Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Victor Wembanyama on stage after being selected first overall in the 2023 NBA draft
NBA Mock Draft
Cavan Nicholas, Contributing Writer • May 27, 2024

Studs and Duds, The NFL Draft’s Biggest Winners and Losers

Patriots+take+North+Carolina+QB+Drake+Maye+with+the+3rd+Overall+%0APick+Credit%3A+Pats+Pulpit
Patriots take North Carolina QB Drake Maye with the 3rd Overall Pick Credit: Pats Pulpit

Every year in the NFL teams can trace their success or failures back to previous draft classes, and this year is no different. However, with a very diverse draft class, some teams have found their studs, while others left much to be desired.

Biggest Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
Highlight picks: RD 1 (22) Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo, RD 2 (8) Cooper Dejean, CB, Iowa, RD 3 (31) Jalyz Hunt, EDGE, Houston Christian RD 4 (22) Will Shipley, RB, Clemson
Right from their first two-round picks, it is clear that the Philadelphia Eagles dominated this draft and found players that will be integrated into their lineup in week 1. Despite the Eagles’ shortcomings in last year’s playoffs, they still should have the win-now mindset. They lacked major aspects of their defensive secondary and were unable to lock down key passing matchups. However, somehow, they were able to take the two best cornerbacks off the board with the 22nd pick and the 40th. Quinyon Mitchell ran a 4.33 40-yard dash making him the perfect nickel/slot back, but he also is a lockdown man-to-man corner, especially in press coverage. Mitchell led the country in pass breakups, but the only asterisk next to his name is that he played at Toledo. So, the Eagles went in the opposite direction, drafting Cooper DeJean. Coming from a Big 10 school Dejean is easily the best playmaking secondary in the draft. He is a ball hawk who had 3 Pick Sixes last year, and perfectly accompanies Mitchell. Then, taking Edge Jalyx Hunt was yet another genius pick because the Eagles had just traded away their star edge, Haasan Reddick. Hunt is a versatile defender who moves extremely well for his large frame, and his skillset will transfer perfectly to the NFL. Not to mention the Eagles were then able to take star Running Back Will Shipley who fell to the fourth round. Shipley may not be a key contributor to the Eagles, but it is a great pick when considering Shipley’s massive upside.

Winner: New England Patriots
Highlight Picks: RD 1 (3) Drake Maye, QB, UNC, RD 2 (5) Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington RD 4 (10) Javon Baker, WR, UCF RD 6 (17) Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee
While I do not agree with taking Maye third overall, I believe they perfectly handled the situation by taking Milton in the sixth. Yes, Drake Maye does not have a lot of downsides, he is big, has a good arm, is accurate, and can improvise, however, Maye likely won’t stick around in New England for long unless the team finds success. Maye is a good player, and he knows it, so if the Patriots don’t find success soon then they may as well have just thrown this pick in the trash. However, I believe that taking Maye, with two receivers and another quarterback completely justifies the pick. Joe Milton is a project QB who likely won’t find success in the NFL, but Milton can flick the ball 90 yards down the field and he is one of the fastest QBs in this year’s draft. Milton will not only bring some competition to training camp but will also likely grab the hearts of NFL fans during preseason games with his flashy playstyle. Which potentially can create even more competition, helping Drake Maye improve his game. When asked about the draft Pats fan, and Sophomore Matt Griffin said, “It would have been great if [Jayden] Daniels dropped to three but Maye is still young, and at least they gave him some receivers”. I honestly think that the Pats could have done better than taking Polk, but anyone who watched a bit of college football last year knows that Polk can make some extremely good catches in traffic, and is a perfect morale booster for a rookie QB. Then taking Baker in the fourth round was a steal, he has an extremely similar playstyle to Polk but is again another weapon for Maye to throw to. Both receivers’ skill sets will likely transfer well to the NFL.

Loser: Atlanta Falcons
Highlight Picks: RD 1 (8) Micheal Penix Jr., QB, Washington, RD 2 (3) Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson, RD 3 (10) Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington
The Falcons really fumbled 3 great opportunities to turn their team around, especially by taking Penix with the 8th pick. For starters, the Falcons just signed QB Kirk Cousins to a 4-year massive deal, and they have major team needs on offense. I have heard people trying to justify the Penix pick by arguing that Cousins’ deal is front-loaded, and he is getting old so Penix is the perfect pick to sit on the bench for a few years, similar to a Jordan Love scenario with the Packers. However, Penix was the 8th pick in the draft, why waste an 8th pick for a 23-year-old quarterback who has been in college for six years, and only found success in the last two? Not to mention they already have a serviceable backup in Taylor Heninicke, and Rome Odunze was still on the board along with four superstar Edges (a desperate team need) that were picked after Penix. Then they screw up again taking Ruke Orhorhoro with the third pick in the second round. Orhorhoro was the first DT to be taken and I would argue that all 6 DTs taken after Ruke in the second round are all better than him. PFF graded him as the 15th-best NCAA defensive tackle last year, and while he has the athleticism and build, the truth is he is nowhere near ready for the NFL. Then taking Trice in the third round isn’t the worst value, however, they definitely waited for way too long to take a needed pass rusher. Also after official measurements came in Trice was 30 pounds lighter and was much smaller than expected. Freshman Hunter Gale commented, “With a new coach I thought things were looking up for the Falcons. They definitely have the talent but they completely butchered the draft by taking a sure-fire bench player in the first round” Hunter’s opinion mirrors that of most NFL fans, as the Falcons continue to look worse and worse for the next few years to come.

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