Day one of the draft just wrapped up, and here are my immediate thoughts for each pick. We’ll go in depth on the first round in another article soon.
1) Cleveland Browns – DE, Myles Garrett: Nothing to say here other than this is the right pick. Way to not overthink this one Browns.
2) Chicago Bears (Traded with San Francisco) – QB, Mitch Trubisky: Well…this was a twist, but Chicago does need a guy for the future. They didn’t have to give up too much considering it’s a quarterback…but hey shoot your shot Bears. Shoot. Your. Shot.
3) San Francisco 49ers (Traded with Chicago) – DE, Solomon Thomas: The 49ers got a lot of value out of just moving down one spot and they still took the guy they wanted all along. It’s a good first step in the right direction.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars – RB, Leonard Fournette – I’m kind of bummed because this makes me feel like all of the mock drafts were right. Let’s hope the offensive line can open up the holes that Leonard needs to stampede over the opposing team.
5) Tennessee Titans – WR, Corey Davis – They took one of their two biggest needs here. I would have waited to grab him with their second pick, but I can’t blame them for wanting arguably the most complete receiver in the draft. They could always grab a DB with their second pick in a very deep draft at that position.
6) New York Jets – S, Jamal Adams – The Jets got a guy that can change their culture almost immediately. He’s got his work cut out for him though. It’ll be exciting to see them build a secondary around this guy. Hopefully it works out for him.
7) Los Angeles Chargers – WR, Mike Williams – They decide to throw Phillip Rivers a bone. He can be the guy in LA (still weird to say aloud) for a while. Considering that Rivers’s best option was an injured Keenan Allen the past 2 years, this is a good pick.
8) Carolina Panthers – RB, Christian McCaffery – Get Cammy Cam those easy completions. Cannot wait to see that backfield in action. Oh the White Stallion is going to carve up those weak secondaries in the NFC south.
9) Cincinnati Bengals – WR, John Ross – Like I mentioned in the mock draft, the Bengals really needed help on offense after they took a step back last year. It was inevitable after losing Sanu and Marvin Jones to free agency. This’ll help get Dalton back on track and hopefully playing at an MVP level again.
10) Kansas City Chief (traded with Buffallo) – QB, Patrick Mahomes – Called it. Give him a couple of years and I bet you he puts up some Favre level stats in the future.
11) New Orleans Saints – CB, Marshon Lattimore – This should help stop the bleeding in the pourous Nola secondary. Provided that Lattimore can stay healthy, he can become one of the premiere corners in the league and even a very bright spot for the Saints defense. Inexperience does worry me too, but I respect the gamble here.
12) Houston Texans (traded with Cleveland) – QB, Deshaun Watson – Woah. I didn’t think it would happen, but Bill O’Brien finally has his man. I’m betting on Houston making it to a super bowl in the next 3 years.
13) Arizona Cardinals – LB, Haason Reddick – Ya I didn’t see this one coming. But, I suppose with the top 3 WR gone the Cardinals took they guy they thought has the highest ceiling left in the draft. Could be interesting!
14) Philadelphia Eagles – DE, Derek Barnett – Sneaky good pick here by the Eagles. No it isn’t their biggest need, but Philly grabbed a guy that can improve their defensive line from top 7 or 8 in the league into a top 3 unit. Watch out NFC East.
15) Indianapolis Colts – S, Malik Hooker – The colts addressed their awful secondary. Hooker can lock down the middle of the field and roam from side to side of the field. I expect them to build around Hooker in future drafts as they try to make the Colts a more complete team.
16) Baltimore Ravens – CB, Marlon Humphrey – The Ravens have needed to address the corner position for a couple of years now and they decided to grab the most physical one in the draft. He should fit in fine in the Raven’s locker room. He’s not going to be easily pushed around by opposing WR’s with ease. Can’t wait to see him try and prove himself against the likes of AJ Green and Antonio Brown.
17) Washington Redskins – DE, Jonathan Allen – Oh. Dear. God. Look out NFC East. Hide your QB’s. Allen may have slipped, but he’s going to do some damage to opposing offenses. Be right back, I’m going to go pray for Dak, Carson, and Eli.
