This is the final part of my draft series for the 2018 NFL season. I will also look at what I expect from these teams for the 2018 season and if they will be improved or not.
San Francisco: The 49ers used their ninth pick of the draft to take Mike McGlinchey, OT from Notre Dame. McGlinchey is a great run blocker and will add a lot of depth to this offensive line. He may have to move over to guard. There is almost a consensus here in the sports betting circles that in this NFC West division it’s either going to be the Rams or the Niners winning it.
It’s hard to argue with that, since the Seahawks and Cardinals are not what they used to be. But if I were to bet who, right now, is the better team, I would choose the Rams. We have to see more of QB Jimmy Garoppolo when the chips are down.
We all know they ran the table last year but that was when there was zero pressure on them. Let’s see how they do when things get a little tense this season. I do like their offensive mindset under HC Kyle Shanahan.
Seattle: The Seahawks traded their No. 18 pick in the first round to the Packers in exchange for the No. 27 pick. They added RB Rashaad Penny from San Diego State. This is the first time the Seahawks have added a running back in the first round under the Pete Carroll tenure. The Seahawks have not had any decent running backs since Marshawn Lynch left. Maybe this will add some stability to the position. However, I don’t like where Carroll has taken this team.
There have been some very poor decisions made by the management and coaches. This is a team with an ace QB in Russell Wilson. But there are a ton of holes that have yet to be filled. That OL could not protect Wilson for the last few years and the running game has not shown up since the Beast fizzled out. I’m in a “show me” mode with this club.
Tampa Bay: I had high hopes for this club, as many others did. But QB Jameis Winston has been marginal at best in my opinion. They got the best choice available at the No. 12 spot in the first round, instead of addressing their problem areas.
That draft choice was DT Vita Vea of Washington. The Bucs had big secondary needs and there were some good ones still available in the draft, but they bypassed them for Vea.
The head coaching changes have not helped stability with this team. Wide outs have not held up their end and the running game has had too many disappointments. Being in a division with the Saints, Panthers and Falcons sure does not add any confidence that the Bucs will rise this year. The division is just too tough.
Tennessee: This could be a sleeper club this year. The Titans used their 22nd pick in the first round to choose ILN Rashaan Evans of Alabama. Evans will become a fixture in the linebacking core for a long time to come.
Evans turned off a few teams at the combine when he refused to run a 40 yard dash, which he also did at his pro day. They will replace Avery Williamson who left for free agency with Evans. QB Marcus Mariota has not developed into the superstar he was in college.
They have a lot of the pieces but need their highly touted QB to step up. I don’t like the way they closed the season last year. Their offense is very mediocre.
Again, this is a division with some challenges to get over. The Jags stepped up some last year and there is hope that was not a fluke. The Texans look to be very tough this year. I don’t see the Titans getting through them.