The NFL Draft is all about opportunities. Of course 254 athletes get the opportunity to hear their name called over the roar of boos at Roger Goodell, but the best opportunity is for the analysts and talking heads to do what they do best: speculate wildly.
After an endless barrage of mock drafts and scouting reports, the actual draft comes around and reminds everyone on the outside that we have close to no idea what’s going on.
Alongside the New York Football Giants taking Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick, D.K. Metcalf’s slide into the second round was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend. No one had Greg Little and A.J. Brown going before Metcalf.
Metcalf seemed to be a top-10 pick after his majestic showing at the combine and viral photo, but he dropped to the 64th overall pick from the Seattle Seahawks amid questions of his versatility. Seattle could be a good fit for Metcalf, with Russell Wilson on a fresh new contract and No. 1 receiver Doug Baldwin considering retirement. The writing was on the wall with that video of Metcalf walking into an interview room to meet Pete Carroll shirtless, causing Carroll to immediately rip his own shirt off.
The Seahawks can give Metcalf an opportunity to do what he does best. They love to run play-action and get their receivers to run underneath Wilson’s deep passes 30 to 40 yards downfield. There are not many receivers in the draft class that can win in those situations like D.K.
Back down at the line of scrimmage, Greg Little came off the board early in the second round with the 37th pick by the Carolina Panthers. His work now will go towards protecting quarterback Cam Newton from the pass-rushers of the NFC South, following the footsteps of fellow former Rebel and Panther Michael Oher.
There were rumblings about Little’s work ethic and edge prior to the draft, which may be the reason he was picked in the second round and not the first, but a huge, athletic tackle with a high ceiling will always be something NFL teams take a chance on.
A.J. Brown will join Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis in the Tennessee Titans’ passing attack after being drafted in the second round with the 51st pick. The Titans don’t have many big names across their receiver depth chart, so A.J. could contribute immediately for that team trying to get back into the playoffs.
Dawson Knox will head up north after being picked 96th overall by the Buffalo Bills. Knox could be a steal for the Bills, but it will be interesting to see how they use him with Josh Allen under center. Knox didn’t hesitate to get on board, posting a video of his friend jumping through a table in true Bills Mafia fashion.
One small surprise was seeing offensive lineman Javon Patterson go to the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round. He’ll be joined by Chad Kelly, who was signed on Sunday according to the Athletic.
Ken Webster was drafted by the New England Patriots, who have a knack for turning late-round picks into solid NFL players.
Jordan Ta’amu and Zedrick Woods were not drafted, but Ta’amu is reportedly getting interest from the Raiders and Texans while Woods signed a deal with the Jaguars. Wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Next up for these players will be rookie training camp in mid-July. Players like A.J. Brown and Greg Little will have a basically guaranteed spot on the 53-man roster, but others will need to show the coaches something in training camp and preseason to earn the spot.