NFL Draft Analysis: Experts' Biggest Surprises of Draft

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NFL Draft Analysis: Experts' Biggest Surprises of Draft
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The NFL draftniks predicted what would happen in the NFL draft and watched in amazement as their mock drafts went up in flames. 

For the first time in forever, many experts and insiders were split between two players who would go No. 1. Then the Chiefs were on the clock, followed by a Central Michigan offensive lineman getting called to the podium.

It was that kind of NFL draft on Thursday night.

With that said, the first pick wasn’t the only interesting moment at Radio City Music Hall. Here are the experts' biggest shock-value moments.

 

E.J. Manuel, Not Geno Smith, Is the First QB Taken Off the Board

Manuel wasn’t expected to come off the board so early, but Doug Marrone and Co. shocked the NFL world with their first-round selection.

The reaction from the experts was negative, including ESPN's Todd McShay candidly disapproving the pick:

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. contributed his thoughts on Manuel at No. 16 in his morning column:

I'm going to root for Manuel, because he's a great kid and because Buffalo deserves to draft a quarterback and have it work out. But he was my No. 6-ranked quarterback because he hasn't developed as a player who reads the whole field and gets through his progressions well. And he's had the reps.

Manuel certainly has his share of doubters of his first-round selection following the draft. Fortunately, all that matters is the Bills are in love with him.

 

Sharrif Floyd Drops All the Way to No. 23, Vikings Get Three First-Rounders

You had to have felt sorry for Floyd, who was pegged as a top-five pick by experts, only to fall all the way to No. 23.

ESPN's Trey Wingo examined the draft scene last night and acknowledged Floyd’s unfortunate predicament:

 

But like all late first-round picks, he’ll be headed to a playoff team. The Minnesota Vikings have a need for a defensive tackle and the Gators’ star will fit right in.

The Vikings weren’t done either. Before the night was over, they snagged three great value picks in Floyd, Xavier Rhodes and Cordarrelle Patterson late in the first round.

B/R’s Matt Miller echoed those sentiments after the night ended.

 

The Cowboys Traded Down For Low Value, Draft Travis Fredrick

Grade Travis Fredrick to the Cowboys:

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The Cowboys traded down out 13 spots and only received the No. 74 pick in return. Then they took Frederick, a decent prospect but not much value at No. 31, according to draftniks.

Mel Kiper Jr. likes Fredrick to contribute soon, but doesn’t like when the Cowboys picked him:

Travis Frederick is an immediate starter for the Cowboys, who played half their roster at the position last year, but he's also the No. 87-ranked player on my board. Good need pick, but not a great value

Safe to say the San Francisco 49ers fleeced Jerry Jones and Co. in that deal. Were the Cowboys targeting Frederick all along?

This writer doesn’t believe it.

 

A Handful of Players Left Out of the First Round

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The draft had been widely regarded as defense-laden, but no one expected what went down on Thursday night.

For the first time in 50 years, no running back was taken in the first round. Not to mention only one quarterback was taken and it wasn’t Geno Smith.

In addition, several first-round graded players by experts are available early in the second round. Here’s NBC Sports' writer Evan Silva’s list:

 

The second round should not disappoint.

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