Picking winners and losers on the first night of the draft is a very fun exercise, but in reality, we won’t know for another 2 or 3 years how well these teams actually did. That said, let’s look at some of the teams and players that saw a bit of a rise in their signed memorabilia’s value.
Jacksonville Jaguars - No matter what happened last night, as long as the Jags took Trevor Lawrence, they were a lock for the win column. Drafting a running back in the 20’s though did feel like a missed opportunity. Running backs are one of the most replaceable players on a team and to make matters a bit worse, they already had a capable guy in James Robinson. However, this team finally received it’s franchise changing signal-caller last night, and everything else is just details.
Dallas Cowboys - There’s a good argument to be made that the Cowboys got the best defensive player in the class at pick 12 in Micah Parsons. On top of that, they actually traded down 2 picks from 10 to 12 and got the same player they wanted at 10, but added an extra 3rd round pick from their division rival in Philly.
Chicago Bears - The Bears have the highest graded QB that they have ever had in Justin Fields. They have taken a player in the Watson, Mahomes mold after whiffing at the position in 2017. Despite the “no good quarterbacks come from Ohio State” narrative, let’s remember that no BIG 12 quarterback had ever even won a playoff game until 2019 when Patrick Mahomes beat the Colts. That’s not 1 school, it’s an entire conference. Now guys like Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts are all either current or future stars from the BIG 12. Don’t follow narratives, follow the talent. Justin Fields has the talent.
Tua Tagovailoa - Despite it seeming pretty ridiculous, there were a few out there that believed that Tua should be replaced. Not only did the team not take a 1st round quarterback, they gave Tua another weapon in the form of the speedy Jaylen Waddle. Tua is a big winner on night 1. If you’re holding a signed mini helmet from Tua, you are sleeping a bit easier tonight.
New York Jets - Not only did the Jets grab who they believe will be their franchise QB, they also took a fantastic guard at 14 to help protect their newly minted star. When teams are rebuilding, grabbing your signal caller and investing in the big boys up front is the perfect way to build a team from the ground up.
49ers Pass Catchers - The likes of George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel had good careers up to this point despite the mixture of Jimmy G and whoever was replacing him while he was on the IR. Now they get a smart kid with an arm that can actually hit them on deep routes regularly in the form of Trey Lance. Thanks to Lance, all these players should see a rise in their signed jersey value as well.
Sam Darnold - The Panthers were in a position to take either Justin Fields, who would be a great fit in Joe Brady’s offense or Mac Jones, who this coaching staff got to see first hand this offseason during the Senior Bowl. Instead they took star cornerback Jaycee Horn out of the University of South Carolina. I’m sure that was a breath of fresh air for Darnold.
New England Patriots - I didn’t really want to write this, but it’s the truth, the Patriots were winners last night. They were able to grab the quarterback they wanted all along. Everyone assumed they would have to trade up in the draft in order to get him. Instead, they just sat back and let the next leader of their team fall into their lap.