Image Source: NFL Fan UK
The 2017 NFL Draft is over and all the picks are in and revealed. Unlike in the 1st round of this year’s draft, all 8 NFL London 2017 teams made selections on day 2 in an attempt to improve their rosters.
So, which of the 2017 NFL London teams picked which players on day 2 of the NFL Draft and what do we think of those selections. Let’s have a look.
The Cardinals started day 2 of the draft picking in 4th spot (36th overall) after doing a trade with the Chicago Bears and they selected one of the best Safeties in the draft, Budda Baker out of Washington. Baker is considered to be a little undersized and he isn’t one of the better catchers of the ball either. Having said that, he is good in the box and is a good tackler meaning he could make it as a good Strong Safety in the league.
In the 3rd round, the Cardinals decided to go offense and selected WR Chad Williams out of Grambling State. Williams wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine so we didn’t get to see much of him pre-draft but he’s said to have good hands and speed as well as being able to break tackles. This all sounds good and he should prove to be a solid addition to the Cardinals roster but there were some off-the-field issues that he can, hopefully, put behind him now he’s in the pros.
The Cardinals are one of those teams that should be up there challenging for a playoff spot but, for some reason, they haven’t been. With the addition of Baker to an already good secondary (when Tyrann Mathieu isn’t injured) the defense will improve and if Williams can keep away from off-the-field nonsense, they might have their replacement for a soon to be retiring Larry Fitzgerald.
Baltimore certainly like their Linebackers and that’s where they went in the 2nd round. They selected LB Tyus Bowser from Houston with the 47th overall selection. He’s fast and athletic meaning he can chase down the opposition and drop into pass coverage with a good amount of success.
In the 3rd round, the Ravens had two picks and went defense again with both. The first of the two was at pick 74 where they took DT/DE Chris Wormley from Michigan. He’s as big and strong as you’d expect from a defensive lineman, which allows him to occupy offensive linemen whilst pushing the pocket. He’s also quick which is why Michigan played him on the edge at times.
The team’s second pick in the 3rd round came in the form of LB Tim Williams from Alabama. I personally expected him to go a bit higher than his 78th overall draft spot as he’s an edge rusher, that everybody seems to want these days, and very good at it. I was hoping my Cleveland Browns would have picked him up at the top of round 3 but instead, they will now have to try and block him twice a season. I think we can expect to see Williams appearing on the sack charts soon.
All-in-all, a very good 2nd day of the draft for the Ravens that sees them add some vital parts to their defense.
The Browns should have been picking at the top of round 2 but they had done a trade with the Green Bay Packers on day 1 so they could move back into the bottom of the first and pick up TE David Njoku. They did, however, have a pick at the 20th spot of this round (52nd overall) and that’s where they nabbed QB DeShone Kizer out of Notre Dame. Kizer is exactly what coach Jackson was looking for in a QB as he is tall and well built at 6’4″, 233lbs and has big hands, a strong arm and is athletic. He’s also an Ohio native which won’t harm his cause any. I personally believe that Kizer was the guy for Hue since day one as he mentioned on more than one occasion that those traits are what he was looking for. To have him fall to them at the 52nd overall pick was just perfect for the Browns seeing as he had been touted by some as the best QB in this draft class not that long ago. Maybe the Browns’ days of reaching for QB’s is finally over and with 2 first round picks in next year’s draft, they definitely stand a good chance of grabbing one of the top prospects which is said to be a much better class for QB’s than this year. Will Kizer start the 2017 season? He shouldn’t but we’ll have to see what the offseason brings.
In the 3rd round, the Browns were back to picking first and selected DT Larry Ogunjobi from Charlotte. He is great against the run and ranked 1st in Run Stop % with PFF. Add him to the interior of the defensive line next to Danny Shelton and you have a combination that can tie up much of the opposing offensive line meaning we should see Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah doing well at getting into the backfield. I like this pick (along with the Caleb Brantley pick in the 6th round) as it gives the Browns a scary D-line.
