At FanWide, we love the NFL Draft because it allows for fan clubs to reunite and get fired up for the next NFL season. Every Spring, just as the NFL season starts to leave the minds of heartbroken fans, the NFL Draft comes to provide new hope. If you missed the action from Dallas this past weekend, read about some of the important and exciting picks made by some teams.
A whopping five quarterbacks were drafted in the First Round of the 2018 NFL Draft. This has not happened since the 1999 NFL Draft when Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and Cade McNown were selected in the first round. The Cleveland Browns selected QB Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma with the first overall pick. However, Mayfield’s college football career started at Texas Tech in 2013 where he made the team as a walk-on. After impressively earning the starting QB job at Texas Tech he transferred to Oklahoma in 2014. However, his transfer was due to scholarship issues, not for football. The Sooners football staff had no idea Mayfield was transferring until Mayfield enrolled at OU. Sure enough by 2015 Mayfield had once again walked-on to the team and won the starting spot through his hard work and grit. Mayfield is the first former walk-on player to be drafted with the number one pick. Browns faithful are hoping Mayfield is the answer to their desperate need for a franchise QB.
Out of the five quarterbacks selected in the first round, Darnold was regarded by experts as the most complete QB in the 2018 NFL Draft. Check out a video of the New York Jets 2018 Draft Party at MetLife Stadium when Darnold was picked. He was selected third overall by the New York Jets. Darnold played college ball at USC. Perhaps the thing that kept him from going higher in the draft was his 2017 season slump. In 2016, he threw 31 touchdowns with only 9 interceptions. However, in 2017, threw 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Despite this, the 6-foot 4, 220-pound QB looks to be a promising leader that the Jets need. Also, learning from veteran Josh McCown will be an invaluable boost for the success of Darnold in the NFL. Jets fans should be optimistic about ending their eight-year playoff drought in the 2018-2019 NFL season.
Undefeated and self-proclaimed National Champions, University of Central Florida Knights star linebacker, Shaquem Griffin, was drafted 141st overall by the Seattle Seahawks. Seems normal right? Seahawks are looking to add some depth to their aging Legion of Boom. What’s the big deal? The big deal is Shaquem Griffin is missing his left hand. He was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome so Griffin’s fingers on his left hand never fully developed. As a result, his hand was surgically amputated when he was a child. Despite this seemingly large disadvantage, Shaquem earned himself a scholarship to play at UCF. Proving more people wrong, at the 2018 NFL Draft Combine, Griffin ran the fastest 40-yard dash by any linebacker and completed 20 reps on the bench press. Griffin is the perfect addition to this Seattle defense. The icing on the cake is that Griffin gets to reunite with his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, who is a cornerback for the Seahawks.
Other notable events from the draft include 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson promising a Super Bowl to the city of Baltimore, Saquon Barkley joining the club of Ezekiel Elliot and Leonard Fournette of running backs drafted with a top 5 pick, and reigning Super Bowl Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles, drafting 6 foot 8, 346-pound all-star Australian rugby player, Jordan Mailata, with their last pick.
Now the NFL Draft weekend has come to a close. Fans can start getting pumped for the 2018-2019 season. Remember this fall when you are trying to find people to enjoy the game with, FanWide has you covered, connecting you with a fan club for any team in any city.