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NFL Draft Decoding

NFL draft about to get under way.

The fans scream NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Name as he steps up to the podium. For the past three months, NFL fans have been waiting for this moment. Countless mock drafts, predictions, and implications from the so-called experts hang in the balance as the fans, media, and players finally get the draft underway. Despite some obvious inferences on who will go number one overall, the NFL draft is characterized by the fact that the intrigue comes with the quarterbacks and where they will fall in this year’s draft. Caleb Williams, Jaden Daniels, Drake Maye, JJ McCarthy, Micheal Penix Jr. and Bo Nix, had all been mocked somewhere in the first to second round, however, nobody can truly prepare for what will happen on draft day. 

The Bears made the obvious first pick. After trading Justin Fields to the Steelers for a box of cookies, it was clearly the decision by Chicago GM Ryan Poles to go in a different direction with Caleb Williams. The USC and former Oklahoma player soon followed Lincoln Riley to the bright lights of LA and has become one of the most skillful, yet also most polarizing players in the draft process. However, if everything goes as planned, the Quarterback should be Patrick Mahomes-esque in the NFL with his play-style. It should also be noted that Willimas is coming into a position that has a support system around him with Pro Bowl wide receivers Keenan Allen and DJ Moore, along with newly drafted wide receiver Rome Odunze from Washington at pick nine. It should be interesting to see how Williams’ career unfolds.

As stated in the opening, the topic was the quarterbacks heading into the year’s draft. At picks two and three it was a thought that the Commanders or Patriots would trade down to gain draft capital to a QB-needy team. However, both felt content to stay where they were at two and three, with the Commanders drafting Daniels and the Patriots taking Drake Maye. The most interesting quarterback draft pick however has to be Micheal Penix Jr. going to the Falcons at eight. Despite signing Kirk Cousins to a massive four-year, 100+ million dollar contract, the Falcons went with the oldest QB in the first round with Penix turning 24 this year. It all was a bit head-scratching with even Kirk Cousins himself reportedly being blindsided by the move. There was also a video where the Falcons GM was trying to explain to the Falcons owner, Arther Blank, why they decided to go that route. With that being the shock of the draft, the other two QB selections still felt relatively normal with the Vikings trading up to get Michigan QB JJ McCarthy, and the Broncos going with a bit of a reach, although a needed reach with Oregon QB Bo Nix at 12.

The rest of the draft could be summed up in a couple of trades and draft picks that made teams make certain moves for the future. The Seahawks took the first defensive player to go off the board, Laiatu Latu from UCLA. This was surprising as defense seemed to be an afterthought in the first round. Along with the lack of defense, a couple of trades permeated the back half of the first round, with the Vikings trading up with the Jaguars to draft Alabama defensive end Dallas Turner. The Jaguars also gained significant draft capital and are still getting wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. Other trades included the Lions trading up for Terrion Arnold and the Cowboys trading back and still getting Tyler Guyton. 

Overall, this draft provides an intriguing angle into next season, as teams have drafted risks and safe bets as we get to see how this draft class will pan out.

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About the Contributor
Julian Zolenski
Julian Zolenski, Staff Writer
Julian Zolenski is a Senior at Forest Hills Eastern. This is his second year being on the Hawk Herald Staff. Julian enjoys a number of different things about his busy life including working as a line cook, playing with his dog, and hanging out with his friends. Right now Julian has a dream of being a Sports Commentator. He intends to accomplish this goal by majoring in Broadcast Journalism in his college future. Julian knows this is a lofty goal, but he will not let anything stop him from accomplishing it.   
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