NFL Draft Round One Recap

Recapping a wild first round of the NFL Draft

The Cleveland Browns select Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Photo by SI.com

The First Round of any NFL Draft is always an enigma. This year’s First Round seemed to take that up a notch. Heading into the draft, we normally have a really good idea of who the first pick will be, if not certain. That was not the case this year, so the other teams could not act accordingly. We were all waiting on the Cleveland Browns to make their pick and……it’s Baker Mayfield.

After months and months of assuming Sam Darnold would be the pick, and some late Josh Allen buzz, it turns out Mayfield was the guy that GM John Dorsey wanted all along. When asked about Mayfield after they selected him, Dorsey said he “Wins the game of football, ultra-competitive, revered by teammates.” It’s clear these are not the same Browns as in years past.

With the second pick in the draft, the New York Giants could have picked Darnold, who surprisingly fell to them, but they decided to get another play-maker for Eli Manning, and draft Saquon Barkley. The Running back out of Penn State is thought to be the best player in the draft, he and Odell Beckham Jr. will be forces in New York for a long time.

The New York Jets were third on the clock, after moving up from the 6th pick earlier in the off-season. Everybody knew they were taking a Quarterback, and it happened to work out that Sam Darnold fell to them, and they took the Southern California product rather quickly.

The Browns were back on the clock again at #4, and surprised everybody once again. Most of the NFL Draft experts thought this pick would be a no-brainer, and the Browns would take North Carolina State DE Bradley Chubb. The Browns already have two very good DEs in Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah, so they went with the best player at their biggest need, Denzel Ward, Cornerback out of Ohio State.

After Bradley Chubb fell to the Denver Broncos at #5, that pick was made very quickly. John Elway picked Chubb who will now line up opposite of Von Miller on that stout Denver defense. The offenses in the AFC West probably didn’t get a whole lot of sleep last night.

With the 6th pick in the Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected Quenton Nelson, a Guard out of Notre Dame. The Colts traded back from #3 with the Jets, received a ton of picks, and still landed the player they wanted the most. Well done by Chris Ballard and his staff.

With only two quarterbacks off the board by the 7th pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers accepted a trade offer from the Buffalo Bills. The Bills moved up to #7 and took Josh Allen, QB out of Wyoming.

At #8 the Chicago Bears took Linebacker Roquan Smith out of Georgia, hoping he can be the next Brian Urlacher for them. The San Francisco 49ers took Offensive Tackle Mike McGlinchey with the 9th overall pick, the second Notre Dame Offensive Lineman to be drafted in the top ten picks.

Then we had another trade, as the Arizona Cardinals moved up from #15 to #10 with the Oakland Raiders’ pick. The Cardinals selected Josh Rosen, the fourth QB taken in the top ten picks. The Cardinals finally get their QB of the future. While they signed Sam Bradford in free agency, he’s not likely to be a long-term solution.

After Rosen was selected at #10, there was a run of defensive players. Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Dolphins, Vita Vea to the Bucs, Da’Ron Payne to the Redskins, and the Saints traded up from #27 to #14 to draft Marcus Davenport. The Green Bay Packers traded up from #27 to #18 with the Seattle Seahawks, and selected CB Jaire Alexander out of Louisville.

The Dallas Cowboys selected LB Leighton Vander Esch with the 19th overall pick, a likely long-term replacement for Sean Lee or Jaylon Smith. The Lions selected C Frank Ragnow at #20, and the Cincinnati Bengals selected C Billy Price at #21 out of Ohio State.

Arguably the best moment of the night came with the 28th pick in the draft as the Pittsburgh Steelers were on the clock. They took Terrell Edmunds, a Safety out of Virginia Tech. Good for Edmunds, but the man who delivered the pick is the big story here. 

As for surprises in the first round, the Seahawks moved back to #27 and selected RB Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State. Most draft experts pegged Penny as a late second or third round pick. The Baltimore Ravens ended the night by moving up and selecting QB Lamar Jackson out of Louisville with the final pick of the First Round.

Rounds Two and Three are schedule for this evening at 7:00pm, the Draft will wrap up tomorrow, starting at 12:00pm. Stay tuned to EBSN Online for more coverage of the draft, including grades and reaction from our NFL Draft expert later today. Here is a video of all 32 picks made last night.