The first round of the 2018 NFL draft is over and it was a spectacular one that will be talked about for quite a while. Five quarterbacks taken, numerous trades, and in the middle of it all a New England Patriots team that was surprisingly inactive – at least when it comes to moving around the board. Instead, the team opted to stay put at both the 23rd and the 31st overall selection and invest in two available players.
Let's quickly recap day the action.
Quarterbacks come off the board early – and late
The Cleveland Browns started off the draft by making Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield the first overall pick. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner would be the first of four quarterbacks to go within the first 10 picks of the draft – something that had never happened before in NFL history. Mayfield was joined by Sam Darnold (#3, New York Jets), Josh Allen (#7, Buffalo Bills), and Josh Rosen (#10, Arizona Cardinals). The speed was not held up as the next quarterback – Lamar Jackson – went off the board with the final pick of the round.
Trades galore in the middle portion of the round
The first trade of the day happened at pick number seven: The Bills traded up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to put themselves in a position to draft Allen. Three picks later, the Cardinals moved up to pick another quarterback. The most surprising of today's trades then happened at 14: The New Orleans Saints traded three draft picks – including a 2019 first-rounder – to the Green Bay Packers to draft defensive edge Marcus Davenport.
The trading was far from done: Two picks after the Saints' selection, the Bills were on the move up again to acquire linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The Packers also moved up two selections later to bring in cornerback Jaire Alexander before the Titans moved up to pick 22 and by extension linebacker Rashaan Evans. And the final trade of the day involved the Baltimore Ravens who selected the aforementioned Jackson after trading back into the 32nd spot.
New England goes to the Georgia well
The Patriots, considering the draft capital they had (and still have) at their disposal, were expected to be quite active as well. However, the team opted to stay put twice and instead invest in two players from Georgia: versatile offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn at 23 and all-around running back Sony Michel at 31. While at least one defensive pick or a trade were expected, New England stuck to its board and bolstered its offensive depth.
Two defensive stars fall all the way out of round one
A few weeks ago, Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst and Boston College edge rusher Harold Landry were considered locks to be drafted in the first half of round one – both were among the best players at their respective positions and true difference makers at the collegiate levels. However, medical concerns had them slip all the way down and out of round one. Expect the duo to come off the board early on day two.
There were no big surprises but a few minor ones
New England adding a running back certainly can be seen as a surprise and it was far from the only one: From the Saints paying a king's ransom to invest in an edge rusher (and not a quarterback, as was speculated shortly after the trade), to the Seahawks making Rashaad Penny the second runner off the board, to Tremaine Edmunds and Derwin James falling to slots 16 and 17, respectively, the first round saw some unexpected developments take place.