2018 NFL Draft: 10 quick thoughts

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 6: Rashaan Evans
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 6: Rashaan Evans /

Round 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft is over, now what?

That was a crazy first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, filled with a lot of unexpected picks and tension. The Tennessee Titans have to be pretty excited with how it panned out, but we will get to that in a second.

Here are the 10 most important takeaways from the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

1. The Tennessee Titans got their guy.

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-Jon Robinson is secretive. I mean really secretive. So much so that he broke one of his major patterns of the last two years, and drafted Alabama LB Rashaan Evans without having him in for a pre-draft visit.

The Titans traded up ahead of the Patriots, fearing that they saw him as Dont’a Hightower 2.0 and they may have been right based off of local reports:

The Titans need depth at EDGE badly, but the only position they really lost a big chunk of snaps at last year was ILB. They addressed that with Evans and value his versatility as a guy who can rush the passer some, as well as play a traditional ILB role.

I had a 1st round grade on him, but it was a little disappointing that they passed over Harold Landry. There are rumors that he may be more injured than we know though:

2. A lot of QBs are off the board, but don’t expect that to stop soon.

-The Titans needed QBs to go off the board early to force some good defensive players down. While that kind of happened (4 drafted before the Titans picked), Lamar Jackson’s fall was a little surprising.

Still, there are probably two more QBs who could come off the board (Mason Rudolph and Kyle Lauletta) before the Titans pick again. Will their top available EDGE fall too?

3. The Indianapolis Colts just don’t get it.

-I understand, everyone wants to be in on a guy like Quenton Nelson. If he busts, no one will fault you because everyone liked him.. But if he hits…does it matter?

Don’t get me wrong, offensive line is very important but the Titans had two UDFA guards two years ago when Tennessee had one of the best offensive lines in football. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a talented IOL in the NFL.

So if you hit, great but you are probably overpaying for a need you can find an answer for on Day 3. On top of that, you miss the chance to hit on someone like Fitzpatrick or Smith at much more important positions.

4. Some good EDGE still left

-As of right now, here are my top EDGEs left that deserve to be Day 2 picks:

1. Harold Landry (injury concern)

2. Hercules Mata’afa

3. Josh Sweat

4. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

5. Lorenzo Carter

6. Kemoko Turray

7. Duke Ejiofor

8. Uchenna Nwosu

That is pretty deep when you consider it is just 25 picks until the Titans are on the clock again.

5. Injuries could push elite talents to the Titans

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-Injuries are always hard to judge, but if Tennessee can actually clear Harold Landry and/or Maurice Hurst, then they will have a chance at a top-15 type players.

Landry would fill a huge need for the Titans, while Hurst is just an outstanding football player that could end up being a blue chip talent you can build a DL around.

6. What about those WRs?

-It was weird, but not completely unexpected that only 2 WRs went in round 1. There are still a lot of interesting options for the Titans if they decide that they want to look at that position at some point.

Guys like Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, Anthony Miller, Micheal Gallup, and DJ Chark all have clearly defined roles in the NFL, even though they may need some polish. If Tennessee decides that they need someone else at WR, there could be some talent available.

7. Time for a trade down?

-The Tennessee Titans probably had to jump the New England Patriots in the 2018 NFL Draft, or they were going to be in a position they really didn’t like. When they made that move, they turned a 4th round pick into a 6th round pick.

I would imagine that Jon Robinson is praying that there is a run on OL, QBs, TEs, and WRs high tomorrow so he can make a move down and get a 3rd round pick or something like that. Maybe a team like New England looking to jump the 49ers and Steelers for a linebacker?

8. Production over everything?

-For a while, the working assumption was that starts and a personal connection/private interviews were musts for Jon Robinson in round one. While they may still be, production is the big winner here.

In terms of athleticism, Malik Jefferson was a better linebacker than Evans and Josh Sweat was the top athlete left on the board. It was Evans and his production that seemingly sold the Titans.

9. No room for Shaquem Griffin?

-I don’t know how you classify Griffin, but however you did would sure sound a lot like what you would say for Evans in terms of how you play them. Both would be ILB/EDGE hybrids a lot like Dont’a Hightower in New England, right?

For as much as I love Griffin, I just don’t know if he could play enough to justify the pick that it will take to get him. Same for someone like Gernard Avery who I really like.

10. Best options left

The Titans have moderate or high needs left: EDGE, WR and S. Here are the top-5 left at each spot.


1. Harold Landry (injury concern), BC

2. Hercules Mata’afa, Washington State

3. Josh Sweat, FSU

4. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma

5. Lorenzo Carter, UGA


1. Courtland Sutton, SMU

2. Anthony Miller, Memphis

3. Christian Kirk, TAMU

4. Michael Gallup, CSU

5. D.J. Chark, LSU


1. Justin Reid, Stanford

2. Ronnie Harrison, Alabama

3. Jessie Bates, Wake Forrest

4. Marcus Allen, Penn State

5. Dane Cruikshank, Arizona State