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The NFL draft is currently on April 26 — April 28. Round 1 will start on Thursday, April 26 at 8 PM ET. It is possible to stream the event live on the NFL Network here.
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The future face of this Chicago Bears strutted to a giant tent supporting the NFL draft phase on Thursday night. Mitchell Trubisky, with one college season as a rookie, wore a grey three-piece match, a Bears cap and a smile. Inside the tent was a row of television and radio interviewers. All had the Exact Same query:
Was he surprised?
Was he surprised to be picked second overall by the Bears, a group eternally built on meat-grinding soccer, who had only rid themselves of this wild-armed failure of Jay Cutler, who but months past bequeathed a $45m contract into Mike Glennon to be their quarterback for another 3 years? Was he surprised that the Bears traded four picks to jump 1 position to take him?
“It was a massive surprise,” Trubisky explained.
Chicago, he said, wanted to become secretive. The team’s general director Ryan Pace and coach John Fox barely interviewed him. They did not bring him for innumerable visits for their own headquarters, Halas Hall. They desired him to function as the next great quarterback was as much a mystery to him because it had been the remainder of the NFL.
However, Trubisky had recovered nicely by the time he left the stage and entered the tent. Although he grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Mentor, Ohio, he stated his favorite player growing up was Bears legend Walter Payton. Payton retired seven years before Trubisky had been born. One suspects that if the New York Jets had drafted Trubisky he would have stated Joe Namath was his favorite player.
This felt like a huge reach, one of these attempts by a team to be overly smart. Then again, the whole night felt like a series of stretches when it came to picking franchise quarterbacks. Cleveland, the one team that desperately needed a quarterback of the future would not take a while Chicago and Kansas City — two groups that didn’t — paid hefty prices to get one (or a shot at one, anyhow).
“I’m a bit taken aback Chicago traded up to get him,” Hall of Fame quarterback and NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner said.
One season as starter is not much to assess the readiness of a quarterback for the NFL. The record of quarterbacks with such brief starting runs in school is not great. There are too many things that defenses do, situations which arise, so that quarterbacks can not see in only one starting season. But Trubisky went 8-5 in that one starting year.Patrick Mahomes, the Texas Tech quarterback the Chiefs traded three options for — for example their 2018 first round pick — to pick 10th on Thursday was just 13-16 in faculty.
College records don’t mean everything. There are many reasons, from a quarterback’s control, that a group did not win. But since DeShone Kizer, the former Notre Dame quarterback whose team went 4-8, said Wednesday: “You are supposed to be an elite quarterback, you are supposed to win games.”
The word people often connect with Mahomes is “gunslinger”. Some of this, undoubtedly, is because he played his college football in the heart of Texas. But he is also the embodiment of this swashbuckling passer who scrambles around, heaving throws 60 yards downfield. Kansas City’s current newcomer is Alex Smith, who’s among the league’s most deliberate quarterbacks. He is not an exciting player but he’s 79-56-1 at 11 NFL seasons.
Maybe Mahomes will grow to be a great quarterback, but is he worth giving up a first-round pick? Together with Smith having only led them to a division title, they have time to develop Mahomes and yet a staff does not trade away a future first-round choice if they are not intending to make the player a starter very shortly. Thursday’s trade was a very major gamble.
Houston also traded a 2018 first-round choice to Cleveland to move into position to select Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, who is more experienced than Trubisky and Mahomes, and has won a national name. He appears a smarter choice but includes a lot of defects to be the quarterback the Texans need.
All of these are powerful gambles.
There is an obsession in the NFL today with finding the upcoming great thing straight away. Trubisky, Mahomes and Watson could be the answers but they might also just be players who looked great in school. Last year two quarterbacks went from the first two selections but the celebrity passer of the draft was be Dak Prescott, who was selected in the fourth round.
Since Trubisky walked round the plaza behind the draft phase Thursday, he acquired a sense of what lies ahead. The Bears fans were impressed with his choice, someone told him. There were video clips of them watching, with mouths agape. They had figured that with Glennon signing up they weren’t going to chase a quarterback of the future. Especially because this draft didn’t seem to have that quarterback. They thought they were becoming a defensive celebrity, someone who could carry on the Bears’ heritage of pummeling opposing offenses.
“I am glad they are passionate about soccer because so am I,” Trubisky said. He might regret his excitement if he doesn’t become Chicago’s Aaron Rodgers.
Most telling on this night when three groups traded up for big quarterback chances is that the Browns wound up with three selections and did not use any of these onto a quarterback. Usually, the Browns are the league’s most vexing team. Perhaps this time they had been the smartest.
