The first round of the 2017 NFL draft is over, we can finally breath again.
It was four hours of unbridled chaos, and I loved every second of it. Now even though its way too early, lets roast some selections and maybe praise a few along the way…
Winner – Cleveland Browns
Unlike previous seasons in which the Browns had two first round picks, this year they managed three. First off, they did the smart sensible thing and took stud edge-rusher Myles Garrett at #1 instead of reaching for a QB. Then they took advantage of other teams desperation and traded back from #12 to #25 with Houston and also acquired the Texans 2018 1st.
A late trade back into the end of the first round nabbed them the #29 pick from Green Bay. Overall a haul of Garrett, Jabril Peppers, David Njoku, and a future 1st round pick is a great start in rebuilding the franchise. They still need a quarterback but they obviously didn’t rate any of the top passers in this class. This team will likely have a high pick next season to hopefully get their man.
Loser – Chicago Bears
The Bears decided this offseason to cut ties with quarterback Jay Cutler, this was probably a good idea. Sadly, they then decided to throw copious amounts of money at Mike Glennon. Overpaying for an unproven career back-up QB is one thing, but what the Bears did tonight was oh so much dumber. Fearing a team may leapfrog them, they surrendered two 3rd round and a 4th round pick with the 49ers in order to move up one spot in the draft. The Bears did all of that, to overdraft UNC QB Mitch Trubinsky. On a positive note, he should be able to sit out the season and learn nothing from Mike Glennon.
Winner – SF 49ers
John Lynch just won his first draft as a GM. First off, he fleeced the Bears out of three mid-round picks and still got his man Solomon Thomas. Then he used one of those picks to slide back into the first round and snag falling stud-ILB Reuben Foster. Thomas and Foster were both considered top 10 talents before the draft. Now the niners can focus on giving new coach Kyle Shannahan some skill position toys to play with later in the draft.
Losers – Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans
I love Pat Mahomes, and I like DeShaun Watson a great deal. But in a draft that was supposedly “QB-Weak”, both of these guys cost the teams that drafted them multiple first round picks. That’s a steep price to pay if these guys don’t become pro-bowl caliber passers.
Winner – Washington Redskins
The Redskins entered this draft with a glaring need along the defensive line in a draft short on help in that area. Jonathon Allen entered the draft as the best interior lineman available and was considered a top 5 pick. He slid to #17 and the Redskins ran to the podium. As long as Allen’s shoulders hold up this could be an absolute steal.
Loser – Joe Flacco
The Ravens desperately need to upgrade their skill talent on offense. By the time they picked at #16 all of the elite receivers were gone, and then they passed on pass-catching TE OJ Howard. Now Marlon Humphry does fill a need at corner, but the Ravens still need to help out their QB with some sort of game-breaking weapon.
Winner – Marcus Mariota & Jamies Winston
The Titans and Bucs both gave their young signal-callers new toys to play with. Mariota was gifted talented wide-out Corey Davis at #5 and Winston was given tight end OJ Howard at #19. Both of these young gunslingers look poised to break-out this season thanks to the added help.
Loser – Oakland Raiders / Women Everywhere
The Raiders took Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley at #24. On talent alone, this was a steal of a pick. But life isn’t all about talent. Conley is currently facing an allegation of rape back home in Ohio. It’s not my place to speculate on these allegations but risking your first round pick on a player with these circumstances is playing with fire. And on top of that is sends out a negative message to the world at large. Only time will tell how things play out in this case, but this is not a good look for the Raiders or the NFL.
Winner – Takk McKinley
If you know McKinley’s background, you where probably already rooting for him. If you watched him get drafted #26 by Atlanta and heard his speech afterwards, you’re a fan for life. Many players in the NFL came up from nothing and faced great adversity along the way. Few have had it as tough as Takk, and fewer have come out of it as passionate and grounded. When he talked about his grandmother and his journey, it brought me to tears. I’m wishing that kid all the best in anything he does, on or off the field.
There’s two days and six more round of pick still to come. Two more days of intrigue, shockers, head-scratchers, and reaches. Between #33 and Mr. Irrelevant, the best weekend of the year is just getting started….