The draft serves as a point of departure for hundreds of college prospects set to start their NFL careers.
Hope abounds for the league's newest players, but not everyone is smiling. Plenty of veterans are about to lose their jobs to more talented rookies -- unless you're on a team that failed to fill needs or land the best available players.
The Eagles did fine in the first three rounds, but they also swung for the fences and whiffed on their attempt to trade up to the top the of the draft for Marcus Mariota. Along the way, quarterback Sam Bradford and talented young defensive players Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin were dangled as trade bait. How are those players going to feel about Chip Kelly, knowing he views them as disposable commodities? Then again, maybe we're overthinking it. -- Chris Wesseling
Titans QB Zach Mettenberger
All that pre-draft white noise about the Titans adoring Zach Mettenberger means zero in the end. With the arrival of Marcus Mariota, Mettenberger's journey as an NFL starter in Tennessee is over before it began. His camp insists Zach didn't ask for a trade, but starting over somewhere else would make sense.
Opinions on Mettenberger's play are all over the map. Around The NFL's squad of writers can't agree on what he is under center, but he's intriguing enough to draw attention from another team if the Titans were willing to move him. With coach Ken Whisenhunt tying his fortunes to Mariota, Mettenberger is a comprehensive afterthought in Nashville. -- Marc Sessler
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
In a year or two, I could look tremendously foolish. Jameis Winston may be an incredible quarterback and he may very well be the next Ben Roethlisberger. But if I'm the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, how am I overlooking the player that has turned the ball over less, completed more of his passes and is more athletic? Sometimes we over think things atop the draft and sometimes we don't. Until we see them in an NFL uniform -- and Winston has a far better supporting cast to start -- we'll never know. That's the thing about any of these players, but to also trade up into the second round to grab an offensive lineman that played college football at Division III Hobart, it just seems a little puzzling. In a draft that was not lauded for its offensive line talent, Tampa Bay is starting a rookie quarterback with turnover issues in front of two second-round offensive linemen that are also rookies. Like I've said before, I could be wrong about this pick. There's a good chance I'm wrong about this pick. But pressed for a gut instinct, I would have gone in another direction. -- Conor Orr
St. Louis Rams
A little nervous about the Todd Gurley pick. Having seen the impact of rookies missing OTA's up close, it might be difficult for him to get off to a fast start. Gurley is also in the first post-ACL year, which a lot of NFL players often say is the hardest. There's still some hesitancy and a feeling like they're running in slow motion. Gurley is an exceptional athlete and may not hit this lag, but what if he does? What's the plan? Nick Foles is going to have to make enough plays on his own to keep this offense moving. -- Conor Orr
Veterans who wanted to get traded
The San Diego Chargers were never particularly interested in trading Philip Rivers. He learned that he was staying in San Diego before the draft even started. The Minnesota Vikings insisted that Adrian Peterson wasn't getting dealt, and stuck true to their words. Now his agent wants more money. The draft ended with Eagles coach Chip Kelly shooting a missive at guard Evan Mathis. Ultimately, this was an NFL Draft relatively scarce on big fireworks. That was a shame for fans and veterans who were hoping for new teams. -- Gregg Rosenthal
Post-Draft Know-It-Alls (pretty much all of us)
While we thank you for reading all of our cogent analysis of this year's draft class, try to keep in mind the famous quote from famed Hollywood screenwriter and novelist William Goldman: "Nobody knows anything." We can study game footage, pore over combine and Pro Day results and gobble up every bit of post-mortem analysis, but we won't truly find out which teams nailed their draft class (and which ones soiled themselves) until these guys get on the field. Even then, it could take a period of years before we know if that college hotshot will thrive at the game's highest level. Jameis Winston could be Andrew Luck. He could be JaMarcus Russell. Those who are the most sure either way are the individuals you should view with the most suspicion. -- Dan Hanzus