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.
With a couple moves that shocked most of the fanbase, the Cleveland Browns selected Quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall and Cornerback Denzel Ward fourth. I’ve already decided that “Barker” Mayfield will fit right in with the Dawg Pound crowd, and for a team that seemed anti-Buckeye the past few years, the addition of Ward should thrill Ohio football fans.
The rumors that Mayfield would be the top pick started a few days ago and that seemed to prove to be correct when Roger Goodell announced his name at the podium. And choosing a Buckeye is always popular. The big question will be, can two players involved in one of the most talked about college games of the year – “FlagPlantingGate”- become teammates instead of rivals?
All the questions and panic are over. The Chicago Bears made it very clear last night that the rise of the Monsters of the Midway starts with inside linebacker Roquan Smith. As the eighth overall pick in the first round, Smith brings an incredible burst off the seam that reminds me of one of the great Bears linebackers Mike Singletary. A little undersized for a linebacker, but his quickness and speed make up for it. It’s a perfect fit for the Bears.
Smith is fluid and explosive in space which makes him perfect in the Jack position as an inside linebacker. He was praised by Georgia head coach Kirby Smart as being a “tremendous leader”, which is what Singletary became on the Bears defense. Under the veteran leadership of Akiem Hicks, he will gain the respect and pride of his fellow teammates.
Merry Draftmas! I don’t know about your town, but here in Cleveland, the NFL Draft Talk starts around Thanksgiving, permeates every college football game played during Bowl Season and continues through tomorrow. We over-analyze ever player, statistic, combine exercise, Wunderlick test score, and physical measurement. (Hand Size Matters!)
Next, we listen to every interview available, soak up any social media comments and proceed to dissect the character and intent of every player. We use these things to promote the guy we like and to destroy the guy we don’t. We compare them all to former players in an attempt to make our case For or Against drafting them. And we all behave as if our opinion means something. HA!
Mock drafts. The mainstay of football media in the weeks leading up to the NFL draft. Hundreds of journalists guessing who will take who and when. It’s a monumental job that, traditionally, most get very wrong. The inconsistency of NFL general managers and coaches make this a difficult task, and Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll are some of the most unpredictable in the league.
Go ahead and ask a Seahawks fan who they think Seattle will take in first round. Doesn’t matter the year, you will get the same reaction – a laugh. With the exception of 2016 when they took offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, the Seahawks have traded out of their first round pick every year since 2012.
Both Schneider and Carroll covet having a lot of draft picks. They have become masters at finding good value in the mid rounds, and in this year’s draft, they don’t have many. Seattle currently holds a first round pick, but then has nothing again until the fourth round. Most teams would be happy with eight picks, but its because of where those picks lie that I can see Seattle trading out of that first round.
Earlier we had listed the first 15 draft picks with a trade. Let’s see what happens with the rest of the teams and who will get drafted from 16-32. So here is the final attempt in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.
Free agency is pretty much on the quiet front with some players still trickling on to teams, such as quarterback Blaine Gabbert to the Tennessee Titans, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the Los Angeles Rams. But now it’s all about the draft and filling the holes that will make or break a team. So here is my attempt at Round 1 of the NFL Draft.