The 2017 National Football League (NFL) Draft has come and gone. The event was hosted in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, and consisted of seven rounds, 253 total players drafted, and over 250,000 fans in attendance, a new NFL Draft record. Every selection in this year’s draft came with controversy, and some teams made big moves throughout the draft while some sat back and missed the guy they wanted. While we wait for the NFL season to begin, let’s take a look at some of the biggest winners and losers of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Winner: Myles Garrett Garrett, out of Texas A&M, was selected #1 overall by the Cleveland Browns. Many analysts were predicting this pick, and Garrett’s combine and pro day performances only ensured the Browns that he was their guy. Myles Garrett will sign an estimated 30 million dollar contract along with a 20 million dollar signing bonus, a lot considering that Garrett is yet to prove himself at the NFL level. There is no doubt Garrett is worthy of the first overall pick, but there are still looming concerns about how hard Garrett is willing to work on every play as seen in college. Only time will tell for Garrett and the Browns.
Loser: The Chicago Bears The Chicago Bears entered the 2017 draft with the third overall pick and decided to make a last-minute trade for the second selection to secure Solomon Thomas, a player whom every analyst and GM thought the Bears were going to select. Rather than securing their defensive line for years to come, the Bears selected Mitchell Trubisky from the University of North Carolina. Trubisky is a quality quarterback, but this pick is extremely controversial given the Bear’s offseason acquisition of veteran quarterback Mike Glennon. A lot of questions still surround the Bear’s selection as to whether Trubinsky will be groomed by Glennon to eventually start or just be their guy once week one comes rolling around.
Winner: Leonard Fournette Running back Leonard Fournette was predicted by many draft analysts to slip outside the top five and lose around 10 million dollars from being drafted later in the first round. Fortunately for the talented back, he was selected fourth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags might have found the next Adrian Peterson in Fournette, who has his similar build and ability to shed tackles for big plays. Jacksonville also selected offensive lineman Cam Robinson with their second round pick. Robinson will be a huge impact blocker for Fournette throughout his career with Jacksonville. Fantasy owners should look to grab Fournette early because he will have a breakout season.
Loser: Reuben Foster In early NFL mock drafts, Foster was predicted to be a top 10 selection, which would have guaranteed him over 25 million dollars. Rather than being picked earlier than predicted, he was picked second to last in the first round (the 31st pick in the draft), and the San Francisco 49ers gave him a mere 13 million compared to what he could have had. Foster dealt with a lot of off-the-field issues despite his impressive résume which includes winning the Butkus Award for the best linebacker in college football. Moving forward, the hard-hitting linebacker will definitely have a chip on his shoulder after so many teams passed on him.
One of the most talented draft classes in history has been set, and it is now up to the players to see which of them will shine in the 2017-18 NFL season.
Loser: The Philadelphia Eagles and Derek Barnett This past NFL draft was hosted in the city of brotherly love, so the player selected by the Eagles would receive a huge applause, right? Wrong. Defensive end Derek Barnett out of Tennessee was met with a mix of jeers and praise. The Eagles sat back and watched as all the players on their draft board disappeared right before their eyes and forced them to select a decent player in Barnett but not the guy they wanted.