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Drafting the NFL stars for the future

Photo from the 2018 NFL Draft courtesy of Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Photo from the 2018 NFL Draft courtesy of Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Danny Beeck, Sports Editor

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With the dust from the NFL Draft finally settling, teams across the country are able to evaluate their current rosters and make some much needed changes. For the teams in the earlier positions, those changes were important.

The Cleveland Browns were on the clock first, and they surprised many people with the choice of Baker Mayfield. The shifty and competitive quarterback from Norman gets his shot at a potential starting role after being selected first overall.

Sticking with the Browns, Denzel Ward made a quick exit out of the green room after Cleveland snatched their Joe Haden replacement on the outside. Of the many improvements that the Browns made this draft, many analysts across the league aren’t being too kind to arguably the worst team in the league in the past few decades.

After a surprise pick of Mayfield, teams were left reeling when it comes to the next quarterback off the board. The next pick was sent to East Rutherford, with Sam Darnold shipping his bags across the country. Darnold seemed to be a no brainer as a first pick to many teams, but he also looks like the most “NFL ready” quarterback along with Josh Allen. Allen will be joining Darnold in the AFC East which could pit some of the top talent in college football this past season.

Josh Rosen went to the Cardinals in the 10th pick, and Lamar Jackson snuck into the first round after a surprise trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.

With the focus of many around the NFL on the quarterbacks, the wide receiver position was a need in which many teams circled on their draft board.

The Panthers and Falcons went wide out in the first round, choosing D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley, respectively. Moore is a much needed addition to the Panthers, as there is only one returning receiver who had more than 17 catches this past season.

Ridley is joined by Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu which could make Atlanta into one of the most explosive offenses in the entire league.

The defensive players were most definitely a hot commodity in this years draft, as always, and Alabama was once again in the spotlight. With Minkah Fitzpatrick, Da’Ron Payne, Rashaan Evans and Calvin Ridley (previously mentioned) all being taken in the first round.

Fitzpatrick is one of the biggest X-factors due to the fact that he could be lined up anywhere on the defense and still make an impact. Nicknamed “Coach Saban’s Son,” he is a leader in the locker room, and even more on the field.

Da’Ron Payne is yet another solid addition, especially to the Washington Redskins. As Saquon Barkley was grabbed by the New York Giants second overall, the Redskins need to boost their defensive line with Ezekiel Elliot, Jay Ajayi and now Barkley running at them.

Moving into some of the biggest surprises of the draft are the athletes that fell considerably. From Derwin James, Josh Jackson, Derrius Guice and even Nick Chubb, few analysts had these talents slipping so far down.

One of the biggest surprises for myself is Bo Scarbrough to the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round. Joining Elliott, the Cowboys will have one of the most ferocious backfields in the league. Losing both Jason Witten and Dez Bryant hurt though, and their draft was a let down after they were leap-frogged out of a position to get Dallas Goedert from South Dakota State.

The add of wide receiver Tavon Austin will certainly help out with their lack of speed, but Jerry Jones and his staff will have to buckle down and work to rebuild the targets for Dak Prescott.

All in all, the 2018 NFL Draft did not disappoint. With the talent and speed that is being injected into the NFL, this season could be one of the most intriguing to watch.

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Drafting the NFL stars for the future