The NFL Draft took place last night, I know how hard it can be to stay up long enough to see all the picks (or stay interested long enough). So, I’m here to help you out! Here is a summary of all the first-round draft picks and trades from last night and my take on the fit for each team.
Pick #1 – Cincinnati Bengals select Joe Burrow – LSU QB
No one saw this coming. Burrow had one of the best seasons in college football history. This pick is setting up the Bengals with a franchise quarterback for the next decade and beyond. He will come into the league with weapons around him, namely AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon. They should be set up to at least compete in this division from day one.
Pick #2 – Washington Redskins select Chase Young – Ohio State DE
Young can be summed up in one word “Menace”. His ability to rush the quarterback is similar to elite NFL players in terms of speed and arsenal of moves. This is just the kind of defensive game-changer that the Redskins need in order to get back into contention in their division.
Pick #3 – Detroit Lions select Jeff Okudah – Ohio State CB
Okudah is the definition of a lockdown corner. At 6’1” – 205lbs, he is big enough to be physical with elite NFL wideouts which is necessary in today’s heavy pass attacking offenses. He is a perfect replacement for All-Pro CB Darius Slay and is an exciting new defensive addition.
Pick #4 – New York Giants select Andrew Thomas – Georgia OT
They have the running back, they have the quarterback, now they needed some help protecting them. Standing at 6’5” – 315lbs, his size is not a problem. As a top-rated OT in this draft, he will play a key role in protecting Daniel Jones going forward. More time will be key to the success of Danny Dimes.
Pick #5 – Miami Dolphins select Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama QB
Tua has had all the college success someone could want in a quarterback. This lefty QB has elite accuracy at every level. If he can stay on the field, his ability to throw on the run and hit targets anywhere on the field will help turn this franchise around.
Pick #6 – Los Angeles Chargers select Justin Herbert – Oregon QB
Height, strong arm, foot speed, accuracy, and the mentality to take a hit to get the throw off. Herbert has it all. It helps to have all these qualities when replacing future Hall of Famer Philip Rivers. Chargers fans should be more than excited to see Herbert get into camp and work with the very talented wide receiver core the Chargers have.
Pick #7 – Carolina Panthers select Derrick Brown – Auburn DT
Brown is the most complete defensive tackle in the draft. He has NFL size, strength, and athleticism. Brown is a terror for offensive linemen in college and with likely do so in the pros after a little coaching. The Panthers needed a revamping on defense, so drafting a player that will likely require a double team to stop should open the field up for the other playmakers on defense.
Pick #8 – Arizona Cardinals select Isaiah Simmons – Clemson OLB
Simmons can do everything. 6’3” and change – 238lbs and played cornerback, safety, and linebacker at Clemson. His elite speed and strength will make him a huge problem for offenses for years to come. The Cardinals got an absolute gem here at #8 overall. Plugging him into the defense will help them be a formidable opponent in what could be the most competitive division in football next year.
Pick #9 – Jacksonville Jaguars select CJ Henderson – Florida CB
Henderson is not known for tackling or stopping the run when running backs break through the line but he will blanket receivers at an elite level. His ability to stay attached to receivers and looks to replace former All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey on this defense.
Pick #10 – Cleveland Browns select Jedrick Wills Jr. – Alabama OT
Anyone who watches the draft every year would know that Alabama always provides an elite offensive lineman. Wills is arguably the best lineman in this draft with almost no weaknesses. He has great footwork and should be a perfect fit for the Browns. Baker Mayfield has the weapons, if he gets the proper protection, there’s no reason to think they won’t have a bounce-back year.
Pick #11 – New York Jets select Mekhi Becton – Louisville OT
Becton instantly becomes one of the largest players in the NFL. 6’7” – 364lbs is gigantic for the NFL. His size is perfect to guard Sam Darnold’s blindside, and his footwork should prove more impressive than most believe. He has an extremely high ceiling and only time will tell if he reaches it. The Jets made an interesting choice but it could pay off.
