It was a crazy first day of the NFL draft, with trades being tossed around like there was no tomorrow.
The Bears moved up, the Chiefs moved up, the Browns moved down but then moved up, an unexpected turn of events.
We saw three quarterbacks taken before the 15th pick. Only two running backs, both taken in the top 10 and more surprisingly, three wide receivers taken in the top 10.
I am sure day two will be just as great, but before we get to that, it’s time to do some grading of the first round.
The grading system will be based on the need of the player, position the player was drafted, and how I think they fit into the team.
Chicago Bears: C
QB - Mitchell Trubisky, 2ND Overall
This was a bold move by the Bears. Essentially, they traded up one spot for a player that would’ve more than likely been available at the third spot. Why you ask? I literally have no idea. I understand why the Bears drafted a young quarterback, even after signing Mike Glennon this off-season. By bringing in Trubisky, now they can give him time to develop and learn the playbook, whilst Mike Glennon takes the field on Sundays. This pick was not a terrible idea, it’s just the way it was executed that was perplexing.
Detroit Lions: B+
LB - Jarrad Davis, 21ST Overall
The Lions could’ve gone in a few directions with this pick, I believe they chose the right one. Detroit needs to get better on defense and by bringing in Davis they can make their front seven stronger. It’s likely the Lions will move Whitehead to outside linebacker and slot Davis on the inside. On Day 2, I would expect them to select a cornerback with either their 2nd or 3rd round pick.
Green Bay Packers: N/A
The Packers made a trade with the Cleveland Browns, which saw them move out of the first round. The Packers will now select their first player on day two of the draft.
Minnesota Vikings: N/A
The Vikings didn’t make any moves on day one. Their first pick will be the 48th overall selection.
Dallas Cowboys: B
DE - Taco Charlton, 28TH Overall
If you can’t stop their wide receivers from catching it, stop their quarterback from throwing it. That seems to be the philosophy that the Cowboys went with here. Charlton got better every year he was with Michigan and finished up his college career with 19 sacks. The former Wolverine will be a good player for years to come. If Randy Gregory, suspended for violating the leagues substance abuse policy, can also figure things out, the Cowboys will have a decent one-two punch on the line.
New York Giants: B-
TE - Evan Engram, 23RD Overall
If you’re not going to fix your running game then you may as well give Eli Manning another weapon. Engram is an athletic tight end who will fit well in a throw-first offense. It’ll be interesting to see how good David Njoku turns out to be, compared to Engram, considering he was ranked higher than the new Giants tight end on most boards.
Philadelphia Eagles: C
DE - Derek Barnett, 14TH Overall
Derek Barnett is a solid player, just not the player the Eagles need. If you look at the Eagles roster, they have a big hole at cornerback, which could’ve easily been filled in this spot. When you’re in a division with slingers like Kirk Cousins and Eli Manning, you’d think getting a good secondary would be your top priority. Eagles fans should be hoping on day two that they can get their hands on a cornerback, like Quincy Wilson or Chidobe Awuzie.
Washington Redskins: A+
DE - Jonathan Allen, 17TH Overall
They got the second ranked player and filled a glaring hole, what a time to be alive if you’re a Redskins fan. Allen fell so far because of a shoulder injury. Clearly, the Redskins felt that it wouldn’t be much of an issue and drafted him at 17. Allen will help stop the run game and attack the quarterback with authority. In my eyes, this was the best single pick in the first round.
Atlanta Falcons: A
DE - Takkarist McKinley, 26TH Overall
From what I got from his interview, the Falcons got an extremely passionate football player. The Falcons, now with McKinley and Vic Beasley attacking the quarterback, NFC South quarterbacks should be terrified. The Falcons moved up to pick him which makes sense considering the teams above them all had the same need. This young Falcons defense is on their way to being elite.
Carolina Panthers: A-
RB - Christian McCaffrey, 8TH Overall
McCaffrey is not the power back you’d think of when thinking of the Panthers. However, he is one of the most talented and explosive players in the draft. McCaffrey can play in multiple sets offensively and can be a weapon for Newton in any situation. If Carolina uses him correctly, he will be a tremendous player for them.
