Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia: They did it. There was talk for weeks that GM Trent Baalke saw a lot of Aldon Smith in Walker, and the former Bulldog goes first overall. Walker is an elite athlete, but has a lot of holes in his game. His versatility helped his case going number one.
Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan: Even the Detroit Lions couldn’t screw this up! Home run selection as they keep the in-state star home. His effort, strength, and athleticism will be a big boost to the Lions’ front line. Can’t wait to see what they do at 32nd overall.
Houston Texans – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU: I know the rumors had been swirling for over a week now, but I didn’t think they would do it. Stingley is a top 5 talent when healthy, but his problem the last two seasons has been his health. He performed well at his pro day, and seemed to quiet any doubts. Great piece for Lovie Smith’s defense.
New York Jets – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati: Excellent selection for the Jets’ defense. They badly need an edge rusher, but Sauce might be the best defensive player in this class. He has lock down potential on the outside and will no doubt have a chip on his shoulder after going after Stingley.
New York Giants – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon: Fantastic selection for the G-Men here. New York needed to take an edge rusher with one of their early picks, and end up with a player who at one point was seen as a potential top three pick. Thibs and Azeez Ojulari should feast in the NFC East.
Carolina Panthers – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, North Carolina State: All the grumblings about Carolina leaning offensive tackle come to fruition. Taking a quarterback here would’ve been foolish and been a desperation move. Ekwonu will slide right in at left tackle from day one, and was a slam dunk here.
New York Giants – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama: This pick came down to Charles Cross and Evan Neal, with the girthy Neal winning out. His size, length, and versatility is probably what set him apart from Cross. Neal’s ability to play right tackle and even guard will help solidify the offensive line. With an improved line, weapons at receiver, a healthy Barkley, and a new coach/system, Daniel Jones has no excuses now.
Atlanta Falcons – Drake London, WR, USC: Atlanta badly needed to address gaping holes at wide receiver, and had their pick of the litter. There were a lot of surprised people in the media room when his name got called. Solid pick by Atlanta; London and tight end Kyle Pitts is a nice pass catching duo.
Seattle Seahawks – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State: All these rumors of Seattle trading out of this pick, and not only did they not trade out, the Seahawks got the best pass blocking tackle in this class. Seattle needed to come out of this draft with a couple of offensive linemen, and this is a good start.
New York Jets – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State: With London off the board, the Jets go with Wilson here. They absolutely needed to add a potential top target for Zach Wilson. This might begin the run on wide receivers. Gardner and Wilson = a great first round haul.
New Orleans Saints – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State: We have the first trade of the night! The Saints were discussed as a team that could trade up, and they did not disappoint. Wide receiver was a huge need and New Orleans is always aggressive when they want a player. Olave should soak up all the knowledge Michael Thomas has, and is a great WR2.
Detroit Lions – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama: Oh boy…it’s getting crazy now! Detroit trades up, and continues the run on wide receivers by taking the electric Jameson Williams. This is definitely a shocker. Lots of “wows” in the crowd and rare praise for the Lions. Detroit needed a top wide out badly, despite St. Brown’s great play as a rookie and adding DJ Chark in free agency. If he comes back from his injury 100%, this is a home run.
Philadelphia – Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia: Third straight trade in a row! Philly probably would have loved to take a receiver here, but they still have the 18th pick and might take Dotson or Burks there. Davis is a massive man and will be a key piece up front.
Baltimore Ravens – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame: Baltimore does what it does best on draft day – be patient and take a stud who falls. Hamilton was viewed by some as maybe the best defensive player in this class. His versatility will be put to good use in Baltimore’s defense. Great pick.
Houston Texans – Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M: I like the player, but this feels just a little high for him. Houston needed an upgrade up front, and Green has played both tackle and guard. One of the more mobile offensive linemen in this class, Green likely ends up at guard in Houston.
Washington Commanders – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State: Washington traded down and landed Dotson here. Solid pick as Dotson might have the best hands in the draft and is a good route runner. I really like the player, but this also feels like a wee bit of a reach. Dotson and Scary Terry could be a dynamic duo at wide out for Carson Wentz.
Los Angeles Chargers – Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College: The Chargers let the board fall the way it did and didn’t panic amidst all the trade chaos around them. They needed offensive line help, and came away with one of the best interior linemen in the class. Johnson is likely a starter at guard, but can plug in at center and even tackle in a pinch. Solid addition.
Tennessee Titans – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas: Wow. We knew Philly wanted a receiver, but after missing out on the top options, they opted to trade this pick to Tennessee for A.J. Brown. They then gave Brown a four year $100 million contract extension. Tennessee was never going to give Brown that sort of deal, so a trade was inevitable. Burks was compared to Brown by some leading up to the Draft due to his size, testing numbers, and playing style. Tennessee could still stand to add another receiver later in the Draft.
