Squawka NFL

Re-doing the 2017 Draft

By Stuart Dick

Published: 18:18, 18 April 2022

Five years is a long time in the NFL – in 2017 the Philadelphia Eagles were crowned Super Bowl Champions, Blake Bortles led the Jacksonville Jaguars to the AFC Championship Game and Tony Romo retired from the NFL and became one of the best analysts on NFL broadcasting. 

Prior to the season, the NFL Draft shaped the rosters of the 32 teams. If the NFL franchises had a chance to go back and change their minds, would they? We take a hypothetical look back at the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and decide which teams got it right, and which got it horribly wrong. 

*The re-draft will use the final draft order from the first round. 

#1 Cleveland Browns 

  • Selection: DE Myles Garrett 
  • Re-Selection: QB Patrick Mahomes  

Very little explanation needed, one player spent last season as the backup to Josh Allen in Buffalo, the other is a former NFL MVP, Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Pro and has already thrown 151 touchdowns – Browns get the quarterback they are still on the search for today. 

#2 Chicago Bears 

  • Selection: QB Mitchell Trubisky 
  • Re-Selection: QB Deshaun Watson 

No brainer, instead of drafting Mitchell Trubisky the think-tank in the Chicago Bears Front Office take Deshaun Watson. Watson has proved to be an NFL superstar when on the field as a dual-threat talent at the position. 

#3 San Francisco 49ers 

  • Selection: DE Soloman Thomas 
  • Re-selection: DE/LB T.J Watt 

Another no brainer. San Francisco selected defensive end Solomon Thomas, who is on his third NFL team having spent just four seasons with the Niners before moving to the Raiders and now the Jets. T.J. Watt, meanwhile, is an NFL Defensive Player of the Year, a three-time First Team All-Pro, holds the record for the most sacks in a season (22.5) and has 72 career sacks. 

#4 Jacksonville Jaguars 

  • Selection: RB Leonard Fournette 
  • Re-selection: DE Myles Garrett 

Myles Garrett is one of the premium pass rushers in the NFL with a resumé that boasts two First Team All-Pros, three Pro Bowls, 58.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and a five-year $125million deal. Add Garrett to the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars defense that helped the team to a 13-3 record and perhaps they make the Super Bowl instead of falling at the AFC Championship Game stage. 

#5 Tennessee Titans 

  • Selection: WR Corey Davis 
  • Re-selection: WR Cooper Kupp 

433 receptions, 5,517 receiving yards, 40 touchdowns, Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl MVP, NFL Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-Pro, Triple Crown winner – not a bad list of accolades for the #69 overall pick. Davis has had a solid career so far, but if Tennessee had their choice again, they’d surely take Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp. 

#6 New York Jets 

  • Selection: S Jamal Adams 
  • Re-selection: S Jamal Adams 

Yes, Jamal Adams lasted just three seasons in New York before earning himself a trade to the Seattle Seahawks, but the Safety was a true playmaker at MetLife – he made 273, 12 sacks, two picks and defended 25 passes. He also earned the Jets a further two first round picks they used on Guard Alijah Vera-Tucker in 2021 and have the tenth pick in the 2022 first round. 

#7 Los Angeles Chargers 

  • Selection WR Mike Williams 
  • Re-selection WR Mike Williams 

Mike Williams has just earned himself a three-year, $60million extension, and has 227 receptions for 3,662 yards and 27 touchdowns through his career – you have to assume the Los Angeles Chargers are happy with their choice here. Williams and Keenan Allen have formed a formidable partnership for future draftee quarterback Justin Herbert 

#8 Carolina Panthers 

  • Selection RB Christian McCaffrey 
  • Re-selection RB Alvin Kamara 

Perhaps a controversial one, but I make the almost like-for-like replacement of Christian McCaffrey for Alvin Kamara. McCaffrey has missed 23 games over the past two seasons but is a true playmaker when available. Kamara has also had his injury woes, but not as much as McCaffrey. Both have NFL Offensive Player of the Year level abilities though. 

#9 Cincinnati Bengals 

  • Selection: WR John Ross 
  • Re-Selection: WR Corey Davis 

The first real ‘bust’ of the 2017 NFL Draft. John Ross ran a combine record 4.22 40-yard dash, moving himself up the draft order. However, in five seasons Ross has contributed just 62 catches for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns – a modest output. Corey Davis hasn’t pulled up too many trees but is a solid enough WR2 in the NFL. Juju Smith-Schuster is another option. 

