Draft: the main lessons from the first round
By Grégory Richard — April 27, 2018 at 3:04 p.m.
Terrell Edmunds, ready to challenge his brother in the NFL.
The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is now a thing of the past, after an evening rich in exchanges and twists. What are the main lessons of last night? Touchdown News helps you take stock.
Heisman Trophy Fever
In recent years, the title of best college player has often weighed heavily in the CVs of prospects. Since 2004, 10 Heisman Trophy winners have been selected in the first round of the draft, including 7 in the top 10. It is therefore not necessarily a coincidence that Baker Mayfield has seen his rating soar to the point of becoming the whole first player recruited, by Cleveland. As a symbol, this first round started and ended with the selection of a Heisman Trophy, with the draft of Lamar Jackson by the Baltimore Ravens.
From Athens to Foxborough
For the first time since 2012, the New England Patriots had two first-round draft picks in their hands. And while many saw them mounting a punch exchange to get a quarterback, Bill Belichick had other plans. And a cradle conducive to his ambitions: Athens, land of the Georgia Bulldogs, two representatives of which were selected by the reigning vice-champions. With tackle Isaiah Wynn, offensive lineman, and Sony Michel, running back, the Pats are relying on a complementary duo last year that almost took Georgia to the national title.
Record equaled! With four quarterbacks selected in the top 10, the 2018 draft dusted off the history books, doing as well as the 1940, 1949 and 1959 drafts. the Jets, Josh Allen in Buffalo or Josh Rosen in Arizona, no quarterback seems yet to start the 2018 season as a starter. But the truth of the training camps could reshuffle the cards.
No record on the other hand concerning the exchanges. But the phones often had to ring busy. Not counting the pre-draft trades, seven operations were carried out by the franchises, including 2 by the Green Bay Packers, and 3 by the Baltimore Ravens! Apart from that of Lamar Jackson, the most significant exchange concerns the New Orleans Saints, who sacrificed a first round of 2019 to get pass rusher Marcus Davenport. A moved thought for the 22nd choice of the draft, which has continued to change hands. Initially intended for the Chiefs, this choice had been recovered by the Bills, in the transaction for Patrick Mahomes. Buffalo finally preferred to climb by leaving this pick to Baltimore … which discharged it shortly after, in favor of Tennessee and Rashaan Evans.
The ball in the center
Far from being the sexiest position, the center position was still at the center of a lot of attention on Thursday. Two snappers were drafted in quick succession in the second half of the night, with the arrival (surprise) of Frank Ragnow in Detroit and that of Billy Price (barely less surprising) in Cincinnati. Two daring choices including James Daniels, from Iowa, paid the price, being pushed back from the first round.
Siblings, the NFL has seen some past. And players who are often well regarded… The Matthews, the Watts, the Mannings, the Pounceys… so many brothers selected in the first round of the draft. But in 2018, the Edmunds did better, being the stars of the same vintage. Announced in the top 10, Tremaine was selected by the Buffalo Bills in 16th choice, an hour before his big brother Terrell, new member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and welcomed by Ryan Shazier on the podium. Something to make Ferrell Edmunds proud, former Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks tight end in the 80s and 90s.