NFL Draft Recap
As collegiate athletes declared for the NFL Draft they had one goal, get drafted number 1 overall. When the Draft finally rolled around last week in Dallas, the wait for these future stars was over. “With the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select, Baker Mayfield: Quarterback, Oklahoma.” stated NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell to kick things off. As the first overall pick Baker Mayfield was the story of the night as Draft Analysts talked of his perseverance and dedication as he took a tougher route to the top pick. Baker Mayfield started his collegiate career at Texas Tech as a walk-on. After starting for one year, he transferred and walked-on again. He would eventually earn the starting spot and it would never go back from there; he would go on the break Big 12 records, led Oklahoma to two College Football Playoff appearances and won the Heisman this year.
As Cleveland was buzzing with the news of their pick, the New York Giants made strides to improve their offense. They drafted Saquon Barkley, the running back from Penn State. To many he was believed to be the top athlete in the draft, and by picking up offensive linemen in the later rounds the Giants hoped to improve their basically non existent run game and create an unstoppable offense with Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.
Sam Darnold was drafted as the number 3 pick the New York Jets. The Jets have had a rough time finding the right quarterback since Mark Sanchez’s rookie year. With a very experienced Wide Receiver core in Jermaine Kearse and Terrelle Pryor, the Jets needed someone to throw them some touchdown passes. Quarterbacks would continue to be drafted in the early portions of the draft; Josh Allen was drafted by the Buffalo Bills at number 7. Allen was believed to be the top candidate for the top pick, but after some racially insensitive tweets from his high school days resurfaced, he Draft stock dropped up a bit. He would still remain in the top ten though being the third quarterback taken in the Draft. He wasn’t the final QB taken in the Top 10 though, as the Arizona Cardinals moved up from 15 to 10 to draft UCLA Quarterback Josh Rosen. Rosen is believed to be the most NFL ready QB to excel as a rookie; He would go on to say at the end of the night that, “There were nine mistakes made before me.”
With two of the top four QB’s being drafted by AFC East teams and the patriots drafting Sony Michel at the running back position, the Miami Dolphins had to get a defender. They drafted Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is believe to be one of the most, if not the most, athletic defensive back in the draft. He is versatile enough to play the nickelback position and rush QB’s as well stop top running backs. He can also play cornerback and attempt to pick off a Quarterback.
The most heartwarming draft story didn’t happen until the 5th Round. Shaquem Griffin, a linebacker out of UCF, lost his hand at the age of 4 due to a birth defect. He never let this stop him though as he would attend UCF on a football scholarship, and be the first 1-handed player in NFL history. He received the call from Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and learned that, not was he drafted, but the would also be playing alongside his twin brother Shaquill Griffin.