“With the first pick in the NFL draft…”

Between April 30 and May 2 of 2015, the NFL draft occurred at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, located in Chicago, IL. All 32 NFL teams geared up to choose between the nation’s top college football prospects.

Many notable names from the NCAA were taken including: Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Amari Cooper. But, more important than individual players is how the teams did overall while they drafted.

With the sixth pick of the first round in the NFL draft, the New York Jets picked Leonard Williams, who is the defensive end out of USC. In my opinion, it was a toss-up between Williams and Florida defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., but the Jets got a steal at six because of his size and power. They also drafted deep threat Devin Smith in the second round with the fifth pick out of Ohio State, who is an underrated player in this draft. He may be small, but his speed and great hands make him an elite long ball receiver. Due to the quarter back troubles in New York the Jets also drafted Baylor Bears quarterback Bryce Petty in the fourth round. This is an important pick because, according to ESPN, over the last decade or so an All-Pro/Pro-Bowl quarterback has been drafted in the fourth round or later. Petty has a great upside and has the potential to be that guy in New York. In my opinion, the New York Jets had one of the best drafts this year as their drafted players’ positions fit their needs to a T.

Next on the list is the Chicago Bears. With the seventh pick in the draft they chose wide receiver Kevin White out of West Virginia. Due to the departure of their number one receiver, Brandon Marshall, the Bears needed a wide out who can come in and make an impact and Kevin White is their guy. I believe that Kevin White was the best receiver in this draft class. Yes, Amari Cooper is outstanding, but after watching White at the NFL combine I changed my mind. Not only is he exceptionally strong, but also extremely fast and agile. White out-performed Cooper in multiple combine drills including the 40-yd dash, the broad jump and vertical jump, and also had 23 repetitions on the bench press. Moving onto the fifth round, the Bears picked up Penn State safety Adrian Amos. This is an important pick for the Bears due to their issues in the secondary last year. Although he most likely will not start, he is expected to come in and make an impact with his consistency in reading assignments and athleticism. The Bears, much like the Jets, also had a pretty good draft, which included adding men who will improve their weaknesses.

Even though many teams drafted well, there are always a few teams that make questionable, head scratching picks, such as the St. Louis Rams, Denver Broncos and of course, the Dallas Cowboys.

With the tenth pick of the first round, the St. Louis Rams drafted running back from the University of Georgia, Todd Gurley. At the beginning of the college football season Gurley was the best running back in the nation. He was a pre-season Heisman trophy finalist and a projected first round pick along with Wisconsin’s running back, Melvin Gordon III. When mid-season approached, Gurley got himself into trouble in which he collected thousands of dollars for autographs, which is against NCAA regulations. He was suspended for numerous games and when he returned, he tore his ACL. Yes, he is an incredible running back, but it has been said that when a player tears their ACL, they never come back as the same player that they once were, making the pick seem rather questionable. On top of the injury, it seems like Gurley may have some character issues, which stem from his autograph scandal. He has been working hard to get back and hopefully he can make an impact since the Rams needed a running back, but being selected in the top ten raise some red flags.

In the first round with the 23 pick, the Lions traded their pick to the Denver Broncos and Denver chose defensive end Shane Ray from Missouri. Shane Ray was a powerhouse defensive lineman out of a top conference in the NCAA, the SEC. As a matter of fact, Ray was the defensive player of the year out of the entire conference. Although he has many prestigious accolades, he does have a downside. Days before the draft he was given a citation for Marijuana. He has also had a few other character issues along his long, and apparently bumpy, road to success. He may be a great football player on the field, but his off the field character has been questionable, which may negatively impact the team. Hopefully he changes his ways, but regardless, I don’t believe he should have been picked in the first round after his incident with the police days before the draft.

And last but not least, the team that always seems to pick players with character issues: the Dallas Cowboys. In the past, the Cowboys have had numerous players on their team with less than impeccable characters, including defensive back Adam “Pacman” Jones and even Dez Bryant. In the second round of this year’s draft, they selected outside linebacker Randy Gregory out of Nebraska. Gregory is a raw talent and he was a popular name spoken about by many analysts before the draft. Although he has a lot of room for improvement, he needs more than simple help with his off the field actions. Gregory has tested positive for multiple drug tests, which is a red flag when it comes to someone looking to get drafted. Despite his issues, hopefully he can get himself on the right track and help the Cowboys get back to the playoffs.