#10 Kansas City Chiefs 

  • Selection: QB Patrick Mahomes 
  • Re-Selection: RB Christian McCaffrey 

Without the future NFL MVP on the board the Chiefs would likely not have traded up this high to take anyone, but for the sake of this exercise Andy Reid adds the dynamic Christian McCaffrey to his offensive arsenal. At the time the Chiefs had a backfield of Knile Davis, Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West. 

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#11 New Orleans Saints 

  • Selection: CB Marshon Lattimore 
  • Re-selection: CB Marshon Lattimore 

The Saints stick with the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore who has become one of the best corners in the league. Lattimore has tallied 298 tackles, 74 pass deflections, 13 interception and a solo touchdown. At the start of last season he signed a five-year, $97.6million deal, an indication of how much the Saints like their pick. 

#12 Houston Texans 

  • Selection: QB Deshaun Watson 
  • Re-selection: RB Dalvin Cook 

With no Deshaun Watson, the Texans address their anaemic 2016 run game instead and select Dalvin Cook. With 4,820 rushing yards, 39 rushing touchdowns and All-Pro honours on two occasions. Arguably Cook is the best pure runner in the draft class. With only Mitchell Trubisky at the QB position worthy of the pick, RB is a better choice. 

#13 Arizona Cardinals 

  • Selection: LB Haasan Reddick 
  • Re-selection: S Budda Baker 

I am sure the Arizona Cardinals do not regret taking Haason Reddick with this selection, but Budda Baker is the igniter of their defense and would surely be off the board before his actual selection at #36 overall. A two-time First Team All-Pro, Baker has 539 tackles, 7.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, five interceptions and a single touchdown. 

#14 Philadelphia Eagles 

  • Selection: DE Derek Barnett 
  • Re-selection: CB Tre’Davious White 

The Eagles drafted CB in the second round in 2017 and would undoubtedly like to have taken Tre’Davious White over Derek Barnett if given the opportunity again. White is a First Team All-Pro, two-time Pro Bowler, 279 career tackles and 16 career interceptions. Barnett did have a Super Bowl clinching fumble recovery for Philadelphia but hasn’t lived up to #14 overall billing. 

#15 Indianapolis Colts 

  • Selection: S Malik Hooker 
  • Re-selection: S Eddie Jackson 

Malik Hooker has been a solid starter for a good Indianapolis Colts defense, but given the opportunity again it’s possible they would take Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson. Jackson has over double the career tackles, quadruple the forced fumbles and two more interceptions. He also has six defensive touchdowns on his resume. 

#16 Baltimore Ravens 

  • Selection: CB Marlon Humphrey 
  • Re-selection: CB Marlon Humphrey 

Baltimore Ravens stand pat with cornerback Marlon Humphrey. Humphrey has 276 career tackles, nine interceptions and 64 pass deflections. He was also named as a First Team All-Pro in 2019. In 2020 Humphrey led the league in forced fumbles. 

#17 Washington Commanders 

  • Selection: DT Jonathan Allen 
  • Re-selection: DT Jonathan Allen 

2021 Pro Bowler Jonathan Allen remains with the Washington Commanders in this re-draft – Allen has been a solid, if unspectacular player, amassing 264 career tackles, 26 sacks and two fumble recoveries. He helps anchor a defensive line that is full of talent – they selected Montez Sweat and Chase Young in later drafts. 

#18 Tennessee Titans 

  • Selection: CB Adoree’ Jackson 
  • Re-Selection: CB Kenny Moore 

Undrafted Kenny Moore is arguable a top five cornerback in this draft class. Picked up after the 2017 Draft by the New England Patriots but was waived prior to the season. Indianapolis picked him up and started five games his rookie season. He has tallied 358 tackles, seven sacks, 14 interceptions and earned his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2021. 

#19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

  • Selection: TE O.J. Howard 
  • Re-Selection: TE George Kittle 

Imagine the scenario, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft George Kittle instead of O.J. Howard. Tom Brady throwing to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and George Kittle. WOW! Kittle is also the best blocking TE in the NFL adding a further dimension to the Bucs run game. 

#20 Denver Broncos 

  • Selection: OT Garrett Bolles 
  • Re-selection: OT Garrett Bolles 

The 2017 offensive line draft class was, to put it mildly, distinctly average. Garrett Bolles was the first offensive lineman taken at #20 overall and remains the play in this re-draft. He’s started 77 games for the franchise in five years. He has Second Team All-Pro honours on his resumé and was a member of the All-Rookie team from this draft class. 

