2017 NFL Draft: First-Round Recap

Mitchell Trubisky Chicago Bears 2017 NFL Draft Roger GoodellThe first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is in the books.

There were a few trades, but very little surprises. I guess the most surprising trend of the night was how much teams were getting to trade down in the draft. The Bears, Chiefs and Texans paid a huge premium to trade up to draft quarterbacks.

We explain our thoughts on each first round pick and compare them to our 2017 NFL Mock Draft.

1. Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett – DE – Texas A&M Aggies – I’m glad the Browns stuck to the ‘best player available’ for their #1 pick. I’m sure some people were in their ear trying to persuade them to draft a quarterback, but they held their ground. (Mock: DE Myles Garrett)

2. Chicago Bears – Mitchell Trubisky – QB – North Carolina Tar Heels – The Bears traded up and gave up a lot of picks to move up one spot to draft Trubisky. The Bears paid Mike Glennon this offseason, so giving up so much to draft Trubisky is a head-scratcher. I don’t get it, but hopefully Trubisky is more than a one-year wonder. (Mock: DE Solomon Thomas)

3. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas – DE – Stanford Cardinal – The Niners dropped a spot, picked up picks and still ended up with the guy they wanted the most. Great move by the Niners and Thomas should be a great pro due to his athleticism and ability to play anywhere on defensive line. (Mock: CB Marshon Lattimore)

4. Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard Fournette – RB – LSU Tigers – This was probably the most predictable pick in the entire draft. The Jags were in desperate need of a running back and Fournette could be a franchise-changer like Ezekiel Elliott was last year for the Cowboys. (Mock: Leonard Fournette)

5. Tennessee TitansCorey Davis – WR – Western Michigan Broncos – I thought they would pick Clemson’s Mike Williams here, but they clearly liked Davis more. He was a machine at Western Michigan and will be a nice target for QB Marcus Mariota. He’s a tall receiver with some speed, so I don’t worry much about him coming from a mid-major. (Mock: WR Mike Williams)

6. New York JetsJamal Adams – S – LSU Tigers – This was another fairly predictable selection. The Jets secondary was a disaster and Adams can even help with run defense. Some people had Adams as the second-best player in the draft, so the Jets may have gotten a steal at #6. (Mock: S Jamal Adams)

7. San Diego ChargersMike Williams – WR – Clemson Tigers – The Chargers probably didn’t think Williams would still be on the board at this point. He’s a big receiver with big play ability. He will be a nice red zone target for QB Philip Rivers. (Mock: S Malik Hooker)

8. Carolina PanthersChristian McCaffrey – RB – Stanford Cardinal– I thought the Panthers would go pass rusher here, but McCaffrey was a smart choice. They need some new blood in the backfield since their current options are injury-prone. Cam Newton will be much more effective with a running game, so he doesn’t have to run himself and get injured. (Mock: DE Jonathan Allen)

9. Cincinnati BengalsJohn Ross – WR – Washington Huskies – I should have known they would go wide receiver here. They desperately needed more options after WRs Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones left via free agency before last season. Ross is a speedy option, but he does have injury concerns. He missed an entire season in college with a knee injury and a shoulder injury left him unable to do some drills this offseason. (Mock: DE Taco Charlton)

10. Kansas City Cheifs – Patrick Mahomes II – QB – Texas Tech Red Raiders – The Chiefs gave up a TON to trade Buffalo for the #10 pick. I actually had the Chiefs picking Mahomes at #27, but I guess they heard he wouldn’t be available to them there. Mahomes could be a very good quarterback. He will take some time under the learning tree as QB Alex Smith plays next season. Mahomes could be the starting quarterback for the Chiefs at the start of the 2018 season. (Mock: QB Mitchell Trubisky)

11. New Orleans SaintsMarshon Lattimore – CB – Ohio State Buckeyes – This draft is stocked with talented cornerbacks and safeties. The Saints needed to upgrade their secondary due to them facing QBs Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston a total of six times a year. Solid pick by the Saints. (Mock: LB Reuben Foster)

12. Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson – QB – Clemson Tigers – The Browns got a king’s ransom to move down and let the Texans pick quarterback Deshaun Watson at #12. The Texans needed a quarterback of the future and Watson is that guy. I hope he doesn’t play right away. Watson needs some time to learn a pro-style offense. (Mock: TE O.J. Howard)

13. Arizona CardinalsHaason Reddick – LB – Temple Owls – I almost had Reddick here in my mock draft. I thought they would upgrade their wide receiving corps, but Davis and Williams were both off the board at this point. Reddick is a solid pick who can play all over the place as a linebacker. (Mock: WR Corey Davis)

14. Philadelphia EaglesDerek Barnett – DE – Tennessee Volunteers – The Eagles needed a pass rusher and Barnett can line up on either side. They will now have a front-four of Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernigan and Barnett. That’s a pretty damn good line.  (Mock: WR John Ross)

15. Indianapolis ColtsMalik Hooker – S – Ohio State Buckeyes – The Colts needed someone to replace Mike Adams (who signed with Carolina). Hooker is an Adams-like safety with ballhawking skills. He should get a handful of interceptions a year. (Mock: RB Christian McCaffrey)

16. Baltimore RavensMarlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama Crimson Tide – I didn’t Have Humphrey as a first-round pick in my mock draft. I knew there was a chance since there were a few teams late in the first-round that needed a cornerback. I feel the Ravens reached a little here. I liked Washington’s Kevin King much more. (Mock: DE Derek Barnett)

17. Washington RedskinsJonathan Allen – DL – Alabama Crimson Tide – Here’s another defensive line player who can play all over the line. Allen is a very good player from possible the best defense in all of college football last year. It’s hard to miss on a guy like that. (Mock: LB Haason Reddick)

18. Tennessee TitansAdoree’ Jackson – S – USC Trojans – This pick leaves a little to be desired. Jackson is an undersized cornerback and I worry about him in man coverage. He is a much better returner than a cornerback. Unfortunately for the Titans, the return game is becoming such a small part of the game due to rule changes. (Mock: CB Tre’Davious White)

19. Tampa Bay BuccaneersO.J. Howard – TE – Alabama Crimson Tide – The Bucs recently whiffed on Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Howard more of a can’t-miss tight end than any other in this draft. QB Jameis Winston will have Desean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and now Howard as targets. Winston could have a career year if his receivers stay healthy. (Mock: RB Dalvin Cook)

20. Denver BroncosGarrett Bolles – OT – Utah Utes – This draft is extremely thin on great offensive lineman. Bolles has quick feet and can step into the left tackle starting job immediately. Teams are relying more and more on speedy edge rushers and Bolles has enough athleticism and speed to take care of fast defensive ends. (Mock: OT Cam Robinson)

21. Detroit LionsJerrad Davis – LB – Florida Gators – The Dolphins probably all uttered a curse word when the Lions selected Davis. I heard he was very high up on Miami’s draft board. Davis has a motor that doesn’t quit. He doesn’t take plays off and can play all three downs. Really nice pick for the Lions. (Mock: DE Takkarist McKinley)

22. Miami DolphinsCharles Harris – LB – Missouri Tigers – Since the Dolphins missed out on Davis, Harris is the next best linebacker in the draft. He will play a much different role than Davis would have played. Harris could be the bookend for Cameron Wake or a backup to Wake and newly-signed William Hayes. (Mock:LB Jarrad Davis)

23. New York GiantsEvan Engram – TE – Ole Miss Rebels – This is an interesting pick. He’s a small tight end, but will create some beneficial match-ups. Engram will be hard for linebackers to keep up with. He will struggle to block, but I doubt Engram will be asked to do much of that out of the gate. (Mock: OT Garrett Boles)

24. Oakland RaidersGareon Conley – CB – Ohio State Buckeyes – This is a very old school Raiders type of pick. Conley is the subject of a sexual assault investigation, yet the Raiders thought he was safe enough to draft him in the first round. The Raiders have had success rehabbing players with sketchy off-the-field issues. Hopefully Conley will be found innocent of his charges or the Raiders is on the hook for this poor decision. (Mock: OT Ryan Ramczyk)

