Thirty years can be considered a lifetime in the world of professional sports. Consider the fact that thirty years ago, in 1989, only two quarterbacks passed for over 4,000 yards. Compare that to last season, which saw twelve signal callers eclipse 4,000, and it’d be safe to say we are talking about two completely different sports. The evolution of football is both undeniable and well-documented – teams pass more than ever, bone-jarring hits have been virtually eliminated due to rule changes in favor of player safety, and the every-down back who gets over 270 touches – ten in 1989 compared to just Ezekiel Elliot in 2018 – is a thing of the past. But what has this change in play done to how teams approach the draft, and specifically, the first two rounds of the draft, which are vital to a team’s growth and success down the road?
Last night was an absolute roller coaster for NFL fans – one the NFL world probably would have enjoyed ending a little more quickly, but still a great ride. The draft truly is a special event that gives fans across the country immense amount of hope for the upcoming season. Whether you are a team in rebuilding, or a team that may be one player away from hoisting the Lombardy trophy, the draft is always exciting. Last night had some eye-opening picks, some head scratchers, and everything in between. This is not a list of the five best players chosen last night. Rather, this list shows the five biggest picks that best pair an organization with a draftee, not without questions. The factors that go into this list are when the player was drafted, what the team had to do to draft him, and the overall fit of the player with his new team.
Three national championships in four years. Dozens of draft picks making millions of dollars in the NFL. The Alabama Crimson Tide, led by defensive gurus Nick Saban and his henchman Kirby Smart, have been without question the most dominating team in college football for the last five years. Viewed as the kings of college football, the Crimson Tide pride themselves on their defense. Generally speaking, they have been almost impossible to score against. However, the Alabama defense has been exposed the past two years against a certain type of offense- the hurry-up spread with a quarterback capable of evading defenders.