April 27, 2017

2017 NFL Draft: First Round Grades

The 2017 NFL Draft is finally here.

2017 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
(Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

2017 NFL Draft Grades: Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3

As the 2017 NFL Draft unfolds, the plan is to post reactions and grades for every first round pick. Also, I will post reach values (+/-) for each pick to backup if I think a pick was a big reach or excellent value. Tonight should be fun.

My Top 150 Prospects Big Board can be seen here, and my 2017 NFL Draft Positional Rankings can be viewed here, which features players grouped in "tiers"
and quick analysis on what I like/dislike about them and in some cases where they fit.

There are still plenty of talented prospects left heading into the second round. Here are the top 50 available.

1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett*, EDGE, Texas A&M
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 268 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: 0

Analysis: The day of the draft was filled with rumors and buzz. The most popular? Mitchell Trubisky to the Browns #1 overall. That did not happen. Cleveland made the smart pick and drafted the best prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft, who also happens to fill one of their biggest needs at a premium position in Myles Garrett.

Grade: A+

2. Chicago Bears (via 49ers)
Mitchell Trubisky*, QB, North Carolina
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 217 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Reach Value: -16

Analysis: WOW! The Bears traded a 3rd, 4th, and a 3rd in 2018 to move up one spot to grab Mitchell Trubisky! The Bears must have felt that a team was pushing to move up to #2 and take him, so they did what they felt they needed to do to grab their franchise quarterback. Mike Glennon was never going to be their long term option at quarterback.

This is the first big reach of the draft, but it isn't the worst pick in the world in my opinion. He is the best quarterback prospect in this draft in my opinion, and Chicago obviously feels the same way.

Grade: B-

3. San Francisco 49ers (via Bears)
Solomon Thomas**, EDGE, Stanford
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 271 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Reach Value: +1

Analysis: The 49ers may have fleeced Chicago into trading up, allowing them to acquire tons of extra picks. That alone is amazing, but to move back and draft the second best player in this draft is a homerun. Inside, outside. 4-3, 3-4. No matter the scheme or alignment, Thomas can rush the quarterback from anywhere. That is very valuable.

Grade: A+

4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Fournette*, RB, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 228 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -1

Analysis: Fournette to Jacksonville has been speculated for months. They need to improve their offensive line, but Fournette is probably the most talented runner in this draft. He needs to improve as a receiver and blocker, but he is a stud. Value + Need = good pick. But, is it a great fit?

Grade: A-

5. Tennessee Titans (via Rams)
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 209 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -5

Analysis: Two first round picks = two opportunities to fill big needs. Corey Davis is a stud. I'm a little surprised, but the Titans pulled the trigger and grabbed the best receiver prospect in the draft. Marcus Mariota should be very, very happy.

Grade: A

6. New York Jets
Jamal Adams*, S, Louisiana State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 212 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -5

Analysis: Malik Hooker is the better prospect in my opinion, but Jamal Adams is a damn good football player. Versatile safety who can play in the box, cover man-to-man, play high, etc. They could have reached for a quarterback, but trusted their board and chose the player on defense that they coveted.

Grade: A-

7. Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -15

Analysis: Shocker. Malik Hooker was sitting on the board, and I was certain that he would be the choice. However, even with underrated talent at receiver, Williams could pair nicely with Keenan Allen on the outside. The seventh pick is a reach for him in my opinion, which is why I'm not a huge fan of this pick. I also think they need more speed at the position, and they won't really be getting that with Williams.

Grade: C+

8. Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey*, RB, Stanford
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 204 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: +4

Analysis: This pick was set in stone when the Chargers passed on him. Can do it all. Run between the tackles, outside, work from the slot, return kicks, etc. Christian McCaffrey is a top 5 talent in my opinion, and fills a long term need at running back.

Grade: A+

9. Cincinnati Bengals
John Ross*, WR, Washington
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 188 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Reach Value: -16

Analysis: The Bengals passed on defensive talent like Jonathan Allen and Derek Barnett and drafted John Ross. Not a bad pick. I don't see him as a top 10 talent, but he is a first round talent for sure. His game is based on speed, but he can also win on the outside, and could make a living working from the slot. Perfect compliment to A.J. Green.

