Our special NFL Draft Edition of Odds & Ends begins with the San Francisco 49ers making a lot of moves in the draft,and they were actually mostly good picks.
Let’s start with the team trading one spot back of the Chicago Bears from the second pick to the third pick so the former could select Mitchell Trubisky (more on that later). Not only did they trade one spot back,but also got a few picks from them in return. With the third overall pick,San Francisco selected Solomon Thomas from Stanford (as predicted). I like the Thomas pick, I think with him being on the team it gives them a presence they haven’t had there since Bryant Young was there. He,along with Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner are going to be a big part of a defense that is going to be relentless against the run game.
Not only that, they traded back into the first round at the 31st pick (with Seattle,of all teams) and chose linebacker Reuben Foster from Alabama. Foster,who was once projected as a top 10-15 selection, had a failed drug test at the NFL combine, a urine sample was reported as dilute, which is treated like a positive test. There were also concerns about his shoulder injury. However, that didn’t faze the team from coming back into the first round to take him. General manager John Lynch sees enough in him to think he’ll be a big part of what the team wants to do defensively.
They then drafted locally again,so to speak,by selecting Colorado defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon in the third round. Witherspoon played his high school ball at Christian Brothers in Sacramento. Later in the round they picked a guy who could be their quarterback of the future in Iowa’s C.J. Beathard. I think this selection was a good because if you give him a couple of seasons to be groomed, he’s going to be a star.
Along with their other selections, I think the 49ers had a very good draft. Lynch is proving that the team made the right choice in hiring a general manager by making great moves and drafting well,something I don’t think the previous front office was very capable of, I mean when you draft a punter in the fifth round,you deserve criticism. Lynch is getting it done right now and we’ll see what he can do in the days ahead.
Meanwhile,the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders selected Gareon Conley with the 24th overall pick (also as predicted by yours truly) from Ohio State. Just days prior to the draft, Conley was accused of rape by a woman who claimed it happened earlier last month in Cleveland. He has yet to be charged or arrested and he has denied the allegations. It’s been said that this caused his draft stock to fall. I don’t think so because of where I had him projected before any of this happened. While he is a good player,the team is taking heat for taking him with all of this hanging over his head.
I do like their second round pick from Connecticut,safety Obi Melifonwu. I thought he had enough talent to be a borderline first round pick,but he fell to the Raiders at 56th overall. He was very productive in college and I think the secondary for Oakland/Las Vegas just got much better. They also went local so-to speak by drafting Eddie Vanderdoes in the third round out of UCLA. Vanderdoes played his high school ball at Placer High School in Auburn,Calif.
I thought the Raiders had an okay draft. They didn’t completely excite me with their picks,but I’m not a fan of theirs,so it’s okay. This is a team that went to the playoffs a season ago so it’s not like they’re rebuilding like their Bay Area counterparts.
As mentioned at the top of the piece, the Chicago Bears and the San Francisco 49ers swapped spots in the beginning of the first round and the Bears drafted quarterback Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina.
While he was a projected first round selection,many thought he would go a little more around the 12th pick. Trubisky is a project player in my opinion, He only started 13 games in his college career and had a poor performance in the Sun Bowl against Stanford. He’s also not expected to start at all this season.
Now,I don’t think he was worthy of being drafted second overall in the NFL Draft,but I also don’t think he’s a bad player. He was drafted to be the future of this team,which right now as of press time isn’t very bright. Mike Glennon is projected to be the starter for this team next season, a man who has been holding a clipboard ever since Jameis Winston arrived in Tampa and only played in two games in that time. When that’s the best you can do to get someone to be your team’s starting quarterback,it’s going to be a long year. Trubisky is in a place where he can get groomed for a year or so and then can be inserted to be the guy long term. That time isn’t now. The Bears aren’t winning now. I know that fans want them to win now,but it’s a rebuilding situation and patience is needed.
Honestly,the quarterback class for this year’s draft wasn’t the best. If you’re looking for a signal caller, the 2018 NFL Draft is where you’ll find one. Trubisky was apparently the best of a mediocre draft class.
There were many winners in this draft, in fact, very few teams didn’t do so great,but the team that was most outstanding was the Cleveland Browns.
First off,they have to be praised for not doing what they were rumoured to be doing,and that was eyeing Mitchell Trubisky as the top pick and doing the right thing and selecting Myles Garrett overall. Garrett was the best player in the draft and was and should’ve been selected as such. They then traded down with the Houston Texans to the 25th spot to select safety Jabrill Peppers from Michigan and then they traded back into the first round with the Packers to select tight end David Njoku with the 29th pick.
In the second round,the Browns got a quarterback, that being DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame. Kizer had a great career in South Bend and will compete with Cody Kessler for the starting job. Overall, along with their other picks,I thought Cleveland did a nice job. Whether or not the picks translate into more wins this season and beyond is yet to be seen.
I actually think the losers of the draft are the reigning Super Bowl champions,the New England Patriots. First of all,they didn’t even have a draft pick until the third round when they selected Derek Rivers, a linebacker from Youngstown St., the pick I did like that they made was two picks later in the third round when they chose Antonio Garcia from Troy,an offensive tackle. While they only had four picks, aside from Garcia, none of them did anything to really excite me very much. However, this is what the Patriots do. They select players that nobody’s ever heard of and they excel in that system. Malcolm Butler was a former Popeyes employee and was taken in the seventh round out of North Alabama. Chris Hogan was a former lacrosse player at Penn State. I’m pretty sure I’ll see my server at Buffalo Wild Wings play safety for them at some point.
The point is that the Patriots don’t care about draft grades or who anyone else thinks they should draft,they select the players that may work in their system. If they do,great. If not,they won’t be there.
That’s our NFL Draft Edition of Odds & Ends!