It was a night full of surprises and great picks. Dreams came true while others might have to wait for their chance to get drafted by an NFL team. Here’s the first five picks of the draft:
1. Houston Texans- Jadeveon Clowney DE from South Carolina
The Texans basically picked the best player in the draft when selecting this beast of a pass rusher. Clowney is definitely a Pro Bowl talent and he also has the pleasure of teaming up with J.J. Watt. If I were Andrew Luck, I would be shaking in my cleats every time I took the field against this defense.
2. St. Louis Rams- Greg Robinson OT from Auburn
The Rams need to protect Sam Bradford, who is very injury-prone. They believe that Robinson can protect their franchise on the offensive line. He is one of the best offensive tackles in the draft and can make a big impact on day one. Emphasis on the big, standing at 6’5″ and 332 pounds!
3. Jacksonville Jaguars- Blake Bortles QB from UCF
Bortles can just drive down the street to play for his new team. This prototypical quarterback is ready to play in the NFL. He has the arm strength and the mobility in the pocket to become a starter in the league for years to come. The Jaguars needed a franchise quarterback and they got one in Bortles.
4. Buffalo Bills- Sammy Watkins WR from Clemson
The Bills traded up to get this pick and it looks like it paid off. Watkins is by far the best receiver in the draft and he will make a good fit with E.J. Manuel and the Bills’ offense. He’s a dynamic play-maker that can get yards after the catch, which is something very valuable in the NFL.
5. Oakland Raiders- Khalil Mack OLB from Buffalo
Buffalo stole Watkins from the Raiders, but they ended up getting the next best thing in Mack. This pass rusher was one of the best linebackers in all of college football last year. He will definitely make some big plays in Oakland and give their linebacker corps some much-needed depth.
Other Great Picks
Atlanta Falcons select OT Jake Matthews 6th overall. No matter where Matthews went, is was going to be a great selection for any team. The Falcons needed to bulk up their offensive line to improve their running game and that’s what Matthews brings to the table. He’s the cousin of Clay Matthews and the part of the Matthews football family tree that has produced great players over the years.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers select WR Mike Evans 7th overall. Besides Watkins, Evans was the most NFL-ready receiver. He’s big like Calvin Johnson and will be a great asset to Vincent Jackson. His role in the passing game will greatly benefit a team that does not have a solid foundation at the quarterback position.
St. Louis Rams select DT Aaron Donald 13th overall. First Chris Long, then Robert Quinn, then Michael Brockers and now Aaron Donald. I think it’s safe to say that the Rams have now solidified the best defensive line in football. Donald will make an excellent addition to this much-improved defense.
There were a lot of other great picks, but the one that made the biggest headlines was Johnny Manziel going to the Cleveland Browns for the 22nd pick in the draft. The Browns shocked a lot of people when they didn’t take Manziel earlier at number 8 when they took CB Justin Gilbert from Oklahoma State instead. They were very fortunate that Manziel slid down to 22 and will become the 3rd quarterback selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round since 2007. He will also be the 21st quarterback for the Browns since 1999. Hopefully, he can produce a great future for the Browns that has not found a superstar quarterback in a long time.
Some other notable mentions are CB Kyle Fuller to the Bears at 14, MLB C.J. Mosley to the Ravens at 17, WR Brandin Cooks to the Saints at 20, WR Kelvin Benjamin to the Panthers at 28, and finally QB Teddy Bridgewater to the Vikings as the last pick in the first round. Stay tuned for rounds 2 and 3 later tonight. For more information on this year’s draft, click here.