Non-technical gut reaction to how the 1st round felt re: "skill position" fantasy selections...
CHI taking QB Mitch Trubisky:
Paying to move up one spot showed the 49ers had no plan to go QB there, but CHI must have felt other teams were dialing up the 49ers and wanted to make sure they got their man. Like one of the dinosaur scouts from Moneyball might say..."He's sure got "The Look" of an NFL QB." Size, strong arm, short resume, but a marketable face of franchise. Mike Glennon and all of his early DE league drafters must have been a bit shocked. Maybe the brain trust in Chicago were sick of the thought of having to make virtual Halloween posters with Ichabod Crane as their QB. Maybe.
JAC taking RB Leonard Fournette:
The smoke was real. After stories ranging from JAC taking RB, then QB, then TE, they went RB. Ivory is a drop candidate now and Yeldon may play that Duke Johnson role to Fournette's Crowell role. Big winner here is Bortles so far. A true banger that will command the opposing defense to play honest, added to breakaway speed should he fit through the cracks. JAC not going QB, and the top three QB's being picked in the 1st, has me thinking despite all of the misdirect, Bortles will be in the drivers seat to start, regardless of if they draft a QB later. Not my favorite fit for Fournette, but it was a fairly expected pick. JAC may be trying to go the Cowboys route of improving their offense AND defense, by sustaining longer drives, allowing their defense proper rest between bursts. Elliot worked out amazingly well...not so certain the same will happen here, but his hype has been huge for two years now, so we shall see.
TEN taking WR Corey Davis:
My favorite WR of this draft class going to a team with a young and talented QB in Mariota is a sweet match. Having little comp and a real shot at taking the Alpha target share role in year one is icing on the super lotto. Has household name upside and should be a plug and play every week starter almost immediately.
LAC taking WR Mike Williams:
Rivers has had to work his magic with a pretty low pedigree WR corps for the past few years, and has done damn well considering. Adding Mike Williams to 2016 breakout Tyrell Williams, plus a returning Keenan Allen, speedster Bob Marley, and 2nd year stud Hunter Henry, (plus Gates) and we could be in store for a career type year if they are forced into shootouts. Nice landing spot for Williams, as the other stud level QB's around the league don't have too many "help wanted" signs for their WR stables. Not much standing in the way here, so we will get to see how good or not so good he really is soon enough.
CAR taking RB Christian McCaffrey:
Like everyone else is saying...if they were targeting him this early, they must have a clear featured role for him, or at least plan to use him for all he can handle. I'm not a big fan of this landing spot, but will keep my bias at bay and give them a chance before getting too down on it. Hopefully Cam will run less and less as he ages, and will be content to hand the ball off vs. running in the short TD's himself. Stewart figures to muddle the situation for 2017, but the large workload role is there for the taking, and that could really have a solid floor. DeAngelo Williams never surpassed 850 yards rushing while working with Newton, so I'm not sure the ceiling is very high for Easy Ed's son in CAR. Would have loved a few other landing spots much more, but this will have to do.
CIN taking WR John Ross:
Hot and cold Dalton should have no excuses for going cold, unless that injury bug just keeps biting the Bengals. AJ Green, Gio Bernard and Tyler Eifert should all return to full health, and adding a speedster should clear space underneath to work. LaFell, Boyd and Ross should compete for the scraps. If CIN traded for DJAX this offseason, I would be interested in that dynamic, but also be kind of ho-hum about it. Same goes for Ross landing here.
KC taking QB Patrick Mahomes:
Mahomes has a fun vibe. Like a mixture of Aaron Rodgers Psycho Swag, and Gronks Kegerator Swag. He will "Make the Chiefs Fun Again" IMO after years of boring offense. Andy Reid has had some exciting offenses in PHI, and Mahomes could get the Chiefs to that level soon. KC has more of a "win now" team, so Alex Smith should be in full-court cock-block through at least Thanksgiving, but he'd better be winning and playing well or he'll get the Kaep treatment yet again.
HOU taking QB DeShaun Watson:
Perfect fit IMO. A mature QB who knows how to win going to a Texans team in need of exactly that. His skill set should fit extremely well with fellow Clemson Tiger DeAndre Hopkins. HOU is another team built to win now, so we'll see how far Watson can take them as he gets accustomed to the NFL's speed and complexity.
TB taking TE O.J. Howard:
I was hoping for Cook here, but as a Jameis Winston owner and fan, I'll gladly take such a high level receiving weapon in his stead. The Bucs just keep getting better and better and are becoming one of my favorite teams watch. It was a bit unexpected, as TE Brate was fairly solid, but having two good TE's seems to be a trend on the rise. Nice fit. Nice upside.
NYG taking TE Evan Engram:
Too many cooks in the kitchen. Did it fill a team need? Yes. Is Engram talented? Yes. Will going to the Giants cap his upside? Yes. ODB, Marshall, Shepard and Engram make for a potentially sweet season for Eli, but I doubt Engram dominates the target share anytime soon. There were better landing spots for him, but there were some worse spots as well. How long will Eli last before the cliff takes him? 2017 should be golden at least, but Engram may be stuck in the shadows for the most part, but you never know. Hopefully it will not become a crab-pot situation with the target share.
CLE taking TE David Njoku:
Tic-tac-toe, three TE in a row! (at least for "skill position" picks) CLE trading back into the 1st round for a third pick was surprising enough, but taking Njoku when they already have a serviceable TE in Barnidge was a head scratcher. Could it be leverage to get Garoppolo some weapons? Is Kizer in their plans? I just cannot see CLE wasting such a talented offensive team with Kessler or Brock at the controls. "Sucking for (USC QB Sam) Darnold" may be a smart plan, but only if the team will stick by their coaching staff for a few more seasons of growth. Kind of a waste, as I had high hopes for Njoku sliding to the Steelers with the very next pick, so I can see why CLE cock-blocked an inter-division rival vs. having to defend him twice a year.
All-in-all is was an excellent and exciting first round filled with elite level defensive players as well. Many RB, WR and TE's I like are still on the board, so tonight's continuation of the draft will be another must-see event!