What Made Sense, What Didn’t: A Look Back at the 1st Round of the 2017 NFL Draft

Mitch Trubisky, Roger Goodell

A wise man once said that laughing at someone’s draft pick is like laughing at someone’s lottery ticket. While you’re sitting there laughing, that person could have just drafted the best player in the NFL. You simply don’t know what’s going to happen.

It’s with this in mind that I refrain from writing any kind of “winners and losers” recap of Thursday night’s 1st round. Because, after all, who really knows? So, in lieu of winners and losers, we focus on teams that did things which made sense, and things that didn’t make sense.

Here we go:

Things that made no sense:

Chicago Bears: I like Mitchell Trubisky, but not at the second overall pick. Trading a third and fourth round pick this year, plus a third rounder next year, to move up one spot on the draft board make the Bears look desperate and spooked. If the Bears truly think Trubisky is the guy, then great. But, now they have fewer draft picks to help build the team around him, and they also have a coaching staff there with no track record of developing young quarterbacks.

Chicago isn’t just “a quarterback away,” they also have major needs along both offensive and defensive fronts, not to mention the receiver position with the departure of Alshon Jeffrey. Again, Trubisky could turn out to be a good pro, but the way Chicago pulled off this deal did not put him in a position to succeed.

Jacksonville Jaguars: I’m a Leonard Fournette believer, but not at the fourth overall. With Dalvin Cook, Florida native and most complete running back in the draft on the board, no thanks.

Kansas City Chiefs: Here’s another one where I might very well end up eating my words, but I am not a Pat Mahomes guy. The Chiefs traded up for the ultimate project. Mahomes is a backyard player with terrible mechanics, highly suspect accuracy, and an inability to consistently make plays from the pocket.

Yes, the Chiefs have Alex Smith and don’t need to play Mahomes this year, but still, just a huge and unnecessary risk.

Detroit Lions: The Lions take Jarrad Davis with Reuben Foster available. Full disclosure, I’m not a doctor, nor did anyone show me Rueben Foster’s injury report. But, here’s what I do know: Reuben Foster is a better linebacker than Jarrad Davis. Davis will play well, and probably have a good career in Detroit. But, a player of Foster’s caliber dropping to pick 21 makes for one of those extremely rare draft blessings that only comes around once in a while.

That was the time for the Lions to be aggressive and take Foster, not be cautious and take Davis.


Things That Did Make Sense:

The entire Cleveland Browns draft, and draft philosophy: It’s not often that the Browns can get mention for doing good things. But, there’s nothing not to like about what they did Thursday night. In fact, the Browns might have selected the two best players in the draft in Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers. Not only that, they managed to do it while receiving a 2018 1st round pick from the Texans in a trade.

Then, the Browns picked up the second-best tight end in the draft (in my opinion) in David Njoku at pick 29. Though they still don’t have a quarterback, the Browns know full well the quarterback class in 2018 will be loaded, and they’re prepared to wait.

Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen falling to the ‘Skins at 17 is the steal of the draft. He’s a top 5 talent who slid due to some concern over his shoulder. Though, when tremendous talent fell to a team with a critical need, unlike the Lions, the Redskins did the right thing and took the risk on Allen.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts selection of Malik Hooker at 15 is a close runner-up to the Redskins in terms of “steal of the draft.” He’s a dynamic playmaker who creates turnovers, exactly what the Colts did not have last year and desperately needed.

San Francisco 49ers: Bay Area residents can breathe a huge sigh of relief, because it appears that John Lynch knows exactly what he’s doing. After fleecing the Bears for three picks and only falling back one spot, Lynch made Stanford’s Solomon Thomas his first pick as GM. Thomas will be a hugely disruptive force along an already talented 49er defensive front.

Then, the 9ers traded back in at pick 31 to take Reuben Foster, who could end up as the best player in the draft. They have the flexibility to do all this, because the 49ers know full-well that Kirk Cousins will be their quarterback next year.


Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys took a player with a name that should play very well in Texas. With the 28th overall pick, the Cowboys took Taco Charlton from Michigan. Weirdly, the Cowboys didn’t have a 1st round grade on Charlton, though most other teams did. In any event, they felt the talent he presented at a position of need was too much to pass up, and they’re right. Charlton is an extremely athletic end who should provide plenty of pass rush. It looks like a lot of quality defensive backs will be available when the Cowboys pick again in late in the 2nd round. That also gave them the flexibility to use their first pick on Charlton.

The 2nd and 3rd rounds of the draft will take place Friday afternoon. Live coverage starts at 7 PM Eastern. The Packers currently hold the first pick of the 2nd round. They have a huge need at running back, and Dalvin Cook still available. It should be a very interesting second day.

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn


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