The discipline and good fortune that allowed Washington to stay at No. 15 overall before selectingDwayne Haskins there went against recent NFL norms. Entering Thursday night, 10 of the last 11 first-round picks at quarterback came via trades up in the draft, with the Browns' selection of Baker Mayfield at No. 1 last year being the only exception.
Washington Redskins:Dwayne Haskins has a lot of traits that translate to the pros. He's a highly accurate passer who can throw receivers open and showed a mature ability to see the entire field. (He also had a priceless reaction to the Giants drafting Daniel Jones over him.) There's an argument to be made that Haskins has similar skills to Kirk Cousins and Andy Dalton, two former acolytes of Redskins coach Jay Gruden, but with a bigger arm.
For any young quarterback, organizational cohesion and coaching continuity provide the best chance for success. Haskins inherits a situation in which Gruden (35-44-1 with one playoff appearance in five seasons at the helm) could be coaching to keep his job, and Haskins may not get a lot of time to develop. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah predicted that Haskins would beat out Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to start Week 1. Haskins may have been selected after Jones, but he's more likely to be thrown into the fray soon.
If Haskins is a long-term gambit, trading back into the first round to draft edge rusher Montez Sweat was the sign of a team wanting to get better now. If not for concerns about a heart condition (which was possibly misdiagnosed), Sweat may have gone in the top 10. That's why the Redskins risked giving up next year's second-round pick in order to move up to No. 26 overall to draft him. (NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported the Raiders were set to take Sweat at No. 27 if the Redskins didn't take him.)
Mike Maccagnan, Jets general manager: The Jets apparently didn't find value in the trade down in the top-10 that Maccagnan was looking for. But the GM picked up the top player on a lot of boards in defensive tackle Quinnen Williams without moving an inch from the No. 3 overall spot. Despite an otherwise shoddy draft record, Maccagnan has done a great job stopping the slides of other players at the top of the draft in Leonard Williams (No. 6 in 2015) and Jamal Adams (No. 6 in '17). Now the Jets have a new-school Williams Wall that could be hard for opposing runners to topple.
Mike Pettine, Packers defensive coordinator: GM Brian Gutekunst just can't stop building up the Green Bay defense. He piled up picks for Pettine during last year's draft, spent huge money to sign three starters in free agency, including two high-priced pass rushers (Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith), and then drafted another edge defender in Michigan's Rashan Gary with the No. 12 overall pick. (Just don't tell NFL.com's Gil Brandt it was a smart pick.)
With a second first-round pick in his pocket, surely Gutekunst would get some help for Aaron Rodgers, right? Nope -- he traded up with the Seahawks to snag Maryland safety Darnell Savage 21st overall. That's the fifth defensive back taken in the first two rounds over the last three years by the Packers. Perhaps the best weapon Rodgers can have will be only needing to score 20 points to win games.
Iowa tight ends: Seeing two Iowa tight ends drafted in the first round wasn't a shock. Seeing both T.J. Hockensen (No. 8 overall by the Lions) and Noah Fant (No. 20 overall by the Broncos) selected in the top 20, before a single wide receiver was taken, is a remarkable achievement for Kirk Ferentz's program. Hockensen will provide a much-needed dose of dynamism for the Lions' offense, but I'm even more excited about how Fant will fit into Denver's attack. GM John Elway did a nice job picking up extra draft capital (a second-rounder this year and a third-rounder in 2020) in moving down 10 spots before taking Fant. Without a lot of competition for targets in Denver, Fant is an extremely early dark-horse pick for Offensive Rookie of the Year as a catch-first tight end.
NFC West sizzle:Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen got a raw deal, but there's no denying Arizona will be one of the NFL's most fascinating teams from the jump, thanks to the tandem of No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray and new coach Kliff Kingsbury. The draft's No. 2 overall pick, Nick Bosa, will be trying to track Murray down twice a year as a member of the 49ers, while Russell Wilson and Murray's first matchup against each other comes in Week 4. Throw in the best NFC team of the decade (Seattle) and last year's NFC champions (the Los Angeles Rams), and there's no division with more juice than the NFC West.
Derek Carr, Raiders quarterback: The Raiders had three first-round picks and didn't show any interest in taking a quarterback. Instead, they helped beef up an intriguing offense for Carr by adding the draft's top running back in Alabama's Josh Jacobs (No. 24 overall), along with two more pieces to a defense (lineman Clelin Ferrell, No. 4 overall, and safety Johnathan Abram, No. 27 overall) that needed a lot of help.
Giants fans:Giants GM Dave Gettleman finally decided to replace Eli Manning with the poor man's Eli Manning. Perhaps Daniel Jones will pan out, and his previous relationship with Eli and Manning family sensei/Duke coach David Cutcliffe will help make the transition more natural. But Gettleman is ultimately staking his future on a quarterback who wasn't seen as a top-30 prospect by many. Gettleman has spoken often about not reaching for positional need, but it sure feels like he did that with this selection, one year after the team passed on current Jets quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 2 overall.
Gettleman also used the No. 17 overall pick (acquired from Cleveland in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade) on Clemson nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, then traded back into the first round at No. 30 for cornerback Deandre Baker. Those two picks will go a long way toward determining whether Gettleman's attempt at a Giants defensive turnaround is successful. The franchise will eventually rise or fall based on Jones' ability.
Jones struggled with accuracy and decisiveness in college and will have to prove a lot of doubters wrong at the pro level, including the inevitable ones in the crowd wearing Giants jerseys. He should be thankful this draft wasn't in Radio City Music Hall.
Josh Rosen, Cardinals quarterback: Leaving the desert (whenever that happens) may ultimately work out for the best for Rosen, but Thursday night had to sting. After wrapping up a three-day minicamp as the team's nominal "starter," Rosen was reportedly still in the dark regarding the Cardinals' plans as of Thursday afternoon. In the end, what I imagine was a gnawing fear for Rosen over the last few months came true. The same team that traded up to make Rosen the future with the 10th overall pick just one year ago gave up on him in the most public way possible. Let's just hope, for Rosen's sake, he finds a new home by the end of the weekend, because competing with Kyler Murray would be an even crueler fate than what happened Thursday.
Houston Texans: Everyone in the NFL knew the Texans desperately needed a tackle, and there was a lot of buzz they were willing to trade up to get one. As Thursday unfolded, it started to appear that the best pure pass protector in the entire draft (Andre Dillard) would fall to them at pick No. 23. Instead, the Eaglesmoved up one spot ahead of the Texans to take Jason Peters' eventual successor.
The other potential stolen player in Round 1 came when the Steelers moved up 10 spots to take linebacker Devin Bush at No. 10, one spot ahead of the Bengals. We may never know if the Bengals were set to take Bush -- coach Zac Taylor said in a press conference they were thrilled to land offensive lineman Jonah Williams -- but the Steelers may have picked up Ryan Shazier's replacement and hurt their AFC North rivals at the same time.