New Orleans Saints – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa: The Saints traded up earlier to select Olave and fill the hole at receiver, but still had a huge need at offensive tackle. They currently had James Hurst slated to start at left tackle, and that’s just unacceptable. Penning isn’t a finished product, but he should slide right in and be the starter at left tackle from day one.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh: The first quarterback comes off the board, and it isn’t Malik Willis. There were tons of rumors surrounding the top quarterbacks leading up to the draft, but in the end, no team traded up for one. The Steelers – who had been rumored to be in love with Willis – end up taking the hometown quarterback in Pickett. Pickett was the most pro ready QB in this class, and will likely push Trubisky right away (if he doesn’t win the job outright).
Kansas City Chiefs – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington: Kansas City traded up to take McDuffie, who should compete for a starting job right away. Size was the only main concern with McDuffie, and this is a great fit. The Chiefs still could use help at wide receiver after trading Tyreek Hill to Miami, but that secondary needed a boost.
Green Bay Packers – Quay Walker, LB, Georgia: With the pick Green Bay got from the Raiders in the Davante Adams trade, they select Quay Walker to beef up their defense. A-a-ron must be disgusted, but this isn’t new. Green Bay hasn’t selected a wide receiver in the first round since 2002 when they selected Javon Walker.
Buffalo Bills – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida: Buffalo trades up two spots with Baltimore to take the athletic Elam. Baltimore got this pick from Arizona for receiver Hollywood Brown and the 100th pick in this draft. Great trade for Baltimore; not a fan of the deal for Arizona. Elam is a great fit in Buffalo, and should start opposite Tre’Davious White as a rookie.
Dallas Cowboys – Tyler Smith, OT, Tulsa: There were plenty of rumors the week leading up to the Draft that Dallas was looking to move up. They stayed pat, and filled a big hole on the offensive line. They had Terence Steele penciled in at right tackle, and had to rectify that. Smith is raw as a pass blocker, has issues with penalties, and some think he would be better at guard, but he should start out at right tackle for Dallas.
Baltimore Ravens – Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa: The Ravens just do what they do best: sit and wait for premium talent to just fall into their laps. Crazy. Happens every year. NFL personnel thought Linderbaum’s short arms and inability to play anywhere besides center lowered his value. After rumblings he could drop out of the first, he goes 25th and the Ravens might have their starting center for the foreseeable future.
New York Jets – Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State: Johnson dropping here is a huge win for the Jets, who trade back into the first round to add the edge rusher. Apparently the media was higher on Johnson than the NFL was, but he was absolutely dominant at the Senior Bowl, and should step in and boost Gang Green’s front from day one.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah: Jacksonville trades up to add the do-it-all linebacker. Reports came out before the Draft that Lloyd might fall a bit due to injury concerns, but the Jaguars got a solid player. He will start with free agent addition Foye Oluokun, and add a playmaker to Jacksonville’s front seven.
Green Bay Packers – Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia: Green Bay’s front office hates Aaron Rodgers. That’s the only thing I can think of after passing on a wide receiver or trading down here. They can still get solid talent at the position later, but Rodgers is probably disgusted. Regardless, Wyatt is an athletic freak on the defensive line, and will likely start at defensive end in the Packers’ 3-4 front.
New England Patriots – Cole Strange, G, Chattanooga: Yuck. Bill follows his board and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. On the surface, this is a huge reach, as many thought Strange would probably be available in the second or even the third round. He is a solid player, and will probably start at guard in New England, but this is a typical Patriots selection. Just watch the video of Sean McVay and Les Snead clowning the pick; they thought Strange would be there for them at 104th overall…
Kansas City Chiefs – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue: Ignoring the glaring need at wide out, Kansas City instead continues to add pieces to their undermanned defense. Karlaftis is a prospect that you either love or hate, and depending on who you spoke to, his Draft range was anywhere from the early teens to the second round. He is a solid all-around defensive end who can set the edge and contribute on all three downs. He might not ever be a 12 sack guy, but he should be a contributor right away.
Cincinnati Bengals – Daxton Hill, S/CB, Michigan: Cincinnati has made beefing up the secondary a priority this off-season. There were several quality players available, and the Super Bowl runner-ups went with the versatile safety/slot corner out of Michigan. Hill has long arms, good burst, and will be a day one starter in a beefy Bengals secondary.
Minnesota Vikings – Lewis Cine, S, Georgia: After trading down and acquiring this pick from Detroit, the Vikings pick up the versatile Cine. Cine is fast, has excellent instincts, and a great tackler. He could very start in Minnesota as a rookie since Xavier Woods signing with Carolina in free agency.
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