2017 NFL Draft Grades: Winners And Losers From The First Round

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is over, which means it's time to grade every first round selection and take a look at the winners and losers. It was a chaotic night, with plenty of surprises. Below, we have every pick in the first round in order of selection. The winners and losers are at the very end of the post. 

As for the grading, teams don't get a B just for showing up. A "B" is a good pick, while an "A" is a great pick. A "C" is not bad in my eyes, it's simply average. I'm a little harsher than some graders, with emphasis on value over filling need, but I'm trying to be nicer. Obviously there is a lot of opinion here, so hit me up on Twitter if you disagree. 

First Round Grades: 

1. Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Grade: A-

After all that buzz, the Browns made the right choice. Maybe my grade is a little too nice, but the Browns didn't mess this up. Instead, they took the best player on the board and let the rest of the draft fall is it did. I love the pick and the player. So, it's an A. 

2. Chicago Bears (from 49ers): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Grade: D

This was our first shocker of the night. The Bears traded up for a QB, giving up a 3rd and a 4th this year, plus a third next year to do so. It wasn't an expected pick, and frankly, it's a head scratcher. The Bears added Mike Glennon and gave him starter money for this year. Now, they move up in the second round to get a QB who projects, in perhaps the best case scenario, to be Andy Dalton. I won't fail the Bears because I'm trying to be nicer, and Trubisky could be a franchise option, but after a great draft last year, they're off on the wrong foot. 

3. San Francisco 49ers (from Bears): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
Grade: B+

Factor in what the 49ers got in a trade too, and this is a fantastic pick. It's not quite an 'A' because I worry a bit about Thomas fits as a LEO DE and he wasn't the top guy on my board, but this is a great move. The Niners get the guy they wanted while trading down. John Lynch started his first draft perfectly. 

4. Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard Fournette, RB, LSU

The Jags did what they were expected to do. It's a quality pick, adding a player who will be the focal point of their offense. It's not an amazing pick, but it's a really good one. Remember, folks, this is a 'B' grade is a compliment. 

5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Grade: C+

I like Corey Davis - I think he's a future WR1. But I liked Mike Williams more, and even Marshon Lattimore. This isn't a terrible pick, and I think he'll be a really good player. But, overall, this a meh pick. 

6. New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Grade: B+

The Jets stood pat and landed a great prospect. Adams was great value and filled a big need. With others reaching, the Jets nailed this pick. 

7. Los Angeles ChargersMike Williams, WR, Clemson
Grade: B-

I'm torn between a B and C. On hand, the Chargers got a really good player (top WR for me) and filled a bit of a need. On the other, the Chargers passed on some better players with bigger needs. I'll give the Chargers the benefit of the doubt for the time being. 

8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Grade: C

I like McCaffrey as a player - he's Reggie Bush 2.0. But at No. 8 overall? That's just too early. They kind of had to take him here, but I don't love him this high. Not a bad pick, but not a great one.  

9. Cincinnati Bengals: John Ross, WR, Washington
Grade: F

Wow. I just do not get this pick. Why re-sign Brandon LaFell, have Tyler Boyd and then draft John Ross? Yeah, the dude can fly, but he's not a great route runner and he has injury problems. I didn't think he was worth a Top 20 pick, let alone Top 10. Bengals reached badly and didn't even fill a need. That's an F. Sorry, Bengals fans. 

10. Kansas City Chiefs (from Bills): Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
Grade: C-

I'll be honest, I'm not totally sure how to grade this. Chiefs had to move up to get Mahomes, but is he truly worth it? They gave up a future first, which could come back to bite them. The upside is there with Mahomes and it might pay off. If it does, it's an easy A. If not, it's an F. I'll split the difference for the time being. 

11. New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Grade: A+

One of the best picks in round one. Lattimore shouldn't have been on the board and I thought he would go in the Top 5. Instead, the Saints fill a huge hole and get great value. That's an 'A' pick for me. As for their other first, not so much. 

12. Houston Texans (from Browns via Eagles): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Grade: C-

Same deal as Mahomes, and this is me being nice. Watson has the intangibles, but lacks arm strength and accuracy. He has potential, but the Texans have bet their next two drafts on Watson being the franchise option. With no picks in the first two rounds (both going to Cleveland), the Texans had better be right. I'll be nice, but I'm not sure they will be. 

13. Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Grade: C

We'll get to Reuben Foster falling when he shouldn't have, but I don't love taking Reddick over Foster. It does fill a need, and the Cardinals were in a tough spot with the QBs and WRs gone. But I don't love Reddick this early. It's too risky. 

14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Vikings): Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Grade: B-

Here's another one I'm torn on. The value is great - Barnett could have been a top 10 pick. But the Eagles passed on several quality CBs and maybe a RB like Dalvin Cook. As long as the Eagles take care of those needs later, it will be a solid pick. But for the time being, they took a value pick in the Top 15. Barnett will start at some point, but I'm not sure he will right away. 

15. Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Grade: A+

I love this pick. It's absurd value in the top 15 and does fill a need. He'll be a dynamic free safety, which should allow the Colts to put Darius Butler at CB. This is easily one of my favorite picks this year. 

16. Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

This is a good, not great pick. Ozzie Newsome loves his SEC players and he got a good one. Humphrey needs to overhaul his footwork, but he'll be a reliable corner soon. The Ravens filled a need and got good value. 

17. Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
Grade: A+

Here's another amazing pick (and one I got right in my mock draft). Allen, I guess, fell because of his shoulder concerns. I've been told those won't be a big deal. So, I kept him on the top five of my board. The Redskins got one of the best players this year with a total steal pick. 

18. Tennessee Titans: Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC
Grade: C+

This falls into the Corey Davis grouping as well. I like Jackson, but not top 20. I like Jackson and he'll be fun to watch. But over O.J. Howard and other corners? I don't love it. 