#21 Detroit Lions 

  • Selection: LB Jarrad Davis 
  • Re-selection: LB Jarrad Davis 

Like the offensive line draft, the off-ball linebacker cohort is also not a premium position in this class. Jarrad Davis has amassed 330 tackles, 10.5 sacks and made the All-Rookie team in 2017. He’s a solid NFL player and stays the pick for Detroit. 

#22 Miami Dolphins 

  • Selection: DE Charles Harris 
  • Re-selection: DE Trey Hendrickson 

Trey Hendrickson has been a revelation over the past two seasons – his first two years as a starter, he has totalled 27.5 sacks, 59 tackles and helped lead the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl. He earned a four-year, $60million deal last offseason, and Miami would certainly re-consider their selection here. 

#23 New York Giants 

  • Selection: TE Evan Engram 
  • Re-selection: TE Evan Engram 

With George Kittle off the board, New York have stuck with the player and position they drafted. Evan Engram is a good starting TE in the NFL. He has yet to play an entire season, and his best year to date was his rookie season. He does own a number of Giants franchise records, so there is that. 

#24 Las Vegas Raiders 

  • Selection: CB Gareon Conley 
  • Re-selection: CB Rasul Douglas 

Rasul Douglas has had a nomadic career in the NFL with stints in Philadelphia, Carolina, Las Vegas, Houston, Arizona and Green Bay. He has the size and length teams covet at the cornerback position and put it all together last season. He led the league in interceptions returned for a touchdown and had a career-high five interceptions. 

#25 Cleveland Browns 

  • Selection: S Jabrill Peppers 
  • Re-selection: S Marcus Williams 

Jabrill Peppers hasn’t been a bad selection. He has made 333 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions and 25 pass deflections in his five years in the league. The problem for Cleveland Browns only got two years out of the #25 overall pick before trading him – plus other players and draft picks for Odell Beckham Jnr. Williams, meanwhile, has 318 tackles and 15 interceptions – a playmaker in the secondary. 

#26 Atlanta Falcons 

  • Selection: DE Takkarist McKinley 
  • Re-selection: DE Derek Barnett 

Takkarist McKinley has a modest 20 sacks to his name during a five-year career with Atlanta, Las Vegas and Cleveland. He has started just four games over the past two seasons and has been waived by two teams. Barnett, meanwhile, has a Super Bowl ring and has more tackles and sacks than McKinley. 

#27 Buffalo Bills 

  • Selection: CB Tre’Davious White 
  • Re-selection: CB Adoree’ Jackson 

With their All-Pro corner off the board, the Buffalo Bills select Adoree’ Jackson as the replacement pick for Tre’Davious White. Jackson has a solid NFL career to date, he has 262 tackles, 41 pass deflections and three interceptions and is a threat in the return game. 

#28 Dallas Cowboys 

  • Selection: DE Taco Charlton 
  • Re-selection: DE Takkarist McKinley 

With 11.5 sacks and just 92 tackles to his name, Taco Charlton has not yet ignited at the NFL level. He has appeared on the roster of five teams in five years and struggled to establish himself with any franchise. McKinley is a far better option for Dallas here. 

#29 Cleveland Browns 

  • Selection: TE David Njoku 
  • Re-selection: WR Juju Smith-Schuster 

With no viable tight end other than Njoku available I change tack and select Juju Smith-Schuster. This move would keep the Browns from trading for Odell Beckham Jnr two years down the line and would provide – checks notes – DeShone Kizer with a receiver that may have helped the team avoid a 0-16 season. 

#30 Pittsburgh Steelers 

  • Selection: LB T.J.Watt 
  • Re-selection: LB Haason Reddick 

With no T.J. Watt available, the Steelers acquire the talented Haason Reddick as a like-for-like replacement. Reddick has 323 career tackles, 31 sacks and enjoyed back-to-back ten sack seasons in Arizona (2020) and Carolina (2021). He’s not T.J. Watt, but he’s a very good NFL pass rusher. 

#31 San Francisco 49ers 

  • Selection: LB Reuben Foster 
  • Re-selection: LB Zach Cunningham 

San Francisco select Zach Cunningham – 596 career tackles, 6.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, an interception and a touchdown in five seasons – instead of Reuben Foster – 84 tackles and out of the league by 2021 after a series of arrests. 

#32 New Orleans Saints 

  • Selection: OT Ryan Ramczyk 
  • Re-selection: OT Ryan Ramczyk 

If you find yourself an NFL starting calibre tackle you do not give that up, so the New Orleans Saints once again select Ramczyk. It helps that he has First Team All-Pro honours – as well as two further Second Team honours – and was a member of the All-Rookie team. 

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