This past weekend NFL teams were able to select what they hoped would end up being future NFL stars. The NFL draft always presents a time of hope and promise for fans and NFL teams alike. Championship teams are built through the draft and the smartest teams do well in the draft more often than not. It’s obviously too early to tell for sure, but some teams had a better weekend than others. So let’s sort out who won and who lost in this year’s draft.
Winner #1 Miami Dolphins
Coming into this draft the Dolphins were a team on the rise and nothing about this draft has changed that. Using their first pick on Jaylen Waddle gives them a deep threat for Tua to use on offense. With their next pick they took Jaelan Phillips who could end up as one of the best edge rushers in this draft class. Miami was also able to grab 2-3 more players that could emerge as starters before the season is over. The Bills may have won the division last season, but beware because the Dolphins are coming.
Loser #1 Green Bay Packers
Several hours before the draft started news broke out that future hall of famer Aaron Rodgers no longer wanted to play for Green Bay. As one would expect chaos ensued as well as more reports that Rodgers didn’t like anyone in the front office. This led to hours of speculation that he could be potentially traded (he wasn’t) sometime over the weekend. To add salt to the wound, Green Bay drafted yet another defensive player. Why is that significant? It means the Packers still haven’t drafted an offensive player in the first round that wasn’t a QB while Rodgers was the starting QB. Much of Rodgers frustrations over the years have been due to the lack of weapons around him. This latest pick won’t calm those frustrations one bit.
Winner #2 Tennessee Titans
The Titans ultimate undoing last season was their defense’s inability to get stops. Well the Titans made it a point to address that issue and boy did they. Selecting Caleb Farley, who is one of the most talented corners in this draft, should reap immediate benefits. Drafting Elijah Molden should help them in the secondary as well. He might not start off as a starter, but he should see plenty of game time by season’s end. Offensively the Titans drafted Dillon Radunz who should help solidify the offensive line. A good offensive line means Derrick Henry can run rampant. Derrick Henry running rampant usually means the Titans win which definitely makes this a good draft for them.
Loser #2 Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are losers here for the simple fact that they didn’t draft one single offensive lineman. This offseason the Rams lost starting center Austin Blythe during free agency leaving a massive void at the position. No one else on the Rams roster has much experience playing the position, yet the Rams thought best not to use any picks on a center. To make matters worse the Rams used three picks on WRs despite that being the deepest position on the roster. The Rams made the big splash this offseason grabbing Stafford, but since then its been a series of head scratching moves.
Winner #3 Chicago Bears
I must admit the Bears draft haul didn’t particularly blow me away. That being said they did end up with Justin Fields and that alone makes them a winner. For as long as I’ve been alive the one constant with the Bears has been their lack of a star QB. In fact one could argue that the Bears have never had a star QB on their team. While Justin Fields is no guarantee to become a star QB he’s their best chance in decades. The kid is extremely talented and it was particularly shocking to see him fall as far as he did in the draft. For the first time in years the Chicago faithful will actually have some genuine belief in a QB. That alone makes them a winner this year.
Loser #3 Las Vegas Raiders
Head scratching draft picks happen all the time as some teams value different things more. What you don’t want to do is make the first head scratching pick especially not in the first round. Well unfortunately for Raider fans that’s exactly what their team did. With their first pick the Raiders took an offensive linemen (Alex Leatherwood) who most people had in the late 2nd round to early 3rd round range. It was a huge reach especially considering they could’ve traded down or taken someone else. It’s starting to become a worrying theme for this franchise and these types of picks severely limit their ceiling. Now Leatherwood could indeed become a solid player, but the fact that you could’ve gotten him much later in the draft is a tough pill to swallow.