[OC] The NFL Draft Awards

Posted on: Apr 29, 2018   |   Posted by: Refs4Pats NFL Blog2

Obviously it's way too early to declare "winners" and "losers" of the NFL Draft, but that's never stopped us before. In fact, we're going to take that absurdity to the next level with the first annual NFL DRAFT AWARDS! best Round 1 pick winner: Arizona selects: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA, # 10 overall I went into more detail ranking each of the R1 picks here, but suffice it to say that the "Chosen One" came out on top. He was my top QB on the board overall because he felt like the safest bet to be a longterm starter in the NFL. To land that at #10 (5th among QBs) is a real coup for the Arizona Cardinals fans and all the young single women in Phoenix who complain about the slim pickings on j-swipe. best Round 2 pick winner: Tennessee selects: LB Honor Landry, Boston College, #43 overall I ranked the Titans highly for their R1 pick Rashaan Evans, but I'm even higher on the value here for edge rusher Harold Landry. Coming into the year, I thought Landry was one of the more overrated prospects in the top 10 discussion. His physical traits simply didn't match the outstanding production (22.0 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks.) But after an underwhelming and injury-ridden senior year (with only 5.0 sacks), the backlash for Landry simply became too severe. This kid may not have enormous size or athleticism, but he's a natural pass rusher with good bend around the edge. I'd expect him to jump right into their rotation and ultimately provide an heir for Brian Orakpo as the leading pass rusher on the team. honorable mention: to Chicago for selecting James Daniels at # 39, the swift center from Iowa. He reminds me a lot of Rodney Hudson, perhaps the most underrated center in the NFL. best Round 3 pick winner: Cincinnati selects: LB Malik Jefferson, Texas, #78 overall For years, I've been complaining that Marvin Lewis and the Bengals had the wrong approach with their linebacker unit, which erred on the side of bulk/power over speed; that's led them to get gashed by opposing running backs lately. Finally, they found a natural nickel linebacker here in Malik Jefferson. He may not have the instincts of someone like Roquan Smith, but I still believe he'll be a major upgrade to their athleticism. I also love the Bengals' R2 pick Jessie Bates III, a DB from Wake Forest, who almost won a trophy himself. He's only a redshirt sophomore, but has true star potential. Overall, I love what the Bengals did in this draft addressing their needs and giving new DC Teryl Austin some more speed and playmaking to work with. honorable mention: With that same "fast LB" logic in mind, I also like Miami selecting Jerome Baker from Ohio State. He's sort of a bootleg Ryan Shazier, and will complement last year's traditional LB Raekwon McMillan (his teammate at Ohio State.) best Round 4 pick winner: Philadelphia selects: DE Josh Sweat, Florida State, #130 overall This pick has already earned a lot of praise, so perhaps we shouldn't dwell and give Eagles fans too big of a head. Sweat is such a stud pass rusher that I had him graded in the top 32 overall. His health is a question mark, but the team doesn't need him playing 80% of their snaps. As a rotational end, he makes them more dangerous than ever. honorable mention: I also like Dallas nabbing their own pass rusher in Dorance Armstrong Jr. He's a long-armed end whose best football may be ahead of him. best Round 5 pick winner: Oakland selects: DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan, #140 overall We all were curious how Jon Gruden would treat the draft in his return to the sport. As it turns out: like a damn god crazy man. The Raiders took RISK after RISK after RISK throughout the night. They reached on small school players like DT P.J. Hall (Sam Houston State) in R2, and OT Brandon Parker (NC A&T) in R3. They gambled on some real "wild card" personalities like DE Arden Key (LSU) in R3 and LB Azeem Victor (Washington) in R6, not to mention a trade for WR Martavis Bryant. Some of those may work out, some may not. But in terms of a risk:reward ratio, you can't do much better than Mo Hurst in Round 5. In terms of pure football talent, I had this kid graded in the top 10 overall until word came out about his heart condition. It certainly may derail his career, but if there's even a 10% chance he can live up to his Pro Bowl potential, it's worth it. honorable mention: The Rams didn't have much draft capital to work with, but they selected a nice value pick in Oklahoma edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronwko at # 160. Okoronwko had been talked about as a possible R2/R3 pick, but his lack of size makes him a better fit for a rotational role like he may thrive in here in L.A. best Brotherhood winner: Seattle selects: DB Shaquem Griffin, Central Florida, #141 overall The 2018 NFL Draft was a huge year for "brothers." Virginia Tech brothers Tremaine