The 2017 draft will go down as one of the greatest of all time. Seriously, look at how many pro bowlers and all-pro’s there are just after three seasons. But, for every superstar, there was a bust. Fourteen of the thirty-two picks didn’t get their fifth-year options picked and in this exercise thirteen players who were picked in the first round in 2017, weren’t picked here. That’s a relatively high bust rate, especially for a class that has had twenty-three pro bowlers. To note for this, I did not include draft night trades but did include ones that took place before the first-round. Nonetheless, here’s how I would re-draft the 2017 class:
1 Cleveland Browns- Patrick Mahomes, QB Texas Tech
Does this one need an explanation? Mahomes has quickly become the best player in the league and a Super Bowl MVP. Would he be as good as he is now by not being with a great offensive mind like Andy Reid and not having the luxury of sitting out his first season? Probably not, but with that talent alone he’s an all-time talent at the quarterback position. Garrett has been great for the Browns (when not hitting players in the head with a helmet), but he’s not a generational quarterback like Mahomes.
2 San Francisco 49ers- Deshaun Watson, QB Clemson
Watson was a case of over-analyzing a prospect rather than just accepting the fact that they’re a great player. Already a two-time pro bowler, Watson has displayed elite accuracy while being able to create with his legs. Imagine him with a play-calling genius like Kyle Shanahan? He’s already one of the premier quarterbacks in the league and Shanahan would guarantee him reaching his ceiling. Solomon Thomas (whom they drafted at 3 after moving down one spot with the Bears) has been a bust. No other way to describe it at this point and the team feels the same way by not picking up his fifth-year option.
3 Chicago Bears – Myles Garrett, EDGE Texas A&M
When on the field, Garrett has become one of the most feared pass rushers in no time. After 13.5 sacks in 2018, he had 10 sacks in 10 games in 2019. He was viewed as one of the best defensive end prospects of all time and while he may not have lived up to that hype just yet, he’s young and has a chance to get there. He has the tools to be the best defender in the league, but he just has to stay on the field. The Bears traded up one spot to select Mitch Trubisky, who while a Pro Bowler in 2018, appears to be on very thin ice with his fifth-year option was declined.
4 Jacksonville Jaguars- Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford
Depending on who you ask, the running back value is tanking. However, a player like McCaffrey is a unicorn, a player who can do it all. An All-Pro in 2019, he became the first player in this class to get a contract extension and became just the third player to have a season of 1,000 yard receiving and 1,000 rushing yards in a season, and that’s with suspect quarterback play. He’s a true game-changer and a legit MVP candidate for years to come. While most running backs have short play careers now, a guy like McCaffrey will age well due to his versatility. The Jags picked Leonard Fournette at this spot who hasn’t been a bust but hasn’t performed like a fourth overall pick. Due to his high price tag, the Jags didn’t pick up his fifth-year option and is a trade candidate.
5 Tennessee Titans- George Kittle, TE Iowa
The People’s Tight End was an afterthought in the 2017 Draft and didn’t get drafted until the fifth round. Kittle exploded onto the scene in his second season, putting up the most receiving yards in a single season for a tight end. He’s just not a receiving threat though, he’s one of the best blocking tight ends in the league as well and is crucial to the 49ers run game. There’s simply no other tight end currently who is so dynamic in receiving and blocking than Kittle. Add in his energetic personality and he really is the second coming of Rob Gronkowski. Quite simply he’s the best tight-end in the league and was able to break records with Nick Mullens as his quarterback. Kittle is a superstar. The Titans originally went with Corey Davis, who was a late-rising prospect from Western Michigan. He has yet to reach 1,000 yards in a season and while it’s in part to lackluster quarterback play, he simply isn’t the starting receiver they had in mind as his fifth-year option was also declined.
