Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell waits for 12th overall pick Deshaun Watson (not pictured) in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
After an enormous build up the 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone and did not disappoint, but some picks certainly did.
The 2017 NFL Draft is now behind us and it’s almost time to start looking forward to training camp and the new season. However, first we must look back and judge the draft and let you guys know what we think of the players picked and the team’s that picked those athletes.
We have to go negative in this article focusing on the worst pick by each team. Most teams had at least one subpar pick to focus on. Of course, a few of the same old faces made my life difficult with their ability to handle the objective of being good at their jobs.
Both the player’s ability and value of their draft slot were taking into account. In most cases here we’ll focus on higher picks due to the increased risk. As much as I love preparing for the draft, I also love giving one look back before we move onto the season once it’s over.
So let’s do that, starting with the AFC East to look at each team’s worst pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Oct 29, 2016; Greenville, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Zay Jones (7) looks on before the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Connecticut Huskies 41-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots: Conor McDermott, OT – UCLA (211th Overall)
No matter who I go with here, Bill Belichick will probably make me look foolish for questioning him. I went with McDermott because there is little to no chance he sees any significant playing time for at least three years or so. So if he does turn out to be a great pick, people have plenty of time to forget what I said. I also loved all their other picks, so this was the only option.
Miami Dolphins: Charles Harris, DE – Missouri (22nd Overall)
My issue here was not with Charles Harris. He’s not a bad player by any means and wasn’t over drafted. The problem is he isn’t Reuben Foster. For the second year in a row a top prospect miraculously fell in the Dolphins lap and they didn’t capitalize on it this season. Fair or not, Harris is going to be compared to Foster by Dolphins fans for a long time. We’ll see how it turns out.
Buffalo Bills: Zay Jones, WR – East Carolina (37th Overall)
Jones has the work ethic and I.Q. to be a good player. However, he doesn’t have the physical gifts to be a special player. I don’t like trading up to get him. They moved up seven spots from pick 44 and dropped from pick 91 to 149. I believe they would have been better off staying put and drafting another receiver that fell to them with one of their next two picks. Many people think the Bills are going to be a tough team this season and Jones will be a key piece. They will be mediocre at best — like they always are — because they invest in mediocre players and coaches.
New York Jets: Marcus Hayes, S – Florida (39th Overall)
This is a situation where it’s not the player I don’t like, it’s the position. Many will say you shouldn’t go with a safety at No. 6 overall, I firmly disagree in this case. Jamal Adams is a special player deserving of his draft slot. However, a team with so many holes going with safeties in both the first and second round definitely raises a few eyebrows. This was a draft with plenty of talent left in Round 2 and to just double up on safeties, when they already have decent safeties is a tough sell.
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer throws a pass during the 2017 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
I didn’t love the Steelers going wide receiver here. I felt they are team that needs to be in win-now mode and they had more pressing needs. On top of that, I don’t love the receiver they went with. I have a hard time trusting offensive weapons out of USC and Smith-Schuster is a low-upside pick. At best, he’s a solid possession receiver who can work his way into a WR3 role in Pittsburgh. What has made the Steelers so special when it comes to wideouts is their ability to make the most of high-upside late-round picks. This is a low-ceiling second-round pick.
Baltimore Ravens: Chuck Clark, S – Virginia Tech (186th Overall)
This felt like a bit of a throwaway pick. They need help on offense, particularly at wide receiver and took a flyer on possibly the deepest position on their team. Baltimore already has Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Lardarius Webb and Anthony Levine at the position. This one didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.
Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR – Washington (9th Overall)
Ross is extremely fast, there is no denying that. As a matter of fact, he ran a 4.22-second 40-yard dash and broke Chris Johnson’s record. Still, he was not worthy of a top-10 pick. He’s a combine star with a growing list of injury woes. After missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL, he enters the 2017 offseason coming off shoulder surgery, which could impact his ability participate in training camp. I’m not sure any wideout deserved to go in the top 10 in this draft, but even so, he wasn’t in the running for the best in this class
This guy is awful. Every year I have a worst quarterback that I know will be drafted way too high. In 2015, it was Bryce Petty. And in 2016, it was Christian Hackenberg — sorry, Jets. Unfortunately for the Browns, the Jets weren’t there to scoop up Kizer for them. He’s a terrible player and will never be an NFL quarterback. If the Browns think they have found any kind of long-term answer in him they are badly mistaken. This was the worst pick of the draft.
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Leonard Fournette (LSU) is selected as the number 4 overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans: Treston DeCoud, S – Oregon State (169th Overall)
This was tough, because I really didn’t hate any of the Texans picks. I think they did a good job addressing their needs and finding value. I went with DeCoud because I believe they could have stock piled a few more offensive weapons to compete late in the draft being that they don’t need sixth-round safety help. Still, this pick isn’t awful either.
