Last Thursday the NFL Draft kicked off, and throughout the weekend plenty of NFL junkies were itching to get to their teams next pick. The draft certainly wasn’t a boring one this year; Germany’s first NFL player was drafted, a player who had never been in the United States was drafted, and the highly-considered best overall player in the draft slipped down to pick 13 because he smoked some weed in high school. As far as drafts go, I don’t know if it can get much better than that level of excitement. Now that the draft has ended, it’s time to sit back and see who walked away a winner and who walked away a loser. Of course, there’s no telling who walks away a winner of the draft until these rookies step foot on the football field, and there’s no real way to determine who won until we’re 5 years down the line and have seen these players flourish. With the being said, let’s see which teams are instant-winners and losers of this draft, all based off hype. Let’s begin.
The Winner’s Circle
Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jags got lucky based off the stupidity of other teams on multiple occasions over this draft. First and foremost, they continue the trend of bulking up their defense at a fast level that Major League Baseball would likely investigate for PEDs. After signing multiple studs in free agency, the Jags drafted what is highly considered the top two defensive players available. I’m not kidding either. With the 5th pick they took FSU’s star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who I considered to be the best commodity in the draft. With the pick prior to Jacksonville, I figured the Cowboys would ignore the silly running back hype and do the smart thing in drafting a stud cornerback to finally elevate their defense, but instead they followed their usual spin of stupidity. With that being said, Jacksonville walked away a winner in the first round, and then was able to draft linebacker Myles Jack in the 2nd round, a true value top 10 player in the draft who sadly tore his ACL his senior year of college. This pick is an absolute steal and a half, expect Jack to come back strong and be the one of the many final missing pieces this defense acquired this off season in order to become elite. Yeah, I dropped the “e” word.
Baltimore Ravens – There’s no shocker on this one. It’s no surprise the Ravens know how to draft well, and given the fact their team was riddled with injuries and had at least 3 different starting QB’s this past year, it’s no surprise they earned a good draft grade with a top 10 draft pick. The Ravens beefed up the whole roster in the draft, and added a Day 1 impact starter in tackle Ronnie Stanley. Now, Tunsil was still on the board due to his infamous Instagram video, but Ronnie Stanley was considered a top 10 pick, so it’s not like they were reaching to avoid controversy. If the Ravens can stay healthy, they’re likely division winners. This draft only adds depth to their powerful roster.
The Losers Corner
Dallas Cowboys – The biggest hypocrites in the NFL right now, the Cowboys let star running back Demarco Murray leave a year ago because ‘an elite back isn’t needed to be a contender’. Okay Dallas, I agree. The Belichick era Patriots haven’t ever had a year-to-year consistently dominant running back, A.K.A. a franchise back, and look how well they’ve been? That’s smart thinking right there. You know what is dumb thinking? Waisting your top-5 pick on media hype around a running back when just the year prior you said a franchise back wasn’t needed. Hell, Darren McFadden had a 1000-yard year and he only started half the season. Why waist a pick on a franchise back when you have a rotation of McFadden, a dominant pass-catching back in Lance Dunbar, and a proven bull rushing back in Alfred Morris? That rotation would’ve been fun to watch behind such a strong offensive line, but now it seems like they just wasted money and roster spots on these running backs. ‘Zeke Elliot will probably be a good back, but come on Dallas, the two best players in the draft were still on the board in Laremy Tunsil and Jalen Ramsey, and drafting Ramsey would’ve filled a hole the Cowboys have desperately needed since Deion Sanders. To me, this was the epitome of the Cowboys: a head-scratcher.
Cleveland Browns – Going into the draft, I thought Cleveland was finally making smart moves. They knew they didn’t want to participate in the over-hyped QB lottery, so they traded away their number 2 pick for a king’s ransom. It worked at first, owning a total of 14 picks over 7 rounds. Of course, it was working until they actually started drafting. With their first pick they took wideout Corey Coleman, a first round talent but a heavy reach at their drafting spot. Seriously, I almost did a spit-take, I couldn’t believe it. From there, nothing blew me away with their remaining 13 picks. But really, who knows? Cleveland seems very invested in truly rebuilding their squad, new head coach Hue Jackson is a guy who seems adamant on progression and hard work, and they added the person that Jonah Hill plays in “Moneyball” to run their football operations. Maybe there’s a method to their madness this time. But until I see results, I have to believe it’s same-old Cleveland Browns finding a way to burn down anything nice they might have had.