At the Top of the Board- First Picks of the 2017 NFL Draft
A Weekend to Remember
With the first selection of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Cleveland Browns chose an all-star SEC 3-technique defensive end in Myles Garrett from Texas A&M. Garrett is a stout and quick footed lineman with the power to put some pop on the Browns’ defensive front. Garrett posted a 4.64 sec 40-yard dash and a 41 inch vertical at the combine, showing he has the speed and power to dominate off of the end. While he still needs improvement with strategy and learning to combine his moves more efficiently, Garrett is still sure to make a huge improvement for a Browns' team looking to turn their club around, again.
San Francisco, who held the second overall pick, made a last minute trade deal with Chicago that left Bears fans fuming and throwing remotes at televisions. Chicago gave up a boatload of picks to questionably select North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky, a player they definitely could have snagged later on without trading a damn thing. According to Deadspin's Barry Petchesky and CBS Sports, GM Ryan Pace made the pick with out informing his colleagues, so it was a huge surprise to head coach John Fox and newly acquired veteran QB Mike Glennon (who was also invited to the Bears' draft party).
After the robbery of a trade with Chicago, San Francisco laughs all of the way to the podium and takes Solomon Thomas DE from Stanford at number three. Rookie GM John Lynch, looked anything but when he was maneuvering through his draft board over the weekend. The lopsided trade gave the 49er's a lot more draft value to wheel and deal with as they got deeper into the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are looking to bring a star player home to Duval, and they did just that with a powerhouse runner in Leonard Fournette from LSU. The Jaguars are beyond lacking in the running game and this season is a must win in the eyes of most fans. Most teams shy away from first round running backs, but in their position Jacksonville made a bold move to shore up the run game. As a Jags fan, all signs were pointing to Fournette pre-draft to join the squad and hopefully give quarterback Blake Bortles some much needed assistance in the backfield. With this pick, the SEC produces multiple top five picks, once again.
Oh Philly! Home of the Cheesesteak and the NFL Draft
Keep it Rolling
Western Michigan gets to see their own Corey Davis go to the Titans at number 5 overall, as Tennessee works to improve the offensive pieces around third year QB Marcus Mariota. Hopefully, Davis' speed will be able to give Mariota an outside threat and the Titans a true number one receiver. With Houston and Jacksonville looking to take big targets off this draft board, the Titans need to make their picks count to stay a float in the "soon-to-be tougher" AFC South.
The first 5 picks have been very interesting to say the least. Already going against the grain, this draft is going to be memorable. So far the wonkiest decisions have been Chicago's trade style and silly selection for QB at number 2 overall. After considering what the Bears had to give up to make that selection, I'm hoping that they feel really good about it. I guess anyone is better than Culter! Keep drinking Bears fans, it's going to be a long summer!
Taking It Downtown
Apparently, the City of Philadelphia has really thrown down on hospitality and atmosphere. On Twitter, ESPN's Adam Schefter threw out this notice:
" Wildest, most raucous atmosphere in draft history. Philadelphia bringing it."
I can't think of anything better than sitting down to a cheesesteak sandwich and ice cold brew, watching this madness take place.
I thought that picks 6 through 12 were pretty bland with exception to numbers and 8, 10 and 12. Here they are:
6) Jets-Jamal Adams, LSU, Safety
7) Chargers-Mike Williams, Clemson, WR
8) Pathers-Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, RB
9) Bengals-John Ross, Washington, WR
10) Chiefs-Patrick Mahomes II, Texas Tech, QB
11) Saints-Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, CB
12) Texans- Deshaun Watson, Clemson, QB
At number 8, the Carolina Panthers were able to snag the athletic prodigy by the name of Christian McCaffery at RB to provide depth and speed behind Cam Newton.
Christian McCaffery is the son of former Stanford and NFL great Ed McCaffery and former Stanford soccer star Lisa McCaffery. Christian's grandfather was also an U.S. Olympic great, Dave Sime. This young player has big shoes to fill, but all signs point to this not being an issue for him.
The Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes II out of Texas Tech. It's been the fist time since 1983 that Kansas City has selected a QB in the first round. Andy Ried is highly regarded as a top tier QB developer and with Alex Smith still under contract for two more, the Cheifs have plenty of time to develop this young player. The KC system is complex, but Mahomes II has a high football IQ and a decent veteran to learn from.
As for the 12th overall selection, the Houston Texans are going to try another option at QB by selecting Clemson's own Deshaun Watson. The Texans are looking to get past their Brock Osweiler blunder and finally get a franchise quarterback strapped in seat for the long haul. Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is excited for the change. He told the Texans' Insider and lead writer Deepi Sidhu:
"He's a winner, 35-5 as a college quarterback, national champion."
In the End
At the top of the Round 1 draft board sits many players who have a real chance to offer fast change to their new teams. Many of these young players are used to focusing on themselves to make a name in college, but in the wilds of the NFL, these guys have to learn to rely on team to succeed. In a few short years, many will have shown to be absolute busts. And while it will take that time to surpass for us to see how Chicago fares with Trubisky, I think that most of the highly regarded players on this list will be shining in their own ways.