Round 1 of the NFL Draft was completed late Thursday evening in Cleveland amongst a raucous crowd of football fans! It was refreshing to see a packed house for a sporting event and a sign that things are finally returning to some sense of normalcy. 32 young men achieved their NFL dreams and essentially became millionaires overnight!
What four NFL teams truly won in Round 1 by drafting supremely talented players? Keep reading to find out.
Chicago Bears- QB Justin Fields (Ohio State)
Bears fans were elated to steal Fields with the #11 overall pick (Bleacher Report). Head coach Matt Nagy knew the team needed to make a big splash with their first round pick. The Bears have Andy Dalton and Nick Foles in their QB room, but neither one of those aging veterans have much tread left on the tires.
Fields adds some much needed speed, arm strength, and leadership ability to a team that mainly relies on a stout defense. Many NFL Draft experts had Fields going as high as #3 to the Niners so Chicago got good value here. Fields should land the starting job out of training camp and could be a Rookie of the Year candidate.
Jacksonville Jaguars- QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne (both from Clemson)
Everyone in the sports world knew the Jags would take Lawrence with the first pick. Lawrence could be the franchise-changing type of QB that Jacksonville desperately needs. New head coach Urban Meyer will love Lawrence’s huge arm and great winning attitude.
The Jags really obtained tremendous value by snagging a true home run hitter like Etienne at number 25. Etienne has the best speed burst of any running back in the draft. By adding playmakers like Lawrence and Etienne, the Jags management is giving their fans a reason to hope again.
Miami Dolphins- WR Jaylen Waddle (Alabama) and DE Jaelan Phillips (Miami-FL)
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores got just what he wanted: a playmaking receiver for Tua and a great pass rusher to help the D-line! Waddle was a huge get at #6 as the 5-10 speedster is simply a nightmare for opposing defenses. Waddle also displayed a ton of heart and toughness by playing hurt for Alabama in the National Title game against Ohio State.
Phillips is possibly the best pass rusher in the draft and the Dolphins were thrilled to add him with the 18th pick. Phillips was a standout player for UCLA before transferring to the University of Miami. Flores knows how to develop defensive players so this pick was a great fit for both parties.
New England Patriots- QB Mac Jones (Alabama)
Mac Jones is used to having to wait his turn as it took him three years to win the starting QB job at Alabama. Though many folks had Jones going to San Francisco with the third pick, Jones waited patiently and kept congratulating his former teammates who were drafted before him. The Patriots were probably planning to trade up to get Jones but the former Heisman finalist fell right into their lap at #15.
Bill Belichick has to be thrilled to get a smart, strong-armed, drop back passer with a great attitude. Cam Newton may be the starter coming into the season, but expect Jones to get some reps at some point once he learns the offense. Drafting Jones could signal the beginning of a new dynasty in New England.