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Winners & losers after day 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft

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The Browns surprised many by taking Baker Mayfield at 1, Josh Rosen fell farther than some imagined he would, and the Saints maybe spent too much on a player with a high ceiling - who are the winners and losers after the first day of the draft?

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The draft is officially in full swing and it just feels so good to be able to discuss something a little more solidified than another mock draft.

Winners

Cleveland Browns

John Dorsey and Hue Jackson, coming off an 0-16 season, really have nowhere else to go but up. Step one is securing the quarterback position, which they were able to do with the drafting of Baker Mayfield with the first overall selection and Denzel Ward with the fourth (which some may consider a reach but he fills a need and is widely considered the best cover corner in the draft). Honestly, I am of the school of thought that as long as one of these picks wasn't Josh Allen then they’d be just fine after day one.

Arizona Cardinals

In Josh Rosen’s mind he was the best quarterback in this draft class and he strikes me as someone who you don’t want to upset, so you better believe that it is now his mission to make everyone who passed on him regret that decision. Rosen is considered the most pro-ready quarterback in his class and the fact that he fell all the way to pick ten may be attributed to durability and “attitude” concerns. The Cardinals may have found the future face of their franchise and it only cost them two extra picks (3rd round & 5th round picks).

San Francisco 49ers

The selection of Mike McGlinchey signals the investment of protecting another investment - and it makes sense if you consider the facts that Trent Brown is a free agent after the 2018 season and Joe Staley is not getting any younger. McGlinchey is tall (6’8”) and is an impressive run-blocker, so he fits the mold of what coach Kyle Shanahan wants in an offensive lineman. I know it’s already been one year of seeing how this regime operates but it is so refreshing to see a front office have a plan and a vision in putting a team together and stick to it.

Atlanta Falcons

Do you remember the last time the Falcons drafted a receiver from Alabama in the 1st round? That worked out pretty well. This time around it’s pretty different circumstances but nobody in Atlanta is complaining. Calvin Ridley essentially fell into their laps and they did the absolute right thing by adding him to the fold, which just about guarantees them to have one of the top offenses in 2018. This just isn't fair.

Baltimore Ravens

Tight end Hayden Hurst is an okay pick but what really sold me on the Ravens’ day 1 haul was Lamar Jackson. The former Heisman Trophy winner has had a lot of mixed scouting reports all throughout the draft process and now finds himself in a pretty favorable position. Joe Flacco only has a few seasons left in him so this is the perfect opportunity for Jackson to learn the game and work on his mechanics before it’s his time to take over the reigns and show all his detractors how wrong they were about him.

Losers

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen could very well pan out to be a decent starting quarterback but I personally would not have spent a high first rounder on him, let alone give up two 2nd round draft picks to move up for him when Josh Rosen is still on the board and the likes of Lamar Jackson, Kyle Lauletta, and even Mason Rudolph are available later on. The addition of AJ McCarron this offseason takes some pressure of him but color me skeptical about this panning out in the long run.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s not that I don't think Vita Vea will be a productive player in the NFL, but I value Derwin James and even Minkah Fitzpatrick higher than I do Vita Vea. Tampa Bay had traded back from the 7th pick with Buffalo and my feeling is that they could have still selected a defensive lineman (Da’Ron Payne or Taven Bryan) if they traded back once more, but this is why I’m not working in a front office for a team in the NFL.

New Orleans Saints

Is Marcus Davenport worth the 14th overall selection plus a 1st rounder in 2019? Time will tell, but to give up so much for a player who still has a lot of room to grow has a lot of fans and those involved in the league skeptical. I had a hunch that it could have been Lamar Jackson and New Orleans was trying to leap-frog the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers, who may also be in the markets for an heir-apparent to their respective quarterbacks. Instead, the Saints took a gamble on a quintessential boom-or-bust player.

Seattle Seahawks

I like Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State, I really do - just not in the first round, and not to the Seattle Seahawks. This is a team that still has holes on the defensive side of the ball and what seems to be a wealth of running backs already on the roster, so you’d think that the pick here would've been to fill a need. I mean, there have been those who have spoken highly of Penny - so much so that they say he’s a perennial Pro Bowl player-in-the-making - it just feels like this was a bit of a reach given the circumstances.

Pittsburgh Steelers

I know I wasn't alone in being thrown off by the Steelers selecting Terrell Edmunds (brother of Tremaine Edmunds) with the 28th pick. As a safety he does fill a need for Pittsburgh but one could argue that that need could've been filled during the second day of the draft - especially with the likes of Justin Reid, Ronnie Harrison, and Jessie Bates III still in play. Ben Roethlisberger’s future remains uncertain and Lamar Jackson would have been a nice fit here but Edmunds did perform well late in the draft process and eventually earned himself a nice payday.