6 New York Jets- Jamal Adams, S LSU
The Jets hit this pick out of the park and in this re-draft they get their guy again in Jamal Adams. While their relationship has been a soap opera, Adams has become one of the best safeties in the league and a leader in the locker room. A two-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro, Adams does everything the Jets ask him to do at an extremely high level. While contract talks have been rocky and trade rumors have surrounded him all season, Adams should be paid as the top safety in the league whether the Jets will agree to it or not. His situation with the team will be a fascinating story this upcoming season.
7 Los Angeles Chargers- Tre’Davious White, CB LSU
In a class stacked with top-end cornerback talent, White has been the best so far and has the highest upside. Named an All-Pro this past season, White has been the catalyst for the Bills defense by leading the league in interceptions and not allowing a touchdown against him all season. Outside of Stephon Gilmore, there isn’t a cornerback playing better than White right now. Adding White with the dynamic pass rush of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram would give the Chargers a top defense. The team selected Mike Williams who did just have a 1000 yard receiving season after spending the first two seasons as a complementary player. The upside is still there but needs to build off of this season’s success.
8 Carolina Panthers- TJ Watt, EDGE Wisconsin
The Watt family name has become football royalty. His brother J.J. has been one of the best defensive players over the past decade and T.J. is becoming as good as J.J. His 34.5 sacks are the most for any player in this class and was an All-Pro this past season. It’s tough to dispute that he’s outperformed #1 overall pick Myles Garrett up to this point. Despite all of this, Watt has still been underrated in his career. Hell, I might even be putting him too low on this list. He may not have the flashy athleticism, but when it comes to rushing the passer, not too many are better than Watt at the moment. The Panthers selected Christian McCaffrey at this spot and he’s become the face of their franchise. While he’s already gone in this re-draft, getting a guy like Watt is a great consolation.
9 Cincinnati Bengals- Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State
Another stud corner from this class is Marshon Lattimore, a two-time pro bowler, who’s been a rock in the secondary for the Saints. Coming from Ohio State, also known as DBU, Lattimore has constantly battled the likes of Mike Evans and Julio Jones in the NFC North and for the most part has held his own. A shutdown corner would provide stability to an otherwise shaky position group in Cincinnati. In reality, the Bengals selected John Ross III, a guy whose stock rose because of his all-time great 40 time but lacked the polish. As many expected, Ross hasn’t worked out and has yet to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in his career. He’s flashed at times, but overall has been a bust and did not get his fifth-year option renewed.
10 Buffalo Bills- JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR USC
It’s been years since the Bills had a legit #1 receiver (until just recently acquiring Stefon Diggs of course) and Smith-Schuster would have brought credibility and swagger to the Bills locker room. He was also the youngest player drafted in this class and has gone onto becoming the youngest player to reach 2,500 yards receiving. At worst, he’s going to become a fantastic second option. In this spot, the Chiefs changed their franchise forever by moving up to select Patrick Mahomes. I’d say that worked out well for them. It worked out pretty nicely for the Bills either as they got stud corner, Tre’Davious White at 27.
11 New Orleans Saints- Alvin Kamara, RB Tennessee
Three Pro Bowls in three years? Not a bad start for Mr. Kamara, who like McCaffrey has become a dual-threat out of the backfield. He was utilized in his first two seasons alongside Mark Ingram to form the best 1-2 punch in the league. Kamara is a great runner but has honestly been more effective as a pass-catcher, catching 81 passes in every season so far. He’s an explosive athlete yet savvy route-runner that allows him to get open. In this Saints offense, he’s the perfect player. While the Saints lucked out by getting him in the third round in 2017, their first-round pick was Marshon Lattimore who has been a great player for them and figures to be a part of their future plans on defense.
12 Cleveland Browns- Chris Godwin, WR Penn State
The Browns were able to get their second first-round pick due to the Carson Wentz trade with the Eagles before the 2016 draft. Then, come time for this draft then traded down to the Texans who got their franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson. So for those keeping track, that’s two stud quarterbacks the Browns passed on at one overall. At 25 they were able to get Jabrill Peppers who was eventually flipped for Odell Beckham, Jr. In this case however, they go get an emerging star receiver in Godwin. He’s had the benefit of being in a pass-first offense but the detriment of having Jameis Winston as his quarterback. Talk about a sticky situation. In this hypothetical, you pair Mahomes with a talented receiver that would grow as pro’s together. Ideal situation.