Pick #12 – Las Vegas Raiders select Henry Ruggs III – Alabama WR
Fast. He ran a sub 4.3 40-yard dash and has an elite vertical. He is a deep threat and extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. His electric factor will help open up the field in an offense that needed a playmaker. Plus, we all know the Raiders pretty much just look at the 40-yard dash time when drafting WRs.
Pick #13 – San Francisco 49ers trade pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who select Tristan Wirfs – Iowa OT
After making moves to get Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, all they need in this offense is protection. Wirfs is a dog, he fights on every down and won’t back down. He is an every-down lineman and is a perfect fit for this win-now team. You hate to give up equity to move up 1 pick, but if it means securing the guy you love, it is beyond worth it.
Pick #14 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade pick to the San Francisco 49ers who select Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina DT
Being able to rush the passer from inside is becoming a necessity for NFL defenses. Kinlaw is just the guy to do that. He will replace Deforest Buckner who got traded to the Colts for this pick. He’s a much younger and less expensive version of Buckner. This defense will continue to pressure QBs at the same rate as last year.
Pick #15 – Denver Broncos select Jerry Jeudy – Alabama WR
Possibly the most complete Wide Receiver to come out of the draft in years. He runs crisp routes, has elite hands, and 4.4 40-yard speed. With Courtland Sutton on the outside and Jeudy in the slot, the Broncos will have a balanced passing offense for the first time in years. Denver must have been shocked that a player of his caliber fell so far to them. Broncos fans look to compete for your division title this year.
Pick #16 – Atlanta Falcons select A.J. Terrell – Clemson CB
Extremely physically gifted and will turn into a fine cornerback when the Falcons coach him up a little. He has the speed to hang with NFL wideouts but as is a little too handsy which could spark flags in the NFL. Overall, good pick as their defense has been pass friendly for years now.
Pick #17 – Dallas Cowboys select CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma WR
Holy weapons. The Cowboys are fully investing in their offense. Cooper, Gallup, and now Lamb. This offense was already considered elite and now, jeez. I have no idea how teams are going to defend these receivers and also worry about arguably the best runner in the league in Ezekiel Elliott. A little bonus for Cowboys fans, you kept the Eagles (who are in desperate need of a receiver) from getting him.
Pick #18 – Miami Dolphins select Austin Jackson – USC OT
How do you protect a first-round QB? Draft a first-round offensive lineman. Austin Jackson stands 6’5” – 300lbs+ (great NFL size) and provides great footwork that helps stop rushers that have a variety of rushing moves. He will be an extremely important part of Tua’s success in his rookie year. A perfect fit for the Dolphins who somehow managed to not screw up their draft for the first time in years.
Pick #19 – Las Vegas Raiders select Damon Arnette – Ohio State CB
A three-year starter at an elite program, Arnette got drafted far earlier than he was projected. He comes with quick feet and an aggressive personality that makes him not back down to a challenge fitting the Raiders perfectly. His grit will help bolster a defense in desperate need for help.
Pick #20 – Jacksonville Jaguars select K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU OLB/DE
Being able to play both linebacker and edge rusher, Chaisson should be able to use his excellent quickness and timing to get to the quarterback. He’ll need to pack on a few pounds if he’s going to be able to deal with physical offensive linemen. Having a depleted pass rush, Jacksonville filled a great need with this pick.
Pick #21 – Philadelphia Eagles select Jalen Reagor– TCU WR
He has elite field speed and fills the blatantly obvious hole at wide receiver. With a 42” vertical it hardly matters that he is 5’10”, he can still jump over defenders to catch the long ball. Shocking pick considering LSU’s Justin Jefferson was still available. Be prepared to see videos of Eagles fans losing their cool (justified) when the pick came in. Hopefully, I get proven wrong, for the sake of Eagles fans everywhere. Everyone else in their division had a great first round, so in order to stay competitive, Reagor has to kill it.
Pick #22 – Minnesota Vikings select Justin Jefferson – LSU WR
A pure slot receiver who is incredible after the catch. At LSU, he was open constantly and was a favorite target for #1 overall pick Joe Burrow. Jefferson runs routes at an elite level which makes him a high-volume target for Kirk Cousins and makes a perfect complement to Adam Theilen. This duo will tear up NFL defenses this year.
