NFL Draft: First Round Recap

Five Quarterbacks, including Baker Mayfield to the Cleveland Browns at number one overall, were selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft in Dallas.

With the big four quarterbacks (Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen) all expected to go early, they were all picked inside the first ten rounds.

Mayfield goes first

Many expected Darnold to be the first pick, but the Browns chose Mayfield. The doubts were Baker was too small and too similar to Jonny Manziel in terms of character, but Hue Jackson and John Dorsey made him their priority.

The former Oklahoma Sooners passer joins Tyrod Taylor in the depth chart at the Browns, and hopefully they’ll treat him better than they did DeShone Kiser last year – who’s already been sent packing to Green Bay.

Saquon Barkley is a Giant

The Penn State running back was arguably the best player in the entire class, and the New York Giants picked him at number two.

Rumours circulated about Giants GM Dave Gettleman potentially selecting a QB to replace the ageing Eli Manning.

The fact Darnold was available and they passed on him, only for the New York Jets to select him third (more on that next), will be a huge moment in NY football for years to come.

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The Giants welcome their new addition. (source: giants.com)

Jets get their man

After trading with the Indianapolis Colts to move up to third, the feeling was that the Jets had overpaid to move three spots.

However, many expected them to be left with Josh Allen or Josh Rosen. They got Sam Darnold.

The USC quarterback was almost set in stone to go to Cleveland, but when both them and the Giants passed, the Jets trade up paid off in big style.

With Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater (if healthy), the Jets are finally looking good at QB.

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Darnold with Roger Goodell post selection. (source: Newsday)

Bills all in on Allen

Everyone expected the Buffalo Bills to trade up to grab a QB after letting Tyrod Taylor leave.

The spot was expected to be either the Giants number two or the Colts number six, but they had to wait until seven after trading with Tampa Bay.

Brandon Beane bagged Buffalo a brilliant QB, and they’ll be delighted with their acquisition.

Allen is the future now for the Bills, who also traded up to get 19-year-old linebacker Tremaine Edwards. A good night for Buffalo.

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Allen with Roger Goodell after being picked (source: The Guardian)

Trade for Rosen on the cards

After missing out on Patrick Mahomes last year, and Carson Palmer retiring this year, the Arizona Cardinals were in desperate need of a quarterback.

They made their move – trading with Oakland for the 10th overall pick – and although they got the last of the ‘big four’, they won’t be disappointed.

Rosen was furious with being picked tenth, however, claiming there were ‘nine mistakes’ ahead of him.

Lamar Jackson

The fifth-best quarterback prospect was still on the board towards the end of the round.

Coming into the last six or seven picks, it seemed his destiny to end up in New England as heir to Tom Brady’s throne. Especially after working out with Belichick’s team twice leading up to the draft.

As every team passed on him, it came to pick 31. Then, the Patriots selected Sony Michel.

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Ian Rapoport said New England had ‘legitimate interest’ in Jackson. (source: NFL.com/New England Patriots)

The camera was firmly on Jackson before the pick was announced, and it didn’t take a master lip-reader to see what he was saying to his family: “they didn’t pick me”.

The Ravens traded with Superbowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles, and made their move for Jackson in the last pick of the first round.

Louisville’s former man looked visibly upset, and glared down the camera while being interviewed post selection. He obviously thought the Patriots had led him on and dumped him at the last minute.

Other notable selections

Bradley Chubb fell to five overall, and the Denver Broncos selected him. He’ll line up alongside his idol Von Miller in their defense. A scary prospect.

The Browns chose cornerback Denzel Ward at number four, which was highly unexpected – especially when they could have had Chubb.

Andrew Luck will have Quenton Nelson protecting him when he returns from injury, with the Notre Dame guard going at number six to the Colts.

Tampa Bay grabbed Vita Vea, a defensive tackle who everybody expected to land with the Redskins.

Chicago called on linebacker Roquan Smith at number eight, while Mike McGlinchey will have the task of looking after Jimmy Garoppolo in the future.

New Orleans traded up to 14 and chose defensive end Marcus Davenport. Wide receivers Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore both head to the NFC South – Atlanta and Carolina respectively.

Emotional Steelers pick

With the 28th overall pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Terrell Edmunds (brother of Tremaine who the Bills traded up for).

There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium from this pick, as Ryan Shazier made the pick.

Shazier suffered a back injury last season which left him paralysed from the waist down.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was booed every time he announced a pick, welcomed the Steelers linebacker onto the stage and the vision of him walking with such determination on his face was truly remarkable.

Round’s two and three

The draft resumes tonight at 7pm eastern, 12am UK time with Cleveland on the clock. Both the Browns and Colts have two picks each inside the first five of the second round.