Day 1 of the NFL draft in Las Vegas had some medical winners and losers.
The biggest loser so far is Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo, once a top ten pick who is still on the board in the second round due to his Achilles tendon rupture that happened during his pro day. Cam Akers made a quick comeback to play for the Rams, but he was clearly subpar in the playoffs from the Achilles. Certainly it would be hard to project an impactful rookie season, and Ojabo has paid the draft price.
Carson Strong may not be taken in Day 2 today due to his knee issues, which have affected his mobility and which present a long-term problem.
Of course, Justyn Ross is the most unfortunate. After his rookie season with Trevor Lawrence at QB, he was eyed as a first round pick. However, due to congenital neck issues that led to fusion surgery, his NFL dreams are likely over, as teams are unlikely to pass him on a physical.
The two top offensive linemen projected in the top three both fell slightly due to medical issues. Ikem Ekwonu fell to the hometown Panthers at 6 due to a right shoulder issue. Meanwhile, Alabama tackle Evan Neal fell to the New York Giants at No. 7.
Jameson Williams probably was the top wide receiver but for his ACL tear and dropped to the Lions as the fourth WR chosen at No. 12. He won’t be ready for the start of the season, and really, he should be judged by his second season, as we expect a subpar rookie campaign.
Winners include Derek Stingley, Jr., Drake London and Kenny Pickett. CB Stingley went higher than many mocks at No. 3 to the Texans, and we expect no problems from his Lisfranc injury. We had no medical concerns for London coming off his ankle fracture/dislocation, and indeed, he was the first WR off the board and those who followed are advance cashed in.
Pickett’s hand size proved to be a nonissue for the hometown Steelers, as he was the only QB off the board in round one.
Whoever lands WR George Pickens can expect first-round talent at a second-round bargain as he should be fully recovered from his ACL for this season.
Lots of trade marked Day On,e and two more days of NFL Vegas draft fun to go. OutKick will be here to keep you updated on the health of the draftees for your team.