Grade: B-

10. Kansas City Chiefs (via Bills)
Patrick Mahomes*, QB, Texas Tech
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 224 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -68

Analysis: A first round pick in next year's draft and a third round pick is what it cost to move up 17 spots. I knew Mahomes was going to be the choice once they made that trade. Raw quarterback with tons of arm talent and upside, but he needs a ton of work. While I didn't punish the Bears harshly for moving up for Trubisky, giving up a 3rd and 1st for a Day 2 QB prospect is too rich for me in my opinion.

Grade: D-

11. New Orleans Saints
Marshon Lattimore**, CB, Ohio State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 194 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Reach Value: +3

Analysis: Lattimore was expected to land in the top 5 picks. He fell right into the lap of the Saints. The top cornerback prospect will fill a huge need on defense for New Orleans. Excellent value.

Grade: A+

12. Houston Texans (from Browns, via Eagles)
Deshaun Watson*, QB, Clemson
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 215 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -41

Analysis: Houston gave up its first round pick in next year's draft to move up 13 spots and select Deshaun Watson. While I'm not as high on Watson as others, he is the one quarterback in this draft who could start right away, and he will be surrounded by a good amount of talent. Watson is a good football player, but was it worth giving up a 2018 first round pick? Time will tell.

Grade: C

13. Arizona Cardinals
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 230 lbs. | Class: Senior (RS)

Reach Value: -7

Analysis: There was buzz before the draft that Haason Reddick could be the first linebacker drafted ahead of Reuben Foster. He can rush the quarterback as an outside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 defense, but I question whether that is his best fit or not. Also, will the Cardinals regret passing on Jonathan Allen?

Grade: B-

14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings)
Derek Barnett*, EDGE, Tennessee
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 264 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -2

Analysis: Even though I am a big fan of Derek Barnett, I don't see how the Eagles passed on Malik Hooker, Reuben Foster, and Jonathan Allen who are all better prospects. The position they drafted made sense, the fit is great, and the value is about right. Solid pick, but interesting to say the least.

Grade: B

15. Indianapolis Colts
Malik Hooker**, S, Ohio State
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 210 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Reach Value: +9

Analysis: The Colts just stole Malik Hooker. They have a huge need in the secondary for a rangy, athletic play maker with insane ball skills. That is exactly what Hooker is. Not much to say here. Excellent, excellent pick.

Grade: A+

16. Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Humphrey**, CB, Alabama
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 198 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Reach Value: -8

Analysis: Baltimore may have pick the wrong Alabama product with Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster on the board. Marlon Humphrey would project well as a safety, but with Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson holding down both starting safety spots, Humphrey makes sense at corner. If the Ravens want to play a lot of man coverage, this may not be a great fit. If they incorporate a lot of zone, this pick makes more sense.

Grade: C

17. Washington Ravens
Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 285 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: +14

Analysis: What a steal for Washington. Allen is a top 5 talent who slid down the boards to do having arthritic shoulders. If he can play through it like he did at Alabama, he is going to be a problem for opposing offensive linemen. Excellent value, and the fit is lovely. He'll be a 5-Tech DE in their 3-4 scheme.

Grade: A+

18. Tennessee Titans
Adoree' Jackson*, DB, Southern California
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 186 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -9

Analysis: Tennessee had a chance to hit a home run here. I like Adoree' Jackon. His versatility and ability to impact the game as a return man and potential get a few touches on offense is what makes him special. He has some really good ball skills. Not sure about the fit. He has to play zone in my opinion. Plus, if he isn't moved to safety, he will likely be restricted to the slot.

Grade: C

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 251 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: +7

Analysis: No one expected Howard to fall to the Buccaneers, but they did the smart think and snatched him up. O.J. Howard, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, and Cameron Brate. No excuses. It's time for Jameis Winston to take the next step.

Grade: A+

20. Denver Broncos
Garett Bolles*, OT, Utah
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 300 lbs. | Class: Junior

Reach Value: -14

Analysis: The first tackle comes off the board at pick #20! Good pick for Denver. Bolles is the most athletic tackle in the draft and is always a dominant run blocker. He has the tools to develop into an elite pass protector. If the Broncos shift to more of a power blocking scheme, this may not be a great fit, but we will see.

