2017 NFL Draft: A Running Diary of Round 1

by Mike Keeley ·

The 2017 NFL Draft is a wrap. The RotoUnderworld Team kept a running diary of Day 1. Here is what we observed:

Round 1

6:46 – This just in: The Bears are looking to trade down, per Adam Schefter. Also according to Schefter, the Bears have an NFL low in snaps by players originally drafted by the team prior to 2015 by more than 5,000. This just in: the Bears are allergic to the draft.
7:06 – When Trey Wingo says ‘it’s time to get this party started’, well, it’s time to get this party started!
7:07 – Roger Goodell getting booed louder than Santa in Philly. The Browns are on the clock.
7:08 – Damn it’s depressing to be a Browns fan.
7:10 – Mel Kiper with a solid rant on NFL draft evaluators picking apart Myles Garrett’s game, leading Trey to tell Mel to pace himself.
7:14 – Jon Gruden counters Mel with film on Robert Mathis, gushing about his relentless effort. Mel is staring holes into Gruden’s soul. It took four minutes, fam.
7:15 – The pick is in! The pick is in! The Sashi Browns pick Garrett, the defensive end out of Texas A&M. Garrett’s size-adjusted Speed Score is in the 92nd percentile and his Burst Score is in the 98th percentile. Yes, he’s a physical freak of an athlete. You have to wonder if their Mitchell Trubisky at No. 1 debate was real or a smokescreen.

Myles Garrett Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

7:16 – The 49ers are on the clock. Apparently John Lynch went back to school and was actually a classmate of defensive end Solomon Thomas at Stanford. That’s some commitment just to get to know your draft prospect.
7:18 – Apparently Thomas didn’t pull his weight in their group project as Lynch trades the No. 2 pick to the Bears.
7:50 – I’m back after feeding my family pizza and I see the Bears traded up to No. 2 and picked Trubisky. Well really, any time you have the opportunity to trade 3 picks to move up 1 spot for a guy with 13 starts in college you just have to do it. Lynch acing his rookie year as a GM, trading back 1 spot, collecting 3 additional picks and still getting his guy Solomon Thomas at #3.
7:51 – The Jaguars used the 4th pick on running back Leonard Fournette. Every year there’s a logical team need match with a prospect that almost every mock drafter gets right. Fournette to the Jags was that match this year. Coughlin’s going to do his best not to let Blake Bortles pass this year. According to PlayerProfiler, Fournette’s player comp is Steven Jackson. Fournette’s going to have to do some work to reach Jackson’s level in pass protection and receiving prowess but even a small step forward in his rookie year will take an immense amount of pressure off Bortles and the Jags offense. Fournette’s 38.8-percent College Dominator Rating is in the 82nd percentile, which is exceptional.

Leonard Fournette Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

7:52 – That sound you heard a few minutes ago was the entire fantasy football industry rejoicing at the Titans’ selection of Corey Davis. This had been a match the fantasy world had been salivating over and it happened. We did it! Much has been made about Davis not running the 40 yard dash due to injury but it’s hard not to see the speed when watching film. Davis owns a College Dominator score in the 96th percentile, with a Breakout Age in the 95th percentile, at less than 19 years old.

7:53 – I hope you’re not playing the drinking game where you take a shot every time Louis Riddick says Jamal Adams’ name because you’d be in rough shape by the time the Jets used their 6th pick to take the star safety.
7:58 – According to Mort, the Chargers worked out DeShaun Watson and Mike Williams, “the tall wide receiver.” Thanks Mort.
8:00 – The Chargers take Mike Williams. Mort, I’m really sorry, I won’t do it again. Seriously, you’re the best. After dominating the greatest college defense ever assembled in the history of football in the National Championship game, Williams’ game got picked apart. Recent mocks had him falling into the last half of round one. The analytics world is not a fan of Williams thanks to a Burst Score in the 24th percentile and a College Dominator in the 39th percentile, per Player Profiler. His player comparison is Laquon Treadwell is not ideal either. This Chargers’ wide receiver group needs to be dissected a bit because as of now it’s a bit crowded.

