Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche – DL – Ole Miss
Frankly, the Cardinals did what the Cardinals do. As has been the case with a number of their offseason acquisitions under GM Steve Keim, Arizona took a highly talented individual who comes with a number of red flags.
Nkemdiche has been criticized for his on field production and off field antics, but the truth is that everyone still considered him a premier prospect until about two weeks ago. There were definitely safer picks that could have been made, but the Cards don’t play it safe.
Atlanta Falcons: Keanu Neal – S – Florida
This was easily the biggest reach in the draft, and one that made very little sense. Keanu Neal is a fine player and solid prospect…for the second or third round. But much like he once did with Tyson Jackson and Jon Baldwin, Scott Pioli (who seems to be the real decision maker in Atlanta) has made a huge reach on a player.
The real problem here is that Neal doesn’t fix the dreadful pass rush the Falcons have. Who would have? Shaq Lawson or Darron Lee who were taken two and three picks later respectively. Just bad draft management here.
Baltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley – OT – Notre Dame
Sources are saying that the Laremy Tunsil video had a direct effect on this pick as the Ravens took him off their board completely. That’s understandable given that there wasn’t much time to investigate it. Baltimore still walks away with a top OT though, and many analysts were starting to say that Stanley was the better player anyways.
I don’t know if I agree with that, but given the circumstances it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t the better pick at the time. The Ravens either needed to upgrade their OL or hope that Joe Flacco suddenly became more athletic…kudos for taking option “A” on that one.
Buffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson – DE – Clemson
All in! The Bills mantra that was adopted from the Clemson mantra that was likely adopted from some high school or pee wee team. Rex Ryan has been pretty open about his affinity for the Clemson program, and you can’t say it didn’t work for him here.
Shaq Lawson is a quality EDGE player who should fit in well with whatever defense Rex Ryan utilizes this year. This is also a pretty decent value pick for the Bills and fills a big hole with the departure of Mario Williams. Hard to find any fault in this.
Next: Carolina and more...