Top 15 Misses of First Three Rounds in 2017 NFL Draft
The 2017 NFL Draft was full of surprises and some draft day drama. However, Here’s a look at 15 misses in the first two days.
The 2017 NFL Draft got off to an interesting start in Philadelphia Thursday night. There were a lot of wins but also a lot of head-scratching picks made as well.
The Cleveland Browns didn’t pull any fast ones on their fans, drafting Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the first overall pick. Three quarterbacks heard their name called in the first round as the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans all drafted signal-callers. The first round saw a lot of offensive players drafted despite the depth of this year’s defensive class.
National championship winning quarterback Deshaun Watson was taken with the 12th overall pick, interestingly enough, the same spot where former Florida State running back Warrick Dunn was taken in 1997. It was Dunn who helped Watson’s family by helping them build a home through Habitat for Humanity.
The second round took a turn in a different direction. More defensive players heard their names called to the podium. Despite his free-fall, Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook was finally taken on day two to the Minnesota Vikings with the 41st overall pick.
While Cook is a great pickup for the Vikings, some other teams made some rather questionable decisions with their picks. Here’s a look at the top 15 misses from the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Linebacker, LSU Tigers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers closed out Day 2 by drafting linebacker Kendall Beckwith of the LSU Tigers. Beckwith led the Tigers in tackles (91) along with six tackles for loss, but his health going into the NFL is questionable at best.
Beckwith is coming off an ACL tear late in the 2016 season and may not even be available until the 2018 season.
Truth be told, the Buccaneers were bound to make a risky pick eventually. They got quarterback Jameis Winston a lot of weapons in this year’s NFL Draft. Alabama Crimson Tide tight end O.J. Howard fell in their lap as did Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver Chris Godwin.
However, Beckwith doesn’t really fill a huge need for Tampa Bay. He has the chance to develop on the Buccaneers defense but they still need some more secondary. Also running back Doug Martin is set to miss the first three games of 2017 for testing positive for Adderall.
Defensive Tackle, UNC Tar Heels
Between the Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears, the 2017 NFL Draft was a perplexing at best for some fanbases. The Seahawks traded out of the first round twice to get three additional picks, but what they got for those picks makes you wonder.
North Carolina Tar Heels defensive tackle Nazair Jones was an early draft pick who could have been picked later on in the draft, but the Seahawks took their chance, drafting him 102nd overall in the third round.
Jones was a third-team All-ACC selection in 2016 with the Tar Heels after recording 70 tackles (32 solo, 38 assisted), 9.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He set career-highs in tackles and tackles for loss, but how will it translate to the next level?
Most scouts predicted he’d go to a 3-4 system, but the Seahawks play a 4-3 scheme. He could still fit at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds but he’ll need to develop right away.
Wide Receiver, lion
The Detroit Lions are another team who look like they’re willing to take a risk on their own knowledge. They drafted Northern Illinois Huskies wide receiver Kenny Golladay 96th overall.
Golladay is a 6-foot-4, 218-pound prospect who had two back-to-back seasons where he caught for over 1,000 receiving yards in the MAC. He accumulated 160 catches for 2,285 receiving yards and 18 receiving touchdowns in two seasons with the Huskies.
The MAC isn’t quite known for its stiff competition. He was third in the conference in receiving yards, but on paper Golladay has an NFL-ready body. He ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and had 18 reps on the bench press. So if anything, his combine performance helped his cause a ton.
Safety, Michigan Wolverines
Michigan Wolverines safety Delano Hill had a breakout season in 2016, and it got him drafted well ahead of schedule. However, it doesn’t really fill an immediate need for the Seattle Seahawks. With safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in the secondary, Hill’s contributions may need be immediate.
Again, the Seattle Seahawks traded out of the first round twice. This pick is the aftermath of one of those trades. Hill had a good senior season, with 50 tackles (37 solo, 13 assisted), 4.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and three pass break ups.
At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, showing his explosive speed. However, many scouts predicted Hill to be drafted in the fourth or fifth round. The Seahawks could have waited to choose him and fill other needs such as linebacker, where Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt may have been a good fit.
Safety, NC State Wolfpack
The Los Angeles Rams have taken an interesting approach in this year’s draft. While this miss could easily be South Alabama tight end Gerald Everett, it goes to safety John Johnson of the NC State Wolfpack.
