2017 NFL Draft Highlights

2017 NFL Draft Highlights

Max Becker, Sports Editor

On April 27th, 2017, team executives, hopeful players, families, and fans gathered outside the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the 82nd annual National Football League Draft. It is at this event that young college hopefuls wait for their name to be selected to one of the thirty-two prestigious NFL Franchises. The 2017 draft featured winners, losers, and the occasional upset fan base.

Mostly to the surprise of none, The Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett, a defensive end from Texas A&M, with the 1st pick of the draft. Garrett is a monster on the line, and was a solid pick for any team. Although the Browns were in desperate need of a quarterback, they had 2 other first round picks in which they could pick up somebody on the offensive end.

Controversy came early with the 2nd pick, with the Chicago Bears trading up to take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky from North Carolina. Trubisky had only started one year at the school, and while still seen as a solid player, he was not expected to be picked in the top ten, let alone number 2. However, the Bears knew the Browns had their sights set on him, and chose to secure him early.

Moving down to pick number 4, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected running back Leonard Fournette from LSU. Anybody who follows college football in the slightest is probably familiar with the highlights of Fournette absolutely bulldozing opposing defenses, often running over whichever unfortunate defensive back chose to challenge him. Although injuries kept him from repeating his stellar sophomore year, Fournette is a throwback to the power backs of older generations, and should fit in nicely in Jacksonville.

With the 8th pick, the Carolina Panthers selected Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. An all-star running back at Stanford, McCaffrey was by far one of the most efficient players at the collegiate level, tallying 31 touchdowns in 37 games. While undersized, his elite speed and catching ability should take some of the offensive pressure off Cam Newton while providing him with a new target at the same time.

With the 9th pick, the Cincinatti Bengals selected John Ross, who made headlines when he broke Jamaal Charles long-standing 40 yard dash record with a time of 4.22 seconds. In an interview shortly after breaking the record, Ross was asked why he chose not to wear Adidas, who had offered to buy a personal island for whomever could break the record wearing their shoes. He simply stated, “I can’t swim and I don’t own a boat.” He was promptly signed to a Nike shoe deal.

With the 17th pick, the Washington Redskins got perhaps the steal of the first round with Alabama’s Jonathon Allen, who was arguably the best defender on the best defense in college football. While many teams were worried about his size at the professional level, he was a potentially top 5 pick on talent, and the Redskins seem willing to put a few years into the young prospect.

The Raiders raised eyebrows with the 24th pick when they drafted Gareon Conley, a cornerback from Ohio State. While Conley certainly has the skill and talent to be a first round pick, his draft stock plummeted due to a sexual-assault allegation. He is yet to be charged and vehemently denies all claims against him.

With their second pick of the first round, the Cleveland Browns selected Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers at 25. A defensive star at Michigan, Peppers had trouble committing to one position, but played everything exceptionally well. With this pick, the Browns secured perhaps the two most exciting defensive players in the draft.

Finally, the Atlanta Falcons selected Takkarist McKinley, a defensive end from UCLA, with the 26th pick. His post-draft interview quickly went viral, as the emotional McKinley honored his deceased grandmother as well as spouting many expletives on live television. The NFL has stated he will not be fined for the profanity.

The 2017 draft was a memorable one, and it raised one very important question; can the Cleveland Browns win more than a single game next season? You can watch all these young players shine when the 2017 NFL season kicks off on September 7th.