NFL draft day 1 recap

Gage Versteeg, Sports Editor

This past Thursday, April 23, the National Football League’s (NFL) draft started. The three day event was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, however, the Coronavirus pandemic caused it to go virtual for the first time ever. Thursday marked it’s day one in which the first round would occur.
Quarterback from Louisiana State University Joe Burrow was selected with the first overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals. This move surprised no one after Burrow had one of the best seasons ever and the Bengals current QB Andy Dalton starting to decline. Ohio State University Defensive End Chase Young and Cornerback Jeff Okudah went second and third to the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions respectively. All three of the players played for Ohio State University before Burrow transferred to LSU before the 2018 season. The Giants took Georgia Offensive Tackle Andrew with the fourth pick. Many predicted them to take a tackle, however, many believed it would have been Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton, or Tristian Wirfs. The Miami Dolphin surprised no one when they took Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick. Oregon QB Justin Herbert went to the Los Angeles Chargers with the sixth pick to make three QBs in the first six picks. Auburn Defensive Tackle Derrick Brown, Clemson Linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Florida CB CJ Henderson, and Alabama OT Jedrick Wills went to the Carolina Panthers, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Cleveland Browns to round out the top 10.
One of the well known things about this draft was the depth of the Wide Receiver pool. That became apparent starting in the 11-20 picks as three were taken and six were taken in the final 22 picks of the round. Henry Ruggs III was the first taken when the Las Vegas Raiders took him 12th. Fellow Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy went 15th to the Denver Broncos. Next was CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma 17th to the Dallas Cowboys. Mekhi Becton, OT from Louisville went 11th to the New York Jets. Tristan Wirfs, also an OT, out of Iowa was taken to help protect Tom Brady for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 13th. DT out of South Carolina Javon Kinlaw went to the San Francisco 49ers at 14. The Atlanta Falcons surprised some people by taking the CB AJ Terrell out of Clemson at 16. Many had other players as the third best CB behind Okudah and Henderson. The Miami Dolphins used their second of three first round picks on USC OT Austin Jackson. Las Vegas took Ohio State CB Damon Arnette at 19th. Once again this pick surprised many as he was expected to go in the second round. Jacksonville took LSU LB K’Lavon Chaisson at 20.
The last 12 picks of the round were full of controversy. The biggest being the Green Bay Packers at 26. They took Utah State QB Jordan Love despite having Aaron Rodgers at QB already. It was a move for the future as Rodgers is starting to age but he has said he wants to play till he is 40, which is another four years away. The team was also one game away from the Super Bowl and was expected to take someone that would help get them over the hump. The New Orleans Saints took Center Ceaser Ruiz at 24 despite taking Erik McCoy last year who plays the same position. The Seattle Seahawks took LB Jordyn Brooks over LSU LB Patrick Queen at 27. Queen went one pick later to the Baltimore Ravens. The Philadelphia Eagles took Texas Christian University (TCU) WR Jalen Reagor at 21 when LSU WR Justin Jefferson was still there. Jefferson would go to the Minnesota Vikings at 22. The Kansas City Chiefs took LSU Runningback Clyde-Edwards Helaire when there were two or three better RBs at 32. And the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins reached a bit when they took OT Isaiah Wilson and CB Noah Igbinoghene at 29 and 30 respectively. LB Kenneth Murray at 23 to the LA Chargers, WR Brandon Aiyuk to San Francisco at 25, and TCU CB Jeff Gladney to Minnesota at 31 round out the round and were all good picks at positions of need.
That concluded the long recap of the first round. Some of the biggest storylines and themes were the amount of LSU players and South Eastern Conference (SEC) players as a whole taken. 15 of the 32 players taken were from SEC schools, including six of the first ten. The next closest conferences were the Big Ten and Big 12, in which five players were taken from both. Five players (Burrow, Chaisson, Jefferson, Queen, and Edwards-Helaire) were selected from LSU. Another would be the amount of receivers. This is a very deep WR class as six were taken in the first round and many of them would have been the top receiver in other years. As well as many first round talents and players that would have gone in the first round other years weren’t selected in the first round this year.