The Rams still have needs at linebacker, cornerback and on the offensive line, but chose to draft a safety in the third round. With the departure of T.J. Mcdonald, it makes sense but they may have waited too long to draft a viable Week 1 starter.
With the way other teams are drafting, it’s unpredictable to tell who will fit and where as its the NFL Draft. Johnson could convert back to a defensive back, after all, he played cornerback in his first two seasons with the Wolfpack.
He did have a strong combine performance, finishing as a top performer in the 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill and vertical jump. But he’ll have big shoes to fill on the Rams’ defense if he hopes to crack the starting lineup.
Wide Receiver, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
The Tennessee Titans took Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis with the sixth overall pick. Drafting Taylor 72nd overall in the 2017 NFL Draft is a bit of a reach.
Don’t get me wrong, Taylor is a great wide receiver, but it seems the Titans are currently stockpiling wide receivers while ignoring other needs. With glaring needs on the defensive side of the ball, the Titans chose another wide receiver.
They did draft USC Trojans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson with the 18th overall pick but they only have picks in the fifth, sixth and seventh round going forward. They’ve spent three of their picks on offense while other players go off the draft board.
It will be interesting to see how the Titans finish up their draft. Drafting more offensive players could hurt them in the end on the football field next season.
Running Back, Tennessee Volunteers
The New Orleans Saints have taken an interesting approach to the NFL Draft after missing out on Alabama Crimson Tide Reuben Foster in the first round. By drafting Tennessee Volunteers running back Alvin Kamara, it seems they may just look to outscore everybody again.
Kamara, while underutilized at Tennessee, entered the NFL Draft as one of those sleeper picks. He had a strong NFL Combine and interviewed well in meetings. But it’s hard to call him a sleeper on a team with plenty of running backs on the roster. There were a lot of defensive needs for the Saints to address, yet through their first six picks, they’ve only addressed half of them.
They still have to address their defensive line and they need wide receivers. Kamara can be used as a passing option out of the backfield, but it may not be enough.
Defensive Tackle, Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson got drafted a little early for a player with one year of starting experience under their belt. He can fill the gaps up front as a run stopper but still needs work on the pass rush.
Tomlinson was a starter on the Alabama defense last season, racking up 62 tackles, but 45 of them were assisted. He had 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
They drafted quarterback Davis Webb as well in the latter rounds but offensive line and running back still remains a necessity. However, the quality of prospects is shortening.
Through three picks, the Giants look like they’re experimenting at best. They drafted tight end Evan Engram of Ole Miss with their 23rd pick. The only problem is tight end isn’t a huge need for the Giants. Going forward, they’ll need to buckle down with their picks, they have four left in Rounds 4-7.
Tight End, Ashland
The Chicago Bears have been causing angina for fans at the 2017 NFL Draft. They drafted Ashland tight end Adam Shaheen with the 45th overall pick, an unknown prospect to most.
Instead of addressing the defensive side of the ball, the Bears chose to draft a tight end. But with other tight ends like Michigan’s Jake Butt or Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges still waiting to hear their name called, this pick really makes you wonder.
GM Ryan Pace calls it taking the best player available but some may beg to differ. The Bears also signed former Miami Dolphins tight end Dion Sims to a three-year deal in the offseason, which makes this pick even more confusing.
In probably one of the more stronger defensive drafts in recent years, the Bears have drafted two offensive skill players, when it technically isn’t a glaring need. The final day of the draft will be interesting for them with just four picks left.
Cornerback, Washington Huskies
The Philadelphia Eagles made a great pick in the first round, scooping up defensive end Derek Barnett out of Tennessee. But this pick may come back to haunt them, and it has nothing to do with production.
Jones racked up 145 tackles (105 solo, 40 assisted), 21 pass breakups, eight interceptions, 8.5 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and three forced fumbles. His numbers speak for themselves, however, his health is uncertain at this time.
With so many healthy defensive backs up for grabs in Round 2, the Eagles chose to draft cornerback Sidney Jones from the Washington Huskies. Jones tore his Achilles’ tendon on Washington’s Pro Day and is currently rehabbing the injury.
Jones certainly could have been a third or fourth round choice but the Eagles chose to draft him early. They also drafted Rasul Douglas (West Virginia Mountaineers) so who knows, things could work out in the end. But Jones won’t be ready for training camp or offseason workouts.
