Here’s our look at the losers from the first-round of the 2018 NFL Draft
The Cleveland Browns ignored conventional wisdom and selected a short Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback with character issues — hey wait…this sounds eerily familiar. Cleveland took Baker Mayfield at No. 1 and Denzel Ward at No. 4. There were a half-dozen players available at those spots ranked higher on virtually everyone’s board. And this is why the Browns are still the Browns.
Could Mayfield work out? Sure. But despite some comparisons, he’s not Russell Wilson. Wilson is faster, more athletic and has a bigger arm. Mayfield was super accurate in college, but also played in an air-raid offense where guys were running open constantly. The transition to the NFL may be a rough one for the former walk-on, which is not what you’d expect for a 23-year-old quarterback.
As for Ward, he was the best cornerback in the draft and fills a significant need, but Bradley Chubb and Quenton Nelson (who could slide to right tackle) were higher on my board. I’m just not sure they got the best value at those two spots.
The Buffalo Bills surrendered two second-round picks (No. 53 and No. 56) to move from No. 12 to No. 7 in the first round to select their quarterback of the future. That quarterback? Josh Allen. Yes, with Josh Rosen still on the board, the Bills passed on him for a guy who can’t hit the broad side of a barn or make basic reads at the line of scrimmage. Yep, this is your franchise, Bills Mafia.
Allen has a howitzer strapped to his shoulder, but he has yet to show he knows how to use it. Also, given the relative value of the picks they surrendered, the Bills treated this deal as if they were getting a top three pick, not jumping from the 12th pick to the 7th to get the third quarterback off the board. That’s just awful management.
Poor Derwin James. He was No. 7 on my board and he dropped all the way to the 17th pick and landed with an awful franchise. Yes, the Los Angeles Chargers will have a loaded secondary on paper, but given the team’s history with top draft picks, he’ll probably be diagnosed with leprosy in a few weeks. Personally, I feel terrible for him.
New Orleans Saints
This was a move I just didn’t understand at all. The New Orleans Saints sent the 27th and 147th picks along with their 2019 first-round pick to the Green Bay Packers for the 14th pick. Then they selected defensive end Marcus Davenport out of UTSA. What?
They gave up all of that for a raw defensive end from Conference USA? Yes, Davenport is a physical freak and could wind up being a stud, but he’ll face a steep learning curve in the NFL and it’ll take him time to adjust. The Saints are trying to win now and I’m not sure this helps them do that.
The Saints absolutely nailed last year’s draft, so maybe we shouldn’t judge them harshly. But they gave up a ton to move up and may wind up regretting it.
While the Ravens, Steelers and Browns have all been getting better, the Cincinnati Bengals have not. They took a center at No. 21 in Ohio State’s Billy Price, a guy many had pegged as a second-rounder. He wasn’t even the first center off the board.
Meanwhile, the Ravens secured their quarterback of the future in Lamar Jackson, the Steelers added a third-round pick in exchange for problem child Martavis Bryant and the Browns have added a ton this offseason. Cincinnati is stuck with Andy Dalton for the foreseeable future with no succession plan.
Center was a position of need, but at the very least the Bengals could have traded down and still gotten Price later. Instead they grabbed him at 21, which looks like an enormous reach.
San Francisco 49ers
McGlinchey is a right tackle as things stand currently, I’m not sure he’ll ever actually be a left tackle. He’s a fantastic run blocker and can pass protect, but he’s not quick enough and doesn’t have good enough feet to stop elite pass rushers and protect Jimmy Garoppolo’s blind side. Right tackles can be found later in the draft. No. 9 is far too high for a run-blocking tackle.
I’ve really liked a lot of what John Lynch has done since taking over in San Francisco, but this pick was a head-scratcher. Granted, it’s a really weak year for offensive tackles, but that doesn’t mean teams should force it.