Broncos won the draft, thanks to a need for quarterbacks and this year's once-in-a-generation running back, which allowed
Bradley Chubb to fall to them at No. 5. I mean, if you walk away with the best player in the draft in the five-hole, then you have to feel rather fortunate. To put it mildly. And then they brought in
Courtland Sutton, who will be a stud receiver for years. And running back
Royce Freeman is going to be great for them. I was worried about the
Broncos when they brought in
Case Keenum, but they did a great job putting themselves back in the AFC West title race.
I thought the
Giants had far and away the best draft. Their first two picks -- running back
Saquon Barkley, drafted second overall, and guard
Will Hernandez, drafted at No. 34 overall -- were among the top-15-ranked players in
the Hot 150 list I released before the draft, and they should both be instant starters. With Barkley, Hernandez and guard
Nate Solder (who signed as a free agent) added to an offense that already included
Sterling Shepard and
Evan Engram, the
Giants' offense looks so good, it should be illegal -- it should be just about unstoppable.
Eli Manning -- who played much better in 2017 than New York's 3-13 record suggested -- will have much more success in 2018. This team looks capable of making the playoffs this year. As for the rest of the picks, edge rusher
Lorenzo Carter (Round 3, No. 66) and defensive tackle
B.J. Hill (Round 3, No. 69) will be starters for a long time to come, possibly beginning as early as 2018.
Giants nabbed a developmental QB in
Kyle Lauletta (Round 4, No. 108). You have to take your hat off to what this team did.
You can call me a homer for saying the
Packers, but even an objective analyst would admit new GM Brian Gutekunst crushed his first outing. The
Packers reshaped their CB room, added much-needed LB and OL depth and drafted three size-speed wideouts to compete for their Nos. 3 and 4 roles. If they're lucky, one or two of those receivers will turn out to be a diamond in the rough, much like
Jamaal Williams and
Aaron Jones were at RB last year (when the
Packers employed a similar strategy, drafting three young rushers to compete). Oh, and they fleeced the
Saints for a first-round pick next year as well. The
Packers helped their championship chances and didn't compromise future draft classes.
I feel like very few people talked about what the
Buccaneers did, but their draft was a nice complement to their work in free agency. Adding
Vita Vea to a revamped defensive front should pay immediate dividends, while a pair of corners in the second round add depth to their defensive backfield. Throw in
Ronald Jones II as a more than adequate replacement for
Doug Martin, and Tampa should compete in the NFC South in 2018.
There are a number of teams that "won" the draft, but I like what the
Bears did. They got who I believe will be the Defensive Rookie of the Year in
Roquan Smith. Drafting offensive lineman
James Daniels in the second round allows them to move
Cody Whitehair to his natural position at guard, thus solidifying the inside of the offensive line. In addition, drafting receiver
Anthony Miller gives them another weapon for Mitch Trubisky, which has clearly been one of their primary goals this offseason.
Denver Broncos general manager John Elway snagged the best pass rusher in the draft in
Bradley Chubb, who now gets to line up alongside the best pass rusher in the NFL in
Von Miller. The
Broncos also picked up one wide receiver who could've gone in the first round (second-round pick Courtland Sutton) and another who runs great routes (fourth-rounder DaeSean Hamilton). Add in a potential starter at running back in
Royce Freeman and a couple blue-collar picks (linebacker
Josey Jewell and tight end Troy Fumagalli), and Denver fans should be excited. Yes, a quarterback of the future would've been nice. But nobody did better than Denver over the weekend.
In two trade-downs, the
Ravens were able to draft 12 players over the weekend. They started by drafting a tight end in
Hayden Hurst and finished the first round by trading back in for quarterback
Lamar Jackson. That move was a huge commitment to Jackson's style of play and a clear-cut sign of the
Ravens' offensive future. It makes me wonder whether the choice to draft Jackson came from Ozzie Newsome, who is in his final season as the team's GM, or his successor, Eric DeCosta. Either way, Baltimore knocked this draft out of the park, with eight of its 12 picks being offensive players -- an area the team needed to bolster.