2017 Round 1 Draft Grades + Draft Winners and Losers

By Dan Dankert

Draft Grades

1) Browns- Myles Garrett

Grade: A

Garrett was clearly the best player available and taking Trubisky this high would be very bad for an organization. The Browns fought off all of their instincts to pull a typical Browns move, but in the end they were very successful

2) Bears- Mitchell Trubisky

Grade: D+

Traded away the house for Mitch Trubisky. Though I like Trubisky’s upside I believe this was far too high to select him, and they gave up a lot to move only 1 pick for him. I think this was a very poor decision. The only question is, which was worse, this pick or the rest of the Bear’s draft?

3) 49ers- Solomon Thomas

Grade: A+

John Lynch got the player he wanted all along plus 2 third round picks and a fourth round pick. That was an amazing move by the young GM.

4) Jaguars- Leonard Fournette

Grade: A-

Probably not the best player available but I like this pick quite a bit. It was what I predicted they would do. I would be surprised if anyone not named Leonard Fournette comes close to winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.

5) Titans- Corey Davis

Grade: C

Probably the best wide receiver in the draft, but considering the defensive talent available and O.J. Howard still on the board I think there were better options available. Trading down was likely their best option considering their needs and the best players available. I am very curious if this pick set in line the rapid fire picking of wide receivers that we saw in the first round.

6) Jets- Jamal Adams

Grade: A

Most people had Adams as the second best player in the draft behind Garrett. I think the Jets definitely got a steal with Adams at 6.

7) Chargers- Mike Williams

Grade: C+

If taking Davis was too high then drafting Williams here was drafting way too high. Definitely a puzzling pick especially given the plethora of great players still on the board.

8) Panthers- Christian McCaffrey

Grade: D+

In my opinion, there were at least 2 running backs that I would consider significantly better than McCaffery still on the board. The Panthers like his versatility, all I can see if fragility, and average athleticism. Mel Kiper thinks McCaffrey more as a wide receiver than as a running back. If that’s the case a 4 of the top 10 picks were wide receivers.

9) Bengals- John Ross

Grade: D

Another wide receiver and another puzzling pick. This was probably an entire round and a half early. Really poor choice from the Bengals leadership. This seems like a Heyward-Bey situation. Great speed does not always transition to a great player.

10) Chiefs- Patrick Mahomes

Grade: B

Here is the text I sent my friend after this pick was announced. “That moment when KC thinks anything is better than Alex Smith.” At the time I would have likely given this a much lower grade but seeing that Alex Smith could still start for a year or two and Mahomes could have some time to develop is good. I don’t like that they traded up for this pick, but otherwise I am okay with it. I am not going to ignore the fact that Mahomes has a very high ceiling if he can reach it.

11) Saints- Marshon Lattimore

Grade: A

Definitely a steal here. Also, it’s a position of need for the Saints so it’s all around an amazing pick.

12) Texans- Deshaun Watson

Grade: B-

Apparently Bill O’Brien really liked Watson after they had Watson in for a workout and thinks that his mentality is perfect for an NFL quarterback. That being said they traded up quite a bit and I am not sure Watson will be at best much more than a solid starting quarterback.

13) Hasson Reddick

Grade: B+

I don’t know a lot about Reddick but I think it fills a need that the Cardinals have and according to the experts Reddick is pretty good with high upside.

14) Eagles- Derek Barnett

Grade: C+

I am not a huge Barnett fan, but I wouldn’t say this was nearly as bad of a pick as the WR picks from earlier in the round.

15) Colts- Malik Hooker

Grade: A

A top 5 caliber player selected at 15 is a great steal for the Colts here.

16) Baltimore- Marlon Humphrey

Grade: B+

Upside is there though he definitely showed lapses in judgement throughout the last year. He has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL though.

17) Redskins- Jonathan Allen

Grade: A

For some reason Allen fell and I have no idea what that reason is, but huge pickup by the Redskins here.

18) Titans- Adoree Jackson

Grade: B

I had other corners rated higher, but all in all it’s a flip of the coin as to which of these similarly talented players will be better than the others at the next level.

19) Buccaneers- O.J. Howard

Grade: A

Really surprised Howard fell this far. In my opinion he is a big time player who can make a huge difference at the next level. The Bucs now have another quality target to add to that up and coming offense.

20) Broncos- Garrett Bolles

Grade: B+

Broncos are clearly signaling a rebuild with this pick. Bolles is probably a year away from making any impact on a team. This pick is based on his high upside, not what he brings to the table now.

21) Lions- Jarrad Davis

Grade: B

High character player coming off of injury. This should bolster the Lions defense which let them down at times last season.