8:02 – Mel: “He can high-point the ball” is football’s version of “he’s got great wingspan!” I really wish we had better player evaluation clichés.
8:05 – Panthers pick Christian McCaffrey and I couldn’t hear the ESPN analysts over the rejoicing of the fantasy community, so I really don’t know what anyone thinks of this pick. I’ll have to pop in the Sun Bowl tape. We know McCaffrey’s game can fit in any offense, which is good, because I don’t see a lot of volume in Carolina at first glance. Fozzy Whittaker led the Panthers running backs in targets last year with just 33.

Christian McCaffrey Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

I understand McCaffrey is in another universe athletically but the Panthers offense is going to have to adapt to feature a running back in the passing game. Cam Newton and Jonathan Stewart should still get goal-line work so I’m tempering expectations a bit in McCaffrey’s rookie year. RotoUnderworld’s Matt Kelley discussed Christian McCaffrey’s many high-quality comparable players on Yahoo’s NFL Draft Show.

8:10 – On the next episode of Fireside Stories with C-Mac…
8:13 – We’ve had a run on wide receivers now with John Ross going to the Bengals at #9. That’s the 3rd wide receiver in the top 10, just like all the mock drafts drew it up. According to Player Profiler, Ross’ closest player comparison is Mike Wallace. He should do some nice things lined up opposite AJ Green.
8:14 – Mel: “he can take the top off the defense” is football’s version of “he can jump out of the gym!” I really wish we had better player evaluation clichés.
8:15 – Wingo just said 3 wide receivers have been taken in the top ten. Whatever, Trey, I typed it first.
8:16 – The Chiefs trading for the Bills #10 pick. It’s Patrick Mahomes, who Player Profiler compares to Dak Prescott, so that’s not bad. Alex Smith can’t catch a break.
8:22 – According to Louis Riddick, Andy Reid once told him that if you like a quarterback you take him, even if you don’t need one. Honestly, why don’t more teams operate this way? It seems pretty basic to collect assets at the most important position in sports.

8:30 – The Saints remind everyone that there are defensive players in this draft, selecting Marshon Lattimore out of Ohio State. Solid pick at a position of need and won’t need Urban Meyer to pay his mortgage anymore. Lattimore compares to Sam Shields with a Burst Score in the 87th percentile.
8:32 – Its now sheer insanity with our 3rd big trade of the night, all featuring teams moving up into the top 12 to select a quarterback from one of the worst quarterback classes in recent memory. This time it’s the Browns have trading the No. 12 pick to the Texans who are selecting DeShaun Watson. Are the Browns really moving forward with Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler at quarterback in 2017? Live look at Terrelle Pryor:

We’ve all got our favorites, despite their flaws, and Watson is mine. I just love watching him play football. He’s in the 76th percentile for Burst Score and 71st percentile in Agility Score according to Player Profiler. His college QBR is also in the 90th percentile even with a rise in interceptions in 2016. The knock on Watson is his arm strength and ability to go through his progressions at the next level after coming from a spread offense. That’s a bad combo. Time will tell, but like Patrick Mahomes, he’s in a fantastic situation and I’m pulling for him.

