NFL Draft first round review



The Cleveland Browns will officially be on the clock on April 26th with the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Emmanuel Rodriguez, Staff Writer


The NFL Draft began last Thursday night at Primetime in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the atmosphere was amazing. Of course, the cameras catch a great chunk of the excitement, but it does not compare to actually being there. I was a lucky one to snatch a seat at the draft. While in attendance, I realized we all came to the same place for the same reasons: to boo Roger Goodell and find out what the future holds for our favorite teams.

The Cleveland Browns had the first pick to start off the night.


No. 1-Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M


While in need of a quarterback and a pass rusher, the Browns were up in the air on whether to draft Mitchell Trubisky or Garrett. The Browns made the correct decision in drafting Myles Garrett, as he should be a force to be reckoned with in years to come in the league


Grade: A


No. 2-Chicago Bears (from San Francisco): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina


Trubisky only started one year at UNC. There is a small sample size of tape for the 6-foot 2-inch quarterback. The Bears gave up too much to trade up for Trubisky. The Bears swapped first round picks with the 49ers and also gave them their third (traded to the Saints and drafted Alvin Kamara) and fourth round pick (traded to the Seahawks and drafted Tedric Thompson) this season AND a third round pick next year. Also, the Bears just signed QB Mike Glennon to a mammoth deal.


Grade: C


No. 3-San Francisco 49ers (from Chicago): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford


Niners need help everywhere. Thomas is a great pass rusher and run stopper who ate up Pac-12 offensive lines. 49ers will still need a lot of help everywhere, though. Here’s a start with new general manager John Lynch.


Grade: A


No. 4-Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU


Great pick by Jacksonville. Blake Bortles gets another threat to join Allen Robinson. We’ve all seen what Fournette can do from his tape in his three years at LSU. He was a man amongst boys in the SEC. The Jaguars still need plentiful help, but like the Niners, it’s a start.


Grade: A

No. 5-Tennessee Titans (from Los Angeles Rams): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan


As a result of a pre-draft trade, the Titans picked up a target. Although he may not be the best WR on the board, the Titans must have seen something that they loved. Marcus Mariota doesn’t really have targets to throw at so look for Davis to see the playing field early and often in his career. Finally, Mariota and DeMarco Murray might not have to do everything for the Titans.


Grade: B


No. 6-New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU


Rather surprising to see the Jets not try to jump on a quarterback, given that Josh McCown is their starting quarterback. But the Jets do need help in the secondary and Adams established his presence as a threat in the secondary at LSU.


Grade: B


No. 7-Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson


Although Keenan Allen has been a threat for Philip Rivers, he’s been injury-prone. Williams is the best wide out in the draft and gives the aging Rivers a target to join Allen, when he returns, and Antonio Gates.


Grade: A


No. 8-Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford


Another Cardinal off the board. Panthers definitely do need someone to get hand offs from Cam Newton, but I’m not sure McCaffery will stay at RB. McCaffery might be better suited up as a slot receiver. Only time will tell what Ron Rivera has up his sleeve.


Grade: B


No. 9-Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR, Washington


The fastest man to ever run in the NFL Combine is off the board. The man ran 4.22 40 yard dash, He can fly. Andy Dalton gets a fast threat to join AJ Green and Jeremy Hill. Look out for Cincy.


Grade: A


No. 10-Kansas City Chiefs (from Buffalo): Patrick Mahommes II, QB, Texas Tech


Mahommes might be the best quarterback in this draft. He does make risky throws off his back foot and into double coverage when pressured and gets out of the pocket. Could Mahommes be the successor to Alex Smith in Missouri?


Grade: A


No. 11-New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State


The first cornerback off the board is the former Buckeye. Lattimore was they guy you did not want to throw his direction if you were a Big Ten quarterback. He may be young, but NFC South quarterbacks need to learn now to not throw his way.


Grade: A


No. 12-Houston Texans (from Cleveland via Philadelphia): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson


The Texans traded Brock Osweiler to Cleveland, making Tom Savage the possible starting QB to start the 2017 season. Not anymore. Houston gets a proven winner. Applause.


Grade: A


No. 13-Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple


The Cardinals needed someone at inside linebacker and they got a Temple kid who can play. He got a huge applause from the Philly crowd being the local kid. I think he’ll gladly trade Philly weather for Phoenix weather in December.


Grade: A


No. 14-Philadelphia Eagles (from Minnesota): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee


Derek Barnett was probably the second biggest star in Knoxville behind Josh Dobbs. He can rush the edge and get to the QB in a heartbeat. But I do feel the Eagles needed help on the offensive side of the ball a bit more than on the defensive side.