NFL draft first-round selections
1) Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett (DE);
2) Chicago Bears — Mitchell Trubisky (QB);
3) San Francisco 49ers — Solomon Thomas (DE);
4) Jacksonville Jaguars — Leonard Fournette (RB);
5) Tennessee Titans — Corey Davis (WR);
6) New York Jets — Jamal Adams (S);
7) Los Angeles Chargers — Mike Williams (WR);
8) Carolina Panthers — Spiritual McCaffrey (RB);
9) Cincinnati Bengals — John Ross (WR);
10) Kansas City Chiefs — Patrick Mahomes (QB);
11) New Orleans Saints — Marshon Lattimore (CB);
12) Houston Texans — Deshaun Watson (QB);
13) Arizona Cardinals — Haason Reddick (LB);
14) Philadelphia Eagles — Derek Barnett (DE);
15) Indianapolis Colts — Malik Hooker (S);
16) Baltimore Ravens — Marlon Humphrey (CB);
17) Washington — Jonathan Allen (DT);
18) Tennessee Titans — Adoree’ Jackson (CB);
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers — OJ Howard (TE);
20) Denver Broncos — Garett Bolles (OT);
21) Detroit Lions — Jarrad Davis (LB);
22) Miami Dolphins — Charles Harris (DE/OLB);
23) New York Giants — Evan Engram (TE);
24) Oakland Raiders — Gareon Conley (CB);
25) Cleveland Browns — Jabrill Peppers (S);
26) Atlanta Falcons — Takkarist McKinley (DE);
27) Buffalo Bills — Tre’Davious White (CB);
28) Dallas Cowboys — Taco Charlton (DE);
29) Cleveland Browns — David Njoku (TE);
30) Pittsburgh Steelers — TJ Watt (LB);
31) San Francisco 49ers — Reuben Foster (LB);
32) New Orleans Saints — Ryan Ramczyk (OT)
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NFL Draft Central – Rankings, Mock Drafts, Analysis, Interviews and more
Preparing for your fantasy football draft every year starts with the NFL Draft. Which leadership will NFL teams go at the upcoming NFL Draft? Which players have the capability to stand out for fantasy football teams should placed in the ideal situation?
In NFL Draft Central, we provide NFL Draft Grapevine reports, NFL Draft Player Rankings, the complete NFL Draft Order and Thorough novice player spotlights. Following the draft, KFFL breaks down the fantasy soccer relevant options, permitting you to have a historical glance at which fantasy football rookies can make an impact in the upcoming season.
NFL team needs can be addressed via the NFL Draft, the free-agent market or via a trade with another team. Be sure to also remain abreast of the latest NFL news and notes through KF NFL Hot off the Wire, which covers all of the latest NFL information on a daily basis.
Draft can alter everything.
For all the white noise enclosing free agency, history shows that Super Bowl champions and burgeoning dynasties are constructed in April with all the right people choosing the proper college prospects.
Jimmy Johnson’s Dallas Cowboys set the table for a dominating run in the 1990s using a four-year draft haul that nonetheless stands out as a textbook case study on how best to construct a roster. Important acquisitions included:
1989: Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman, center Mark Stepnoski, fullback Daryl Johnston and defensive end Tony Tolbert. (Dallas also drafted quarterback Steve Walsh in the supplemental draft — a contentious move — before trading him to theSaints in 1990 for first- and third-round picks in 1991 and a second-rounder in 1992.)
1990: Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, defensive tackle Jimmie Jones and defensive back Kenneth Gant.
1991: Defensive tackle Russell Maryland, receiver Alvin Harper, linebacker Dixon Edwards, offensive tackle Erik Williams and defensive tackle Leon Lett.
1992: Defensive backs Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson and linebacker Robert Jones.
Add these gems to a roster that included future Hall of Fame pass catcher Michael Irvin and linebacker Ken Norton Jr. (before drafting Hall of Fame lineman Larry Allen at 1994), and it’s easy to pinpoint the backbone of a group that went on to win three Super Bowl titles.
Stacking drafts in this fashion is incredibly challenging for even the brightest of offices. One top-shelf haul can light the spark, however, which brings us to last year’s marvelous work by the New Orleans Saints.
On the insides of back-to-back-to-back 7-9 campaigns, coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis struck gold by drafting cornerback Marshon Lattimore with the 11th pick in the first round before utilizing the 32nd choice — obtained from the Patriots from the Brandin Cooks trade — to land offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.
The Saints weren’t completed, unearthing safety Marcus Williams in the second round before utilizing their third-round selection on dazzling running back Alvin Kamara.
Lattimore proceeded to acquire Defensive Rookie of the Year, while Kamara, among the most exciting players league-wide, ran away with Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, making New Orleans the first group to earn both awards in 1 effort because running back Mel Farr and cornerback Lem Barney did it to the Lions manner back in 1967.
