The first round of the 2018 NFL Draft brought us plenty of drama and intrigue with just a little bit of history. It started when the Cleveland Browns took quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick.
“There are those people who are in your corner no matter what, you can’t do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And then there are those people that no matter what you do they are going to dislike you and that’s not going to change.” – Brett Favre #DraftEve #MMO …see behind the scenes footage Friday in episode 8 on @nextlevelseries #BehindBaker
While rumors circulated earlier in the day that the Browns were leaning toward Mayfield, it was a shocking pick nonetheless, as most pundits ranked Mayfield well below the quarterback trio of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen. But Browns GM John Dorsey went with his gut and tapped Mayfield as the team’s quarterback of the future.
Speaking of Rosen and Allen, they were the focal points of draft night trades. First, the Bills moved up to 7th overall to take Allen, despite drama earlier in the day when offensive tweets made by Allen years ago were made public. But that did not stop Buffalo from making him their franchise quarterback.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals did the same with Rosen, trading up to 10th overall to get him. With Rosen’s selection, this became the first draft to have four quarterbacks taken within the first 10 picks in NFL history.
Of course, it’s important not to forget about the fifth and final quarterback taken in the first round, former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson. The Ravens drafted tight end Hayden Hurst 25th overall and then traded with the Eagles to get the final pick of the first round, which they used to take Jackson. Joe Flacco appears to be in decline, and while he may still have another decent year or two left in him, the Ravens clearly feel as if Jackson could eventually be Flacco’s successor.
The opening night of the draft also took on a bit of a family feel with brothers Tremaine and Terrell Edmunds both having their names called. It was the first time in NFL history two brothers were selected in the first round of the same draft. Of course, after sharing a household growing up and playing alongside one another at Virginia Tech, the brothers will be on different teams next season. Tremaine, a linebacker who was the 16th overall pick, will play for the Bills. Meanwhile, Terrell, a safety who went 28th overall, went to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
However, Thursday’s biggest highlight may have been the man who called Terrell’s name, former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. Shazier officially announced his retirement from football last week following a spinal contusion he suffered during a game in December. However, Shazier showed the world just how far he’s come in his recovery by walking across the stage at AT&T Stadium to announce Pittsburgh’s draft pick. To call the moment inspirational would be a drastic understatement.
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) April 27, 2018
photos via Instagram