It’s been a long night and there is more analysis to do but here is a list of my first impression team grades for each of the teams that selected a player in the first round.
My gut instinct is that San Francisco, Denver, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland had the best days while Tennessee, Oakland, Cincinnati, New York Giants, and Miami had the worst days.
Unlike other years this year didn't have any really crazy selections - other than maybe Corey Davis at 5 overall, but we'll let that one slide since we like Davis.
Myles Garrett was the obvious selection at 1 overall. In a draft that has good depth but very little top line talent, Garrett is in a class by himself. Don’t buy into the hype that he is the best prospect in the last 5 years - he isn’t close - but he is better than anyone else this year. A With the #12 pick the Browns traded down yet again, to #25, to make sure they have multiple selections in next years first day again. Then they selected Jabrill Peppers. They just added two impact players to their defense and still have two second round selections to add a quarterback and perhaps another skill player. A- for Peppers, Not content with two first round choices in the bag and 11 more choices to go the Browns traded back into the first round and selected David Njoku. This is the rare pick that represents good value while filling a need but isn’t really justifiable with the trade up. Maybe the Browns were worried about the Saints taking him. I don’t want to overthink this though. Good value and fills a need B+. A- for the day.
The Bears made a surprising choice to move up one spot to take Mitch Trubisky. They gave up 4 total picks to do it so they must feel good about his long term potential. All things considered they paid very little to move up and draft their quarterback of the future. I don’t really like Trubisky as a prospect but I admire that Chicago was aggressive in getting him. B
San Francisco 49ers
Solomon Thomas by himself would have been a good choice. That the team traded down and added 3 selections while still taking him speaks volumes about the new regime’s willingness to get their hands dirty. A+ Trading back into the bottom of the first for Reuben Foster (using the 111th selection they acquired from Chicago) was a nice compliment to their earlier move. The new 49ers regime had a nice day. The 49ers defensive front just got a lot better and they still have two third round selections to add some bodies at cornerback and receiver. A for the Foster pick. A+ for the day.
It’s an open secret in league circles that Tom Coughlin loved Leonard Fournette. He was always the selection and he’ll do more to improve this team than any single player in this draft would have done. B+
This selection reaks of the team getting stuck and taking the player they wanted to trade down for. Davis wasn’t the 5th best player on the Titans board and the team had a deal worked out to move down if Trubisky or Fournette were still available. They weren’t so the Titans took the guy they wanted. I like Davis a lot. I’m not going to flip out about this pick like some already are, but I’m not going to ignore that they took Davis 5-10 picks too high either, C+. The Titans used their second first round selection to take Adoree Jackson and I hate this pick, D. Jackson is a big play guy who will take a punt or an interception to the house but he gets beat a lot and without solid safety play to help him out I expect to hear his name called often next year after he gives up a touchdown. This was a curious choice with a number of better cornerbacks on the board. C- for the day.
New York Jets
Jamal Adams is a terrific selection. The Jets must be thrilled that Trubisky was off the board when they selected and that Adams was still available. Adams was the best player on the board and will be a building block for the future. B
Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams is probably the best receiver in this draft class. He will eventually replace Keenan Allen as the primary receiver for Philip Rivers. With an already solid defensive foundation the Chargers clearly want to make sure that Rivers has playmakers to get the ball to as his career draws to a close. B-
Christian McCaffrey will make the Panthers a better team. McCaffery fits in better with an outside running scheme and is far more dynamic in the passing game than Fournette, allowing him to be on the field at the same time as Jonathan Stewart. THis was a great choice and the Panthers got him without having to trade. B
John Ross. Curious decision by the team given their many defensive needs. Still Ross should open things up for AJ Green and Tyler Eifert. Knowing how much Mike Brown loved Will Fuller last year, it is difficult to think Fuller’s success for the Texans didn’t somehow influence this pick. C
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs moved from 27 to 10 to take Pat Mahomes. The team gave up their #27 and #91 selections as well as a first round pick in 2018. Not a bad price for a quarterback you really like. I don’t see how this pick helps the Chiefs this year though. B-
New Orleans Saints
Marshon Lattimore is probably the consensus best cornerback after Conley’s legal issues and Sydney Jones’ injury. Corner was a big need for the team and defensive ends will most likely be available towards the end of round 1. Lattimore spends a lot of time with the trainers though. B+ Ryan Ramczyk solidifies the Saints offensive line, although that might not help them this year, it is good to see the team looking toward the future. He is good value at 32. B and B for the day.
