Sure, it is easy to list winners and losers after the NFL Draft has come and gone. Just wait until you read the unconventional list below. Anyone can write about Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson being draft day winners and Will Levis possibly being a draft day loser, but nobody will give you the type of insight you will read below. So, let me put on all my best draft day jewelry; yes @Razzball has its own jewelry division, so all the writers/bloggers stay icy.
@BobbyLaMarco will be chatting about his more conventional draft day winners on the Razzball YouTube channel. Tune in and be a part of the discussion with your questions and comments. Who do you think won/lost and even throw in which dudes came dressed correctly and which looked like trash? As always, if you want to discuss anything in this article, feel free to drop notes at the bottom of this thread.
WINNER: Josh Allen – The rich get richer in Buffalo! The Bills snuck up and vultured Dalton Kincaid at 1.25. I say vultured because I think the Cowboys had the Utah TE in their sights when the Bills jumped ahead to select the TE most teams had as TE1 on their board. The Cowboys’ loss is certainly Josh Allen’s gain. I saw the Bills with two options: (1) Slot WR and (2) Stud TE. After a run of four straight WRs go in Round 1, the Bills adeptly moved ahead of Dallas to pick their TE1. I think Kincaid starts immediately for Buffalo and will create 12-personnel sets with Dawson Knox on the other side of the line with Stefon Diggs and the WR who comes out as WR2 at camp, stretching the field for Allen and the Bills. Look for Kincaid to put up Top 12 fantasy TE in his rookie campaign and for the Bills to win the East (again).
LOSER: Mac Jones – When are we going to admit the old-school Bill Belichick draft strategy is stale? Who is going to help Mac Jones get better? Who is Mac Jones going to throw to? Sure, the selection of Christian Gonzalez was a no-brainer, but seriously, the three interior offensive line picks when the offense has a lack of skill position players just does not make sense to me. Mix in a K in Round 4 and a punter in Round 6, and I am dazed and confused by the Patriots draft board. The silver lining is the two WRs selected in Round 6 (Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas), who probably both make the opening day roster based solely on lack of competition. Middling QB with a lack of weapons will not help the Patriots ascend in the AFC East, and someone needs to hold BB accountable when this plan fails, like all other non-Brady-year plans.
WINNER: Israel Abanikanda – Who? That is exactly the response I expected. “Izzy,” as he is known, could step right in as the Jets RB1 with Breece Hall coming off ACL surgery and Michael Carter still trying to find his specific role in the offense. Aaron Rodgers is used to working with younger RB, and if Izzy picks up the playbook quickly, then Rodgers just might trust him with the rock. In a pre-draft winning move for the Jets, they acquired Rodgers making the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS fans winners in my book. They did not add a lot of weaponry for Rodgers (sound familiar?) because they have the WR corps already in place. They were smart enough to add an established Center (Joe Tippmann) and sold OT (Carter Warren) to help protect their new investment at QB. Fantasy Draft Szn Note: Move Garrett Wilson up your list, but do not get crazy thinking he immediately becomes Justin Jefferson or Cooper Kupp.
LOSER: Miami Dolphins – Tampering penalty and some traded picks had the Miami war room watching the draft much more than participating. Four total picks, and none of them move the fantasy needle for me. Devon Achane is an absolute home run hitter, but he is not a three-down back yet. He plops into an already crowded, milquetoast RB group. Achane will need a specific role created for him that is not necessarily ‘third down guy.’ His speed is akin to the speed seen from Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill but at the RB position. The major difference is Achane is not Waddle or Tyreek. Therefore, will need some seasoning to be ready to cook with the big boys. The Dolphins were on the come up, but with the lack of all-around improvement during the 2023 draft, I do not see them competing with the Bills for the division title. I can see them outscoring a lot of teams and challenging for a Wild Card slot.
Overall, the 2023 draft was solid, if unspectacular, for the Bills, who I think own the division in 2023 and will challenge Cincinnati and Kansas City for a berth in the Super Bowl. The other teams all receive 2023 NFL Draft Participation Trophies. They showed up but did not show out. Bills win the division while the Jets and ‘Phins will fight it out for second place, and the Patriots will own the basement for the foreseeable future in the AFC East.
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