Winner: New York Jets
If I had more faith in the Jets as an organization, it definitely looks like a draft that could reverse the fortunes of the franchise. New York was left with three first-round picks, and they landed three impact playmakers.
Sauce Gardner looks like the Jets’ next big stopping corner, Garret Wilson gives Zach Wilson a big game threat to grow with, and Jermaine Johnson could be the steal of the first round. Still, it’s the Jets. They will find a way to ruin everything. But it looks like a great shot.
Loser: Green Bay Packers
I go after Texans every year it seems, so I’m going to be mean to someone else this time around. After trading Davante Adams, Green Bay found themselves with one of the weakest receiving groups in the league. With Aaron Rodgers already frustrated with the lack of support he’s getting from the rest of the Packers offense, everyone expected Green Bay to finally grab a first-round receiver.
This does not happen. Quay Walker looks set to become a strong inside linebacker, and Devonte Wyatt could become a great inside D-Lineman, but both feel like they’re reaching where they were chosen, especially given the Packers’ needs.
Winners: New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens
It’s always concerning when you’re on the same page as the Giants, but with two top-seven picks yesterday, even they found a way to not mess things up and get the job done. Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 5 overall was a truly stellar pick, especially in the era of hybrid rushers and the “mountain posing as a man” in the offensive tackle of the game. Alabama Evan Neal now has the Giants starting day two with an early pick they can use to start working on their core or linebacking secondary. I’m amazed to say it, but a job well done by the boys in blue.
As for Baltimore, with no pick higher than 14th, the Ravens were still able to salvage two big talents in Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum who should anchor both sides of the ball for years. coming. Hamilton is probably even better suited to an NFL style of play that relies more on reads and altered covers than he was for college, while Linderbaum is your prototypical prospect at center who has a solid grounding. and meets a need for the franchise. Plus, Baltimore was able to offload an unhappy Marchioness Brown in the process.
Losers: New England Patriots and Trades Haters
I know the rule is believe in New England at all costs because Bill Belichick is the great draft magician none of us will ever understand, but Chattanooga offensive lineman’s pick Cole Strange at No. 29 overall just didn’t sit well with me at all. Strange is by no means a bad football player and he can come and help the Patriots upfront, but sometimes it’s not who you choose, but who you didn’t choose that ends up being the real pas- so- good draft night.
Also, if you don’t like trades, hopefully you had plans on Thursday night, because these things cropped up on the spur of the moment and were harder to follow every step of the way. I felt like about half the league was committed to some kind of deal and I expect even more of that on day two as the immediate needs of the team start to take precedence over the number of selections.