There are always going to be lies, schemes, and trades during NFL Draft Season, but it’s highly unusual that you see the top two picks change hands. In fact, it’s only the fourth time in NFL history (this will be the 80th draft). Needless to say, it shakes a lot of things up. So, let’s look at what is really happening with these trades.
The number 1 pick was traded to the LA Rams. This is significant for a few reasons. First, the Titans didn’t need a quarterback, so they gave up a first, fourth and sixth round pick to get a later first round pick, next year’s first round pick, two second round picks and a third round pick. According the value chart, the Titans improvement is essentially that of a mid-second round player. I’d say it’s higher value than that. With 6 picks in the top 75 spots, the Titans are looking at adding at least 4 starters to their roster. This trade is also significant because you only give up that number of picks if you want a quarterback. I’m going to say that it’s Jared Goff.
The number 2 pick was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t like the move for the Eagles because there’s no guarantee that the QB they want isn’t selected first overall, so I would have waited until draft day to make the trade. The odds that the Eagles like both quarterbacks equally are fairly low. The value chart says that the Eagles made out well. They total value of what the Eagles gave up is 2205 while the Browns gave up something around 2700 points. I disagree. That being said, the way all of this happened is brilliant on the part of the Eagles. Philly wanted to clean house of any player associated with Chip Kelly. In trading Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso, the Eagles received pick #8. After trading DeMarco Murray, they got the 100th pick. That means, in the process of cleaning house, they were able to get the second overall pick for a first, a second, and a third rounder. That’s a great turn by Howie Roseman. I’m going to guess that the Eagles take Carson Wentz. He’s a bigger guy and he’s a little more athletic in my opinion.
Now, the draft gets interesting. The Chargers draft at number three. They have a ton of needs. Defensive line comes to mind. They could also use help at safety, offensive line, and a playmaker who can catch the ball (TE or WR). So, where do you go with that many holes? Ideally, they should trade the pick and stock pile for more players. But I don’t imagine that happening. Given the number of defensive holes and the fact that the Chargers have 3 potential starting tackles, I’m going to assume that they take a defensive player. The question is, how do you attack a bad passing offense? Looking within their division, there aren’t any great QBs playing every Sunday, so I’m going to venture that they take a defensive lineman. Lacking a QB to attack, the Chargers should take the most complete defensive lineman in the draft. They’ll take Joey Bosa here and be happy to have a guy with a motor that never stops.
Pick 4 is where I have a lot of question marks. Multiple “experts” have claimed that the Cowboys should trade the pick. Some have said that they should use the number 4 pick on Ezekiel Elliot. I don’t see either of those happening. You don’t need an elite Running Back in today’s game. Even with Adrian Peterson, the Vikings haven’t been to a Super Bowl since 1977. Short of a guaranteed hall of fame guy who also guarantees perfect health, I don’t pick a Running Back in the top 5. That being said Dallas has to contend with Eli Manning, Kirk Cousins, and whichever rookie the Eagles take. Having 3 big name QB’s in your division means you attack the QB. That leaves either DeForest Buckner or Jalen Ramsey. With the pieces that the Cowboys have, I think they take Jalen Ramsey. He’s a more “attractive” pick, and he’s going to be able to do a lot more for your team. Ramsey is able to line up at Safety or Corner. This offers more flexibility for the team as a whole.
Pick 5 goes to the Jaguars. I don’t see them making any massive changes. Many experts have the Jags taking Bosa, but he’s already off of our board. That being said, this pick comes down to two players. Do you take Myles Jack who could turn out to be one of the best overall linebackers in the game (but comes with significant injury concerns) or do you take DeForest Buckner who is a rock-solid lineman who can play inside or outside. Given the quarterbacks in the division and some of the talent you can find at either TE or RB, I think the Jags will risk it and go with Myles Jack. If he’s healthy, it’s a genius pick. If he gets hurt, it looks like a terrible decision. I think the Jags will take the risk.
Pick 6 goes to my Baltimore Ravens. A month and a half ago, I wrote that the Ravens should only take Tunsil, Ramsey, or Bosa if they’re going to make a pick here. Thanks to a few trades, and a number of team needs, I see Tunsil falling to the Ravens at number 6. And I see the Ravens dancing to the podium as they make their selection. Laremy Tunsil very easily could be the Ravens new Jonathan Ogden. He’ll be a franchise Tackle for a lot of years. This could be the year that the Ravens establish one of the best lines of the decade if they select the right guys in rounds 2 and 3.
We’ll look at the rest of the top 10 without quite as much detail:
- San Francisco 49er’s DeForrest Buckner: Do you really think Chip Kelly will pass up the chance to add an Oregon player?
- Cleveland Browns: Vernon Hargreaves III: Cleveland is trying to stop Flacco, Dalton, and Roethlisberger. They need a corner more than anything else.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shaq Lawson: The Bucs are facing Newton, Brees, and Ryan. They need to do something about that pass rush.
- New York Giants: Ronnie Stanley: The Giants are at their best when their great on both lines. They’ll get Ronnie Stanley to sure up the offensive line.
So, that’s what I see happening. I have to say, I’m rather excited about Tunsil “falling” to number 6. The Ravens get their best player available, and get someone who will be able to protect Flacco and his ACL.