Tonight is the NBA’s Draft Lottery. As a fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers, there were many years when this date would have been marked on my calendar in January. We would even joke as the seasons neared the finish line that each loss was “another ball in the hopper.”
How does this system work? And better yet, is it time to consider some type of Draft Lottery for the NFL?
Quarterback controversy is never in short supply for Cleveland Browns fans. But this year, the selection of Baker Mayfield at #1 seems to be even more of an issue than ever.
I’m sure I’ll get a lot of heat for saying this, but as fans, it’s our own fault. Too many folks simply believe whatever is told to them by the local media, don’t think or research for themselves, and just regurgitate the “Hot Take of the Day” that they heard on the radio or read on twitter.
The most excitement recently surrounding the LA Rams began even before the 2018 NFL Draft began! To begin with, the Rams already had a pretty solid roster. They then added wide receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, cornerback Aqib Talib, and CB Marcus Peters.
I’ll admit, I’ve been a Suh fan for going on more than 10 years now, having worked with him and his agent closely at a previous job, although I recognize how polarizing he is. I was ecstatic when the Rams picked him up.
The draft may have started slowly for LA Rams fans, with no picks on the first day, but it quickly picked up momentum. On the second and third days of the draft, general manager Les Snead brought in 11 players.
As football fans, we’ve all seen the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” or at least heard about it. An announcement should be coming soon on which team has been “volunteered” to share a behind-the-scenes look at their preseason operation. While this show definitely has it’s share of drama – player cuts, closed-door coaches in conversation – it also lightens the mood with the hilarious Rookie Talent Shows.
I have to think the Cleveland Browns, with all their woes and newly drafted quarterback Baker Mayfield, are at the top of HBO’s “Wish List” as to which team will be featured. As a reporter, I’d love to see all the things that are normally beyond my access. As a fan, I have this perception of a “Hard Knocks Curse” that make me wary of having the Browns be chosen.
The Chicago Bears signed seven key players to contracts that would officially keep them on the roster. But after the NFL Draft was finished the Bears continued to sign players that were undrafted hopefuls in an attempt to put together a strong solid roster, including a solid practice squad as insurance.
So imagine general manager Ryan Pace setting the roster like the chess game in the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. With training camp and preseason coming up, which of the pieces (players) will stay, and which will eventually be cut?
The Philadelphia Eagles were busy making (money) moves in April. Obviously, the NFL Draft was the number one priority for all NFL teams, but looking back on last month, the Eagles were busy. Signing players left and right, releasing and/or trading players, bringing back favorites, and saving money all in the name of defending the championship title.
Yet another NFL Draft has come and gone which means we are getting that much closer to the opening of the 2018 NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles only had five picks this year, fortunately, there is still Undrafted Free Agency to look forward to in the coming months.
No need to beat around the bush. The Dolphins went into the 2018 draft with definite needs. The 2 most glaring needs being at linebacker and tight end. Not only did they address these needs, they doubled down on them. They didn’t just take one tight end and linebacker, they took two of each!
Miami started the night off selecting arguably the best safety in college football, Minkah Fitzpatrick out of Alabama.
Dolphins GM Chris Gire had this to say about their new first-round pick: “Impeccable character. At the end of the day, this guy is a football player, creates turnovers.”
Great intangibles are just part of the package that Fitzpatrick brought as a top-notch prospect. Along with his versatility in the secondary, he’s a high-character player who’s willing to do what it takes to succeed.
“A little different skill set than the other two guys. We’ll see how it will all play out.”
The 2018 NFL Draft has been over for a few days now, and it’s given me a bit of time to research players I hadn’t known coming into it, and time to think about what our picks mean. We got to see new general manager Brian Gutekunst at work, and the draft gave us a bit more of a glimpse into his plans for our favorite team.
At the start of the draft, the Green Bay Packers had a league-high 12 picks. They made two trades in the first round and ended the draft with 11 picks that included: two cornerbacks, three wide receivers, one offensive lineman, one defensive lineman, one edge rusher, a punter and a long snapper.
So who ARE these new guys? Let’s take a look:
Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Louisville: EXCELLENT pick. The cornerback position is what I was hoping the Packers would draft first, and this is perhaps the best pick Gutekunst made this year. I think Alexander has the potential to become one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Jackson is big – he’s tall and has long arms, which helped him complete eight interceptions last year. A very close second in terms of ability to Alexander. I expect him to see the field this season.
Oren Burks, linebacker, Vanderbilt: The Packers traded up in round 3 to get Burks. Starting as a safety, Burks has the potential and skill to play either safety or linebacker for Green Bay. I’ve read that there is concern about his consistency as a tackler, but he will most likely see a lot of action as a special teams player this upcoming season.
J’Mon Moore, wide receiver, Missouri: To be honest, I’m not sure the Packers will end up keeping Moore. While he had 10 touchdowns last year for the Tigers, I’m not entirely convinced he’s ready for the NFL just yet.
Cole Madison, offensive lineman, Washington State: I like him. I predict Madison will make the team as a starter on the right side of our offensive line this season.
JK Scott, P, Alabama: Let the competition begin! Scott was definitely the best punter in the draft. Who do you think will ultimately win the spot between Scott and Justin Vogel?
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida: Here’s another player that I’m not sure will end up on the team. He seems to need some work on running routes and passing. What grade would YOU give this pick?
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame: My favorite of the three wide receivers the Packers drafted. He’s FAST and I like that for Green Bay. I’m not sure he’s ready to be a starter, but I think we very well MIGHT see him in a game this season!
James Looney, defensive lineman, Cal: He’s fast which I like, but I’m not sure he’s NFL ready just yet.
Hunter Bradley, long snapper, Mississippi State: The best long snapper in the draft. Green Bay has Brett Goode, but we definitely saw issues early last year with the LS position. There were other positions I would have rather seen get filled at this point in the draft, but he’s a solid player, no doubt.
Kendall Donnerson, Edge, SE Missouri State: Another player that I don’t think is NFL ready at this point. Hopefully, he can become one during preseason workouts, because he is FAST and has great hands.
Overall, I give the Packers an A- for their draft picks. The excitement isn’t over yet though! Up next is undrafted free agency. Follow along with me on Twitter and here as we stay up to date with all the reported signings!
Talk all things Packers with Lucy on Twitter @Lucyrk78
It has been said by many analysts, writers, and fans that general manager Ryan Pace had to be aggressive in this draft. The Chicago Bears could not afford to continue to spiral into the NFC oblivion.
It was imperative that they drafted key players and address positions that would help the Bears compete within the division of the NFC North. Pace came through and he started with the best linebacker in the draft in Roquan Smith in the first round, center James Daniels and wide receiver Anthony Millerin the second round.