NFL Draft Day One

Cutting to the chase, I’m going to list the picks and my thoughts.

1. Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett – DE – TAMU

No brainer here. While there was no true #1 player, the consensus was Garrett. B+ grade for following chalk.

2. Chicago Bears – Mitchell Trubisky – QB – North Carolina

I already alluded that my surefire overrated QB pick was going to be Mitch Trubisky. What I didn’t expect was for Chicago to trade an extra 2017 3rd, 2017 4th, and a 2018 3rd to get him. Especially since they signed Tampa Bay backup QB Mike Glennon to a $15,000,000 per year contract. I don’t think Trubisky is bad, but he certainly was not worth the haul. I’ll be interested to see how this shakes out in a purely schadenfreude perspective. Grade: D-

3. San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas – DE – Stanford

John Lynch proves that his years of laying the absolute lumber for over a decade hasn’t affected his cognitive abilities. He fleeced Chicago to trade down one pick and picked up a third dominant, young defensive lineman (to accompany Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner) and bolster the front three of his 3-4 defense for years to come. Grade: A

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette – RB – LSU

Leonard Fournette was one of the most touted prospects coming out of the draft. While I do not personally think he was the best pick at runningback, he will certainly have a Christian Okoye type of career with absolutely dominant performances for the early part of his career. I suspect he will have a shortened tenure due to injury considering his already heavy workload coming out of college. Grade: C+

5. Tennessee Titans – Corey Davis – WR – Western Michigan

No reason not to like this pick. I thought Mike Williams was the better pick but Davis was certainly electric during his junior and senior years. He becomes a great target for Mariota along with Delanie Walker to make the Titans offense that much better. Grade: B+

6. New York Jets – Jamal Adams – S – LSU

I have always said, and will continue to say, that I love DBs from Alabama and LSU. While I thought they would take OJ Howard here, I cannot be mad at them to spring for what was the consensus #2 defender in the draft this year. Grade: B+

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Williams – WR – Clemson

Mike Williams was the second best player on Clemson, in my mind, but not by a whole lot. He was dominant in the playoffs and was a game changer when it counted. Keenan Allen cannot seem to stay healthy and this gives the Chargers a great burst of youth and productivity right away at the wide receiver position. Grade: A-

8. Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey – RB – Stanford

Many articles I’ve written explain how much I love Christian McCaffrey. While some might say he is not a feature back, I think he can certainly feature in an offense where he can be on the field for over half of the snaps and does not have to be the “feature back” (see: Cam Newton). Grade: A-

9. Cincinnati Bengals – John Ross III – WR – Washington

I was not crazy about this pick. While he is certainly a compliment to AJ Green’s stature as the most prolific speedster we have seen in modern times, his microfractures scare me. I feel as if the Bengals could have traded down and still gotten their guy. Grade: B-

10. Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes – QB – Texas Tech

Not sold, simply put. I don’t mind the fit and I like the talent but there’s no reason to think he wouldn’t have fallen a little bit. KC traded away next year’s first and this year’s third to get him. They better hope that he learns a lot on the bench behind Alex Smith because they are forfeiting their chance at an elite QB next year. Grade: D+

Also, Alex Smith, you’ve just received your 52-week notice.

11. New Orleans Saints – Marshon Lattimore – CB – Ohio State

He was heralded as the best cover player on Ohio State this last season. New Orleans has a reputation as perhaps the worst defense in the league, at least passing-wise. Great talent, great fit. Grade: A

12. Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson – QB – Clemson

I felt Deshaun Watson was the best QB in the draft and deserved to go in Trubisky’s place. Watson showed his worth by gashing Alabama’s defense two years in a row, winning once in the national championship. Houston gave up oodles of picks (if you factor in the Osweiler-to-Cleveland trade) in order to get this guy. For their sake, I hope it works. As a Colts fan, I’m stoked they gave away their top two picks next year. Grade: B+

13. Arizona Cardinals – Haason Reddick – OLB – Temple

A versatile linebacker files into one of the most versatile defenses. Arians’ staff has proven they can work with guys who fit in multiple spots and make it work (see: Deone Bucannon). If Watson were available here I would say they should have taken him. He wasn’t, so they didn’t. Grade: A-

14. Philadelphia Eagles – Derek Barnett – DE – Tennessee

I wanted the Colts to take Barnett before the draft. He doesn’t create the best highlight reel, but he has a knack for being involved in every play on his side of the field. A great foundation piece for the defense moving forward. Grade: A

15. Indianapolis Colts – Malik Hooker – S – Ohio State

really wanted Johnathan Allen here, but alas we went with a safety. Scouring the net for reactions, people are gushing about the pick. I went back and looked up highlight tape and I will admit that he is an incredible coverage specimen. He might not have the best 40-yard dash but his instincts allow him to be where the ball is going to be well ahead of time. I am quickly becoming a huge fan of the pick. Grade: A

16. Baltimore Ravens – Marlon Humphrey – CB – Alabama

See the Jets’ pick for how I feel about Alabama DBs. The Ravens needed some foundation defensive players and CB is top of the list. Reuben Foster could have fit here but Humphrey is downright spectacular. Grade: A-

17. Washington Redskins – Johnathan Allen – DE – Alabama

Allen ended up dropping to the Redskins to line up on a defense that ended up on the lower end of the spectrum. He is a monster of a man and created a lot of exciting plays but a few shoulder surgeries must have scared off GMs from his prospects. I still like the guy, though. Grade: A

18. Tennessee Titans – Adoree’ Jackson – CB – USC

I had the opportunity to watch Adoree’ Jackson shut down some of the best offenses in the country while he played in the Pac-12. Jackson is quick and has incredible instincts to play one-on-one with the best of them. I was particularly worried he would fall to the Titans since TY Hilton has enjoyed quite a few career games against them in years’ past. He might have to work for his supper now. Grade: A-

