NFL Draft 2017: Team-by-Team Analysis and Grades for Rounds 1-3 Results

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2017

San Francisco 49ers draft picks Reuben Foster, left, and Solomon Thomas pose for photos at a news conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, April 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The NFL landscape shifted Thursday and Friday as teams added future Pro Bowlers, starters and game-changing playmakers to their rosters in the first three rounds of the 2017 draft.

The trick now is figuring out which teams will emulate last year's Dallas Cowboys—who went from a 4-12 team to NFC East champions in one year on the backs of rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott—and which ones struck out with their selections.

With that in mind, here is a look at the full team-by-team results from the first three rounds, as well as early grades and an in-depth breakdown for a couple of notable teams. The picks are courtesy of NFL.com's draft tracker.




Team-By-Team Grades

Arizona CardinalsHaason Reddick, LB, Temple (Round 1); Budda Baker, S, Washington (Round 2); Chad Williams, WR, Grambling St. (Round 3)B: Baker was a second-rounder, but he will prove to be the headliner as he flourishes in an already talented secondary.
Atlanta FalconsTakkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA (Round 1); Duke Riley, LB (Round 3)B: The Falcons had just two picks so far, but the thought of McKinley pairing with Vic Beasley and others should scare opposing offenses.
Baltimore RavensMarlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama (Round 1); Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston (Round 2); Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan (Round 3); Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama (Round 3)A - : Baltimore is known for its defense, and it landed three potential impact pass-rushers with Elvis Dumervil no longer on the team.
Buffalo BillsTre'Davious White, CB, LSU (Round 1); Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina (Round 2); Dion Dawkins, OG, Temple (Round 2)B - : White and Jones can both develop into solid players, but there were better options at their positions in this draft.
Carolina PanthersChristian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Round 1); Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State (Round 2); Taylor Moton, OG, Western Michigan (Round 2); Daeshon Hall, DE, Texas A&M (Round 3)A: See below
Chicago BearsMitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina (Round 1); Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland (Round 2)C: Chicago took two gambles with the trade for Trubisky and the selection of Shaheen from Ashland. The risk overshadows the reward for now.
Cincinnati BengalsJohn Ross, WR, Washington (Round 1); Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma (Round 2); Jordan Willis, OLB, Kansas State (Round 3)B: In terms of strictly on-field production, Ross and Mixon give the Bengals two game-breakers with plenty of speed.
Cleveland BrownsMyles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (Round 1); Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan (Round 1); David Njoku, TE, Miami (Round 1); DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame (Round 2); Larry Ogunjobi, DT, North Carolina Charlotte (Round 3)A: Save your Cleveland Browns jokes because they landed the best player in the draft in Garrett, a safety in Peppers who can challenge for playing time right away, a potential game-breaking tight end in Njoku and a possible quarterback of the future in Kizer.
Dallas CowboysTaco Charlton, DE, Michigan (Round 1); Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado (Round 2); Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan (Round 3)B+: Dallas needed defense with offense largely set, and all three of its picks can challenge for immediate playing time in 2017.
Denver BroncosGarett Bolles, OT, Utah (Round 1); DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State (Round 2); Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech (Round 3); Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar (Round 3)B: Denver got its offensive lineman in Bolles and added an overlooked playmaker in Langley who can contribute on special teams.
Detroit LionsJarrad Davis, LB, Florida (Round 1); Teez Tabor, CB, Florida (Round 2); Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois (Round 3)B - : Golladay is a project, but Tabor was once seen as a potential first-rounder. Detroit notched solid value with him.
Green Bay PackersKevin King, CB, Washington (Round 2); Josh Jones, S, N.C. State (Round 2), Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn (Round 3)B - : No first-round pick knocks Green Bay's grade by comparison to others, but it added two pieces to a secondary in need of depth.
Houston TexansDeshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (Round 1); Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt (Round 2); D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas (Round 3)A: Houston has been searching for a franchise quarterback, and the thought here is Watson is the best one in this draft.
Indianapolis ColtsMalik Hooker, S, Ohio State (Round 1); Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida (Round 2); Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio (Round 3)A: There may not have been a better value pick in the draft than Hooker, who could have been a top-three selection and fell to 15.
Jacksonville JaguarsLeonard Fournette, RB, LSU (Round 1); Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama (Round 2); Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois (Round 3)B: Fournette will take some of the pressure off Blake Bortles, and Robinson was a first-round talent. Smoot is a project at this point.
Kansas City ChiefsPatrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech (Round 1); Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova (Round 2); Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo (Round 3)C+: Taking Mahomes at No. 10 was a massive gamble. Hunt was underrated because he played at Toledo instead of a powerhouse.
Los Angeles ChargersMike Williams, WR, Clemson (Round 1); Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky (Round 2); Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana (Round 3)C: It feels like Los Angeles could have waited until later to grab a receiver in a solid receiver class.
Los Angeles RamsGerald Everett, TE, South Alabama (Round 2); Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington (Round 3); John Johnson, S, Boston College (Round 3)C: Everett and Kupp were both reaches for the Rams.
Miami DolphinsCharles Harris, OLB, Missouri (Round 1); Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State (Round 2); Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson (Round 3)B+: Harris has the potential to be a starter, but McMillan was the biggest steal late in the second round. He is a tackling machine.
Minnesota VikingsDalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (Round 2); Pat Elfein, C, Ohio State (Round 3)B: Minnesota needed to replace Adrian Peterson, and it snagged one of the best running backs in the draft in the second round.
New England PatriotsDerek Rivers, DE, Youngstown St. (Round 3); Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy (Round 3)B - : The Patriots didn't draft until the third round, but Rivers is a sneaky value pick who provides depth to the pass rush.
New Orleans SaintsMarshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State (Round 1); Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin (Round 1); Marcus Williams, S, Utah (Round 2); Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee (Round 3); Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida (Round 3); Trey Hendrickson, OLB, Florida Atlantic (Round 3)A: The Saints needed to improve their defense, and they grabbed the best cornerback in the draft at 11. They also added depth up front and multiple linebackers to help the defense.
New York GiantsEvan Engram, TE, Mississippi (Round 1); Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama (Round 2); Davis Webb, QB, California (Round 3)B - : These are three solid additions, but the Giants could have used help on the offensive line.
New York JetsJamal Adams, S, LSU (Round 1); Marcus Maye, S, Florida (Round 2); ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama (Round 3)B - : Adams' talent bolsters the grade some, but they had other needs besides wide receiver with Stewart.
Oakland RaidersGareon Conley, CB, Ohio State (Round 1); Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut (Round 2); Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA (Round 3)B+: In terms of on the field, Conley is a potential starter from Day 1. Melifonwu also gives the Raiders depth in an area of need.
Philadelphia EaglesDerek Barnett, DE, Tennessee (Round 1); Sidney Jones, CB, Washington (Round 2); Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia (Round 3)A -: Barnett can develop into a production machine, and Jones is a first-round value who fell to the second round because of his injury.
Pittsburgh SteelersT.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin (Round 1); JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC (Round 2); Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee (Round 3); James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh (Round 3)B: Watt will forever draw comparisons to his brother, but he is a possible pass-rushing fiend on the outside all his own.
San Francisco 49ersSolomon Thomas, DE, Stanford (Round 1); Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama (Round 1); Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado (Round 3); C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa (Round 3)A+: See below
Seattle SeahawksMalik McDowell, DT, Michigan State (Round 2); Ethan Pocic, C, LSU (Round 2); Shaquill Griffin, DB, Central Florida (Round 3); Delano Hill, SS, Michigan (Round 3); Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina (Round 3); Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan (Round 3)B: From a pure numbers standpoint, Seattle added depth nearly across the board. McDowell was a value pick in Round 2.
Tampa Bay BuccaneersO.J. Howard, TE, Alabama (Round 1); Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M (Round 2); Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (Round 3); Kendell Beckwith, ILB, LSU (Round 3)B: Howard gives Jameis Winston another game-changing weapon, but Godwin was a bit of a reach on an already talented receiving corps.
Tennessee TitansCorey Davis, WR, Western Michigan (Round 1); Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC (Round 1); Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky (Round 3); Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International (Round 3)A: Tennessee needed another weapon for Marcus Mariota and got it with Davis. It also needed a cornerback and got it with Jackson.
WashingtonJonathan Allen, DE, Alabama (Round 1); Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama (Round 2); Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA (Round 3)B+: Allen at No. 17 was one of the best value picks in the entire first round.


