Top 10 2017 Draft Winners
So I can say as a pro football fan this year’s NFL draft was pretty deep at several positions, deep enough in fact that guys with 1st and 2nd round grades and production slid, some as low as low as the 4th round. Minicamps just finished and fans got a preview of their newest talent and with that in mind I am rolling out my inaugural OK-Gent’s Top 10 NFL Draft winner’s reports. I believe these 10 teams got stronger in the draft by…
Building Depth – Can these draft picks come in and start or be a backup.
Instant Impact Playmaker– A player that comes in and produces at a high level immediately
Value of the draft pick– Did your team draft a player in the third round with first round value?
Ideal fit for scheme– Does the player fit the offense/Defense they are being drafted to play in?
College Production– Stats and numbers the player produced regardless of college level of play.
- Minnesota Vikings
2017 Class- Key Draftee Delvin Cook RB Florida State,
Members of the Vikings draft class include
Pat Elflein/ Center / Ohio State- Jaleel Johnson / DT / Iowa- Ben Gedeon / ILB / Michigan- Rodney Adams/ WR/ South Florida- Bucky Hodges/ TE / Virginia Tech Danny Isidora / Guard/ Miami-
Ifeadi Odenigbo / DE/ Northwestern- Elijah Lee / OLB/ Kansas State Jack Tocho / CB/ N.C. State
I thought the Vikes put up a solid draft; they satisfied a lot of areas of need, in particular, replacing future NFL Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson at RB with the Florida State Seminole Dalvin Cook (and free agent Latavius Murray). I think Cook will be an instant contributor and a solid back for years to come. If he can stay healthy, he reminds me of another great Florida state back Devonta Freeman, now making a name for himself in Atlanta. Cook aside Minnesota did a great job of building instant depth in the draft. The Buckeye product Pat Elflein should fall into the two-deep depth chart and the addition of Michigan’s Ben Gedeon and the super athletic Kansas state Production Elijah Lee could add depth to one of the NFL’s youngest and more talented linebacking corps with budding stars Kendrick and Barr. I would go as far to say that Lee could possibly be Greenway’s replacement in few years if he sticks on at the other outside linebacker spot. In the past few Iowa has rolled out some really good Defensive Tackles and Jaleel Johnson looks to fall in that line. The Vikings have a hole at DT that Johnson can fill nicely. New offensive targets Bucky Hodges at tight-end and Rodney Adams both look to be consistent targets posting similar stat lines in back to back seasons during their time in college. Hodges should slide into that number 2 TE spot behind Randolph easily in my opinion. Danny Isidora was run blocking specialist and could produce at either guard position. From what I am hearing N.C. State corner Jack Tocho has been making a wave at rookie camp so we will see what happens there too.
Summary All and all Minnesota getting a running back that was projecting to go top 15 in the second round was a steal. They also added quality depth at some key positions and may see a few starters emerge from this class in years to come.
Draft Rating 82%
- Cincinnati Bengals
2017 Class- Key Draftee Joe Mixon RB Oklahoma
Members of the Bengals draft class include
John Ross / WR / Washington- Jordan Willis / DE / Kansas State- Carl Lawson/ DE / Auburn- Josh Malone / WR / Tennessee- Ryan Glasgow / DT / Michigan- Jake Elliott / K / Memphis- Jordan Evans / LB / Oklahoma – J.J. Dielman / Center / Utah- Brandon Wilson / RB / Houston- Mason Schreck / TE / Buffalo
Ok I know some fans took issue with the Bengals drafting Joe Mixon in the second round, and I get it. Let me say that as a father, son, and husband if any man ever put his hands on any of the women in my life it would be repercussions for those actions. However, as a former coach, I have dealt with situations with players who made mistakes and those that truly atoned for their actions often ended up being successful because they never made the mistake again. After serving a 1-year suspension his freshmen year at OU Mixon did just that, because of his skillset and dominant play the Bengals took a chance on him with their second round pick and I think they will be happy they did. With Hill and Bernard aging Mixon can come in and contribute in a rotation or be the every down back that Cinci needs. I know John Ross was their first round pick but I smell bust on him. A frail frame and history of injury I don’t see him being the true compliment to AJ Green long term. The Bengals also get a youth injection at defensive end by bringing in two stellar players in Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis both guys were stellar players in college and they can both get to the QB. With a year or so under their belt, they would a nice upgrade to the aging Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap. They also add two smart and athletic Linebackers in Jordan Evans who joined him OU teammate Mixon in Cincinnati and Hardy Nickerson Jr. from Illinois, I was a huge fan of his dad when I was a kid. The big wide receiver from Tennessee Josh Malone and the Buffalo Tight end Mason Schreck could provide depth also.
Summary I believe the Bengals gambled taking Ross in the 1st round, many experts had Ross falling down their boards due to his injury history. If he can stay healthy he may prove some those folks wrong. Mixon was a steal in the 2nd round many experts believe (myself included) that he was the best running back in the draft. The combination Willis and Lawson will pay dividends down the line, and the Bengals also pick a solid Kicker in Jake Elliott and quality back up running back in Brandon Wilson out of Houston. The Bengals added some good depth but there first 3 round picks will pay in the long run.
Draft Rating 84%
- Carolina Panthers
2017 Draft Class- Key Draftee Curtis Samuel / Athlete / Ohio State & Christian McCaffrey / Athlete / Stanford
Members of the 2017 Draft class include
Taylor Moton / Guard / Western Michigan- Daeshon Hall / DE/ Texas A&M- Corn Elder / DB / Miami-
Alex Armah / FB / West Georgia- Harrison Butler / Kicker / Georgia Tech
Once again (just like the Bengals) I did not like the Panthers 1st round pick of Christian McCaffrey, I feel like he is undersized and in the middle of the First round was too high to draft him. However, when I saw what they did in the second round I LOVED the pick. Curtis Samuel was one of the most talented players in College football last year; the kid can do it all. His talent level to me exceeds McCaffrey, but McCaffrey is no slouch! The combination of these two gives Cam Newton 4 players on the field instead of two! They can both line up in the backfield or play the slot position. Having them on the field at the same time!? Wow! The Carolina offense just improved by leaps and bounds with these two picks. Taylor Moton the big guard from Western Michigan was a good pick but I really liked adding D-end Daeshon Hall, you don’t hear his name often because he played across from the number 1 player drafted in Myles Garrett, but Hall is great athlete in his own right the 6’5 260 pound end racked up 13 tackles for loss at Texas A&M and added 4.5 sacks. The real enigma here is Corn (yes corn) Elder the DB out of the U. Elder is a solid tackler and plays the run superb. He has nickel back written all over for the Panthers.
Summary– The drafting of McCaffrey and Samuel is as intriguing of a combination as I have seen in recent years. I believe they will wreak havoc on the NFL south (My Bucs included). I think Hall is a dark horse to start by next (2018) season after he spends a year in the weight room. Moton will provide depth along the interior offensive line and Elder will help immediately. Overall the Panthers got Cam two shiny new toys to play with, helped the pass rush, and added depth to their O-line and Defensive backfield.
Draft Rating 86%
- Houston Texans
2017 Draft Class- Key Draftee DeShawn Watson / QB / Clemson
Members of the 2017 Draft class
Zach Cunningham / LB / Vandy- D’Onta / RB / Texas- Julien Davenport / OT / Bucknell- Carlos Watkins / DL / Clemson- Treston Decoud / Safety / Oregon State- Kyle Fuller / Center / Baylor
I have to say that the Texans had the best first five rounds of any team in the draft; every pick they made was a quality pick. Many people gave DeShawn flack saying he was not pro ready but I disagree, he is the most complete QB in the 2017 draft class, some may be more talented, some may have a better arm but there is not a more total packaged QB than Watson. The secret to drafting a good QB (90% of the time) is find a high production guy, from a winning program, that is Watson all day long. After getting in the first round the Texas continued to win by drafting Vandy linebacker Zach Cunningham. I felt like Cunningham could have easily been taken in the first round but slipped due to a hot run on QB’s. I only had two LB’s ranked higher than him, Reddick and Foster. I believe Zach will be the Heir to the injury-riddled Brian Cushing and will add more depth to the LB group. Then the Texans hit the jackpot again by the big power back D’Onta Foreman from Texas. The two picks I really liked for them were in the trenches. Julien Davenport an intelligent O-lineman from Bucknell and Carlos Watkins the underappreciated and talented D tackle from Clemson. Treston Decoud and Kyle Fuller bring up the rear, but I believe in 2 to 3 seasons their first 5 picks could be starters with at least two pro-bowlers coming from this class.
Summary– What more could you ask for in a draft a future franchise QB, possible anchors at Running back and Linebacker, a new D-lineman to add to your already dangerous rotation and an O-lineman that adds depth. Great draft my only issue was trading up to get Watson you all lost a few picks but it’s always quality over quantity.
Draft Rating 87%
- Washington Redskins
2017 Draft class- Key Draftee- Jonathan Allen / DE / Alabama
Members of the 2017 Draft class include
Ryan Anderson/ OLB/ Bama- Fabian Moreau / CB / UCLA- Samaje Perine / RB / Oklahoma- Jeremy Sprinkle / TE / Arkansas- Chase Roullier / Center / Wyoming- Robert Davis / WR / Georgia State- Josh Harvey-Clemons / Safety / Louisville- Joshua Holsey / DB / Auburn
The Redskins solidified a steadily improving defense with their first 2 picks. Due to a run on skill positions, Jonathan Allen regarded as one of the best D-linemen in the draft fell to the Skins at 17th. The Skins chose to stay in the state of Alabama and go with another defensive standout in Ryan Anderson. Anderson and Allen led the Crimson Tide in Sacks and tackles for loss last season. These two guys can anchor your front 7 for years to come. Offensive skill guys Jeremy Sprinkle and Robert Davis provide a big blocking tight end and an under appreciated but quite productive wideout at the Division 1-AA level. I really liked the Davis pick, I feel like he was punished for playing at Georgia State but watching his film he was every bit of a top ten receiver in this year’s draft. I also believe Washington grabbed a gem in the 4th round with Sooner Running Back Samaje Perrine. In 3 seasons Perrine became OU’s all-time leading running back passing the great Billy Sims. Perrine is a power back with nimble feet, and I believe had he not had a few injuries in college and ran a 4.66 40 yard dash he would have been drafted in the second round. Speaking of the second round, the Skins other 2nd round picks DB Fabian Moreau from UCLA’s big cornerback at 6’0 and 200 pounds who led the Bruins in pass deflections in 2016.
Summary- the Bama Duo of Anderson and Allen will do big things in the nation’s capital drafting them when got them was a double steal! Moreau who got injured in training camp should provide a good role player for the defensive backfield and Perrine may be the starter in DC in the next season or so.
- Arizona Cardinals
2017 Draft class- Key Draftee- Hasan Reddick / LB / Temple
Members of the 2017 Draft class include
Budda Baker / Safety / Washington- Chad Williams / WR / Grambling- Dorian Johnson / Guard / Pitt
Will Holden / OT / Vandy- T.J. Logan / RB / North Carolina- Rudy Ford / Safety / Auburn
The Cardinals lost some key pieces to their mega defense from last year. The one thing you know about the NFL is it is almost impossible to keep a super talented team together. The Cardinals lost pro-bowler Calais Campbell, and stalwart safety Tony Jefferson, Arizona made it their goal to feel in those spots. They may not have filled them all but they drafted the best players available. Hasan Reddick is jack of all trades linebacker who plays the run, just as good as he edge rushes. I thought he was most complete linebacker in this draft. Looks like they will play him at inside which should give them the presence in the middle they have wanted for so long. In replacing Jefferson they wanted to make sure they got it right so much so that they drafted two safeties in this past draft. Budda Baker was one of my favorite safety prospects in the draft and Rudy Ford out of Auburn looks like he is either still in negotiations or fighting to make the team at this current moment. I am a fan of both T.J. Logan the shifty speed back out of North Carolina and Chad Williams the big athletic receiver out of Grambling; they will give the offense more weapons to utilize. The Cards also beefed up the o-line adding Vanderbilt tackle Will Holden and the athletic guard out of Pitt Dorian Johnson.
Summary-Reddick and Baker will be an instant boast a great defense that has some holes to fill. Look for Williams to have a breakout year under the teaching of future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald, and Logan to come in and contribute behind current top 10 NFL back David Johnson. I really pushed the Cards high on this list based on Drafting Reddick, I had him that high and I loved his film. This is a gamble for me but we will see how well he does in that defense. I am predicting Reddick to be in the running for Defensive Rookie of the year Honors.
Draft Rating 87.5%
- Los Angeles Chargers
2017 Draft Class- Key Draftee Forrest Lamp / Guard / Western Kentucky & Dan Feeney / Guard / Indiana
Members of the 2017 Class include
Mike Williams / WR / Clemson- Rayshawn Jenkins / Safety / Miami- Desmond King / DB / Iowa
Sam Tevi / OT / Utah- Isaac Rochell / DL / Notre Dame
The Chargers knew exactly what they wanted to do in this draft and they did just that. L.A. drafted two of the best offensive lineman in this draft at the end of the first round and into the second with Forrest Lamp the athletic stud from Western Kentucky and Dan Feeney run blocking sensation out of Indiana. Not to overshadow the fact they probably drafted the most complete wide receiver in draft in the first round with Mike Williams from Clemson. The L.A. Power also added some ball hawks to their defensive back field in D-Back Desmond King from Iowa and safety Rayshawn Jenkins from the U. Adding another offensive lineman in Sam Tevi from Utah is just more insurance to make sure they keep the aging Phillip Rivers upright and healthy. Isaac Rochell a big D-Lineman from Notre Dame should also add depth as he a can play both D-tackle and D-End.
Summary- I believe Lamp and Feeney will both have the opportunity to compete for starting jobs along the Chargers o-line. The current starter at left guard is Orlando Franklin is really a right tackle, so I believe one of these guys will slide in at that Guard position. Mike Williams is an instant starter unless he just performs horribly in camp. King and Jenkins are day 1 rotation guys who I expect to contribute early and often.
Draft Rating 88%
- Pittsburgh Steelers
2017 Draft Class- Key Draftee T.J. Watt / LB/Edge / Wisconsin
Members of the 2017 Draft Class include
JuJu Smith-Schuster / WR / Southern Cal- Cameron Sutton / CB / Tennessee- James Connor / RB / Pitt
Joshua Dobbs / QB / Tennessee- Brian Allen / DB / Utah- Colin Holba / Long Snapper / Louisville- Keion Adams / OLB / Western Michigan
This was a classic Steelers draft! They filled needs but drafted those gritty blue collar players that fit the Steeler profile. Pittsburgh has taken time rebuilding in famed linebacking core drafting Ryan Shazier in the first round 4 years ago, 2 years ago they took Bud Dupree in the first round, and this they may have found the heir apparent to James Harrison (if he ever retires! The man is bionic!) in T.J. Watt yes the little brother of All NFL Defense king J.J. Watt. Watt is prototype edge rushing LB build for a 3-4 scheme at 6’4 250 he is an athlete that can cover and play the run. If I am the Steelers I slide Harrison inside and get 3 more years from him and put Watt at the outside Linebacker spot. In the second round of the draft, they picked JuJu Smith-Schuster the speedy WR out of Southern Cal, at the beginning of last season many experts had him being drafted in the middle of the first round so Steelers got a quality player in 2nd round. Looks like Pittsburgh did well in Rocky Top Country drafting extremely intelligent QB Joshua Dobbs and battle tested corner Cameron Sutton. I also like Keion Adams who was an active pass rushing force at Western Michigan, look for him dark horse candidate to see playing time at least on special teams. The pick that I feel fits the true Steeler profile is James Connor right in their backyard at Pitt. The bullish running back beat cancer and went through chemotherapy all while actually practicing and playing games with his teammates, but don’t think that the Steelers drafted Connor for a media story; he was the reigning (2014) ACC player of the year and a 1st team All-American before becoming injured and then being diagnosed with Cancer.
