It’s over. The dust is settling and the 2018 NFL Draft is in the books. And every year at this time, fans of all 32 teams (okay, maybe not the Browns) are excited about their picks and the future.
And fans of the Buccaneers, the Dolphins and the Jaguars are no different.
So, we at F.F.I. decided to take a quick objective look at what went well, what maybe did not, as well as, three players taken after the first round that stood out in their drafts.
What went well?: They got defensive line help early (Washington’s mammoth DT Vita Vea) and GM Jason Licht “wheeled and dealed” for extra picks in later rounds with a first round trade with Buffalo and a second round pick with New England. That gave the Bucs, three extra young players from rounds 1-3, as it turned out.
What didn’t go well?: Tampa Bay is still reeling defensively from a pass rush that was last in the NFL in 2017. And yes, they signed free agent DE Vinny Curry and traded for the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul. However, this was still an area that they could have used a quality depth draft pick. And players like Harold Landry of BC, Dashwan Hand of Alabama, Arden Key of LSU, and Tyquan Lewis of Ohio State were there in rounds 2-4 and the Buccaneers passed. We’ll see if they regret that later in the season.
Most interesting pick: Justin Watson, WR, Penn. This was a luxury pick in the fifth round, as Tampa Bay is loaded at wide out. The Ivy leaguer Watson is also, a kick returner, which the Buccaneers have been lacking for consistency with for years.
What went well?: The Dolphins picked up some needed help in their secondary with Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick in the opening round. He’s a talented hard-hitting player out of one of the best programs in all of college football (Alabama) and should be able to be a day one impact player.
What didn’t go well?: Despite what they might say publicly, the Fins were clearly trying to get one of the premier quarterbacks in the draft in the top 10 and could not pull off a trade to move up. It’s unlikely that all four of those quarterbacks will end up being good or star players in the NFL, but Miami had a need and did thorough evaluation on all of them. Then, Thursday night couldn’t get a trade done, when Buffalo and Arizona were able to trade in the top 10 and get their QB.
Most interesting draft pick?: Penn State TE Mike Gesicki. As we wrote yesterday, he’s big, he’s athletic and he’s potentially they game-changing Redzone and goal to go target for Adam Gase’s offense. And Miami, also took another young TE in Notre Dame’s Durham Smythe. So, there is now depth at that lacking position.
What went well?:
They picked up Gators defensive tackle Taven Bryan late in the first round to help with their defensive line depth. Bryan in the middle of the line with Marcell Dareus and Malik Jackson has a chance to flourish in his rookie season. Jacksonville also got good value out of safety Ronnie Harrison from Alabama at the end of the third round. He provides depth, and the same with Fitzpatrick for the Dolphins, his college program has well prepared him for the NFL
What didn’t go well?
Getting a quarterback of the future. As we wrote Friday without having to trade up, Jacksonville was staring right at Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, as a play making exciting quarterback of the future. And, they would have had a 5-year time window to evaluate have they drafted him in the first round. The Jags chose not to and have “pushed all of their chips in the middle of the table” for now, on Blake Bortles without a future plan if Bortles isn’t very good in 2018.
Most interesting draft pick?:
Wisconsin LB/Edge rusher Leon Jacobs. He battled an ankle injury at Wisconsin, but has speed and pass rushing skill. And the Jags got him later than most projected (7th round). Can he flourish on an already loaded defense?
News4 days ago
Report- Former USF coach Leavitt out as Oregon DC, FSU next?
Florida Gators6 days ago
Gators about to lose DC Todd Grantham to Bengals?
Florida State Seminoles2 days ago
FSU offensive line coach Greg Frey dismissed Friday morning
Miami Hurricanes1 week ago
Will Fields ruling mean Miami transfer QB Martell becomes eligible too?