Our NFL resident writer Ben Rolfe (@benrolfe15) reviews Round 1 of the NFL Draft and pens his thoughts on the predictable picks to the unexpected trades.
NFL Draft Round 1 Review & Analysis
The NFL Draft last night came with all the usual razzmatazz you might expect from a big American Sports production. Nashville was jam packed as the draft made the Tennessee capital its home for the first time ever. As with any big sporting event in the states the night kicked off with the National Anthem, before well frankly everything went exactly to script for half an hour or so…
The Chalk Start
The start to this draft could not have gotten any chalkier. If you were to bet on a top three yesterday then you would likely have found the most backed order to be Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams. That is exactly how it turned out. Murray was a heavy favourite to be the top overall selection and the Cardinals did not pull any surprises. There was some late money on both Bosa and Williams, who looked especially tempting at 7/1 in some places.
The Oh-My-God Follow Up
If the first three picks were predictable then two of the next three were certainly more eye opening. The Oakland Raiders had teased a ‘shocking’ pick and that is exactly what they did taking Clelin Ferrell #4 overall. Many people had Ferrell to the Raiders, but at 24 or 27. Instead the Raiders went ahead and got their guy, screwing up a number of mock drafts. The selection of middle linebacker Devin White by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers returned some normality, before the New York Giants sent everyone into a tail spin.
When this process started there was talk of Dwayne Haskins as the #1 overall QB, or at the very least the second. Another name in consideration was Drew Lock. However, not many people saw Daniel Jones out of Duke being the pick for the Giants at #6. I looked for odds on this as Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network had mocked it a couple of times, but it was not widely available, demonstrating how much of a shock it was.
The Calmer Middle Section
Things returned to normal a little with Josh Allen going off the board at #7, and T.J. Hockenson becoming the first tight end off the board as expected. Ed Oliver was widely mocked to go no lower than #9 and that is exactly what happened. After Devin Bush was taken following a trade up by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bengals made Jonah Williams the first offensive lineman off the board.
The biggest shocks of the middle period were Rashan Gary to the Packers and Chris Lindstrom to the Falcons. The Washington Redskins cashed in on the Giants surprising pick by getting Dwayne Haskins at #15.
- Jeffrey Simmons stayed in the first round as many expected, going to the Titans at pick 19.
- The first running back off the board was Alabama’s Josh Jacobs to the Raiders at pick #24, the consensus favourite for most bookies.
- The first wide receiver off the board was Oklahoma’s Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown, who was right there with D.K. Metcalf as the favourite to be selected first at the position.
- Defensive back was a little more up in the air but at #21 the Green Bay Packers made Darnell Savage Jr. the first off the board.
- The average for first round trades is six and there were exactly that number during the first round itself. In total there were 10 pick change hands, if we include the ones that did so before the draft.