25. Cleveland Browns – Jabrill Peppers – S – Michigan Wolverines – This is where the Browns ended up from the earlier Texans trade. Peppers is a versatile player who played on both offense and defense at Michigan. He is slated to play safety at the NFL level, but I worry it may take awhile for him to learn the position. The Browns will probably try to use him on offense as well. (Mock: QB Deshaun Watson)

26. Atlanta Falcons – Takkarist McKinley – DE – UCLA Bruins – The Seahawks traded this pick to the Falcons. McKinley will be the bookend for Vic Beasley Jr. and I expect him to put up good numbers in his rookie year. I also want to point out that he should get extra bonus points for saying the f-word live on the NFL Network when he was interviewed by Deion Sanders. (Mock: CB Kevin King)

27. Buffalo Bills – Tre’Davious White – CB – LSU Tigers – I thought White would go much earlier in the draft, so this is a great pick by the Bills. He will fill the role the departed Stephon Gilmore played on the team. (Mock: QB Patrick Mahomes II)

28. Dallas CowboysTaco Charlton – DE – Michigan Wolverines – Charlton is another player I was much higher on than most. I think he is a smart player and uses technique to win battles in the trenches. He isn’t a speedy guy, but his technique is top-notch. He could be supplanted in the role Randy Gregory (suspended) was supposed to fill this season. (Mock: CB Adoree’ Jackson)

29. Green Bay Packers David Njoku – TE – Miami Hurricanes – I’m surprised Njoku wasn’t the second tight end selected. He is a freak and could end up with really nice receiving numbers. He has breakaway speed for a 6’4 246-pound guys. (Mock: RB Joe Mixon)

30. Pittsburgh SteelersT.J. Watt – LB – Wisconsin Badgers – I had the Steelers selecting T.J. Watt in my mock draft. T.J. is a very good linebacker, but he would probably be a third-round pick if he wasn’t J.J.’s brother. The Steelers love good linebackers and have a track record of getting the most out of them. (Mock: LB T.J. Watt)

31. San Francisco 49ers – Reuben Foster – LB – Alabama Crimson Tide – Foster should have been a top-ten pick in this draft, but his past drug test failures is a huge red flag. The NFL drug tests are hard to cheat, so Foster needs to keep his nose clean. If Foster is a model employee, the Niners might have gotten the best value of the night. (Mock: LB Charles Harris)

32. New Orleans SaintsRyan Ramczyk – OT – Wisconsin Badgers – This might be one of the all-time worst NFL Drafts in recent memory for offensive tackles. There just aren’t many can’t-miss tackles. There are talents that can be had later in the draft, but Ramczyk should be very good, but I think he could be better suited to play guard. His short arms will be an issue at the NFL level. Wisconsin cranks out some solid offensive lineman, so I think he will work out for the Saints. (Mock: S Obi Melifonwu)

Notable Talent Not In First Round
Cam Robinson – OT – Alabama Crimson Tide
Dalvin Cook – RB – Florida State Seminoles
Kevin King – CB – Washington Huskies
Joe Mixon – RB – Oklahoma Sooners
Obi Melifonwu – S – Connecticut Huskies
Chidobe Awuzie – CB – Colorado Buffaloes
Forrest Lamp – G – Western Kentucky
DeShone Kizer – QB – Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Jordan Willis – DE – Kansas State Wildcats
Dion Dawkins – OL – Temple Owls
Malik McDowell – DT – Michigan State Spartans
Quincy Wilson – CB – Florida Gators
Josh Jones – S – NC State Wolfpack
Dan Feeney – C – Indiana Hoosiers
Zay Jones – WR – East Carolina Pirates
Davis Webb – QB – California Golden Bears
Budda Baker – S – Washington Huskies
Zach Cunningham – LB – Vanderbilt Commodores
Justin Evans – CB – Texas A&M Aggies
Curtis Samuel – WR – Ohio State Buckeyes

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sweetbob-author-picAbout the Author…

Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot ClicksGuyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.

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