Thursday night, I’m sitting on the couch with a nice Mello Yello beside me and it’s finally time for something new with sports, the NFL draft. Thursday night was what I needed or so I thought. While I enjoyed the draft, it just felt off, and I know why.
The lack of a crowd.
As weird as it sounds, the lack of a crowd hurt the NFL draft. Also the ESPN broadcast was constantly slow getting to Roger Goodell for the pick selections so it became an even longer affair, or so it seemed.
The first pick wasn’t announced until around 7:30 and the show finished about four hours later. I understand these teams have 10 minutes to use, and deals are made during that time, but it just started to drag around pick 20. I stuck with it though, because I’m a trooper, and I love the draft.
There were some fun moments scattered through the opening night of the draft. I got the first two picks correct with Joe Burrow going to the Bengals and Chase Young going to Washington. I didn’t get a pick right until around 19 or 20.
Not a great night for predictions, but I still felt like I had good ideas.
But hey, there were some winners and losers of the first round. Today, we’re going to explore those high and lowlights.
Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings had three big needs coming into the first round and they addressed two of them while trading back to get more selections. I had them taking Justin Jefferson at wide receiver and also taking a cornerback. They did both of those things. The Vikings needed to fill holes at those positions, and the offensive tackle depth is mighty on the second and third day.
Washington Redskins - They got the best player in the draft in defensive end Chase Young. Nothing more really needs to be said. Young is a potential hall of fame talent and because teams are so quarterback-hungry, they were able to grab him later than they should have.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Bucs were able to get Iowa’s-own Tristian Wirfs when it was rumored that he could have gone as high as fourth overall. Getting him at pick 13 was one of the first big steals of the draft. Wirfs gets the pleasure of stepping in to protect Tom Brady. Probably cooler than going in the top 10, eh?
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags lost a lot of defensive talent through trades and potential trades. They restocked their cupboard on Thursday night by taking cornerback CJ Henderson and edge rusher K’Levon Chassion. They lost an elite CB and will trade their best edge rusher. The rookies are always cheaper options so it was a smart decision to replace what they gave away.
Jerry Jeudy - Yes, a player won the night. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos but some of his tweets as a 14 year old were unearthed. Jeudy posed a few questions about Big Bird, and, well, I nearly stopped breathing I was laughing so hard. Opinions may vary on what he tweeted, but I thought it was golden.
Green Bay Packers - With their championship window getting smaller, you’d think the Packers would have gone for a weapon for Aaron Rodgers, right? Wrong! Instead they trade up to take a quarterback. Look, there’s nothing wrong with planning for the future, but when you have immediateneeds to win a championship? Come on now. Packers fans should be furious with this selection. Waste of a first round choice.
Las Vegas Raiders - They filled their needs, yes, but with the wrong players. Henry Ruggs III would have been a great pick in the 20s, but not 12 overall with Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb on the board at WR. Then they take a cornerback that no one expected with their second choice. The Raiders clearly reach for their guys, as they proved last year, but the value is usually lower when doing that.
Running backs - The NFL has clearly shifted away from the “bell cow back” era and this drafted proved it. Only one running back was taken in the opening round and it was the last pick with Kansas City taking one. Teams finally figured out RBs are a dime a dozen and aren’t overvalued like they had been. Tough but it’s a fact of life now.
Seattle Seahawks - With needs on both sides of the line, they decided to go with an inside linebacker. Not only did they go LB, they picked a guy who left me saying “Who is that?” Not a great sign.
Iowa State Cyclones - Another year with no first round selections. Maybe someday, Cyclone fans.
So those are the opening night winners and losers. Check back in Friday’s edition for the rest of the draft.