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Grade: A

Another no-brainer A. I thought Howard could go well before this, but the Bucs get a steal. Here's another dynamic weapon for Jameis Winston and the best TE in some time. A fantastic pick that helps the Bucs offense. 

20. Denver BroncosGarett Bolles, OT, Utah
Grade: C+

I like Bolles' potential as a left tackle. But he's also going to be 25 and is still pretty raw. This is who Denver wanted, so I won't give them a terrible grade, but this is pretty "meh" overall. 

21. Detroit LionsJarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Grade: C+

Going linebacker is a move I like. But the Lions took the wrong one. Taking Davis over Foster wasn't the right choice, although Davis will be a quality player. This gets a slightly higher grade than the Cardinals: it filled a massive need, but was the wrong guy. 

22. Miami DolphinsCharles Harris, DE, Missouri
Grade: B

I thought for sure this was going to be Forrest Lamp, but Harris is a good pick too. They filled a big need (there are no young pass rushers on the roster) and this was very good value for a potential top 15 pick. It's not one of my top few picks, but a 'B' is still a good grade. 

23. New York GiantsEvan Engram, TE, Ole Miss 
Grade: D+

Is TE a need? Sure, Rhett Ellison is more a No. 2. But Engram was a reach and wasn't the best TE on the board. And, there were better players that filled bigger needs (any of the OL or Reuben Foster). Ingram will be a good weapon if he can learn to block, but will Eli Manning even have time? 

24. Oakland RaidersGareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Grade: C

Here's another pick I don't know what to do with, so don't @ me quite yet Raiders fans. In terms of talent, this is an 'A' grade. Conley was a Top 15 player for me. But, there is the rape allegation. Clearly, the Raiders think Conley did nothing wrong. If that's the case, great. But there's risk if Conley is charged - serious risk. My guess is this will be an 'A' after the year. But for now, I'm cautious. 

25. Cleveland BrownsJabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Grade: B+

Peppers is a polarizing player, but I like this. I like his fit in Cleveland and he'll grow and play early. He's a strong safety in the NFL, which the Browns need. If he can learn to cover, he could be one of the better players from this class. Moving down is always a plus and the Browns will, again, reap the benefits next year.

26. Atlanta Falcons (from Seahawks): Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA
Grade: B-

Apparently the Seahawks didn't want a first rounder and the Falcons really wanted McKinley. I like the Falcons' move, even if they did give up a third (which hurts the grade slightly). McKinley provides the Falcons with a needed pass rusher and this is solid value. 

27. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs): Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU
Grade: B+

I don't want to give the Bills too much credit for just this one pick, but the trade bumps them up half a letter grade. And will pay off next year. White fills a huge need for the Bills, even though I like Quincy Wilson more. Still, this is a solid pick. I'm a huge fan of moving down. 

28. Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton: DE, Michigan
Grade: A-

This was another pick I got right in my top 15 nationally ranked mock draft (no, seriously). Charlton has great value (he could have gone Top 15 without the QB and WR run), and this fills a huge need. It's one of the better picks thus far, and allows plenty of Taco jokes. 

29. Cleveland Browns (from Packers): David Njoku, TE, Miami
Grade: C+

I'm not a huge Njoku fan and I don't always love trading up. So I don't love this pick. But, he was the third tight end off the board, the Browns didn't give up too much and they have draft capital to spare. So it's an average pick for me. Njoku has upside, but he needs a lot of work. 

30. Pittsburgh SteelersT.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin
Grade: B-

You already know who his brother is, but Watt is a pretty darn good player in his own right. With only one year starting, Watt was great this year. He'll need to show he wasn't a flash in the plan, but this feels a need. It's decent value for Watt and it gets a good grade from me. 

31. San Francisco 49ers (from Seahawks via Falcons): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama 
Grade: A+

This is my favorite pick in round one. I love Foster and I wouldn't have hated the pick if the Niners took him No. 2 (even with Malcolm Smith signed). I have no problems moving up for a Top 5 player, given that the Niners were playing with house money thanks to a previous trade. John Lynch nailed the first round. 

32. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin Badgers
Grade: D-

The value of Ramczyk is the only thing that stops this from being an F. Again, I'm trying to be nice this year, because I really don't get this pick. The Saints already have Terron Armstead, Zach Strief and even Andrus Peat to play tackle. Plus, Max Unger, Larry Warford and Peat are holding down the interior. So why take a tackle in the first? I just don't get it. 


Cleveland Browns
I know right? The Browns have all of the picks now, and although I don't love the Njoku pick, they're setting themselves up for a big draft this year and next. Also, all did from this part last year for the Browns was put Njoku instead of Corey Coleman. Honorable mention to the Buffalo Bills, who got the Chiefs' first next year.  

San Francisco 49ers
Wow, what a draft by John Lynch. Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster and extra picks. This is the best job so far by the former FOX Sports color commentator. 

Indianapolis Colts And Washington Redskins
I'm grouping these together because I can. Both teams netted great value in defenders who should have fallen. 

QBs and WRs
An early run on both these spots (sorry, Deshone Kizer I still love you), made the top guys a ton of money. They might have been reaches, but, that's not their issue right now. 


Chicago Bears
I just don't get trading up for Trubisky after signing Mike Glennon. I like Ryan Pace, but this was not a good move. 

Cincinnati Bengals 
Ross at No. 9 might have been the worst pick in round one. After years of drafting well, the Bengals made a poor pick. Hopefully Ross can actually stay healthy and learn to run more routes. 

New York Giants
Evan Engram over an OT or LB? Do not like. 

This was the position group that fell because of the run on QBs and WRs. 

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