Pick #23 – New England Patriots trade pick to the Los Angeles Chargers who select Kenneth Murray – Oklahoma ILB
After getting their franchise quarterback earlier, they traded up to take a tenacious linebacker that can rush the passer as well as run sideline to sideline to make tackles. Perfect fit in a defense that has lots of electric defensive players. Look for him to wreak lots of havoc.
Pick #24 – New Orleans Saints select Cesar Ruiz – Michigan C
Specializing at run blocking, Ruiz can seal running lanes and also pull out wide on pitches and lead block. With experience at guard as well, he brings versatility to a line that has a very important asset in Drew Brees to protect.
Pick #25 – Minnesota Vikings trade pick to the San Francisco 49ers who select Brandon Aiyuk – Arizona State WR
Aiyuk is a versatile and very hard to tackle after the catch. Although he is sub 6’, his wingspan is 80+” so his catch radius is plenty big to help Jimmy G. In Kyle Shanahan’s creative offense he will be a valued weapon. Be ready for some double reverses, hook & ladders, and other trick plays.
Pick #26 – Miami Dolphins trade pick to the Green Bay Packers who select Jordan Love – Utah State QB
Love has great size and a cannon to hit deep receivers. He can throw on the run better than anyone in the draft. But, oh my god, trading up to take a quarterback when you have Aaron Rodgers… The Packers need weapons, not a project. You can say all you want about Rodgers being the same age as Favre when the Packers drafted Rodgers, but they are in a division that they can win now. Pick doesn’t make sense to me, just not the right time.
Pick #27 – Seattle Seahawks select Jordyn Brooks – Texas Tech ILB
A finalist for the Butkus Award which is given to the top linebacker in college football. Due to his speed, agility, and acceleration, he is extremely hard to block. This lets him get to ball carriers everywhere on the field. I would use the phrase “heat-seeking missile” when describing him. He is a perfect fit for any team needing a playmaker on defense.
Pick #28 – Baltimore Ravens select Patrick Queen – LSU ILB
A linebacker who can cover zone better than any other in the draft, Queen reads routes at an NFL level and has the speed to keep up with tight ends and wide receivers. His play recognition allows him to shift his weight from coverage and accelerate to stop the run quickly when needed. The Ravens have a knack for getting electric defensive players, and they did it again.
Pick #29 – Tennessee Titans select Isaiah Wilson – Georgia OT
At 6’6” and weighing in the mid 350lbs, Wilson has an NFL ready body and an astonishing quickness for his size. He has size and speed to deal with all types of rushers. The Titans managed to get a steal here at 29 with an extremely gifted blocker who will fit their ground and pound style that carried them to the AFC championship game last season.
Pick #30 – Green Bay Packers trade pick to the Miami Dolphins who select Noah Igbinoghene – Auburn CB
Igbinoghene has shiftiness to spare, being able to change direction and stay on the hip of crafty wide receivers. It helps when you are the son of two former Olympians. The Dolphins addressed their offense earlier and now they have a new member of their secondary that should be able to stick to opposing players without a problem.
Pick #31 – San Francisco trade pick to the Minnesota Vikings who select Jeff Gladney – TCU CB
Gladney can stay glued to superior route runners as well as down-field burners due to his elite physicals. His grit and determination will make him a strong presence on defense and will provide much needed secondary help after they lost lockdown corner Rhodes who went to the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason.
Pick #32 – Kansas City Chiefs select Clyde Edwards-Helaire – LSU RB
As if the Chiefs needed another weapon on offense. Edwards-Helaire stands 5’8” making him very hard to get your hands on him. He is built low to the ground letting him absorb contact and keep moving. All-in-all he is a perfect fit for this electric offense and will provide the ground game they’d like to have to bring them back to the Super Bowl.
Tune in for rounds 2 and 3 tonight to see how your team backs up their first-round or take their first pick of the draft like my Indianapolis Colts.