Round 1 has come and gone for this year’s draft. Here’s a quick round up of headlines and notable values, reaches, and best fits. Read until the end for a list of best remaining prospects from the Campus2Canton Big Board!

Headlines from Day 1:

  • NFL Record 23 Offensive Players taken in the First Round; 14 straight to begin the Draft
  • 6 Quarterbacks selected; All in the top 12
  • Michael Penix to Atlanta despite Kirk Cousins signing?
  • Sean Payton Lands his dream Quarterback in Bo Nix
  • Seven Wide Receivers selected; ties record for most in First Round history
  • Rams make first First Round selection in McVay era; Select Florida State EDGE Jared Verse
  • Bills trade down twice out of First Round

Values:

17. Minnesota Vikings: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

The Vikings took advantage of the historic Offensive run to start the draft by moving up six spots to get their top defender in the entire class. While he’s not a true sack ace, Turner will shore up the EDGE spot and contribute against the run and pass without necessarily filling up the stat sheet. Many predicted he’d be selected in the Top 10, resulting in major value at 17.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

The best Defensive Back in the entire class falls into the lap of a playoff team that needs an infusion of youth on the back end in the worst way. Mitchell’s only knock is his level of competition in college, but he quickly dispelled those concerns in the pre-draft process. A Cornerback prospect with this combination of size, speed, physicality, and technique is rare, let alone in the back half of the First.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: iOL Graham Barton

There was much debate on what position Barton would play as a pro leading up to the Draft. He probably plays Guard for the Bucs but could play Tackle in a pinch as well. Tampa Bay gets a consummate pro with great strength, decent anchor, and all the intangibles a team could want. Teams wouldn’t have been criticized for taking Barton 10 picks earlier.

Reaches:

7. Atlanta Falcons: QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

12. Denver Broncos: QB Bo Nix, Oregon

The Falcons kicked off the madness by deviating from expectations so drastically that it seemed that their GM Terry Fontenot might be in trouble with the owner. Selecting an older lefty Quarterback with glass knees when you just signed a starting Quarterback in free agency seems like a foolish move, but only time can tell.

Many foresaw the Bo Nix-Sean Payton pairing coming. We just couldn’t have imagined that it would’ve been at 12 overall. Nix at least will get a shot at the starting job. However, we’re still looking at a Quarterback with middling talent who stayed in college too long without the perfect skillset. The dearth of Quarterback talent in the 2025 class made some teams desperate, and the Falcons and Broncos will likely pay the cost.

29. Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

Teams who draft for need often lose out in the Draft. The Cowboys panicked and selected Tyler Guyton with their First Round pick. Though the front office has had a remarkable history drafting Offensive Linemen at the end of the First, this may be where the streak ends. Guyton’s potential may be sky-high, but he just doesn’t really know how to play football at this moment. Coming into a situation where he needs to start right away when he probably needs another four years of development is not ideal. This was a reach for a Fifth round talent. The only saving grace is that Dallas picks up a mid-3rd to move down from 24 to 29.

32. Carolina Panthers: WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Affectionately known as “Cakes” amongst the Campus2Canton crew, Legette was another panic pick as the Panthers wanted that fifth-year option on the contract. The Wide Receiver room in Carolina has a bleak outlook, especially beyond a year. While the selection was necessary, this was probably two rounds too high for Legette. Teams who want a similar skillset could probably pick up someone like Southeast Missouri’s Ryan Flournoy in the middle of Day 3.

Best Fits:

9. Chicago Bears: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Chicago now has three stud receivers who have good size, decent route-running, and can flex between playing outside and in the slot. Caleb Williams immediately gets the supporting cast that Justin Fields could’ve only dreamed about.

11. New York Jets: OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State

While this is admitting a mistake in picking Mekhi Becton a few years ago, Fashanu fixes that error by being everything that they had hoped Becton could be. While the physical talent is only about 80% there from that comparison standpoint, the refinement and experience far outweigh the dimensions. Perhaps Aaron Rodgers can last more than a quarter this coming season.

24. Detroit Lions: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Aaron Glenn adds yet another Alabama Defensive Back to his defense. While not quite the kneecap-biter that Dan Campbell might look for, the solid Arnold is perfect for this team. With a smart and controlled approach to the game despite his plus athleticism, Arnold can start in a room that had been slated to start Emmanuel Mosely on the outside. This selection allows Brian Branch to move back to his more natural Safety spot and gives the Lions a strength advantage in pass coverage.

Best 10 Remaining on the Campus2Canton Big Board:

13. iDL Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
18. iOL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
20. iDL Braden Fiske, Florida State
23. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
25. WR Jalen McMillan, Washington
26. iOL Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
27. LB Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M
30. OC Zach Frazier, West Virginia
31. S Kam Kinchens, Miami
34. CB TJ Tampa, Iowa State
35. OT Kingsley Suamataia, BYU

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