As expected, it was a wild and crazy first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, which saw a consensus first overall pick fly off the board to little fanfare and then complete pandemonium commence afterwards. Whether it was the Chicago Bears stunning move to trade up to the #2 spot to select North Carolina quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky or the free-fall of Alabama linebacker, Reuben Foster, deep into the final picks of the round, the start to the 2017 NFL Draft assured everyone once again to always expect the unexpected. Who knows what to expect now on Friday night, when “Rounds 2 & 3” are set to take place.
Hopefully for Beaver nation, the second night of draft features the first Oregon State player to come off the board, which even by this year’s draft standards, would be a bit of a stunning revelation. Oregon State’s top NFL prospect for this year’s class is offensive lineman Sean Harlow, who at-best could be projected as a 4th-6th round talent. Harlow’s case to go earlier than expected also wasn’t helped by the fact that only two offensive linemen were selected in the first round, in Utah’s Garett Bolles (#20 to Denver) and Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk (#32 to New Orleans).
The 2017 NFL Draft will continue on Friday night with the aforementioned 2nd and 3rd rounds, beginning at 4:00 PM PT. It will be televised once again on the NFL Network and by ESPN, until the draft’s conclusion on Saturday night. Currently, the Green Bay Packers are “on the clock”, as they have the first pick in the 2nd round (#33 overall). Below, we gave our quick insight on how well the first night of the draft went for some teams and how much others will be hoping that day two brings some better fortunes.
1st Round Winners
Cleveland Browns: Always a suspect drafting team, it’s hard to argue with what Cleveland accomplished on the opening night of the draft, scooping up three picks in the first round, including the top selection in Texas A&M defensive end, Myles Garrett. The Browns then did a bit of reshuffling, picking at the 25th and 29th overall slots, where they snagged Michigan do-everything defensive stand-out Jabrill Peppers and freakishly athletic Miami (FL) tight end, David Njoku. For once, you might have to hand it to Cleveland.
New Orleans Saints: The Saints had the worst passing defense in the league a season ago, a glaring flaw in which they addressed with their pick of Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore with the #11 overall selection. Lattimore, is expected to be a “plug-and-play” talent, who from day one will likely get the start for New Orleans. To round out the first round, the team then selected massive Wisconsin offensive tackle, Ryan Ramczyk, an excitable talent with a unique football past. Overall, a solid start to the draft for a rebuilding Saints roster.
Tennessee Titans: Tennessee used their 5th overall pick on Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis, giving quarterback Marcus Mariota a legitimate play-making target to work with, before picking up USC cornerback Adoree Jackson later in the first round. It was expected that the Titans would trade out of the round but the pieces they wanted fell into their lap and they were quick to make their move. A team on the rise, Tennessee already has two impact players added to the roster with six more rounds of selections left to go.
1st Round Losers
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers had a strange, almost “fluke-like” 2016 season, which could fuel an immediate bounce-back campaign this year, with a quick influx of some new young talent. Using the #8 overall pick on Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey may not be the “splash pick-up” that the Panthers were exactly going for. McCaffrey will have to wrestle with a crowded group of skill players for touches and could struggle to find a role alongside a versatile quarterback like Cam Newton. To add to that, picking the former Stanford star in the top-ten seems like a bit of a stretch for his talent.
Chicago Bears: While some applauded the Bears for making an aggressive move to grab the player they wanted off the board, others were perplexed by Chicago’s selection of North Carolina quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky with the #2 overall pick, considering their current signal-caller situation. A month ago, the Bears signed quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year deal that could be worth up to $45 million (if Chicago enacts the team options for the next two seasons) and apparently failed to inform Glennon about their likely chance of taking another quarterback. Quite a note to start on for two new quarterbacks to the franchise.
Kansas City Chiefs: In similar (but somehow worse) fashion to Chicago, Kansas City also achieved the fantastic feat of trading up into the top-ten picks of the draft, to select quarterback Pat Mahomes II out of Texas Tech, a big-arm talent who hails from the “college-to-NFL Siberia” of air-raid offenses. While Mahomes II was a trendy pre-draft media special, supported by gaudy statistical numbers and video clips of ridiculous down-field throws, the Chiefs have essentially drafted Mahomes II to serve as current quarterback Alex Smith’s back-up until just about whenever he decides to move on from the team. While there’s nothing wrong with drafting for the (very) long-term in the NFL Draft, it’s probably not wise to use the #10 overall pick in the draft on a five-year project.