Tennessee Titans: Taywan Taylor, WR – Western Kentucky (100th Overall)
This pick was questionable to say the least. Not only did they trade up and give two valuable picks for this slot, they also drafted another wide receiver in Round 1 and a tight end soon after. Yes, they do need some offensive weapons, but that’s not all they need. Delanie Walker, Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe are still good players too on a run-first team. They could have gone in a more useful direction with this pick.
Indianapolis Colts: Marlon Mack, RB – USF (143rd Overall)
My issue isn’t necessarily with Mack in this slot, it’s the Colts continuing to be unable to acquire a feature running back. We’ve seen them take this approach before hoping a mediocre talent pops as a star. We’ve also seen them trade first-round picks for Trent Richardson and add an aged Frank Gore recently, who is solid but past his prime. There were a ton of great backs in this draft and Indy still came up empty.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB – LSU (4th Overall)
I can’t get behind this pick this high. Not only was Fournette not close to being the best player on the board, he’s not even the best running back in the draft. Not to say he’s not good, just not fourth-overall good. Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t a stud because he’s amazing, he was a stud because the Cowboys offensive line, and I still think they made a mistake passing on Jalen Ramsey and Joey Bosa. Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon weren’t the Jaguars issue, they need to improve their line. Fournette doesn’t hold value here.
Mar 2, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Utah Utes offensive lineman Garrett Bolles speaks to the media during the 2017 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs: Pat Mahomes, QB – Texas Tech (10th Overall)
This was huge stretch for a project quarterback with huge question marks entering the NFL. The Chiefs gave up the 27th and 91st overall pick as well as a 2018 first-round pick to jump 17 spots and draft a quarterback who wasn’t the best available. Obviously they felt he was, but this is a lot to give up for a win-now team with a serviceable quarterback under center.
Oakland Raiders: Eddie Vanderdoes, DT – UCLA (88th Overall)
The Raiders could very well prove me wrong with this one, because Vanderdoes was very good at one point. The issue is, he was very good three years ago. He has the potential to be a valuable asset, but seems like a long shot at this point much in part due to injuries. There were better players on the board at this point.
Denver Broncos: Garrett Bolles, OT – Utah (20th Overall)
First and foremost, I believe the Broncos went need over value here, which is okay sometimes on a win-now team. However, I find it hard with every player under such scrutiny for every little indiscretion in their past, how Bolles’ just gets a pass through this whole process while others are plummeting for much less. He’s reformed and rehabbed, but so have others. So what makes him different?
Los Angeles Chargers: Desmond King, S – Iowa (151st Overall)
I didn’t love the Chargers going back to back safeties here after taking the superior Rayshawn Jenkins out of Miami in the previous round. The Chargers have multiple holes on this team and used five consecutive picks on just offensive line and safeties. The line certainly needed the help, but doubling up on safties seems like a bit much.
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton, DE – Michigan (28th Overall)
I wasn’t particularly high on Charlton and don’t like him in the Cowboys’ defensive scheme. He is slow and predictable and I believe he would be much better served as a second-option pass rusher than a premier pass rusher. The more I watched film on him days before the draft, the less I liked him. A lack of speed and a dependency on a spin move scared me off of him as a first-rounder.
New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT – Alabama (55th Overall)
It’s a tough sell for the Giants not to take an offensive lineman here. I get going for value in Round 1, but this team’s biggest need was on the line. They didn’t even address the position at all until Round 6, pick No. 200 overall. I can’t get behind one of the best defenses in football not filling their biggest need with an aging Eli Manning in the twilight of his career. This team should be looking to get one more ring while their quarterback still has enough left in the tank.
Washington Redskins: Jeremy Sprinkle, TE – Arkansas (154th Overall)
The Redskins are already so deep at the position, that it’s hard to like them going tight end here. It’s unlikely Sprinkle even makes the team. I would have liked to see them stockpile offensive lineman, defensive backs and front seven defenders more so than a tight end here. They would be more likely to compete for the 53-man roster.
Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE – Tennessee (14th Overall)
Barnett wasn’t the right pick for Philly here. It wasn’t their biggest need and he wasn’t the best player available. As a matter of fact, there were better players available at cornerback, which was a much bigger concern for them. I don’t expect Barnett to be an NFL bust, but I’m not so sure he’s a star either. At No. 14 overall, they could have done better than this.
