The NFL Draft wrapped up last Saturday in Philadelphia. While no NDSU players were taken this year, offensive lineman Landon Lechler was signed as an undrafted free agent by Cincinnati. It was just one of the many story lines coming out of the City of Brotherly Love.
Bears go all-in on Trubisky
The first round always has at least one shocking pick for negative reasons. Lately, that honor falls to the Cleveland Browns.
In the days leading up to the draft, rumors circulated that the Browns would not take likely number one pick Myles Garret, and instead take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
It turned out to be rumors, as the Browns (more on them in a bit) went with the Texas A&M product Garret.
The shock came inside of ten minutes later, as the San Francisco 49ers moved back a single pick with a trade with the Chicago Bears. The Bears did take Trubisky.
Bears fans have questioned the pick, but are more disgusted with what they gave up. Chicago parted ways with their third and fourth round picks this year, as well as next year’s third. All of this for a guy who, possibly, would have been on the board still.
The rest of the draft doesn’t really matter for the Bears. General manager Ryan Pace has stuck his neck out on this one, risking a good chunk of the future (the Bears had just four more picks) on a player with 13 collegiate starts.
Then again, where has that same complaint been heard before?
Vikings solidify despite no first rounders
Sticking to the NFC North, the Minnesota Vikings were always in for an interesting draft. The trade for Sam Bradford sent the first-round pick to Philadelphia, so there was no action for the team on day one.
Round two saw the team move up a few spots to fill in a big hole, selecting Dalvin Cook. The former Florida State running back will slot into the backfield that is looking to replace Adrian Peterson.
Cook will likely start in a timeshare with recently acquired Latavius Murry. Cook will try to help the big-play ability of the offense. Minnesota ranked near the bottom in 20+-yard plays last season.
The Vikings also spent picks on the battered offensive line. Pat Elflein was a top-rated center out of Ohio State when selected in the third round.
Will more players sit out bowl games?
Last winter, Lenarod Fournette and Christian McCaffrey sat out their respective bowl game. The pair were the first running backs take in the first round.
Fournette will join the Jacksonville Jaguars, while McCaffrey will meet up with Cam Newton in Carolina.
The duo decided not to risk injury, something that Michigan tight end Jake Butt did. Butt tore his ACL in the Orange Bowl, and his draft stock plummeted.
Because of this, Butt missed out on potential first round money. He was taken in the fifth round by the Denver Broncos. Denver may be getting a steal should Butt fully recover.
But while he misses out on big money, the question now turns to whether others will follow the lead of the two running backs. With technically nothing to play for, Butt may be a cautionary tale to future players.
The Browns are desperate, but smart
At the end of the first round, the Cleveland Browns were actually sitting in a good place. Besides Garret, the Browns traded down to No. 25. There, they took the versatile Jabrill Peppers.
The Michigan standout played cornerback, linebacker, and safety at times last season, along with being the kick return man. Peppers was one of the biggest mysteries coming into the draft. His versatility worked against him as teams and media did not know how exactly he would be used.
The Browns moved back into first round to pick up tight end David Njoku. The University of Miami product will take over from Gary Barnidge, who was released after the draft.
Round two saw the Browns try to pick up the pieces from not getting a quarterback the day before. DeShone Kizer is the latest answer in the ever revolving quarterback carousel in the team.
While he will likely not start Week 1, Kizer joins Brock Osweiler, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan as quarterbacks on the roster. As quickly as the Browns go through quarterback, don’t be surprised if Kizer sees the field.