By: Joe Siniscalchi (@Joe_Siniscalchi)
With the first day of the NFL Draft over, there’s some time to reflect on all of the action. It was an exciting first round, packed with trades and surprises. We saw Geno Smith fall out of the first round, Travis Frederick (WHO?) sneak his way in, and the Bills blow off Ryan Nassib. With all of that here’s three lists based on what happened. Also, did anyone else see floating Adam Schefter?
Minnesota Vikings: I can’t decide what I love more, the value pick of Sharrif Floyd at 23, nabbing Xavier Rhodes to replace Antoine Winfield, or trading back in the first for the third time to nab Cordarrelle Patterson. The Vikings had major holes on defense coming into the draft, and have not only the filled three holes, they’ve done so with guys who can all step in and contribute right away.
Miami Dolphins: When the Dolphins traded up to three, I was almost certain it was for Lane Johnson. Instead, they shocked many (including EJ Manuel) and took the freak pass rusher Dion Jordan. This trade benefited Miami and Oakland. Miami got a dynamic pass rusher to play opposite Cameron Wake, and Oakland got to move to 12 and picked up the 42nd pick to help a roster that is more barren than Google +. If Miami trades its other second rounder to the Chiefs for Brandon Albert, they just may have made the right moves to get them a wild card spot in a suddenly weakened AFC.
St. Louis Rams: What a dream draft for the Rams. First, they move into the top ten to steal Tavon Austin from the Jets. They gave up the 16th, 46th, 78th, and 222nd picks for the Bills 8th overall pick and the 71st pick. With their other first round pick, they traded back with the Atlanta Falcons. They received the 30th pick, 92nd, and 198th picks in the draft for the 22nd pick and a 7th round pick in 2015. At 30, they took ILB Alec Ogletree to help the defense. The Rams showed great flexibility with both of their picks, and it couldn’t have worked out any better. I’m sure GM Les Snead thanked the Redskins in the war room.
Honorable Mention: New England Patriots – Did you see that haul they got from the Vikings?!
New York Jets: It’s not that they did terrible, it’s that they could’ve done much better. I get the Milliner pick at 9 (even though I think Cromartie can hold the fort and they should have tried to get a guy like Tyrann Mathieu). What bugs me was taking Sheldon Richardson at 13 ahead of guys like Star Lotulelei and Jarvis Jones. Richardson is arguably the best defensive tackle in this class, but he just doesn’t fit in the Jets’ 3-4 scheme as a nose tackle and is not an immediate impact player. I can see the Jets playing more 4-3 fronts with a dangerously fast defensive line, but they had more needs for immediate contributors in other positions on the team. Once again, Rex refuses to ignore his lack of pass rushers.
Dallas Cowboys: I was a fan of the trade back, even though they should’ve taken Sharrif Floyd at 18. They picked up the 74th pick which was a nice prize for jumping back to 31. What I wasn’t a fan of was taking Travis Frederick. Um, what? There were plenty of safeties and defensive tackles on the board for them to take. This pick just left me scratching my head.
Chicago Bears: I’m not denying Kyle Long’s ability. He is a solid guard who fills a big need for the Bears, but the defense clearly needs some youth. Guys like Floyd, Ogletree, and Te’o were on the board, and they even could’ve traded back and gotten Long. My guess was they tried to move back and failed.
Honorable Mention: Geno Smith – Let’s hope he takes a page from Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady and not Brady Quinn.
Three Best Fits
Star Lotulelei at 14 to the Panthers: By far the best value pick in the draft. Star is the lineman the Panthers have been dreaming of. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team submit a pick as quickly as Carolina did once they were on the clock.
Jarvis Jones at 17 to the Steelers: Looks like Jones was right. The Steelers gobbled him up immediately. Jones will fit perfectly in the Steelers defense and will terrorize the AFC North alongside Lamarr Woodley. The Steelers have done a great job of shedding old, overpaid players and are clearly in the midst of a youth movement on defense.
Tyler Eifert at 21 to the Bengals: I did not see this coming. The Bengals are clearly committed to making Andy Dalton more than just a game manager. The offense has weapons all over as Green will command down the field, Gresham will be a safety net, Sanu will own the middle of the field, and Eifert will be an Aaron Hernandez type matchup nightmare. This pick to me shows the Bengals are leaving their conservative ways behind.
Honorable Mention: Datone Jones at 24 to the Packers – One of the best matches for value, need, and fit.