DENVER — Without an elite quarterback in the draft, chaos made an appearance Thursday night. The first round featured runs on defenders, receivers and a battery of trades.
The Broncos jump into the fray on Friday with the 64th overall pick. Could that be Oklahoma pass rusher Nik Bonitto? Or will they go cornerback? There will be plenty of options. The first round from Las Vegas lacked the glitz, but not the drama. There were five defensive players in the top five picks for the first time since 1991. There were six receivers in the top 20 for the first time, well, ever.
And the Titans traded star A.J. Brown to the Eagles. Hollywood Brown shipped to the Cardinals. And the Jets, dare I say it, might have aced the first round. My Denver7 round up of the first round:
1. Jacksonville Jaguars – EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia, 6-5, 272
Built like a house. Strong vs. run. Has positional versatility. Pass rush a bit raw
2. Detroit Lions – EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan, 6-6, 260
Relentless motor. Great technique. Perfect fit for his hometown team.
3. Houston Texans – CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU, 6-2, 190
Freshman All-American. Talent for days. Must prove can stay healthy.
4. New York Jets – CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati, 6-2, 190
Saran Wrap coverage. Comfortable in man. Long, rangy. Extremely confident.
5. New York Giants – Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon, 6-4, 254
No. 1 overall talent. Commit questioned. But he is a playmaker, pure and simple.
6. Carolina Panthers – OT Ikem Ekwonu, N.C. State, 6-4, 310
Light on his feet. Has violent strength. Loses fundamentals. Can play guard or tackle.
7. New York Giants – OT Evan Neal, Alabama, 6-7, 337
A mammoth of a man with flexibility and athleticism. Should be plug-and-play starter.
8. Atlanta Falcons – WR Drake London, USC, 6-4, 217
Big-bodied receiver with basketball background. Fills an immediate need.
9. Seattle Seahawks – OT Charles Cross, 6-4. 307
Elite pass protector. Uses hands well. Projects as future Pro Bowler.
10. New York Jets – WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State, 5-11, 183
Boasts 4.3 40 speed. Terrific body control. A problem in space. Slightly undersized.
11. New Orleans Saints – WR Chris Olave, Ohio State, 6-0, 187
A touchdown machine in college. Pairs with former Buckeyes star Michael Thomas.
12. Detroit Lions – WR Jameson Williams, Alabama, 6-1, 179
Lions trade with Vikings to land dynamic burner. Best vertical threat in draft.
13. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Jordan Davis, 6-6, 341
Complete freak with his size, speed and strength. Projects as run-stuffing nose tackle.
14. Baltimore Ravens – S Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame, 6-4, 220
Terrific size, strength and instincts. Speed a concern. But he’s a physical player.
15. Houston Texans – OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M, 6-3, 323
Had issues with technique and penalties. But has size and strength to be an NFL starter
16. Washington Commanders – WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State, 5-10, 187
Projected late first-rounder. Jumped up boards with speed and college production.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – G Zion Johnson, Boston College, 6-3, 312
Is adept at run and pass blocking. Strong. Should be longtime starter in the league.
18. Tennessee Titans – WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas, 6-2, 225
Has drawn Debo Samuel comparisons. He’s new replacement for A.J. Brown.
19. New Orleans Saints – OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa, 6-7, 325
Plays nasty and mean. Reminds me a lot of Garett Bolles at Utah. Has to cut down penalties.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh, 6-3. 217
Panther stays in Pittsburgh. High floor, low ceiling. Small hands a concern.
21. Kansas City Chiefs – CB Trent McDuffie, Washington, 5-10, 193
Chiefs traded up eight spots to land projected rookie starter in secondary
22. Green Bay Packers – LB Quay Walker, Georgia, 6-3, 241
Thought Pack would go WR. Walker projects as three-down linebacker. But can he catch?
23. Buffalo Bills – CB Kaiir Elam, Florida, 6-1, 191
Has shown prowess in man coverage. Has requisite size of shutdown corner.
24. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyler Smith, Tulsa, 6-4, 324
Raw talent with questionable first step. But is coachable with high ceiling.
25. Baltimore Ravens – C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa, 6-2, 296
Elite run blocker. Former high school wrestler with Pro Bowl athleticism.
26. New York Jets – Edge Jermaine Johnson, Florida State, 6-4, 254
Three schools in three years. Exploded with 12 sacks last season. Jets traded up to get him.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars — LB Devin Lloyd, Utah, 6-2, 237
Absolute playmaker. Had 43 tackles for a loss in collge.
28. Green Bay Packers — DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia, 6-2, 304
Aaron Rodgers said all the top WRs were gone. Wyatt is top-ranked defensive lineman.
29. New England Patriots — OG Cole Strange, Chattanooga, 6-4, 307
Odd pick even by New England's standards. Projected as a late second, early third-rounder.
30. Kansas City Chiefs — DE George Karlaftis, Purdue, 6-3. 266
Rugged. Physical. One of top pass rushers in NCAA last season.
31. Cincinnati Bengals — S Dax Hill, Michigan, 6-1, 191
Rangy defender who projects into nickel packages from Day One as corner or safety.
32. Minnesota Vikings — S Lewis Cine, Georgia, 600, 199
Uncommon speed and physicality for a safety.