It’s come and gone. The 2018 NFL Draft concluded last week, and it was a good one as always.
A lot of trades, players falling, teams reaching. Good storylines such as Seahawks draft pick Shaquem Griffin who will now play alongside his brother in Seattle.
Maybe your team didn’t pick who you wanted them to.
Thankfully we at Win Column love the NFL and have taken the time to go over every team’s draft and grade them on an alphabetical scale.
We will start with the NFC.
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia (8th), James Daniels, C, Iowa (39th), Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis (51st), Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB, Western Kentucky (115th), Bilal Nichols, DE, Delaware (145th), Kylie Fitts, LB, Utah (181st), Javon Wims, WR, Georgia (224th).
Chicago may have had one of the more beneficial draft days out of all the NFL teams; the Bears were able to bolster their offence around Mitchell Trubisky with the picks of Miller and Daniels. While also getting the best defensive talent debatably in the draft with their pick of Smith at #8. Chicago did exactly what was expected of them in the draft, find a way to protect Trubisky and give him more options in the passing game.
Roquan Smith will more than likely be a future pro-bowl linebacker for the Bears and will be tasked with anchoring their defence
for the foreseeable future.
Depth picks in the later rounds at linebacker, and wide receiver gives the Bears options going forward as they look to make their first playoffs since 2010.
Frank Rangow, C, Arkansas (20th), Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn (43rd), Tracy Walker, DB, Louisiana-Lafayette (82nd), Da’Shawn Hand, DT, Alabama (114th), Tyrell Crosby, OL, Oregon (153rd), Nick Bawden, RB, San Diego State (237th).
The Detroit Lions solved some of the needs they had going into the 2018 NFL Draft but the moves they made to solve those needs are questioned by many.
The Lions traded up twice in the draft to get both Johnson and Hand, both questionable when it comes to value. The Lions moved up a fourth-rounder to move up eight spots to draft Johnson with other Running Backs still on the board and gave up a 2019 third-round pick to trade up and grab Hand.
The Lions needed running backs in the draft, and they’ll need those running backs to perform next year so they can get the ball out of Stafford’s hands quicker.
20th selection Rangow will help bolster an offensive line that allowed the 7th most sacks in the NFL in 2017.
Mike Hughes, CB, UFC (30th), Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh (62nd), Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State (102nd), Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan (157th), Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn (167th), Colby Gossett, OG, Appalachian State (213th), Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane (218th), Devante Downs, LB, Cal (225th).
As good as the Vikings defence is they needed more depth at the cornerback position and they achieved that by selecting Hughes in the first round, Hughes was an important piece in UCF’s 2017 undefeated season. Hughes is a defender that is capable of ball-hawking quarterbacks and creating plays with his speed and athleticism.
The Vikings still need help on the offensive line though, specifically at guard and if they don’t sign somebody in free agency Gossett will be expected to compete for a starting job.
All in all the Vikings had a solid draft, they’ll be a contender next year, and most of these players will be expected to take rotational roles.
Green Bay Packers
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville (18th), Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (45th), Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt (88th), J’Mon Moore, WR, Missouri (133th) Cole Madison, OG, Washington State (138th), JK Scott, P, Alabama (172nd), Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, South Florida (174th), Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame (207th), James Looney, DT, Cal (232nd), Hunter Bradley, LS, Mississippi State (239th), Kendall Donnerson, LB, Southeast Missouri (248th)
The Packers had a pretty solid 2018 NFL Draft, not including the 2018 first-round pick they received when they traded down. The Packers secondary was horrible in 2017, and they’ve retooled that position with the acquisition of Alexander and Jackson, both rookies that should have an immediate impact in the NFL.
They were able to grab some offensive pieces later in the draft as well with Moore and St. Brown, the latter having the potential to be a steal in the draft after falling down the board.
Grabbing Burks and Looney in the later rounds also gives the Packers developmental pieces going forward as the Packers look to improve on a defence that allowed the 10th most yards in the NFL last season.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama (26th), Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado (58th), Deadrin Senat, DT, South Florida (90th), Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi (126th), Russell Gage, WR, LSU (194th), Foye Oluokun, LB, Yale (200th).
The Atlanta Falcons got a steal in the draft with grabbing Oliver at 58 in my opinion, I don’t know why he fell down the board. Smith is an important addition in this draft due to the fact Tevin Coleman’s contract ends after 2018 and he’ll probably want to go somewhere he can potentially start.
