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  1. There were 29 defensive backs selected, 22 defensive linemen, and 20 receiver/tight ends.

  2. Cleveland finally got their quarterback in Deshone Kizer at pick 52. Kizer won’t be able to play this year but he has great upside and if Hue Jackson can get him close to reaching his potential then the Browns will be fine. If not they have 2 first round and 3 second round selections in next years draft.

  3. San Francisco and Buffalo, two other quarterback needy teams, have left themselves in good shape to grab their quarterbacks of the future in next year’s draft. The Bills now have two first round selections next year while the 49ers have extra choices in the second and third rounds. There are 7-8 names that are already considered to be potential first round prospects, and the season is still 4 months away.

  4. New Indianapolis General Manager Chris Ballard was brought in to do what Ryan Grigson wasn’t able to and build a team around Andrew Luck. Ballard is doing that by building his defense. So far the team has selected Malik Hooker, Quincey Wilson, and Tarell Basham. Wilson and Hooker will start on day 1 while Bashem should give the team some extra depth as a pass rusher.

  5. Do not sleep on Kareem Hunt in Kansas City. Andy Reid likes the committee approach to running backs but Hunt has an all around game and excellent patience and vision. His consistency and versatility will earn him playing time.

  6. 9 teams took only defensive players while 3 teams took only offensive players.

 

Winners And Losers

 

Winners

  • Drew Brees - The Saints stabilized their offensive line situation, added 3 defensive players that should start or contribute immediately, and traded up for Alvin Kamara who brings a versatility to the Saints that they have not had since Darren Sproles left the team. Clearly the Saints are planning a deep push into the playoffs this year.

  • Philip Rivers - Los Angeles decided to protect Philip Rivers as he gets older. Rivers is the unfortunate odd man out from the 2004 quarterback class. Manning and Roethlisberger have each one a couple of Super Bowls and the Chargers rarely make the playoffs. The team is finally starting to give Rivers the pieces he needs to keep him upright, and ultimately, lead them there.

  • San Francisco and Buffalo - Two teams that need a long term solution at quarterback now have the flexibility to move up next year, should they need to. Neither team is likely to be very good.

  • Blake Bortles - With Leonard Fournette running behind Cam Robinson on the right side of the line Bortles can finally establish a play action game that should keep pass rushers off of him. Bortles need some more time because he has developed a bad habit of looking for the rush, most likely caused by being harassed constantly during his career in Jacksonville.

  • Cam Newton - League insiders have been commenting for most of the last year how surprised they are that Carolina has done so little to assist a quarterback as talented as Cam Newton. That era appears to have drawn to a close. The Panthers took two flexible pieces that can help them to open up a far too conservative offense and added a developmental tackle that might be starting for the team in 2018.


 

Losers

  • Colin Kaepernick and Jay Cutler - Getting harder to see where these two land. Kaepernick will probably be OK taking a backup role. Cutler probably won’t. The Jets are really, at this point, the only team that might have any interest in adding a veteran quarterback.

  • Carl Lawson - Lawson was mostly hurt by his injury history and medical exams, but the fact that he is too stiff to play pass rushing linebacker also hurt him. Lawson is a better pass rusher than all but 2-3 of the defensive ends taken ahead of him, but he only fits about half the systems in the league. Having poor medical exams knocked him into the draft's third day.

  • New England - It’s rare that one can refer to the Patriots as losers but in this case the team simply missed out on adding a lot of talent to their roster. In a draft with this amount of depth, and with Tom Brady nearing the end of his career, having a young corps of players is pretty important. Once Brady leaves the steady stream of veterans that sign for a chance at the Super Bowl will dry up quickly.

  • New York Jets - I like the Jets draft, but they are not positioning themselves well for next year while the other quarterback needy teams seem to be. Cleveland, Buffalo, and San Francisco are now in the driver's seat unless the Jets are the worst team of the bunch. All 4 teams should be bad, but no organization wants to “need to lose.”

  • Calvin Pryor - He is obviously no longer in the Jets plans. It is now questionable whether he is in anyones plans at this point in time. Pryor has some trade value but it is probably in the realm of a 6th round pick at this point. He is certainly not going to be guaranteed a roster spot in 2017.

 

Top Available Players on Day 3

 

Carl Lawson

DE

Auburn

Desmond King

FS

Iowa

Dorian Johnson

OG

Pitt

Roderick Johnson

OT

FSU

Caleb Brantley

DT

Florida

Jordan Leggett

TE

Clemson

Rudy Ford

SS

Auburn

Isaac Asiata

OG

Utah

Wayne Gallman

RB

Clemson

Anthoy Walker Jr

LB

Northwestern

Chris Wormley

DT

Michigan

Malachi Dupree

WR

LSU

 

And Another Thing


ESPN’s problems this past week have been well documented. Less well known, but reported on widely, was the NFL’s insistence that their broadcast partners not tip the selections before the commissioner makes the announcement. Both ESPN and the NFL network find out the selections well in advance in order to prepare graphics and videos. Since the teams also find out, almost any media member with at least one good team contact, has the info before the announcement is made. The NFL stance is understandable, and even reasonable, but it is incumbent on the league releasing the selections in an orderly manner. People that watch the NFL draft are not interested in the showmanship of the draft, they are interested in the picks. As someone who has watched or attended every draft since the early 1990’s, as either a fan or a media member, the event has gotten less and less compelling with all the added pomp and circumstance. The league needs to remedy that.

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