Sunday, April 30, 2017

NFL Draft Winners, Losers And Feel Good Stories

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

The 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone. In a draft where we seen the most trades in draft history, a first round that basically set everyone's mock draft on fire, and the drafting of players that you can't help but root for. So I'm just going to keep it simple...Who are the winners and losers after the three day period we call the NFL draft.

Winners: (In no particular order)

1. San Francisco 49ers:

The 49ers traded down one spot with the Chicago Bears. They ended up getting Solomon Thomas from Stanford and two 3rd round picks and a fourth round pick. The crazy part is the 49ers were going to draft Thomas anyways, but the Bears wanted to ensure they could get their guy and traded up the one spot. The 49ers weren't done in the first round trading back up to 31st to take Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. Foster was expected to go in the top 10-15 but a diluted drug sample and apparent red-flag on his shoulder during the combine dropped his stock. The 49ers also filled needs on the defensive back field taking Ahkello Witherspoon, a 6'3 cornerback out of Colorado in the second round.

2. Arizona Cardinals:

The Cardinals spent their first two picks in the draft on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Haason Reddick, out of Temple, was taken 13th overall and then Arizona decided to trade up in the second round and take Safety Budda Baker out of Washington. Reddick is a great story. The guy began his college career as a walk-on at Temple and ends up being the first linebacker taken in the draft. Baker is projected to come in start at safety after Tony Jefferson signed with the Ravens in the off-season. The Cardinals also spent two picks on their offensive line. Guard Dorin Johnson from Pittsburgh and Tackle Will Holden from Vanderbilt. Its unlikely both will make impacts in their rookie years but if one of them can come in a help protect 38 year old quarterback Carson Palmer the Cardinals could definitely be back in the playoff picture.

3. Indianapolis Colts:

If you told me safety Malik Hooker would fall to 15th overall, I would have thought you were crazy...but that's exactly what happened. Hooker to the Colts makes a ton of sense. The Colts defense has been one of, if not the main reason they've had struggles the past few seasons. With their second and third round picks the Colts went defense. Taking Quincy Wilson, a corner out of Florida and Defensive end/Outside linebacker Tarell Basham out of Ohio. And its not like the Colts didn't address the offensive side of the ball. They filled needs taking a offensive lineman Zach Banner out of USC and running back Marlon Mack out of South Florida.

4. Cleveland Browns:

My Cleveland Browns explanation will be its own article on Monday morning.


1. Cincinnati Bengals:

I just don't understand what they were thinking. They took John Ross receiver out of Washington, who broke the NFL combine record for fastest 40' time, 9th overall. Does it fit a need? Sure the Bengals lacked another playmaker next to AJ Green but they pasted on Haason Reddick, Johnathan Allen, and all of the top offensive linemen. After loosing their starting Left Tackle and Right Tackle in free agency. The Bengals took running back Joe Mixon from Oklahoma in the second round. Value wise it was a good pick, but it does seem like a questionable pick especially when the team has multiple players that have "character issues".

2. Chicago Bears:

The Bears started their draft trading up one pick and taking Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina. Trubisky may turn out to be nice quarterback but...when you trade up for a quarterback and apparently not tell the Head Coach for your football team, it might not turn out to be good. The Bears took local product Adam Shaheen a tight end from Ashland University in the second round. Again its not like Trubisky is a bad quarterback prospect but it is confusing when you sign a quarterback for a lot of money in the off-season and then draft one with the top pick.

3. Tennessee Titans:

Personally I thought the pick for Corey Davis was a reach with Marshon Lattimore on the board. And then the Titans took Adoree' Jackson at 18th overall which was another potential reach. They did end up taking another receiver and a tight end in the third round which will definitely help out Mariota. But reaching in the first round is the only reason I have them in the losing section and even that's debatable I guess.

Feel Good Stories

There are two prospects I really want to mention because of their backstories:

First, Atlanta Falcons first round pick Takkarist McKinley a defensive out of UCLA. The guy achieved his dream and fulfilled a promise he made to his grandmother while on her death bed. He transferred to UCLA after one season at Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California. While going up on stage to accept his new jersey and to shake hands with Roger Goodell he carried with him a picture of his grandmother.

Last but certainly not least, the Pittsburgh Steelers third round pick James Conner, a running back out of Pittsburgh. Conner unfortunately tore his MCL at the beginning of the 2015 season. While rehabbing his knee injury, Conner was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He ended up beating cancer and recovering from the MCL injury to play in the 2016 season including the first game of the season where he scored the game winning touchdown.

No comments:

Post a Comment