FRISCO, Texas –Now that I've had a chance to breathe after the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, here are some of my biggest impressions from what we saw unfold Thursday at AT&T Stadium.
- I was not surprised that Derwin James got as close as he did to the Cowboys. My sources around the league told me leading up to the draft that he was due for a slide. Scouts felt that James didn't put his best tape out there this season and that was going to affect his status. The War Room made the determination to sit and wait to see if James or Leighton Vander Esch would get to them. When the Los Angeles Chargers took James two slots ahead of the Cowboys there was no question that Vander Esch was going to be a Cowboy.
- I don't quite understand what Oakland and Detroit were doing with their selections. The Raiders traded back with Arizona to take Kolton Miller, while the Lions drafted Frank Ragnow. The Raiders had a chance to draft Connor Williams, who is just as athletic as Miller and is a better player. In the case of Ragnow, he is not as good as James Daniels on any level. Both selections were players that I had in the fourth round on my board and would consider massive reaches.
- During our show leading up to the draft, Dane Brugler, David Helman and I spoke of keeping an eye on the New Orleans Saints as a team that could fly up the board. The Saints did in fact do just that by sending the Green Bay Packers their 2019 first round selection for the opportunity to draft what we thought was Lamar Jackson. Instead of drafting Jackson, the Saints took Marcus Davenport, defensive end out of UT-San Antonio. The spot where Davenport was taken wasn't the surprise -- it was what the Saints gave up to get him.
- It's interesting to hear that the Patriots are going to play Georgia's Isaiah Wynn at tackle instead of guard. Wynn played tackle while at Georgia but most teams felt that his lack of height would kick him inside to guard. Either way, Wynn is a heck of an athlete that is rarely on the ground. I thought he was one of the best space players in the draft. With Nate Solder moving on to the New York Giants, the Patriots will plug Wynn into that left tackle spot.
- Great job by Ozzie Newsome in his final draft, moving back twice then coming back into the first round. Newsome parlayed all that movement into selecting my second-ranked quarterback, Lamar Jackson, and my first ranked tight end, Hayden Hurst. Quite a job by one of the all-time great personnel men to ever run a draft.