NFL DraftNFL Draft 2017 Results: Team-by-Team Grades for Overall Picks and TradesKristopher KnoxFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2017Jeff Haynes/Associated Press
It's been a long three days, but the 2017 NFL draft is finally in the books.
Was it an exciting and unpredictable draft? You bet it was! We saw teams move up to grab quarterbacks, defensive stars slide and trades galore. The New England Patriots, for example, made a day-three trade to acquire tight end James O'Shaughnessy from the Kansas City Chiefs.
This move came after the team already traded first- and second-round picks for wideout Brandin Cooks and defensive end Kony Ealy, and a fourth-rounder for tight end Dwayne Allen before the draft even started.
Factoring in trades is important for teams like the Patriots because trades really are part of the draft haul. So, how did teams fare when we consider both draft picks and trades? That's what we're going to examine here.
We'll look at the draft on a team-by-team basis and grade each draft haul. We'll also look at some of each team's most notable selections and examine the draft's top classes in more depth.
First, though, let's look back at the picks themselves:
2017 NFL Draft Grades
|Arizona Cardinals||Haason Reddick, LB, Temple, Budda Baker, S, Washington & Chad Williams, WR, Grambling St.||B+||The Cardinals defense gets even nastier with the addition of Reddick and Baker. Arizona added some nice upside prospects on Day 3.|
|Atlanta Falcons||Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA, Duke Riley, LB, LSU & Sean Harlow, G, Oregon St.||B-||McKinley has a lot of potential and a high motor. However, he has injury concerns and may have been a reach. Some nice developmental pieces late, but nobody who leaps out.|
|Baltimore Ravens||Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama, Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan & Tim Williams, LB, Alabama||B-||Humphrey was a bit of a reach in Round 1. However, the Ravens found some good value in guys like Williams and Wormley.|
|Buffalo Bills||Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU, Zay Jones, WR, ECU & Dion Dawkins, G, Temple||B+||The Bills get a potential replacement for Stephon Gilmore and a starting-caliber receiver in the first two rounds. Dawkins could be a future starter.|
|Carolina Panthers||Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford, Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State & Taylor Moton, G, Western Michigan||A||Carolina has added speed and versatility to its offense with McCaffrey and Samuel. Moton can improve the toughness up front. Life should be easier on Cam Newton next year.|
|Chicago Bears||Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina, Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland & Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama||C-||The Bears bid against themselves for a developmental quarterback and gave up quality picks in the process. Shaheen does have a lot of upside, but he faced low competition. Some nice value picks later, like Jackson, who may be a future starter.|
|Cincinnati Bengals||John Ross, WR, Washington, Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma & Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn||B||Between durability concerns with Ross and character concerns for Mixon, it's risky for the Bengals. Some tremendous late-round value ups the grade, though.|
|Cleveland Browns||Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M, Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan & DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame||A+||If no QB in this class is a day-one starter, then Browns win big by grabbing Kizer plus three impact Round 1 players. Oh, and a 2018 first-rounder. A good weekend for the analytics crew.|
|Dallas Cowboys||Taco Charlon, DE, Michigan, Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado & Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan||B||Dallas got a solid D-lineman with pass-rush ability in Charlton. Awuzie and Lewis are both quality corners, but Lewis faces a domestic violence charge and is a risk.|
|Denver Broncos||Garett Bolles, OT, Utah, DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State & Jake Butt, TE, Michigan||B||Denver pulled the trigger for their top guy in a very weak OT class. Walker has promise. Butt will probably have to redshirt after tearing his ACL, but he's a future starter.|
|Detroit Lions||Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida & Teez Tabor, CB, Florida||B+||The Lions added former teammates in Davis and Tabor. Both have the potential to be day-one starters. A lot of developmental talent on Day 3.|
|Green Bay Packers||Kevin King, CB, Washington, Josh Jones, S, N.C. State & Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU||A+||Packers trade down and still get two future starters in King and Jones. The secondary should be better sooner rather than later. Williams adds power to the backfield.|
|Houston Texans||Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson, Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt & D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas||B+||If Watson becomes the franchise in Houston, then giving away the 2018 No. 1 was worth it. It's a gamble, though. Cunningham and Foreman are both studs who should contribute immediately.|
|Indianapolis Colts||Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State, Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida & Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida||A||Hooker will take time to develop, but he has All-Pro potential. Wilson and Mack should be immediate difference-makers.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama & Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois||A||Fournette and Smoot should both bring immediate impact. Fournette actually changes the identity of the offense. Robinson has promise, but I'm not as high on him as many seem to be.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech & Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo||B+||Trading up for Mahomes makes more sense for KC than it would another team because of Alex Smith's presence. Hunt can be the team's future RB1.|
