#1 – Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
As a Browns fan, last night I fell in love with the current organisation’s front office just that little bit more. The reason this team has been the laughing stock of the NFL for so long is because it’s front office staff of recent years have be appalling – so many wasted high picks are going to set any franchise back years. Last night Sashi, Hue and the team finally gave us fans some genuine hope as they made the only pick that had to be made at #1 when they took the consensus best player in the draft instead of panicking and reaching for a QB as previous FO’s have. Fantastic pick and I can’t wait to see him at Twickenham Stadium, UK on Oct 29th against the Minnesota Vikings.
#2 – Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
The Chicago Bears drafted QB Mitchell Trubisky after doing a trade with the San Francisco 49ers that saw them move up one spot. I personally think the 49ers played the Bears good and proper here with all their talk of being very interested in Trubisky for themselves.
The Bears gave up their 2017 third overall pick + 2017 3rd and 4th round picks and their 2018 3rd round pick just to move up one place and pick a QB who only started 13 games in college. I’m still scratching my head on this one but can imagine 49ers fans are loving their new GM and front office as much as I’m loving the Browns’.
Even the Bears fans were like, “WTF?! A quarterback?! Oh man!”. Not surprising seeing as the team gave QB Mike Glennon a deal worth around $45 million during the start of free agency.
If you can explain this one to me, please do so in the comments below.
#3 – San Francisco 49ers: Soloman Thomas, DE, Stanford
After their brilliant trade with the Bears that sees the 49ers gain valuable draft picks, they went and picked the best run-stopping DE in the draft. This is why I think they played the Bears, they didn’t even plan to draft a QB anyway. I guess they could have had interest from other teams wanting to come up as well, though.
Well done to new 49ers GM John Lynch who gets his man and a 2017 3rd and 4th round pick plus a 3rd round pick in 2018 from the Bears. Nice!
#4 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Nearly everyone had this pick in their mock drafts right back when they started popping up quite a few months ago. I say “nearly” because I actually had them taking TE O.J. Howard with this pick in my NFL London Teams mock draft as I believe he would have been a great addition.
I’ve been looking forward to Leonard Fournette entering the NFL for a couple of seasons now and I think the Jaguars have got themselves a player who should quickly become one of the best runningbacks in the league. He’s another player I’m excited about seeing at Wembley Stadium for the teams 2017 NFL London game against the Baltimore Ravens on September 24th.
#5 – Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Regarded by many as the best WR in the draft, this was obviously a feeling shared by the Titans as they made him the first WR taken in this draft. Davis will be an immediate starter on an already good young Titans offense and will be their #1 WR. I’m a fan of QB Marcus Mariota, and it’ll be great to see him and this offense improve again in 2017. A great pick.
#6 – New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Maybe the only surprise here is that the Jets didn’t reach for a QB once again.
Adams was widely regarded as the best Safety in this draft class and is exactly what the Jets need to help improve their defense. A good pick up for this team to help compliment that potential young talent along their Dline.
#7 – LA Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
I really did think that Safety Malik Hooker from Oho State was going to be selected here but the Chargers went to the other side of the ball. Mike Williams was a lot of people’s best WR in this draft and was obviously too difficult for the Chargers to pass up. He’s big and strong with good hands and will be a great addition to that already stacked offense of QB Phillip Rivers, RB Melvin Gordon, TE Hunter Henry and WR Keenan Allan. This offense has the potential to be explosive!
#8 – Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
This pick was to be expected and McCaffrey is exactly what the Panthers need. They already have a good offense but have been missing this kind of playmaker in their backfield for a while. Defenses are going to have a hard time keeping track of where he and Cam Newton are at all times and if McCaffery is as good as Detroit Lions’ Theo Riddick then I’m looking forward to seeing him play.
#9 – Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR, Washington
Oh my God! The Bengals just got scary-good in the passing game. They were good anyway with QB Andy Dalton throwing to the likes of WR A.J. Green and TE Tyler Eifert, but they’ve just added the fastest player to ever run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine! The speed of Ross will compliment the size and skills of Green and Eifert perfectly. This could push the Bengals into the playoffs again after missing out in recent times.
#10 – Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
The second trade of the evening was made by the Kansas City Chiefs who wanted to move up to the #10 spot in order to grab their QB of the future. At the time this was unfolding, many were expecting it to be to get QB DeShaun Watson but the Chiefs shocked everyone by taking QB Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs gave up their 2017 1st and 3rd round picks as well as their 2018 1st round pick to move up the 17 places they thought they needed to in order to get their man.
Mahomes has a strong arm and can make plays happen when all looks lost. However, he can sometimes make mistakes by not reading the defense properly but this will be something he can work on whilst he sits behind current Chiefs QB Alex Smith for a year or two.
I think this is a good pick and Mahomes is one to watch for in a couple of seasons time.
