As with everything in life, there are winners and there are losers. The problem with the NFL is that all of their executives are paid enough not to be losers, yet somehow still manage it.
The NFL Draft kicked off last night with the opening 32 picks, and to say some General Managers did better than others would be an understatement.
Before we get into what teams were successful and less than that, a big shout-out to Roger Goodell and the IT crew – the actual event was fairly seamless considering the circumstances.
So, did your favourite team screw up? Let’s see.
Winner – Kansas City Chiefs
So, you win a Super Bowl and are justifiably handicapped due to your success. That’s the point of a draft order.
How, then, do you manage to address an area of need, enhance an outrageous offence and pick up one of the biggest difference makers in the entire draft at pick #32?
Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a slightly slower Christian McCaffrey and will give the Chiefs the dynamic checkdown that Patrick Mahomes simply didn’t have with Damien Williams.
They’ll be comfortable Super Bowl favourites again.
Loser – Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay are running out of time with Aaron Rodgers, but as the Patriots were with Tom Brady, he’s commanded enough respect in the building to be given every last opportunity to win Championships until he retires.
So, you’d imagine that the Packers would do him a favour and either replace the departing Bryan Bulaga at right tackle or take a wide receiver.
What did they do? They drafted his successor in Jordan Love.
That’s a serious kick in the teeth for their franchise quarterback.
Winner – Dallas Cowboys
Dallas were primed at 17 to take the best player available, but as it turned out, that player was significantly better than they’d expected at that spot.
CeeDee Lamb was a lot of people’s best receiver in this class, and now Dak Prescott might feel a bit better about signing his new contract in Arlington.
While the run on wide receivers was far more disjointed than it projected to be, you still could have been fairly sure Dallas weren’t getting one of the big three – let alone the leader in the class.
When you pair him with Amari Cooper, you’ve got one of the most dangerous tandems in the league and Jerry Jones can count his lucky stars.
Loser – Dave Gettleman
Dave Gettleman possessed the fourth overall pick and while taking a franchise left tackle is never a bad thing, you have to read the room.
Thomas was probably the least likely tackle to be taken in the top ten, had the other teams been given a chance.
All he had to do was trade down, take some other picks and land him anyway. Instead, he’s crippled the Giants out of value and missed an opportunity to accelerate the rebuild.
Thomas stabilised the left side at Georgia for Jake Fromm but everyone’s probably seen the best of him, with little in the way of improving at pro level.
Winner Todd Wash
The Jacksonville Jaguars, for once, played this perfectly.
In this situation, you need to stick to your evaluations and don’t just draft for need. They absolutely did both here by selecting C.J. Henderson.
Henderson was my second-best cornerback in this class, and I thought he wasn’t too far off Jeff Okudah who went #3 overall to Detroit.
In that regard, despite many analysts projecting he would slip out of the top 16, Jacksonville stuck to their guns and got their guy – something I believe will pay off for them.
Karma acted quickly, too – as K’Lavon Chaisson fell into their lap for their next pick at #20 – a player nobody expected to be on the board at that point. I suspect he’ll be more of a situational pass rusher in time, but he’s so coachable as he’s played half the amount of football in his life compared to the rest of this class.
Todd Wash, their defensive coordinator, is breathing a sigh of relief.