Thursday, April 27 marked a day many college athletes only dream of, the 2017 NFL Draft. Many wondered whose name would be called first and what their teams would do to improve their rosters.
Some teams were winners and others losers.
The “winners” of the 2017 NFL Draft began with the Carolina Panthers.
Carolina, after struggling to find the winning attitude that led them to a Super Bowl appearance the year prior, drafted a young playmaker out of Stanford by the name of Christian McCaffrey.
Carolina lacked a playmaker to compliment the 2015 NFL MVP, Cam Newton. McCaffrey came into the draft underrated, after not making much noise last year, but if it’s possible to have a quiet 1,639 rushing yards, McCaffrey did it.
McCaffrey is also is one of the best pass catchers out of the backfield in this loaded 2017 draft class. Look out for him to help boost Carolina back into contention for the NFC South title this coming season.
The Los Angeles Chargers came in needing to get a WR, with Keenan Allen injured in back-to-back seasons. Drafting Mike Williams with the seventh overall pick filled that need. The second-team Walter Camp All-American and first-team All-ACC pick caught 84 passes for 1,171 yards and 10 scores, putting up highlight-reel plays on several occasions.
The next round, the Chargers went and found a player to protect their QB Philip Rivers. Forrest Lamp, from Western Kentucky, was drafted 38th overall; the past two years, Lamp was a first-team all-conference selection, starting every game on the blind side. He was a third-team Associated Press All-American as a senior. Expect good things in L.A. this year, in what will be a close and competitive battle for the AFC West crown.
But, then, there are the “losers” this year.
The Chicago Bears traded up one spot to get the second overall pick and to the dismay of their fanbase, decided to draft a QB by the name of Mitchell Trubisky. Many videos that went up the next day were reactions of Bears fans’ hopes and dreams being crushed, one fan even saying, “It’s Doug McDermott all over again.” Trubisky is a high-end quarterback prospect, who possesses NFL size, a big arm and the ability to throw with accuracy from the pocket or on the move. Chicago though, who just lost star WR Alshon Jeffery to the Eagles, should have looked to rebuild with defense first, rather than snagged a QB; only time will tell if this move pays off for the Bears.
The Kansas City Chiefs, who had a good year in the 2016-2017 season, didn’t need to make a splash in the draft, but with what picks they had, they didn’t make the best choices.
Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech is considered inconsistent in his approach and that’s something the Chiefs don’t need. Their offense was strong, but what carried them through the season was a tough defense.
Tanoh Kpassagnon, a DE from Villanova, was drafted 59th overall and really didn’t address the question marks on offense. Kpassagnon is a great player — the Pennsylvania native took his game up a notch last fall, garnering first-team Associated Press FCS All-American honors, ranking sixth in the FCS with 21.5 tackles for loss and tying for fifth nationally with 11 sacks. With how well the defense was last year performed, it left fans wondering who would be a playmaker. Jamaal Charles has shown he can’t be relied on to stay healthy and the Wide Receiving core is far too inconsistent.
Overall, it was a talented draft that saw many talented, young athletes achieve their dreams of being in the NFL. It is yet to be seen what will come of this year’s draft class, but what is for sure is each player drafted will have a chance to make an impact in training camp. Some of these players will become household names and some will be quickly forgotten; it’s what keeps us fascinated each year and why we tune in to watch.