Notable Performances

San Francisco 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers were part of the first head-turning move of the draft when they received the Chicago Bears' No. 3 overall pick as well as a third-rounder, fourth-rounder and 2018 third-rounder for the No. 2 overall pick.

San Francisco netted three additional selections for moving down a single slot and still landed one of the best defensive players in the draft in Stanford's Solomon Thomas. The 49ers run defense was dead last in the league last season, and they were a mere 19th in the NFL in total sacks, so Thomas fills a pressing need.

The 49ers weren't done in the first round, and they snagged Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster at No. 31.

They apparently did so just in time because Foster said he was on the phone with the New Orleans Saints, who held the No. 32 pick, per Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group:

Cam Inman @CamInman

Reuben Foster was on phone with #Saints (32nd pick) when #49ers called to say he was theirs at 31. Here he tells how story goes: https://t.co/RW1SaREUa0

Considering Thomas notched 8.5 sacks and Foster tallied 115 total tackles in 2016, the 49ers received two immediate impact players for a defense in dire need of improvement in the front seven. They even added depth to an uncertain quarterback situation with Iowa's C.J. Beathard in the third round.

New general manager John Lynch already bolstered the wide receiver corps this offseason with the signings of Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. He now has a couple of blue-chip building blocks on the defensive side after the first three rounds of the draft.


Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart is 30 years old and averaged a measly 3.8 yards per carry in 2016. His lackluster play often left quarterback Cam Newton to take the physical punishment in short-yardage situations, and the Panthers plummeted from a Super Bowl appearance to a 6-10 mark and last place finish in the NFC South.

They added offensive explosiveness for Newton during the draft with Stanford's Christian McCaffrey in the first round and Ohio State's Curtis Samuel in the second round. They should also be able to transition away from relying on Stewart as much following two straight seasons of more than 200 carries.

There is some overlap with McCaffrey and Samuel in terms of versatility as running backs who can take straight carries out of the backfield, use their explosive speed to get the edge on sweeps or play from the slot as pass-catchers, but teams can never have too many playmakers.

Their presence will attract additional defensive attention and open more of the field for tight end Greg Olsen and wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

NFL.com's Marc Sessler and Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner reacted to the offensive additions:

Marc Sessler @MarcSesslerNFL

Few teams have done more to change the vibe of their offense than the @Panthers with McCaffrey & Samuel. NFC South = wild ride.

Mike Renner @PFF_Mike

Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and Curtis Samuel running triple option https://t.co/Sq48dwAWf1

Ian Kenyon of Bleacher Report responded with a bold prediction for last year's Super Bowl representative following Carolina's draft showing:

Ian Kenyon @IanKenyonNFL

Falcons gonna be third in the NFCS next year.

McCaffrey and Samuel were the headline-makers, but Carolina also added depth to an offensive line Football Outsiders ranked as the 25th-best run-blocking unit and 19th-best pass-blocking unit last year with Western Michigan's Taylor Moton in the third round.

He will have plenty of talent to open holes for following the first three rounds of the draft.


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