The Eagles’ front office is comfortable waiting for Jones to work his way back onto the field, but is their fanbase?
Safety, Utah Utes
The New Orleans Saints are up again, but this time for their 42nd overall pick. The Saints chose Utah Utes safety Marcus Williams in the second round of the NFL Draft to upgrade the secondary but his value is questionable.
Williams finished as a second-team All-Pac 12 selection last season, registering 64 tackles (46 solo, 18 assisted), three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He put up some good numbers in 2016 but what about Desmond King (Iowa) or Obi Melifonwu (UConn)?
Scouts could point to Williams strong NFL Combine performance but a strong performance is what got Obi Melifonwu some added publicity as well.
Williams is a centerfielder the Saints could probably use in the secondary but he’s not much of a big-hitter in a division with the Buccaneers, Panthers and Falcons, teams with some big wide receivers. Williams could very well be a sleeper pick, but for now, he isn’t a day one starter.
Center, LSU Tigers
The Seattle Seahawks needed an offensive guard but Garrett Boles was unavailable to them by the time their pick came up. So instead, the Seahawks chose Ethan Pocic, a center from the LSU Tigers.
The only problem is the Seahawks don’t need a center. They need offensive line help but at the guard position, but who knows, maybe they’ll move him to offensive guard. Pittsburgh offensive guard Dorian Johnson was still up for grabs so was Indiana’s Dan Feeney, two solid offensive lineman for their respective teams. But the Seahawks still chose Pocic.
It’s been an interesting NFL Draft for the Seahawks as they traded out of the first round to begin with. It looks as though trading down will come back to bite them if they don’t beef up their offensive line.
Without some improved picks, fans could see quarterback Russell Wilson doing a lot of scrambling this upcoming season.
Tight End, Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss Rebels tight end Evan Engram is a top tight end, but he may not fit the New York Giants offensive scheme of things. As the 23rd overall pick in the NFL Draft, Engram has to live up to a lot of hype.
Engram caught 65 passes for 926 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, both career-highs, last season. He was a first-team All-SEC selection and an All-American. He was probably the Rebels’ best offensive weapon despite their 5-7 record. After all, he led the team in receiving yards as a tight end.
However, Engram was drafted after Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku, who was drafted 29th overall. The Giants may have drafted based upon level of competition even though Njoku emerged as a tight end with tons of potential this draft season.
Engram is good, but with quarterback Eli Manning, he could be in for a surprise. He’s got the versatility to be good, but he’s not a block-first type they need to create a running game. Maybe he’ll change though, who knows.
Wide Receiver, Western Michigan Broncos
Western Michigan Broncos wide receiver Corey Davis is good, probably one of the better wide receivers in this draft. But he wasn’t worth the fifth overall pick.
Not to mention, the Tennessee Titans also picked up another wide receiver in the third round (Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky). The Titans had two picks in the first round so taking a wide receiver first could have always been in the cards.
But then drafting USC Troajns cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, a potential two-way player, makes this pick even more confusing. Davis could have fallen to 18th, even then, other receivers would have been available.
Linebacker and offensive line still remain glaring needs while the Titans have upgraded on offense with three picks so far. I know Adoree’ Jackson plays defense but again, he’ll probably be used on both sides.
The Titans only have picks in the fifth and seventh rounds after their three picks. If they are looking to upgrade, it will be slim pickings by the time their pick comes up.
Quarterback, North Carolina Tar Heels
The Chicago Bears got the NFL Draft started with some amazingly bad moves. First, they traded the third overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the second overall pick. The 49ers received the 67th overall pick, the 111th overall pick and a 2018 third-round pick.
And the Bears weren’t done there. After that, they proceeded to draft North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. Trubisky was one of three quarterbacks taken in the first round.
Trubisky was solid at UNC but not worth the second overall pick. Not to mention, the Bears signed quarterback Mike Glennon for a lot of money this offseason, making this pick even more confusing.
More from Saturday Blitz
- NFL Draft 2017: 5 Hidden Gems in Second and Third Rounds6h ago
- NFL Draft: Why Trading Up for Mitch Trubisky was Wrong Move by Bears1 d ago
- NFL Draft 2017: 5 Riskiest First Round Picks1 d ago
- NFL Draft 2017: 5 Biggest First Round Steals1 d ago
- Oklahoma State Football: 5 reasons Mason Rudolph could win the 2017 Heisman Trophy1 d ago