Picking the winners and losers in a NFL Draft less than 12 hours after the first round was completed is a bit premature – I realize that. But you know what? We’re competitive, dammit.
Last night’s first round was rather…boring, to be honest. All the rumored trades failed to happen and the selections were rather understandable, for the most part. Granted, some left me a bit confused, but there were no egregious selections such as EJ Manuel being drafted 16th overall.
Here are the winners and losers as well as the best and worst picks from the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
After trading 23rd spot with the Denver Broncos, the Lions were not only able to move back to 28 but they also grabbed an extra fifth round draft pick this year and in 2016. In addition, they also acquired offensive lineman Manny Ramirez.
Desperately in need of a left guard, the Lions can seemingly insert Ramirez into the hole on day one. But the Lions didn’t stop there as they drafted Laken Tomlinson five spots later to continue shoring up that offensive line. Without giving up anything at all, the Lions acquired two integral pieces to their offensive line as well as two additional draft picks. Well played.
Having two picks in the first round hasn’t fared to well for the Browns in recent years: Joe Thomas and Brady Quinn (2007), Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden (2012), Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel (2014). Needless to say, expectations weren’t that high for the Browns to make the right choices with the picks they were given.
However, Browns fans have to be surprisingly pleased this morning with the selections made – Danny Shelton (DT) and Cameron Erving (OL). These selections were smart, addressing needs on the offensive and defensive lines.
It’s almost as if Jimmy Haslam fell asleep during the first round thus allowing his personnel to make the wise decisions. Either that or he took a play out of Jerry Jones‘s recent playbook and let those qualified to make football decisions have the final say.
This one is easy – Amari Cooper. While the pick smells of the typical Oakland Raiders selection, it immediately gives Carr a weapon he was desperately lacking last season. Cooper’s emergence will also allow James Jones to flourish in the passing game.
Somewhere Carr is thanking the Oakland brass, and then quickly asking them to find him someone else in the backfield other than Trent Richardson.
Mike Zimmer’s Mind
When Trae Waynes fell into Zimmer’s lap, the Minnesota Viking defense immediately became better, and they were already impressive last season.
I’ve been incredibly harsh with the selection of defensive end Bud Dupree. Let me be clear, it has nothing to do with Dupree as a player – I have no doubt he will be great. Instead, this has to do with the need of the Steelers to field a competent secondary.
This offseason saw the Steelers lose defensive mainstays Dick LeBeau, Jason Worilds, Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Brett Keisel. Needless to say, there is a great amount of need on that defense. While Dupree will help replace Keisel and even James Harrison, he doesn’t fill the albatross that is the Pittsburgh secondary.
Sacked 38 times last year, Newton is in need of protection. Unfortunately the Panthers didn’t go that route, instead opting to select a project-defender in Shaq Thompson. Perhaps Carolina will find that protection for Newton in the mid to later rounds. Let me rephrase that, Carolina better find that protection before the weekend is over.
Zac Stacy and Tre Mason
The selection of running back Todd Gurley was a big smack in the face for both St. Louis running backs. Stacy shared his frustrations on Twitter only to be followed by Mason venting his concerns. I can easily understand their frustrations, just as I can understand the Rams’ refusal to pass up on the opportunity to bring in a talent such as Gurley. It’s a tough situation, but such is the case around the NFL.
Either way, one of these two will likely be playing on a new team this fall.
- Trae Waynes to the Minnesota Vikings at 11.
- Danny Shelton to the Cleveland Browns at 12.
- Malcom Brown to the New England Patriots at 32.
- Marcus Mariota to the Tennessee Titans at 2.
- Leonard Williams to the New York Jets at 6.
- Shaq Thompson to the Carolina Panthers at 25.
- Bud Dupree to the Pittsburgh Steelers at 22.
- Stephone Anthony to the New Orleans Saints at 31.
- Cedric Ogbuehi to the Cincinnati Bengals at 21.
- Kevin Johnson to the Houston Texans at 16.
Cover Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports
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