Recently, 259 men made their dreams come true. These men were drafted into the National Football League (NFL) in one of seven rounds, across Apr. 27-29. Typically, analysts, fans and NFL enthusiasts alike all give their opinions on which teams were the biggest winners and losers of draft night.

Arguably, the biggest winner of the draft has to go to the Philadelphia Eagles. Even though the Eagles are coming off of a Super Bowl appearance, they still had the #10 pick thanks to their mastermind of a general manager, Howie Roseman. During the draft night, a highly rated prospect, Jalen Carter, was still available at pick #9 due to off-the-field concerns; the Eagles took advantage of this and traded with the Chicago Bears to secure Carter. ESPN Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. writes, “And if you look at this team’s biggest weakness from last season, it was stopping the run; Philly ranked 24th in yards allowed per carry (4.6)”. Carter adds immense strength and power to the defensive front and will help stop the run. Later that night, the Eagles picked again in the first round to secure Carter’s Georgia Bulldog teammate at pick #30, Nolan Smith. According to Kiper Jr., “At 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Smith is undersized, but you can’t teach his physical traits. He ran a blazing 4.39-second 40-yard dash at the combine”. Smith is an elite athlete and will help out this star-studded, Georgia Bulldog-studded Philadelphia Eagles roster.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young get selected first overall by the Carolina Panthers. Photo:

In addition to the Eagles, the Seattle Seahawks were major winners of draft night. The Seahawks had pick #5 as a result of the Russell Wilson trade, which saw Wilson get moved to the Denver Broncos for a couple of picks and players. At pick #5, the Seahawks selected Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon, an elite defensive back with explosive hit power. He will surely add some much-needed ferocity to the Seahawk’s defense. Later in the first round, the Seahawks were up again at pick #20 and were able to choose from a plethora of wide receivers. They chose Ohio State wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, an elite receiver who will immediately help out the Seahawks. The Seahawks nailed the first round and have big aspirations for the upcoming season. 

Among all these winners of the draft night, there must also be losers. One of these losers was none other than Kentucky quarterback Will Levis. Being 6-foot-3 and 232 pounds, Levis was projected to be a very early first-rounder. Some projected him to be drafted as early as pick #2. Unfortunately for Levis, this was not the case as he slid down the board. The TV broadcast kept cutting to him and his family as they waited for his name to be called. On the first night of the draft, it wasn’t. Levis had to wait until the second night of the draft and round two before he could hear his name being called. He was eventually drafted to the Tennessee Titans at pick #33, but the odds of him slipping out of the first round seemed to be less than one(1%?). Levis lost not only the title of first-round QB but millions of dollars as well.

Another loser of the draft was the New Orleans Saints. The Saints picked late in the first round as they traded away their original first-round pick to the Eagles, but later got a first-round pick from Denver due to the signing of Sean Payton. The Saints severely needed defensive line help, but, at pick #29, it would have been difficult to find that help that late in the draft. The Saints ended up drafting Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee with that pick. Later at pick #40, they drafted Notre Dame defensive end Isiah Foskey. “There were a few significant reaches in this New Orleans class, which drops it to the lowest tier of these grades,” remarked Kiper Jr. Reaching on players is one of the worst decisions teams can make as it prohibits that team from picking another high-caliber player. While the Saints made moves for the future, this draft was not one of their bests.

When considering these draft grades, it is important to know that none of these players have yet to touch an NFL field. Nobody knows whether they will boom or bust, so these grades are solely based on speculation and subjective thinking. With that being said, it is obvious that some teams drafted to their needs better than others. Some of these teams who were thought to be winners could be losers if their picks turn out to be busts, and other draft picks may surprise everyone, allowing teams to have a better draft class than imagined. Be sure to take these draft grades with a grain of salt, and remember that none of these players have ever played in an NFL game before.

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