The 2018 NFL Draft began last Thursday and wrapped up on Saturday, giving a look into the world of professional football for the coming season.
In the first round on Thursday, former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield was selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Cleveland Browns.
It was a surprise to many that Mayfield was taken as the first overall pick. He was projected by many experts as the fourth-best quarterback in the draft class.
Reports of growing speculation that the Browns would select the controversial signal-caller at No. 1 began to circulate Thursday morning and proved to be true.
Rounding out the top five was former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley to the New York Giants, former USC quarterback Sam Darnold to the New York Jets, former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward to the Browns and former North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb to the Denver Broncos.
Aside from Mayfield and Darnold, there were three other quarterbacks expected to be selected in the first round, and they indeed were.
The Buffalo Bills traded up to the seventh pick to draft Josh Allen out of Wyoming. The Arizona Cardinals grabbed Josh Rosen from UCLA after trading up to the 10th pick. Finally, former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was drafted with the 32nd pick by the Baltimore Ravens.
A few other great picks from the first round that stuck out to me are safety Derwin James from Florida State going to the Los Angeles Chargers, former Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley becoming an Atlanta Falcon and the New England Patriots drafting running back Sony Michel out of Georgia.
The Kansas City Chiefs were hindered without a first-round pick but still drafted six players, all on the defensive side of the ball.
Kansas City used its second pick on defensive end Breeland Speaks from Ole Miss. It selected two more interior defensive linemen, as Florida State’s Derrick Nnadi and Tennessee’s Kahlil McKenzie join Speaks.
The Chiefs also drafted former Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel. ESPN’s Steve Muench said O’Daniel is described as having the ability to play either outside linebacker or safety and could get some playing time on special teams “while he carves out a role for himself on the defense.”
Kansas State football had a 24-year streak of having a player drafted into the NFL, and that streak will hold on for another year.
Former Wildcat defensive back D.J. Reed was selected in the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers. Some have underestimated him due to his 5-foot-9-inch frame, but many see his quickness, ability to read routes and his talent in the return game as an upside.
Although Reed was the only K-Stater drafted, two more have since signed as undrafted free agents. Kicker Matthew McCrane signed with the Cardinals, and wide receiver Byron Pringle will get to stay close to Manhattan, as he has signed with the Chiefs.
You can view each pick of the draft, round by round, at espn.com/nfl/draft/rounds.