Welcome to the 2nd part of the NFL 2018 first round draft.
Minkah Fitzpatrick kicks us off at pick 11 in the first round and is now a Miami Dolphin. Not quite sure what position Minkah will slot in to in the Dolphins defence but his versatility will be something that the Dolphins needs. I cant see anything but a top 5 pick for the dolphins next season so don’t expect anyone to pull up trees here in Miami’s draft haul. You are not going to be drafting the Miami defence either due to their lack of turnover creation, so this pick is irrelevant from a defence standpoint in fantasy.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made their first selection at 12, after trading with Buffalo their original spot at 7, and this was the pick that prevented me from having a profitable night. Turns out it was smokescreens all week that they would be drafting Derwin James and decided to go Vita Vea, the defensive tackle from Washington. This completes a formidable front 4 for Tampa on the defensive side to go with Jason Pierre-Paul, who they signed in free agency.
Washington Redskins at pick 13 selected DaRon Payne, another defensive tackle and I bet they were gutted Vita Vea was not there just as much as I was. It was obvious Washington would address the D Line with their first pick and Payne joins Alabama teammate Allen to help out on a depleted D Line.
A HUGE trade at 14 saw the New Orleans Saints give up a 2019 1st rounder in what everyone thought was going to be a move for Lamar Jackson. Instead, they got Marcus Davenport, the defensive end from UTSA. The Saints clearly feel they are almost there with their current squad for a Superbowl. The window is only open for 2 more years with Drew Brees.
Jon Gruden’s first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft came at 15, after the trade with Arizona. They used that selection on the offensive line, selecting Kolton Miller. Most feel that this was a bit of a reach but Miller has the potential to be a star, but you would have thought Oakland would go for a pick on the defence considering their Free Agency. The pick will help the run game and also protection for Derek Carr, but the Raiders players still have limited appeal for me.
Another trade at 16 saw the Bills trade up for Tremaine Edmunds, the linebacker from Virginia Tech. One of the youngest in this draft at 19, he has the potential to be quite a special player.
The continuation of non skill players continues at 17, and arguably the pick of the first round for me with Derwin James joining the Los Angeles Chargers. Many had him as a top 10 lock, including myself, so for him to finally go at 17 is an absolute steal. The defence now for the Chargers is arguably one of the best in the AFC, maybe only behind the Jaguars. Chargers now have a safety that can do anything in the secondary. sleeper pick for a top 3 defence next year considering the talent there.
Green Bay traded back up to 18 with Seattle from their New Orleans traded pick at 27 to select a very good corner in Jaire Alexander. The defence is a big need for Green Bay and they get a very important piece with this selection. Alexander is a very clever football player and excels in zone coverage.
The first pick for the hosting team of the 2018 NFL draft had a lot of people assuming they would go Wide Receiver, especially as none have been taken to this point, but Leighton Van der Esh was selected by Dallas at 19. The pairing of him and a hopefully healthy Sean Lee will be massive for this team. Could be a very underrated defence coming in to the season, especially if the offence returns to its clock-chewing, long drive type.
The final two picks in this post both went to the ball snappers on the offence. Detroit selected Frank Ragnow at 20 and Cincinnati selected Ohio State Center Billy Price. Ragnow is arguably the best Center in the draft and will hopefully help open up some running lanes for the running backs that have not been there for the past few years. Billy Price is off the back off an injury, but it was a big need for the Bengals, so not surprised that may have taken a slight risk here, especially with their likely 1st pick Ragnow, being snipered before them.
So there we have it, a lot of defensive players going in the 11-21 range (8 out of 11). The pick of the round is surely Derwin James to the Chargers. The most surprising or “worst” pick is harder to decipher but i suppose the draft capital New Orleans have given up to take Marcus Davenport is a contender, as is Kolton Miller for the Raiders, where the defence was in much more need of support.
Look out for the next post which will look at picks 22-32 and we will also be posting a podcast later on in the week, when Lee Wakefield joins us for a full NFL draft review of the first round.
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