Two former Louisville Cardinals were selected in the first round last night in the 2018 NFL Draft. Cornerback Jaire Alexander was taken by the Green Bay Packers at number 18, and Quarterback Lamar Jackson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens at number 32, the final pick of the opening round. There was a bit of drama surrounding the Heisman Trophy winner as he was seemingly destined to slide into the 2nd round, but like Teddy Bridgewate in 2014, a purple team swooped in at the last minute.
What do I think of where these two former Cards landed? I’ve got a few thoughts…
Lamar Jackson to the Ravens
While Joe Flacco has been a steady starting quarterback for the Ravens for what seems like forever, his lack of recent play off success has a lot of Baltimore fans anxious for a new direction, and considering that they selected a QB in the first round, their GM appears to feel the same way. Hopefully they bring Jackson in slowly, which I’m sure will happen because I don’t see Flacco getting benched any time soon. While the Ravens aren’t the sexiest franchise, I think he landed in a great situation as the Ravens seem to have big plans for their new gun slinger. I just hope fans are patient, and that coach John Harbaugh doesn’t throw him into the lineup too soon — I don’t see that happening next season barring an injury.
Watch a Lamar Jackson highlight reel below:
Jaire Alexander to the Packers
I’m not sure if Alexander could have ended up in a better situation. The Packers have been notoriously bad at cornerback (and defense in general), so you’d think that Jaire would get immediate playing time as we’ve seen with a lot of stud rookie corners. For example, Xavier Rhodes was selected by the Minnesota Vikings a few years ago and was featured immediately as their star shutdown back. I predict a similar situation with Alexander as their defensive situation can seemingly only get better.
Watch a Jaire Alexander highlight reel below:
As Round 2 of the NFL’s annual choose-em-up gets underway today, I’m anxious to see where the rest of Louisville’s pro prospects get drafted. Keep up with ESPN’s live draft coverage here.