Pointing out stupid NFL-related things is one of our favorite activities. We’ve been doing it on regular-season Tuesdays for half a decade.
But the NFL Draft is actually a goldmine for stupidity. These are five developments from Thursday’s opening round that had us saying…
The New York Giants are officially building around a 37-year-old quarterback
It’s one thing to do that if said quarterback is really good at football, but we’re not talking about Tom Brady or Drew Brees. We’re talking about Eli freakin’ Manning, who has made one Pro Bowl in the last half-decade and is coming off a season in which he was the league’s eighth-lowest-rated passer.
Manning is done, but Giants general manager Dave Gettleman still thought highly enough of him to pass on Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen in the No. 2 spot, instead going with former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
No disrespect to Barkley, who certainly looks as though he could become a megastar in the backfield, but stud backs don’t carry teams these days and it isn’t too hard to find them later. Keep in mind that the two best rookie backs (and two of the best offensive players) in football last year were NFL leading rusher Kareem Hunt and offensive rookie of the year Alvin Kamara, both of whom were third-round picks.
What’s more, Gettleman reportedly wasn’t even willing to wait to listen to potential trade offers for that pick.
It’s just asinine.
The Cleveland Browns couldn’t have gotten anything for that No. 4 overall pick?
Maybe miniature cornerback Denzel Ward will become one of the four best players in this draft class, but unless Cleveland felt the Broncos or Colts were looking to add Ward in the No. 5 or No. 6 spot, standing pat at No. 4 and taking the Ohio State product was a weird choice.
There are legit reasons to be concerned about the 5-foot-10 Ward, who might lack the size and physicality to handle top-end outside receivers at the NFL level. This felt more like a need pick than a best-player-available pick, which is silly when you’re in the top five and you’re coming off a zero-win season.
The Browns might not have been in love with Bradley Chubb, they might have wanted Barkley, and Quenton Nelson didn’t make a lot of sense in this case, but then why not trade down? Someone had to be willing to give them something in order to move up and have their pick of the quarterback litter.
Instead, Cleveland over-drafted a flawed player. And they apparently did so after changing their mind from Chubb just hours earlier.
The Buffalo Bills are putting all of their eggs in Josh Allen’s basket
Not only did the Bills use a first-round pick on the extremely raw Wyoming product, but they did so after trading up twice (once last month, and then again on draft night). In the end, they decided that Allen was essentially worth a first-round pick, two second-round picks and left tackle Cordy Glenn (who went to Cincinnati in the first trade-up). That despite the fact it’s possible Allen or UCLA product Josh Rosen would have dropped to them in the No. 12 spot.
Allen could turn into a franchise quarterback, but the mistake-prone, inaccurate 21-year-old completed just 56.2 percent of his passes during his two seasons as a starter in a weak conference. SB Nation’s Morgan Moriarty compared his numbers from his final season in school to those posted by quarterbacks drafted in the first round in the last 10 years, and only Jake Locker had a lower completion percentage, while only Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Ryan had lower passer ratings.
— fantasy dude (@Fantasy_Dude) April 26, 2018
He’s a questionable investment, especially at that price. Oh, and Rosen is a way more accomplished, polished player with a much higher floor.
I don’t get it.
The New Orleans Saints decided to sell the farm for… Marcus Davenport?
I’m terrified to criticize the Saints for this because everything they touched in the 2017 draft turned to gold. But let’s do it anyway. I can’t figure out why in the world New Orleans thought it made sense to trade away a first-round pick and a fifth-rounder in order to move up 13 first-round spots for Davenport, who is utterly raw and relatively unaccomplished coming off a 21.5-sack career at UTSA.
Based on the Pro Football Reference trade value chart, the Saints were ripped off.
The #Saints give up No. 27, No. 147 and next year’s first-rounder to come up to No. 14.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2018
And sometimes that’s OK. Sometimes, you’re cool with getting ripped off if it means adding a player who could be a game-changer right away. And that should have been the Saints’ primary goal considering Drew Brees’ age. But Davenport isn’t ready and will need plenty of time to develop.
How in the world is a player like that worth two first-round picks to a team that is in win-now mode?
This might be one of those situations in which a team just fell in love with a player and couldn’t resist. But the Saints might wind up regretting that when Davenport has yet to make an impact and they’re left watching the first round next year.
The Oakland Raiders ignored their terrible defense and instead drafted a technically-flawed project
Oakland is also in win-now mode, which is what makes the Kolton Miller pick so baffling. The UCLA product has the look of a potential long-term pillar left tackle, but the Raiders already have steady veteran Donald Penn and Miller faces issues with his technique, his consistency and his durability.
One more note on Kolton Miller. Most ppl I spoke with had Miller with a late 2nd round grade. So it's not just me.
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) April 27, 2018
Why not address that 23rd-ranked defense and a secondary that surrendered the third-highest opposing passer rating in the NFL last season? After all, NFL-ready safety Derwin James was still available in the No. 15 spot after Oakland traded down from No. 10.
James fills a need and is versatile enough to play multiple roles right away, and he would have been considered a small steal in the No. 10 spot. At 15, the Raiders had themselves a potential coup by trading back and still landing a top-10 prospect five picks later.
They blew it.