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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

NFL Draft – Round One

For top NFL draft prospects, walking to the stage of Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University signifies an incredible achievement. For these young men, shaking Commissioner Goodell’s hand marks the moment their dreams of reaching the NFL are realized. Years of hard work, perseverance, and anguish have paid off, both literally and figuratively. After playing college football and not earning money, these players are instantly turned into millionaires after draft selections.
While NFL prospects have the time of their lives, general managers and team owners are frantically working against the clock trying to bring in the right positional and personality fit for their respective franchises. The first round of the draft signifies the opportunity for teams to lock in potential stars to a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option. General managers and owners alike are caught drooling over the opportunity of locking a potential star under a salary-cap-friendly contract.
This year’s first-round definitely had a few winners, but the Patriots weren’t among them. Following “Deflategate,” the Patriots were stripped of their rights to a first-round draft pick. Despite the ruling, the Patriots have a lot to look forward to in later rounds of the draft, including second- and third-rounds where they have four different picks: 60, 76, 91, and 96.
The Patriots selected the following players: Cyrus Jones (CB) from Alabama, Joe Thuney (OG) from North Carolina State, Jacoby Brissett (QB) also from North Carolina State, and Vincent Valentine (DT) from Nebraska.
After last year, with the offensive line struggling to stay healthy, Head Coach Bill Belichick decided to make some moves. After bringing in former top 10 pick, offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, the Patriots and their deficiencies at the line should be resolved.
This influx of blocking talent will keep an aging Tom Brady happy following a rough beat down during the AFC Championship title game against the Denver Broncos. The Patriots also decided to bulk up on the defensive side of the ball, drafting a much needed defensive lineman and a third string corner in Jones.
While the Patriots didn’t make out well, the rookies certainly did. According to Forbes, the statistics below are the expected contacts and signing bonuses for the top 10 first-round draft picks. These numbers are based off the past two years of first-round rookie contacts:
1.    Rams: Jared Goff with a total contract of $27,946,656 and a signing bonus of $18,515,839
2.    Eagles: Carson Wentz with a total contract of $26,685,484 and a signing bonus of $17,598,623
3.    Chargers: Joey Bosa with a total contract of $25,882,931 and a signing bonus of $17,014,947
4.    Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliot with a total contract of $24,965,720 and a signing bonus of $16,347,885
5.    Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey with a total contract of $23,360,590 and a signing bonus of $15,180,521
6.    Ravens: Ronnie Stanely with a total contract of $20,494,304 and a signing bonus of $13,095,946
7.    49ers: Deforest Buckner with a total contract of $18,201,276 and a signing bonus of $11,428,289
8.    Titans: Jack Conklin with a total contract of $15,908,248 and a signing bonus of $9,760,632
9.    Bears: Leonard Floyd with a total contract of $15,793,589 and a signing bonus of $9,677,246
10. Giants: Eli Apple with a total contract of $15,163,008 and a signing bonus of $9,218,640
The Denver Broncos were also among the winners of the Thursday night draft.
Originally, Denver was positioned as the 31st pick. After a series of trade negotiations, John Elway and the Broncos managed to move up five positions in order to snag their future quarterback, Paxton Lynch.
The trade involved Denver giving away their 31st pick and a third-round pick (94th overall) to the Seahawks in return for the 26th pick. The trade should benefit both sides, as the Seahawks acquired more picks (while dropping just five slots) and the Broncos snagged a cheap potential franchise player in the young 6’6 strong-armed quarterback.
Lynch was a star player at Memphis; his skill set described as a combination between Brock Osweiler’s height and composure and Cam Newton’s athleticism. While Lynch is by no means as fast as Newton, he too has the ability to extend the play with his feet.
26. Broncos: Paxton Lynch with a total contract of $9,487,751 and a signing bonus of $5,091,181
Another team that made a splash in the draft was the Miami Dolphins. Following a day of controversy, the Dolphins decided to select the Ole Miss left tackle, Laremy Tunsil.
Originally, Tunsil was projected to be a top five draft pick. After a video was released of him smoking what is presumed to be marijuana, his draft position dropped significantly, losing millions of dollars in the process. The left tackle was already surrounded by controversy as the draft approached, but once the video was released, Tunsil’s fate was sealed. He dropped almost 10 picks from his initial predicted draft position.
While Tunsil lost out on potential dollars, the Dolphins pick could be the best of the draft, just as long as Tunsil can keep himself out of trouble. Tunsil is considered to be the best raw talent when it comes to tackles in the draft.
13. Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil with a total contract of $12,468,695 and a signing bonus of $7,259,143
Following the draft, teams will evaluate their new prospects over the course of training camp and preseason. While the first-round picks are essentially locked into a roster position, the other young athletes will fight to gain a roster spot among the elite of the NFL. For these young men, this marks a rare opportunity of becoming part of the most exclusive fraternities in the United States.