2015 NFL Draft: First round winners and losers analyzed

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Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) and Carmen Gordon arrive on the gold carpet before the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The opening round of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago has concluded and it had a few surprises, but for the most part it was a pretty tame draft. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the picks for each team as the night went on and from those picks a few teams were made either winners and losers of the night.

I know, I know we are only one round into the draft and we have no idea how these players will end up years down the road. However, we have deemed some teams ‘losers’ based on the fact that they reached for a pick, seemed to just not pick the right guy, or didn’t have certain things go their way.

Likewise, some teams made some extremely valuable picks and got players that many thought would be selected earlier in the draft. Teams were also potentially ‘winners’ of the first round if they selected a talented player that they believe will instantly fill a need this fall without sacrificing value.

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It should be noted that simply filling a need position doesn’t mean a team is a ‘winner’ of the first round. It’s important to draft a prospect at a great value that the team also believes has a high ceiling. A player that dominated college football may be near his peak; although that doesn’t mean he’ll continue to be great in the pros.

We have determined whether or not each of the 32 first round draft picks have ample remaining potential or not and that really helped determine which teams were winners and losers. Also, risk was factored into our thought-process.

I hesitate to call the Chicago Bears winners because they had such strong interest in trading for the No. 2 spot in the draft, but didn’t execute the trade. That said, I think picking up wide receiver Kevin White was an absolutely great move. However, the Bears are essentially back to where they were when they had Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, so it’s not like they’ve made huge strides in the grand scheme overall.

The top two picks for Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota by Tampa Bay and Tennessee were such no-brainers, and seemingly franchise-changing draft picks, that I didn’t include them in this analysis. They are both winners as of now, but everyone that watched the draft already knows that, so they were omitted from this list. It should be noted that the New England Patriots landed a great value pick when they took defensive tackle Malcom Brown 32nd overall.

However, the Minnesota Vikings are my ‘honorable mention’ winner of the night. They didn’t cave and trade away future Hall of Fame running back Adrian Peterson — good for them. My ‘honorable mention’ for loser of the night has to be outside linebacker Randy Gregory; once a potential top-5 draft pick he wasn’t selected in the first round. Stay away from pot kids, especially if you’re months away from becoming an NFL player and obviously going to be drug tested.

How did your team do? Is your team a ‘winner’ or ‘loser’ of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft?

Next: The Three Winners