The NFL draft is arguably one of the most unpredictable events but still one of the most exciting events. The draft brings in millions of viewers worldwide, only hoping for a promising future for your team. This year’s NFL draft was loaded with surprises, so here are my top five.
Giants Trade Back For WR Kadarius Toney
Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has never traded back throughout his entire career as a general manager. So despite many believing that the smart thing to do was trade back, the hope was very minimal for Giants fans that they would indeed trade back. The draft day had hit, and not even Dave Gettleman saw what was coming. Quarterback Justin Fields had seemed to drop in the NFL draft making pick 11 that much better for quarterback-needy teams.
Devonta Smith was set in stone to be there at the Giants pick up until Jerry Jones decided to send Smith to a different division rival in the Eagles. Once Gettleman had lost his top receiver on his board, he knew it was time to pull the trigger. The Giants moved back nine spots with the Chicago Bears and received the 20th pick, a fifth-round pick, 2022 first-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.
Although this trade caught many by surprise, Gettleman wasn’t done just yet. With the 20th pick, Gettleman decided to select the Human Joystick of college football in Kadarius Toney, which surprised everybody outside of the Giants organization.
Now Toney wasn’t a bad pick at all; many just didn’t see it coming due to the free-agent signings of Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and Kyle Rudolph. Nonetheless, despite being on the hot seat, Gettleman put the team’s future first, which may keep him in job for the long run.
Packers Select CB Eric Stokes
If you haven’t heard of the Aaron Rodgers drama in Green Bay, you can accept that you’ve lived under a rock. Reigning NFL MVP and All-time great quarterback Aaron Rodgers had voiced he wants out of Green Bay and are pretty much over being there. Quarterback Jordan Love was the first offensive first-round pick the Packers have made over the last ten years.
Now, if you’re the face of a franchise and the only time your franchise decides to spend their highest pick on an offensive player is to be your replacement, you wouldn’t be happy either. Despite the relationship between Rodgers and the Packers being held on by a string, the Packers continued the streak of defense.
Packers selected CB Eric Stokes with their first selection. Many didn’t even view him as the top Corner still available. The Packers have voiced that Rodgers is going nowhere, and they have no plans of parting ways. The first step should’ve been to take a weapon to make it more enticing to come back.
Eagles Trade-Up Ahead Of The Giants In Division
Cornerbacks Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn had the two picks before the Cowboys were on the clock. It was universally known that the Cowboys were going Corner if one of the top two were still there. As draft day usually goes, a wrench was thrown into Dallas’s plans when they were selected right before them.
Dallas had known that the Giants would select Heisman winner Devonta Smith if he were to fall to them. The Cowboys knew Philly wanted Smith as well, so the two teams, despite being division rivals, had decided to make a trade. Dallas backed up two spots (10th pick to the 12th pick), and the Eagles gave up the 12th pick and a third-rounder.
Jaguars Select RB Travis Etienne
Is this surprising in a way that it was necessarily a bad pick? No. This pick was a bit of an eyebrow-raiser for a few reasons. It was known that with the first pick, the Jaguars were selecting Trevor Lawrence. On the other hand nobody knew what they would do with their second pick (25).
Etienne was Lawrence’s running back for the entirety of both their careers. Running backs’ value has been dropping over the years. That’s due to the fact that you can find them easily anywhere in the draft or even out. That still isn’t why this pick was a bit confusing. The Jaguars had a pro bowl caliber running back who carried the offense for all last season in James Robinson. Robinson was one of the top backs in the NFL last year.
Now Robinson didn’t make the pro bowl, but pretty much everybody believed he should have. The Jaguars Running back room now contains James Robinson, Carlos Hyde, and Travis Etienne. It is a bit understanding, though, because what is the easiest way to make things easier for your rookie quarterback? Have a run game, and it seems as though that is in Jacksonville’s plans.
Raiders Select OT Alex Leatherwood
I think we can pretty much guarantee it or name it a tradition at this point that nobody can guess the Raiders pick before it happens. Despite being a solid tackle, Leatherwood was viewed as a day two, maybe even day three tackle who may even have to transition to guard at some point in his career.
Not only was he viewed lowly, but you had tackles available such as Christian Darrisaw and Tevin Jenkins. Many would’ve preferred the Raiders take safety Trevon Moehring at 17. Now that it’s all over doesn’t look too bad since they got him at 43. The Raiders make some questionable choices when it comes to drafting. Only time will tell if they did it correctly.