Green Bay Packers – The Green Bay Packers had a phenomenal first round. In two different moves, the Packers essentially traded back 4 spots and selected cornerback Jaire Alexander, which is who they were likely to take if they didn’t trade back. What makes this even better for the Packers is that they acquired a 2019 first round pick from the Saints, while still getting the guy they wanted. Drafting a guy who will come in and start right away and obtaining a first round pick for next year makes me believe that the Packers were the winners of the first round.
Buffalo Bills – Getting Tremaine Edmunds with the 16th overall pick might be the steal of the first round. Edmunds was right with fellow linebacker Roquan Smith (8th overall pick to the Bears) in the prospect rankings, which made it shocking to see him fall to #16 overall. Some even think he is a better talent than Roquan Smith, so to get Edmunds halfway through the first round has steal written all over it. The Bills also traded up and got Josh Allen with the 7th pick. I’m not sure how he will pan out, as there has been fair criticism of his accuracy, but getting a potential franchise QB and one of the best defensive players in the draft with the 16th pick makes Bills Mafia one of the winners of the first round.
Dallas Cowboys – What makes the Cowboys a winner in my book is that they didn’t draft a wide receiver. Many analysts thought that the cutting of Dez Bryant meant that they would use their first-round pick on a guy like Calvin Ridley, DJ Moore, or Courtland Sutton. There are plenty of wide receivers in this draft with similar grades, which is why it was smart for the Cowboys to pass on one. Instead, the Cowboys drafted LB Leighton Vander Esch, filling a spot on their roster that seems to have injury problems every year. Cowboy fans should be happy with this pick. Vander Esch is a versatile linebacker who will be able to line up in multiple formations and do basically whatever the Cowboys need from him.
Seattle Seahawks – The Seahawks easily had the most shocking pick of the first round. Many mock drafts had Seattle taking an offensive lineman to help protect Russell Wilson and to help reestablish the dominant run game they once had. Instead of getting a big man up front, they decided to take the second running back off the board in Rashaad Penny. Penny wasn’t even considered a top 5 running back, and the thought of him actually going in the first round never came into anyone’s mind outside of the Seattle organization. They made a mistake taking a running back with this pick, but an even bigger mistake to take Penny when guys like Derrius Guice, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb were still on the board.
Cleveland Browns – The Browns had two of the top four picks and didn’t even end up with a top three player (Chubb, Barkley, or Nelson). It was a questionable decision to take Baker Mayfield with the number one pick over Sam Darnold, and an even more questionable decision to take Denzel Ward when Bradley Chubb was still on the board. It would have made more sense for the Browns to use that 4th overall pick to trade back a few spots, acquire more picks, and get a similar CB later in the draft. I think the Browns played that out the worst way possible.