Nov 19, 2016; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) looks to pass in the first quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers: DeAngelo Yancy, WR – Purdue (175th Overall)
After their first two picks, there were a multitude of picks I didn’t like that the Packers made. I certainly don’t think they needed to draft two wide receivers, and I like Malichi Dupre in the seventh round better. They need to be stock piling defenders. And offensively, they should’ve been bringing in a handful of lineman, running backs or even tight ends. I don’t like taking a receiver here at all and don’t expect him to see the field in Green Bay.
Detroit Lions: Kenny Golladay, WR – Northern Illinois (96th Overall)
As badly as I wanted to go Brad Kaaya here because he’s terrible, the fact that he fell all the way to Round 6 kept him off this list. Golladay went in Round 3 and I just don’t view him as a third-round pick. He’s a long way from being a valuable receiver and that’s if he ever becomes one. This wasn’t a strong grab here in the third round.
The Vikings did a great job with their first two picks, which came in the second and third round, but I didn’t like taking Adams here. Receiver isn’t a major need, at least not a wideout of fifth-round talents. To make matters worse, I believe their seventh-round pick Stacy Coley out of Miami makes the team and Adams doesn’t. There were a ton of gems in this haul, Adams wasn’t one of them.
Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky, QB – UNC (2nd Overall)
I didn’t want to go with Trubisky because I do believe he’s the best quarterback in the draft and the Bears do need a quarterback. But how do you pick Trubisky here. Being the best quarterback doesn’t make you worthy of the second-overall pick. Especially when you give up the third, 67th, 111th overall picks and a 2018 third-rounder to move up just one spot to draft a quarterback with major question marks. On top of that, they just committed way more money than they should have to Mike Glennon. There is more not to like here than to like.
Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Takkarist McKinley (UCLA) is selected as the number 26 overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons: Takkarist McKinley, DE – UCLA (26th Overall)
This was a tough one for me. The Falcons entered the draft with only six picks and traded two away to the Seahawks for McKinley. Not only am I not sold on him as an NFL star, but he could have a tough rookie season due to his shoulder injury. The Falcons may have been better off staying put and getting more value.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kendall Beckwith, LB – LSU (107th Overall)
I didn’t love the Bucs trading multiple picks to move up and draft a player with a torn ACL at a position that wasn’t a need. Moving up for what appears to be a long-term depth pick was a bit of a stretch here for me. We likely won’t know where he fits in for at least a year or two.
New Orleans Saints: Alvin Kamara, RB – Tennessee (67th Overall)
I don’t hate the value here, as Kamara has upside. I just don’t like using a third-round pick on a running back if you have Mark Ingram and have signed Adrian Peterson. Granted this is in hindsight now and Kamara is a different kind of player on a rebuilding team. My issue here is they should have either drafted Kamara or signed Peterson. For years it has looked like the Saints aren’t quite sure if they want to win now or rebuild. In all honesty, they probably should have traded Drew Brees a few years back and rebuilt with an abundance of assets.
Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB – Stanford (8th Overall)
I understand that many will strongly disagree with me here, but I’m not nearly as high on McCaffrey as others are. I believe he was the fourth-best running back prospect in this draft and not worthy of the eighth-overall pick. The Panthers needed help at cornerback and didn’t get it at any point in the draft. This is a fun pick, but not necessarily the right one.
Mar 4, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan State defensive end Malik McDowell speaks to the media during the 2017 combine at Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Seattle Seahawks: Malik McDowell, DT – Michigan State (35th Overall)
McDowell’s upside is immense but so his bust potential. I have a tough time passing up on Forrest Lamp here for a lazy defensive tackle you hope you can keep motivated. Players like this scare me and I rarely view them as first picks, even if their first pick happened to come in the second round. There was too much talent here to roll the dice with such a risky guy.
Arizona Cardinals: Budda Baker, S – Washington (36th Overall)
Baker is a strong player, but the Cardinals made a big leap to get him. I fully expected this pick to be a quarterback I could put on this list. This is another guy that may prove me very wrong, but giving up the 45th, 119th, 197th overall picks and fourth-rounder next year seems like a lot to give up for Baker when there were still very good safeties left on the board. We’ll have to see how this works out.
Los Angeles Rams: Gerald Everett, TE – South Alabama (44th Overall)
This terrible team that needs help in numerous areas decided to reach for a tight end after drafting one on Day 2 last season. This was a terrible pick for numerous reasons. Even if this kid is any good, we’ll probably never find out as long as he’s on that miserable Rams offense.
San Francisco 49ers: Joe Williams, RB – Utah (121st Overall)
The 49ers did a great job in this draft, mostly because they started very strong with their first three picks. However, I didn’t love the next few moves they made addressing their anemic offense. I thought Williams was a reach and not an impact player. Their draft fell off a cliff a bit in the fourth and fifth rounds.