Winners & Losers from Day 1

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

What a crazy first round it was Thursday evening, and as usual there look to be winners and losers after all is said and done -- at least on paper anyway. Here’s our take after the first 32 selections.

Winners

San Francisco 49ers: Before the draft even started last night, I pointed out what a masterful job John Lynch had done during his first draft effort. It only got better as the evening progressed. Fleecing the Chicago Bears to move down one slot and then selecting Solomon Thomas, a player with tremendous potential, was brilliant. Making a small move back into the late part of Round 1 for the freefalling Reuben Foster was another home run.

Oakland Raiders: Good for the Raiders! Let me say that again -- good for the Raiders! I was one of the few people who kept Gareon Conley in my first-round mock, as everything I was hearing from trusted sources at Ohio State -- people not affiliated with the Conley camp -- was that the rape allegation didn’t add up and was likely to be false. The Raiders got the best cornerback in the draft in the late part of Round 1. Good for the Raiders!

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks made two trades last night -- one we predicted Tuesday, but the other was a bit of a surprise. As a result they have the second pick of the second round when the draft starts tonight. Three of the players I’m told they like -- Kevin King, Forrest Lamp and Chidobe Awuzie -- are still available. This is how you work the draft.

Green Bay Packers: A similar situation to the Seahawks, but one less trade and not as much coming in. Still, the Packers can get the player they want with extra choices.

Washington Redskins: Defensive tackle was a big need for the team entering the draft and they received a gift when Jonathan Allen fell into their laps.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs were expecting to go defense, but when O.J. Howard slid to No. 19 he was too good to pass up.

Losers

Chicago Bears: There’s no reason to beat a dead horse. I’ll leave it at that.

Tennessee Titans: Both Corey Davis and Adoree' Jackson were over-drafted. I like what the Titans organization has done over the past two years but question the value of these two selections in relation to where they were drafted.

Observations

- I was privy to the fact that Garett Bolles had a diagnosed learning disability prior to the draft, something he revealed last night. I am also privy to the fact that the combine was misguided in the way they administered the Wonderlic test to Bolles -- there’s an additional test taken by those diagnosed with learning disabilities. I am also aware the league went baresque (meaning to go wild with anger) when the tackle’s Wonderlic score was made public. But I’m glad Bolles, who was graded as our top offensive tackle since the day he entered the draft, was selected as early as he was. And I’m sure he made a few million fans walking onto the stage with his young son to relay his story to the world last night.

- I give the Cleveland Browns credit for selecting Myles Garrett with the first pick of the draft and saving themselves from much humiliation. I also give them credit for many of the trades they’ve made the past two drafts. But at what point do you ask what they are doing with all these selections? Is the contingency plan for the Jimmy Garoppolo trade that didn’t go down to build an arsenal of picks to acquire Kirk Cousins? Or to make sure they put themselves in a position to select Josh Allen of Wyoming or Sam Darnold of USC in 2018?

- Several years ago I wrote a story on the Houston Texans having two cards filled out the night they made Jadeveon Clowney the first pick of the 2014 draft. The other card had the name of Blake Bortles on it.

I’m wondering if we’ll ever learn the real story as to what happened in the Texans war room last night.

Unlike the handshakes, hugs and backslapping that went on in other war rooms, many in Houston looked as though they had just awoken on Christmas morning and found no presents under the tree after it was announced the team traded up and selected quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Watching the stone-faced expression on the face of head coach Bill O’Brien and the subdued attitude of those sitting at their desks made me and others I was with feel something was not right.