Tha Sports Junkies 101

NFL Draft Round One Winners and Losers

Scott Clarke / ESPN Images

NFL Scouting

NFL Draft Round One

To say this was the craziest NFL draft in recent memory is an understatement.  Early trades, late trades, and overall unpredictability made the first round of this year’s draft truly memorable.  Let’s talk about some early winners and losers.

Winner: John Lynch

San Francisco 49ers General Manager John Lynch was the man of the hour last night.  Making the trade with the Chicago Bears was brilliant and trading back into the first round at the end to secure stud linebacker Reuben Foster seems like a stroke of genius.  In one night, John Lynch got two of the best defensive players in the draft: Foster and defensive end Solomon Thomas.  The 49ers front office did an outstanding job.  It is a great time to be a Niners fan.

Loser: Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace may have traded himself out of a job last night.  Multiple teams showed “a lot of interest” in North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky.  Instead of missing out, Pace sold the farm to the 49ers so that no one else would move up and take him.  After signing quarterback Mike Glennon this offseason, losing this much capital could be devastating to the team moving forward.  Pace also passed on a lot of great defensive talent. This could be the beginning of the end.

Winner: Gareon Conley

This week was a scary one for cornerback Gareon Conley.  Possibly the biggest defensive back riser  in the class, Conley saw his draft stock plummet after being accused of rape earlier this week.  However, evidence was released by TMZ revealing that Conley is (seemingly) innocent.  The Oakland Raiders medical staff should evaluate Conley for whiplash after this roller coaster ride of a week.

Loser: Baltimore Ravens Fans

The Baltimore Ravens offense has struggled in the last few years.  Their defense also struggled to sack the quarterback and create turnovers last year.  Many fans hoped for turnover machine on defense or a playmaker on offense; they got neither.  While it may seem like drafting cornerback Marlon Humphrey can help in the interception department, that’s not the case.  The biggest hole in Humphrey’s game is finding the football once it is thrown.  Sorry Ravens fans, this pick isn’t going to get you more points or more turnovers.

Winner: Cleveland Browns Fan Optimism

Cleveland Browns fans, you have been waiting for a draft like this for years.  There was a lot of speculation earlier this week that the Browns would take Trubisky first overall.  They didn’t fall for any of the fool’s gold quarterbacks.  Instead, they stuck to their board and took the (very, very) obvious choice in Texas A&M‘s Myles Garrett.  While they did take a high-risk, high-reward player in Michigan swiss army knife Jabrill Peppers, the Browns stuck to their board.  It was a very good start; maybe the long-held optimism of Browns fans will finally start paying dividends.

Loser: Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith isn’t a happy camper.  Despite having other needs, the Chiefs traded up to draft Texas Tech quarterback Pat Mahomes.  Mahomes is a high ceiling quarterback who needs lots of refinement. He is the polar opposite of Smith.  Now Smith is going to have to help his successor develop the skills of an NFL quarterback.  The writing is on the wall for Smith’s exit from Kansas City in a few years.

We knew this deep NFL draft class was going to lead to an exciting draft.  I don’t think anyone predicted how crazy night one would be.  With two days left on this draft, I’m excited to see how crazy it continues to get.

Stay classy, Philadelphia.