Grade: B


No. 15-Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State


There is the other half of the Ohio State secondary you did not want to throw to. Hooker is a ball hawk. He wants to the ball on every possession. But the Colts absolutely needed to address that offensive line that cannot protect Andrew Luck.


Grade: C


No. 16-Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphery, CB, Alabama


First Crimson Tide to get off the board. I don’t feel like cornerback should’ve been their first pick in this year’s draft, but then again, it’s a very deep class in the secondary.


Grade: B


No. 17-Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama


Second Crimson Tide to get off the board. Maybe Washington could have looked at a DB here or a RB, but they definitely do need help in the front seven. A linebacker would have been ideal, but Allen will definitely help.


Grade: B


No. 18-Tennessee Titans: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC


Titans addressed their hole at WR earlier by taking Corey Davis and now they address another problem and that’s their problem in the secondary. Adoree’ Jackson solidified his place in the Pac-12 this season and topped it off with a Rose Bowl win against Penn State.


Grade: A


No. 19-Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama


Three Crimson Tides in four picks. Nick Saban is smiling. Howard is the best tight end this year. Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard. Yikes!


Grade: A


No. 20-Denver Broncos: Garrett Bolles, T, Utah


Bolles is a feel good story. He was kicked out of his father’s house after battling a life full of drugs, alcohol, gangs and violence. He was adopted and got his life back together and came out with his son to greet Goodell. But Bolles is definitely not the best available offensive lineman, where Denver needs help.


Grade: C


No. 21- Detroit Lions: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida


We head into the teams who made the playoffs. Lions were ousted during Wild Card weekend and needed help at the linebacker position. Davis missed time with an ankle injury but he can be a three-down LB.


Grade: B


No. 22-Miami Dolphins: Charles Harris, LB, Missouri


Miami was torn apart by the Steelers during Wild Card weekend and they needed help at LB and they got it. He can rush the passer and help put pressure on the QB and force him to make bad throws.


Grade: B


No. 23-New York Giants: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss


Probably the worst pick of the first round. The Giants did not draft best available nor team needs. Ryan Ramczyk was available knowing Ereck Flowers cannot block to save his life. They did not draft a LB, where they have holes. Instead, they got a receiving TE.


Grade: D


No. 24-Oakland Raiders: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State


The Raiders took a chance here. Conley is a great CB, no doubt. But Conley was recently accused of rape, but has not been charged. He released a statement saying he is innocent, but it definitely hurt his draft stock. Let’s see how the legal proceedings go.


Grade: C


No. 25-Cleveland Browns (from Houston): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan


Peppers is an athlete. He played almost every position on the field last season, from S to WR. He is so versatile, it makes me feel like a waste of a human being. We’ll see where the Browns put him, but it won’t surprise me if he plays every position on the field over his career.


Grade: B


No. 26-Atlanta Falcons (from Seattle): Takkarist McKinnley, DE, UCLA


Perhaps defense was a good choice here by the Falcons considering what happened in the Super Bowl. They had a 25-point lead and were unable to hold it. Ouch.


Grade: B


No. 27-Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City): Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU


Fills a huge problem at CB for the Bills. Bills Mafia should be very happy with this pick as they get a steal late in the first round and two first rounders next season


Grade: A


No. 28-Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan


Best name in the draft goes to Dallas. They need help everywhere right now because they lost so many key pieces due to free agency. The secondary should’ve been the top priority for Dallas though.


Grade: C


No. 29-Cleveland Browns (from Green Bay): Davd Njoku, TE, Miami


Browns are the winners of the 2017 NFL first round. They got the best player in Garrett, an athlete in Peppers and now the 2nd best TE in the class. They still may need MASSIVE help though on the offensive side. This IS the Browns.


Grade: A


No. 30- Pittsburgh Steelers: T.J, Watt, LB, Wisconsin


Yes. TJ is the brother of JJ. No, he won’t be as good as JJ. Yes, he will be a great help to weak team at LB.


Grade: B


No. 31-San Francisco 49ers (from Seattle via Atlanta): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama


49ers get a steal here as Foster, somehow, slipped all the way to 31. Proven to be a problem to offenses in the SEC, Niners get a solid young LB


Grade: B


No. 32-New Orleans Saints (from New England): Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin


Thought he’d be the first Badger off the board, but the Saints pounce on the Giants mistake on not picking up a tackle to replace Ereck Flowers. Well done, Saints.


Grade: B


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Browns and the 49ers emerge as winners, to me, for making moves. The Bills emerge as winners, too, as they made moved down and picked up a steal. The losers were the teams who did not pick: Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. The Giants also emerge as a loser as they did not the draft best available nor team needs.


It’s football season, baby.
Twitter: @E_Rodriguez_24