NFL Draft: First round reactions

Manziel to Browns

NFL Draft: First round reactions

Moderator’s Note: I have been moderating The Quill for four years now and Dan Brown is by far the most insightful young man I have ever taught regarding the national sports scene. There is a rumble in our classroom every half month as we have our story “budget” meeting where ideas are presented to the class. We all know Dan is going to choose something to do with the NFL or NBA or NCAA, but the kid knows his stuff. I challenge you to read this article about the draft and compare it to any of the so called pundits out there and THIS GUY IS A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL! Good luck Dan, I will be looking forward to seeing your byline online for whatever sports service you end up working for.

The First Round of the Draft was exciting the entire night. That is good for the league but it isn’t what it seems. ESPN’s coverage of the draft felt more like a Johnny Manziel reality show than it did anything else. It must have worked because it was highest rated draft ever. Here are the best picks and worst picks of the first round.

The Good:

Jake Matthews to the Atlanta Falcons: This was a great pick for the Falcons. I really think they just drafted a future hall of famer that can play any spot on the offensive line. The Falcon’s main goal was to protect Matt Ryan and Matthews can do that.

Aaron Donald to the St. Louis Rams: Donald is one of the best defensive tackles to come out in a while. I had him as highly regarded as Suh. He fell all the way to the Rams with the 13th pick. That is a steal because I could have seen him going as high as 5th to Oakland. The Rams just got a dominant force for the next ten years on their d-line.

Brandin Cooks to the New Orleans Saints: Wow. Drew Brees just got another weapon. Cooks is a speedy playmaker that is going to wreak havic in Sean Payton’s system. This guy is a better version of Lance Moore. Fantasy football players take note because this guy is going to put up numbers.

Mike Evans to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mike Evans is a stud. This guy can really go get the ball. It is going to be scary seeing him line up across from Vincent Jackson. His QB, Josh McCown, had Alshon Jefferey and Brandon Marshall in Chicago. Now he has perhaps an even better version in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Great pick for Tampa.

Teddy Bridgewater to the Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota made a great move to get Teddy Bridgewater before another team could. I had Bridgewater has my second highest rated QB. It doesn’t make sense to me that a guy with the best film and mechanics can have one bad day and slip all the way to the 32nd pick. This guy has star-potential. I am a little worried about his football IQ but I think this guy could be special. Forget about his pro-day.

The Bad:

Blake Bortles to the Jacksonville Jaguars: I am just not a Bortles fan and I certainly think the Jags reached at 3rd overall. People say he is the next Big Ben. I don’t see it. Big Ben is one of the most unique QB’s of all time. That comparison is unfair to Bortles and Ben. Big Ben has rare ability to stretch plays and throw on the run. I don’t think there will be another QB quite like him. Bortles just doesn’t have the it factor. He doesn’t have the arm to play in this league. I see him as a big potential bust.

Anthony Barr to the Minnesota Vikings: Barr dropped for a reason and that reason is that he takes plays off and just doesn’t have the drive. I worry about players who lack that. Players like that just don’t succeed in the NFL. Plus, I don’t think he is a great fit in Mike Zimmer’s defense. I would have taken Aaron Donald here.

Eric Ebron to the Detroit Lions: This was another head-scratcher to me. Ebron has been extremely overrated just because of what Jimmy Graham has done. Nobody remembers this but Jimmy Graham wasn’t a first round pick. I remember when he was picked on day two. I remember Todd McShay saying on air that he thought the Saints reached for Graham. The Lions definitely reached for Ebron. He is one dimensional and he drops passes. Ebron will have a lot to live up to if he wants to be the next Jimmy Graham.

Dee Ford to the Kansas City Chiefs: I’ll say it right now. Dee Ford is going to be a bust. I think he was way overhyped because he was a good player on Auburn’s defense. If Auburn didn’t have their improbable run to the title game, I’m not sure Ford is picked in the first two rounds. I felt like he disappeared in games and big spots. Just don’t get a good vibe on Dee Ford, especially at pick 23.

Haha Clinton-Dix to the Green Bay Packers: Clinton-Dix didn’t impress me when he was at Alabama. Everyone says that Clinton-Dix is going to be a better pro than he was college player. What!? How can that be? He was coached by the best defensive back coach in college football in Nick Saban. He played on the best defense. Then there was his suspension which raises red flags. I think Clinton-Dix will be a marginal player at best on the next level.

The Ugly:

Sammy Watkins to the Buffalo Bills: Buffalo, I know you are swinging for the fences but come on. I love Sammy Watkins. I think he is the best player in the draft, but if you are Buffalo why give up a 2015 first round pick, a 2014 first round pick and a 2015 fourth round pick to get him? You could have moved up tosixth for a much lesser price and got Mike Evans. Plus, receiver wasn’t even that big of a need. You have Stevie Johnson and Mike Williams. You just drafted Robert Woods. Why give up coveted picks for Watkins? If Buffalo has a bad year they could see Cleveland picking in the top-5 with their pick.

Justin Gilbert to the Cleveland Browns: Sammy Watkins was on the board!!! The player that they wanted all along was on the board with the fourth pick. They could form the best receiver combo in the league with Josh Gordon and Sammy Watkins, instead they traded the pick. I know they got a kings ransom with the 2015 first round pick from the Bills, but come on Cleveland. If an elite prospect is on the board you take him. No matter what they offer is. Remember the last time an elite receiver (Julio Jones) was on the board when the Browns were picking? They traded that pick as well. That time it was to the Falcons for a first round pick in the 2012 draft. That pick eventually turned into Brandon Weeden. Julio Jones is now one of the top five receivers in the NFL and Weeden isn’t even on the Browns anymore. The Browns better hope their pick from the Bills isn’t as lop sided as Jones for Weeden was. It might be though because Watkins is special. To make matters worse, they traded up one spot (one spot!!!!) to reach for cornerback Justin Gilbert. Uh, Cleveland.

Bradley Roby to the Denver Broncos: Roby is certainly one of the most overrated players in this draft. I watched all 12 games he played last year at Ohio State and he didn’t impress me. He actually frustrated me. I saw game after game of this man getting burned. Maybe it was the scheme, but Roby should have been able to at least tackle the other receiver. His mechanics are a mess and he may not be coachable. I think he is a bust and will frustrate Broncos fans, too.

Marcus Smith to the Philadelphia Eagles: This was an obvious reach. He is not a first round talent. He is a good pass rusher but there were better players on the board for the Eagles to take. There were three Louisville players drafted in the first round and Teddy Bridgewater was somehow the third Cardinal picked!! That is egregious!!! Teddy was the best player on that team by far.