Last year, ‘bonafide’ franchise quarterbacks dominated the NFL Draft buzz. Trevor Lawrence (1st pick), Zach Wilson (2nd pick), Trey Lance (3rd pick), and Justin Fields (10th pick) harbored most of the conversation. But this year, it’s the big fellas who have all the attention. Edge rushers and offensive linemen are projected to go one through five in the first round, but this year’s draft doesn’t have surefire locks like previous draft days. So what can we expect? The unexpected.
Get your football fix and tune into all the surprises that the NFL Draft will bring starting Thursday, April 28.
NFL Draft Schedule and How To Watch:
Round 1: Thursday, April 28, 8 p.m. ET
Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 29, 7 p.m. ET
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 30, Noon ET
Channels: NFL Network, ESPN, ABC, and ESPN Deportes
Who will be the number 1 pick?
You have to go all the way back to 2017 for the last time the number one overall pick in the draft was not a quarterback. That was pass rusher Miles Garrett being selected by the Cleveland Browns, and five years later, it’s safe to say the pick worked out for them. Fast forward to now and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchenson seemed to be trending to be the number one pick. But now Georgia’s Travon Walker name is picking up steam. The Jaguars hold the number 1 pick for the second year in a row and desperately need a pass rusher. Hustchenson seems like the safe move, but you just never know with the Jaguars.
8 teams have two first-round picks
With the NFL adopting the NBA method of offloading first-round picks to land big-time players, a whopping EIGHT teams have multiple first-round picks. Those teams are the Detroit Lions (2,32), New York Jets (4,10), New York Giants (5,7), Houston Texans (3,13), Philadelphia Eagles (15,18), New Orleans Saints (16,19), Green Bay Packers (22,28) and Kansas City Chiefs (29,30). These additional first-round picks could not only be used as trade capital, but can seriously expedite a building project for teams like the Giants, Jets, and Texans, whose two picks are inside the top 13. On the flip side, that means eight teams will not be on the clock until day two: the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins, and San Francisco 49ers.
Big Names and Trades That Could Happen on Draft Night
With all that first-round draft capital that we mentioned above, plus some unhappy players who are asking to be traded, could we see some big names move on draft night? San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel and Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield highlight the list, but Seattle’s DK Metcalf and Tennessee’s A.J. Brown have also been mentioned as potential players on the move. With a draft class loaded with wide receivers, teams have plenty of options when it comes to the position. Do you trade for a proven wide receiver that comes with a large price tag? Or do you take one of the young guns and hope it pans out?
What about the Quarterbacks?
Would you ever think that the last thing we or anyone would talk about is the quarterback position? This year just doesn’t have the pop that previous year’s classes had. Kenny Pickett (Pitt) and Malik Willis (Liberty) highlight the position, with Ole Miss’ Matt Corral looking from the outside in. Could any of these unassuming players punish teams for overlooking them? They surely will have a chip on their shoulder coming into the league, and don’t forget about North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder. Both have the tools and showed success on the collegiate level. Plenty of teams need QBs, and it will be interesting to see which of those teams shoot their shot on one of these prospects.