Get ready, NFL fans: It’s draft day.
The first round of the 2015 NFL draft kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. EST on NFL Network and ESPN and fans of all 32 teams will be watching with baited breath to see who their team selects (well, maybe not those in Buffalo or Seattle, whose teams traded their first round picks to Cleveland and New Orleans, respectively). While we know the draft order — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the first pick, followed by the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins — anything beyond that is pure conjecture.
That’s part of what makes the draft such a compelling event. Misdirection and subterfuge are an integral part of the process, and a team’s best-laid plans can fall by the wayside on a single, unexpected pick. In other words, teams must vacillate being proactive and reactive in the draft, while trying to figure out the best strategy for accomplishing their goals.
It’s a chess-match drama that some fans find every bit as fascinating as the games themselves, but there is no fair way to declare winners and losers. Last year’s consensus No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney struggled through a rookie season that was marked by injury, but even so, it’s still premature to declare whether or not the Houston Texans made the wrong choice with the pick. While the NFL was blessed with an exceptional class of rookie wide receivers and other players who made an immediate impact on their teams, most players selected in the top half of the draft are rightly given at least two years to prove their worth.
That won’t stop fans from immediately scrutinizing and judging every move their team makes. For put-upon supporters of teams like the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars or Cleveland Browns, the draft is treated like the first rung in a ladder that will allow them to finally escape the pit of futility. And like last year, when all the attention was focused on where Johnny Manziel would wind up, the 2015 draft features two players who are already seen as a panacea for their team’s problems: Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.
Of course, that mixture of desperation and optimism is like catnip to fans of their more successful rivals, which makes social media a fun place to hang out during the draft. Fortunately for you, we’ve collected all the latest draft chatter below. Keep it here on zoomdune.com for more updates on the 2015 NFL draft as they come in.