13 Arizona Cardinals- Budda Baker, S Washington
Another case where a team actually got a player on their own team but not in the first round in this redraft was the Cardinals with Budda Baker. Baker possibly has had great success early in his career and the only rookie named All-Pro in 2017. While he hasn’t yet recorded an interception in his career, he’s been a tackling machine and tough in coverage. The team has been able to line him up anywhere on the field and he excels. As Patrick Peterson reaches the end of his career, Baker replaces him as the heartbeat of the Cardinals defense.
14 Philadelphia Eagles- Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama
It seems like every year, particularly the last two, that the Eagles are a team in desperate need of a corner. Luckily in this scenario, they were able to have an All-Pro cornerback in Marlon Humphrey fall right into their laps. While Humphrey didn’t become a full-time starter until this past season, he made the most of it and became the star of the Ravens defense. He led the league with two defensive touchdowns and became the playmaker in the back end this team sorely needs. The Eagles drafted Derek Barnett, who has had some great moments including recovering a huge fumble in the Super Bowl LII. Despite this, he hasn’t performed to his draft slot, but still has the time to become a star.
15 Indianapolis Colts- Ryan Ramcyzk, OT Wisconsin
The Colts couldn’t protect Andrew Luck for years and injuries seemed to be one of the main reasons why he retired. If they had invested any draft capital in the offensive line, maybe Luck is still playing today. Ramczyk is a two-time All-Pro and didn’t allow a sack this past season. PFF graded him out as the best tackle in the 2019 season. With Anthony Castonzo on the left and Ramczyk on the right, you have one of the best tackle duos in the league. The Colts went with Malik Hooker at this point and he’s been a very good player, just not at a position of the utmost importance as a team.
16 Baltimore Ravens- Kenny Golladay, WR Northern Illinois
Before Lamar Jackson became the starting quarterback, the Ravens offense the previous few seasons was as exciting as watching paint dry. They sorely lacked a playmaker that would strike fear in the opposing defense. In this scenario, they get a big-play receiver in Golladay. In 2019, he was 4th in yards per reception and that was without Stafford for most of the season. For his efforts, he was named to his first Pro Bowl and is now the centerpiece of the Lions offense. That’s the kind of playmaking that any team, especially one that struggled with offense, envies. Marlon Humphrey was the pick here and was well worth it, but alas doesn’t make it to this point now.
17 Washington Redskins- Eddie Jackson, S Alabama
The unsung hero of the Bears defense is Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowler and 2018 All-Pro. Seriously, if you ask the casual fan they might not have heard of him. He gets overshadowed by players like Khalil Mack, but Jackson is almost a carbon-copy of Earl Thomas. A ballhawk who has forced fifteen turnovers (ten interceptions) in three seasons, he’s become the back end player who’s been one of the largest beneficiaries of the Bears pass rush. The Redskins could use a turnover machine on defense like Jackson and while they went with Jonathan Allen here, who’s been a solid player, he doesn’t have the upside or immediate impact Jackson gives you.
18 Tennessee Titans- Cooper Kupp, WR Eastern Washington
One of the reasons why the Titans may have reached for Corey Davis at 5 was because of the need for a wide receiver. At this point in the draft, they would be getting one of the best route-runners in the league in Cooper Kupp. Kupp has seen his role increase every year and despite tearing his ACL in 2018, he rebounded quite well in 2019 with an 1100 yard receiving season. He might not have the upside as the other receivers already drafted, but he is going to be a starting receiver in this league for a long time. At this spot the Titans went with Adoree Jackson, who many believed was a reach but has become a solid corner who’s still developing.
