Winner: Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys were probably looking to bolster their defense at this spot, but when Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb fell to them at #17, even Jerry Jones knew he couldn’t pass up on the chance to add a play-maker who many considered to be the top wide receiver in the draft. Dallas already has some great options at the pass-catching spots in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup and throwing Lamb into that mix gives them a “Greatest Show On Turf” appeal that should stretch defenses too thin, especially with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield.
Loser: New Orleans Saints
In some ways, I don’t mind what the Saints did as they clearly wanted a center and went out and got the highest rated one in the class in Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz with the 24th pick. The issue I saw with the selection is that they needed to get better across their defense, especially at linebacker and cornerback, and half of the remaining picks after them in the round were defensive talents. With only their set picks in the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th rounds on the table, unless New Orleans trades back in, they’re going to have to find some hidden gems or serviceable holdovers to address a need that could’ve been taken care of. I think they simply missed the mark.
Winner: Jordan Love
As the only Buccaneers fan on this staff, I desperately wanted to anoint them as winners, which they very much are for being aggressive and snagging their guy to protect Brady (and only giving up a fourth to do it is excellent value). However, I cannot overlook how perfect of a situation that Jordan Love was taken into. Love had perhaps the highest upside of any player in this draft, but also had the lowest floor. Love seriously needed work, and getting drafted to sit and learn behind Aaron Rodgers is about as perfect of a situation that he could ask for. Love can sit behind A-Rod and develop, and quite possibly become the next superstar in the league with this setup.
Loser: Atlanta Falcons
Listen, the Falcons snagged an improvement at CB for sure. However, after being connected to C.J. Henderson the Falcons missed on him and Okudah. Despite having talented players like K’Lavon Chaisson fall to them, they drafted cornerback A.J. Terrell from Clemson. This was a pick that felt more like a panic grab on need than a thought out selection. Terrell is a fine player, but with better valued players on the board, and even higher ranked cornerbacks still available, I was stuck scratching my head at why this pick was made.
Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars
I didn’t love the CJ Henderson pick at 9 when there were amazing pass rushers and offensive linemen available, but it was a clear need for the empty cupboard that is the Jags’ secondary. I love getting K’lavon Chaisson at 20. That’s a huge steal, and J-ville did the work needed to get the defense out of the Bortles blasted wasteland it has been in.
Loser: Las Vegas Raiders
You can’t teach speed, but you can sure waste it, and the Raiders have found plenty of ways to waste speedy receivers over the last decade. The Raiders needed a receiver, but Henry Ruggs III wasn’t the best available, and a few picks later they made a big reach on cornerback Damon Arnette. At least they’re giving Vegas a heads up on what they can expect with their new team.
Winner: Miami Dolphins
It’s hard not to be a winner when you have three first round picks. Tua Tagovailoa (QB), Austin Jackson (OT) and Noah Igbinoghene (CB). The Dolphins realize they aren’t just a couple of players away from seriously contending, so they grabbed talent and players with serious potential.
Loser: Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers actually had two first round draft picks, but this “loser” label was earned thanks to their selection of Justin Herbert at #6. I just do not think Herbert is a very good quarterback. He’s tall, athletic and has a strong arm, so of course NFL scouts love him... BUT he makes some terrible throws. The Chargers also drafted Kenneth Murray (ILB) at #23 and I actually like Murray, but he played defense for an Oklahoma team that is not good at defense.