We’ve dealt with months and months of mock drafts that all could not have looked more different. Finally, the first round is in the books. Let’s get right to the grades.
Cleveland Browns – Myles Garrett (DE, Texas A&M) – A+
He’s not an A+ player, but he was by far the best prospect available. There was no reason to take a QB here, one of the 4 options would have fallen to 12 (though obviously the Browns avoided QB altogether).
Chicago Bears – Mitchell Trubisky (QB, UNC) – D
If the Bears took Trubisky at 3, or even Watson if Trubisky was already gone, I would’ve given them a solid B. I like Trubisky. He’s a fine prospect. I love the approach too, that the Bears will let him sit and develop behind Mike Glennon. But giving up THAT many picks to move up one spot for a QB prospect who isn’t by far and away the top guy? Awful… F- for the trade.
San Francisco 49ers – Solomon Thomas (DE, Stanford) – A+
I’m not as high on Thomas as many others, but he’s still one of the 15 best players in this class. But the fact that John Lynch managed to absolutely fleece the Bears is why the Niners get an A+ here. This draft class is fairly spread out, there are solid players to be had in the 3rd and 4th rounds. If Lynch did his homework, the Niners could end up with a lot of talented players.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU) – C
Fournette might end up proving me wrong, because the man is an absolute freak of nature. But he’s not a very polished runner. Behind that Jaguars O-line he might struggle early to find holes and succeed. There were plenty of better options here, and the Jaguars should really focus on just adding talent anywhere. This RB class is also loaded by the way. I’m sure there were some options to trade back. This wasn’t a great move.
Tennessee Titans – Corey Davis (WR, Western Michigan) – B+
I like it. I don’t love it. Davis is the only wide receiver in this class that’s worth taking this high. He has all of the tools to be the guy who has 8 catches for 80 yards consistently starting day 1. I don’t love taking WRs this high, especially since there are a lot of options later in the draft. But the Titans had a need, they addressed it, and they addressed it with the best option.
New York Jets – Jamal Adams (SS, LSU) – B+
I’ll get a lot of flack for this grade. A lot of people regard Adams as the 2nd best player in this draft class. I don’t even think he’s the best safety (*cough* Budda Baker *cough*). Still, he’s going to have an instant impact on the field with his energy and athletic ability. That’s what the Jets need.
Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Williams (WR, Clemson) – D
This is an awful pick. Mike Williams is big… That’s about it. He will struggle to get separation at the NFL level. He’s slow on tape. He can’t run routes. And the Chargers had a lot more pressing needs. Tom Telesco is usually smarter than this. The new era Chargers are not off to a great start.
Carolina Panthers – Christian McCaffrey (RB, Stanford) – B+
If Curtis Samuel wasn’t also in this draft class, I’d give this pick an A+. McCaffrey can do it all. He’ll return kicks and punts, he’ll catch out of the slot and backfield, and he’ll carry the ball out of the shotgun. On a team that’s already loaded on offense, he fits perfectly.
Cincinnati Bengals – John Ross (WR, Washington) – C
Some scouts really overvalue the combine… Ross’s game tape does not live up to the hype. He’s a really nice player, I’d take him in the late 1st or early 2nd. He’s going to be productive in Cincinnati as a #2, and he’ll help spread the field. But taking him this early? I just don’t see how that’s justifiable, especially for a team that already has a top 5 WR.
Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes (QB, Texas Tech) – A-
They reached a little bit here. That’s why I had to add the minus. But this fit could not be more perfect. Mahomes is raw. He needs time. The Chiefs will give him that time. And then in a few years he’ll inherit a ridiculously talented roster. This is going to be scary in a few years.
New Orleans Saints – Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State) – A+
It was simple. The Saints need defense. They took the best defensive player. They didn’t try to be cute with it.
Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson) – A-
Similar to Mahomes, this is a perfect fit. Watson has all of the swagger and confidence in the world to take over this Texans locker room. They have all of the pieces besides a QB. He can come in and immediately keep the Texans in the playoff hunt.
Arizona Cardinals – Haason Reddick (LB, Temple) – A+
Bruce Arians is going to turn Reddick into an absolute star in Arizona. I wasn’t high on Reddick at first, but when I learned about his transition from CB to Edge to ILB, I was excited. He is absolutely oozing with potential, and Arians will find a way to make him fit.
Philadelphia Eagles – Derek Barnett (DE, Tennessee) – A
The Eagles took the best player left (who didn’t have any red flags). A high character guy who will improve an already talented defense. I see no problems here.
Indianapolis Colts – Malik Hooker (FS, Ohio State) – C-
If there’s a player who could absolutely make or break my NFL draft analysis career, it’s Malik Hooker. I do not see the hype. He can’t tackle… And he just got added to a team that is notorious for being S-A-W-F-T. Yea, nice pick Colts… Jonathan Allen was right there…
Baltimore Ravens – Marlon Humphrey (CB, Alabama) – C
The Ravens are a very smart organization, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here and admit that this could easily work out. But I had Humphrey as a late 2nd rounder… He’s a really good athlete, but he’s not exactly great in coverage. There were plenty of better options here.
Washington Redskins – Jonathan Allen (DE, Alabama) – A+
Remember when Allen was arguably the best player on big boards back in January? Yea… the Redskins just got that guy in the middle of the 1st round. No injury should prevent teams from avoiding a player this talented for THAT long.