19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Malik Hooker, S Ohio State
It’s been years since the Buccaneers had stable safety play and Hooker would be the deep safety to help solidify the secondary. Hooker was off to a hot start early in his career before going down with a torn ACL halfway through his rookie season. Since then, there have been ups and downs in his career, mostly due to more injury problems. When healthy, he’s an obvious talent that can change the game. However, the Colts surprisingly declined his fifth-year option which might just be a sign that I overvalue him. The team went with O.J. Howard at this slot, who while very talented, has been inconsistent. He might have a chance with Brady as his quarterback to reach that potential but the clock is running out on Howard.
20 Denver Broncos- Dalvin Cook, RB Florida State
Cook himself has had his fair share of injury concerns ranging from shoulder, knee, hamstring, and chest ailments in his early career. Those injuries hampered his first two seasons as a pro before having a Pro Bowl season in 2019. Even with that season, he did most of his damage early in the year and the last eight games (including the postseason), he only averaged three yards a carry. By playing in Denver he would be the featured back but still a part of a rotation that would help keep him fresh and hopefully healthy. The Broncos went with Garrett Bolles, who’s one of the league’s most penalized linemen. The team figures to keep him as the starting left tackle for this upcoming season, but the team declined his fifth-year option.
21 Detroit Lions- Jonathan Allen, DL Alabama
Allen was seen as a top-ten prospect who saw a bit of a draft-day stumble due to a shoulder injury and landed at 17 to the Redskins. While injuries derailed his first season, the last two he has been very steady. The Lions have shuffled players in and out of the defensive line rotation the past few seasons and haven’t had the consistency needed, especially at defensive tackle. The team tried solving a similar issue at linebacker with Jarrad Davis, who seemed to be a reach at the time, and he’s struggled so far in his career. His fifth year option wasn’t picked up.
22 Miami Dolphins- Evan Engram, TE Clemson
Another case of a talented yet injured player from this class is Evan Engram> he’s listed as a tight end but is essentially a big receiver who lines up at the “Y” position for the Giants. The Dolphins are a team in need of offensive playmakers and while Engrams; injury history, especially with concussions is concerning, he’s too talented of a player to pass up. The Dolphins went with Charles Harris, who was traded for a seventh-round pick in 2021. Safe to say it didn’t work out too well.
23 New York Giants- Jabrill Peppers, S Michigan
While Peppers in real life is a Giant, he was drafted as a Brown and traded after two seasons to the Big Apple. He was the starter at strong safety this past season but lines up in a few places due to his versatility. While he will probably never become a superstar like he was in college, there’s still plenty of untapped potential there that makes Giants fans excited for the future. The Giants went with Evan Engram here, who was just selected in this exercise by the Dolphins.
24 Las Vegas Raiders- Kevin King, CB Washington
The Oakland native gets to play his first three seasons here and the Raiders get some much-needed help at corner. The team has used plenty of early draft capital on corners over the past decade, but none have quite yet seemed to work out. They have a promising defensive line, above average linebackers and the secondary is the main work in progress. King only played in fifteen total games over his first two seasons, but put together a strong season in 2019 by leading the Packers with five interceptions. He has the desired size and athleticism for a corner and if he can stay healthy, he has the chance to become a Pro Bowler. The Raiders went with another corner here in Gareon Conley, who couldn’t crack the starting lineup and was traded for a third-rounder this past season.
25 Houston Texans- Leonard Fournette, RB LSU
Fournette maybe hasn’t lived up to the hype as a fourth overall pick, but he’s still a pretty damn good running back. He was the focal point of the offense as a rookie but has struggled with injuries and poor quarterback play the past few seasons. GIving the Texans a legit running back would provide some run/pass balance in their offense. The team did move up to get Watson, a great trade for them and the Browns selected Jabrill Peppers at this spot.
