This weekend sees the 32 NFL teams descend upon Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. It will be the 82nd Draft in the history of the National Football League and it is a team’s opportunity to take on the best talent that has come through the college ranks of America. Like every year, the Draft will take place over three days, with Round 1 being picked on Thursday, Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday, and Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday evening.
Over the years, there have been some wonderful picks, and some not so great picks that have gone in the first round of the Draft. Three of the last five years have seen QBs taken in the first picks. Jared Goff (LA) and Carson Wentz (PHI) went last year, with Jameis Winston (TB) and Marcus Mariota (TEN) being the first two men taken in 2015. Back in 2012, Andrew Luck (IND) and Robert Griffin III (WAS) were the first two drafted.
Looking back over the last decade or so, and the signal-caller, the QB, has been the most popular no.1 pick. A quarterback has been chosen as the no.1 pick in eight of the last thirteen years, going all the way back to Eli Manning in 2004, and the infamous trade with Philip Rivers (SD-NYG). Eli, of course, followed in his brother’s footsteps, as Peyton was the no.1 pick in the 1998 draft for the Indianapolis Colts.
Some of the best picks come later on in the first round and even further beyond. The obvious one is Tom Brady, who was the 199th pick in the 2000 draft, while WR Antonio Brown was the 195th pick for the Steelers in 2010, and he is arguably the most sought after skill-position player in the league.
Other late first round picks include the Green Bay Packers pairing of Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers. Both are green-and-gold legends now, but Rodgers only went 24th in 2005, while Clay Matthews was the 26th pick in 2009. Another late first round pick was that of Santonio Holmes, who went 25th in 2006. The former Steelers WR helped the team to their Super Bowl victory a few years ago.
Top Round Projected Picks
The No.1 Pick of this year’s draft is down to the Cleveland Browns. This pick, according to all the experts, will come down to two outstanding college players from the last three years, Myles Garrett and Mitchell Trubisky.
Garrett posted amazing numbers at the NFL Combine in March, and put forward his case to be the #1 pick in 2017. The Browns need a pass-rusher to add to their defence, and Garrett would be just the man. If picked, he would become the second DE to be the #1 in the last four years, after Jadeveon Clowney was Houston’s first pick in 2014.
However, the Browns need a franchise QB after their failures with Johnny Manziel, Cody Kessler, Robert Griffin III and many more over the last few years. In that case, Mitchell Trubisky might be their man. He is seen as a new version of the Bengal’s Andy Dalton, and that could be what Hue Jackson wants for his Browns team in 2017. They may even get both, as they traded to get the #12 pick as well as the #1 tonight.
Going into the draft, the 49ers have the 2nd pick of the draft. However, there is major talk that they will trade down as they have no idea where to go with the #2 pick. If they do keep it, then it could go any one of several ways. Among their choices are Soloman Thomas, Jamal Adams and Leonarde Fournette.
Thomas seems to be the most obvious pick for the 49ers, who also need a pass rusher, like the Bears. Also in the race for this pick, and if not this one, then the Bears #3 slot, is Jamal Adams. The S from LSU has become their favourite for the slot, after laying a big-money deal on Mike Glennon to be their starting QB for 2017, therefore, their main concern now is on defence.
Finally for the 49ers, Leonard Fournette could be the first man to go on offence in the 2017 draft. The LSU RB is now predicted to go with the Jets ay #6, but he could go earlier than that. He is the best prospect in the backfield in this year’s draft, so don’t be surprised to see Fournette go in the top 5 tonight.
Also predicted to go inside the top 5 are Jonathan Allen and Mike Williams. If Allen, along with Garrett and Thomas go inside the top 5, then three of those first five will be defensive lineman, the first time that has ever happened in NFL Draft history.
Mike Williams is expected to go at #5 among most experts as a slight surprise pick for the Tennessee Titans, who moved up after trading with the LA Rams. Williams would give Marcus Mariota another target in the red zone, which would be one hell of a prospect for Titans fans.
Other top ten prospects include the versatile RB/WR Christian McCaffrey, who could go to Carolina at #8, Malik Hooker, who the Chargers like for their #7 pick. John Ross, the man to break the 40yard dash record at the Combine (4.21secs), could go to Cincinnati at #9, with Marshon Lattimore expected to beef up Buffalo’s secondary with the #10 pick.
However, names like O.J. Howard and Reuben Foster could also pop inside that top ten on Thursday night in Philadelphia.
- Cleveland Browns
- San Francisco 49ers
- Chicago Bears
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tennessee Titans (from LA Rams)
- New York Jets
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Carolina Panthers
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Buffalo Bills
- New Orleans Saints
- Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota Vikings)
- Indianapolis Colts
- Baltimore Ravens
- Washington Redskins
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Denver Broncos
- Detroit Lions
- Miami Dolphins
- New York Giants
- Oakland Raiders
- Houston Texans
- Seattle Seahawks
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Dallas Cowboys
- Green Bay Packers
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Atlanta Falcons
- New Orleans Saints (from New England Patriots)
First-round draft pick trades (C means conditional):
No. 5: LAR-TEN:
- LAR traded their 2017 R1, R3 & 2016 R1, R2, R2, R3
- TEN traded their 2017 R7C & 2016 R1, R4, R6
No. 12: PHI-CLE:
- PHI traded their 2017 R1, 2016 R1, R3, R4 & 2018 R2
- CLE traded their 2017 R5C & 2016 R1
No. 14: MIN-PHI:
- MIN traded their 2017 R1, R4C
- PHI traded QB Sam Bradford
No. 32: NE-NO:
- NE traded their 2017 R1, R3
- NO traded their 2017 R3 & WR Brandin Cooks