22) Dolphins- Charles Harris

Grade: B

I don’t know much about Harris so I am deferring to the experts who like his fit at Miami.

23) Gaints- Evan Engram

Grade: D-

There is no reason to not pick Njoku here if you are looking for a tight end. Everything Engram does, Njoku does significantly better. This pick is beyond puzzling and it’s unfortunate to see from such a high quality franchise.

24) Raiders- Gareon Conley

Grade: B

Good pick up here for the Raiders. He should make an immediate impact for the team.

25) Browns- Jabril Peppers

Grade: A+

My highest rated player in this draft goes to who else but the Browns. The Browns will have to utilize him correctly to make him work out, something I don’t place a lot of hope on but I can’t let that affect my grade. Clearly, drafting my number 1 prospect at 25 warrants an A+ grade.

26) Falcons- Takkarist McKinley

Grade: B+

McKinley was projected to go much earlier than 26. Definitely a nice pickup for the Falcons here.

27) Bills- Tre’Davious White

Grade: B+

Solid player who will fill in at a position of need for the Bills.

28) Cowboys- Taco Charlton

Grade: B+

Another player projected to go much higher, Taco should be able to make a difference for that Cowboys defense in his rookie season.

29) Browns- David Njoku

Grade: A

Whoever the Browns get next year as their quarterback, having Njoku will provide a nice safety blanket. A future pro bowl player, Njoku will provide a lot to a struggling Browns offense.

30) Steelers- T.J. Watt

Grade: A-

Though not as good as his brother, Watt will provide a great outside pass rush to a Steelers defense that desperately needs one. Definitely a great pick based on talent available and weighing that against team need. Its surprising to me that the Packers elected to trade down at 29 than take an available T.J Watt or Reuben Foster who was selected at 31.

31) 49ers- Reuben Foster

Grade: A

San Francisco takes an opportunity to trade back into the first round and select an absolute beast of a player. If his injury issues are resolved than he will be a prime candidate for defensive rookie of the year.

32) Saints- Ryan Ramczyk

Grade: B

I would have liked to see Robinson or Lamp selected instead of Ramczyk though I understand some scouts believe Lamp is better suited at guard. Overall I understand the pick, I just see better players at the position available.

Teams that traded out of the 1st round

Packers- Traded back to first pick in the second round

Kevin King

Grade: F

Terrible pick, given team needs, and available players. It’s once again that the Packers leave me completely befuddled by their first pick. They most definitely shouldn’t have traded back and then I think the pick was poor compared to everything still available to them.

Seahawks- Traded back to third pick in the second round

Malik McDowell


Great prospect that should be a starter in Seattle for the next 10 years.

Patriots- Traded for Brandin Cooks


Best move of the entire draft and it was done months ahead of time. With all of the mediocre at best wide receivers going in the first 10 picks, the Patriots spent a late first round pick for a player who will likely produce more in one year than any of these receivers will produce in 2-4 years. My hat goes off to the Patriots management, absolutely stellar move.

Wnners and Losers


Patriots- see above.

Browns- Garrett, Peppers, and Njoku are all amazing picks. Grabbing Kizer later on was a huge success for the Browns. Honestly I look at their draft and it feels like someone is playing Madden, simulated the draft, saw the best players, went back and then drafted them for themselves. Masterful draft plan by the Browns played out to perfection.

49ers- Smart trading by John Lynch got the 49ers two great first round talents in Thomas and Foster. They took advantage of the Bears and it will show greatly this season.

Patrick Mahomes- This might be controversial but I don’t think Mahomes could ask for a better situation. He isn’t NFL ready but will get the chance to develop behind a quality NFL starter who is starting to age and he could take the lead when he is ready. It’s also good that he was drafted early because it will give him a longer leash to develop, if it takes him a season and a half the Chiefs will give him that long.


Bears- That trade for Trubisky was atrocious and the rest of their trade was bad too. I don’t understand what they were doing and unfortunately for the Bears and Trubisky, the city of Chicago won’t forget this flub anytime soon.

Mike Glennon- After finally getting an opportunity to start in Chicago, Glennon now has to deal with Trubisky and everything that comes with him. Glennon was invited to the Bears draft party, I have a feeling that room got very awkward after the second pick.

Dalvin Cook- Originally thought to be an early first round pick, Cook slid all the way to the middle of the second round where he was selected by the Vikings who have a very poor offensive line and who had an anemic running game in 2016. Cook will be in a tough position where people will expect immediate success where he is unlikely to find much.

That being said, if I am wrong and this revamped Vikings offensive line is halfway good, Dalvin Cook could be the presumptive dark horse for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He will definitely get the workload to get it.

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