first_imgI thought about writing this column on the way the NFL handled going virtual for its draft that started Thursday and ended Saturday but decided against it for two reasons. The first was that there were surprisingly few technical difficulties, and it would be boring if I just wrote about everything that went right. The Jets are finally prioritizing Sam Darnold So in that spirit, I want to do the most archetypal recap of an NFL Draft possible: Here are my big takeaways from an intriguing weekend. It’s not just that the Packers traded up in the first round to take Jordan Love, a talented quarterback prospect who Green Bay is surely grooming to be its next franchise signal-caller. It’s that the Packers also did nothing to address their areas of need that would’ve made things easier on Rodgers and help them surpass the level they reached last year, when they were clearly outclassed by the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. That ended up being a lot of hooey, because the Dolphins did take Tagovailoa at five. Perhaps those reports were a smoke screen set up by Miami so it wouldn’t have to trade up to get its guy after unexpectedly winning its final two games of the season. Regardless, the selection shows that teams are willing to bet on game-breaking talent such as Tagovailoa’s despite the uncertainty. For three nights, it felt like football was back again, and clearly, the NFL landscape will look a little different next season, whenever that may come.  Rodgers is known for being a diva, but this is only going to make his moodiness worse. When he said on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he wanted the Packers to take a skill position player in the first round for the first time since he became the starter, I don’t think drafting his replacement is what he had in mind. All that talk about Tua Tagovailoa’s hip was just that — talk The Cowboys did even better. They snapped up CeeDee Lamb as the third receiver off the board after he fell all the way to No. 17. They also grabbed two borderline first-round-caliber talents at positions of need in the second and third rounds in cornerback Trevon Diggs and defensive lineman Neville Gallimore. Perhaps their best value came at pick No. 179 in defensive end Bradlee Anae, who easily could have gone 100 picks earlier. The Cowboys and Cardinals took advantage of falling talentcenter_img First and foremost, Green Bay didn’t take one wide receiver in the deepest class at that position in a long time, so Rodgers will have to depend only on Davante Adams for another season. The team also took a lot of interior offensive linemen but no tackles, which is where its real need up front is, and didn’t select a cornerback. The second is that for the first time in a month and a half, the world felt almost normal. With teams overdrafting quarterbacks, the awkward shots of family celebrating alongside a player’s temporary girlfriend and the Patriots trading back out of the first round, the virtual draft gave me the same feeling as the typical event, and I want to hold onto that feeling as I continue to figure out how to live in quarantine. Aaron Rodgers is going to be even more prissy than usual Aidan Berg is a junior writing about sports. He is also a features editor for the Daily Trojan. His column, “Berg is the Word,” ran every other Monday. New York is certainly doing more to give its franchise quarterback the tools he needs, drafting a mountain of a man in offensive tackle Mekhi Becton (6-foot-7, 365 lbs) who also has the nimble feet to protect Darnold’s blind side. The Jets also addressed a major wide receiver need by stealing Denzel Mims at pick No. 59, providing Darnold with an exemplary outside receiver to throw jump balls to, and continued to fill out the offensive line by taking Cameron Clark, who has the ability to fill multiple positions should one of New York’s presumptive starters get hurt. The former Trojan signal-caller’s career has been hard to evaluate thus far for two reasons: He hasn’t had any sort of talent around him, and, relatedly, he’s missed a fair amount of time due to injury. The Jets’ offensive line and weapons have been dismal since Darnold was drafted in 2018, so it’s hard to know if his flashes of success more accurately describe who he is as a player or describe the team’s frequent inability to move the ball. Two of the biggest winners of the draft took advantage of other teams overthinking their needs or misevaluating talent. The Cardinals got Isaiah Simmons, one of the most versatile defensive prospects in draft history, at eight, and as a result got a guy who has a good chance to be one of the three best players in the draft. They also lucked out when offensive tackle Josh Jones, projected by most evaluators to go at the end of the first round, inexplicably fell all the way to No. 72, allowing them to go with the best player available in the first round and address their major need with an elite prospect. There was a lot of gossip in the lead-up to the draft that Tagovailoa’s injury history — specifically the season-ending dislocated hip he suffered against Mississippi State in November — would cause him to fall out of the top-five selection his talent warrants. There were even reports that he was off some teams’ boards altogether and that the Dolphins, who started the 2019 season so poorly that the phrase “Tank for Tua” became the fan base’s motto, were seriously considering taking Justin Herbert over Tagovailoa at five.last_img


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