a blog by La Kifo
I was gonna try and mash the first round entirely together in one blog, but that did not seem to work. It was getting long so I'm breaking it up. Here is the second half.
We left off at pick no. 17, let us jump right in and dish out some lukewarm takes.
ATLANTA FALCONS: Keanu Neal, SS, Florida
The Falcons needed help in their secondary as well as their pass rush. They ranked dead last in sacks last season so to say this pick surprised me is an understatement. It should not have been since their need to rebuild their secondary is a very close second to the need of a pass rusher. I feel like Keanu Neal was a bit of a reach here at 17 but if the Texans wanted Karl Joseph, they might have settled for Neal. The reason why I am making a big deal about them taking Neal, is that Shaq Lawson was still available. In my mind Shaq should have gone between 8-14. If we base it off my Mock Draft, where I placed him at 8, that would mean he fell 9 spots. And not because of any issues with the player, he fell because of the state draft boards were in last night. Thanks Tunsil. I think Neal is talented but not mid first round talented.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
The Colts needed desperate help along their Offensive line. I just really don't know about taking a Center right here. The last very talented C to come out of Alabama, Barrett Jones, was drafted in the fourth round. This kid was no scrub he received All-American nods for playing C, G, and Tackle. His final year he won the Outland Trophy for the best lineman in College Football. Right now the guy is a practice squad scrub for the Eagles.
BUFFALO BILLS: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson
You just knew Rex Ryan was going to pick a defensive player and most likely a defensive lineman. He can never get enough of his Dlineman. Shaq Lawson according to everyone's predictions fell a few spots yesterday. Smart move by Rex to snatch up a potential top 10 talent at pick 19.
NEW YORK JETS: Darren Lee, OLB, Ohio State University
If the Jets have lacked one thing over the past few years it has been a dynamic OLB. While Darren Lee does not provide that on day one, he has the attributes and skills to become one. The only thing I would challenge is Darren Lee's football intelligence, mainly because I do not hold anyone from an Urban Meyer team to the standard of Football Smart. Darren Lee should fit in very well with the Jets D. He has a dominant defensive line and a good secondary behind him.
At this point I don't think it is worth it for me and you to go through the entire first round list and review each individual. I haven't watched enough tape on some of these guys to give great opinions on it so I am gonna bunch some of these guys together so I can blast this out.
The Texans, Redskins, Vikings took wide receivers. Willer Fuller, Josh Doctson, Laquan Treadwell. Willer Fuller is great wide receiver and he found a perfect home Houston. He will have Oswieler as a QB who can chuck the ball a mile. Fullers speed should capitalize upon that. Doctson is more of a possession receiver, he can play on the outside or in the slot, making him another good fit for his new team the Redskins. I would have thought that Washington would have went defense with their first rounder, but wide out is position of need as well. Kirk Cousins needs a reliable and versatile guy. I think Doctson can be that guy. Laquan Treadwell is a big mama jama. I like him going to the Vikings because they need a big body that can line up on the outside, someone who can be a target in the redzone other than Kyle Rudolph.
Now the next two picks made by the Bengals and Steelers were both cornerbacks. William Jackson III went to the Bengals and Artie Burns goes to the Steelers. William Jackson is right in the range he should be pick up in, late first round. That was a good pick up by the Bengals who need help in their secondary due to losing players in free agency. The Steelers on the other hand reached way too far for Burns. First of all Burns is injured, so he might not even be ready for rookie minicamp. That being said, he also not at all a first round talent. He was a borderline 3rd round pick. I had him going late in the second round of the draft. I know the Steelers need help in their secondary, most likely they had no choice but in my mind there were much better options. Maybe draft Miles Jack, have him learn under James Harrison, if he's still playing.
The next pick was made by Denver Broncos who traded up to get Paxton Lynch. This almost brought me to tears. Lynch was the 1b QB in this draft, and my personal favorite. To see him go to Broncos just kills me. Lynch will be placed in a very good situation. My only problem is they might have to thrust Lynch into the spotlight before he is ready. That is the one mistake that so many franchises have made. It can ruin a QB, just look at Bob Griffin, he started day one when he probably wasn't ready. His back up Kirk Cousins, sits for a couple years, gets a couple spot starts. But overall gets the chance to sit and learn. Now Kirk Cousins is the man in Washington and Bob is in Cleveland.
With the 27th pick the Packers took Kenny Clark. A very good pick by Green Bay, they were in desperate need of a NT. Kenny Clark is a athletic big guy who can play at a 4 technique or a 3 technique.
Then in a very puzzling move the 49ers traded back into the first round to draft Joshua Garnett. A lot of people were up in arms about this pick and I am one of them. There has to be something wrong with Cody Whitehair because the Seattle Seahawks who picked in the final spot of the first round also took a guard, but not the nearly undisputed top ranked guard Whitehair. The Seahawks took Germain Ifedi another guy like Garnett who is essentially a one position player, whose talent screams round 2. The reason why Guards and Centers are not a good pick early in a draft is because if a player is put at guard of center in college it means he wasn't athletic or talented enough to play at either tackle. If they can't play tackle at the college level, there is 0 chance they will at the Pro level. So both the Niners and Seahawks drafted the two least versatile players in the first round. It seems worse for the Niners since they traded back into the end of the first round to get Garnett, but they only did that because they have 12 picks in this years draft. For people who don't know, that is a lot. It is almost double the normal amount.
The Cardinals and Panthers who picked back to back at 29 and 30, both chose DTs. The Cardinals drafted somewhat troubled lineman Robert Nkemdiche. According to Robert, he has taken strides to distance himself from distractions and situations that could hurt his career. If that is true and not just camera bullshit, than this could be one of the best picks in the draft. The Cardinals are now loaded on their D-Line. They have Chandler Jones, Calais Cambell now Robert. The Cardinals were already 13-3, they just got significantly better with that pick. The Panthers on the other hand surprised the shit out of me. The reason the Panthers lost the Superbowl last year was because they couldn't protect Cam Newton. They needed an OT. Instead they drafted a DT, when they already have Star Lotulelei and Kawan Short. Two VERY good DTs. It really makes my brain itch, seeing this team draft another DT.
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