John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
The annual NFL Draft, where dreams of playing in the NFL become reality for the top college football players, occurred just one month ago. Under the unusual circumstances, the draft was conducted virtually right out of the NFL commissioner’s basement. As always, the draft was full of trades, drama, surprises, and, of course, winners and losers!
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins selected Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with their 1st round (5th overall) pick. Tagovailoa has the talent of a top 3 pick and fell to number 5 because of his injury concerns. Overall, this was an amazing pick and if Tagovailoa can recover from his injuries, he can be a top NFL QB. The Dolphins also picked two offensive linemen in the first and second rounds to bolster the weakest part of their team. It will be interesting to see where this new and improved Dolphins team will fit into a completely shifted AFC East.
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys managed to get CeeDee Lamb, arguably the best receiver in the draft, at pick number 16 (third receiver taken). Lamb had the highest yards per catch (21.4) for a receiver with over 30 receptions last season and was also top 5 in total yards and touchdowns. Lamb is a receiver who can make men miss in the open field after catching the ball, making him a serious, versatile threat. With their second round pick, the Cowboys took Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs, an athletic pass disrupter who will help the team’s weak secondary. These two stars should help the Cowboys go from missing out on the playoffs to maybe making a deep playoff run.
Green Bay Packers: The biggest moment of drama during the draft came when the Green Bay Packers, a team who finished 13-3 behind their star quarterback, Aaron Rogers, and was one game away from the Super Bowl, took Utah State QB Jordan Love. The Packers were (and still are) in need of wide receivers as they did not have a single 1000 yard receiver last season. Solid wide receivers Tee Higgins (Clemson) and Michael Pittman Jr (USC) were still on board, yet the Packers chose to select the young QB as their first round pick. Aaron Rogers is known to voice his misgivings about the Packers organization and demand serious changes, so it will be interesting to see what happens next in Green Bay.
San Francisco 49ers: One month prior to the Draft, San Francisco traded their star defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the Colts 13th overall draft pick. Many expected the 49ers to take a wide receiver with this pick as it was by far their weakest unit last season. Instead, they took defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina, essentially replacing Buckner with a cheaper but much worse player. This pick baffled many, as although Kinlaw will have a much smaller contract, he has not proved himself in the NFL, while Buckner was a 2019 All Pro. While I doubt this pick will damage San Francisco’s Super Bowl chances for next season, it might weaken their already good team.