Super Bowl LII was an epic game full of drama. Everything from trick plays to bold fourth down calls, and finally ending with back-up QB Nick Foles being named MVP and the Eagles winning their first ever title.
But this was more than just a fantastic game, it was also a potential look into the future. There are several take aways from this Super Bowl that I think will have a significant impact on this year’s NFL Draft.
1) The Lions will draft a pass rusher early
Matt Patricia’s defense was absolutely shredded by Nick Foles and the Eagles. A big part of that was because New England couldn’t get any pressure on the quarterback. Foles had all night to sit back and comfortably pick the Patriots apart. Now Patricia will be moving on to be the head coach in Detroit, with expectations of rebuilding their defense. After this embarrassing Super Bowl preference, I doubt he’ll allow himself to be put in this position again. If the Lions don’t get a pass rusher in the first two rounds, I’ll be stunned.
2) The Patriots will draft a quarterback this year
Tom Brady probably had the greatest quarterback preference of all-time last night. However, there were brief moments where I felt he was showing some age. That’s not surprising considering he’s 40 years old and threw the ball nearly 50 times. All the same, it made me very aware that Tom Brady is in fact human and will probably only play another year or two. Considering that the Patriots traded away two young quarterbacks this year and brought in a guy nearly as old as Brady to back him up, they will need to draft the heir to the proverbial throne. Don’t be shocked if the Pats grab a QB as early as round two.
3) There will be an early run on interior offensive lineman
The NFL has always been a copy-cat league, and I can guarantee you that teams are going to want to recreate this Eagles recipe for success. Specifically the way Philadelphia was able to run the ball right down the Patriots throats. A big reason they were able to do that is the strength of their offensive line. Well, it just so happens that this is a great class of offensive linemen, specifically on the interior. You can expect at least two of these guys to go in the first round, and probably half a dozen to be picked by the middle of the second round. You better hope your team doesn’t wait because guards and centers are going to be drafted higher this year than they have in years past.
4) The Colts will add defense early and often
Is there anyone more frustrated than Josh McDaniels after this Super Bowl? The Patriots offense moved up and down the field all night, never punting the entire game, and it still wasn’t enough. Now he moves on from Tom Brady to Andrew Luck, and I get the feeling that combination will be able to put point on the board. The trick will be trying to stop anyone. The Colts defense was pathetic last year, and I’d expect Indianapolis to throw a lot of resources at it in the off-season to make sure they don’t suffer the same fate as New England did when it mattered most.