Edmunds and Terrell Edmunds both went in R1, the first time two brothers have ever done that in the same class. In a non-traditional way, I also like the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph and his top WR James Washington; that should give them an immediate comfort level as they develop in Pittsburgh. But can you really give this fake trophy to anyone but Shaquem Griffin? The fact that he was drafted is a heartwarming story, but going to his brother's team is even better. And I actually like the pick for Seattle. Griffin should be able to contribute to the team as a reserve, AND be a huge star in the process. For a team that's struggling to recapture an identity, this is a great one to have. best Round 6 pick winner: Houston selects: DE Duke Eijofor, Wake Forest, #177 overall I've never quite understood why Ejiofor wasn't in the R2-R3 discussion given his solid production and enormous upside, but the NFL community never seemed to embrace him. Their loss is Houston's gain. I don't see him as a perfect "fit" here schematically, but the value of this pick is undeniable. best Round 7 pick winner: Detroit selects: FB Nick Bawden, San Diego State, #237 overall I'm not going to pretend that I stayed up late watching film on fullbacks, but from what I understand, Bawden is a phenomenal blocker who helped pave the way for Donnel Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny in the past. Running the ball is a team effort; you can't simply throw a different runner into the fray and expect different results. The Lions are wisely building from the ground up with a new center and a new fullback, which should make their entire unit better. best Undrafted pick up winner: Indianapolis signs: LB Skai Moore Jr. South Carolina Skai Moore was one of my predicted "hidden gems," and ended up not getting drafted at all. A lot of that has to do with durability concerns; he's a small linebacker who missed an entire season with a herniated disk in his neck. That said, he shined whenever he took the field, showcasing natural instincts and coverage ability. He racked up 14 interceptions over his 4 years at school, a great mark for a linebacker. Presuming he can stay healthy, he should be a big contributor for their new 4-3 defense. best Reddit Analyst winner: /u/jaguargator9 Every once in a while I'd check in on reddit to read about a prospect that I didn't know about. And almost every time, there was Jaguar writing up a little summary of that guy, whether it was Calvin Ridley or some no-name like John Franklin-Myers from Stephen F. Austin, whom I'm still not totally convinced isn't a Madden created player. Honestly, I'm always amazed at the work that some of you put into this, particularly those diehards on the /nfl-draft sub. Keep it up, you crazies! best Draft Class Here we are: the big award of the night. Which team had the best draft class overall? There are a few contenders here that jump to mind. I love Chicago's first three picks (LB Roquan Smith, C James Daniels, WR Anthony Miller). The optimistic continues to build in the Windy City for the Matt Nagy Era. Cincinnati also addressed their needs extremely well with OC Billy Price, DB Jessie Bates III, DB Malik Jefferson, and added another solid rotational end in Sam Hubbard for good measure. Tennessee attacked the draft aggressively and landed two LB studs in Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry. And of course, how do you ignore Arizona, which landed my # 1 QB (Josh Rosen) and my # 1 WR (Christian Kirk)? But at the end of the day, I'm going to lean to John Elway and the Denver Broncos. Arguably more than any other team, they understood the strengths and weaknesses of this draft class and acted accordingly. There was only one obvious star at edge rusher, so the Broncos snatched him up by taking NC State's Bradley Chubb at # 5 overall. He's not a perfect fit for their scheme, but the value there (as the # 3 prospect on my board) felt appropriate. Meanwhile, the draft was deeper at RB and WR, and the Broncos allowed solid ones to fall into their lap. I've heard arguments that both WR Courtland Sutton (SMU) and DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State) may end up being the best receiver in this class; the Broncos snagging them at # 40 and # 114 is great value, particularly for Hamilton. They also didn't reach on a RB like Seattle did, landing big Royce Freeman (Oregon) at # 71 overall. He's a four year starter with size, and may immediately be the most talented runner on their team. The only knock that I'd have for Denver is that they passed on my # 1 QB in Josh Rosen. That said, I'm intrigued by Chad "Swag" Kelly as a developmental quarterback, so perhaps the team will roll with Case Keenum as the starter and view Kelly in that role. They didn't force a QB, just like they didn't force anything all night. And for that, they win this trophy. Congrats to them and all our winners tonight! submitted by /u/ZandrickEllison [visit reddit] [comments]