Grade: B

21. Detroit Lions
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 234 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -28

Analysis: Taking Jarrad Davis over Reuben Foster is bold, and I don't like it. Davis is arguably a first round talent, but Foster is an elite talent. Plus, passing on a talented EDGE rusher like Charles Harris could come back to bite them even though linebacker is a huge need.

Grade: C

22. Miami Dolphins
Charles Harris*, EDGE, Missouri
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 253 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Reach Value: +1

Analysis: All along it was speculated that Forrest Lamp would be the pick. That is, until Harris fell to the Dolphins. He is arguably the most polished EDGE rusher in the entire draft. His best fit would have been in a 3-4 defense, but he should be able to play in a 4-3 as well.

Grade: A-

23. New York Giants
Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 235 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -19

Analysis: Evan Engram over David Njoku is very interesting. It makes sense if they want more of a move tight end who can be a versatile weapon. Can play in the slot and the outside. This offense has too much fire power. Will they regret passing on an offensive lineman?

Grade: B

24. Oakland Raiders
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 194 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Reach Value: -28

Analysis: Even though evidence points to Gareon Conley not being charged with his accused crime, this is a bold pick. Conley is a talented prospect, but he is a bit of a project. In the first round, I was never going to love him, but he could pay dividends for an Oakland secondary that could use a special talent.

Grade: C-

25. Cleveland Browns (via Texans)
Jabrill Peppers**, LB, Michigan
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 214 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Reach Value: -13

Analysis: Speaking of bold moves. I was almost certain that Peppers would fall out of round one. He doesn't have a true position yet, but he is one of the most talented players in the entire draft. He projects as a safety, but could be used as a linebacker despite being undersized. I wouldn't rule out him getting plenty of snaps on the offensive side of the ball.

Grade: B+

26. Atlanta Falcons (via Seahawks)
Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
Ht: 6-2 Wt: 250 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -22

Analysis: Even though they probably had to move in front of Dallas to get their guy, I'm not a fan of Atlanta trading up for Takk McKinnley. His best fit would be outside linebacker in a 3-4 in my opinion, but he fills a big need for the Falcons and will start opposite Vic Beasley.

Grade: C-

27. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs)
TreDavious White, CB, Louisiana State
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 193 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -28

Analysis: More of a solid second round talent in my eyes, but White is a solid football player. He has very good ball skills and overall talented as a cornerback. White will replace Stephon Gilmore, but will he be the better pro?

Grade: C+

28. Dallas Cowboys
Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 271 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: -22

Analysis: Was not a big fan of this pick at first, but the fit is undeniable. Charlton needs to become a more consistent player, but he has the size, length, athleticism, and overall talent to develop into a dominant 4-3 defensive end. Dallas had to target a pass rusher and did not give up anything to get him, so it's a solid pick despite it being a reach.

Grade: B-

29. Cleveland Browns (via Packers)
David Njoku**, TE, Miami
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 244 lbs. | Class: Sophomore (RS)

Reach Value: +6

Analysis: The Browns came away with an impressive first round haul. They traded back into round one to get a top 25 talent in David Njoku. Tight end is a big need that has now been filled. He isn't as good as O.J. Howard yet, but he can be, and was definitely worth a late first pick.

Grade: A

30. Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt*, EDGE, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 250 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Reach Value: -46

Analysis: Watt is a good football player, and could develop into a Pro Bowl caliber player. I had a 3rd round grade on him, so I don't love this pick for the Steelers. However, Watt projects smoothly as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme, so the fit is a damn good one.

Grade: C-

31. San Fransisco 49ers (from Seahawks via Falcons)
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 233 lbs. | Class: Senior

Reach Value: +24

Analysis: John F***** Lynch! He fleeced the Bears to trade up to two, just to move down and take the #2 prospect in the draft in Solomon Thomas. He uses some of that ammunition to move back into round one and take the #7 prospect in Reuben Foster. Enough said.

Grade: A+

32. New Orleans Saints
Ryan Ramczyk*, OT, Wisconsin
Ht: 6-6 Wt: 305 lbs. | Class: Junior (RS)

Reach Value: -35

Analysis: New Orleans already had a really good offensive line. Adding Ramczyk doesn't make much sense to me with Terron Armstead and Zach Strief already starters on the depth chart. Even if they want to move him to guard, they just signed Larry Warford and are invested in Andrus Peat. Even if he could be a starter down the line, I'm not a fan of this pick.

Grade: D