Summary- the Steeler’s draft class was one the deepest most talented drafts this year. If T.J Watt is half as good as his brother he will make the Pro-Bowl by next season. Adding JuJu to the combination of the Electric Antonio Brown and the big receiver Martavius Bryant will pay dividends down the line similar to what the Giants did with Sterling Shepard last season bringing in as reliable number 3. I think Dobbs slides in at the automatic #3 QB spot in the rotation and Connor will be the Thunder to LaVeon Bell’s lightning and the if coaching staffing can unlock Adams potential they will have one of the most dangerous pass rushing rotations in the NFL
Draft Rating 90%
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
2017 Draft Class- Key Draftee– Leonard Fournette / RB / LSU
Members of the Draft Class include
Cam Robinson / OT / Alabama- Dawuane Smoot / DE / Illinois- DeDe Westbrook / WR / Oklahoma- Blair Brown / LB / Ohio- Jalen Myrick/ CB / Minnesota- Marquez Williams / FB / Miami (OH)
Building off of last year’s draft taking the talented Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack in the first and second round, the Jags decided to add more weapons to their young and dangerous offense by grabbing Leonard Fournette the much revered Running Back from LSU. Many experts think Fournette is next great back to enter the league; I am not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, Fournette is a definite first round pick there are some questions about his top end speed, as he posted a 4.51 40 yard dash time. I believe he will do well in the NFL I just don’t think he is next Adrian Peterson like many compare him to. The Jags added another offensive line anchor in Cam Robinson in the second round which was great! He is plug and play guy at Right Tackle and guard and a developmental player at left tackle. Dawuane Smoot from the Fighting Illini is pass rush specialist who will touch the field on third downs like Elvis Dumervil didn’t early on in his NFL career. Once again a team gets another Oklahoma Sooner steal in the late rounds; DeDe Westbrook was taken by the Jags in the 4th round. The reigning Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top college wide receiver, Westbrook’s senior year was astounding however not attending the senior bowl and skipping combine workouts may have hurt his stock. Jalen Myrick was a golden late round pick out of Minnesota I can see him working his way up the depth chart into the dime package.
Summary- Extremely high quality picks in the first four rounds have the Jags looking to reload for the second time is as many years. Fournette, Robinson, Smoot, and Westbrook have the chance to start or contribute as rookies. Blair Brown the super athletic yet undersized LB from Ohio may make the rosters as a special teamer. I really like Myrick and think he may be an x-factor. Westbrook joins a deep talented bunch of 4 year wide out with Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, I predict he will crack the top 3 and take the slot receiver spot. Overall the Jags added quality talent and depth in this class and I am really high on their first four picks.
Draft Rating 92%
- Miami Dolphins
2017 Draft Class – Key Draftee- Raekwon McMillan / LB / Ohio State
Members of the Draft Class include
Charles Harris / DE / Missouri- Cordea Tankersley / CB / Clemson- Isaac Asiata / Guard/ Utah
Davon Godchaux / DT / LSU= Vincent Taylor / DT / Oklahoma State- Isaiah Ford / WR / Virginia Tech
If you are dolphins fan you are thanking the football deities about this last draft. If you play your contract negotiations right with this rookie class your defense will be strong for at least the next 4 years, taking it from the top with Charles Harris the edge rushing technician out of Missouri. Watching Harris’s film you can see how this guy burst onto the scene from nowhere to become one of the most coveted D-end prospects in this year’s draft. Harris’s inside spin move is vicious and he works well with his hands at the line of scrimmage. Accompanying Harris to the land of sunshine is stellar middle linebacker Raekwon McMillian for Ohio State. I believe has the potential to be a poor man’s Luke Kuechly with a year of development in the NFL. Cordea Tankersley is long cornerback prospect out of Clemson who played some of his best football down the stretch last season, including picking off a potential game-winning pass in the end zone of the national championship bowl series against Ohio State. Isaac Asiata had a good enough showing at the combine to be projected into the 3rd round in the draft and the Dolphins were able to get him in the 5th. Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor out of LSU and Oklahoma State will add serious depth on the defense interior with Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips as incumbents. Isaiah Ford from Virginia Tech was a solid receiver for the Hokies racking up back to back 1000 yard seasons in the ACC. All and all the Dolphins had the most solid top to bottom draft this year, anxious to see what they do with all this talent!
Time will only tell how these rookies do but it is going to be fun watching try and succeed.
The OK Gent