There were some big-time surprises in the first round of last night’s NFL Draft. Texas A&M Tackle Luke Joeckel was being mocked to the Chiefs at #1 overall for months, and on draft day, Kansas City decides to take Western Michigan Tackle Eric Fischer instead. Shows how much we all know. This is a draft full of offensive lineman and defensive players at the top, as was obvious with only 5 offensive skill position players taken, and for the first time ever no running backs taken in the first round.
The two big surprise guys falling out of the first round, are obviously Geno Smith and Manti Te’o. Smith was visibly upset about not being selected. Last night, Smith said last night that he was not coming back for day two, but it is now being reported that he will be at Radio Music Hall. I think Smith will be taken very early in the second round, #33 overall to Jacksonville is a possibility, but the Eagles at #35 is probably more likely, and I would be surprised if he fell passed Chip Kelly’s team.
The teams at the top of the second round have much bigger needs than linebacker, so it is tough to find a slot for Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o, and I think it is possible to see him slip even further. I can see a scenario in which a team trades up for him, but as they stand now I think Arizona at #38 is best case scenario for Te’o, and I could easily see him slipping to Pittsburgh at #47 or Chicago at #50.
The consensus has Jacksonville taking a QB with the first pick of the second round, and I agree with that. I think Smith is possible, but Matt Barkley from USC or Ryan Nassib from Syracuse are more likely to be the pick. The #34 pick belongs to the San Francisco 49ers and corner back, seems to be the consensus here, Jamar Taylor of Boise State, or my personal favorite Robert Alford from SE Louisiana make sense.
Another big story from last night, was the running back position. For the first time in the history of the draft there was not a running back taken. I think this shows just proves, what we already knew, that the NFL is turning more and more into a passing league by the day. There are a handful of guys like Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Le’Veon Bell, Monte Ball, and Johnathan Franklin that will probably go sometime in the second, with Lacy being an obvious early second rounder.
Wide Receiver is a position that I see as having great depth remaining. Robert Woods, Justin Hunter, Quinton Patton, and Markus Wheaton are all guys that I really like, and have very good value in day two. It is hard to predict where each of them go, but there are many teams that I could see taking a WR, including Detroit, NY Jets, Buffalo, Oakland, Carolina, Pittsburgh, New England, and Green Bay.
Day two will feature the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft, and starts at 6:30 PM ET on ESPN and NFL Network. As you can see, there are some very interesting names still available, and it should be fun to see where they end up.