Patrick Mahomes Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

8:40 – How many more quarterbacks are going in the first round? The top three are gone. Does someone trade back into the 1st round to take Kizer or Webb?
8:42 – DeShaun Watson is getting interviewed with his mom. What? I’m not crying! You’re crying!
8:47 – Late-riser Haason Reddick goes to the Cardinals at #13. The Cardinals paid Chandler Jones a small fortune and lost roughly half their starting defense in free agency so this pick makes sense. Reddick is a great story, going from walk-on at Temple, to the 13th pick in the draft. His player comparison, according to Player Profiler is LaVonte David, which is also great.
8:50 – the Eagles are on the clock and we’ve got pandemonium in the crowd……and Mel kills the buzz by reminding us that this would be the spot for Gareon Conley if only he wasn’t accused of sexual assault. Thanks Mel!
8:53 – On now the Rocky theme song is playing, which is then drowned out by boos once the crowd sees Goodell coming to the stage with their pick. Never change, Philly.
8:54 – Oh, hey Drew Rosenhaus. I’ll never be able to see his face and see anything other than his “next question” interview.
8:55 – Mel, obviously forgetting he’s surrounded by rabid and well lubricated Philly fans, with the ringing endorsement of Eagles’ pick Derek Barnett, describing him as someone with 4.88 40-yard dash (25th percentile), short arms and “not the length you want to see” in a defensive end. Gruden saves Mel’s life by saying he’ll win by being relentless and with his get-off. Mel’s right though, as Barnett’s workout metrics are putrid. His player comparison is Vinny Curry, per Player Profiler.

Derek Barnett Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

9:01 – More rational drafting as the Colts fill a need in the secondary by drafting ball hawk safety Malik Hooker at No. 15. New GM Chris Ballard has quickly transformed that Colts defense into something that could resemble a respectable unit next year.
9:09 – Marlon Humphrey to the Ravens at #16. Trey asks Mel what he sees in Humphrey – “talent.” Thanks Mel, that’s why you’re the best in the biz! Humphrey compares to Eli Apple, the 10th pick in the 2016 draft.
9:17 – Jonathan Allen goes to the Redskins at #17. That’s a big drop for a guy who was mocked in the top 5 a few months ago. I suppose that makes sense though, since the Redskins are using Scott McCloughan’s big board from two months ago when he was fired. The Redskins may have lucked into a great pick here. Allen’s workout metrics are beyond underwhelming, with an 8th percentile Burst Score and a 17th percentile Agility Score. However, he compares to Pernell McPhee who has been very effective when healthy.

Jonathan Allen Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

9:21 – The Titans select cornerback Adoree Jackson with the 18th pick in the draft. Fantasy football twitter would have gone bonkers had the Titans selected Corey Davis and OJ Howard in the same draft but Jackson does fill a huge need. Jackson’s player comparison is Adam Jones. Let’s hope that comparison is just on the field, not off the field.
9:24 – Allen Robinson just tweeted a smiley face emoji. He must think the Jaguars drafted a quarterback. Who is going to break it to him that he’s still catching passes from Blake Bortles? I can’t crush him like that.

9:30 – O.J. Howard goes to the Bucs at pick No. 19. He catches like a wide receiver, runs like a running back, and blocks like a tight end, which is pretty good if you’re into that kind of thing. He posted a 98th percentile Speed Score and his player comp is Greg Olsen. It’s hard to imagine him not succeeding. Has anyone had a better offseason than Jameis Winston?
9:32 – Hey, another rational pick that fills a need, as the Broncos take Garett Bolles, who is 25, got kicked out of his house by his Dad and expelled by 5 schools, struggled with drugs and got arrested. Bolles walks on stage with his baby son a changed man and you’ve got to love a redemption story, you know, unless you’re dead inside. What? No, I’m not crying again, you’re crying again!
9:41 – The Lions take linebacker Jarrad Davis out of Florida, with the 21st pick in the draft. It’s somewhat hard to believe he went ahead of Reuben Foster but Davis didn’t test positive for a diluted sample at the combine, then get sent home from the combine for an incident at his hotel, while also recovering from rotator cuff surgery that may require a 2nd surgery. So, maybe it’s not that hard to believe. Davis fills a huge hole in the Lions defense based on his ability to get down hill and blow up run plays with his 96th percentile Burst Score according to PlayerProfiler.

