Reactions To Night One Of The NFL Draft

Brisk winter days that disappear at the snap of a hand; those are just memories of the past as flowers bloom and plants reclaim their land. Birds return to agree upon a bestand. They know this isn’t the time for gloom – nests are in high demand! Friends awake from their winter tombs, it’s time to show off the latest rebrand. Local emporiums begin to pull out their costumes, for anyone that survived the cold, congrats on the ability to withstand… And to those who are pigskin stans, you know when April comes, I am a draft fan.

That’s right you sad sons of bitches, you smell that? That’s the smell of hope. That’s the smell of change. That’s the smell of convincing yourself that a RB at 8th overall isn’t that bad of a pick… That’s the smell of draft season in full effect. So why wait, let’s get straight into it

*Article Precursor: I’m not going over every pick, only the big names and needle movers

Panthers-1st Overall: Bryce Young, QB

Congrats to the Panthers! They moved up and took the obvious 1.1. Way to not overthink the damn thing. Anthony Richardson was the enticing home-run pick, but he’s years away from developing and would eventually bring way more criticism had he not panned out. The physical stature (or lack thereof) and the ability to extend plays obviously leads to comparisons of Kyler Murray, but I’m not going to limit the guy by comparing him to a professional Call Of Duty/part-time NFL player. At least he’ll have an all-pro running back to pair with him in his rookie ye – oh wait. Well forget about C-Mac, you don’t need him when you have a budding star-receiver in DJ Moore on the outsi – oh wait. Maybe I’m being too harsh on them. They did sign Miles Sanders and Adam Thielen, no Christian Mccaffery and DJ Moore, but after all they were just a game away from the playoffs last year. Best of luck to Bryce Young and the Panthers regardless, anything is better than the QB cycle they’ve been in since Cam Newton. Grade: B

Texans-2nd Overall & 3rd Overall: C.J. Stroud, QB & Will Anderson, EDGE

DeMeco Ryans was given the keys to the car and upper-management isn’t holding back like we’ve seen in years past with the Texans. The end of the toxic relationship with Deshaun Watson took a full year healing process, but now it’s time to compete and go play some damn football. DeMeco quickly beefed up both sides of the line with free agent signings like Shaq Mason and Sheldon Rankins, and now he adds a young star to both sides of the ball. CJ Stroud was the safe option to take as second QB off-the-board due to Richardson’s aforementioned development period. Will Anderson was the safest defensive guy to take. No rethinking the wheel with either of these choices. Hats off to Texans fans, there’s finally a future to root for. Grade: A-

Indianapolis Colts-4th Overall: Anthony Richardson, QB

This was the home-run swing choice. It’s either a grand slam that changes your entire organization’s trajectory, or he doesn’t develop at all and ends up being just another over-hyped bust. One thing cannot be denied about Anthony Richardson; He’s a freak athlete that can change a game with his athleticism alone. As far as that translates to on-field production – that’s still a question that’s yet to be answered. He only started 13 games of college football and looked less than impressive for the majority of it. There were flashes of greatness like the season-opener against Utah, but the consistency from game to game has yet to be seen. Regardless I think given the Colts situation, this was the best pick to make. No more signing washed up middle of the pack QB’s in hopes that he has one more miracle year left. Richardson will be fun to watch even if he doesn’t pan out the way they hope, and the fanbase as a whole was done watching them try to patch the boat with duct tape. Shane Steichen & a new YOUNG QB is more excitement then the franchise has seen in the past 3 years combined. Grade: A-

Seattle Seahawks-5th & 20th Overall: Devon Witherspoon, CB & Jaxson Smith-Njigba, WR

We know two things about Pete Carroll: He loves chomping on gum like a machine, and he loves a defensive back with that dawg in him. I’m sure he was chomping at an inexplicable rate last night when he submitted the draft cards with Devon Witherspoon and Jaxson Smith-Njigba’s name on them. Not much needs to be said about Jaxson Smith-Njigba. He’s a bonafide stud that joins an already strong wide receiver room. Nice little weapon to add for Geno. Witherspoon will join fellow corner, Tariq Woolen, on the edges with Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs at safety to round out the backend. Witherspoon may not be the most physically gifted, but the dude is an old-fashioned cornerback who just gets after the ball. He’s aggressive, loves to lay out the hitstick, and has a special talent for making highlight-level plays. Pete’s attempt at building Legion Of Boom 2.0 is looking strong on paper. Grade: A+

