The 2018 NFL draft started on Thursday, April 26 and ended on Saturday, April 28 in Arlington, Texas. This article will review the first five young prospects who were drafted and will soon go to their new teams.
The Cleveland Browns had the first overall pick, following them not winning a game during the 2017-18 season. They used it to take quarterback Baker Mayfield from the University of Oklahoma.
The Browns have not had a good history with drafting quarterbacks. Since 1999, the Browns have had 28 quarterbacks start for them, and none of them turned out to be a success.
The Browns had the right idea drafting a quarterback because they really need one, but the quarterback they did choose was not the smartest pick. Many experts on college football believed Josh Allen or Sam Darnold were better QBs than Mayfield, but the Browns chose him anyway.
Mayfield was not even rumored to go number one until a few days before the draft. He is not a bad quarterback by any stretch of the imagination; it is just that after 18 years of terrible play at that position, it seems smarter to take a safer pick.
The real concerns with Mayfield are his off-the-field issues and height. He is only six foot, which is a little undersized for an NFL QB.
Off the field, he has received comparisons to another former Browns quarterback, Johnny Manziel, who was arrested while on the team and had alcohol problems as well. While in college, Mayfield was arrested for some misdemeanors, which is where the comparisons come.
Hopefully, his play makes up for everything else, and the Browns’ stretch of bad quarterbacks can finally come to an end.
Sophomore David Polgardi says, “Baker was great in college. He won the Heisman trophy, too. I know people think there are better quarterbacks, but I think Baker is the best.”
The second pick of the draft belonged to the New York Giants. They got the pick following a dismal 3-13 record, just one year after they made the playoffs. With their pick, they selected Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
This selection was also questionable, but still good. Some pros about the pick are that Barkley is far and away the best running back in the draft, and he was looked at by experts as a high pick.
While Barkley should be a star, the Giants need a quarterback, too, and there were plenty of them left to take. Their starter, Eli Manning, is 37 years old, and they do not have a backup ready to take his place. The safe move would have been to take a quarterback since it is the more important position, or the one the Giants need the most. The Giants did end up picking a quarterback later on, but he will most likely not be as good as the ones that were available then.
Being the second pick, Barkley will make around $31 million over the next four years. That would be the second-largest guaranteed contract ever for a running back behind Adrian Peterson. This is way too much for an unproven running back, but if he lives up to his college career, then it will have been worth if for the Giants.
The third pick belonged to the New York Jets who took USC quarterback Sam Darnold.
Originally, this pick was supposed to go to the Colts, who went 4-12, but the Jets traded the 6th pick and three other second round picks (two this year and one next year) for it. With it, they took who many thought was the best quarterback in the whole draft.
This was the safe pick for the Jets, but some fans are upset they did not go after Josh Allen or Josh Rosen, who went 7th to the Bills and 10th to the Cardinals, respectively.
In the end, the Jets need help after going 5-11. They have not had a star quarterback in a while, and they are hoping Darnold can be a star for their team.
The fourth pick of the draft also belonged to the Cleveland Browns. They got it last year in a trade with the Houston Texans, who finished 4-12 after their star quarterback Deshaun Watson got hurt.
The trade itself involved Watson. The Texans traded this year’s pick, which ended up being fourth overall, and last year’s 25th pick for the Brown’s 12th pick. The Texans selected Watson with the pick.
With the fourth pick in the draft, the Browns selected Ohio State Cornerback Denzel Ward. After their 0-16 season, it is clear the Browns need help almost everywhere. Taking a defensive player is great, but there was another player who many think is better than Ward.
It is the same situation the Browns are in with Mayfield. They took someone at a position they need, but they took him over someone who is expected to be better than him. For the Browns’ sake, they need Ward to be the best defensive player from this draft.
Finally, the Denver Broncos had the fifth pick after a 5-11 season. With it, they took NC State Defensive End Bradley Chubb.
This was a phenomenal pick by the Broncos. He was the defensive player mentioned before, and he is expected to be better than Ward. Chubb recorded 10 sacks in each of his last two college seasons, and has a lot of potential to do well in the NFL.
Along with him, the Broncos already have an amazing defender in Von Miller, and with the addition of Chubb, the Broncos’ defense looks scary going into the 2018-2019 season.
Sophomore Gavin Lawrence says, “I don’t know how the Broncos got Bradley Chubb. I thought for sure the Browns would take him. That’s gonna be a scary defense for the Broncos if he lives up to the hype.”
Which of the aforementioned picks do you see having the most successful NFL career?