NFL Draft Recap

Blake Haffer, reporter

The 2018 NFL Draft began Thursday, April 26 and ended Saturday, April 28, and it is safe to say there were quite a few surprises and memorable moments in the event this year.

Representatives from every NFL team, players with invites to the event and many fans gathered at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas to watch the NFL Draft in person.  This marked the first time that the actual NFL Draft was held at an NFL stadium where fans could sit both on the field and pack the seats in the stands. This year, 22 college prospect attended the event in hopes of being drafted into the NFL.  This list of players included the last two Heisman Trophy Award winner Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield; cornerback Denzel Ward; quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen; as well as one-handed linebacker Shaquem Griffin. A few Hall of Fame players also attended the event and had the opportunity to announce a team’s pick in the later rounds of the draft.

“I think it was really cool how they actually hosted the draft in AT&T Stadium,” sophomore Carter Fetterhoff said.

With the very first pick in the draft, the Cleveland Browns selected who they hope will be their quarterback of the future in 2017 Heisman Trophy Award winner Baker Mayfield.  He was followed by running back Saquon Barkley who went to the Giants, quarterback Sam Darnold who went to the Jets, cornerback Denzel Ward who also went to the Browns, and defensive end Bradley Chubb who rounded out the top five.  Throughout the entirety of the event, teams made a total of 38 trades involving draft picks in order to either move up to secure the player they like, or move back to get more draft picks if a player they liked was going later in the draft process.  The Green Bay Packers were the most active in round one as they traded back from their original spot at 14, and then back up to 18 where they snagged Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander and were still able to keep the 2019 first round pick from the original trade down.

“I personally don’t think Baker Mayfield was the best pick for the Browns at number one overall because Saquon Barkley is probably the best athlete in the whole draft,” junior Cam Holst said.

This year’s draft was full of moments that many fans and people around the NFL thought were surprising and unbelievable, one of which occured when former Philadelphia Eagles kicker David Akers walked onto the stage in the second round to announce his former team’s pick.  He made comments congratulating the Eagles on winning the Super Bowl and then calling out the Cowboys, Dallas’ home team, by saying “Hey Dallas. The last time you were in the Super Bowl, these draft picks weren’t born.” Another moment was more of a meaningful one when one-hander linebacker Shaquem Griffin was drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks, the team that his twin brother Shaquill Griffin plays for.  They will be together playing for the same team, something they had also done in college at the University of Central Florida.

“It’s really cool how the Griffin twins will be back playing together in the NFL,” sophomore Navon Richmond said.