Day One Picks: Best, Worst, Strangest

Well, I had a really good time yesterday and I want to thank all you Broncomaniacs for participating in the draft conversation. Here are some of my thoughts after Day One.

Best Picks:

5) Miami: QB Tua Tagovailoa: I was dead wrong. I figured he would go no later than third, but Miami got to stay put and get the guy they wanted. I think a few years from now, it’s possible we’ll all look at Young, Okudah and Thomas as the guys who somehow went before Tua Tagovailoa. He’s not without flaws. We all know about the injuries and the lack of elite arm strength, but his accuracy and anticipation are fantastic. I’m quite relieved Miami didn’t let him fall to San Angeles. 

8) Arizona: D Isaiah Simmons: Terrific value for the Cardinals. I’ve posted extensively about Simmons the last two days and really have nothing to add, except the Cardinals will be really happy. 

15) Denver: WR Jerry Jeudy: Arguably the best WR in the class. Tremendous value.

17) Dallas: WR CeeDee Lamb: Also excellent value. They will love him. Cowboys offense is looking pretty fierce. As it should with all the resources they’ve poured into that side of the ball in recent years.

32) Kansas City: Clyde Edwards-Helaire: The lone bright side to this is it wasn’t Denzel Mims. They could have still grabbed a high quality back @ 63, but I don’t think they’re going to find a WR with Mims superstar potential there. 

There were other picks I liked, but none that struck me as fantastic bargains. 

Worst Picks

Every cornerback except Okudah: Okay, I’m on record as saying the CB class is overrated and I think all of these guys were overdrafted to one degree or another. I understand every team should strive to have three cornerbacks they trust and this creates a more or less league wide need for these spectacularly gifted athletes that never goes away. So, maybe I’m off base here, but I still had a hard time getting behind most of these picks. Especially since Kristian Fulton, Jaylon Johnson, Trevon Diggs and Bryce Hall, among others, remain on the board. 

I think CJ Henderson was probably a better value pick @ 9 than AJ Terrell @ 16 and Damon Arnette @ 19. I definitely feel like Noah Igninoghene @ 30 and Jeff Gladney @ 31 were better value, but again, just a little too high. 

6) San Angeles: QB Justin Herbert: I used to have a bit of a soft spot for Herbert because I was calling him a future first round pick when he was still a freshman and he proved me right. I saw him (and Royce Freeman) live @ Wyoming in 2017 and the sophomore QB thoroughly outplayed Josh Allen. The game was played in cold and windy weather and he handled it well. The problem is his weak spots, such as anticipation and the ability to perform under pressure, have never really improved too much over the last two years. It’s very likely the Oregon offense did him no favors. He’s pretty mobile and a system that takes more advantage of that could help him. Too high, but they figured they had to take their shot.

18) Miami: OT Austin Jackson: He’s very young and the physical tools are excellent, but he hasn’t improved much and he got soundly whipped by the quality edge players he faced last year. Really, a traits prospect in the strictest sense at this point, IMO. The question here is how much did donating bone marrow to his sister impact him physically last year? There’s simply no way to know. Not a bad dice roll at, say, 48, but 18 was too high. 

23) San Angeles: LB Kenneth Murray: Great tools. Ultra high character. IMO, weaknesses processing aren’t as acute as many think, because there are games where he cuts loose and trusts his reads and he makes a lot of plays at or behind the LOS. Not a good coverage option. He’s essentially a more athletic Denzel Perryman and why trade up to do that?

26) Green Bay: QB Jordan Love: Anyone mentioned so far, including all the cornerbacks, could make me look silly by busting out as star players, but we have now reached an unambiguously awful pick that will have negative reverberations throughout Green Bay for years to come. On the surface, maybe you can make a weak justification. Love needs lots of time and Rodgers is 36. The problem is, even if Rodgers didn’t resent having a young QB behind him, he would have certainly preferred to see that pick spent on someone who could help him right now. And he absolutely will resent Jordan Love. He’s going to Favre this kid way harder than Favre Favred him. You can count on that like you can count on snow in Eau Claire in January. And they traded up to do it, so it’s not just a waste of a first round pick, but a fourth rounder goes up in smoke as well. 

27) Seattle: LB Jordyn Brooks: If you want a physical specimen to just come downhill and erase running games from tackle to tackle, you can’t get much better than Brooks. He also did a nice job blitzing last year. Just not a skill set that really plays in round one anymore. Some teams make it work, though. New England has gotten a lot of mileage out of this kind of player. Trevon Diggs is such a perfect scheme fit for these guys, I’m really surprised that he wasn’t the pick. 

29) Tennessee: OT Isaiah Wilson: Naturally monstrous human. Doesn’t look sloppy @ 6’7″, 350. He was a projected third rounder for quite a while, but seemed to see his stock just keep rising. I think Becton, who is of similar dimensions, helped lift Wilson’s stock. Leverage and poor lateral movement are concerns for me. His 20 yard shuttle and three cone times were in the 8th and 11th percentiles, respectively. I thought at the time that he should have kept those numbers a mystery, but it clearly didn’t hurt him. 

Strangest Pick:

24) New Orleans: C Cesar Ruiz: Sean Payton knows who butters his bread and the proof is in the Saints unwavering commitment to keeping a first rate offensive line in front of Drew Brees. But Erik McCoy took 1081 snaps @ center last year and he had an outstanding season, and not just for a rookie. Apparently, they’re going to move on from Larry Warford and his $12 million salary and move McCoy to guard. I get why the always strapped Saints are looking to dump money, but why make McCoy change positions when he was performing exceptionally well? Seems risky. Why not trade down, add to your meager total of five picks, and keep ass kicking guard Robert Hunt in-state? Then nobody has to change positions and you don’t have to wait until pick 88 to be on the clock again.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for now. Like all of you, I can’t wait to see how we use all the draft capital we have today. 

Go Broncos!