There were 253 selections in the 2017 NFL draft. With every one of those picks comes talent and hope.
The Cleveland Browns got the first and arguably best player in the draft in Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett – but which team had the overall best draft? That’s the subject of this week’s Talk of Fame Network poll.
We’ve combed the draft list and come up with the eight teams that we at the Talk of Fame Network believe fared quite well last weekend. Here are your options and why we like their drafts:
Baltimore Ravens. GM Ozzie Newsome picked up two big-time defenders from his alma mater, Alabama cornerback Marlon Humpbrey and pass rusher Tim Williams. The Ravens believe you win up front, and you win with defense. They added two more defensive front seven players in the first three rounds, pass rushing linebacker Tyus Bowser and Michigan end Chris Wormley.
Cleveland Browns. When all the wheeling and dealing was done, the Browns wound up with three first-round draft picks, and all should be walk in starters – pass rusher Myles Garrett, safety Jabrill Peppers and tight end David Njoku. Cleveland didn’t reach for a quarterback but may have found a good one in the second round in Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. And the best news? The Browns have two first and three seconds already stockpiled for the 2018 draft.
Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were decimated in the secondary by free agency this offseason, losing cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne and safeties Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. But they reloaded in the draft with cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie in the second round, Jourdan Lewis in the third and Marquez White in the fifth, plus ballhawking safety Xavier Woods in the sixth. The Cowboys also landed a pass rusher (Taco Charlton) in the first round and one of the best return specialists in the draft (Ryan Switzer).
New Orleans Saints. The defense-needy Saints landed the best cornerback in the draft in Marshon Lattimore and one of the top safeties high in the second round in Marcus Williams. Drew Brees also needs better protection, and Sean Payton found it in Wisconsin’s All-America offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk with a late first rounder. Tennessee Alvin Kamara also was an interesting pick in the fourth, given the fact the Saints already have Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson on the depth chart.
Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys found Dak Prescott in the fourth round out of the SEC. The Steelers also found a quarterback (Josh Dobbs) in the fourth round out of the SEC (Tennessee) and addressed the defensive perimeter with pass-rushing linebacker T.J. Watt in the first and cornerback Cameron Sutton in the third. James Connor was a big, physical Steelers-type back drafted off the Pitt campus.
Los Angeles Chargers. This draft was all about giving quarterback Philip Rivers a chance to win. The Chargers took the best receiver in the draft in Mike Williams and also drafted two walk-in starters at guard in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. So Rivers will be better protected and have better weapons in the Chargers’ move to Los Angeles. Talented but undersized cornerback Desmond King was a real find in the fifth, and sixth-rounder Sam Tevi also might work his way into the mix at offensive tackle.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Bucs hope to accelerate the development of Jameis Winston into a franchise quarterback by giving him an elite tight end (first-rounder O.J. Howard) to go along with veteran wideouts Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson. Third-rounder Chris Godwin gives Winston another set of reliable hands on the flank, and both safety Justin Evans and middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith will be given opportunities to start on defense.
Washington Redskins. The Ravens aren’t the only NFL team that likes Alabama players. The Redskins also used their first two draft picks on players off the Crimson Tide defense, end Jonathan Allen in the first and pass-rushing linebacker Ryan Anderson in the second. Cornerback Fabian Moreau was a real value in the third, and in Samaje Perine the Redskins landed the all-time leading rusher from Oklahoma, a school with a rich tradition of ball carriers.