NFL Draft: Breaking down the entire first round
I decided to break down the entire first round of the NFL Draft, giving an insight on each prospect taken.
1.) Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, QB; California
As much PR as it was a football move to gain interest from the fan base where Goff played at nearby Memorial Stadium In Berkley California. Goff has some skill and traits to be a good NFL quarterback, but is physically underdeveloped.
Also played in a gimmicky offense where he had limited responsibility of the offense he orchestrated, so there is going to be a learning curve at the next level. He will have the luxury of having a god defense and running game to take the pressure off.
The worst kept secret in the world has been revealed and now it’s time to see if the Rams continue to build around this kid and get him some play-makers to throw to, and some massive humans to protect him up front.
2.) Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, QB; North Dakota State
This is my personal favorite quarterback in the draft. Impressive physical tools, but just as impressive if not more so are his intangibles. Started to really turn my attention to him more after the Senior Bowl week where he basically came in there and took the alpha dog lead of that group of college all stars. That told me the NFL game was not going to be to big for him. Also impressive is his intelligence. Both on and off the football field.
A valedictorian in college. However I was most impressed with his ability to have a play presented to him for the very first time with totally new verbiage, and than immediately being taught the play broke it down with verbiage right back step for step word for word. amazing retention level. Has the poise and maturity to handle a tough football environment he will have to deal with in Philadelphia where they may just have the most difficult fans anywhere.
3.) San Diego Chargers – Joey Bosa, DE; Ohio State
This was a surprise pick. I along with the whole draftnik community pretty much wrote in Leremy Tunsil’s name here. The consensus opinion here was Rivers needs protection and watching the game film last year that isn’t an exaggeration. However Bosa Must have been the top player on their board by a mile and that’s what a truly good drafter does, and that’s stay true their board.
San Diego gets a defensive end who wins with power, technique and athleticism. Setup the edge and makes play in the run game, and can get after the quarterback and drop into coverage on zone blitzes well in the passing game. A good floor player with a bit of an upside as well.
4.)Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott, RB; Ohio State
Not surprising the Cowboys took Elliot at this point here. Jerry Jones is all about making a splash and being in the news and this is a very sexy pick. He’s also an excellent prospect that also fills a need. This pick makes total sense as the Cowboys are one f the few remaining teams that subscribe to the whole bell cow back philosophy.
Elliott is surely that.
Does it all. Almost as good of a blocker as he is a runner and receiver and he’s top-notch in those areas. I personally see this as to high to take a back, but if you rely on your back as heavily as the Cowboys do than that thought process goes out the window.
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Ramsey, DB; Florida State
No surprise here once Ramsey fell to them this far. By far the best available athlete here that offers value even beyond his draft slot as he can play almost anywhere on the field not along the front 4.
The total hybrid player for a head coach who runs one of the most well-known hybrid schemes in the league. Perfect fit here and a big break for the Jaguars.
6.) Baltimore Ravens – Ronnie Stanely, LT; Notre Dame
Surprising move as everyone thought Tunsil would be the first Tackle taken in the draft. Of course there was the issue with Tunsil’s Step father, the strange video of the gas mask bong and then there was the fact he never played a full season too. Stanley in that sense was the safe pick. Offers the athleticism to play LT in the NFL.
Has long arms and big hands too. He’s also a good character guy and for the most part seems like a coachable kid. The part that bothers me about him is the fact he did not get it in the weight room. Soft fleshed kid who can be manhandled by some of the bigger stronger ends in the league. The tape of Shaq lawson beating the kid consistently is still fresh in my mind and he gave up nearly 40 pounds to Stanley.
7.) San Francisco 49ers – DeForest Buckner, DE; Oregon
No surprise here as he was heavily mocked here with the Kelly connection who he now is paired with former teammates and last seasons 49er number 1 pick Arik Armstead. They certainly got taller and longer that’s for sure as both Buckner and Armstead are a couple of trees.
Buckner is pretty nimble-footed for a man his size too. Huge hand and wingspan help him control linemen until he sees his target and then reaches out to lasso them in.
He also is young with a lot of upside. Dominated in college pretty much with no real pass rush moves or game plan and counters. If he is coachable and hungry to succeed imagine what he can be with that knowledge in tow.
8.) Tennessee Jack Conklin, OT; Michigan State(From Browns through Eagles through Dolphins) –
Some may be surprised here, but I would not be one of them. Maybe in the sense that Tunsil was the consensus number one OT, but in my opinion he’s the best lineman in this draft. He’s more than athletic enough to stick at LT, but even at RT has tremendous value.
One of the meanest toughest player out there. He’ll be serving up pancakes for the Titans the next 8-10 years.
9.) Chicago Leonard Floyd, EDGE; Georgia(From Buccaneers) –
To say I was disappointed in this pick would be an understatement, but then you add trade up for him I about lost it. However after calming down and looking at it objectively I see how the Bears may be thinking here.
The one thing they did need was someone who had a quick-twitch athleticism and offered speed from the edge and Floyd brings that.
