tunsil to the Miami Dolphins
Steal. Mike Tannenbaum loves a big name and he got the biggest one in this draft. Tunsil could be the best left tackle in the NFL for a long time, the Dolphins just need to sort out who is going to play where now that they have four offensive tackles to move around and just the one guard.
14. Karl Joseph to the Oakland Raiders
Joseph only fell this far because of his torn ACL. He is an outstanding talent with great range and discipline when acting as the lone deep safety. Furthermore, he can obliterate opponents when he meets them at the football with huge hits.
15. Corey Coleman to the Cleveland Browns
The player the Browns pick here is less notable than how they got to pick him. The Browns have stockpiled picks and added a legitimate weapon to their offense. What a great first set of moves for the new front office.
16. Taylor Decker to the Detroit Lions
Decker should start immediately at right tackle and stay there for a long time. He offers versatility as a run blocker and consistency as a pass protector. Great value at this spot of the draft.
17. Keanu Neal to the Atlanta Falcons
Neal offers the Falcons a hard hitter who can intimidate opposing receivers over the middle of the field. Dan Quinn is hoping that Neal can be his Kam Chancellor while Ricardo Allen continues to develop as his Earl Thomas.
18. Ryan Kelly to the Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have found Andrew Luck’s long-term partner at center. Kelly immediately improves the team’s pass protection and run blocking, diversifying their options in play designs.
19. Shaq Lawson to the Buffalo Bills
Question over Lawson’s health will remain over the early stages of his career, but he played through issues in college and played extremely well. He and Jerry Hughes coming off the edge should prove to be a very effective pairing on Rex Ryan’s defense.
20. Darron Lee to the New York Jets
Lee is landing in a great spot for his skill set. He can shoot gaps behind a dominant defensive line while using his athleticism in space to help Todd Bowles’ creative blitzing. Lee needs to develop as an all-around linebacker so coaching will be crucial here.
21. Will Fuller to the Houston Texans
Drops. Touchdowns. Drops and touchdowns. Fuller was best described as Ted Ginn without the special teams ability. Whether it’s Ginn or Mike Wallace, you know what you get with Fuller. Trading up and taking him ahead of Josh Doctson is bizarre though.
22. Josh Doctson to Washington
Doctson may be the best player in this draft. He’s a phenomenal receiver. Jay Gruden may not rush Doctson into the lineup though with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson outside and Jamison Crowder inside.
23. Laquon Treadwell to the Minnesota Vikings
It all comes down to the ankle. If he regains his athleticism more as he moves away from that devastating injury, this could be a great pick for the Vikings. If he doesn’t, Treadwell will be reliant on winning contested catches like an old Anquan Boldin.
24. William Jackson III to the Cincinnati Bengals
Adam Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard will probably start for the Bengals this year. Jackson could take one of their roles but the Bengals like to develop guys in the secondary and all over their roster really. Jackson has a lot of talent but this team needs more immediate impact to take a step forward in the playoffs.
25. Artie Burns to the Pittsburgh Steelers
I suspect the Steelers were hoping for Jackson to fall to them and were forced to settle for Burns. He’s not a cornerback I know a huge amount about to be honest. Others consider him to be a better man corner than zone corner, which makes him an odd fit in Pittsburgh.
26. Paxton Lynch to the Denver Broncos
Lynch isn’t a great prospect, that’s why he fell this far, but he has a similar skill set to Colin Kaepernick’s and the Broncos can protect him with their running game and defense. His athleticism will be hugely valuable to Gary Kubiak.
27. Kenny Clark to the Green Bay Packers
The Packers could have gone in a bunch of directions here. Andrew Billings or Reggie Ragland may have been my preferred choice, but Clark is a highly-thought of player. I didn’t see the power and balance to really project him as a stout lineman.
28. Joshua Garnett to the San Francisco 49ers
This pick shocked me. Cody Whitehair is the better player and seemingly a better fit for Chip Kelly’s offense, but Whitehair’s age may have been an issue. Giving up those picks and not taking a quarterback suggests the 49ers are focusing on the long term rather than the short term.
29. Robert Nkemdiche to the Arizona Cardinals
Forget the production when evaluating Nkemdiche’s pass rushing ability. He will be a disruptive force from the interior. The Cardinals have quickly rebuilt their defensive front by adding Nkemdiche and Chandler Jones this offseason. Smart moves for a team that is built to win right now.
30. Vernon Butler to the Carolina Panthers
The Panthers showed you how much they value front seven pieces when they let Josh Norman go and reinforced that commitment in the first round of the draft. Butler will only be a piece of the rotation behind Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short before replacing Lotulelei in a few years.
31. Germain Ifedi to the Seattle Seahawks
Ifedi is a talented player who needs to develop consistency with refined technique. The Seahawks see him as their starting right tackle moving forward, a position they desperately needed to address with Bradley Sowell slated to start there before the draft.