|Los Angeles Chargers||Mike Williams, WR, Clemson, Forrest Lamp, G, WKU & Dan Feeney, G, Indiana||B+||Philip Rivers has had big, physical receivers before and not delivered a deep run, but Williams is a solid receiver. Lamp and Feeney should immediately improve the run game. Quality safety depth on Day 3.|
|Los Angeles Rams||Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama & Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington||C||No first-round pick because of the trade for Jared Goff. Everett has upside but feels like a sizable reach. Kupp is another slot receiver in a room rull of them.|
|Miami Dolphins||Charles Harris, DE, Missouri, Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State & Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson||B||The Dolphins got a potentially great pass-rusher in Harris, a decent linebacker in McMillian and an underrated corner in Tankersley. I'm not sure there's an immediate starter in the bunch, but it's a solid group.|
|Minnesota Vikings||Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State & Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa||B+||Cook has character concerns, but on the field, he's a first-round talent. The Vikings didn't have a first-round pick. Elflein is a future starter. Johnson is insurance for Shariff Floyd.|
|New England Patriots||Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown St. & Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy||A||The Patriots added Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy but didn't draft until Round 3. They still come away with a difference-making edge-rusher and a potential future starting tackle.|
|New Orleans Saints||Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State, Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin & Marcus Williams, S, Utah||A||The Saints snagged perhaps the best CB in the draft, a starting-caliber lineman and a potential starter at safety. The team should be better at protecting Drew Brees and perhaps capable of protecting leads.|
|New York Giants||Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi, Dalvin Tomlinson, DL, Alabama & Davis Webb, QB, Cal||C+||Tomlinson may have been the best pick here, and he's a bit of a luxury. The Giants didn't necessarily need another pass-catcher, and Webb looks like the next New York backup to never see the field.|
|New York Jets||Jamal Adams, S, LSU, Marcus Maye, S, Florida & Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson||B+||New York had bigger needs than safety, but the back end of their defense could be a terror for the next decade. Leggett may finally give the Jets a receiving threat at TE.|
|Oakland Raiders||Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State, Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn & David Sharpe, OT, Florida||A||A lot obviously depends on Conley's rape allegation. On the field, though, he and Melifonwu immediately upgrade the team's biggest weakness. Sharpe could take over for Donald Penn in the future.|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee, Sidney Jones, CB, Washington & Donnell Pumphrey, RB, San Diego St.||A||Barnett should immediately impact the pass rush. Jones is a high first-round talent who slid because of injury. Both can be defensive centerpieces in time. Pumphrey could be the next Darren Sproles.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin, JuJu Smith-Schuster & Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee||B+||Watt has questions as a pro pass-rusher, but he's a high-motor guy the Steelers should love. The Steelers have had luck developing receivers so Smith-Schuster looks like a win. Dobbs would be the heir to the Roethlisberger throne.|
|San Francisco 49ers||Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford, Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama & Joe Williams, RB, Utah||A+||Rookie GM John Lynch fleeced the Bears to drop a spot and still get their guy in Thomas. In fact, the 49ers got two top defenders in the first round. They also bolstered the backfield by drafting Williams and trading for Kapri Bibbs.|
|Seattle Seahawks||Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State, Ethan Pocic, C, LSU & Shaq Griffin, DB, Central Florida||B+||Seattle traded down and still added a quality defensive tackle in Malik McDowell. Pocic should be an immediate upgrade at center, and the team added some nice other developmental pieces.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama, Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M & Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise St.||B+||Howard was a luxury pick, but you can't question his value at No. 19 overall. Evans should eventually be the team's starting free safety and McNichols should boost the ground game.|
|Tennessee Titans||Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan, Adoree Jackson, CB, USC & Taywan Taylor, WR, WKU||B+||The Titans got Marcus Mariota some weapons with Davis and Taylor. Jackson may have been a reach at 18th overall, but he should make the return unit better.|
|Washington Redskins||Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama, Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama & Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA||A||Allen's slide gave Washington one of the top defenders in the draft. Anderson can have an immediate impact as an edge-rusher as well. Moreau is coming off a torn pectoral but has first-round talent. A lot of late value to boot.|
It's hard not to like what the Cleveland Browns did in the draft from top to bottom. In Round 1, they landed pass-rusher Myles Garrett, safety/linebacker Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku. These are three guys who can have immediate impact and who can develop into future stars.
