The fireworks never came, but the first round of the NFL draft had its share of unpredictable moments as teams added to their core with young talent.
Here were the winners and losers of the first round:
Draft day winners
New York Jets
They didn’t land Marcus Mariota, but they got the steal of the draft as Leonard Williams fell into their lap at six.
The defensive end was considered by many as the top player in the entire class and was expected to go as high as the third pick. Instead, the Jets added to their strength of the defensive line and leave the first round in a home run trot.
After consecutive years of no running backs going in the first round, two were selected in the first 15 picks on Thursday.
Todd Gurley was taken 10th overall by Saint Louis, while Melvin Gordon landed 15th with San Diego.
However, the picks are less indicative of a change in trend than further proof that top-tier talent will be coveted at any position.
It can’t feel good knowing your team went hard after Marcus Mariota to be their future quarterback, but after the dust cleared, Bradford remains the man in Philadelphia.
The former top overall pick has plenty to prove, but it looks like he’ll at least get the opportunity.
Draft day losers
Despite all the swirling rumours heading into the draft, there were no trades completed within the top 14 selections.
From a sheer entertainment perspective, that made the draft more predictable and less chaotic.
Big names like Adrian Peterson and Philip Rivers didn’t get moved by their teams, while No2 pick Marcus Mariota appears to be part of Tennessee for the near future in anticlimactic fashion.
Trades could still be on the way in the coming rounds, but they’re unlikely to be of the headline-grabbing variety.
San Diego Chargers Trading up in the draft more often than not is an unworthy gamble. The same can be said for taking a running back – a position proven to be relatively easy to fill – early on.
Yet San Diego did both by trading up to 15 to take Melvin Gordon.
They gave up their 17th pick, along with a fourth-rounder and next year’s fifth-rounder to San Francisco to add to an area they had already invested heavily in to little avail.
La’el Collins and Randy Gregory
Thanks to off-the-field issues, Collins and Gregory went unselected in the first round.
Collins, an offensive lineman, is connected to a murder, though he has not been named a suspect, while Gregory, a defensive end, tested positive for marijuana at the NFL combine.
Both have first-round talent, but they’ve cost themselves millions of dollars already.
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