If I learned one thing about the NFL Draft yesterday, it's that the Packers might want to think about drafting a new front office.
As you probably heard, Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay and a big reason he wants out is because he apparently "doesn't like anyone in the front office." Look, I'm not a relationship expert, but that seems like a problem.
Although Rodgers stole all the headlines from the first day of the draft, I promise he's not going to be the only thing we talk about in today's newsletter. With SIX ROUNDS still to go in the draft, we're going draft heavy again today.
If you're going to be out and about over the next two days, but you still want to keep tabs on who's being picked, you can do that by clicking here and going to our draft tracker. If you plan on watching the draft tonight, it starts at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised by ABC, ESPN, NFL Network (If you want to know how to watch the final four rounds on Saturday, be sure to click here).
Alright, let's get to the rundown, where we have some winners and losers from Day 1 along with the draft's biggest surprises. As always, here's your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. To sign up, all you have to do is click here and then share the link.
1. Today's show: NFL Draft winners and losers for Round 1
If this entire newsletter is a jumbled mess today, it's because I stayed up until 3 a.m. last night recording a podcast with Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson. During the pod, we touched on everything you need to know about the first round of the NFL Draft and let me just say, it's probably for the best that you listen. We rehashed the entire first round and if you're wondering how long it takes to do that, I can tell you that today's episode is not a short one. As a matter of fact, I think it clocked in at 90 minutes, which is kind of ironic, because I also think that's how much sleep I got last night.
- Winner: Mac Jones. Although he dropped out of the top 10, he ended up going to the team that feels like the best landing spot for him.
- Loser: Raiders. The Raiders have made it an annual tradition to reach in the draft and that's exactly what they did in the first round. They drafted an offensive lineman (Alex Leatherwood) who probably would have been available for their taking in the second round.
- Winner: Jets GM Joe Douglas. Not only did the Jets land Zach Wilson, but they also made a low cost trade to go up and grab a tackle. The Jets aren't exactly known for making smart moves, but they made two of them on Thursday.
- Loser: Cowboys. Brinson is the only person in the world who has the Cowboys listed as a first-round loser, so you'll have to listen to the podcast for his reasoning. I heard him explain it live and I'm still confused.
- Winner: Trey Lance and the 49ers. Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch fooled us all. They kept everyone guessing about their pick for nearly a month and everyone guessed wrong. In the end, they took Lance, who I think is the best fit for Shanahan's system out of the quarterbacks available, and by the way, it's a good thing they took Lance, because I'm pretty sure fans in San Francisco were going to riot if they took Mac Jones.
- Loser: Andy Dalton and Jimmy Garoppolo. As the president of the Andy Dalton fan club, it hurts my heart to list him as a a loser, but let's be honest, if you're expecting to be your team's starting quarterback in 2021 and then your team drafts a quarterback, that usually means the team doesn't have much faith in you as a starter and that's what happened to both of these guys.
If you want more winners and losers, Cody Benjamin has an even longer list that you can check out by clicking here.
As for the podcast, not only did we list our winners and losers, but we also went through and talked about EVERY pick from the first round. To listen to the rest of today's show -- and to follow the podcast -- be sure to click here.
2. Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay
The biggest headline from the first day of the NFL Draft had nothing to do with the NFL Draft. A few hours before the start of the draft, ESPN's Adam Schefter dropped a bombshell saying that Aaron Rodgers wants out of Green Bay.
It's not easy to completely botch things with your star quarterback who has been on your team for 16 seasons, but the Packers have somehow managed to do it. The twist here is that I'm 99% sure Rodgers timed this up so that the news would come out on Thursday.
Remember, just last year, Rodgers felt absolutely blindsided by the Packers on the first day of the draft after they selected Jordan Love. So how do you respond to that? YOU BLINDSIDE THEM on the first round of the draft. Classic "eye for an eye" situation.
If you're wondering what's happening now with Rodgers, here's the latest:
- 49ers called about a possible trade on Wednesday. One day before the draft, the 49ers called about making a trade for Rodgers, but they got shot down. The crazy part is that Rodgers apparently thought the trade was going to go through, so when it didn't happen, that might have made him more angry than he already was.
- Rodgers is eyeing three teams. According to Pro Football Talk, Rodgers wants to be traded to either the 49ers, Broncos or Raiders. This list came out before the draft, so we can probably go ahead and scratch the 49ers off the list now that they have Trey Lance. Of those three teams, I think the Broncos would make the most sense and that's because their quarterback situation is still unsettled, plus they could afford to take on his contract, which wouldn't be as easy for the Raiders. Rodgers wants to be sent out west and the Packers don't want him in the NFC, so those would be two things to consider if a trade ever does go down.
