Who struck Gold and who struck out?

The NFL draft took place in Chicago for the second straight year in a row. Photographer: Omair khan

The NFL draft took place in Chicago for the second straight year in a row.
Photographer: Omair Khan

It’s that time of year again, when NFL teams welcome loads of young talent from across the nation through the NFL Draft. Some of the nation’s top prospects had their dreams finally come true as they were drafted by their respective teams from April 28th-30th. Many of these young athletes will make the transition from playing football recreationally to playing for millions of dollars annually.

As many players wait to be taken off the board, many teams are working very hard scouting each player and making sure that they select the very best option for their team. Many GMs and scouts face tons of pressure during the NFL draft, if the players they select turn out to be busts, there’s a high chance that they will get fired.

Struck Gold

New Orleans Saints

1 (12). Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

2 (47). Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

2 (61). Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State

4 (120). David Onyemata, DT, Manitoba (Canada)

7 (237). Daniel Lasco, RB, Cal

First round pick Sheldon Rankins is a dynamic defensive lineman who can cause disruption up front. He’s an instant starter on that Saints defense. Adding wide receiver Michael Thomas in the second round gives the Saints a big body wide out with good hands. Seventh-round pick Daniel Lasco impressed scouts at the combine with some big workout numbers. He may start off on special teams and take on a bigger role in the saints’ offense in a few years.

Struck out

Carolina Panthers

1 (30). Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

2 (62). James Bradberry, CB, Samford

3 (77). Daryl Worley, CB, West Virginia

5 (141). Zack Sanchez, CB, Oklahoma

7 (252). Beau Sandland, TE, Montana State

After letting starting cornerback Josh Norman leave, the Panthers decided to use multiple picks to find his replacement.  They started with Bradberry who has impressive size but not a lot of experience. Then they drafted Daryl Worley in the third round. He’s a risk-taking cornerback who can get beat by being too aggressive. Zack Sanchez has been very inconsistent, however he may shows signs of promise playing with an impressive defense and coach. The Panthers desperately needed an offensive tackle in this draft after their offensive line imploded during the Superbowl, they didn’t take one.