#11 – New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
The best Cornerback in the draft goes to one of the neediest teams at that position. A great pick up by the Saints that I thought they’d not have the opportunity to make as many people had him going higher than this. He has had some hamstring issues in the past so maybe this is why other teams passed on him.
After adding a bit more quality to the Linebackers during free agency, this is a brilliant first draft pick by the Saints as their D-line already has potential. Perfect pick by the Saints and another potential star of the future who we’ll get to see at Wembley during the NFL London 2017 games.
#12 – Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
This was the point of the evening where the third trade was done, and yet again, for the third time, it was so a team could move up and get a QB.
The Houston Texans once again looked to the Browns as a dance partner, as they had done at the start of free agency when they offloaded QB Brock Osweiler and his ridiculous contract onto the Ohio team. This time they gave the Browns their 2017 1st round (25th overall) and their 2018 1st round pick in return for the Browns’ 2017 12th overall pick.
The Texans were forced into doing something like this as they were desperate for a QB after their Osweiler signing mistake, and with the two early moves for a QB in this draft by the Bears and Chiefs, the Texans decided now was the time to go get their guy. This guy was, in my opinion, the readiest of all this years QB’s in terms of being able to start in the NFL. I actually thought he would be the first QB off the board, but people seem to have fallen for Trubisky as the top prospect at the position this year.
I personally think the deal is good for the Texans as they are definitely a team that is in “Win Now!” mode and I see Watson starting at QB early in the season, if not even right from the start. The Browns also did great out of this deal seeing as they picked up yet another 1st round pick and still managed to get a good player at #25 in the position they desperately needed help with.
#13 – Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Reddick started playing football as a safety before being moved to DE and then to inside linebacker at the Senior Bowl. Tis is probably where he’ll play for the Cardinals with his old-school tough style of play.
Another good player that we’ll get to see in the NFL London 2017 games when they play the LA Rams at Twickenham Stadium on October 22nd.
#14 – Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
A great pick by the Eagles as they get the second best pass rushing DE in the draft. I was surprised he was still available outside of the top 10, but I guess the early run on QB’s were a reason for that. All-in-all a great pick and one I bet Eagles fans and front office staff alike didn’t think they’d get to make.
#15 – Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
If the Browns had still been picking at #12 instead of trading it to the Texans, I very much doubt that Hooker would still have been here at this point. He was regarded by some as the second best Safety in the draft and by many others as the best.
The Colts addressed the defense some in free agency by adding bodies up front, and this pick adds another solid piece to the puzzle as their unit gets an improved look for the 2017 season.
#16 – Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
A great pick by the Ravens as Humphrey has good cover skills. Looking at the Steelers offense and looking at the John Ross addition to the Bengals with the #9 pick, this pick looks like the usual solid selection that we’ve come to expect from the Ravens.
#17 – Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen, DT/DE, Alabama
This guy is a beast and would have probably gone in the top 3 had it not been for shoulder concerns that teams have about him. Allen is one of my favourite players from this draft and he’s going to one of my least favourite teams but I’ll still watch his game film as he’s a fantastic player. Only time will tell if all the other teams were right to pass on him or not.
An absolute steal by the Redskins in my opinion.
#18 – Tennessee Titans: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
As suspected beforehand, it had to be a cornerback after the Titans took WR Corey Davis with the 5th overall pick. Not only does Jackson play a good game of football at the cornerback position but he’s also explosive as a kick returner and has a good work ethic. The Titans have made an already up and coming young team even better. The AFC South might not be the worst division in football in 2017……maybe.
#19 – Tampa Bay: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
The Buccaneers have got themselves a great player in O.J. Howard and the best TE to come out of college in some time. He adds massively to both the run and pass games of any team with his blocking and catching abilities. Add him to Jameis Winston, DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans in the passing game and Doug Martin in the running game and the Buccaneers just got a whole lot better.
#20 – Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, UTAH
Finally, the first offensive lineman gets picked. This is the lowest pick for the first O-line player to be picked in a while, which shows that not only is this draft not the best for QB’s but also not that good if you were wanting to improve along your offensive front.
Denver was one of tose teams that did need help at the OT position and they’ve achieved that by taking one of the best in this shallow class. Bolles plays hard and nasty whilst being able to play more than one position along the O-line.
#21 – Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida
A great pick by the Lions as they’ve been desperate at the linebacker position for some time. Davis is quick and physical which is exactly what you need at the position.
The Lions could have taken Reuben Foster who is regarded as the best linebacker in this years draft, but with his off-field concerns and a possible shoulder issue, the Lions decided to go with Jarrad instead.
#22 – Miami Dolphins: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Yet another edge rusher taken in the first round. Harris is a quality edge rusher and will play from the start for the Dolphins. I imagine he was taken as Cameron Wake can’t have many more games left in the tank, and so Harris will soon enough be their #1 DE.