- Packers insist no trade is happening. In a press conference after the first round of the draft, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst made it clear that his team has no plans to trade Rodgers, "We're not going to trade Aaron Rodgers," Gutekunst said. "I think he'll play for us again. We're going to work towards that and we've been working towards that on a number of different fronts. The value that he has to our football team is really immeasurable."
The problem here is that Gutekunst probably just made Rodgers even more angry with those comments. According to PFT, Rodgers "doesn't like anyone in the [Packers] front office" so I'm guessing the last thing he wants to hear is the GM trying to say that Rodgers will play for the Packers again at some point.
Based on everything that has happened so far, it's feels like the only outcome here is that Rodgers is going to get traded. Although he'd like to end up in Denver or Las Vegas, two other teams that would be a good fit are Washington and New Orleans. However, both those teams are in the NFC, so the Packers might be hesitant to trade with either of them.
3. Four biggest surprises from Round 1
Everyone loves surprises; well, I guess there are some people out there who hate surprises and if you're one of those people, feel free to skip this section, because it's going to be covering the four biggest surprises from the first round of the draft.
This list comes to you from our Bryan DeArdo:
1. Cowboys and Eagles make a deal. The fact that the Eagles traded up wasn't a surprise, but it was a surprise to see them make a deal with their hated division rival. The Eagles had the 12th pick and moved up to 10 to select Devonta Smith while the Cowboys dropped to 12th to take Micah Parsons. There's another NFC East tie to this trade and it's the Giants, who had the 11th overall pick. The Giants were eyeing Smith, but decided to trade back after the Eagles swooped in to steal him.
2. Bears trade up for Justin Fields. No one was happier after the first round than Bears fans. Although the team paid a steep price to trade up from 20th to 11th, they landed a quarterback who some considered to be the second best QB in the draft. The Bears 50-year search for a QB might finally be over.
3. Patriots don't make a trade, but still land a QB. The rest of the NFL just let Mac Jones fall into the Patriots' lap. The rest of the NFL is going to regret that.
4. Jaguars draft TWO Clemson players. Everyone knew the Jags were going to select Trevor Lawrence, but no one could have predicted their second pick of the night. At 25th overall, the Jaguars decided to take Travis Etienne, which will reunite the two former Clemson stars in Jacksonville. The only problem with his pick is that the Jags had a ton of holes to fill and running back was not one of them.
If you want to read a more about these first-round surprises, be sure to click here.
4. Best available players
Heading into Day 2 of the NFL Draft, there are plenty of top players still available. Out of the top-32 players who got a first-round grade in our prospect rankings, nine of them are still on the board, which means that several teams could come away with a steal or two in the second or third round.
With that in mind, here's a look at the the top-10 players who are still available. The number next to their name represents their overall ranking in this year's class (For example, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah is at the top of the list and we had him as the 16th best player). if you see your favorite team announce any of the names below, that's most likely a good thing.
Note: All player descriptions are from CBSSports.com draft expert Josh Edwards.
- No. 16: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S, Notre Dame. Owusu-Koramoah is more of a safety playing linebacker, but he will find a comfortable landing spot in the second round.
- No. 17: Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU. Moehrig is a balanced safety capable of playing single high or coming downhill to make plays in the box.
- No. 18: Azeez Ojulari, EDGE, Georgia. Ojulari is still coming into his own but his speed around the edge is a good starting point in his development.
- No. 20: Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue. Moore is very undersized and has an injury history, but he is explosive with the ball in his hands.
- No. 23: Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State. Jenkins is a physical lineman that should be taken early on Day 2.
- No. 24: Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State. It was surprising to see Samuel available at the conclusion of the first round but it should not be long before he hears his name called following a run on the cornerback position late in Round 1.
- No. 26: Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama. Barmore flashed in the College Football Playoff, but he was not consistent during his final season in Tuscaloosa.
- No. 28: Levi Onwuzurike, DT, Washington. Onwuzurike is a strong interior defender who can play the run and push the pocket.
- No. 29: Joseph Ossai, EDGE, Texas. Ossai is a bit stiff but he has a knack for finding the football around the edge. He was more of a linebacker in 2019 and found a home at edge rusher in 2020.
- No. 33: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss. Moore is a speedster that is dynamic with the football in his hands. He is primarily a slot receiver.
Edwards has a busy morning putting together a list of the TOP-50 players who are still available and if you want to see that entire list, be sure to click here.
5. NFL Draft Day 2 mock
If you thought the end of the first-round meant there would be no more mock drafts, I have some bad news for you: We have another mock draft for you to read.
After the first round ended last night, Chris Trapasso put on a pot of coffee and then stayed up through the night putting together his mock draft for the second round.
