It seemed that the Cleveland Browns had many football fans going “WHAT ARE THEY DOING” after their early round trades, but at the end of the night the Browns may have faired best. Who else had a successful first round of the draft? Let’s take a quick look.
The Houston Texans started things off right, taking the best overall player in this year’s class in Jadeveon Clowney. The Texans held pat in the face of numerous trade offers, and selected one of the best prospects in a long time.
Skipping over St. Louis, who had a rather boring but productive draft, we go onto the Jaguars. The Jags land the Florida boy Blake Bortles. On paper, this is a great move. The kid is 6’5” and a stout 240 pounds, very mobile and very strong, and carries himself well. The Jags may have made the “safest” move for a QB, but to Blake’s dismay the Jags need a lot more help for the man to have a fighting chance at winning a few games this year. The next 10 picks for the Jags in the draft are almost more important than their first pick.
Next was the biggest move of the day, the Bills trading up with the Browns in order to land the explosive Sammy Watkins. Yes, it was costly, but as Bills GM Doug Whaley stated it was a “calculated risk.” Well after the calculation, a first and fourth round pick next year may indeed be expensive but their may not even be a player as good as Watkins in next years draft. In other words, Whaley grew a pair and made a big move, proving without a doubt that the Bills are ALL IN with their postseason effort this season.
The Browns had themselves a very good draft after their early trading, even though their first pick surprised many people. At first, when the Browns traded up from 9 to 8 in order to grab CB Justin Gilbert, many were scratching their head. Why trade up for a player that would have been available at 9 anyway. However, the Browns knew what they had in mind when doing so, drafting their top rated corner and then drafting the illustrious Johnny Manziel at 22. The Browns knew what they were doing all along, and had a great draft, putting together some necessary pieces early in the first round.
Some teams that are not having the best draft so far are the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, and the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs selected DE Dee Ford from Auburn, who is a very good football player, however D-Line seemed to be one of the better areas for KC, as they are still looking for somebody to compliment Dwayne Bowe on the other side of the offense.
The Lions reached for Eric Ebron at number 10, and nobody can deny the kids talent. Size, physicality, and speed are Ebron’s game at TE and he should be an explosive pro. But, a highly regarded tight end may not have been the best pick for the Lions as their defense is one of the most porous in the NFL.
When it comes to the Titans, picking Taylor Lewan at number 11 was pretty lame. Don’t get me wrong, Lewan is a very strong and physical lineman and will probably be a fantastic pro, but the Titans needed some flash with this pick spot. A QB, WR, or a skilled defensive back is a much higher need in Tennessee, and taking a lineman was surprising, and disappointing for Titans fans.
Day two of the NFL draft will be even more telling as to who is making strides forward and backward before next season. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days.