With the first round wrapped up it is time to determine the "winners and losers". Time will tell but here is my gut reaction to the first round.
1. Cincinnati Bengals- Some times the best plan is to sit back and take the best player available. It wasn't a huge need area but adding Tyler Eifert changes the dynamic of the offense and makes the Bengals a better team. He was really good value at pick 21.
2. Carolina Panthers- Some times the best plane is to sit back and let your ideal player drop into your lap. The Panthers have needed some DL help and for whatever reason they let Dwan Edwards leave town, so now they really needed DL help. They avoided the urge to move up into the top 10 and were rewarded with having the opportuntiy to choose between Star Lotulelei and Sharrif Floyd. Still can't believe how far Floyd dropped.
3. St. Louis Rams- Three players stood out to me for the Rams: Tavon Austin, Kenny Vaccaro and Alec Ogletree. I really didn't see how the Rams were going to be able to get either of the first two on that list but they were aggressive and moved up to get Austin. The reality is that they didn't give up a ton to get Austin and then they were smart enough (and lucky enough) to trade down and get back some of those picks they had lost and still get Ogletree with their second pick in the first round.
1. Buffalo Bills- I liked the idea of moving back despite the fear of possibly losing the guy you liked; however, I didn't realize that the guy was E.J. Manuel. If you look at my position overview you know I felt Manuel was overrated. That was when I thought he would be a high second round pick not the 16th pick overall and the first QB off the board. He has all the physical attributes you look for but his play and his progress through college have left a lot to be desired. I could be wrong but I just don't see the light going on once he becomes a pro
2. New York Giants- Again if you look at my position overview you will see that I thought that Justin Pugh was overrated and like Manuel above, that was when I though he would be a high 2nd round pick. They think he can play RT but I think he will end up solely being a G. They took Pugh with the likes of Tyler Eifert, Sharrif Floyd, Desmond Trufant, Bjoern Werner and Alec Ogletree still on the board.
3. San Francisco 49ers- Again if you look at my position overview you will see that I thought Eric Reid was overrated, and again that was when I thought he would be a high 2nd round pick. The 49ers traded way up to get him. The 49ers have a ton of picks in this draft and not a ton of needs, so I have no problem with them using a bunch of picks to get someone they love. I just didn't like that it was Reid. He has a ton of ability but he really doesn't produce on the field. I also felt that they had a really good shot of getting him at pick 31, but again I don't blame them for moving up to secure a player. I just thought the player should be Tyler Eifert, Sharrif Floyd or their pick of the WRs.
4. Chicago Bears- I usually only pick three losers but due to the fact that they were predictable if you had read my overviews, I added an extra one. For years I have been beating up the Bears and Cardinals for not addressing the OL and turning their QBs into human pinatas. So it feels weird to attack the Bears for finally addressing the OL. The Cardinals got lucky and had the best G available. The OL options had been depleted by the time that the Bears picked. I really thought that pick 20 was too early for Kyle Long. Maybe the pick of Pugh right before them made them panick a little but I thought that Manti Te'o or any of the WRs or Tyler Eifert would be much better value. There will likely be a T or G with similar value available in round 2 or 3.
1. Dion Jordan- I was not surprised at all that the Dolphins traded up. I was completely surprised when the pick was not Lane Johnson. They must feel confident that they will get Branden Albert.
2. Sheldon Richardson- I really thought that maybe the Jets would try to trade back and maybe they tried but couldn't find a deal. With that being said, there were a lot of options available. I was thinking: Kenny Vaccaro, Jarvis Jones, Tyler Eifert, any QB they wanted, any WR not named Tavon Austin or a NT type like Star Lotulelei. I was completely blindsided by the Sheldon Richardson selection. I didn't feel like it was a huge reach (although there were some other talented DL still available) but I just don't really see how he fits that scheme.
3. D.J. Hayden- I really liked the move back, especially when they were on the clock and both Sharrif Floyd and Star Lotulelei were still available. I felt like those would be the two guys they would consider at pick 3. So I was really surprised when Hayden was announced as the pick. Hayden has a lot of potential but is a health concern and you can't be sure how he will bounce back. I understand the desire to select a guy you think will be a shut down corner but I thought they might go for that dominating force in the middle of the line due to the mentioned concerns.