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1st Round Pick Reactions (No Grades)


Round 1

1. Cincinnati: QB Joe Burrow, LSU—-what a great fit for the Bengals and Burrow—-Geaux Burreaux geaux!

2. Washington: EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State—-Ron Rivera does not frick around. Chase is a perfect name for this deluxe pass rusher.

3. Detroit: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State—-best, most talented CB in draft, imo, by far.

4. NY Giants: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia—-have to admit, like Derrick Brown, the more I watched the film, the more Thomas grew on me. I would have picked Jedrick Wills, though.

5. Miami: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama—-teams win with leadership from the QB and this kid’s leadership is dynamic.

6. LA Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon—-I grew to like Herbert a lot over the past few months. He nailed this pick down with his Rose Bowl and Senior Bowl MVPs. Bravo!

7. Carolina: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn—-as with Tua, this big man’s leadership is 5 star. And his motor and brute strength are special.

8. Arizona: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson—-usually some other team steps right in front of the Cardinals to snag the BPA, but not this time. This pick forces the Cardinals’ defense to become creative and much more aggressive.

9. Jacksonville: CB CJ Henderson, Florida—-love the cover ability, but CBs in today’s NFL have to be willing tacklers and Henderson lacks that willingness and could be exploited.

10. Cleveland: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama—-they got the most NFL ready, supremely fundamental tackle in the draft. The question is—-can Wills make a swift transition to LT?

11. NY Jets: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville—-I thought they should have drafted CeeDee Lamb here. But, Becton has one of the highest ceilings in the draft.

12. Las Vegas: WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama—-I tried to argue for weeks that Ruggs would be the 1st WR taken—-not only because of his elite speed and skills, but because he’s an alpha dog. Rashad Johnson was spot-on.

13. Tampa Bay f/IND via SF: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa—-do not understand giving up a 4th round pick to come up one spot and am not sure Wirfs can thrive right away at tackle under BA and Harold Goodwin, esp. under the pressure of having to block for an increasingly immobile Tom Brady.

14. San Francisco f/TB: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina—-just so glad they didn’t draft CeeDee Lamb. Kinlaw is a major talent—-but can he hold up physically?

15. Denver: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama—-they have to be pleased as punch that they were able to draft Jeudy and not lose a Day 2 draft pick to move up.

16. Atlanta: CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson—-I like Terrell a lot and he’s better at playing off CB like Richard Sherman which fits their style under Dan Quinn.

17. Dallas: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma—-I am wondering if there was some intel on Lamb that caused him to slide. Based on talent, he’s a top 10 pick. Cowboys ignored much bigger needs here which is a tad surprising.

18. Miami f/PIT: OL Austin Jackson, USC—-I had a higher grade on Josh Jones, but Jackson is about as solid a prospect as they come.

19. Las Vegas f/CHI: CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State—-Mike Mayock’s influence in film evaluations has made its mark on both their picks, Ruggs and Arnette. Arnette is a baller.

20. Jacksonville f/LAR: EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU—-this is a great fit for the Jaguars, who can now trade Ngakoue and be all the better for it. Chaisson has elite traits and will be a leader by example.

21. Philadelphia: WR Jalen Reagor, TCU—-this pick surprised me because Justin Jefferson, imo, will be a more productive pro. That said, the Eagles will try to make Reagor the Deebo Samuel of this draft.

22. Minnesota f/BUF: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU—-home run for the Vikings here, they are going to love having this kid on one side and Adam Thielen on the other.

23. LA Chargers f/NE: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma—-I thought they gave up too much for this pick, but Murray adds yet another great athlete to their star-studded defense.

24. New Orleans: OL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan—-was surprised at this pick because they drafted C Erik McCoy in the 2nd round last year. One of them will be moved to guard—-after their no virtual off-season, that is.

25. San Francisco f/MIN: WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State—-superb pick, imo, I just wonder whether the combo of WR CeeDee Lamb and DT Ross Blacklock would have been better than Kinlaw/Aiyuk. Glad we don’t have to find out.

26. Green Bay f/HOU via MIA: QB Jordan Love, Utah State—-I am very surprised Love not only slid this far, but that the Packers took him (by trading up!) with so many outstanding WRs on the board. Aaron Rodgers is pissed—-he’s getting the Tom Brady treatment—-or is it, ever so ironically, the Brett Favre? Guess he’d better call his State Farm agent.

27. Seattle: LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech—-surprised they didn’t prefer Queen over Brooks, but the Seahawks love to draft their kind of guys. Brooks should thrive in their defense.

28. Baltimore: LB Patrick Queen, LSU—-they always seem to get top-shelf linebackers who fall right into their laps. It’s uncanny.

29. Tennessee: OL Isaiah Wilson, Georgia—-I was surprised with this pick because Josh Jones and Ezra Cleveland have such athletic and positional upside. Wilson is a mauler, though, and the Titans do love to run the ball. But can he hold up in pass pro?

30. Miami f/GB: CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn—-yes, this young CB fits Brian Flores’ defensive system to a tee. Great pick, plus adding more draft capital with it via the trade.

31. Minnesota f/SF: CB Jeff Gladney, TCU—-the Vikings’ pro personnel people are really starting to ace their drafts. Gladney is a superb pick for their style of pressure defense.

32. Kansas City: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU—-dang, my “red star” goes to the NFL Champs. The Chiefs are getting the total package here and it does not surprise me one iota that he was the #1 RB taken. So many pundits had him going in Round 3. But, obviously, not Andy Reed.

This 1st round was not what most people thought it would be—-no team traded into the top 10—-and the QB needy teams in the top 10 all picked their guy.