There were no surprise videos or sudden character-sabotaging reports blowing up a player’s draft stock (remember, Laremy Tunsil, or even Warren Sapp?). The first round of Thursday’s NFL Draft went through with a few surprises.
So here are the early returns and the winners and losers are:
There was chatter that the QB-needy Redskins wanted to move up to No. 5 to select QB Dwayne Haskins.
But because of a few surprise picks — the Raiders taking Clelin Ferrell at No. 4, the Giants taking Daniel Jones at No. 6 and the Bengals passing on a QB — the Redskins got the QB they supposedly coveted at No. 15.
ESPN reporter Diana Russini said team president Bruce Allen and owner Dan Snyder were fixated on Haskins. She also reported Snyder attended just one interview during the NFL Combine and that was with Haskins.
Haskins, the Ohio State signal-caller, played in high school in Maryland, just 28 miles from the Redskins training camp in Ashburn, Va.
The Redskins weren’t done, trading with the Colts for Indianapolis’ first-round pick at No. 26 and selecting explosive edge rusher Montez Sweat (4.41 speed in 40), filling a need. Sweat fell because of a reported heart condition. But on Thursday, the NFL Network reported that the ailment was misdiagnosed.
If Sweat becomes a major player and is symptom free, he will be a steal
They had to surrender a second-round pick on Friday and a second-rounder in 2020, but the Redskins still have two picks in the third round and could address their other needs such as offensive line and wide receiver.
While I did not agree with the pick of DE L.J. Collier at No. 29 (my former NFL scout contact gave him a low grade, and he was overwhelmed by Kaleb McGary at a Senior Bowl practice), I did like the draft capital the Seahawks compiled.
They entered the draft with just five picks, including no picks in the second, sixth and seventh rounds.
Now, they have nine, including a second-rounder (from the Giants) and four fourth-rounders (two from the Packers and one from the Giants). They got those picks from Green Bay by trading their No. 21 pick for Green Bay’s pick No. 30, along with the two fourths.
The Seahawks did lose franchise DE Frank Clark in a trade earlier for the Chiefs’ first-round pick (No. 29), but they now have pick No. 37 (fifth pick in the second) and can fortify their secondary. They are a lot of good DBs left, including two from the area in CB Byron Murphy and S Taylor Rapp.
The Broncos went down 10 spots from No. 10 to No. 20 and picked up a second-rounder and a 2020 third-rounder from the Steelers. At pick No. 20, they got a quality player in tight end Noah Fant.
They now have picks No. 41 and 52 on Friday and can pick up a CB or WR — there are so many left — or even target QB Drew Lock.
Green Bay Packers
Um, a little help here for Aaron Rodgers, please. The Packers, with two first-round picks, didn’t give him any.
Instead, they selected DT Rashan Gary (6-4, 277, 4.58) at No. 12, an athletic talent who just doesn’t make plays.
They then gave up pick No. 30, as well as two fourth-rounders, for Seattle No. 21 and picked the first safety taken in Darnell Savage, a fast riser whom nfl.com ranked as the third-best safety.
They filled needs by drafting G Chris Lindstrom and OT Kaleb McGary. Problem is, they passed on higher-rated players in G Cody Ford and OTs Jawaan Taylor and Dalton Risner.
They also gave up a second (45th overall) and a third in order to get the 31st pick from the L.A. Rams.
Two rookie offensive lineman blocking for Matt Ryan? Risky.
Picking Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell No. 4 overall was the day’s biggest surprise, especially with Kentucky DE/OLB Josh Allen or even DT Ed Oliver still available. Some NFL draft analysts had Ferrell rated in the 15-25 area.
But new GM Mike Mayock said he got foundational players with all three of their first-round picks in Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs (a rookie of the year candidate) and S Johnathan Abram.
So they cut payroll, but do those latter two picks compensate for the loss of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper? What do you think?
New York Giants
With a late trade, the Giants, who gave up a second, a fourth and a fifth for Seattle’s No. 30 pick, came away with three first-round selections.
Daniel Jones (No. 6 overall) was the second QB picked.
Dexter Lawrence (17th) was the first nose tackle taken.
Deandre Baker (30th) was the first corner taken.
They could have had Dwayne Haskins at No. 6 and Montez Sweat or an offensive lineman at No. 17.
So this could be a score for Big Blue, or it could just confirm how a New York Post headline described the Giants and GM Dave Gettleman — that “Blue’s Clueless”
BEST ON THE BOARD
Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Cody Ford, G-T, Oklahoma
Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Dalton Risner, T, Kansa State
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech
Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Taylor Rapp, S, Washington