18) Tennessee Titans – CB, Adoree Jackson – The Titans addressed their other biggest need with this pick. So far the Titans have made the most out of this draft. Jackson may be undersized, but he’s got the speed to make up for it. He’ll should be able to keep up with every receiver in the league.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – TE, OJ Howard – Tampa Bay grabbed the best offensive player in this draft. I’ll stand by that too. This guy will block for Winston, he’ll catch and make plays, and he’ll punish some corners. Goodness is it hot in here or is it just me?
20) Denver Broncos – OL, Garrett Bolles – Not a flashy pick, but its a pick that the Broncos needed to make. I don’t know if they selected the best offensive lineman available though.
21) Detroit Lions – LB, Jarrad Davis – I think it was smart for the Lions to draft a defensive player. They didn’t get much production out of their linebacker group last year so this could be a game changer for them. It may not help them beat Green Bay right now, but it could be a good future building block.
22) Miami Dolphins – DE, Charles Harris – This makes sense for the Fins. I had them addressing their need on the other line, but this one makes just as much sense. If they want to have any hope of beating Brady or making it back to the wild card, they have to be able to get to the quarterback.
23) New York Giants – TE, Evan Engram – He’s the best receiving tight end behind Howard in this draft. I know he can be a match-up nightmare, but I still think they need to get a guy to protect their quarterback before they get another guy that can catch the ball. If Eli can get the ball off in time, this offense could be something special next year.
24) Oakland Raiders – CB, Gareon Conley – Well this is a very difficult pick to analyze. From a pure football and talent point of view, it does address the team’s needs and he’s a good player. Time will tell if he’s going to be able to play football next year or not. But this pick does show that the Raiders believe that he is going to be able to.
25) Cleveland Browns (traded with Houston) – S, Jabrill Peppers – WELL GOODNESS CLEVELAND JUST DRAFT ALL THE FUN DEFENSIVE PLAYERS. No, but for real, with this pick I may be sold on Cleveland being on fun team to watch in the next 3 years. Are they turning the corner? Maybe. Just maybe.
26) Atlanta Falcons (Traded with Seattle) – OLB, Takkarist McKinley – This makes perfect sense for Dan Quinn and the Falcons. They pair McKinley with Vic Beasley and the idea of the two of them developing together is a tantalizing thought. Hotlanta continues to get hotter.
27) Buffalo Bills (Traded with Kansas City) – CB, Tre’Davious White – With no first round level receivers left the Bills made a pretty safe pick here. He’s going to be able to start right away and is going to be an asset to the Bills. Not much else to say here.
28) Dallas Cowboys – DE, Taco Charlton – This was the Cowboys biggest need and they made sure to address it. Like I said in the mock, Charlton makes up for his lack of technique with his size and raw ability. If he can develop and put in the effort to become great, then the Cowboys are one good corner away from becoming the favorite in the NFC.
29) Cleveland Browns (Traded with Green Bay) – TE, David Njoku – The Browns made another good pick. This one wasn’t as risky as the Peppers pick, but they addressed a need on the other side of the ball. Njoku’s got the athleticism and size to compete in the AFC North. Things are getting interesting in Cleveland. Very interesting.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB, TJ Watt – The Steelers grab one of the most underrated prospects in this draft. Yes he’s JJ’s brother but he isn’t JJ. He plays different than his big bro, but that’s not a bad thing. He fits the scheme in Pittsburgh like a glove. Expect him to be a big time contributor next year. He tries very hard too so he could even become the next Steeler great.
31) San Francisco (Traded with Seattle) – LB, Reuben Foster – Surprised Foster fell this far, but that’s good news for the 49ers. The first LB they’ve taken in the first round since Patrick Willis is going to have his work cut out for him in San Fran, but he’s a great piece to build around in the middle of the box. The Niners continue to impress.
32) New Orleans Saints – OL, Ryan Ramczyk – This makes sense now that the Saints have thrown money at Adrian Peterson and want to open up more holes for their running backs. Also Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger, so this will help keep him up on his feet. Still think the defense needs more help, but this isn’t out of left field.
(Chicago Tribune/Pressing Coverage illustrations)