For weeks on end we heard about potential earth-shattering trades, first round snubs and more. In the end, none of it really happened. Still, the first round of the NFL Draft was far from a complete letdown. There were plenty of shocking moments, some emotional ones, and some that made you go “huh?” Let’s take a look at five memorable moments from the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
The NFL is a quarterback league. We’re reminded of it every time we watch an NFL game and we were reminded again on draft night as Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were selected No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively, Winston by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Mariota by the Tennessee Titans.
The two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks were projected to be the top two picks since mock drafts started being published months and months ago, the only question was regarding what order they would go in. Even though that wasn’t much of a question either.
The question now is, which one of these top quarterbacks will start their career 1-0? They get to play each other in week one of the NFL season for a chance to start their career off on the right foot against a quarterback they’ll probably see plenty of throughout their NFL career.
Return Of The Running Back?
As the quarterback position has continued to rise in importance the position of running back has been dropped into the abyss of skill positions in terms of importance for most NFL teams. Still, there was a slight reversal of fortune for running backs on Thursday night as Todd Gurley, fresh off an ACL tear that was believed to have altered his draft position, was drafted No. 10 by the St. Louis Rams. Shortly thereafter, the San Diego Chargers traded with the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 15 pick and drafted Melvin Gordon out of Wisconsin. Before these two went, not even one running back had gone in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2012. Running backs around the league, or at least those in Atlanta, rejoiced.
Welcome To Chicago, Roger!
New York, Chicago, Madagascar, it might not matter where they hold the draft, it looks like Roger Goodell is going to get booed everywhere. Not only did boo birds follow Goodell around all evening, they actually grew louder as the night wore on. For some, it was the highlight of the evening.https://twitter.com/NEONCOBRO/status/593936079331299328
It even kept some fans more engaged than the actual draft itselfhttps://twitter.com/WilliamMcClure/status/593947319113940993
They should rotate the draft around to all of the NFL cities. That way, everyone gets an equal opportunity to boo Roger Goodell.— Jonathon Loughridge (@mvnusportsinfo) May 1, 2015
Unfortunately, being booed would be the least of Goodell’s issues.
Goodell was getting booed regardless of what he said or did in Chicago on Thursday. There’s little doubt about that. But the commissioner still didn’t make life any easier for himself when he somehow managed to mispronounce Marcus Mariota’s name after he was selected by the Titans with the second pick of the draft. It wasn’t quite a John Travolta Idina Menzel moment, but still not a great look for the commissioner.
Ted Wells has been commissioned to investigate why Goodell failed to pronounce Mariota. We'll find out next May.— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) May 1, 2015
Goodell just fined Mariota $100,000 for not having a simpler name.— Doug Farrar (@NFL_DougFarrar) May 1, 2015
Shane Ray To The Mile High City
After his citation for possession of marijuana this past week, draft analysts were pretty conflicted on where Shane Ray would end up. Few imagined that he would still go in the first round but surprisingly the Denver Broncos took a gamble on the defensive end. Even more surprisingly, the Broncos traded up to the 23rd pick to get Ray, which means that in all likelihood he wouldn’t have made it to them at pick 28.https://twitter.com/GottliebShow/status/593967908671225857
All in all it was an interesting and entertaining first round. While it lacked the fireworks display that we were promised, it’s still exciting to see the NFL’s young stars of tomorrow at the beginning of their long NFL journey.