Atlanta Falcons-8th Overall: Bijan Robinson, RB

The Falcons are openly choosing the Madden franchise strategy. Look, I get it. Whenever I’m running a Madden franchise and the draft comes around, no chance am I selecting anything but skill players in the top 60. You can always patch the holes in free agency, right? Well real life and Madden might not intertwine too well, but the Falcons are putting it to the test. Bijan will join Drake London and Kyle Pitts to mark three straight years that the Falcons selected a skill player in the first round. This isn’t anything against Bijan because everyone is damn near positive that he’ll translate to the next level, but you gotta wonder why a team full of holes is choosing the most expendable position to fill first. Grade: C-

Philadelphia Eagles-9th & 30th Overall: Jalen Carter, DT & Nolan Smith, EDGE

Flaw proof gameplan the Eagles went with on night one. They’re building the whole plane out of Georgia defensive players. Why wouldn’t you just draft the best players from the best defense every year? Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith will join fellow Georgia alumni and teammates, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean, in an attempt to help the Eagles defense that was a drive away from being Super Bowl champions. Jalen Carter might be the most talented defensive player in the draft, but had some off-the-field questions that scared other teams away. Philly is a great team and culture for him to go into until he matures a little. Nolan Smith was easily the best defensive player left on the board when the Eagles 30th overall pick came around and should fit nicely on that line. Tough to have any complaints about either of their choices. Grade: A+

Chicago Bears-10th Overall: Darnell Wright, OT

Bears have an obvious need to protect the goods that is Justin Fields, and they did just that. Darnell Wright was either the first or second ranked o-lineman on most big boards so it’s not preposterous to take him here. The question I have is will the Bears management ever toss their fans a bone or is it just endless pain? Peter Skoronski was the hometown kid who played college ball at Northwestern and openly talked about wanting to be drafted by the Bears. The fans got behind it. The kid was behind it. The Bears management was not. Skoronski’s ability to line up at any position on the o-line would’ve also made him a more versatile long term asset. I know the old saying goes “when you listen to the fans that’s the moment before you’re sitting with them”, but Polis and crew have to hope Wright is an absolute stud or else it could come back bigtime to haunt them. Grade: B-

Detroit Lions-12th & 18th Overall: Jahmyr Gibbs, RB & Jack Campbell, LB

I can’t comprehend why the Lions reached for either of these picks. Both guys have 2nd round grades on them and could easily have still been there heading into round 3. Lions could have traded back on both picks and most likely ended up with the same two guys. Best evaluation I can give on this one is that maybe Dan Campbell liked Jack Campbell because they share last names?? As for the other pick, rarely do we see a team sign a starting running back (David Montgomery), then immediately replace his carries with a similar running back. Interested to see how these two picks pan out. It’s extremely disappointing to see from a Lions team that’s coming off their most exciting year since the Stafford/Megatron era. Grade: F+

Baltimore Ravens-22nd Overall: Zay Flowers, WR

The Michael Scott snip-snap clip is the perfect way to explain the Ravens-Lamar Jackson offseason saga. At one point he was openly consulting trades through twitter, but the Ravens finally locked down their guy and added a weapon for him on the same day. Zay Flowers will join OBJ in a much-improved Ravens wide receiver room. Adding Flowers will give the Ravens an explosive down-the-field threat, who’s also not too shabby at making plays after the catch. After an emotionally tumultuous offseason for Ravens fans, it ended the best way imaginable. They locked down their future QB and got better in the process of doing so. Grade A-

Buffalo Bills-25th Overall: Dalton Kincaid, TE

The experts aren’t high on this pick due to having a similar skill-set as Dawson Knox, but I personally love it. I can’t wait to see what the Bills and Josh Allen do with two tight-end sets. Anytime a team has two talented tight ends my brain immediately goes to those early 2010’s Patriots teams that dominated with Gronk and Aaron Hernandez(…). For a team that’s got Super Bowl expectations, I have no problem with them selecting the best available. Grade: B+

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