With that in mind, let's check out the top 10 picks from his mock:
- 1. (33rd overall) Jaguars: DL Christian Barmore (Alabama)
- 2. (34th overall) Jets: EDGE Carlos Basham Jr. (Wake Forest)
- 3. (35th overall) Falcons: EDGE Azeez Ojulari (Georgia)
- 4. (36th overall) Dolphins: OL Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State)
- 5. (37th overall) Eagles: CB Asante Samuel Jr. (Florida State)
- 6. (38th overall) Bengals: DL Milton Williams (Louisiana Tech)
- 7. (39th overall) Panthers: OL Dillon Radunz (North Dakota State)
- 8. (40th overall) Broncos: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame)
- 9. (41st overall) Lions: WR Elijah Moore (Ole Miss)
- 10. (42nd overall) Giants: S Trevon Moehrig (TCU)
Trapasso actually put together a multi-round mock that also covers the third round and if you want to see how it all plays out, be sure to click here.
6. First round of the NFL Draft makes history (Crazy facts from the first round)
There was so much history made during the first-round of the NFL Draft that we're going to have use an entire section here to tell you about it. Here's a look at a few historical draft nuggets:
- Pitts sets draft record. Kyle Pitts was selected with the fourth overall pick which is the highest a tight end has ever been drafted. Pitts broke a record that was held by Mike Ditka (1961) and Riley Odoms (1972), who were both selected fifth overall.
- Pitts part of history-making combo. With Pitts and Kadarius Toney from Florida both getting picked in the first round, it marks just the second time in draft history that a wide receiver and tight end from the same school both got selected in the first round. The only other time it happened came in 1996 with Terry Glenn and Ricky Dudley from Ohio State.
- Zach Wilson highest player ever drafted from BYU. Before this year, Ezekiel Ansah and Jim McMahon held this honor (Both were picked fifth overall), but Wilson now holds the record after being selected with the second-overall pick.
- Trevor Lawrence highest player ever drafted from Clemson. Before this year, Clemson had never even had a player selected third overall. Prior to Lawrence, the highest a Clemson player had ever been drafted was fourth overall, which has happened three times.
- Quarterbacks make history. With five quarterbacks taken, this draft marks just the fourth time in history that five or more quarterbacks have been taken in the first round. The last time in happened came in 2018. The record for most quarterbacks taken in the first round is six, which happened in 1983.
- Rarity with top three picks. The first three picks were all quarterbacks, marking just the third time ever that's happened. The previous two instances came in 1971 and 1999.
- Trey Lance joins exclusive club. The former North Dakota State quarterback became just the sixth former FCS QB to be selected in the first round. Of the previous five, two won a Super Bowl as a starter (Phil Simms, Joe Flacco), one was on a Super Bowl winning team (Carson Wentz) and one was named league MVP (Steve McNair). Not bad company.
- Alabama dominates the draft. The first round of the draft saw six Alabama players get picked, which tied the record for most players from one school. The only other time that happened came in 2004 with the Miami Hurricanes.
- Waddle and Smith make history. This draft marked the first time ever that two receivers from the same school were both taken in the top 10 in the same year. Jaylen Waddle went sixth overall to the Dolphins while Devonta Smith went 10th overall to the Eagles.
- Offensive skill players dominate early part of the draft. The first six picks of the draft were all offensive skill players, marking just the second time that's ever happened. The only other instance came in 1999.
Hopefully you can use these 10 facts to impress your friends this weekend.
7. The Kicker: Rams have an oil painting of Roger Goodell in their war room
If there was one thing missing from the first-round of the draft on Thursday, it was the Los Angeles Rams and their giant mansion in Malibu. The Rams didn't have a first-round pick this year, which means we were all deprived of seeing the 9,000 square-foot mansion on TV yesterday.
Fortunately for all of us, the mansion should be making it's national television debut tonight and I have to say, the first thing I'm going to be looking for is the oil painting of Roger Goodell, because apparently, the Rams have an oil painting of Roger Goodell (You can click here to see it).
Why do they have an oil painting of Goodell? I have no idea, but I'm not going to judge them. I mean, I've never rented a mansion before and for all I know, hanging up an oil painting of your boss once you get settled in might be common mansion etiquette.
I also don't know anything about garage etiquette, which I'm only mentioning because Rams general manager Les Snead will be drafting from his garage. He does not have an oil painting of Goodell.
Snead tested positive for COVID-19 this week, so he's currently in isolation. Of course, it's also possible that he faked a positive COVID test just so he could get away from the creepy Goodell painting. I'm not going to rule that out. To see a picture of Snead's garage set up, be sure to click here.