Denver Broncos at #5 – Bradley Chubb – DE, NC State
Bradley Chubb and Von Miller? Are you kidding me? This is the best pick of the draft for me, hands down. Props to John Elway for going out and getting Case Keenum in the offseason so they had the flexibility of picking the best player available that came to them at #5. Chubb has the size and speed to set the edge. He’s great with his hands and has a squeaky clean record. A+ Denver.
Los Angeles Chargers at #17 – Derwin James – S – Florida State
Ever since the loss of Eric Weddle, the Chargers have had trouble with their secondary. Derwin James falling to them at 17 might have been the best situation for this team. I was shocked when the Browns chose Denzel Ward over James AND Chubb. Derwin James might end up being the best defensive player in this draft. According to Jalen Ramsey this was the safest pick a team could make. Great pick by the Bolts.
Quenton Nelson at # 6 – Indianapolis Colts – OG – Notre Dame
Nelson was the best offensive pick in this draft and the safest for an offensive lineman. The Colts desperately needed to beef up their O-line so this pick is a slam dunk. Nelson is a strong, and mean behemoth of a man. He’ll be a day one starter and drastically improve the protection of Andrew Luck. I think the Giants should have probably gone with Nelson, but the Colts are lucky to have him drop to 6.
Roquan Smith at #8 – Chicago Bears – LB – Georgia
I love this pick. The Bears need to completely start over with building their defense and Smith is the perfect place to start. He’s a freak athlete and will be able to make plays all over the field.
Electric speed-to-power linebacker with sideline-to-sideline capability and comfort in coverage. Diagnoses rapidly and rarely makes a false step. Instant impact. Best linebacker in this class.
Minkah Fitzpatrick at #11 – Miami Dolphins – S – Alabama
Fitzpatrick could have easily gone top 10. I respect the Dolphins organization for sticking to the draft board and not panicking with all of the QB’s being taken. At #11 there is a great value in the Alabama stud.
Per Charlie Campbell’s scouting report on WalterFootball.com:
Alabama head coach and defensive backs coach Nick Saban isn’t against playing freshmen or underclassmen, but they have to be special players to beat out other highly recruited players who are older, more experienced, and more developed physically. Fitzpatrick was so good though that he forced his way onto the field as a freshman, totaling 45 tackles with two sacks, 11 passes broken up and two interceptions – both returned for a touchdown – for the year.
Jaire Alexander at #18 – Green Bay Packers – DB – Louisville
The Packers had one of their more interesting offseasons with the departure of Jordy Nelson and the acquisition of Jimmy Graham. They signed Davon House and Tremon Williams to help at Corner, and now have Alexander to add to the mix. I probably would have liked to see the Packers go with Sutton out of SMU, but this is a solid pick too. The entire defense needs help, and being in a division with Stafford and now Kirk Cousins, corners are top priorities. Alexander falling all the way to 18 is a steal. Oh yea, and they traded BACK to that spot. Props to the new GM for making moves in his first day of drafting for the Pack.
Lamar Jackson at #32 – Baltimore Ravens – QB – Louisville
I’m sure I will get some backlash for putting this as a top value pick, but that’s the fun of the draft. Lamar Jackson is the best ATHLETE when it comes to the QB’s in this class. Now he has the chance to learn behind a veteran like Joe Flacco, and will either be trade bait or seamlessly move into Joe’s spot once he decides to retire or try another team. Jackson will have time to learn the speed and schedule of the NFL, and he should fit nicely with the constant talent coming into Baltimore. This player could solidify Ozzie’s place as one of if not the best GM in NFL history.
Taven Bryan at #29 – Jacksonville Jaguars – DT – Florida
The Jaguars were in a rare situation this year for their franchise, they have a pretty strong roster, so they take their BPA with Bryan at #29. This D-Line is going to be absolutely DOMINANT. There were a lot of good options for them at their spot and I think they got great value here.
Tantalizing size, athleticism, hand-use combination. Strong against the run. Reminiscent but not to the level of J.J. Watt. Flashes are All-Pro caliber. Needs to improve his overall consistency.
It was an exciting first night of 2018 drafting and we’ll be all over it for the next few days.