Quarterbacks steal the show in NFL Draft 2018
The 2018 National Football League Draft took place over the weekend of April 26-28. Gary Jordan examines the top picks.
By Gary Jordan
Latest news from the NFL at www.nfl.com/draft
The annual selection process of the nations top college talent was held in the state of Texas for the first time, and more specific inside the cavernous space that is the AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Since the Draft has gone on tour away from the confines of various New York theatres and concert halls, it has been a huge gathering of fans as they celebrate the game and its future players. Think a big tailgate party with Commissioner Goodell the host and all 32 teams playing a big game of bingo, you'll get the idea. Pick after pick is announced, each one bringing fresh hope to teams, and putting the college elite firmly in the spotlight.
Through the combine and other scout meetings, what isn't known about these youngsters isn't worth knowing. And so it is that they sit in a green room or at home or with an agent and find out if they will be picked. Which city they will have to relocate to. Which coach they will be reunited with, as so many stories unfold about their roots and who gave them the inspiration to play.
So big is the event now that there are three days to complete the process. The first day though is where the big hitters come out. Of course, many a superstar has emerged from the lower rounds, or even undrafted, but if you're a first round pick then you know you've really come of age. 256 players were chosen over seven rounds, Baltimore had the most picks (12), and the Tennessee Titans the least (4). By position, most were linebackers (39) and wide receivers (33), with fullbacks (2) and long snappers (1) making up the ranks. For the first time since 1999 five quarterbacks were picked in the first round, and an NFL first as two siblings were picked on the opening day – Terrell and Tremaine Edmunds.
1. CLEVELAND BROWNS – BAKER MAYFIELD QB – OKLAHOMA
The Browns are still looking for that one element that will just bring some stability and more importantly wins. Mayfield wasn't everyone's pick to go first but the Browns clearly see something in him. Could he be the one?
2. NEW YORK GIANTS – SAQUON BARKLEY RB – PENN ST.
Barkley will make a big impact for the Giants who have lacked a premiere back for a few years. This talent will bring a new dimension to the team. Explosive, lightning quick and durable.
3. NEW YORK JETS – SAM DARNOLD QB – USC
The second QB taken will look to take the reins quickly but won't be rushed. Darnold is pretty much the perfect playmaker, has great awareness and ability to keep plays going. Can be prone to turning the ball over, something the Jets staff will have to work on.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS – DENZEL WARD CB – OHIO ST.
Cleveland looked to make their defense top grade with their second pick of the first round. Ward brings quick feet and poise. He is the elite on the outside but could be tested if asked to cover inside. No doubting his talent though and will instantly make the D better.
5. DENVER BRONCOS – BRADLEY CHUBB DE – N.C. STATE
On another day Chubb would've been a number one pick. A steal for Denver. Chubb is a great package and will be a perfect fit in the Broncos D. Powerful and fast hands, will stop the run and could be the missing link Denver have been looking for after a decline from their Super Bowl three years ago.
6. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – QUENTON NELSON G – NOTRE DAME
The addition of Nelson on the line is an instant hit. Great size, movement and power. Will take his block all the way to the end and will have opposition coaches wondering how to play him. This athlete could redefine the position if allowed to flourish.
7. BUFFALO BILLS – JOSH ALLEN QB – WYOMING
Another QB and this one may have to bide his time getting a start, as the Bills see this as a potential long-term project. Good strong arm and can stand in the pocket well. Maybe forces the ball too much but will get all the help he needs from the Bills staff.
8. CHICAGO BEARS – ROQUAN SMITH LB – GEORGIA
A big well done to the Bears for bringing in Smith and filling one of their needs. Will play across the middle well and is part of the ever evolving linebacker role in the NFL today. A touch on the small side, Smith will counter this with his speed.
9. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – MIKE McGLINCHEY OT – NOTRE DAME
We know the Niners are a team on the up, the team ended last season strong, they will feel that 6'8 McGlinchey's work rate and ethic will stand him and the team well. Big frame and strong hands, once he has his tackle locked in he will guarantee that players go down.
10. ARIZONA CARDINALS – JOSH ROSEN QB – UCLA
Rounding off the top ten is the fourth QB chosen. Again, there's no doubt this is a talent and a smart pick by the Cardinals. Not the finished article but not far from it. He will need to learn fast and he's capable of that. He's got the smarts and will look to embrace his learning curve in the league.
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS – MINKAH FITZPATRICK S – ALABAMA
12. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – VITA VEA DT – WASHINGTON
13. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – DA'RON PAYNE DT – ALABAMA
14. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – MARCUS DAVENPORT – TEXAS – SAN ANTONIO
15. OAKLAND RAIDERS – KOLTON MILLER OT – UCLA
16. BUFFALO BILLS – TREMAINE EDMUNDS ILB- VIRGINIA TECH
17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – DERWIN JAMES S – FLORIDA ST.
18. GREEN BAY PACKERS – JAIRE ALEXANDER CB – LOUISVILLE
19. DALLAS COWBOYS – LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH ILB – BOISE ST.
20. DETROIT LIONS – FRANK RAGNOW C – ARKANSAS
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – BILLY PRICE C – OHIO ST.
22. TENNESSEE TITANS – RASHAAN EVANS OLB – ALABAMA
23. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – ISAIAH WYNN T – GEORGIA
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS – DJ MOORE WR – MARYLAND
25. BALTIMORE RAVENS – HAYDEN HURST TE – SOUTH CAROLINA
26. ATLANTA FALCONS – CALVIN RIDLEY WR – ALABAMA
27. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – RASHAAD PENNY RB – SAN DIEGO ST.
28. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – TERRELL EDMUNDS S – VIRGINIA TECH.
29. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – TAVEN BRYAN DT – FLORIDA
30. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – MIKE HUGHES CB – CENTRAL FLORIDA
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – SONY MICHEL RB – GEORGIA
32. BALTIMORE RAVENS – LAMAR JACKSON QB – LOUISVILLE