Two more great picks for the Browns to go with the ones from day 1. A truly exciting time for us Browns fans as well as for everyone attending the 2017 Vikings @ Browns game at Twickenham. That game suddenly got a whole lot more competitive!
In the 2nd round, the Jaguars decided to trade up one spot which would see them picking 2nd (34th overall). They gave the Seahawks their own 2nd round pick (35th overall) and a 6th rounder to do so. With the pick, they selected OT Cam Robinson who was regarded as one of, if not the, best linemen in the draft. The Jaguars flashed potential with their offensive line recently but that seems to have all come apart now so this pick is a good one. Robinson is a reliable lineman who will start at Tackle but who can also play inside if needed to. The selection of RB Leonard Fournette in the 1st round was the perfect one for the Jags anyway but his chances of performing like Ezekiel Elliot did for the Cowboys last year just got better with the addition of Robinson.
In the 3rd round (68th overall) the Jaguars went to the defense with their pick. They took DE Dawuane Smoot from Illinois. He is a solid pass rusher and knows his way into the backfield to disrupt things. He usually gets there via his rip move or by straight up overpowering his blocker. He’s definitely not flashy but should add to an already good defensive line in Jacksonville.
I liked the Cam Robinson pick in the 2nd round as the Jaguars do need to get better up front on offense. At the time I was a bit confused about the team picking another defensive lineman as I thought they could have gone elsewhere. Smoot is one of those players that will come in and do his job and gradually get better. He will also take up Jared Odrick’s place on the roster after the team let him walk at the end of the 2016 season.
Wow, what a fantastic pick by the Vikings in the 2nd round. With the 41st overall pick, they managed to get RB Dalvin Cook from Florida State! I was sure the Green Bay Packers were going to take him with the first pick in the second round but they went with CB Kevin King instead. The Vikings traded with the Bengals to move up to this position in order to get their man which cost them their 2nd rounder and a 4th rounder. After letting the ageing Adrian Peterson go in free agency, this pick is just fantastic for the Vikings and their fans. It just makes so much sense. He’s a 3-down back who makes people miss and as such can score from just about anywhere. Many people had him as the best running back in the draft, so for him to fall to #41 is incredible. It was his off-the-field friends and his past that scared many teams off taking him as high as his on-the-field skills deserved but the Vikings could have got the steal of the draft here.
In the 3rd round, the Vikings added a piece to their team that could help Dalvin Cook out just that bit more. They selected C Pat Elflein from OSU with the 70th overall pick. He’s another of the top linemen in this relatively weak offensive line class and could very likely slot straight in for day one at either Center or Guard. He’s very good technically but lacking slightly in athletic terms. Having said that, I see him being a solid starter on the team for quite a few years.
A very exciting day 2 for Vikings fans, I imagine, as they picked up what I see as the potential steal of the draft with Cook at #41. Then adding a solid, reliable lineman up front which has been a need for this team for a while now.
New Orleans Saints
In the 2nd round, the Saints continued to add to their disappointing 2016 season defense. After adding the top Cornerback prospect in the form of Marshon Lattimore in the 1st round they continued to add talent to the defensive secondary as they added FS Marcus Williams out of UTAH. Williams will play at the Free Safety position for the Saints and he is a good cover guy who rarely gets beat. He’s also a solid tackler as he has good technique instead of trying to make the highlight reel with some big hit.
In the 3rd round (67th overall), the Saints were licking their lips as they had 3 picks at their disposal. With the first of the 3, they made a selection that I was confused about at the time. After adding Adrian Peterson from free agency, they now decide to add RB Alvin Kamara as well. One of the top 4 Running Backs in this strong draft class, I finally think this was actually a solid pick and the Saints now don’t have to worry about this position for the foreseeable future. Kamara will play his part in 2017 along with Peterson and Ingram, but I suspect his main role is to learn as much as he can from the other two, especially Peterson, whilst they are in the same room as he is. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Alvin Kamara turns out to be the best Running Back from this draft in a few years time.