I thought they’d be better served picking Noah Spence for that, but this cold work out. He has to live in the weight room. Has the traits to do what he has to do to get the strength to play in the pro’s. He also adds the extra value of being able to cover. He also was moved around all over the field at Georgia so he can be a bit of a rover. That’s kind of exciting. we shall see.
10.) New York Giants – Eli Apple, CB; Ohio State
Big cornerback with speed and physicality. A little surprising here as both Hargreaves and Jackson were rated ahead of Apple by most draft experts. Continues the long parade of Ohio State Buckeyes marching into the NFL via the first round of the draft.
Most people expected a wide receiver would be the choice here, but recent reports of Victor Cruz looking healthy and dangerous as ever in off-season workouts makes this less of a priority got the Giants.
11.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves, CB; Florida
Hargreaves was thought to be the number two cornerback in the draft by most draft experts. Didn’t quite get picked there, but got picked just outside the top ten at the Bears original spot pre-trade which isn’t exactly disrespectful.
Gets to stay home as he remains in state. Tough aggressive corner who lacks size, but has excellent leaping ability to off set those types of things. Plays the run as passionate as he does the pass. Plays a little too aggressive and picks up some laundry in the process. Ideally a slot corner.
12.) New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Rankins, DT; Louisville
Rankins was one of my favorite choices for the Bears at 11 and falls not that far from there at number 12 overall. Dominated at the Senior Bowl and put on a show similar to what Aaron Donald did the year prior.
Like Donald has a lot of the same traits, and is a quick get in your face through the A and B gaps with power and a tool box full of counter moves. Understands the stunt/twist game well and works with fellow line mates to both screen and work off screens.
13.) Miami Laremy Tunsil, LT; Mississippi(From Eagles) –
Tunsil went from number overall pick in the daft to 13th. He has some questions which I broached briefly on Stanleys write-up.
As a player has all you want from a LT. Maybe cold be a little better cut and muscular, but has the frame, Long arms, big hands, agile feet, and demeanor to dominate Offensive linemen at the next level for the next decade. So far the best value pick in this draft.
14.) Oakland Raiders-Karl Joseph – S; West Virginia
Al Davis may be long gone fro this earth, but he must be communicating from the grave as this is the reach pick of the draft so far just the way good ole’ Al used to do it. Good safety in the mold of some of these new wave hybrid safeties that play linebacker as much as traditional safety.
Will deliver a jolting blow and can run with you in coverage with fair ball skills. He is coming off an ACL so that is another thing he’ll have to overcome.
15.) Cleveland Corey Coleman, WR; Baylor(From Titans through Rams) –
Coleman is probably the most explosive wide-receiver in this draft. Kind of a joker type of athlete. Can work out of the backfield, the slot, outside, and factor in the return game. This pick offsets the loss of the explosive Josh Gordon who essential has ruined his career and may never play in the NFL again.
16.) Detroit Lions – Taylor Decker, OT; Ohio State
Maybe my second favorite Offensive lineman in this draft. Has that mean nasty tenacious attitude that I love in my linemen.
This is the guy who basically ruined Jaylon Smith’s career with a late shove from behind. Good enough feet to play right tackle more so than left. Willing run blocker who loves to be a road grader paving the way for backs to follow. Very good n pass pro too.
Showing good feet and able to mirror with a solid punch and stays balance to react to counter moves without getting knocked off
17.)Atlanta Falcons – Keanu Neal, SS; Florida
Another drastic reach. Not because Neal isn’t a good player, but because he’s not a game changer. Neal is an impressive physical specimen and athlete who can run. Impressive leaper showing some explosion. He’s also willing to sacrifice his body for a good hit.
18.) Indianapolis Colts – Ryan Kelly, C; Alabama
The Colts draft the best center in this class. They need someone reliable who can get the line calls right to avoid all these free shots Andrew luck has taken. Kelly was the unquestioned leader of the Crimson Tide Offensive line. That said another reach here in my opinion. First round is for playmakers not for reliable intangible glue guys.
19.) Buffalo Bills – Shaq Lawson, DE; Clemson
This is the player many mockers picked going to the Bears. Hard-nosed tough guy who plays with power. Very similar to the OLB’s the Bears have currently on their roster minus freshly picked Leonard Floyd. I love this player.
Plays with violent hands and almost never loses the leverage battle. An all in football player that brings intensity and passion to the football field and leadership in the locker room.
20.) New York Jets – Darron Lee, OLB; Ohio State
Yet another first rounder from Ohio State. How did they not win the national championship again?
Lee is just another one of these new breed Linebackers that are a little lighter in the pants but have exceptional athletic ability to be able to run with anyone on the field in coverage, blitz from anywhere on the field, and will gaps with authority to stop running backs dead in their tracks.
21.) Houston Texans – Will Fuller, WR; Notre Dame
Surprisingly the second wide receiver picked in the first round. Will Fuller is one of the few pure speed threats in this draft at the wide receiver position. Truly a deep ball threat. In a game that is dictated by big play this kid is part of his share of them.
Had 27 percent of his catches go for over 25 yards. Tracks the ball well as you would want your deep threat to do. He does have smallish hands for a man his size and will turf some balls. However makes more than he loses.
