With the 2017 NFL draft a few weeks behind us and rookie mini camps over, I decided to start a 3-part series where I will look back and give my six favorite and least favorite draft classes. Of course you shouldn’t judge a draft class till after three years later, but I’m going to break that rule. I’ll also give my favorite pick from each round of the draft in the final installment.
Now it’s time for the ugly. These six teams did poorly in the draft for me based on how they selected players against my “100 players scouted board” or questionable draft decisions.
32. Arizona Cardinals
I loved the Budda Baker pick – I had a mid-first round grade on him, so to grab him at pick 36 was excellent, but outside of that I was lost to what they were doing. Haason Reddick at pick 13 left me confused. Deone Bucannon plays that cover inside linebacker role on passing downs and they have two good pass rushers with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, so where does Reddick play consistently? Plus, I am not a fan of taking a conversion guy in the first round; Reddick is going from a defensive end in college to inside linebacker for the Cardinals.
Two major holes that needed to be addressed: quarterback and cornerback, were never drafted. Now the Cardinals enter the 2017 season wondering who will replace Carson Palmer, should he retire after the season and scrambling to figure out who starts at cornerback opposite of Patrick Peterson; a spot where they typically got torched in the passing game last season.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 21, 2017
31. Chicago Bears
Three draft picks to move up one spot for a quarterback with 13 career starts after giving Mike Glennon a three year/$45 million dollar contract sounds crazy, right? Well the Bears did that. Mitch Trubisky was my fifth best quarterback and surely wasn’t worth the second overall pick. Good news for him is he will sit to start the year and learn; which he needs to do. If they feel Trubisky is their guy, then I have no issue with them taking him at number three, but this team had several needs that weren’t addressed because they gave up two picks in this draft to get Trubisky.
Reports have come out that the Bears were competing against themselves to move up and that just makes this trade look even worse. Now if Trubisky turns out to be the savior for the Bears, then this draft class was great, but I’m not holding my breath.
30. Green Bay Packers
I’ll probably look like a fool in three years as the Packers have a history of drafting well. But I wasn’t on board with Kevin King at pick 33. While a freak athlete with size, he is raw and the Packers need a more pro-ready cornerback than King is. Josh Jones at pick 61 made me wonder what they are going to do with him. I just don’t see the value taking him over either Dion Dawkins or Taylor Moton who went just two and three picks later. After losing T.J. Lang in free agency, the team did nothing to bring in a replacement.
I did like the Jamaal Williams at pick 134 and I expect him to be the starter this season with Ty Montgomery as the catching back; more about Williams in my upcoming rookie fantasy sleepers. However, after taking Williams the Packers drafted another running back. They took Aaron Jones at pick 182 when they should of taken Caleb Brantley, who went at pick 185. Brantley was a third round graded player for me and was well worth the risk at the bottom of the fifth round. Jones will be fighting to make the team as the third running back.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 25, 2017
29. New Orleans Saints
This is kind of a double-edged sword for me. I like who they drafted and where they selected them at. However, they didn’t take a quarterback and will now need to find Drew Brees’ successor in the 2018 draft; and I would have taken DeShone Kizer at pick 32 over Ryan Ramczyk. However, I can get on board with the Ramczyk pick to help the team win now as Brees’ career comes to a close.
What puzzles me is why did they trade away a 2018 second round pick to acquire the 67th overall pick to draft Alvin Kamara when they had a pick at 76 they could of used to move up? I never like touching future draft picks unless they are being used to get a quarterback. However, I do love the Kamara pick for the Saints; another deep fantasy rookie sleeper, but not at the cost of their second round pick in 2018.
At pick 76 they look Alex Anzalone who missed about half his games in his college career with injuries; after they signed a handful of linebackers in free agency. My other big concern with the Saints is why did they wait till pick 103 before taking a pass rusher? The defense lacks a consistent pass rush threat opposite of Cameron Jordan and good pass rushers are needed to win what is going to be a competitive NFC South division.
28. New York Jets
I loved the Jamal Adams pick and he might even be the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year, but after that I was lost. With needs at pass rusher, offensive line and even quarterback, the Jets decided to ignore their needs. They went with back to back safeties to start, then back to back wide receivers in the third and fourth rounds. The team already had a bunch of young receivers on the roster they are reportedly high on. Cornerback was their biggest need and they didn’t draft one until the 197th pick despite how talented the cornerback class was in the first four rounds. After this poor draft, the Jets are likely picking top three in the 2018 NFL draft, and perhaps at the top of the board.
27. Seattle Seahawks
I absolutely loved the Malik McDowell at pick 35, and I expect him to have great career for the Seahawks. But outside of that, I was lost on what they were doing. They did not take an offensive tackle till pick 210. If they expect Ethan Pocic to kick out and play tackle for them, they will be disappointed. They drafted 11 total players, but I’d be surprised if seven make the opening day roster as the team doesn’t have many open roster spots. Why didn’t they combine some of those picks and move up and grab one of the few offensive tackles with first or second round grades? Russell Wilson will be running for his life and the running game will struggle again this year because of the offensive line.