The SEC may have ended up with fewer first rounders than what had become normal, but a few different things contributed to that. La'el Collins's legal issues certainly dropped him out of the proceedings, and fewer defensive backs being taken than the mocks expected held back Landon Collins and Jalen Collins.
Nevertheless, let's review the guys who did come off the board in the first round before turning attention to the second and third.
Fowler was expected to be selected at some point in the first 10 picks of the night — by the Jaguars, or Washington, or the Atlanta Falcons, newly helmed by Dan Quinn, the defensive coordinator who helped recruit Fowler to Florida — but he wasn't thought to be the Jaguars' targeted player, with fellow defender Leonard Williams on the board.
Oakland is coming off a 3-13 season after a pair of 4-win seasons. They have not been to the postseason since 2002 when they lost Super Bowl XXXVII to the Buccaneers 48–21. That was also the last season in which the Raiders enjoyed a winning season.
Gurley may or may not be ready for training camp in August, but when healthy he has been the kind of dominant collegiate player who could be a long term fixture in the NFL. Sure Gurley is a phenomenal athletic talent. He's bigger, faster, and more agile than any man has any right to be.
Cedric joins Von Miller (2011), Ryan Tannehill (2012), Luke Jockel (2013), and Jake Matthews/Mike Evans/Johnny Manziel (2014) to keep the Aggies' streak of first-round players alive.
The people at Football Outsiders, who use advanced metrics, rated the Steelers's overall defense as 30th in the NFL last season. Dupree is being drafted to contribute immediately to their defense where he'll almost certainly play the outside linebacker role he did his last season at UK. Initially, his defensive coaches will have to use him wisely in his rookie season, as his strengths are not universal despite what our BBN biases want us to think.
Missouri defensive end Shane Ray was drafted in the first round with the 23rd pick by the Denver Broncos. The Broncos traded up from #28 to make this selection.
Humphries was one of the more puzzling early entrants to the 2015 NFL Draft at the time of his announcement. He received a grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board urging him to remain in school — one that corresponded to being picked in the third round or after — and yet decided to go pro anyway.
It was a wise decision.