Bears and Notre Dame
Ok, so the Bears did not get Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson like seemingly every single mock draft said they would. Honestly, while I hoped this would happen I was always skeptical of this. Given how much hype he’s been getting over the past several weeks as one of the best players in the draft it would have taken multiple teams making poor decisions in order for Nelson to fall to the Bears at #8.
Instead, he got drafted by the Colts, which makes a lot of sense considering they gave up 56 sacks last year, worst in the NFL.
Instead the Bears took Roquan Smith, a linebacker from Georgia. I’m a big fan of this pick. The Bears have been gradually building up their defense over the past couple of years under the direction of Vic Fangio and I am all for efforts to try to restore the Bears defense to its former glory. Smith was regarded as the best linebacker in the draft and joins Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd (also an OSU alum) in what should be one of the NFL’s most athletic linebacking groups.
Meanwhile, it was awesome to see two Notre Dame guys taken in the Top 10. In addition to Nelson at 6, Mike McGlinchey was drafted 9th overall by the 49ers and will be tasked with protecting the blind side of Niners golden boy Jimmy Garoppolo. I’ve had the chance to get to know Mike, who lived across the hall from me for a year of college, and I couldn’t be happier for a great guy like him to have this sort of phenomenal opportunity in the NFL.
Who knows where other ND players will go in the draft (I’m particularly interested in where Equanimeous St. Brown goes), but this is certainly the best ND draft in quite a while.
In my opinion the Browns totally pulled a Browns in how they used their 1st and 4th overall picks. They took Baker Mayfield 1st overall, which it’s hard to say was a surprise when nobody knew who the Browns were going to take. However, after they took OSU cornerback Denzel Ward at 4 there was plenty of reason to scratch your head at what they had just done.
Nothing against Denzel Ward, but there were plenty of players available who were agreed to be better overall talents than him (headlined by Nelson and Smith).
It also became clear that they could have gotten Mayfield at 4. Mayfield was never believed to be the Giants’ favorite of the QBs (they may not have been taking a QB anyway) and the Jets decided they were drafting Sam Darnold like a year and a half ago. The Browns could have taken Saquon Barkley (they signed Carlos Hyde but I think Barkley would definitely be an upgrade) #1 overall and also gotten their guy in Mayfield. Especially given Mayfield in all likelihood won’t be the starter Week 1, the way the Browns managed this doesn’t make much sense to me.
The Giants taking Barkley says to me that they believe Eli Manning has a couple years left in the tank. One of the problems the Giants have had in recent seasons is a complete lack of a running game which in turn has put a lot of pressure on Eli. Hopefully Saquon can help balance out the Giants offense, although a healthy receiving corps would also certainly help.
Four QBs taken in the Top 10 was a record. I think it’s hard to make a bet on which of these guys will be most successful but if I have to pick I’ll go with Josh Rosen, both because he’s walking into the best situation as far as the team around him in Arizona and he’s stated he’s out for revenge after falling to pick #10, and there’s no greater motivator in sports (life?) than spite:
I’m interested to see how Josh Allen going to the Bills works out. When it comes to guys who never played against truly top-level opposition in college you really have to wait and see. There’s certainly success stories out there (Carson Wentz, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Jimmy Garappolo to name a few) but time will tell if Allen’s huge hands translate into NFL greatness.
All I know is Josh Allen and Bills Mafia are match made in football heaven and Barstool’s Dan Katz could not be happier:
As for the rest of the First Round, Calvin Ridley going to the Falcons and joining up with fellow Bama alum Julio Jones I’m sure makes Matt Ryan and Falcons fans very happy.
Ryan Shazier walking out on stage to announce the Steelers pick was a really incredible moment. He’ll never play football again, but it’s great to see him make such a strong recovery to this point and continue to have such a close relationship with the team and its fans.
Independent of the team he went to, I’m happy Lamar Jackson got picked by someone last night. A Heisman Trophy winner and two-time ACC player of the year, Jackson has been adamant that he is committed to being a successful quarterback in the NFL, refusing to work out as a wide receiver despite reportedly being asked. It’s a shame that we’re still at a place in the NFL where s guy like Jackson, who is known for his speed and athleticism as much as his arm, has to clarify that yes, he wants to continue to play the position he excelled at in college. If scouts can take Johnny Manziel seriously as an NFL prospect then certainly Jackson is deserving of an opportunity. Now, the group of QBs Baltimore has with Joe Flacco, RG3, and Jackson is certainly a weird mix. Best case scenario, Jackson can show the raw talent of RG3 but have the staying power of Flacco.
I am in the camp of people who believes it’s completely obnoxious that the NFL Draft takes 3 days to complete. There is no excuse for teams to need 10 minutes to pick when they’ve had months and months and months to decide the order in which they rank the players available. Thus, I will probably not be offering any thoughts on future rounds beyond who the Bears draft.
At the time of writing the Bears have just drafted James Davis, a Center from Iowa, with their second round pick. I don’t know anything about him, but I was hoping the Bears would go O-Line this round and Big 10 lineman are usually a good bet, so no complaints.
We have a trade!
The Bears have trades their 4th Round pick this year and 2nd Round pick next year to the New England Patriots in exchange for the Patriots second round pick.
The Bears have used this pick to draft Anthony Miller, a wide receiver from Memphis.
I’m getting on an airplane so that’s all for now.