New Orleans Saints: A+
CB - Marshon Lattimore, 11TH Overall & OT - Ryan Ramczyk, 32ND Overall
The two players that the Saints drafted were at the top of their respected positions in rankings. First of all, Lattimore was suppose to be a top five pick but somehow fell to eleven. The Saints had their number one corner for the next 10-years fall right into their laps. As for their 32nd pick, it was wise for the Saints to bolster their offensive line. They have Zach Streif at right tackle right now, who turns thirty-four in September. Ramczyk can come in and not be expected to start right away, which will help him develop into a better tackle. A nice first day for the Saints.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A
TE - O.J. Howard, 19TH Overall
Jameis Winston just got himself another top quality weapon. It was surprising to see Howard fall as far as he did, but I am sure the Bucs are just fine with it. Howard is a future pro-bowler for sure. It’s fair to say Jameis Winston now has the easiest job in the world.
Arizona Cardinals: A-
LB - Haason Reddick, 13TH Overall
Reddick will come in and help the Cardinals win now. He’ll give them another quality weapon on defense who can get at the quarterback. Reddick was the best healthy player available at this point in the draft. This guy could turn out to be the best player in the draft.
LA Rams: N/A
The Rams didn’t have a first-round pick. Their first pick will be the 37th overall.
San Francisco 49ers: A++
DE - Solomon Thomas, 3RD Overall & LB - Reuben Foster, 31ST Overall
WOWZA! John Lynch did it! From those two picks, it’s clear that he is modeling his defense around the defense he was a part of in Tampa Bay. Thomas will be a quarterback’s worst nightmare and Reuben Foster will look so awesome next to Navorro Bowman. Lynch is setting the Niners up for success, and I cannot wait to watch it for the next 10-years.
Seattle Seahawks: N/A
The Seahawks traded out of the first round, going from the 26th pick to the 31st pick and finally to the 34th pick. They gained a lot of late round picks which Seattle loves.
Baltimore Ravens: B
CB - Marlon Humphrey, 16TH Overall
If you guessed that Humphrey would’ve been the first Bama player off the board, then you’re a liar. The Ravens get a physical hard-hitting cornerback, who will only add to their improving secondary. Humphrey may not have been the best corner available but he fits what the Ravens are, hard-nosed.
Cincinnati Bengals: C
WR - John Ross, 9TH Overall
The Bengals took Ross too high. The Bengals really stretched on this guy and when you add in the fact that Jonathan Allen was still on the board, it just adds salt to the wound. Positively, Ross can open the field more and will give Dalton another great weapon. If everything can click in Cincinnati they will have one of the best offenses in the NFL.
Cleveland Browns: A-
DE - Myles Garrett, 1ST Overall, S - Jabrill Peppers, 25TH Overall & TE - David Njoku, 29TH Overall
Okay. We are going to take this one pick at a time. First up, Myles Garrett. The Browns selected the number one player in the draft with the first pick, well done. Second, Jabrill Peppers was a gamble but if they can figure out his best position they’ve got themselves a great player. If not, they just got themselves a returner in the first round. Last but not least, David Njoku. The Browns have just given their starting QB a big, fast, athletic weapon, who has so much potential. If this all goes the way the Browns have it planned, the Browns did well.
Pittsburgh Steelers: B
OLB - T.J. Watt, 30TH Overall
T.J. Watt is a beast that can play either inside or outside linebacker. After losing Jarvis Jones and Lawrence Timmons, Watt will be joining a good young linebacker group. The Steelers have set themselves up for success for years to come with Shazier, Dupree, and now Watt all at linebacker.
Buffalo Bills: B+
CB - Tre’Davious White, 27TH Overall
Buffalo, you did well. They moved from 10th down to 27th, while also receiving a first rounder for next year. With that pick, they chose LSU Tiger, Tre’davious White, and if there’s one thing we all know about LSU it’s they develop great defensive backs. White will fill the hole at corner, left by Stephon Gilmore, giving the Bills two good young corners.
