The madness that was the first round of the draft has finally come to an end. The top end of the draft was ripe with trades as teams panicked to get the guy they wanted. The teens were fairly relaxed with some picks that fell in line with most projections and then it got wild at the end again when a few backs went off the board and the Pats traded up not once but twice.
The night got off to an interesting start when the Browns jumped up to three to ensure that they would get T-Rich. It was pretty clear that the Vikings were going to go for Kalil, but there was no guarantee that another team wouldn’t jump up. So the Browns were flush were picks and made the move for the back that they hope will be the next Adrian Peterson.
The Jags finally figured out that in order for their young “franchise” pivot to have something resembling success they need to have someone for him to throw the ball to. Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans were brought in to be complimentary pieces and then they jumped to five to snag Justin Blackmon. The Boldin clone will hopefully make Gabbert not look like a complete flop.
First shocker? The Cowboys of course. They moved up to grab Morris Claiborne, a player that they had no contact with before the draft. No visits. No calls. Nothing. They got a stud corner to go along with Brandon Carr who they lured in during open market season. What would a draft be without Jerry Jones doing something ridiculous?
Dontari “Edgar Allen” Poe had the greatest combine of any defensive/nose tackle in recent history. He managed to parlay this into being the top interior lineman off the board. While many had questions about his actual skills on the field, with Fletcher Cox considered the much more polished prospect, the Chiefs thought that he was their man. He will hopefully slot in between Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey to create the front line of the 3-4 that Pioli has been chasing.
Craziest pick of the first round? Without a question it was Bruce Irvin out of West Virgnia at fifteen to the Seahawks. Aside from the fact that ‘Hawks owner Paul Allen leaked the pick, the circuitous path that Irvin took and his second round draft stock resulted in shock for many when the pick was announced. Melvin Ingram and Chandler Jones somehow fell below him, and hopefully he will slot into the Seattle system. For Paul Allen’s sake.
To little surprise, the Browns went for Brandon Weeden at 22. The elder statesmen of the draft will battle Colt McCoy for the starting job, and likely take it by midway through the season. He will have some weapons to work with by the time all is said and done, and his age will soon be forgotten.
Biggest winners of the draft? The Bucs got two big pieces with Mark Barron and Doug Martin. Barron brings some much needed help to the secondary and Martin could be a Ray Rice clone. The Steelers got a future All-Pro with David DeCastro late in the first and the Lions got the second best tackle in the draft in Riley Reiff at 23.
Losers? Justifying Poe at 11 for the Chiefs will be tough to do down the road when he fails to get any penetration. The Seahawks struck out again with a laughable pick in Irvin. The Patriots are always perceived to be the greatest drafters in the league, but they don’t have much in the way of volume of picks this year. Hightower is no sure thing on the inside and Chandler Jones still has question marks.
Off to day two!