The first round of the NFL Draft is over and with it comes my analysis.
Winner: Chicago Bears
Pick 11: Justin Fields, QB, OSU
The Bears traded up from pick 20 and snagged one of the best players in the draft, Justin Fields. The Bears QB play has always been in question. Now, they have options. They have Andy Dalton to come in to start and play some serviceable football. Which with this defense is enough to make the playoffs. You groom Fields for half the year or even a whole year, and he is ready to come out and ball. Fields can run in and out of the pocket which is very beneficial for the Bears considering their below-average offensive line. He has a hell of an arm and is the most athletic QB in this draft.
Loser: Green Bay Packers
Pick 29: Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Show Aaron Rodgers, the MVP, some respect! The Packers should’ve gone WR before Rodgers spoke out about him wanting out of Green Bay. Once he said it, it was a MUST! The Packers reached on a cornerback who they don’t need. They have an elite cornerback in Jaire Alexander and a serviceable cornerback in Kevin King. Stokes is speedy, but there is no point to have him come in to be the 2nd or 3rd corner especially with players like Rondale Moore and Terrence Marshall Jr., two skilled receivers, still on the board.
Winner: Indianapolis Colts
Pick 21: Kwitty Paye, Edge, Michigan
This was a need for the Colts, and I am sure they were shocked to see Paye on the board at 21. This was a no-brainer pick and a combo of DeForest Buckner and Kwitty Paye will create a pretty scary defensive line to go along with an already scary defense. They have the pieces for success.
Loser: Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick 24: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
The RB position is replaceable! If you aren’t getting a top-tier RB there is no point to draft one. The Steelers needed O-line badly, not to mention the fact that it is unlikely Harris will receive significant production considering how much Pittsburgh liked to throw the ball last year. He is a skilled player, but this wasn’t a good pick.
Picks that I loved: New York Jets
Pick 14: Alijah Vera-Tucker, IOL, USC
The Jets traded up to get an elite offensive lineman. This was a quality pick. You need to protect your QB of the future in Zach Wilson. Vera-Tucker can make an immediate impact.
Picks that I hated: Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick 25: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
This pick is so bad! Coming into the draft there were only a couple of positions that the Jaguars didn’t need to address, the running back position being one of them. Coach Urban Meyer even said that Etienne will be a “third-down back”, that’s it. Adress the defense! There are players on the board who can be franchise players. Etienne is not one of them. Waste of a pick.
Picks that I hated: Cincinnati Bengals
Pick 5: Ja’marr Chase, WR, LSU
This isn’t a jab at Chase. He is my WR1 in this class. But, the Bengals need to protect Joe Burrow. Penei Sewell is a generational talent and a franchise player. The need at offensive line is too big. I think they messed up. The Bengals have weapons in Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Joe Mixon. This was an unnecessary pick.
Other picks that I hated:
Carolina Panthers: Pick 8: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
Oakland Raiders: Pick 17: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Other picks that I loved:
Detroit Lions: Pick 7: Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
Los Angeles Chargers: Pick 13: Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
Baltimore Ravens: Pick 27: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota