ITS DRAFT DAY! You know what that means? That’s right it is time for USKSports.com live draft coverage. Much like last year we will have updates as the picks come in, analysis and pick and trade predictions as they happen but first we have storylines to watch heading into Day 1.
Things to watch on Day 1:
49ers taking calls on the number 2 pick.
Bears considering trading down from the number 3 pick.
Tak McKinley and John Ross’s draft stock falling.
First QB drafted? Watson or Trubisky.
The Browns are on the clock, and have been since the end of the regular season. With the first pick there is NO way they don’t Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M. The consensus best player in the draft and number 1 pick. Even if he flops The Browns took the guy everyone else would have, so at least they have that. They can trade up into top 7 if they feel they need a QB. All the magical NFL sources, however, are saying Garrett is going number 1 and the Browns aren’t looking to move up from pick 12. It is sensible, just take best player available and build with talent not reaching for needs. One of the QBs may fall out of the first round that they can get in the 2nd.
It is now 1am UK time. The draft is about to begin. We are just waiting for Roger Goodell to open proceedings…Here he comes at 1:05am to deafenings boos for the unpopular commissioner.
‘The NFL draft for 2017 is officially open…’
THE BROWNS ARE ON THE CLOCK! This shouldn’t take long…THE PICK IS IN (After 5 minutes)… With the first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Cleveland Browns select…MYLES GARRETT, DE, TEXAS A&M…DUH…The Browns do the right thing and select the pass rusher from Texas A&M. The sources today were correct and I never doubted that Cleveland wouldn’t take him 1st overall. All Pro Potential and a building block for a franchise.
The 49ers are on the clock…We could see a trade here if someone is willing to come up to get a QB. If not the 49ers may lean towards Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford….
TRADE! I said we may see a trade. It was The Bears moving up 1 spot to 2nd overall. Bears are after someone and had to protect the chance to get them. The Bears are now on the clock. I expect the 49ers will trade down from 3. They gave up a 3rd and 4th this year and a 3rd next year. The 49ers have done well here as they need a lot of pieces in a deep draft year.
THE BEARS ON ARE THE CLOCK!…The Pick is in…With the second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, The Chicago Bears select…MITCHELL TRUBISKY, QB, NORTH CAROLINA. WOW! The first shocker. The First QB off the board. I said a team might come up to 2 to take a QB but the Bears were not a team I expected. The crowd are shocked. The NFL is shocked. I don’t think it is in a good way either. The 49ers could still get a top tier player in the draft. DeShaun Watson now has to come through on his promise.
The 49ers are on the clock again…see above for a prediction…The Pick is in…With the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, The San Francisco 49ers select…SOLOMON THOMAS, DE, STANFORD. The expected pick by The 49ers. They get their man. They trade down 1 spot and gain 3 extra picks. John Lynch showing that a rookie GM can be affective in the NFL. This is a pick that they needed. More youth to their DLine and a player they can move around. Well played, 49ers. Well played.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock. This could go anywhere. A team could trade up for DeShaun Watson in order to get above The Jets. The Jaguars could take Leonard Fournette and add a cornerstone piece to their offense. I will lean towards Fournette being selected here.
With the fourth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, The Jacksonville Jaguars select...LEONARD FOURNETTE, RB, LSU. Much like The 49ers it was the obvious pick. It was the big hole in the Jaguars offense. It will give Blake Bortles a reliable runner who they can build around. It will open up defenses, with the Safety having to come down into the box against the run. Bortles has shown flashes of greatness and The Jaguars could be a fun team to watch next season. He will run Safeties over in the NFL. Two years in a row a RB has gone 4th overall.
The Tennessee Titans are on the clock…Could be a trade here. Titans could take best player available or be adding a WR or a DB here. Mike Williams/Corey Davis or Jamal Adams/Marcus Lattimore if they don’t trade back. A team may be desperate to move about The Jets.
No Trade here. With the fifth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Tennessee Titans select…Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan. The Titans add a playmaker for Mariota. The AFC South could be the best division in football soon. It was a big need for The Titans and getting their guy here is where they wanted to go. They can come back at 18 and get a DB in a deep draft for the position.
The New York Jets are on the clock. DeShaun Watson? A third year in a row with a QB selection for Gang Green? There is an old phrase. Draft a QB every year until you find one. Jamal Adams or OJ Howard are also in play. Would be rich for Howard but they have seen first hand for years the role at top TE can play facing the Patriots twice a year.
SMALL BREAKING NEWS INTERRUPTION: Per Ian Rappaport “The Browns are trying to trade for Kirk Cousins” This could be a huge move on Draft Day. The Redskins would surely get the 12th pick and hope they are in position for Kizer/Watson or Mahomes II. It seems unlikely to happen but would be fun.
The Pick is in…With the Sixth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The New York Jets select…Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU. A smart pick by the Jets. They didn’t reach on Watson and they go best player available. He is considered the safest prospect in the draft and it gives The Jets another playmaker on Defense and a player who can set the tone on the back end.
The Los Angeles Chargers are on the clock…Chargers have needs on defense and this could be addressed here. They have been quiet and no leaks about where they are leaning. A wildcard could be OJ Howard to team up with Antonio Gates/Hunter Henry. The Chargers will need to make a big impact and take a star for the LA market. A WR/TE could help Rivers but if you want to get crazy then Chargers take Watson to sit behind Rivers?
The Pick is in…With the seventh pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Los Angeles Chargers select…Mike Williams, WR, Clemson. I thought Howard but it is Williams. The Chargers needed a splash pick for the LA market. A big WR with good hands will help Rivers and if Keenan Allen stays healthy then it could be a great offense should Williams work out.
The Carolina Panthers are on the clock…Could go any direction. A pick that is difficult to predict. They would have been delighted if Fournette would have fallen to them. Christian McCaffrey could be interesting to give The Panthers a dynamic, do it all playmaker out the backfield to give Cam Newton a security blanket.
The Pick is in…With the eighth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Carolina Panthers select…Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford. A perfect pick for The Panthers. A guy that every team would want. A great guy. A hard worker and a do it all back. He can make a huge impact and is the kind of player The Panthers have lacked. They have deep threats, big WRs, Greg Olsen at TE and hard, down hill runners. He will have a great impact in Carolina. TWO RBs in the top 8. The RB is back!
The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock…They have lost A LOT of pieces in free agency. Bengals should go defense (D-Line) here or reach on an Offensive Lineman. Lamp, Bolles or Ramsyck would make sense here but 9 would be too rich for them. A trade would be best if they go O-Line. If not then Defensive Line could be the position to watch.
The Pick is in…With the ninth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Cincinnati Bengals select…John Ross, WR, Washington. Its a WR. The fastest WR ever at the combine. A WR who will take the top off a defense. It gives Dalton another weapon. They lacked a number 2 receiver last season after Sanu’s departure. It is a smart pick for The Bengals, especially given the lack of top 10 talent in the O-Line. His stock DOESNT fall after all.
TRADE! THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS ARE ON THE CLOCK! It was one of the things to watch. The Chiefs have moved a LONG way in the draft in this trade with Buffalo. They had interest in Watson to sit behind Alex Smith and had to get above The Browns to do it. A 1st and a 3rd in 2017 and a 1st in 2018 to move up to 10. The Bills get another pick in a deep draft. Could work well for both teams. The Browns may be upset if it is Watson that goes here.
The Pick is in! With the tenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Kansas City Chiefs select…Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech. Watson will be the 3rd selected and The Browns have the chance to get Watson. Mahomes needs time on the bench. He needs time to develop skills but he has a cannon arm. Alex Smith has been in this situation before with a developmental QB behind him. It bought the best out of Smith and with raw talent behind him it could work well for both players.
The New Orleans Saints are on the clock…Saints may play it safe at go Best Player available. Could be on Defense or a player that could fill the hole left by Brandin Cooks. OJ Howard wouldn’t surprise me. QB could have been realistic with Mahomes available. Maybe RB with Dalvin Cook? It is the hardest to predict first round in a LONG TIME. They are running the clock down but….
The Pick is in! With the eleventh pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The New Orleans Saints select…Marshon Lattimore, DB, Ohio State. Makes sense. Best player available. Considered the best CB in the draft. A position of need for The Saints. Teams potentially put off by his hamstring issues but this is a good pick for The Saints who can come back at 32 and collect more picks for a team wanting a player there.
The Cleveland Browns are back on the clock! Watson? The Browns could have a great first round. Garrett and Watson? I don’t think The Browns ever thought they could get both without trading up from 12 but it looks like they could. Could see Malik Hooker here too and double down on defense but The Browns need a QB. It gives them some hope of improvement and a coach like Hue Jackson can get the best of out them.
WE JUMPED THE GUN! THE TEXANS ARE ON THE CLOCK! THE BROWNS TRADE DOWN. Same applies really. Must be moving up for Watson. It will be interesting to see what The Browns get in return. The Browns could be making a play for Sam Darnold in next years draft. Watson MUST be the pick here. The Texans are legitimately a QB away from contending for a Super Bowl. (Two number 1s. The Browns also have The Texans 2nd rounder next year from the Osweiler trade. They will have plenty of draft capital)
With the twelfth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Houston Texans select…DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson. Much like Myles Garrett, DUH. It was the only player they would move up for. He has the chance to be the best QB in Franchise history. The AFC South is going to be FUN! Luck, Fournette, Mariota and Watson. It will be high scoring. They will be a Super Bowl Contender in the next 3/4 years. All three first round QBs are teams moving up to take them.
The Arizona Cardinals are on the clock. It is probably not Malik Hooker, they are set in the secondary but there is plenty of talent available. Bruce Arians will want a flashy, playmaker with a bit of swag. That is how the Cardinals are built. I think he would have loved Mahomes or Watson but misses out on both of them as developmental QBs. Haason Reddick would break Philly fans hearts here, Jonathan Allen to help appease the loss of Calais Campbell would make sense too. I think they go D-Line or Linebacker.
The Pick is in! With the thirteenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Arizona Cardinals select…Haason Reddick, LB, Temple. It rips the heart out of Philly. Grew up and played his college football in Philly and was a player the local crowd would have wanted. He rose up the boards in the months heading up to the draft. He gets a nice reception from the fans and gives the Cardinals a complete defensive player.
The Philadelphia Eagles are on the clock. It will get LOUD when the pick is announced. Rumours were John Ross or Reddick but both are off the board. Best player available would be great here. OJ Howard would create a nice pairing with Ertz but that is the only place they can go on offense to help Carson Wentz. Rueben Foster or Jonathan Allen if they go defense because they are probably the best fits for Philly.
The Pick is in! With the fourteenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Philadelphia Eagles select…Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee. Well I said Defense was likely. I thought Allen or Foster but Barnett is a pass rusher who had more sacks that Myles Garrett. He is a player who has energy and toughness. If he shows that in Philly then they will love him because that is what they want from their players.
The Indianapolis Colts are on the clock. Hooker, Foster or Allen must be here. Colts have to go defense. They are terrible on Defense. O-Line is the other place they have needs but they can come back in the 2nd to get one. Would be surprised if it was anyone other than one of these three players.
The Pick is in! With the fifteenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Indianapolis Colts select…Malik Hooker, Safety, Ohio State. It had to be one of those three. Colts have a need in the secondary with such a deep draft at CB Hooker, who was a projected top 5 pick for lots of the draft process falls to 15 and gives The Colts a difference maker on Defense that they have lacked for a long time and a player they thought they would have no chance of getting.
The Baltimore Ravens are on the clock. The Ravens like Alabama players and have a history of drafting them so Howard, Foster or Allen would fit with how The Ravens draft. Ozzie Newsome has the pick of the Alabama litter. I would be surprised if they pick outside of the Alabama players. Foster is probably the sensible pick. If they were to go outside of Alabama then Dalvin Cook would give them a runner they have lacked since Ray Rice. A RB is the difference in The Ravens system. Another place to look is on the O Line. There was some chatter that The Ravens may go O-line at 16.
The Pick is in! With the sixteenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Baltimore Ravens select…Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama. Nailed the school. Got the player wrong. Humphrey fills a position of need for The Ravens and Ozzie Newsome fills his need to draft another Alabama player and helps The Ravens immediately with a CB.
The Washington Redskins are on the clock. Could see Dalvin Cook come off the board. Su’a Cravens wants to see Allen but they have the choice of any top player they want. The Titans will be watching keenly. DE is a more pressing need so The Titans may be able to get OJ Howard. Think Allen might be the pick here and will be great value if he can stay healthy.
The Pick is in! With the seventeenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Washington Redskins select…Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama. It is Allen and Su’a Cravens gets his wish. It gives The Redskins a D-Line piece to build around. It is being considered a steal, a projected top 5 pick falls to 18. It just shows the depth that this draft has. He has had some injury problems that could have caused his slide but it is a great pick up for The Redskins. He is a Redskins fan so he will be delighted that he landed here but not too happy about his fall.
The Tennessee Titans are BACK on the clock. Having taken Corey Davis we could see OJ Howard go here but they have a more pressing need on Defense. Adoree Jackson? Or another CB they rate highly. Wouldn’t surprise me to see a CB given the release of Jason McCourty. He can team up with recently signed Logan Ryan at CB.
The Pick is in! With the eighteenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Tennessee Titans select, Adoree Jackson, CB, USC. It is a CB for The Titans. They must have been tempted by OJ Howard but they go with a player who can play special teams and contribute in the return game. He can be an explosive play maker to go along with Logan Ryan.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock. Dalvin Cook would be a fun pick here. A local RB for FSU to go along with their QB from FSU. OJ Howard could be here too but they know who they want because without hesitation…
The Pick is in! With the nineteenth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...O.J Howard, TE, Alabama. It was going to be Howard or Cook. The Bucs are set on Defense and the two position they needed to fill were TE and RB. Fans wanted Cook because of the FSU connection but Howard gives them a TE that will help Winston and their potentially explosive offense.
The Denver Broncos are on the clock. RB has been a problem position but so has the O-Line. Cook or an Offensive Lineman make sense here. It should be on the offensive side of the ball because their Defense is still pretty good. Ramsyck/Lamp/Bolles in this spot.
The Pick is in! With the twentieth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Denver Broncos select…Garett Bolles, OT, Utah. Safe pick. The OT position was a huge need for The Broncos and this will help them out. Fans are more patient with OTs in the first round. Considered the most athletic OT in the draft and is the first O Lineman off the board at 20. The latest that the first OL comes off the board in the common era.
The Lions are on the clock. Could be a potential trade here. Whispers of teams wanting the 21st pick. They could go Oline here or Dalvin Cook would give them a nice RB behind Stafford. Defense always seems to be a need for The Lions so Rueben Foster may fall here too. The only surprises of the draft have been the order of the players rather than who is taken or if they want to stay local Taco Charlton or Jabrill Peppers.
The Pick is in! With the twenty first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Detroit Lions select…Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida. I thought LB. Foster’s injury must be something that is putting teams off. Davis is the best alternative to Foster. Foster is in free fall from his shoulder injury.
The Dolphins were on the clock but they were almost instant in putting the pick in. Charles Harris? Taco Charlton? Njoku? We will found out because the pick is already in before I get a chance to predict.
The Pick is in! With the twenty second pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Miami Dolphins select…Charles Harris, LB, Missouri. Despite the pick being in almost instantly I still managed to predict it. Foster is going to fall out the first round unless someone trades up into the first to get him, Teams are trying. Harris will be a hand in the dirt edge rusher for The Dolphins giving them another pass rusher to try and slow down Tom Brady.
News Break: The Falcons and 49ers are both trying to trade up. Could The Browns trade back again? The Falcons want someone who they don’t think will last until 31. The 49ers want someone who won’t be there at 34 in the second round. They both need to find a trade partner in the late 1st. Seattle are usually a willing trader. The other willing traders won’t be on the clock until round 3 (New England Patriots)
The Giants are on the clock. They are a team that also need OLineman. Could see O-Line here as a difference maker here could put them in the Super Bowl. They were whispers of QB but with Mahomes off the board it is unlikely. Kizer is considered pro ready so it should be between protecting Eli or Dalvin Cook.
The Pick is in! With the twenty third pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, The New York Giants select…Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss. A TE was a problem for NYG but I felt that O-Line or RB was a bigger need. TE’s are a mismatch in the NFL and a player that could play traditional WR. A Versatile TE who will be a great weapon for Eli. The Giants have a powerful offense now and another Ole Miss player to join Eli.
The Oakland Raiders are on the clock. They are a team that don’t have many needs. If you’re a Raiders fan then David Njoku from Miami would be a pick you would want to see but there are more pressing needs. However, It would add another dynamic piece to their Offense but they may be tempted by the defensive players who are falling down the boards but I think they could go O-Line here.
The Pick is in! With the twenty fourth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, The Oakland Raiders select…Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State. Who has had accusation against him. Teams are confident that he is innocent and the evidence is seemingly pointing towards that. It is good value for Oakland but many still felt he would fall out the first round because of it. The Raiders get a great value pick because he is a top 15 pick at 24. Three DBs from Ohio State in the first round. Second time that has happened in NFL history after Miami in 2002.
The Cleveland Browns are back on the clock. Browns would be sensible to go best player available but another trade would be unsurprising with the 49ers and the Falcons looking to move. The Browns are collecting picks and extra picks tomorrow could entice The Browns to moving down again. Dalvin Cook would be a piece to build around but Ryan Ramcyzk, TJ Watt, Rueben Foster, Jabrill Peppers or David Njoku would be nice picks here for The Browns if they don’t trade out of it.
The Pick is in! With the twenty fifth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, The Cleveland Browns select…Jabrill Peppers, DB/LB, Michigan. Peppers! Wow! A versatile player for The Browns. He can be a difference maker in the right situation and Hue Jackson is a coach who could get the best out of him. He could play both sides of the ball and could be a good value pick if he pans out. They are building the team before putting in a QB.
The Seattle Seahawks are on the clock. O-Line has been a continuing problem so Ryan Ramcyzk could be in play. They have a reputation as a trader late in the first round so that is where I would lean with The Falcons and The 49ers. looking to trade up
TRADE! Called it. The Seahawks have a history of trading down late in round 1. The Atlanta Falcons are on the clock and The Pick is in! Probably an edge rusher or Offensive Guard.
The Pick is in! With the twenty sixth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Atlanta Falcons select…Tak McKinley, LB, UCLA. Another young defensive player who is quick. McKinley fell slightly out from the teens to 26 and he fits what The Falcons are building a juggernaught on defense.
The Buffalo Bills are on the clock. PLENTY of talent available still. It is usually at this point where it is obvious who the best player left is but this year is a deep, high quality draft. Best player on their board at this point. Cam Robinson or Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramcysk and TJ Watt are out there and in play or David Njoku. Cook is not in play here since The Bills have LeSean McCoy.
The Pick is in! With the twenty seventh pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Buffalo Bills select…Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU. DB-U strikes again. A solid corner that can replace Stephon Gilmore, who left in free agency. I thought it would be the other players listed but the more weapons you can get on defense in the AFC East the better.
TRADE! The Packers have traded the 29th pick to The Cleveland Browns. Are they coming back up for DeShone Kizer or Davis Webb? Number 33 overall and 108 for 29.
The Cowboys are on the clock. They are going defense. They have a great offense but their D couldn’t get off the field when it mattered in the post-season. TJ Watt or Taco Charlton has to be one of the picks here if they want a pass rusher.
The Pick is in! With the twenty eighth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select…Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan. A pass rusher was a need for The Cowboys. Any other year he is probably going in the top 15 but a player that will be a difference maker for The Boys. They have lacked a pass rusher since DeMarcus Ware left and this could make a difference to their D-Line.
The Cleveland Browns are on the clock…for a third time. First time since The Vikings in 2013 that a team has picked 3 times in the first round. The pick is already in. Quarterback is probably where they go. Kizer, who is the only QB left who could justify a first round pick or Davis Webb, who they could get later, they coached during the senior bowl. Unless they are trading up for a dynamic difference maker that isn’t a QB. Dalvin Cook as an outside shot. They have always maintained they were going to build the team out then get a QB. Cook could carry them.
The Pick is in! With the twenty ninth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Cleveland Browns select…David Njoku, TE, Miami. I thought they could go for a difference maker on offense given their first two picks. Didn’t expect Njoku but he is a player who can develop. He is only 20 years old so he has plenty of time. It is a solid pick at the end of the first. The Browns have had a great night. Putting the draft nightmares behind them slowly. They have had 3 top players in the draft and a first rounder next year.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are on the clock. The Pick is already in and I can see Steelers going defense. TJ Watt or Foster. But it is definitely Defense.
The Pick is in! With the thirtieth pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The Pittsburgh Steelers select…TJ Watt, LB, Wisconsin. Brother of JJ Watt is heading to Pittsburgh. A player with high potential and is being compared to his brother (which is high praise) it gives The Steelers a pass rushing difference maker and a big more speed to help them out.
TRADE! The Seahawks do it again! The Seahawks move back from 31st overall and The 49ers move up costing them 34th overall and 111th overall. I did say The Seahawks are willing traders at the end of the first.
The San Francisco 49ers are on the clock again. Another team with multiple picks in the first round. They are moving back up for someone. I have a feeling it is Rueben Foster. Rumours were that Foster would go in round 1 if a team traded up to get him. O-Line could be in play here but a second trade involving the niners will be the penultimate one this evening/morning.
The Pick is in! With the thirty first pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The San Francisco 49ers select…Rueben Foster, LB, Alabama. My gut was right. Foster heads to The Bay Area. 49ers have needs everywhere and this is a good start for the rookie GM and Head coach. Foster and Thomas will be great picks and the value they get at 31 for Foster, considered at 1 point a top 5 pick, is fantastic if he stays on the field. Shanahan is building his defense he has seen the impact it can make in Atlanta and that has to be their model.
The New Orleans Saints are back on the clock. A fourth team with multiple picks. The last pick of the day. They will have had this lined up for a while. Dalvin Cook MUST be in play here, DeShone Kizer could be as a developmental QB or an O-Lineman. It makes sense to give Drew Brees another weapon in Cook but you never know until the pick is in where a team is gonna go.
The Pick is in! With the thirty second pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, The New Orleans Saints select…Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin. Cook FALLS out the first round, considered the best RB in the draft. It is a good pick for The Saints. A good offensive line is important and will be a week 1 starter that will help protect Brees.
THAT IS ALL FOR USKSPORTS DRAFT COVERAGE OF ROUND 1.