Miami Dolphins: B
OLB - Charles Harris, 22ND Overall
Adding a young edge-rusher to an old edge-rushing team was the best thing they could’ve done. Not too much to say about this pick. Harris won’t be a star right away but will develop into a solid edge-rusher and eventually take over Cameron Wake’s role.
New England Patriots: N/A
The Patriots didn’t have a first-rounder this year after they sent it to the Saints in exchange for Brandin Cooks, their first pick will be in the 72nd selection.
New York Jets: A
S - Jamal Adams, 6TH Overall
Safety may not have been the biggest need for the Jets, but when Jamal Adams is sitting there at six you can’t pass on him. Adams is a stud that will bring leadership qualities to this defense and hopefully direct the Jets in a winning direction.
Houston Texans: A+
QB - Deshaun Watson, 12TH Overall
Let’s be real, the Texans were only a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender, now they’ve got one. If going to back-to-back national championship games doesn’t show you how good this guy is, I don’t know what does. Watson is a winner and will prove that in the NFL, maybe even as early as next season.
Indianapolis Colts: A
S - Malik Hooker, 15TH Overall
The Colts got a big time play-maker with this pick. The Colts have always had a decent offense, and now that they’ve got Hooker, they actually have a defense. Hooker will come in and replace Mike Adams who moved on to Carolina.
Jacksonville Jaguars: A
RB - Leonard Fournette, 4TH Overall
This was a pick everyone expected, but still a great one. By bringing in Fournette, he will give the Jaguars a more balanced offense, it’ll also take some of the pressure off Blake Bortles. With Fournette now in the lineup, Allen Robinson will find himself to be more open and hopefully find his form again.
Tennessee Titans: B
WR- Corey Davis, 5TH Overall & CB - Adoree’ Jackson, 18TH Overall
They got Marcus Mariota a good target but maybe reached on him. Jackson wasn’t the best corner on the board and doesn’t match up well against receivers like Hopkins and Robinson. I am sure nobody, in five years time, will be talking about Davis being a reach but as for right now, he is. Jackson is a good enough play-maker in other positions, that his mistakes at corner may be overshadowed by his return skills. But at the same time, you don’t want to just get a returner with a first round pick.
Denver Broncos: C
OT - Garett Bolles, 20TH Overall
Bolles is one of those prospects with a great story, which helps him play with plenty of heart and determination. Outside of that though, the Broncos had better options than Bolles at the same position. They could’ve to take Forrest Lamp, who can play anywhere across the line, or even Ryan Ramczyk, who was taken 12-picks later at 32. Bolles may turn out to be a stud in Denver, as for right now, the Broncos left better players on the board.
Kansas City Chiefs: D
QB- Pat Mahomes, 10TH Overall
This team should be in win now mode, Pat Mahomes does not bring that. Mahomes has a long ways to go before he will be a starting NFL quarterback. I understand that they want to bring in a young slinger to develop but do that next year. Smith is only 32-years old, with plenty of football left in him. They should’ve stayed where they were and selected a running back or maybe even another corner. It will be a few years before we even see how good, or bad, this pick was.
LA Chargers: C+
WR- Mike Williams, 7TH Overall
I just don’t believe that a wide receiver was really the most necessary selection for the Chargers at the 7th pick. I get it but I don’t agree with it. A big reason being, Malik Hooker was still on the board. We all know that he’s struggled with injuries but still. The Chargers could’ve easily selected a franchise play-making safety to go along with their young upcoming defense. On the positive side, Mike Williams will help allow Philip Rivers to stay in the league a few more years.
Oakland Raiders: B-
CB- Gareon Conley, 24TH Overall
“That’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off” -Pepper Brooks
The Raiders must be very confident in the fact that Conley is an innocent man. If not, I have no idea what they were thinking. Conley was the 11th ranked player in the draft but fell due to off-the-field issues. I kid you not, I said right before he was picked, “there is no way Conley gets drafted”. I was wrong. Let’s hope that he is innocent or the Raiders general manager will have a lot of explaining to do.