The Texans traded up for DeShaun Watson, who is really the only quarterback capable of playing this season. He might have to given the situation in Houston. Best case scenario for him is that he sits and learns from Savage and then competes with him in 2018. I like the aggressive move by the Texans though. B-
The Cardinals select Haason Reddick. The versatile linebacker can play a variety of positions and should create plenty of havoc for the Cardinals defense. Reddick had been steadily rising over the run up to today and he was one of the more coveted players by many of the teams selecting in the mid-late teens. A
The Eagles select Derek Barnett which is a solid choice from both a need and value standpoint. While Jonathan Allen is a superior player, a superior pass rusher, he is not. The run on cornerbacks will likely start later so the Eagles will be able to find some help there and with no viable running backs or wide receivers available the Eagles made the best decision. B
The Colts took the BPA approach and found great value with Hooker. Although offensive linemen, linebackers, and pass rushers were greater needs Hooker was too good a value to pass up. He’ll be the leader of their defense for a decade or more. Best value pick of the draft so far. B
Ozzie Smith loves his alma mater like no one else but this is a another shocker. The Ravens did have a need at cornerback but Humphrey might not represent great value in the mid teens. I guess I get it, but it seems…..uninspired. B
Jonathan Allen. Allen is one of the top 5 players in this draft. Getting him at 17 is like Christmas in April. Allen immediately strengthens the defensive front of the Redskins, which will be important in a division with the Cowboys and Eagles offensive lines. Even the team that ran off Scot McCloughan - who had the only “clough” in the building couldn’t screw this one up. Though I am sure Dan Snyder led a spirited debate for whichever player they will wind up taking in the 5th round. A
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs select OJ Howard who is a great fit for both need and value. Howard is as good run blocking as he is at getting open. Howard’s presence will give Tampa Bay a much more efficient offense. A top ten value and 18th overall at your biggest position of need = A+ pick.
Garett Bolles. Like Tampa Bay before them Denver is able to seamlessly blend need with value. Despite what everyone was reporting regarding Cam Robinson, Garett Bolles has been the best left tackle in this draft class during the entirety of the off season. This was a huge need for Denver and they should feel fortunate that Malik Hooker fell, else the Colts would have probably grabbed Bolles. This is an A+ pick for Denver.
Jarrad Davis is a very good replacement for DeAndre Levy. Davis will be a leader on their defense and bring an attitude that they have been missing. This isn’t a sexy pick but it is the kind of pick that good franchises make in the 20’s. B+
I’m not sure what the Dolphins see in Charles Harris. I found his tape to be lacking and his combine and reported pro-day numbers didn’t really change my mind. I can’t really figure out what teams saw in him other than potential. I do not like this selection. C-
New York GIants
The Giants took Evan Engram? The Giants took Evan Engram! What a time to be alive! Engram going here isn’t a huge shocker but the GIants hid their interest in him very well. This is a bold move which could help their passing game but it leaves them with Ereck Flowers still playing left tackle which might get Eli Manning killed. I felt like Engram was the kind of player that might sneak into the first round due to the match up problem he creates. I really like Engram. I just don’t like the Giants ignoring the glaring hole at left tackle. C
Gareon Conley would have been a top ten selection had he not been accused of sexual assault earlier this week. The Raiders must either feel confident about his prospects of beating the wrap or so good about his skills that they are willing to risk it. I think this is not a risk worth taking in round 1. To be fair to Oakland Dallas would have likely snagged him up a few picks later but that changes nothing. I really like Conley but he, along with Caleb Brantley, should have been held out and allowed to enter the supplemental draft. C-
The Falcons need a pass rusher opposite Vic Beasley so they traded up for Takkarist McKinley, and excellent prospect. McKinley is still more prospect than producer but he is a good fit for what Dan Quinn wants. B+
Tre’Davious White is a very good cornerback and one that I have been high on since the 2015 season. He will immediately fill a need on the Bills defense and getting him at 27 instead of 10 while picking up much needed extra selections in the third round this year and the first in 2018 is an impressive move by Buffalo. A
Taco Charlton fills the first of two primary needs for the Cowboys. Reports on Charlton’s stock were split but most teams, I was told, had Charlton as a late first round grade. It’s difficult to make quality choices at the end of round 1 without trading, it’s why so many teams move up or down from the late first. It appears Dallas was able to make a good value pick that also fills a need. B
The Steelers biggest need was outside linebacker and the Steelers do not trade for or sign as free agents, outside linebackers. They come from one place only, the draft. Watt should fit right in in Pittsburgh. A-
New England, Los Angeles Rams, and Minnesota did not have first round selections. Green Bay and Seattle traded out of the first round entirely.