The most exciting and nerve wracking part of the season : The NFL Draft

The most exciting and nerve wracking part of the season : The NFL Draft

Cody Feldman, Staff Writer

The pinnacle of every NFL season is the Super Bowl, in which a new champion is crowned.  While Rams fans have been savoring their Super Bowl victory over the last few months, most football fans turned to the draft in hope that their team can provide them the same joy.  The NFL draft is an excellent way for rebuilding teams to build their future and for good teams to find the missing piece and become even greater.  With the draft always comes players inexplicably falling and teams using an early draft pick to reach for a player which should have gone in a later round.  The first round was on April 28, and some major headlines were created.

Both teams representing New York got out of the first round with a massive haul.  The Giants picked at 5 and 7, while the Jets originally picked at 4 and 10, although they traded up to get another first round pick at 26.  The Giants spent their top seven picks on players that not only were the best available, but also fit team needs.  They took Kayvon Thibodeaux from Oregon at 5, filling the spot of edge rusher where they desperately need a star.  They also took Evan Neal from Alabama at 7, who will start at tackle opposite Andrew Thomas on a rather atrocious offensive line.  This will give the Giants a much needed boost in the pass protection department.  The Jets also succeeded in addressing their position needs.  With the fourth overall pick, they drafted Cincinnati’s Ahmad Gardner, a cornerback who never allowed a touchdown in college.  

“With Gardner’s elite defending ability, the Jets can make a serious jump this year and possibly make the playoffs,” said junior Chase Pastolove.  

The Jets also drafted Garrett Wilson at 10, who will catch passes for Zach Wilson alongside second-year player Elijah Moore and free agent acquisition CJ Uzomah.  They later traded back into the first round to select Jermaine Johnson, a defensive end from Florida State.  Johnson recorded 11.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles last year for Florida State University, and the Jets hope he will bring the same type of production to the Big Apple.

While the Jets and Giants filled out the 4 and 5 spots in the draft, the Jaguars, Lions, and Texans occupied the top three spots.  With the first pick in the draft, the Jaguars took Travon Walker, an edge rusher from Georgia.  While Walker was not the most productive player in college, he has showcased excellent athleticism over the past few months at team workouts.  His performance at the NFL Scouting Combine impressed many general managers, and that led to him being drafted first overall.  The Detroit Lions were up next, and they took Aidan Hutchinson, a hometown kid from Michigan.  

“The Lions should consider themselves lucky that Hutchinson was there at two, as he was the best player in the draft,” said freshman Ryan Krainman.  

Many people had the same opinion.  Hutchinson had the stats to back up his draft pick, as he recorded 16.5 sacks in his senior season at Michigan.  Rounding out the top three was Derek Stingley, cornerback from Louisiana State University, who was drafted by the Houston Texans.  While Stingley is a phenomenal corner, injury concerns and rumors about his lack of effort made him a controversial pick at third overall.  

Another crucial aspect of the draft are the trades that occur.  While some picks were swapped for later or future picks, there were multiple wide receivers which were exchanged for first round picks.  Marquise Brown got sent to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd pick, which the Ravens used to draft Tyler Linderbaum, a center from Iowa who should immediately start.  The Cardinals could certainly use some receiver help, considering Deandre Hopkins got suspended six games for the use of PEDs.  Another team that traded for a receiver was the Eagles, who had two draft picks and used one to trade for AJ Brown.  Brown is one of the best young receivers in the league, and for a first round pick Philadelphia was able to acquire him.  Philadelphia immediately gave Brown a huge four year contract extension worth 100 million dollars.  The Eagles used their other pick to draft defensive tackle Jordan Davis from Georgia, who will be mentored by teammate Fletcher Cox.  

“Jordan Davis will be the next Fletcher Cox in Philly once Cox retires,” said freshman Zach Tessler.  

That is certainly what the Eagles are hoping for, as Cox has been a monster on the interior defensive line throughout his career.

The draft had only just ended, and it can only be assumed what will come of the picks that were made.  Teams can only hope that the deliberations they made during the scouting process paid off in the draft.