With the 2017 NFL Draft officially in the books, it is time to dish out some awards for the 253 selections from the last three days.
Best Pick – RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals
He has first-round talent; he simply fell due to off-the-field issues though those issues are severe. If he can keep his head on straight, stay on the field and become a better person, there’s no reason why the Oklahoma product cannot have a more productive career than any back in this class. Falling to No. 48 overall is an absolute steal for the Bengals.
Worst Pick – QB Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
Chicago traded up to pick North Carolina QB Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. While the move certainly brings upside, the cost to secure the second selection was far too steep. The 49ers got essentially a King’s ransom (two 3rd rounders + a 4th rounder) for flip flopping 2nd and 3rd overall picks. This is not to suggest that Trubisky will be a total flop, but the unloading of draft picks to acquire a raw prospect with 13 starts since high school was far too much.
Riskiest Pick – DB Gareon Conley, Oakland Raiders
Oakland’s choosing of Ohio State DB Gareon Conley comes with no on-field concerns. However, given he is currently under investigation for rape, this is a bit risky as there is a chance (albeit a small one) he never sees the field in the professional ranks.
Most Likely to be a First Round Bust – S Jabrill Peppers, Cleveland Browns
Aside from the quarterbacks taken, this award belongs to Cleveland safety Jabrill Peppers. Since he lacks a defined position at the next level and is heading to the Browns (where careers go to die), it should not be a surprise if Peppers falls far short of first-round expectations.
Most Likely Day Three Stud – WR Malachi Dupre, Green Bay Packers
There is no way that LSU WR Malachi Dupre should have lasted until the 6th round. Pairing him with Aaron Rodgers only has potential for a massive payout. He is extremely raw but, if there is anyone to learn from, new teammate Jordy Nelson is the guy.
Best Team Performance – San Francisco 49’ers
Rookie GM John Lynch killed it in his first draft. Not only did San Francisco acquire two consensus top-15 picks (Solomon Thomas & Reuben Foster), but they also are set up nicely for next year’s draft after obtaining additional 2nd and 3rd round picks. Utah RB Joe Williams is very underrated and could be the bell cow in 2018 if Carlos Hyde heads out of town. Don’t sleep on Louisiana Tech WR Trent Taylor either; he could end up being a poor man’s Wes Welker.
Worst Team Performance – New York Giants
The Giants did very little to improve their current roster. First-round pick TE Evan Engram seemed to be a reach; and, given the off-season signing of WR Brandon Marshall, pass catchers did not seem to be a glaring need. QB Davis Webb is a complete project, and no other pick stands out in any positive way.