In Round 2, Cleveland added former Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer, a guy NFL Media's Mike Mayock believes has tremendous upside.
"The reason I have Kizer No. 1," Mayock explained back in February. "Is because I think he's got the highest ceiling of any of these quarterbacks. What he lacks is experience."
Cleveland also added a quality defensive tackle in Charlotte's Larry Ogunjobi and a cornerback with a ton of upside in Houston's Howard Wilson. Florida State's Roderick Johnson is a developmental tackle but a guy with enough upside to eventually start in the NFL.
The Browns may have also found themselves a starting kicker with seventh-round pick Zane Gonzalez from Arizona State.
The one misstep in the draft appears to be the selection of Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley. From an on-field standpoint, Brantley has first- or second-round talent. However, just before the draft, he was arrested for allegedly punching a woman and knocking her out.
While there is no video of the alleged assault as there is with the assault by Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon, this is still an iffy pick. However, it seems Cleveland is fully prepared to part ways with Brantley if he is found guilty of assaulting the woman, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com:
Mary Kay Cabot @MaryKayCabot
#Browns Sashi Brown on Caleb Brantley: "Facts may come up that may prevent us from keeping him on our roster''
4/29/2017, 8:17:32 PM
All told, the Brown landed 10 rookies in the draft, and they added a 2018 first-round pick as part of their trade down with the Houston Texans.
San Francisco 49ers
This was the first-ever draft for San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, and the new regime couldn't have asked for a better kickoff.
The 49ers started things out by absolutely fleecing the Chicago Bears for the second overall pick. For that spot, Chicago gave up the No. 3 overall pick, a third-round pick (67th overall) and a fourth-round pick (111th overall) in the 2017 draft plus a third-round pick in the 2018 draft.
So the 49ers moved down one spot, grabbed extra picks and landed a dominant defender in Stanford's Solomon Thomas. Interestingly, the Bears may not have even needed to make the trade to land North Carolina's quarterback Mitchell Trubisky—as Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports pointed out:
Charles Robinson @CharlesRobinson
There are none. #Bears were bidding against themselves on that one. Nobody was trying to move to 2 for Trubisky. https://t.co/Z7SO0duvL4
4/28/2017, 4:42:06 PM
The 49ers later traded into the bottom of the first round to land former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, another top defender. They then traded out of Round 3 to pick up the New Orleans Saints' 2018 second-round pick.
San Francisco also added a developmental quarterback in Iowa's C.J. Beathard, plus a possible future starter in Colorado's Ahkello Witherspoon.
Lynch also managed to strengthen the backfield by drafting former Utah running back Joe Williams and by trading for running back Kapri Bibbs:
Jon Heath @JonHeathNFL
On Day 3 of the #NFLdraft, #Broncos trade Kapri Bibbs to 49ers and select Coastal Carolina RB DeAngelo Henderson at No. 203 in sixth.
4/29/2017, 8:36:26 PM
After all the wheeling and dealing, the 49ers ended up with 10 draft picks of their own plus extra first- and second-round picks in the 2018 draft.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers didn't have a flashy draft, but they added a lot of solid pieces who can contribute for years to come.
Former Washington cornerback Kevin King has the potential to be a future No. 1 corner for the Packers in the near future. The Packers traded out of the first round to pick up Cleveland's first fourth-rounder and still landed King.
That trade allowed the Packers to hold the first pick on Days 2 and 3.
The addition of N.C. State safety Josh Jones should give the Packers another future starter on defense. The same can be said about former Wisconsin linebacker Vince Biegel.
Green Bay also got a quality running back in BYU's Jamaal Williams and a nice developmental receiver in Purdue's DeAngelo Yancey.
In total, the Packers also landed 10 draft picks. They seem to have filled both current and future needs while allowing the draft to just come to them.