Senat will be a player that can slot in immediately as the Falcons have a very mediocre run defence, he should help them right away.
Calvin Ridley will slot in nicely in the offence taking up Taylor Gabriel’s old role and with the future of Julio Jones up in the air could be tasked with being a staple in the offence.
D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland (24th), Donte Jackson, CB, LSU (55th), Rashaan Gaulden, DB, Tennessee (85th), Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana (101st), Marquis Haynes, LB, Mississippi (136th), Jermaine Carter, LB, Maryland (161st), Andre Smith, LB, North Carolina (234th), Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (242nd).
Carolina found the replacement for Steve Smith in Moore, Moore is a quick, tough and a threat after the catch. Moore should give the Panthers offence a much-needed boost and provide another big target for Cam Newton to throw to.
Day 2 for the Panthers was all about bolstering their secondary with picks Jackson and Gaulden, Gaulden had a terrible combine and may be forced to playing safety but the Panthers will more than likely see how he performs at camp before making that decision.
On the third day for the Panthers, they found potential replacements for Kuechly and Olsen who aren’t exactly getting younger.
New Orleans Saints
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA (14th), Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF (91st), Rick Leonard, OT, Florida State (127th), Natrell Jamerson, S, Wisconsin (164th), Kamrin Moore, DB, Boston College (189th), Boston Scott, RB, Louisiana Tech (201st), Will Clapp, C, LSU (245th).
The Saints wanted Davenport, that’s for sure. Moving up 13 spots in the draft to grab Davenport cost the Saints a 2019 first-round pick and a 2018 fifth-round pick. Davenport will have to make an immediate impact in the next four years for the investment of picks to be worth it for them in the long run.
Tre’Quan Smith is a huge target who’s fast and vertically capable of winning battles downfield giving Brees a dependable target to throw the ball to.
Day 3 for the Saints included a lot of developmental picks on a deep Saints team that should be able to make at least one more Super Bowl run.
I feel like the Saints should have addressed their backup Quarterback position going forward as Drew Brees isn’t exactly getting younger and if he goes down they will be a team in trouble.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Vita Vea, DT, Washington (12th), Ronald Jones, RB, USC (38th), M.J. Stewart, DB, North Carolina (53rd), Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn (63rd), Alex Cappa, OG, Humboldt State (94th), Jordan Whitehead, S, Pitt (117th), Justin Watson, WR, Pennsylvania (144th), Jack Cichy, LB, Wisconsin (202nd).
Tampa Bay had a very good 2018 draft, not only did they fill positions of need, they also moved back twice and collected two second-round picks in the process. They choose Vita Vea over Derwin James which doesn’t make much sense since I personally think their secondary needed a lot of help.
However, they did satisfy that need later in the draft with Stewart and Davis, they’ll be expected to step up big and help a terrible Buccaneers secondary.
All in all, they met some needs, got some extra picks through the process.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State (19th), Connor Williams, OL, Texas (50th), Michael Gallup, WR, CSU (81st), Dorance Armstrong Jr, DE, Kansas (116th), Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford (137th), Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky (171st), Chris Covington, LB, Indiana (193rd), Cedrick Wilson Jr, WR, Boise State (208th), Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama (236th)
Although Connor Williams is an outstanding football player and is tremendous value at pick 50, did the Cowboys really need any more offensive linemen especially a guard? Plenty of corners were available like Isaiah Oliver, Donte Jackson, and M.J. Stewart - the Cowboys needed that position to be filled more than the guard position.
However, I liked their first-round pick, Leighton Vander Esch. They could now potentially have the best linebacking core in the NFL with Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith. That is of course if they can all stay healthy.
A sneak good pick for them too was in the seventh-round with they selected Bo Scarbrough from Alabama.
New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State (2nd), Will Hernandez, G, UTEP (34th), Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia (66th), B.J. Hill, DT, N.C. State (69th), Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond (108th), RJ McIntosh, DT, Miami (139th)
The tone of the Giants draft was set after they pick Saquon Barkley at two. What it suggested was that they’re in win-now mode, and I 100% agree with that move.
Barkley will come into their lineup and make an immediate impact. His biggest impact could be on Eli Manning’s career. Eli hasn’t exactly looked great the last few years, and that’s largely due to the fact he’s not had an effective running game. Barkley will change that.