Jarrad Davis Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

9:43 – Defensive end Charles Harris goes to the Dolphins at No. 22 and Jack Links’ Sasquatch rejoices! Either he’s Harris’ agent (Rosenhaus is that you?) or Jack Links is going all in on this whole Messing with Sasquatch promotion. Harris was a late riser in the draft process and compares to Paul Kruger according to Player Profiler.
9:50 – The Giants take tight end Evan Engram at No. 23, ahead of David Njoku. Personally, I would have bolstered one of the worst run blocking lines in the league, but hey, that’s me. Eli’s going to be slinging the rock this year, fam. Engram compares favorably to Niles Paul and his workout metrics are off the charts. He’s a bit of a wide receiver-tight end tweener but he will create mismatches all over the field. My head is spinning just thinking about defending that Giants passing game.

9:56 – Gareon Conley makes it into the 1st round, going 24th to the Raiders. No Jokes here on this topic, I just hope due process is played out. This is a risky pick but the Raiders must have been comfortable based on the information they gathered. Talent-wise this is a home run as PlayerProfiler has Aqib Talib as Conley’s player comp.
10:03 – Cleveland goes with Jabrill Peppers at No. 25, who slid as a result of a positive drug test (diluted sample). In other news, Ohioans now have to root for a Wolverine. No surprise with PlayerProfiler’s player comparison of Deone Bucannon, who is another example of this new-fangled safety-linebacker hybrid that’s all the rage now.
10:07 – Seattle is on the clock and if they don’t add an offensive lineman Russell Wilson is going to take another nude family photo. Welp, the Seahawks move down, trading their pick to Atlanta who selects outside linebacker Takkarist McKinley from UCLA.

Takkarist McKinley Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

10:12 – Jon Gruden all but said 28-3 when describing the reasoning behind the Falcons adding another pass rusher. He’s not wrong, that’s the only way to slow down Brady.
10:14 – Apparently McKinley was abandoned as a baby and was homeless as a kid. Making his way from a rough upbringing in California to a 1st round draft pick is the type of inspirational story we all need to hear from time to time. Takkarist McKinley heads to a great situation, and combined with decent workout metrics like a Speed Score in the 78th percentile, I think Atlanta got a player here. He also compares to Elvis Dumervil according the PlayerProfiler.
10:19 – The Bills select cornerback Tre’Davious White out of LSU. PlayerProfiler’s got Janoris Jenkins as White’s player comp, which is not bad. If you’re scoring at home, that’s 2 members of the LSU secondary and 3 members of the Ohio State secondary drafted in the first round. How those defenses gave up any touchdowns through the air is a bit of a head-scratcher. Let’s go live to the Ohio State and LSU defensive coordinators for a reaction:

10:24 – Defensive end Taco Charlton goes 28th to the Cowboys. His real name is Vidauntae, which is actually kind of badass, more so than Taco at least. That’s two Wolverines and three Buckeyes thus far in the 1st round. Harbaugh just can’t beat Ohio State. The Cowboys have been among the best drafting teams in the last five years and just picked a defensive end whose player comparison is Michael Bennett, according to PlayerProfiler.
10:29 – Cleveland trades back into the 1st round to stop the slide of tight end David Njoku, whose player comparison happens to be Travis Kelce. If you’ve never seen Njoku, you don’t really need to look him up. It’s simple, he looks the exact opposite of Gary Barnidge in basically every way. Njoku’s workout metrics rival that of O.J. Howard. He’s got a Burst Score in the 97th percentile and an Agility Score in the 80th percentile.

David Njoku Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

10:37 – The Steelers continues the defensive them, selecting J.J. Watt’s brother T.J. Watt compares to DeMarcus Ware, which should make Steelers fans happy. This also fills a need on the edge for the Steelers.
10:42 – The 49ers trade with the Seahawks to get back into the 1st round to select Reuben Foster. We know why Foster slid, but when healthy, he is a beast. According to PlayerProfiler, he compares favorably to Bobby Wagner.
10:45 – The Saints take offensive tackle, Ryan Ramczyk to close out the 1st round.

We did it! Another NFL Draft first round in the books.