Winner: Los Angeles Chargers
Where else could we start? Derwin James at #17 is almost certainly going to be the steal of the draft. Derwin James was considered a certainty to be drafted inside the Top 10, and for good reason. If you ignore the QBs, how many prospects in this draft can you categorically say are better than him? You can probably count them on one hand. You know how in Draft Day, the Browns realise they haven’t done as much tape as they should have on Bo Callaghan because they didn’t expect to be able to get him? That’s what I did with Derwin before the draft. Even if he’d somehow made it out of the Top 10, I don’t think there’s a single person out there who expected him to slide all the way to the latter half of the first round. I was convinced the Raiders were going to get him at #15 and make everything awful, but thankfully they passed on him for...
Loser: Oakland Raiders
Kolton Miller at #15?
Consider who was on the board at #15 for the Raiders. Derwin James was still there, as was Tremaine Edmunds, two blue-chip prospects who would have filled positions of needs for the Raiders. Instead, they reached for Kolton Miller. There’s a lot to like about Miller - mainly his size and speed - but this just wasn’t even close to being the right pick with the board looking like it was. The Raiders pick #41 tonight. There’s a good chance Connor Williams is still on the board, and it’s likely that Tyrell Crosby will be, too. Rather than reaching for an OT to fill a need, the Raiders could have taken a top prospect at #15, and then taken their OT in the second round. Bad move, Raiders. Not that I’m complaining...
Winner: Green Bay Packers
The Packers made out like bandits last night. Overall, they moved down from #14 to #18, and in doing so received a 2019 first round pick and a 2018 seventh in exchange for a third rounder this year. Oh, and at #18 they drafted the guy they probably would have taken at #14 anyway in Jaire Alexander. That’s one hell of a haul for new GM Brian Gutekunst.
Loser: New Orleans Saints
What on earth were the New Orleans Saints thinking?
The trade up would have made sense if it was for their QB of the future. Instead, they’ve spent a fifth round pick and two first round picks on Marcus Davenport. To put that into context, how many pass-rushers are there that you’d be willing to part with two first round picks to acquire? DeMarcus Lawrence? Ryan Kerrigan? Probably not, right? Which means that, if they want value for the pick, the Saints are banking on Marcus Davenport developing into an even better pass-rusher than some of the best in the league today. If Davenport was a prospect like Myles Garrett or Bradley Chubb it’d make some semblance of sense, but he’s a project who’s probably not even ready to start this year.
Also, where does this leave the Saints at QB? Drew Brees is 39, but they won’t be finding his replacement in next year’s draft without their first rounder. They don’t have a second rounder this year, either (they traded it away to move up for Alvin Kamara), so they’re not even in position to grab a guy like Mason Rudolph. What’s the long term plan here?
The Saints have gone all in on Marcus Davenport, but I just don’t see this one working out.
Winner(s): Denver Broncos/Indianapolis Colts/Chicago Bears
Great value for all these teams, as they pick up blue chip prospects at a position where it was likely they’d already be off the board. Bradley Chubb adds even more firepower to a loaded AFC West arms race, Quenton Nelson is going to be exceptionally good for a long time, and Roquan Smith is exactly the player the Bears defense needed. Good stuff.
Loser: Pittsburgh Steelers
In what was by far the biggest reach of the first round, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Terrell Edmunds at #28. Clearly, the Steelers front office think he’s good enough to be picked there, but look at the safeties left on the board. Ronnie Harrison. Justin Reid. Jessie Bates. Even if he was ‘their guy’, they could have looked to move down 10-15 spots and still ended up with him - and even if nobody was interested in moving up, there’s a good chance that he’d still be on the board when they pick in the second.
The term ‘value’ gets thrown about a lot in the media, but it’s absolutely necessary in this case. NFL.com’s draft profile has him as a 3rd or 4th round prospect with ‘eventual starter potential.’ Fair enough, the Steelers were higher on him than that. But to be so much higher? I’m unconvinced.
Who do you think were the Biggest Winners and Losers from Draft Day last night? Let us know in the comments!