The 2017 NFL Draft is set to start on Thursday April 27th at 8PM with the first round and will take place in Philadelphia. For the first time ever, the entire draft will take place outdoors and will continue with rounds 2 and 3 on Friday night and rounds 4-7 on Saturday afternoon. The draft will be broadcast on the NFL Network, ESPN, and ESPN2 and will be streaming on nfl.com.
The Cleveland Browns will hold the first pick, followed by the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tennessee Titans. Locally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold the 19th pick and the Miami Dolphins hold the 22nd pick.
The quarterback class is headlined by a couple of former ACC signal callers in one year starter Mitch Trubisky out of North Carolina and national champion Deshaun Watson out of Clemson. Top running back prospects include beast mode jr Leonard Fournette from LSU, versatile scatback Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford, and the ever explosive Dalvin Cook from FSU.
Some notable wide receivers in the this class projected to go in the first round are Mike Williams from Clemson, catch everything Corey Davis from Western Michigan, and new 40 yard champion John Ross from the University of Washington. The tight end position is loaded with Alabama’s OJ Howard and David Njoku from the “U”, University of Miami Hurricanes. Top offensive lineman prospects are guard Forrest Lamp from small school Western Kentucky and offensive tackle Garrett Bolles from the Utah Utes.
On the defensive side other top prospects at their position are defensive tackle Malik McDowell from Michigan State and linebacker Rebeun Foster from the Alabama Crimson Tide.
On the state front, Cook and Njoku are projected to go first round along with cornerback Quincy Wilson from the University of Florida. Three year starting quarterback Brad Kayaa from the Hurricanes is expected to go in the first 3 rounds and could be a potential steal. Ultra-productive DE Demarcus Walker from FSU and cornerback Teez Tabor from UF should also go in the first few rounds. Other Hurricanes expected to be drafted include secondary teammates Corn Elder and Rashawn Jenkins along with WR Stacey Coley. Some other highly regard Gators that should be drafted are linebacker Jarrod Davis and safety Marcus Maye. Talented DT Caleb Brantley has made some negative headlines and his stock is expected to drop. This draft will be bittersweet for FSU WR Travis Rudolph, whose father recently passed as a result of a shooting, while he waits to hear his name called out.
With the 4th overall pick the Jacksonville Jaguars will have plenty to choose from and many pundits are penciling in RB Fournette or S Jamal Adams to help out with the continuing rebuild. The Bucs are taking serious looks at RB Dalvin Cook and TE David Njoku to add another weapon for QB Jamies Winston. However, defensive end and safety are probably more pressing needs and don’t be surprised if someone like DE Derek Barnett from Tennessee or safety Jabril Peppers from Michigan is selected. The Miami Dolphins will be looking for help on the interior lines and don’t be surprised if they select a DL or OL in the first round.
-Story by Yousaf Khan