The NFL Draft is like Christmas morning for us fans. We run downstairs as soon as we possibly can in our favorite NFL Authentic pajamas with joy and anxiety in our hearts, while we gather around the living room in order to come and see what presents are coming our way…
Only, in this yuletide story, half the presents are truly lumps of coal…
Being an NFL GM or executive has got to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. There’s a bust around every corner and every move you make in the draft is analyzed again and again until there’s zero possibility that you’ve satisfied even a fraction of your fan base. You only reap the benefits if you can somehow win it all, and if the team you’ve assembled slips up they’ll pin it squarely on you.
But all that being said, when it comes to this year’s draft, it’s hard to imagine what was going on in the war room for some of these NFL Teams.
I’m going to break down some of the WORST moves from this draft. The ones that made fans, analysts, and perhaps even the players themselves ask; What were they thinking?!
The Saints Trade Up To Get Marcus Davenport
Listen, I understand and respect the concept of “get your guy”. But this move, and the cost that came with making it is a risky proposition at best.
Davenport has a ton of raw talent, but it’s no secret that the Saints are going to have to be patient with him. He needs practice, guidance, and confidence to adjust to the game at the next level. He is, for lack of a better word, a project player.
Raw talent can yield Pro Bowl results, and Davenport does have God-given talent. He’s coming from a small school with dreams of being an NFL star and for his sake, and for the sake of the Saints, I hope he gets there. But they absolutely overpaid to get him, giving up their first-round pick, a second round pick and at 2019 first-round pick just to draft him.
Let me be absolutely clear: Davenport deserved to be a mid-first round pick. But for the Saints to trade away three premium picks to come and get him is flawed logic.
The Saints NEED this to be a home run. They need Marcus Davenport to take all of that untapped potential and turn it into a Pro Bowl performance over his first three years, or else the Saints management will be answering for this one for years.
The Seahawks wait until the 5th Round to Draft O-Lineman
Honestly! What the hell is going on with Seattle’s complete disregard for protecting Russell Wilson?!
It’s almost as if somebody is feeding John Schneider inside information that the NFL is going to start allowing trained bulls to play O-Line, and the Seahawks just have to play the waiting game while they talk to every ranchman in the pacific northwest.
The Seahawks actually drafted a punter before addressing the offensive line. Figure that one out…
Here’s the thing: I’m conflicted about their first-round pick. As a Seahawks fan and a Rashaad Penny believer, this was a pick that I’m excited about. But quite frankly the Seahawks could have easily taken Will Hernandez or Braden Smith with this pick and tried to move up into the second round to get Penny. He would have been there. Hell, he might have even been on the board when Seattle’s third-round pick came around.
The Offensive Line has been identified as a serious need for Seattle ever since they traded Max Unger to the Saints for Jimmy Graham. Yet they constantly fail to get that done properly. The drafting of Germain Ifedi hasn’t panned out the way it was supposed to. The acquisition of Duane Brown had potential, but he spent several games injured and he’s only under contract for one more season. I will say, though, that Ethan Pocic does have serious potential and was quietly a major bright spot for the Hawks.
This is also damaging to Rashaad Penny’s value. Think of that for a second. The Seahawks decided to forego protection in order to draft a Running Back, and then almost completely missed out on drafting linemen to help that running game they have apparently decided to address.
Yes. The Seahawks had one of the best moments of the draft when they drafted Shaquem Griffin, and yes, this draft year was relatively low on NFL-ready O-Line talent. But it was there. The Seahawks would have been much wiser to get in on a top-level OL prospect early and try and go after a Running Back on Day 2.
The Bills Trade Up To Select Josh Allen
Ugh. What a terrible move by the Bills.
First off; they sent the #12, 53 and 56 selections to the Buccaneers in order to come up and select the riskiest QB in the draft class.
Yes, he has an arm. That’s Awesome. Good for him, get those gains. However, he has also been appallingly inaccurate throughout his entire career thus far. Don’t believe me?
In High School, the future phenom managed a career 54.6 Completion percentage over his three years. He parlayed that “success” into a college career 56.2% completion rating while playing in the oh-so-overwhelming Mountain West Conference.
So now, after all that mediocrity he is going to step into the NFL and become a superstar for a team that employs a steadily declining WR who is coming off of knee surgery in Kelvin Benjamin, a receiver who’s more known for naked tirades than he is for catching footballs in Zay Jones, and Jeremy Kerley? I seriously, seriously doubt it
Don’t forget. The Bills traded THREE picks in Rounds 1 and 2 to get this guy.
To add to this mess, the Bills have suffered more blows to their offensive line than any team in recent memory. A fact that will be seriously exacerbated if Richie Incognito does in fact retire.
The Texans Fail to Protect DeShaun Watson
You can give the Texans a bit of a pass because they didn’t have any picks until the third round, but that’s their fault, isn’t it?
This needed to be a top priority for the Texans. DeShaun Watson is the most exciting second-year Quarterback in the league, and he’s coming off a major knee injury. They dealt Duane Brown to the Seahawks and have left a massive task for the rest of the O-Line. I fully expected the Texans to use two of their three 3rd round picks on bolstering their Pass Protection. But no.
You can argue that they didn’t have enough draft capital until the Longhorns come home. But even with the picks they had, there was plenty of potential out there to choose from. They did get a talented Center with their second pick by taking Martinas Rankin. But after that?
Well, not nothing. 2 Tight Ends. So there’s that.
Most of the NFL Letting Derrius Guice Slide
Wow. Redskins fans have to be excited about this turn of events.
Character questions or not, Guice has too much potential to have slipped to the tail end of the second round. Name one NFL team today that doesn’t have a starter that has character issues. Yes, attitude definitely plays a factor in the development of a player, but to let one of the best RB prospects slip by for that long is insane to me. Hell, Laremy Tunsil barely slid 10 picks after having a video of him smoking out a gas mask bong hit his Twitter page the morning of the 2016 draft!
Guice definitely has an ego, and he says what’s on his mind. Sure, that’s something to put in the “con” column of any NFL Team’s pros and cons list. He’ll need to have a couple honest conversations with his coaches and teammates about what it takes to be an NFL star. If he can do that, and focus on football, he’ll be a dynamite pick for the Redskins.
Considering some of the reaches that happened at the RB position in this draft, I’d be willing to wager that a couple fans are going to be sore about missing Guice when they look at this draft 10 years down the road.
That’s it for my recap of some of the most head-scratching moves made in the 2018 draft. Be sure to follow me at @DFF_MitchLawson on twitter and u/DFF_Canuck on Reddit for in-depth fantasy analysis with some flair. Be sure to bookmark www.dynastyfootballfactory.com for the best collection of Fantasy Football minds out there.