22.) Washington – Josh Doctson, WR; TCU
Doctson may have the best hands in the draft. Didn’t run a vast route tree, but the ones he did run he an exceptionally. Has the feet and hips to learn to be a better route runner. Has good size and can jump out of the stadium. Blew up the combine with measurable galore. Has excellent body control and makes circus catches look routine. Washington got themselves a good one here to help Kirk Cousins ascend to an even higher level than he did with his breakout season last year.
23.) Minnesota Vikings – LaQuon Treadwell, WR; Mississippi
Bears divisional rival got themselves the best wide-receiver in the draft in my opinion. Sure his speed isn’t elite, but it doesn’t need to be as he has the best feet in the draft. Has route running down to a science and gets all the separation he needs because of it.
His hands rival that of the previous pick Josh Doctson and like Doctson makes spectacular catches as easily as breathing. He has a grown man’s body and knows how to use as he boxes out defenders like a power forward and high point the ball better than anyone in the draft using his length and leaping ability to just out jump everyone for the ball.
I hate to say it, but the Vikings picked the best wide receiver in this draft and got extreme value at this point in the draft.
24.) Cincinnati Bengals – William Jackson III, CB; Cincinnati
Another great value pick late in round one. The Bengals have gotten quite a knack for the draft and continue to hit home runs with this pick. The best pure cornerback in this draft in my opinion. One of the guys I have been completely fine with if the Bears picked him with 11th overall pick goes at the 24th pick. Long press man corner who will cover you like a blanket and has the speed to recover and the hands to take it away.
25.)Pittsburgh Steelers – Artie Burns, CB; Miami
Burns has the measurable to justify being a first rounder and even has the stats (6 picks) to justify it, but his tape says otherwise. This another reach in this round in my opinion. He may end up being the bee’s knees in his career, but for the immediate he’s going to need work.
His technique is on the rough side. had 4 pass interference penalties and plays undisciplined. Also added 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties too. If he’s coachable his bad habits will be coached out of him and then he will be able to take advantage of long arms and great athletic ability to be a pro bowl caliber cover corner.
26.) Denver Paxton Lynch, QB; Memphis(From Seahawks) –
Not surprisingly Denver trades up to their quarterback of the future. Future being the key word because I don’t see him starting in year one maybe not even year two. He has a lot to work on coming from a spread offense. His decision-making and pre-read audibling need refinement and will hinder their offense if he is indeed handed the reigns in his rookie year.
That said he has a lot of exciting traits like size, athleticism, and a big arm.
27.) Green Bay Packers – Kenny Clark, DT; UCLA
A bit if a surprise pick. Most had them taking a defensive tackle, but Clark’s name did not appear on any of the mocks I’ve seen. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t the best pick here. Ted Thompson’s eye for talent is unquestioned as is his draft record, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt here.
This fills a huge position of need as the Packer defense has become a sieve in recent years. Clark is the first step in what appears to be many needed step in providing the defense the backbone it needs. Still this appears to be a reach at this point in the draft.
28.) San Francisco oshua Garnett, OG; Stanford(From Chiefs) – J
a small surprise as most of the draft experts had Kansas State’s Cody Whitehair as the top guard, but I feel Garnett is the best. Perhaps it may be my love for physicality in the trenches, but this would be my top guard in this draft.
Whitehair brings more versatility and a little better athleticism, but Garnett will just pile drive his way through defensive lines creating huge holes in the running game and once he gets his hands on a rusher will completely negate said player in the pass game.
29.) Arizona Cardinals – Robert Nkemdiche, DT; Mississippi
This may be the most talented player at his position group, so in that regard this is extremely good value, however the off-field concerns are valid. He seems to bring the on-field violence with him off which makes you nervous every time this kid is out of the building. has some on-field concern too as far as his work habits and seems to have a great deal of loaf in his game. One has to wonder how hard will he work now that he’s a millionaire. Probably the biggest boom or bust player in this draft, but when he does want to play he’s a handful. Reminds me a lot of Albert Haynesworth in that regard which is a scary comparison f you’re a Cardinal fan.
30.) Carolina Panthers – Vernon Butler, DT; Louisiana Tech
Not may people will agree with me but I hate this pick. Hate it because I was hoping he would fall to the Bears so I can watch the next Mohammed Wilkerson develop before our very eyes. That’s who he reminds me of. Carolina picked a great player, but this is a bit of a surprise as they have two of the better defensive tackles in the league at current. Carolina clearly has a BPA draft philosophy, and on their board Butler was the BPA. That says a lot about a player being picked by an organization that definitely has an idea of what an NFL starting defensive tackle looks like.
31.) Seattle German Ifedi, OT; TCU(From Broncos) –
Not too big of a surprise here as Ifedi is pretty much the consensus best next available left tackle in this draft at this point. Seattle definitely needs to replace recently lost Russel Okung despite signing Ryan Clady. Not sure if they’ll start him out at Right Tackle or inside at guard but this definitely has to be their LT in waiting. has all the traits. Massive, great lateral movement for a man his size, Vines for arms and toilet seat sized hands. Probably the best on the hoof LT specimen in this draft.