• One of the most unpredictable drafts in NFL history is finally in the books, and now it is time to look through the results and determine which teams did well and which teams make some odd choices. These rankings are based on my evaluation of the draft as a whole, which includes obviously the talent of the player chosen but also draft value and team fit. If you enjoy this article please follow me on Twitter @Fish_Fisher4 and subscribe to the SportsEthos Wagerpass for all of my NFL bets.

    Draft Winners

    Big Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers  (#14 Broderick Jones, OT Georgia. #32 Joey Porter Jr, CB Penn State. #49 Keenau Benton, Wisconsin. #93 Darnell Washington, TE Georgia. #132 Nick Herbig, LB Wisconsin. #241 Corey Trice, CB Purdue. #251 Spencer Anderson, G Maryland)

    This team had a fantastic draft from top to bottom. Porter Jr. and Washington are both elite prospects with measurables that cannot be taught, and Pittsburgh was able to snag them both well below their projected value. I also think that Benton was a fantastic pick as he will likely start week 1 and can wreak havoc on opposing offenses, traits that are not always found in the second round. Each player fills a gap in the team that needed filling, and while they did not make any flashy moves the Steelers got much better through their draft and likely will be for years to come.

    Second Winner: Philadelphia Eagles (#9 Jalen Carter, DT Georgia. #30 Nolan Smith, DE Georgia. #65 Tyler Steen, OL Alabama. #66 Sydney Brown, S Illinois. #105 Kelee Ringo, CB Georgia. #188 Tanner McKee, QB Stanford. #249, Moro Ojomo, DT Texas.)

    The rich get richer. Some players fell far below their value in the draft, and the Eagles were quick to capitalize on those opportunities. Their defense should pick up right where they left off last year or even be better, and I like the flier on a potential Brock Purdy type in Tanner McKee. When you are the defending NFC champions and you follow that up with two first round picks including the best prospect in the draft, they have to be included on every single draft winner list. I will say that the Nolan Smith pick was a bit of a vanity play however, as they had other needs that might have been better filled.

    Third Winner: New York Giants (#24 Deonte Banks, CB Maryland. #57 John Michael-Schmitz, C Minnesota. #73 Jalin Hyatt, WR Tennessee. #172 Eric Gray, RB Oklahoma. #243 Jordan Riley, DT Oregon. #254 Gervarrius Owens, S Houston.)

    The Giants executed a value based masterclass in snagging a cornerback early after a hyper athletic prospect fell, and then still getting their receiver with their third pick. Both Banks and Hyatt have superstar potential, and both fill needs for this team. While less exciting Schmitz and Gray can also fill much needed rolls in this squad. When I look at this draft I see a front office that understands the strengths and weaknesses of their squad, as well as how to attack a draft board.

    Draft Losers

    Big Loser: Atlanta Falcons (#8 Bijan Robinson, RB Texas. #38 Matthew Bergeron, OT Syracuse. #75 Zach Harrison, DE Ohio State. #113 Clark Phillips, CB Utah. #224 Demarcco Hellams, S Alabama. #225 Jovaughn Gwynn, C South Carolina)

    Very strange draft from this team. Their biggest strengths were O-Line and running back, and yet they spent their first two picks on those very positions, including overpaying for Robinson. Their areas of greatest need were pass rush and wide receiver. They waited until the third round for the former and didn’t even bother to draft the latter. It is tough to imagine any of these guys other than Robinson making any kind of immediate impact, and even in the case of the Texas back it is unclear how he will fit into their scheme. Bizarre choices across the board. You have to want more from them considering their positions in the draft.

    Second Loser: Chicago Bears (#10 Darnell Wright, OT Tennessee. #53 Gervon Dexter, DT Florida. #56 Tyrique Stevenson, CB Miami. #64 Zacch Pickens, DT South Carolina. #115 Roschon Johnson, RB Texas. #133 Tyler Scott, WR Cincinnati. #148 Noah Sewell, LB Oregon. #165 Terell Smith, DB Minnesota. #218 Travis Bell, DL Kennesaw State. #258 Kendall Williamson, DB Stanford.)

    I know it is bold to put a team with so many picks in my loser section, but I was really not happy with how they handled their first four picks. They passed up on better prospects in Peter Skoronski and Jalen Carter to take Wright, after having Paris Johnson Jr. picked out from under them by Arizona. They then took two defensive tackles in the next three picks, both of whom they reached for despite the limited upside Dexter and Pickens. They could have accomplished so much more with their extensive draft capital, and I would be disappointed if I was a Bears fan.

    Third Loser: Washington Commanders (#16 Emmanuel Forbes, CB Mississippi State. #47, Jartavius Martin, S Illinois. #97 Ricky Stomburg, C Arkansas. #118 Braeden Daniels, OL Utah. #137, KJ Henry, Edge Clemson. #193 Chris Rodriguez Jr, RB Kentucky. #233 Andre Jones, LB Louisiana.)

    There were so nay options for this team, and they opted to take none of them. No QB, no comfort to their aging receiving core, no immediate replacement for Chase Young in the event they do not pick up his option. Instead, they took interior offensive linemen and secondary with their first 4 picks, with few trades or other strategy involved. The definition of underwhelming, I am unsure what the strategy was for this front office. It does not seem to me that this team got much better at all with this draft, and the future looks bleak in Washington.

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David P

Fantastic analysis, Fish! A lot of analysts cop-out on “Losers” assessments — yours are really on point — must be painful for Falcons’, Bears’ and Commanders’ fans today!


Thank you! Appreciate the kind words very much.

MoFo Spartan

Great write-up, you’ve obviously done your homework. What are your thoughts on the Lions picks?


Thank you! I put them squarely in the middle. Could have done more, (I would have liked them to keep the 6th pick and take defense) but in the end it worked out alright and they got some quality talent (Branch in the 2nd was a steal).

Dan Besbris

Digging the activity in here!

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