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OJ Howard – TE – Alabama

Simply, Howard is a man amongst men. It was very surprising to see him fall so far and Tampa Bay becomes the lucky recipient in this sweepstakes. It should be noted that Cameron Brate, the starter last year, had a hell of a season with 60 receptions, 660 yards, and 8 touchdowns. With Jameis Winston developing as each season passes, Mike Evans out wide, and OJ Howard and Brate running amok inside, it’s easy to like the Bucs going forward. Grade: A

20. Denver Broncos – Garrett Bolles – T – Utah

The first un-sexy pick of the draft turns out to be one of great need. Bolles anchored the left side of the line on a dominant running team in Utah. Joe Williams didn’t have the explosive year that he did without help from his men up front and Bolles was the highlight on that squad. He comes into the league as a 25-year old rookie, but his long development and leadership should allow him to step right into the starting role. Grade: B+

21. Detroit Lions – Jarrad Davis – LB – Florida

One thing that kids from Florida have is speed. Jarrad Davis was a talent that was expected to slip but should provide a lot of production to a unit that could use a shot in the arm. Grade: B

22. Miami Dolphins – Charles Harris – OLB – Missouri

Charles Harris was another athlete that had high projections and fell to a team with special pieces already in tact. With Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake on the opposite side, Charles Harris could very well take advantage of any opposing offensive line that has the misfortune of one-on-one blocking him. Grade: B+

23. New York Giants – Evan Engram – TE – Ole Miss

New York had a few spots to fill but adding another receiver for Eli in his twilight years is not a bad move. Joining Odell Beckham, Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shephard, the Giants factor to have a great passing attack over the next couple seasons, again. Grade: B-

24. Oakland Raiders – Gareon Conley – CB – Ohio State

To be frank, Conley is in the midst of a nasty sexual assault allegation that may or may not hold water. His stock took a hit, but he is undoubtedly an excellent coverage athlete. The Raiders had an outstanding offense last year and returns many of its parts and picked up a few along the way (sorry, Seattle). By adding an elite corner to the mix (and banking on this legal issue to dissapate), look for Oakland to start competing for Super Bowls sooner than later. Grade: B

25. Cleveland Browns – Jabrill Peppers – S/LB – Michigan

Jabrill has been a controversial player for the last year in terms of his potential success at the next level. While a player like Tyrann Mathieu has versatility across CB, FS, and SS, Peppers falls into an interesting area of SS and OLB which isn’t exactly a place where football players thrive. Cleveland is desperate for talent, though, and Jabrill has oodles of it. I am interested to see how this plays out. Grade: B

26. Atlanta Falcons – Takkarist McKinley – DE – UCLA

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really know who this guy was coming into the draft. As a Pac-12 junkie, that worries me for the pick. He was hyped up as an excellent edge rusher and for a team that went to the Super Bowl you cannot go wrong with a guy who was mocked in the Top 15. He has shoulder issues which is not what you want from a pass rusher but if he stays healthy I am sure Dan Quinn will find a way to maximize his potential. Grade: A-

27. Buffalo Bills – Tre’Davious White – CB – LSU

I’ve mentioned I love LSU DBs. I still love LSU DBs. While the Tigers had a rough year, Tre’Davious White was certainly a bright star amongst his teammates. The Bills needed a cover corner (especially with Brandin Cooks recently joining the Patriots) and they found their guy here. Grade: B+

28. Dallas Cowboys – Taco Charlton – DE – Michigan

The Michigan defense was stacked with talent which makes examination of each and every player tough to discern. Charlton had a highlight reel season, along with a highlight reel first name, but there were times where he seemed to blend into the defense. Fortunately, the Cowboys are already laden with talent on defense and he can surely join a squad that could become greater than the sum of its parts. Grade: B

29. Cleveland Browns – David Njoku – TE – Miami

Cleveland was wheeling and dealing in this draft and they picked up someone who could easily be labeled as the best athlete in the draft in David Njoku. The U turns out tight ends like no other school and Njoku comes from the coveted basketball player-turned-tight end fraternity. Expect him to get lots of targets from whoever Cleveland decides to put under center. Grade: B-

30. Pittsburgh Steelers – TJ Watt – OLB – Wisconsin

Perhaps the best value pick in the draft; TJ Watt is brothers with JJ Watt. What is more impressive is he was able to step out of the shadow of his big brother and make his own mark at Wisconsin. Watt’s hardnosed effort and ability screams “Steeler defender” and breathes a fresh life into a defense that has been overshadowed by the offense ever since Polamalu’s last years. Grade: A

31. San Francisco 49ers – Reuben Foster – ILB – Alabama

A Top 10 talent that fell due to a couple troubling issues (dismissed from the NFL combine and a diluted drug sample), John Lynch must have felt that his attitude was worth the ability. Expect Reuben Foster to lay the lumber and be a foundation for this 49ers team that is in a complete rebuild. Grade: A

32. New Orleans Saints – Ryan Ramczyk – OT – Wisconsin

Another player I’m not overly familiar with, but you can’t go wrong with a Wisconsin lineman. The Saints can always use more bodies to protect their franchise quarterback. Grade: B+



Winners: Cleveland Browns

I don’t know what is happening in that front office, but boy do I love it. If everything holds (which doesn’t seem likely given their body of work the last couple years) the Browns will have nine picks in the first two rounds of 2017 and 2018, five of which are in the first round (!!!). I do not think that a team has had that kind of asset in recent memory. I’m excited to see what they do with the rest of their picks this weekend.

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