The first round of the NFL Draft has captured the attention of fans and bettors as picks appear on the table. Here are the details of the first five picks of the first round, with plenty more action coming over the next couple of days.
The Carolina Panthers did as expected, taking quarterback Bryce Young from Alabama with the first pick. The Panthers are in need of a starting quarterback with the ability to be a franchise player. Young fills that profile. In particular, Young possesses the skills to complement Frank Reich’s offensive design.
After a disappointing season, the Panthers will look to improve on their 7-10 record. It remains to be seen if Young will be the starter from day one, or if the Panthers will look for an experienced quarterback like Andy Dalton to accompany the young man as he takes the reins.
The Houston Texans had the second pick in their possession. They used it to take C.J. Stroud, Ohio State’s super quarterback. Stroud would have been the number-one pick, but his style of play is better suited to Houston’s offense than Carolina’s. For now, the Texans have a quarterback with the potential to be their next franchise player.
Then, the Texans surprised the crowd by making a trade with the Arizona Cardinals for the third pick. The Cardinals received the 12th and 33rd picks of this draft, as did Houston’s 2024 first- and third-round picks.
With the third pick, Houston selected Will Anderson Jr., Alabama’s star linebacker. Anderson Jr. was the second Alabama player selected in the first three boxes, giving Houston both offensively and defensively.
Specifically, Anderson Jr. will support the defense focused on mitigating passes. This linebacker has the skills to stop the passing game, so Houston made a magnificent selection.
The third quarterback of the first round went to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts need a starting quarterback with an air and rushing style of play. Anthony Richardson of Florida is the answer. Standing 6’4″ and weighing 244 pounds, Richardson has an enviable combination of size and athletic ability.
Of the three quarterbacks selected in the first four slots, Richardson has the best chance to make an impact from day one. The Colts need all the help they can get after a 4-12 season. Richardson will be that help.
Seattle addressed a clear need by taking the best defensive player available in pick 5. Devon Witherspoon will be an immediate upgrade to the Seahawks’ defense, who finished last season 9-8.
Witherspoon has the skills to compete with any receiver, so he will make a major impact from the start. His style of play is ideal for Seattle’s defensive scheme, allowing him to channel his aggressiveness into defensive opportunities.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints made their first move in this year’s draft by securing Bryan Bresee, a skilled defensive tackle from Clemson, as the 29th overall pick. This choice is particularly important for the team, as they have lost many valuable players to free agency.
At 6’5 and 298 pounds, Bresee was a force on the field. His exceptional performance in the final season earned him 16 sacks and three and a half sacks, which drew interest from several NFL teams.
Bresee was a vital player in Clemson’s defense, which was ranked 12th in the previous season, mainly because of his skills. On the other hand, the Saint’s run defense had a significant dip and dropped to rank 24th last season from being among the top four in the previous four seasons.
On Day 2 of the draft, the Saints are presented with a valuable chance to bolster their team using both the 40th and 71st picks in the second and third rounds, respectively. Fortune has turned in their favor as a few exceptional athletes, disregarded in the initial round, have now become obtainable. The Saints have an opportunity to acquire them utilizing their strategic draft picks.