We’ll see him on the field at Wembley on October 1st, 2017 as the Dolphins take on the New Orleans Saints.
#23 – New York Giants: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
The New York Giants just added yet another great piece to their passing game. As if having QB Eli Manning, WR Odell Beckham Jr, WR Brandon Marshall and WR Sterling Shepard wasn’t enough to scare opposing defenses, they go and add, perhaps, the best receiving TE in the draft! I just hope the rest of the NFC East can defend the pass in this and future seasons.
Engram can also block in the running game, so that side of the offense will improve as well.
#24 – Oakland Raiders: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Wow! In this day and age of the NFL where teams pay millions of dollars to their players, I’m surprised that anyone would take Gareon Conley with a first round pick. I was sure he’d tumble out of this round and down to one of the lower ones and maybe not get drafted at all. Teams don’t usually like to take players who have issues off the field and with a rape claim being made against him just before the draft, his draft stock suddenly plummeted…or so people thought.
Conley has taken a polygraph test with regards to the rape claim and passed with no concerns and this was obviously good enough for the Raiders to decide to pull the trigger on this selection.
On the field this guy is a great addition to the Raiders defense, but there will be concerns until the allegations are resolved one way or another.
#25 – Cleveland Browns: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
After the trade with the Houston Texans, the Browns pop up again here at #25. With their pick at #1 of Myles Garrett they have made huge strides towards sorting out their woeful defense. What was still needed, though, was massive improvements at the Safety positions. I’d have loved it if they’d gone for Obi Melifonwu with this pick as then they would have nabbed the two biggest physical freaks from the NFL combine. Instead, they decided to go with Jabrill Peppers who can play either safety position and even at linebacker. A truly modern hybrid player that teams need in today’s league. He is also a good kick returner which should help the offense with good starting field position.
After the draft, Hue Jackson mentioned that Peppers will play at the Strong Safety position and in the special teams and they’ll get him some touches on offense as well as he’s great with the ball in his hands.
Not my first choice of safety but still a good addition. Add in the fact that Browns’ Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams is said to really like him and has successfully coached players like him in the past and Cleveland fans should be happy.
#26 – Atlanta Falcons: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA
This pick originally belonged to the Seattle Seahawks but yet again they decided to move out of the 1st round altogether. The Falcons took Takkarist who will be an instant day one starter on the outside at DE or OLB. He is good enough to help the Falcons get straight back to the playoffs and maybe even one step further than they managed in the 2016 season.
#27 – Buffalo Bills: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
One of the top CB’s in the draft so will be a great addition to the Bills defense at the #27 slot after they traded their #10 pick to the Chiefs. Has experience and good cover skills and vision. A solid addition.
#28 – Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
After spending many of their previous 1st round picks on offense, it was about time the Cowboys gave some love to the defense. Even I called this pick as it’s been apparent that they’ve needed an edge rusher to get after the QB for some time. Another good solid pick by the Cowboys that will improve them on the defensive side of the ball.
#29 – Cleveland Browns: David Njoku, TE, Miami
And so here we have the Cleveland Browns….again! They took this pick from the Green Bay Packers in exchange for their first pick in the 2nd round (33) and a 2017 4th round pick (108).
With the pick, they pick up the best remaining TE after O.J. Howard and Evan Engram had been picked earlier. Howard was the best TE in this draft but I feel Engram and Njoku were joint second.
Njoku is only 20 years old and already a fantastic athlete and receiving TE. He’ll still grow and bulk up and improve more in the running game with his blocking. He will soon enough become the Browns’ #1 TE as Gary Barnidge isn’t getting any younger and his production fell off during the 2016 season after a great 2015.
#30 – Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
This is the younger brother of the Texans’ JJ Watt so maybe there’s something in the Watt genes. I wasn’t sure he’d go in the first round but the Steelers liked what they saw. TJ Watt is yet another good edge rusher who started out playing at the Tight End position before moving to Linebacker.
#31 – San Francisco 49ers: Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama
The 49ers pick up the controversial linebacker to add to their earlier addition of DE Solomon Thomas at the #3 slot. Wow, that’s two very good additions to the defense if you’re looking at it from an on the field perspective and ignore Foster’s off-field issues. I personally think the 49ers have done brilliantly in this first round with their picks and pick up of additional draft picks. I reckon Foster will be ok and become another great ILB for the 49ers.
#32 – New Orleans Saints: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
One of, if not the top linemen in this year’s draft. He’ll slot straight in at the Right Tackle position and start from day one. I’m surprised the Saints didn’t go defense again but this is a good pick none-the-less and a good addition to their team.
So, that’s what went down in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Who did your team pick and are you happy with their selection? Also, who do you think came out of this round doing well and who came out of it having not done very well?
Let us know in the comments below.