The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was crazy. There were some puzzling trades and even stranger picks made during the first night of the event in Philadelphia.
Here’s a look at the worst picks made Thursday night during the first-round of the draft.
2. Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
What on Earth were the Bears doing here? They were sitting at No. 3 and traded up one spot to get Trubisky, a guy the 49ers never would have taken at No. 2. Additionally, while he might be the best quarterback in this year’s draft, I wouldn’t have selected Trubisky in the top 20. Plus, the Bears just spent a ton of money to bring in Mike Glennon as a free agent. Do they already not believe in him?
First-year 49ers general manager John Lynch absolutely fleeced Bears GM Ryan Pace. To move up one spot, Pace surrendered the No. 3 pick, plus third- and fourth-round selections (No. 67 and No. 111) in this year’s draft, and a third-round pick next year.
This was a mind-boggling trade and selection from a franchise that appears to be going nowhere.
5. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
I’m fine with the Titans getting Marcus Mariota more weapons, in fact, God bless them for trying to do so. But taking Davis here with Mike Williams, O.J. Howard, Marshon Lattimore and guys who filled other needs still on the board was puzzling.
Davis was insanely productive at Western Michigan, setting the FBS record for receiving yards (5,285) and earning first-team All-American honors in 2016. But he’s battled a bad, nagging ankle injury and had 11 drops during his senior season. Because of his ankle, Davis hasn’t run a 40-yard dash during the pre-draft process.
Davis has good size (6’3″ and 209 pounds), but has relatively small hands (9 1/8) and doesn’t run precise routes yet. There’s a lot of potential here, but there were better options on the board for the Titans.
9. Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR, Washington
Again, I like the player, I just don’t like where he came off the board. The Bengals have massive needs at guard, offensive tackle and defensive end, but they went after a receiver. Ross obviously jumped way up the board with his record-breaking 4.22 40 at the combine, but that speed masks some serious issues.
At 5’11” and 188 pounds, Ross is undersized and played very small for long stretches of his college career. He isn’t a great route-runner and struggles against stronger corners. He’s also suffered major injuries to both knees, which rarely ends well for a receiver whose entire appeal is build on speed.
I like Ross and if Andy Dalton can get him the ball in space and let him run, this could wind up being a solid pick. But no one else was going to take Ross this high and the Bengals had a ton of other needs. His long-term health is far too big a question mark for me to love this pick.
10. Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
There is so much I don’t like about this pick. Let’s start with the fact that to move up to 10, the Chiefs sent the 27th pick plus their third-rounder (No. 91) to the Bills, along with their first-round pick in 2018. That’s a huge haul for Buffalo. Then the Chiefs took the guy I had as the third-best quarterback in the draft and someone I had a mid-second-round grade on.
Mahomes has ridiculous arm talent. Seriously, the kid has an absolute cannon. But his mechanics are a complete mess, he rarely hangs in the pocket, doesn’t go through his progressions and bails out as soon as things look dicey. He can move and muscle up to make throws on the run, but none of it looks clean or easy.
At 6’2″ and 225 pounds Mahomes has solid but not prototypical size. He also comes from an air raid system that has yet to produce a successful NFL quarterback. His numbers look gaudy on paper but how he got there wasn’t impressive considering the system. He also relies on his arm too much. He throws where his receivers are, not where they will be. You can’t get away with that in the NFL, just ask Colin Kaepernick.
All of that makes this a puzzling pick for a Chiefs team that had other pressing needs, particularly at running back and on defense.
23. New York Giants: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
The Giants had needs along both lines, at linebacker and running back and chose to go with a tight end. I don’t get it.
Engram is really just a big receiver, and plays like one. At 6’3″ and 234 pounds he’s undersized for a tight end but did run a 4.42 40 at the combine. He’s explosive off the line but he’s not going to help you in the run game as a blocker or going to make tough catches over the middle. He also struggles with contested balls. He’s a matchup problem for linebackers, but NFL safeties could likely contain him because he’s not supersized and his speed shouldn’t trouble most of them.
I liked Engram as a late first-round pick for a team that didn’t have a ton of other needs. The Giants aren’t that team. This is a solid player, just not a solid pick.
32. New Orleans Saints: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
I loved the Saints’ first selection, as they stayed patient at the 11th pick and got the best cornerback in the draft, Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore. Then they screwed up all that good will by taking Ramczyk at 32.
Ramczyk is a perfectly serviceable offensive tackle, but he likely would have been there when the Saints picked at No. 42 in the second round. He’s got good size at 6’6″ and 310 pounds, but Ramczyk just underwent hip surgery and plays far too stiff and upright for my tastes. He’s not a huge, powerful guy, and while he has excellent awareness, I don’t think that will make up for some technical shortcomings he desperately needs to clean up.
The Saints have more pressing needs at safety, outside linebacker, defensive end and defensive tackle. With guys like Budda Baker, DeMarcus Walker, Chris Wormley, Malik McDowell, Josh Jones, Tyus Bowser and Duke Riley all on the board, this was a terrible pick.
There was a real chance to improve a position with a real need with the last pick int he first round. The Saints didn’t do that.