The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft was on Thursday night and boy did it ever live up to the hype. There were trades a plenty, quarterbacks flying off the board, and one of the most emotional moments in NFL Draft history.
There is a lot to unpack regarding the first round so I figure why not now to introduce a brand new series. Welcome to #TinThoughts. This is going to be a series I am going to do when I have tons of thoughts on something and I just need to blurt them all out. There is no specific reasoning or order to this and that is the beauty of #TinThoughts. Now let’s spill some thoughts.
As always, the most popular topic in most recent drafts have been the Cleveland Browns. We are going to start with the Dawg Pound. I have zero issue with them drafting Baker Mayfield. He may not be as polished as Darnold or Rosen but in my opinion there was no surefire Pro Bowl QB in this draft. When that is the case I think it is most important to take who you love the most. As I stated yesterday, Baker has put up some monster stats in college and I am interested to see how he does in a place where quarterbacks go to die. Kudos to me for predicting he would be the first overall pick after seeing Schefter’s tweet about him, that took a lot of guts. Golf clap. With their second pick they went with Denzel Ward. This pick was also a bit controversial. They could have gone with pass rusher Bradley Chubb to pair alongside Myles Garrett. Garrett came out earlier in the week and supported his current defensive line partner Emmanuel Ogbah. You have to wonder if that played a part in the Browns decision to go with Ward. Either way, having a lockdown corner is never a bad thing. Don’t be surprised if Cleveland is in the playoffs in the next couple years folks.
The Jets got an absolute steal with Darnold falling to them at #3. I thought for sure the Giants would take him but they decided to go with a franchise running back. The Jets get the most polished QB in the draft and he also gets to be mentored by Josh McCown. I think the Jets finally have their QB of the future.
Speaking of the Giants, I LOVE the pick of Saquon Barkley. He has talked about how he wants to be the face of football and what better place for marketing opportunities than the Big Apple. They also can still draft a quarterback of the future in Mason Rudolph in the second round. Keep your eye out for that.
The Broncos got their guy in Bradley Chubb, good for Mr. Elway. They were rumored to be suitors to trade down all week but they couldn’t pass on Chubb. Pairing him with Von Miller, Shane Ray, and Derek Wolfe makes for a scary pass rush in the Mile High City.
The Colts get a perennial lineman in Quenton Nelson. It will be interesting to see who he is blocking for because we all know Andrew Luck is done for. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong drafting a freak of an athlete lineman.
Quiet winners in this entire draft process, Eli Manning and Case Keenum. The Broncos and Giants both need quarterbacks for their future and decided to pass on them this year. Keenum gets a chance to prove he can be that guy in Denver and Eli gets one more year to ride off into the sunset after how poorly his situation was handled last year.
There were tons of trades in this draft, so many that I legitimately could not even keep up. The biggest one for me involved zero picks from the first round. The Raiders trading a 3rd round pick for Martavis Bryant is an absolute steal. He needed to get out of Pittsburgh and Derek Carr gets another new toy to throw to. Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson, and Martavis Bryant. Not a bad trio of receivers for Jon Gruden.
Speaking of trades, the Bills moved up to get their quarterback of the future in Josh Allen. I think Bills Mafia is going to love this guy. They also picked up a stud lineback in Trumaine Edmunds. Buffalo should wake up with a smile on their face this morning.
The worst move in my opinion was made by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints traded two first-rounders and a fifth-rounder to move up from No. 27 to No. 14 to take Marcus Davenport. I think Davenport will be a very good pro, I just think the Saints maybe could have gotten him where they originally were.
The most emotional moment of the entire draft was watching Ryan Shazier come out to announce the Steelers pick. This was an absolutely awesome moment. It is amazing to see him back and walking after the vicious injury he suffered last year. There was concern he may not walk again and it really is terrifying to see what football can do to someone’s body.
One fan base that is probably waking up quite disappointed is Cowboy Nation. There were receivers available and DJ Moore would have been a perfect fit to fill the void for Dez Bryant. They instead went with the safe pick at lineback, Leighton Vander Esch out of Boise State. He will be an impact player next year with their health concerns at linebacker but have to wonder if taking one of the top receivers was the right move here.
So I may be a bit biased but the Chicago Bears absolutely won this draft. Roquan Smith is an absolute animal. He is the hard nosed, linebacker that the Bears needed to really solidify that defense. I expect them to be a top 10 defense next year and don’t be surprised if the Chicago Bears sneak into that wild card discussion. Roquan Smith joins his former Georgia Bulldog teammate Leonard Floyd, these two will team up for one terrifying duo. Could Quan join the illustrious list of Bears linebackers? Stay tuned folks and Bear down.
I hate to admit it but the Packers did a great job yesterday. Ian Rapoport said it best, I echo these thoughts. God damn you Green Bay.
Lamar Jackson fell all the way to the end of the first round and the Ravens stole him. He will get to sit and learn for a year under offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. Marty Mornhinweg was the OC when Michael Vick came to the Eagles so he has experience working with a quarterback with Jackson’s skillset. Expect them to retool their offense around Jackson the following season.
The first edition of #TinThoughts was a lot, thanks for staying tuned folks. I will leave you with some notable players still available for Round 2 later tonight.