Williams, meanwhile, started 15 games for the Saints, while Ramczyk started from cable. Third-round linebacker Alex Anzalone was about to perform the same before enduring a season-ending shoulder injury.
There is no way the Saints go 11-5 and earn their first playoff berth since 2013 with no help of this extraordinary draft class. In case Payton and Loomis can perform it, the ceiling for New Orleans becomes an attraction.
Apologies. This was a meandering intro, but it’s our way of kicking off today’s look at how one bullseye draft could change everything for a franchise, its own town and the fans who live and die with their groups.
Without further ado, let us take a look in (my take on) the top 10 draft courses of the past 25 years.
NOTE 1: Despite the 2017 Saints class’ promise after one season, we’re leaving off that group this list until Father Time takes us farther down the road.
NOTE 2: Because I am certain some of you may disagree with this listing, here is where I gently remind kind readers that any typewriter, personal computer, iMac, iPhone or spiral-bound laptop with a ballpoint pen are your path toward producing an iron-clad list of your own.
1) 1996 Baltimore Ravens
Notable selections: OT Jonathan Ogden, LB Ray Lewis, DB DeRon Jenkins, WR Jermaine Lewis.
Ozzie Newsome’s first two picks as overall director of the newly minted Baltimore Ravens doubled as a pair of epic grand slams, with Ogden and Lewis finishing their storied careers as shoo-in Hall of Famers.
Ravens fans, incidentally, can thank Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns for getting their hands on Lewis.
Since then-coach of the Browns, Belichick shipped Cleveland’s 1995 first-round choice to the Niners in exchange for a package that included San Francisco’s first-rounder in 1996, which ultimately netted Lewis at No. 26 overall.
Included in Cleveland’s front office, Newsome long had Lewis on his radar. So did Belichick, that personally scouted the linebacker prior to the 1996 draft as part of New England’s training staff under Bill Parcells.
Instead of a Cleveland team run by Belichick and Newsome, the Brownswere sprinkled into the end by owner Art Modell. From those inglorious ashes rose the Ravens, with Ozzie — the former Cleveland tight end — as their unquestioned leader. What Newsome did with that Baltimore draft set the table for years of future achievement.
“Whatever comes of the history of the Ravens in Baltimore, that day will forever be the reason why this franchise is where it is at,” Lewis once told The Baltimore Sun. “All due to the genius of Ozzie Newsome.”
Two) 1995 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Notable picks: DT Warren Sapp, LB Derrick Brooks.
Seven years prior to the long-sucking Bucs authored a Super Bowl win under Jon Gruden, the group’s defensive individuality was staged using a set of pristine first-round selections. Sapp and Brooks both went to Hall of Fame careers that peaked under Gruden’s view, but Chucky had nothing related to drafting them. The charge goes to then-Bucs coach Sam Wyche and his general manager, Rich McKay, who profoundly investigated Sapp’s off-the-field problems before snatching him with the 12th overall pick. Brooks was a far-less-controversial selection at No. 28, but Wyche made it clear, in a piece for PewterReport.com, which Tampa was stunned to get him “We did not believe he was likely to be there … so that’s why we jumped at the chance to pick him.”
3) 2004 San Diego Chargers
Notable selections: QB Philip Rivers, DE Igor Olshansky, K Nate Kaeding, C Nick Hardwick, DE Shaun Phillips, RB Michael Turner.
Triggering among the juiciest trades in league lore, the Chargers chosen Eli Manning with the first overall pick. Thing is, Eli didn’t wish to play San Diego, together with his agent, Tom Condon, telling theChargers that Manning would sit out the entire 2004 season when they chose him. Rather than caving in, Bolts general manager A.J. Smith grabbed Manning and waited for the Giants — Eli’s preferred landing spot — to select Rivers. San Diego then sent Manning into Big Blue to get a 2004 third-rounder, used on Kaeding, plus 2005 first- and fifth-round picks. The back-to-back drafts generated a flock of successful ’04 starters, pass rusher Shawne Merriman in ’05, and a quarterback in Rivers who is Manning’s equivalent in every possible manner.
4 & 5) 2010/2012 Seattle Seahawks
Notable selections ’10: OT Russell Okung, S Earl Thomas, WR Golden Tate, CB Walter Thurmond, S Kam Chancellor.
Notable picks in ’12: DE Bruce Irvin, LB Bobby Wagner, QB Russell Wilson, RB Robert Turbin, CBJeremy Lane, OG J.R. Sweezy.
