The 2017 NFL draft is over. For fans, it's a bit disappointing. Months of buildup led to one three-day span of excitement and drama, but now it's time to go back to the monotony of a football-less offseason.
Before we do, though, let's take a look back at the draft and how each team fared. It's a bit silly to grade draft classes before the players even step on to an NFL practice field, but initial grades have become as big a part of the draft process as mock drafts.
So we're going to have some fun and attach scores—from 1 (awful) to 10 (brilliant)—for each team's draft. Just keep in mind that it's the scores a few years from now that will truly define the 2017 draft. Remember when the Cleveland Browns were lauded for landing the best cornerback in the 2014 draft and their franchise quarterback? Yeah, both of those guys are unemployed.
We'll examine and grade each team's draft haul, including players and picks acquired through the draft. We'll also take a look at some of the most impactful moves from draft weekend.
First, though, let's look at the full draft results on a round-by-round basis:
2017 NFL Draft Scores
|Scores and Analysis|
|NFL Team||Draft Score||Analysis|
|Arizona Cardinals||8||The Cardinals defense gets even nastier with the addition of Haason Reddick and Budda Baker. Arizona added some nice upside prospects on Day 3.|
|Atlanta Falcons||7||Takkarist McKinley has a lot of potential and a high motor. However, he has injury concerns and may have been a reach. Some nice developmental pieces late, but nobody who leaps out.|
|Baltimore Ravens||7||Marlon Humphrey was a bit of a reach in Round 1. However, the Ravens found some good value in guys like Tim Williams and Chris Wormley.|
|Buffalo Bills||8||The Bills get a potential replacement for Stephon Gilmore and a starting-caliber receiver in the first two rounds. Dion Dawkins could be a future starter at guard.|
|Carolina Panthers||9||Carolina has added speed and versatility to its offense with Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. Taylor Moton can improve the toughness up front. Life should be easier on Cam Newton next year.|
|Chicago Bears||4||The Bears bid against themselves for a developmental quarterback and gave up quality picks in the process. Adam Shaheen does have a lot of upside, but he faced low competition. Some nice value picks later, like safety Eddie Jackson, who may be a future starter.|
|Cincinnati Bengals||7||Between durability concerns with John Ross and character concerns for Joe Mixon, it's risky for the Bengals. Some tremendous late-round value ups the score, though.|
|Cleveland Browns||10||The Browns got three impact players in Round 1, then added quarterback DeShone Kizer in Round 2. They added 10 players in total plus a 2018 first-round pick.|
|Dallas Cowboys||7||Dallas got a solid D-lineman with pass-rushing ability in Taco Charlton. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are both quality corners, but Lewis faces a domestic violence charge and is a risk.|
|Denver Broncos||7||Denver for themselves a quality lineman in Garett Bolles. DeMarcus Walker should help the pass rush, and Jake Butt will be an impact tight end down the road.|
|Detroit Lions||8||The Lions added former teammates in Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor. Both have the potential to be day-one starters. A lot of developmental talent on Day 3.|
|Green Bay Packers||10||Packers trade down and still get two future starters in Kevin King and Josh Jones. The secondary should be better sooner rather than later. Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays should add some power to the backfield.|
|Houston Texans||8||The Texans traded their 2018 first-rounder to acquire quarterback Deshaun Watson. It was a risky move, but if he stabilizes the position, the gamble will have been worth it.|
|Indianapolis Colts||9||Malik Hooker will take time to develop, but he has All-Pro potential. Quincy Wilson and Marlon Mack should be immediate difference-makers.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||9||Leonard Fournette and Dawuane Smoot should both bring immediate impact. It wouldn't be a surprise to see an entirely new offensive identity with Fournette next season.|
|Kansas City Chiefs||8||Trading up for Patrick Mahomes makes more sense for KC than it would another team because of Alex Smith's presence. Kareem Hunt can be the team's future workhorse running back.|
|Los Angeles Chargers||8||Philip Rivers gets himself another big, physical receiver in Mike Williams. Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney should immediately improve the run game.|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||No first-round pick because of the trade for Jared Goff. Gerald Everett has upside as a tight end but feels like a sizable reach. Cooper Kupp is another slot receiver in a room rull of them.|
|Miami Dolphins||7||The Dolphins got a potentially great pass-rusher in Charles Harris, a decent linebacker in Raekwon McMillan and an underrated corner in Cordrea Tankersley. It's a solid group overall.|
|Minnesota Vikings||8||Running back Dalvin Cook has character concerns, but on the field, he's a first-round talent—and the Vikings didn't have a first-round pick. Pat Elflein is a future starter at center and a smart pick.|
|New England Patriots||9||The Patriots added Brandin Cooks and Kony Ealy but didn't draft until Round 3. They still come away with a difference-making edge-rusher and a potential future starting tackle.|
|New Orleans Saints||9||The Saints snagged perhaps the best CB in the draft, a starting-caliber lineman and a potential starter at safety. The team should be better at protecting Drew Brees and perhaps capable of protecting leads.|
|New York Giants||6||The Giants reached on tight end Evan Engram in the first round. While he may be a special talent, but he's more of an oversized receiver and the Giants don't really need more receivers. They need a running back and didn't land one until Round 4.|
|New York Jets||8||New York had bigger needs than safety, but Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye could the back end of their defense a terror for the next decade. Jordan Leggett may finally give the Jets a receiving threat at TE.|
|Oakland Raiders||9||A lot obviously depends on Gareon Conley's rape allegation. On the field, though, he and Obi Melifonwu immediately upgrade the team's biggest weakness. David Sharpe could take over for Donald Penn at tackle one day.|
|Philadelphia Eagles||9||Derek Barnett should immediately impact the pass rush. Sidney Jones is a high first-round talent who slid because of injury. Both can be defensive centerpieces in time. Donnel Pumphrey could be the next Darren Sproles.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||8||T.J. Watt has questions as a pro pass-rusher—he's not hig brother—but he shouldbe a quality defender. The Steelers have had luck developing receivers so JuJu Smith-Schuster looks like a win. Josh Dobbs could be the heir to the Roethlisberger throne.|
