Every year, the NFL Draft comes and goes, and some teams leave better off than they were before the week started, and others leave us viewers perplexed on their decisions. However, each organization has a couple of years to wait and see how their draftees turn out. Below are my winners and losers from the 2017 NFL Draft.
Browns: Cleveland drafted Myles Garrett (No. 1), Jabrill Peppers (No. 25), David Njoku (Miami), Deshone Kizer (No. 52), Larry Ogunjobi (No. 65), Howard Wilson (No. 126), Roderick Johnson (No. 160), Caleb Brantley (No. 185), Zane Gonzalez (No. 224), and Matthew Dayes (No. 252). I was extremely impressed with 8-out-of-10 of Cleveland’s picks, as they drafted three First Round caliber players in Garrett, Peppers, and Kizer. Garrett had 33 tackles and 8.5 sacks last season for Texas A&M and should be a menace from day one on the job. If Kizer can develop this upcoming season, he could also be the Browns’ next franchise quarterback. For once, I am actually liking what Cleveland did.
Texans: Houston took Deshaun Watson (No. 12), Zach Cunningham (No. 57), D’Onta Foreman (No. 89), Carlos Watkins (No. 142), Kyle Fuller (No. 243), and two others. Houston is a playoff team, year in and year out, and the only reason they have been unable to take the next step, is because of a lack of quarterback talent. Watson could be the answer to Houston’s problems, after going 32-3 in three seasons at Clemson, including a national title victory. Watson had 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns for the Tigers in 2016-17, and if he can re-create half of that success, the Texans could be a force. Cunningham, who had 125 tackles last year, and Foreman, who won the Doak Walker Award, were also big pick-ups.
49ers: San Francisco was a huge winner in this draft, mainly because of their pure robbery of the Bears (more on them later). John Lynch scammed Chicago into giving him a handful of picks, and all the 49ers had to do was move one spot back, and draft the player that they were already interested in taking. All in all, San Fran ended up with Solomon Thomas (No. 3), Reuben Foster (No. 31), Joe Williams (No. 121), Trent Taylor (No. 177), Adrian Colbert (No. 229), and five more prospects. Thomas had 61 tackles and 8.0 sacks for Stanford last season, while Foster took down 115 runners including 5.0 sacks. Both Thomas and Foster were top-10 prospects in my book, and to get both of them, while adding eight others, is a massive win for Lynch and Co.
Bears: Chicago’s draft was strange, and they didn’t improve as much as possible in my opinion. They acquired Mitchell Trubisky (No. 2), Adam Shaheen (No. 45), Eddie Jackson (No. 112), and two others. Trubisky had a solid career at North Carolina, going for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns, but was he worth it at the No. 2 spot? I don’t believe so. Chicago would have been better off drafting defensive stud Jalen Adams to me. Also, why did the Bears decide to take Shaheen over other tight ends like Jake Butt, Michael Roberts, and Jordan Leggett? We’ll see how these draftees turn out over time, but for now, it looks like the Bears came out on the losing side.
Titans: Tennessee’s disappointing draft wasn’t as bad as Chicago’s, but they did reach on a few of their prospects. Corey Davis (No. 5) and Adoree’ Jackson (No. 18) were the headlining picks, and they were both taken slightly too high. Davis has potential, and it showed last year as he put up 1,500 yards on 97 catches, but he still has a dropping-the-ball problem which isn’t what you want from your top receiver. Davis was more of a No. 10-25 pick prospect, so taking him at No. 5 is questionable. Tennessee also ended up with Taywan Taylor (No. 72), Jonnu Smith (No. 100), and five other players.
Rams: Los Angeles didn’t have the best draft to begin with because their first selection wasn’t until the Second Round at No. 44 overall, which means they missed out on a ton of potential stars. The Rams welcome Gerald Everett (No. 44), Cooper Kupp (No. 69), Josh Johnson (No. 91), Josh Reynolds (No. 117), Sam Rogers (No. 206), and three others. The picks weren’t too bad, per se, but one of the positives about going 4-12 is getting a high draft pick, and yet the Rams missed out on that too.
Photo Credit: USA Today.