Every year theres 1000 mock drafts and everyone from fans to scouts have several attempts at nailing the draft. Most of the time the top 10-15 player picks are pretty much accurate but where they land is wrong most of the time. Theres always a surprise or two and teams that reach for a player so heres out 5 biggest surprises from the first round of the 2018 Draft.
Browns Draft – 1st Overall Pick QB Baker Mayfield and 4th Overall Pick CB Denzel Ward
We talked about this in our previous blog already but these two picks have to be the biggest surprise of the draft. As the draft got closer word was getting around that Baker Mayfield was going to be the first overall pick but the bigger shock was Denzel Ward going at 4.
A few months ago not a single soul would have had Baker Mayfield going first overall. Sam Darnold or Saquon Barkley were the likely favorites to go there with Sam Darnold being a general consensuses among scouts and general managers.
Darnold was so sure he would be the 1st pick that he didnt even throw at the combine and was seen as the safest pick out of all the QBs and overall he was probably the best out of the bunch.
Then Browns shocked everybody by going with Denzel Ward 4th overall. Its not that hes a bad player hes actually the best CB in the draft and had the 2nd fastest time in the combine and he does fill a need so maybe over time this move will make sense but Ward was projected to go a bit later on and there were better players on the board when the Browns were on the clock.
The shock might be that they passed on Bradley Chubb to draft Ward but literally nobody saw this move coming. The Browns get potentially two day 1 starters but they didnt come out the draft with the best players after holding the 1st and 4th overall picks so its going to have to be judged over time but right now it looks like the Browns messed this up like they always do.
2) The Saints trade up to to the 14 spot from 27 to draft LB/DE Marcus Davenport
This was a huge surprise. Not because Davenport is a bad player but because the Saints came all the way from 27 to draft him at 14. Most people thought the move was to get QB Lamar Jackson but they took the pass rusher instead. They gave up next years first round pick for him so it seems alot for a non QB but this tells me the Saints are truly in win now mode and with most of last years team returning along with Drew Brees and that young up and coming defense i dont have a problem with this move but i was surprised. Hes really going to be able to help this team right away and this gives the Saints a pretty good duo with Cameron Jordan on the other side.
3) QB Josh Rosen Slides and gets picked up by Arizona who moved up from 15 to 10.
The surprise here is the slide, i think Arizona did a good job waiting patiently and coming away with a QB which is what they wanted to do all along. They didnt give up the farm like they thought they might have to before the draft started and Rosen could be the most pro ready QB in the entire draft. The surprise is how far he fell as he was projected to go in the top 5 and possibly even number 1 so when he was passed over and no teams made a huge jump to get him early it was surprising especially when the Bills moved up to get Josh Allen before him. I like this move from all sides and the Cardinals possibly got a steal and their potential QB of the future.
4) Derwin James falls all the way to 17 to the Chargers.
Personally i had him going either at 7 to the Bucs or at 10 to the Raiders but both teams traded out of that spot….THEN they both passed on him when they had a chance to get him again. He was regarded as the best Safety in the draft and rose up the draft boards during the off season process but Mikah Fitzpatrick ended up going before him. Hes a top 10 talent and really shouldnt have slipped that far but the Chargers get huge value getting a top 10 pick at 17 and have to be as shocked as anyone that he was still there. Not sure why he slid so much but he goes to a team who needs him and is looks ready to win now and compete in the AFC West.
5) QB Lamar Jackson almost falls out the first round.
This one isnt a surprise to many but there was alot of potential destinations that he could have gone to that passed on him. The Ravens were rumored to get him at 16 and the Patriots had worked him out recently and had two first round picks but they decided to pass with both picks. If he had fallen out the first round it wouldnt have been seen as a catastrophic slide but the Ravens managed to come back and get him at 32 instead of 16 and picked up multiple picks in the process by trading down. Great job by General Manager Ozzie Newsome who hopes to leave a mark with his final first round pick ever.