The 2018 NFL Draft took place this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. As usual, the NFL capitalized on their popularity as a league and turned the entire weekend into a big production. Fans all across the country tuned in to see where players would be selected and hoped that their favorite team picked future stars. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and storylines from this year’s draft.
Year of the Quarterback
There were a record five quarterbacks selected in the first round of this year’s draft. Oklahoma quarterback, Baker Mayfield was taken with the top overall pick by the Cleveland Browns. USC’s Sam Darnold went off the board two picks later when the New York Jets selected him. Josh Allen, who attended Wyoming University, was selected 7th overall by the Buffalo Bills. Surprisingly, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, fell to the 10th pick where he was finally selected by the Arizona Cardinals. Louisville Cardinal, Lamar Jackson, was selected by the Baltimore Ravens as the 32nd pick to wrap up the first round.
Rest of the 1st Round
Overall there were 17 offensive players taken in round 1, with the quarterbacks having the most picks at any position. Penn State running back, Saquon Barkley, was taken by the New York Giants at the number 2 pick in the draft. Running backs, Rashad Penny (Seattle) and Sony Michel (New England) were also selected on night one. A pair of Notre Dame offensive linemen were selected top 10 overall with Quenton Nelson going 6th to Indianapolis, and Mike McGlinchey going 9th to San Francisco. The University of Alabama led all schools in first round selections with 4.
Teams With the Best Draft
Chicago Bears: The Chicago Bears did most of their work in the early rounds. The Bears drafted Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith with the 8th pick overall. Smith will be a starter from day 1 in Chicago. The Bears also traded up to select receiver Anthony Miller from Memphis in the second round. Miller gives second year quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky another weapon on offense.
Arizona Cardinals: The Arizona Cardinals needed a quarterback, and they made a trade to better their draft position. The Cardinals selected UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th pick in the draft. Many believe that Rosen was the most talented QB in this class, and the Cardinals were able to steal him at pick number 10. In the 2nd round the Cardinals drafted WR Christian Kirk from Texas A&M. Rosen and Kirk will lead the Cardinals offense for the next decade.
Baltimore Ravens: General Manager Ozzie Newsome is retiring at the end of the season, but he set the Ravens up for future success with this draft. The Ravens traded back in the first round, before eventually taking tight end Hayden Hurst. Baltimore then traded back into the first round at pick 32 where the Ravens selected quarterback Lamar Jackson of Louisville. Jackson will need to improve but he is clearly the quarterback of the future for the Ravens.
Teams With the Weakest Draft Classes
Los Angeles Rams: The Rams came away with a weak class in part due to their lack of picks. The Rams didn’t have a pick in the first two rounds, but had a slew of picks in the later rounds. Their most notable selection was 6th round running back John Kelly from Tennessee.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders came into the draft needing help on the defensive side of the ball, but went with an offensive tackle in round 1. The Raiders traded back from pick 10 to pick 15 before selecting Kolton Miller from UCLA. Oakland drafted a few other players who have potential, but will need to improve to play in the NFL.
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks did little to improve on their biggest weakness, pass protection. Instead Seattle drafted a running back in round 1 when they picked Rashaad Penny from San Diego State. Seattle finally selected an offensive tackle in round 5, but needed to focus more of their attention to this position.