The first round of the NFL draft began with the Cleveland Browns selecting a Heisman Trophy winner. The last pick of the first round ended with the Baltimore Ravens selecting a Heisman Trophy winner. In between 30 other players were selected, with many trades and many surprises on an eventful Thursday night.
Baker Mayfield will have to answer the question whether he is NFL ready and able to lead a franchise starving for victories. First, he must unseat Tyrod Taylor as the Browns’ starter.
Lamar Jackson will have to answer the question of whether or not he could become a solid NFL quarterback in a Baltimore Ravens system that for now still has Joe Flacco behind center.
If anything, the NFL draft is the quintessential tease.
It was stated before Thursday night, that this NFL draft was a three-round draft were teams could find starters within the first 96 selections. It’s not often that a selection process is this deep and for the moment, there are plenty of first-round caliber players still waiting to hear the names called.
NFL insiders and fans are going to question why the Dallas Cowboys didn’t select Cortland Sutton or D.J. Moore. The Seattle Seahawks are going to have to answer why they left Nick Chubb on the board. The Jacksonville Jaguars must show that taking Taven Bryan was a better option than guard Will Hernandez or tight end Dallas Goedert.
With these questions and others still waiting for the correct answer, the second and third round of tonight’s NFL draft should help solidify rosters and establish stars of tomorrow. Here’s a look at the top five prospects still available in the second round of tonight’s NFL draft.
Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP – When the Ravens selected tight end Hayden Hurst, my heart sank a bit. On the flip side, I thought the Jacksonville Jaguars would jump in and grab the UTEP guard to solidify the right side of the offensive line. Hernandez will still be a solid pro and the team that lands him early in the second round will have gotten the best offensive lineman in this draft.
Harold Landry, Defensive End, Boston College – An edge rusher who was mocked by some experts in the late first round. Landry comes from a long line of Boston College defensive players who succeed in the NFL. At 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, he could play outside linebacker or on the edge with his hand on the ground. Landry may have slipped because of his size. He could stand to gain some weight if he can avoid slowing down his first step off the snap.
Courtland Sutton, Wide Receiver, SMU – Again, I am not sure why the Dallas Cowboys did not take a long look at the local product. Sutton is a tall, athletic receiver who immediately becomes the Cowboys’ top receiver. As of now, Allen Hurns is their No. 1 pass catcher. At one point, Sutton was regarded as a top five pick. Now, he could fall into the middle of the second round. I could see a team in need of a pass catcher to move up to draft him.
Derrius Guice, Running Back, LSU – There are many who thought Guice would be wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform by now. I was one of them. The running back class was deep but not overly great. Rashaad Penny going to Seattle instead of the Tigers star was a shock. The Cleveland Browns may make him the first pick of the second round.
Josh Jackson, Defensive Back, Iowa – At 6-foot and 196 pounds, Jackson has the ability to be a good cornerback in the NFL. His speed, 4.56 in the 40 may have scared a few teams off. As one report stated, He’s talented but inexperienced and he has coverage holes that could be exploited early in his career. Jackson’s draft stock likely took a hit with his average forty time and unimpressive work in position drills.