26 Seattle Seahawks- Shaquill Griffin, CB UCF
There was a five-year stretch where the Seahawks only made one first-round pick, with them often trading down to get more day 2 and 3 picks. However, in this case they have to keep their pick and in return get one of their own in Shaquill Griffin. He’s been an instant starter for the team and was named a pro bowler in 2019. He may never be a flashy player, but is consistent. The Falcons traded up to this spot to get Takkarist McKinley, who has been up and down so far and the team did not pick up his fifth-year option.
27 Kansas City Chiefs- Mike Williams, WR Clemson
Mike Williams was seen as a high ceiling receiver coming out of Clemson despite a few injury concerns. He was drafted seventh overall despite this and for a few seasons, it took until this past season for him to be really featured in the offense. The jury is still out on him, but his potential alone makes him a worthwhile selection. The Chiefs have plenty of speed on offense but could benefit from a possession receiver like Williams and Andy Reid would make sure he’s a focal point of the offense. The Bills traded with the Chiefs (Mahomes trade) and drafted All-Pro Tre’Davious White at this spot, who has become one of the best corners in the league.
28 Dallas Cowboys- OJ Howard, TE Alabama
I previously mentioned how Howard has been relatively inconsistent so far and every preseason, experts keep anticipating a breakout season. He can develop into one of the games best tight ends but really needs to take a step forward in his progression soon. The Cowboys would love a guy like Howard due to his potential and the chance to learn from Jason Witten for a few seasons. The team drafted Taco Charlton here who was released just two weeks into the 2019 season. He signed with the Dolphins before being released again and recently signed with the Chiefs.
29 Green Bay Packers- Aaron Jones, RB UTEP
It took a new coach for Aaron Jones to help come into his own. He led the NFL in rushing touchdowns this season and cracked 1000 yards for the first time. The Packers got a steal by drafting the former UTEP running back in the fifth round as he is a perfect fit for the zone scheme the Packers run. The Browns traded up to this spot for David Njoku, a player with so much skill but can’t stay on the field. He’s been the subject of trade but he’s fifth-year option was picked up so it seems the team has big plans for him in the future.
30 Pittsburgh Steelers- Adoree Jackson, CB USC
Jackson was seen as more athlete than football player coming out of USC so it surprised a few when the Titans took him in the first round. He has become a pretty solid player for Tennessee and became a starter right off the bat. He’s also one of the younger players in the class and still only 23 so has the chance to continue to develop. The Steelers struck gold here by taking T.J. Watt, but he’s long gone at this point and a player with the skill of Jackson you can’t pass up for a corner-needy team like Pittsburgh.
31 Atlanta Falcons- Derek Barnett, EDGE Tennessee
This pick bounced around a few times from Atlanta to Seattle to finally San Francisco, but Atlanta gets to keep this slot and go with Barnett. They targeted Tak McKinley, who hasn’t worked out too well for them and while Barnett may have not totally lived up to the hype coming out of college, he’s still been a solid pass rusher and is just now getting a chance to get true starter playing time. The 49ers took a risk by trading up for talented yet troubled Linebacker Reuben Foster here and halfway through his second season he was released after a few arrests. He’s now with the Redskins and is coming off of a torn achilles.
32 New Orleans Saints- Marcus Williams, S Utah
The Saints traded Brandin Cooks a month before the draft to the Patriots and with the pick they take another player who they drafted later on in Marcus Williams. That’s now four players the team drafted now ending up in the first round of this redraft. Very impressive. Williams has ten interceptions in three seasons and is a good starting free safety in this league. He may be best known for missing the tackle on the “Minnesota Miracle” play, but that does not define who he is as a player. The last pick of the first round was Ryan Ramyczk, who as we know is one of the better tackles in the league.
First Rounders not drafted this time
2. Mitchell Trubisky
3. Solomon Thomas
5. Corey Davis
9. John Ross
13. Haason Reddick
20. Garrett Bolles
21. Jarrad Davis
22. Charles Harris
24. Gareon Conley
26. Takkarist McKinley
28. Taco Charlton
29. David Njoku
31. Reuben Foster
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