As for their other picks, Will Hernandez was a fantastic pick at 34. The UTEP product will keep Manning upright, something that the Giants have struggled to do recently, and create big holes for Barkley to explode through. Their third round pick, Lorenzo Carter, will also have a good shot at cracking the starting lineup.
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State (49th), Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh (125th), Josh Sweat, DE, FSU (130th), Matt Pryor, OT, TCU (206th), Jordan Mailata, OT (233rd)
Philadelphia did a great job in replacing the players that they lost in free agency with the additions of Dallas Goebert and Avonte Maddox especially.
Dallas Goebert -> Michael Burton (Chicago Bears), Brent Celek (Released)
Avonte Maddox -> Patrick Robinson (New Orleans Saints)
Goebert will give Wentz a nice duo at tight end with Zach Ertz coming off a career year.
Philly continued to add to depth to already a deep secondary unit by picking Maddox with the 125th pick.
Moving onto their remaining selections, they simply just added depth at the right positions. They proved last year that you can never have too many edge rushers and that would suggest why they chose Josh Sweat.
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama (13th), Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (59th), Geron Christian, OT, Louisville (74th), Troy Apke, S, Penn State (109th), Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech (163rd), Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama (197th), Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech (241th), Trey Quinn, WR, SMU (256th)
The Redskins got maybe the steal of the draft with Derrius Guice. Even with the news that he has attitude problems that doesn’t take away the talent brings to any lineup. He brings a vast improvement to the Skins offence.
The addition of both Payne and Settle were much-needed pickups. Back when they had Terrance Knighton and Chris Baker on their line, their defence was very effective. I think we’ll see some similarities between these two rookies.
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA (10th), Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A & M (47th), Mason Cole, C, Michigan (97th), Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham (134th), Chris Campbell, CB, Penn State (182nd), Korrey Cunningham, G, Cincinnati (254th)
Whenever you get your quarterback of the future you’re a winner. Rosen is a stud who could quite honestly be the week one starter for the Cardinals.
They also brought in Kirk who can now start to build a relationship with Rosen and also learn from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.
The Cardinals are a great team with enough talent to get themselves back in the players. What they did on draft day only added to that.
Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU (89th), Brian Allen, C, Michigan State (111th), John Franklin-Myers, DE, Stephan F. Austin (135th), Micah Kaiser, LB, Virginia (147th)
Coming into the draft the Rams had very few holes to fill at the draft after what has been a fantastic offseason for the organization.
They added depth to both sides of the ball which is never a bad thing.
Not the most glorious draft class, but they didn’t really have to do much.
San Francisco 49ers
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame (9th), Dante Pettis, WR, Washington (44th), Fred Warner, LB, BYU (70th), Tarvarius Moore, S, Southern Miss (95th), Kentavius Street, DE, N.C. State (128th), D.J. Reed, CB, Kansas State (142nd), Marcell Harris, S, Florida (184th), Jullian Taylor, DT, Temple (233rd), Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee (240th)
San Fransisco did a great job of helping out Jimmy Garoppolo in the opening two rounds. The addition of Mike McGlinchey now gives Garoppolo A+ protection at both tackle positions with Joe Staley playing the other side. And Dante Pettis gives him a target who he can develop with over time.
Throughout the back end of the draft, they address many areas and made their roster much deeper than it has been in the past few years.
I am personally excited to see what Kentavius Street can bring to this lineup. In his four years at N.C. State he racked up 19.5 sacks.
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State (27th), Rasheem Green, DE, USC (76th), Will Dissly, TE, Washington (120th), Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF (141st), Tre Flowers, DB, Oklahoma State (146th), Michael Dickson, P, Texas (149th), Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State (168th), Jacob Martin, DE, Temple (186th), Alex McGough, QB, FIU (220th)
Confusingly it took the Seahawks until the 168th pick to attempt to repair their offensive line. A number of top-ranked linemen were available at the 27th pick - James Daniels, Will Hernandez, and Connor Williams - but instead, they opted to selected, San Diego State running back, Rashaad Penny who they probably could’ve taken with their 76th pick.
What makes Seattle’s draft even more strange is that they even selected a punter prior to taking offensive tackle Jamarco Jones.
Overall, their draft was okay? They got players at a position of need but also didn’t prioritize what they REALLY needed… like the offensive line.
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