Texans: Trading Up for Will Anderson Jr.
I mentioned this trade-up in my previous article regarding the most impactful rookie classes. Please make no mistake; I believe Anderson will have a huge rookie year and possibly be one of the best in this class. The issue is the extreme capital the Texans gave up acquiring him. The Texans moved up from 12th to 3rd overall to select Anderson, giving up their 33rd overall pick alongside their 1st and 3rd round picks next year. Essentially, Anderson now must be good enough to justify the four players the Texans could’ve drafted instead. Their new head coach DeMeco Ryans supposedly pushed for this trade, as GM Nick Caserio wanted C.J. Stroud second overall. The Texans got both of their guys but made a huge move to do so, but I don’t think their roster is in the right place to make that move. They had two first-round picks the next year but gave up their own instead of the Browns. The Texans need to make massive improvements this year or they have likely given up a top-10 pick next year. It may not have been worth it if Anderson isn’t a superstar.
Photo Cred: AL.com (Anderson Jr.)
Commanders: Drafting Emmanuel Forbes Jr. Over Christian Gonzalez
The Commanders’ selection of Emmanuel Forbes 16th overall screams fit over talent level. Forbes is a good player who projects well in the Commanders’ defensive system. The problem with this pick is that the Commanders selected him over another CB prospect, one who was higher rated across the board: Christian Gonzalez. Forbes has serious size concerns, weighing under 200 pounds at 6 ft. On the other hand, Gonzalez has all the size, speed, and athletic ability one could want from the CB position. Forbes is a better fit for what the Commanders wish to run and likely a better day-one starter. However, passing up Gonzalez allowed the Patriots to select him one pick later. Bill Belichick is one of the greatest defensive minds in NFL history. Allowing him to develop Gonzalez with his physical tools may mean the Commanders will back on this draft pick with extreme disappointment.
Photo Cred: Washington Post (Ron Rivera and Forbes Jr.)
Bills: Not Drafting an OT
The Bills are a team clearly trying to win a Super Bowl. They have one of the best QBs in the league and a slam-dunk roster surrounding him. Their RT spot is one position where they lack or could still use massive improvement. Their third-round pick from 2021, Spencer Brown, has not been a very good starter thus far in his career. The Bills’ o-line has dragged them down recently, but investments in G Connor McGovern and G O’Cyrus Torrence should help improve things. Brown may still be the biggest question mark on the Bills’ entire roster, and the team is seemingly banking on a year-three leap from him to become a viable starter. They didn’t draft any OTs to compete for that spot, only addressing it by bringing in OT Brandon Shell from the Miami Dolphins. The only problem is he’s now contemplating retirement… If Brown doesn’t take that next step, the Bills’ o-line may not take one either, and this unit could cost the team the ring they so desperately desire.
Photo Cred: BuffaLowDown (Brown)
49ers: Taking a Third-Round Kicker
For a team as stacked as the 49ers, they have an oddly high number of draft misses. Look no further than Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw, and all their third-round running backs. Taking kicker Jake Moody 99th overall, just their second pick in the draft, screams a terrible process as well. GM John Lynch made this pick to find a cheap replacement for longtime kicker Robbie Gould. The reliability of kickers taken high in the draft has been weary at best. For a team with question marks on the o-line and in the secondary, making a sure downgrade at kicker doesn’t seem like the best selection. It’s worked out for some teams in the past, but for others it turned into Roberto Aguayo. Only time will tell how this one turns out for the 49ers.
Photo Cred: NinersWire – USA Today