The first round of the NFL Draft transpired on Thursday night, and while the presentation was a bit clunky overall players were still selected and there were still winners and losers.
Here are some of the winners and losers from Round One.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs moved up to pick No. 13 to help bolster their offensive line, a wise decision seeing as they now have Tom Brady as their quarterback. Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs is as agile of an offensive lineman as you’ll see and plays with plenty of power too. He’ll be a starter his rookie season and a lot will be asked of him. Protect the GOAT.
Somehow Alabama phenom Jerry Jeudy, someone who was nearly impossible to cover in college, dropped to pick No. 15 and the Broncos snatched him. With second year QB Drew Lock and TE Noah Fant along with WR No. 1 Courtland Sutton, the Denver offense is on the up and up but needed another weapon and they got it in Jeudy.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs production at running back was inconsistent as can be in 2019 and this was an area that they needed to address in the draft. With pick No. 32 KC picked a player that should fit their scheme quite well in LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, someone who has a penchant for catching the football out of the backfield. Edwards-Helaire is best utilized in a spread scheme where the spacing will allow him to choose more gaps to fly through than a power offense. Expect him to see the field plenty if he continues to fare well in pass protection like he did at LSU.
Minnesota traded receiver Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills last month and desperately needed to find a replacement for him. With the Vikings on the clock at pick No. 22, LSU WR Justin Jefferson fell right into their lap. QB Joe Burrow will be the name everyone remembers when it comes to the 2019 Tigers, but Jefferson was a major part of Burrow’s success. Jefferson’s 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns represent a good chunk of Burrow’s production and he showed time and time again that he plays his best when the lights shine the brightest. Minnesota now has a WR. No 2 to work in tandem with No. 1 option Adam Thielen and Jefferson could become the go-to guy sooner than later.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers went to the NFC Championship game last season, losing to the 49ers. The team appears to be a few pieces away from winning their conference and getting to the Super Bowl. Instead of bolstering their roster for now, they decided to look towards the future and disrespect 36 year old QB Aaron Rodgers in the process by drafting Utah State QB Jordan Love with the 26th pick. The past two seasons Rodgers has thrown for over 8,400 yards while throwing 51 touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. Rodgers is still on top of his game and hasn’t really showed signs of slowing down. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Rodgers play another five highly productive seasons in the NFL.
Love may end up being a fine NFL QB, but he was highly inconsistent in college and was turnover prone. He’s far from being the guaranteed heir-apparent to Rodgers. The Packers have now created drama in their organization and ruffled the feathers of their face of the franchise instead of improving the roster in another area. A major whiff by Green Bay and certainly a shocking pick when it was announced.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders had two first round picks, and both were very meh. With pick No. 12 they selected speedy Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs, a player that wasn’t even the first option on his team. The Raiders always seem to prioritize speed instead of a player with more tools in his arsenal, and selecting Ruggs signified the Raiders reaching like they always do. They could have had Bama’s Jerry Jeudy or Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb, both of whom appear to be much more polished. Vegas then went with Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette at pick No. 19, a player that wasn’t projected to go in the first round. The Raiders had two picks and didn’t do enough with them.