Tennessee Titans – Adoree Jackson (CB, USC) – F
Yes. An F. Adoree Jackson can not cover. Yea, he’s a crazy talented kick returner. Cool. You don’t go for that in the 1st round. Kevin King was available. Teez Tabor was available. There are roughly 30 CBs in this draft who can cover better than Jackson.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OJ Howard (TE, Alabama) – A+
Howard is one of the safest picks in the draft. Winston is going to have so much fun throwing to him. Howard, Mike Evans, and Desean Jackson? Cameron Brate too? Yea, good luck. The Bucs could be a real dark horse next year.
Denver Broncos – Garrett Bolles (OT, Utah) – A
It feels slightly high for Bolles, but he’s a nasty player who will add toughness to the Bronco’s offensive line. They took the best option available. This is a really good pick.
Detroit Lions – Jarrad Davis (ILB, Florida) – B-
I had a 2nd round grade on Davis, but he looks to be a solid inside linebacker. I don’t have much else to say. There were better options, but he’s not the worst pick.
Miami Dolphins – Charles Harris (DE, Missouri) – B
Harris is interesting. He’s not a great athlete. But he’s very polished. He feels like a safe pick here. He won’t have a huge impact, but he won’t be a liability. Sometimes you just need players like that.
New York Giants – Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss) – F
Engram isn’t an F pick necessarily. I’m not high on him, but he could be solid. But David Njoku was on the board and you took a different TE… Unacceptable.
Oakland Raiders – Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State) – ?
Until the details of his case come out, I have no idea how I feel about this. But if he’s cleared, the Raiders got a pretty talented CB, which is what they needed.
Cleveland Browns – Jabrill Peppers (S, Michigan) – C-
Peppers has a lot of potential. He can do so many things well. But he shouldn’t have been taken this high, and I would have preferred to see him go to a better system. Prove me wrong Hue, I’d love to see Peppers succeed.
Atlanta Falcons – Takkarist McKinley (DE, UCLA) – B
McKinley isn’t one of my favorite prospects, but he fits very well in Atlanta. They love speed, and he has a ton of it. I trust that Dan Quinn will find a way to utilize him correctly.
Buffalo Bills – Tre’Davious White (CB, LSU) – B+
White is one of the best coverage corners in this class. He does have some issues with size and tackling, but if he can get those issues situated, he’ll fit in very nicely next to Ronald Darby. Extra points for trading back in this draft.
Dallas Cowboys – Taco Charlton (DE, Michigan) – C
I don’t know. I watched Charlton’s tape and the only thing I noticed was that he had a nice spin move. He didn’t do much else. I was lower on him than most.
Cleveland Browns – David Njoku (TE, Miami Fl) – A-
Njoku is arguably in the same tier as Howard. He is an incredibly dangerous receiver who has the tools to be a great blocker as well. When the Browns do get their QB, whether it’s this year or next, he’ll have a great safety blanket to lean on right off the bat.
Pittsburgh Steelers – TJ Watt (OLB, Wisconsin) – C
I swear, if his last name wasn’t Watt, TJ would be a 3rd rounder. He’s a good player, but he’s not a 1st round talent.
San Francisco 49ers – Rueben Foster (ILB, Alabama) – A+
Wow, John Lynch is off to a fantastic start. Foster is on another level when it comes to the ILB prospects this year, and the Niners managed to get him this late? Conduct issues be damned, this was a smart move.
New Orleans Saints – Ryan Ramczyk (OT, Wisconsin) – C
The Saints had a chance to add another very talented defensive player here. Malik McDowell would’ve been a perfect fit. Kevin King or Budda Baker would’ve been nice too. The Saints had many more pressing needs. Still, I like the philosophy of trying to build up the trenches.
Best Day 2 Players Available
There are a ton of 1st round talents who slipped to the 2nd. Some I expected, some I did not. Here are some of my top players available as we head into day 2.
- Teez Tabor (CB, Florida)
- Malik McDowell (DT, Michigan State)
- Budda Baker (SS, Washington)
- Curtis Samuel (WR/RB, Ohio State)
- Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)
- Ryan Anderson (OLB/DE, Alabama)
- Kevin King (CB, Washington)
- Tim Williams (OLB, Alabama)
- Montravius Adams (DT, Auburn)
- Obi Melifonwu (S, Uconn)
- Forrest Lamp (OT/OG, Western Kentucky)
- Antonio Garcia (OT, Troy)
- Ardarius Stewart (WR, Alabama)
- Chris Wormley (DL, Michigan)
- Gareon Conley (CB, Ohio State)
- Desmond King (CB, Iowa)
- Cam Robinson (OT, Alabama)
- Semaje Perine (RB, Oklahoma)
- Marcus Williams (FS, Utah)
- Pat Elflein (C, Ohio State)
- Zay Jones (WR, East Carolina)
- Jordan Willis (DE, Kansas State)
- Chris Godwin (WR, Penn State)
- Alvin Kamara (RB, Tennessee)
- Tarrell Basham (DE, Ohio)
- Deshone Kizer (QB, Notre Dame)
- Larry Ogunjobi (DT, Charlotte)
- Taylor Moton (OT/OG, Western Michigan)
- Cooper Kupp (WR, Eastern Washington)
- JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, USC)
- Rasul Douglas (CB, West Virginia)
- Carl Lawson (DE, Auburn)
- Sidney Jones (CB, Washington)
- Jake Butt (TE, Michigan)
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