Under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, theSeahawks have earned a reputation for coming the draft in a style all their own. The results speak for themselves, together with Seattle forming the Legion of Boom in rapid-fire fashion by selecting Thomas, Chancellor and Thurmond at 2010. Richard Sherman came one year later prior to the ‘Hawks padded their secondary with Jeremy Lane in 2012. Irvin’s first-round selection surprised people in that exact same draft, as did the team’s religion in quarterback Russell Wilson. While clubs dinged Wilson because of his non-prototypical stature, Schneider pushed hard for its uber-athletic passer, a series of religion that changed the franchise indefinitely.
6) 1995 New England Patriots
Notable selections: CB Ty Law, LB Ted Johnson, RB Curtis Martin, DB Jimmy Hitchcock, C Dave Wohlabaugh.
As with the Seahawks over and also the Steelers beneath, rock-solid drafts often trigger a Super Bowl berth. One year before playing the Packers from the championship, Bill Parcells pieced together a draft which produced a Hall of Fame runner at Martin and a secondary wizard in Law, who arguably should be in Canton. The duo joined to play 371 games, while Johnson (125 games), Hitchcock (101) and Wohlabaugh (128) went to long, successful careers.
7) 2010 Pittsburgh Steelers
Notable selections: C Maurkice Pouncey, DE Jason Worilds, WR Emmanuel Sanders, WR Antonio Brown.
1 year later drafting deep-threat Mike Wallace, the Steelers found a true wideout for the ages. A blinding steal in the sixth round, Brown has morphed to a bona fide MVP candidate along with the heart of Pittsburgh’s offense. With the Steelers also finding Sanders at Round 3, Pittsburgh’s front-office people earned their reputation as magicians when it comes to scouting recipients. Pouncey, meanwhile, is a six-time Pro Bowler, although Worilds was a valuable and sought-after pass rusher ahead of his stunning retirement from football in 2015.
8) 2007 San Francisco 49ers
Notable picks: LB Patrick Willis, OT Joe Staley, DE Ray McDonald, S Dashon Goldson, CB Tarell Brown.
Scot McCloughan. His name belongs all on this list. The talented scout was lodged in Seattle as a senior employees executive during these celebrated drafts of 2010 and ’12. In addition, he served as San Francisco’s VP of player personnel throughout a 2007 selection process which helped set the table for prospective Niners glory. Willis operated as a seven-time Pro Bowler before retiring in 2015. Staley remains secured in at left tackle for the Niners, while McDonald, Goldson and Brown combined to play 296 games for the franchise.
9) 2004 Arizona Cardinals
Notable selections: WR Larry Fitzgerald, LBKarlos Dansby, DT Darnell Dockett, DE Antonio Smith.
Cardinals fans can point to this draft as the turning point for a franchise which endured through years of obscurity and heartbreak. Future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald has been the most popular player in team history, still going strong after 14 seasons. Dansby logged eight productive years in Arizona, sandwiched around stints in Miami, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Dockett gave the team 158 games prior to calling it quits in 2014, while Smith was a key part of the Cardinals’ defense for half a decade before taking off to play elsewhere before 2016.
10) 2014 Oakland Raiders
Notable picks: LB Khalil Mack, QB Derek Carr, OG Gabe Jackson, DT Justin Ellis, CB T.J. Carrie.
If it’s premature to select a class in the past few seasons, Oakland’s crew from 2014 looms as an exclusion. Mack is a raging star — and worth every part of the mega-bucks extension he is going to sign with the Black and Silver. Carr wasn’t himself 2017, but he’s one year removed from a legitimate run at MVP and now finds himself under the opinion of Jon Gruden. Jackson and Ellis have been continuous fixtures in the lineup, while Carrie gave the group 36 starts before moving on to the Browns. Gruden would be smart to maintain general manager Reggie McKenzie in home for years to come.
2006 New Orleans Saints: RB Reggie Bush, S Roman Harper, OG Jahri Evans, DE Rob Ninkovich, OT Zach Strief, WR Marques Colston.
2000 New York Jets: DE Shaun Ellis, DE John Abraham, QB Chad Pennington, TE Anthony Becht, WR Laveranues Coles.
2005 Dallas Cowboys: OLB Demarcus Ware, DE Marcus Spears, LB Kevin Burnett, RB Marion Barber III, DE Chris Canty, DT Jay Ratliff.
2016 Dallas Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott, LB Jaylon Smith, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott, CBAnthony Brown, S Kavon Frazier.
2012 Philadelphia Eagles: DT Fletcher Cox, LB Mychal Kendricks, DE Vinny Curry, QB Nick Foles, DB Brandon Boykin, OL Dennis Kelly.
Source: nfl.com & nbc.com