2018 NFL Draft Reactions
The 2018 NFL Draft has come to a close. The draft started with the Cleveland Browns selecting with Heisman Trophy winner QB Baker Mayfield. The New York Giants followed with the selection of RB Saquan Barkley. The Jets chose QB Sam Darnold with the third pick, followed by CB Denzel Ward and DE Bradley Chubb, going to the Browns and the Denver Broncos respectively. The three day event once again gave us plenty to discuss going forward. Did the Browns make the right choices? What were the best picks? Which rookie is positioned to shine early? Lets answer those questions and more.
Did the Browns Get It Right?
Although Mayfield is highly respected and talented, he was not the correct choice for the Browns. Barkley would have been the better and safer choice. Barkley would have delivered right away for the Browns' offense as opposed to Mayfield. Also, Mayfield's NFL ceiling is not as high as the other QBs taken after him. His skill set reminds many of Johnny Manziel, who had trouble adjusting during his stint with the Browns. Not to mention the Browns already have Tyrod Taylor at QB, who shares similar characteristics at QB with Mayfield.
The Best Selections
The Giants made the right move in selecting Barkley. He is an all purpose RB who will breathe new air into the Giants' running game, which finished 26th in the NFL last season. The Broncos selecting Chubb further solidifies the defense now that he will be paired with All Pro LB Von Miller. The Colts selecting guard Quenton Nelson was the right move as they try to build a solid offensive line to protect Andrew Luck, who has suffered through injuries.
Overall, this was a solid draft by all 32 teams. Very few picks were questionable. One selection that stood out was the Seattle Seahawks taking RB Rashaad Penny (27th overall). Although Penny had an historic season at San Diego State, where he finished with 2,278 rushing yards, he was ranked 5th among RBs in the draft. His vision, pass-blocking and speed are steps below RBs like Nick Chubb (Browns) and Derrius Grice (Redskins). The Jets taking Darnold was another questionable move. Darnold struggled mightily during his last season at USC. He was turnover-prone. Arguably, he was the most overrated player in this draft. Although, his character and leadership is undeniable, he has a long way to go to justify being drafted number three overall.
In any draft, there will always be players who were overlooked and unappreciated. The first round alone had a few steals. Former UCLA QB Josh Rosen fell to the Arizona Cardinals at the 10-spot. Rosen was arguably the best QB in this year's draft. He was clearly the best pocket-passer. WR Calvin Ridley fell to the Atlanta Falcons at 26. He has the tools to be a number one WR. He will start quickly for the Falcons and will be a nice complementary piece for Juilo Jones. The Baltimore Ravens bagged two steals of the draft; QB Lamar Jackson, who is just as talented as any other OB in this draft and OT Orlando Brown, who had first round potential but was questioned after a terrible NFL Combine.
Early Rookie of the Year Candidates
The easiest choice right now is Barkley. He is projected to start right away for the Giants. His running style, pass-catching abilities and returning punts will put him in position as the favorite to win the award. Chubb will also make an impact right away with the Broncos. He should be the projected starter at LB from day one. Other candidates include the before-mentioned Calvin Ridley and Rashaad Penny.