|San Francisco 49ers||10||Rookie GM John Lynch fleeced the Bears to drop a spot and still get their guy in Solomon Thomas. In fact, the 49ers got two top defenders in the first round by trading up for Reuben Foster. That's how you win Day 1.|
|Seattle Seahawks||7||Seattle traded down and still added a quality defensive tackle in Malik McDowell. Ethan Pocic should be an immediate upgrade at center. The problem is that the Seahawks have an awful offensive line and didn't do enough to upgrade it here.|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||8||O.J. Howard was a luxury pick, but you can't question his value at No. 19 overall. Justin Evans should eventually be the team's starting free safety and running back Jeremy McNichols should boost the ground game.|
|Tennessee Titans||8||The Titans got Marcus Mariota some weapons with Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. Adoree' Jackson may have been a reach at 18th overall, but he should make the return unit better.|
|Washington Redskins||9||Jonathan Allen's slide gave Washington one of the top defenders in the draft late in the first round. Ryan Anderson is a terrific linebacker and Fabian Moreau can be an unreal cornerback once his torn pectoral heals.|
Bears Trade Up for Trubisky
Things got very interesting very quickly in the 2017 NFL draft. Shortly after the Cleveland Browns ended their own drama by selecting Myles Garrett first overall, the Chicago Bears made a move up from pick No. 3 to pick No. 2.
To get the pick, the Bears traded away Nos. 3, 67, 111 this year and next year's third-rounder. The San Francisco 49ers moved down one spot, and the Bears selected former North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
This was a major move for a couple of reasons. For one, it kicked off a series of three trades in the first round where teams moved up to take quarterbacks. Essentially, it set the tone for the draft's opening night.
Secondly, the move defined the draft for Chicago, because while the team got its quarterback, it appears there was no reason to trade up to get him. According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports, the Bears essentially bid against themselves for the pick:
The move also kicked off a great draft night for the 49ers and rookie general manager John Lynch. San Francisco snagged former Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the third overall pick—a guy they would have taken second overall anyway. They then traded back into the first round to grab former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.
According to Peter King of MMQB, the 49ers were ready to take Foster third overall if the Bears had traded up to take Thomas instead of Trubisky:
They were comfortable taking Foster—with a questionable shoulder and a positive combine test for a diluted drug sample—with the third overall pick, if the Bears took Solomon. But they wanted to try to move down as far as No. 8 because they felt Foster had no chance of being selected before Cincinnati at No. 9.
Foster made it past the Bengals, and the 49ers were able to snag him with the 31st overall pick.
Packers Trade Down, Grab King
The Green Bay Packers also traded down on the draft's opening night, out of the first round completely, in fact. They moved from pick No. 29—where the Browns took former Miami tight end David Njoku—and got Cleveland's first overall picks in Rounds 2 and 4 in return.
This move was important because it allowed Cleveland to get three picks on the draft's opening night. That's great for the rebuilding Browns. The move was also a win for the Packers because they controlled the draft heading into both Days 2 and 3.
With the 33rd overall pick, the Packers picked up former Washington cornerback Kevin King, a guy many considered to be first-round worthy. According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, King was one of Green Bay's draft targets in Round 1:
T.J. Watt wasn’t a strong consideration for Green Bay at that point in the draft. Inside linebacker Reuben Foster would have filled a void that partially remains, but the Packers weren’t taking him there on the basis of medical, off-field and mental issues. In the end, it came down to King and running back Dalvin Cook, who also fit a huge need. But King was a safer, cleaner pick than Cook, and so it was done.
Like the 49ers, the Packers got their guy at a later spot and picked up additional draft capital—though they didn't exactly rob the Browns the way the 49ers robbed the Bears.
The move was also a bit of a feel-good story because King was the only player invited to the draft to return for the second night:
King ended up a Packer, and Green Bay got itself a potential impact corner.
Bengals Draft Joe Mixon
Someone was going to draft former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon. Despite the fact many teams wanted nothing to do with the man who punched a female student in the face three years ago, his on-field talent was impossible to ignore.
The question going into the draft was which team would make the controversial move and when.
The Cincinnati Bengals ended up pulling the trigger on Mixon with the 48th overall pick. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cincinnati was one of only four teams considering Mixon:
While the Bengals certainly didn't condone what Mixon did back in 2014, they did feel like the team that could give Mixon a second chance.
"I don’t know who isn't disgusted with what they saw," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said of the video of Mixon's assault, per Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "That's one day in a young man's life, and he's had to live that since then and he will continue to have to live that. He gets an opportunity to move forward and write his script from then on."
The thing is, Cincinnati is probably the wrong place for Mixon to go.
There is plenty of trouble to find in the Cincinnati metropolitan area, and it's not like the Bengals have a history of keeping their players out of trouble.
Just a few months ago, Bengals cornerback Adam Jones was arrested after allegedly assaulting a man, head-butting a police officer and then spitting on a jail nurse.
The Bengals decided not to punish Jones for his actions.
"He regrets it," Bengals owner Mike Brown said, via the team's official website. "But it’s been made into a public issue and maybe I am overly tolerant. If so, so be it."
Mixon is a player the Bengals can not and should not be overly tolerant with. However, there's absolutely nothing to suggest the team is going to suddenly take a hard-line stance when it comes to player behavior.