After the Kamara pick, they went straight back to sorting out that defense of theirs with the remaining two picks in the 3rd round. Firstly they went with LB Alex Anzalone from Florida with the 76th overall pick. He’s a good cover linebacker with good size and athletism but who has been injured often with his shoulder. He can also rush the QB well and will probably start early for the Saints due to his attributes and abilities.
The second of the two defensive selections in this round by the Saints was for DE Trey Hendrickson from Florida Atlantic with the 103rd pick. He’s good off the mark and is an out and out edge rusher with not much success in a run-stopping role. He’ll just be used in passing situations until the coaching staff can teach him to help to stop the run.
The New Orleans Saints had a good day on day 2 of the draft as they added some picks and used them to strengthen areas of definite need. As I said, I didn’t understand the addition of Alvin Kamara to the running backs room at first, but now I’ve had time to think about it, I’m excited for his future with the team and I hope he plays a role against the Dolphins at Wembley in their 2017 NFL London game. The 3 additions to the defense will also help with FS Williams and LB Anzalone playing a large role right from the start. Hendrickson will also play a role but I don’t see it as being quite as large as the other two to start, if ever.
In the 2nd round (54th overall), the Miami Dolphins made a pick that some may say was a bit of a reach as they took LB Raekwon McMillan from Ohio State. In college he was decent but people have concerns that opposing NFL offensive linemen might be able to move him too easily. His speed and athletism have also been questioned but he did well at the NFL Combine as he ran faster than many thought he could. Time will tell with McMillan but that is one thing he has as the Dolphins brought in Lawrence Timmons and re-signed Kiko Alonso who can both start at the LB position and McMillan can learn from.
The 3rd round saw the team stick at building the defense in the hopes of propelling them further in the playoffs. They took CB Cordrea Tankersley from Clemson with the 98th overall pick. This guy has been accused of not being interested in getting involved in running plays and also has a tendency to get too physical at the top of pass routes which could get him penalised too often in the pro game. He is, however, a very good press corner who has good size and length to press and jam at the line of scrimmage.
I wouldn’t say the Dolphins had the best 2nd and 3rd round out of the 8 NFL London teams but, still, they drafted two players for the future who could, and should, develop into solid starters.
After having to sit out of the 1st round due to them not having any picks, the LA Rams stepped back in for the start of the 2nd. They immediately set to work adding targets for last years #1 pick, QB Jared Goff. With this 44th pick overall, they went for TE Gerald Everett from South Alabama. This guy was actually rated higher on some people’s draft boards than some of the TE’s taken in the 1st round. He’s a big target for Goff and should play an extensive role in their redzone offense.
The Rams had two picks in the 3rd round and added another great piece to their offense and the targets for QB Jared Goff by adding WR Cooper Kupp from Eastern Washington with the 69th overall selection. He isn’t the quickest of receivers but he runs routes very well and has great hands. I imagine he’ll see a role as a slot receiver as well as a kick returner. Add Kupp and Everett together and the Rams’ passing game suddenly looks a lot better.
They then picked FS Jon Johnson out of Boston College with the 91st overall pick. He’s not the best-tackling Safety to get selected in this draft but he is good at pass coverage and could start for the team early on in his career.
A good day 2 for the Rams seeing as they had no day 1 picks. I think they managed to improve their passing game which should help Jared Goff a lot. Both Everett and Kupp have good hands and so should catch more passes which in turn should, hopefully, give Goff more confidence and the Rams can be proven right to have given up so much last year to get him. It might also make their NFL London game against the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium more interesting to watch than the game they played there last year against the New York Giants.
Let us know what you think
So, what did you think of your team’s 2017 NFL Draft selections and/or those of the 2017 NFL London teams? Do you agree with my thoughts or do you think I’ve got it all wrong? Let us know in the comments below.