Sporterberg: NFL Draft Round One

FILE - In this Jan. 13 file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow throws a pass against Clemson during the second half of the NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game in New Orleans. The Cincinnati Bengals chose Burrow with the first pick in the NFL draft Thursday. Associated Press

By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer’

One of the first big sporting events since the cancellation is finally here: the NFL Draft. Of course, even with a virtual draft, there are going to be some interesting decisions.


Dolphins – Tanking for Tua worked! Miami picked Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. They didn’t overthink the injuries and question marks; they just took the best player on the board. He has the opportunity to be the best player from this class, and he could wreak havoc in a division without a dominant quarterback.

Cardinals – With Clemson defensive player Isaiah Simmons dropping, Arizona snatched him up with the eighth pick. He has the opportunity to both raise the floor and the ceiling of the unit across the line of scrimmage from one of the NFL’s rising stars. Also, I say defensive player deliberately. He played over 100 snaps at three different positions on Clemson’s squad. He provides a level of diversity that is just starting to be unlocked at the pro level.

Technical difficulties – There were none! So proud of NFL IT guys!

Head Scratchers:

Chargers – Tanking for Justin Herbert was never a thing. He had the opportunity to come out early after last season, but he opted to stay another year to improve his draft stock. Obviously, that worked, but at the cost of Los Angeles. The Ringer’s Danny Kelly recently said on a podcast that drafting a quarterback that isn’t a star and isn’t a bust is possibly the worst thing a team can do, and that’s likely what the Chargers are looking at in four years.

Jaguars – Probably a bit early to take Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson off the board. He has a high ceiling, and the position was definitely a need for Jacksonville with their two top guys from day one last year now off the roster, but with an offensive tackle run on the way, they could have traded down several positions and grabbed the same player.

Raiders – Henry Ruggs III is not the best wide receiver in this draft class. He’s not even second, but GM Mike Mayock and HC Jon Gruden picked him first among a talented draft class. That’s not even the worst part: Ruggs is one of the fastest players in the draft. To take advantage of that kind of speed, you need a quarterback with a rocket for an arm, which Derek Carr does not have.

Buccaneers – They gave up a fourth rounder to move up one spot. ONE SPOT. And get this, they did it for a player there was no way San Francisco was going to take. The pick is great. Tristan Wirfs is one of the best OTs in the draft. But wow, what a decision by the Tampa Bay (excuse me, Tompa Bay) front office.

Packers – As Baylor alum Trey Wingo noted during ESPN’s broadcast, Brett Favre was about the same age as Aaron Rodgers is now when Rodgers was picked to replace the aging quarterback in the first round of the 2005 draft. Now, the former MVP is looking at an incredibly similar situation. I wonder if he will retire and come back multiple times as well?

Baylor players – TCU and Texas Tech each had at least one player picked above Baylor. That is atrocious. Denzel Mims deserved to have his name heard on night one.