NFL Draft: First Round Winners and Losers
The great thing about any sports draft is that it takes years to truly determine which picks turn into gold or mush. However, there were plenty of selections in last night's NFL Draft that still has me wondering what actually goes on in each team's War Room.
Minnesota Vikings - I loved both of their selections. To pick at 23 and still grab Sharrif Floyd was amazing. The Florida defensive tackle is a perfect fit in their 4-3 scheme and will be a future stud. Xavier Rhodes from Florida State gives them a big, strong, and fast cornerback that can play a physical style of football. Excellent grab for the Vikings. Add Tennessee wideout Cordarrelle Patterson and you have three excellent values. They did, however, trade a lot of picks to get Patterson and do not pick again until the 4th round.
Cincinnati Bengals - So many teams in the NFL have succeeded with a 2 tight end system and Tyler Eifert is the kid of guy that can deliver. He is known more for his pass catching and leaping ability than his blocking, which will be fine for Andy Dalton. Like Floyd, I did not think that Eifert would be available at pick number 21.
Pittsburgh Steelers - Good teams always draft players that fit well in their system. While many had Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones going two spots higher to New Orleans, the Steelers were thrilled to see him on the board at 17. With James Harrison gone, here's the next future dominant pass rushing linebacker in the Steel City.
Other first round draft winners include San Francisco (Eric Reid S - LSU), Houston (DeAndre Hopkins WR - Clemson), and New England (acquiring 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and a 7th round pick for their 29th overall selection).
New York Jets - I had no problem with drafting Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the 9th overall pick. In fact, I thought it was a great choice, since he can replace Darrelle Revis. However, with so many holes to fill on offense, I am baffled how the Jets could pass up on offensive line, tight end, wide receiver, and quarterback to take Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. There is no denying Richardson's talent and skill set, but the Jets were already set at defensive line, and Richardson will not provide the edge pass rush that they still lack.
Dallas Cowboys - It's one thing when you trade down thirteen spots in the first round and select an offensive lineman who was projected to be a late second or third round pick (Travis Frederick OC - Wisconsin). My biggest problem with Jerry Jones is that he didn't get nearly enough value from the 49ers to trade down. Especially when the Patriots received four picks (listed above) from Minnesota for their 29th overall selection. Someone really needs to intervene and somehow convince the Cowboys owner that it's time to let a football man stick to the football decisions.
Buffalo Bills - Have you ever drafted in a fantasy league and the rest of the teams shouted "too early!" after your pick? That is what I feel like for the Bills. Maybe E.J. Manuel becomes the next star quarterback in the NFL. Personally, I love the guy's size and ability. The only question is whether the Bills reached for someone that would probably still be there for them in the second or even third round. Manuel was the only quarterback taken in the first 32 picks, and we will someday know if Ryan Nassib and Geno Smith were better options for them.