Round one is in the books, and both the New York football Giants and the Oakland Raiders embarrassed themselves. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
But some players are better fits than expected and their landing spot has just aided their immediate impact exponentially because of the talent around them.
Here are the four rookies that will change the NFL in the coming season and beyond.
Nick Bosa (San Francisco 49ers)
The 49ers might have the best defence in the whole NFL now, especially if they get some safety help in the second round of this draft.
Bosa joins a 4-3 scheme under Robert Saleh’s direction that already features premium picks from previous drafts.
Bosa will line up outside opposing left tackles and will take advantage of the impact of interior double-team soakage from Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. Solomon Thomas hasn’t worked out to date, but he’s another lineman who should be blue-chip when it all clicks.
Oh, and they added Dee Ford in the off-season. Bosa is about to launch himself into 15 sacks.
Ed Oliver (Buffalo Bills)
Sometimes certain players carry themselves with a swagger you can associate with the particular mentality of a team. Oliver just fits Buffalo and everything they stand for.
Up until a year ago, his stock saw him the de facto number one overall pick, and this still may be my favourite selection of the first round.
Buffalo isn’t exactly in rebuild mode, and because they’ve got their quarterback of the future in Josh Allen, they may actually stop playing from behind and allow Oliver to attack opposing signal-callers.
He’s physical, he’s got that bitterness about him and he slots into one of the best defensive line rooms in the entire league.
Devin Bush (Pittsburgh Steelers)
This Pittsburgh Steelers never do this. They traded up in the first round only once in the last 15 years and that was for Troy Polamalu. That one worked out alright.
It was a costly enough jump, but they have a Ryan Shazier-shaped hole in the middle linebacker spot and they’ve been missing this key cog for too long. They decided they had to pull the trigger, and his range will allow them to field marshals again, meaning simply completions over the middle are no longer gimmes.
They may be on somewhat of a downward trajectory, but this pick sees them set for a decade.
N’Keal Harry (New England Patriots)
It is your responsibility as an NFL franchise to do two things: look after your team, and ensure that New England can’t get these freakishly-sized mismatches on the offensive side of the ball.
Well done, 31 other teams – you made a right balls of this.
Harry was my number-one rated receiver in this draft and while most wouldn’t have seen him like that, New England draft by potential leverage in one-on-one situations rather than raw ability.
Here’s another example of a player that simply won’t be able to be stopped when he’s motioned out against a bloody linebacker during New England’s 13th Super Bowl win in 2028.