Well, the second round went with no QB in sight, making this only the third draft in the last 30 years to have only one quarterback selected in the first two rounds. And perhaps more surprisingly, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder passed projected favorite Malik Willis, who the Seahawks passed. Ridder went to the Falcons to assist Marcus Mariota with the 74th pick, and Willis will go to the Titans after the 85th pick behind Ryan Tannehill.
It can be the lack of excitement about this QB class, it can be the insane off-season trading cycle punctuated by big QB trades, and it can be concerns with these kids that the rest of us aren’t privy to , but the further they fell, the higher our eyebrows rose. Matt Corral joined the Panthers at 94.
To be fair, there are still a few options on the board for teams like the Lions and the Seahawks who might be looking for someone to at least fight for the starting job. Baker Mayfield is being peddled and Jimmy Garopollo’s future in San Francisco is far from secure. But despite the largely dull preparation for this year’s draft, the QB drama hasn’t disappointed.
Georgia LB Nakobe Dean also inexplicably fell into the third round, where he was picked up by the Eagles at 83. Now I’m not an NFL scout, and I know it, but come on. This guy was a key element in one of the best defenses in CFB history. The narrative floating around right now is “medical issues.” NFL Network reported straining of the pecs, but a fall so far from a predicted pick in the late first round seems like there are more concerns behind the scenes.
The Bears – again inexplicably – apparently hate Justin Fields and waited until the third round to add anyone to their badly lacking receiving corps. Sure, they filled some defensive needs in the second round with Kyler Gordon, 39, and Jaquan Brisker, 48 – but George Pickens and Skyy Moore were still on the board! Go Poland! They went with WR Velus Jones Jr. with their third-round pick. Sure, I’m not prioritizing draft as your primary tool for creating rosters, but it just feels like an oversight. Oh.
That leaves Sam Howell, Daniel Faalele and of course the punt god himself, Matt Araiza, who every GM has been too cowardly to sign so far for rounds on Saturday.
The NFL can still do its tried-and-true tricks on television, but this year’s draft brings all the drama without the fabricated excitement. In fact, it ended up doing kind of the opposite of what they needed – former NFL player and Blue Mountain State actor Ed Marinaro stood up to announce a Viking selection and ended up doing a two-minute monologue slash standup – Routine and had to be prompted by a poor producer to actually read the name on the card.