The 2017 Draft is quickly upon us, starting next Thursday the 27th. There have been many mock drafts in the news, here is my opinions.
The number one overall pick is pretty obvious, defensive end Myles Garrett from Texas A&M. Garrett is a very physical gifted pass rusher that is very explosive out of his stance. Garrett also has amazing balance and body control. The one big issue that the Brown has with drafting Garrett number one overall is Garrett’s injury-prone ankle. Garrett has had multiple ankles injuries that have to keep him from producing his finest play. If Garrett can stay healthy, he will be a force on the defensive front for Cleveland.
The second pick falls to the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are having quarterback issues, yet again, and Mitch Trubisky would be a possible fix to those issues. Trubisky has good arm strength and the ability to place the ball into tight windows. In addition to having a good throwing arm, Trubisky showed hat he had the ability to gain yards on the ground. One big downside with Mitch Trubisky is that he only started one season at North Carolina, and worked directing small, basic defense. Trubisky might want to sit out the 2017 season and learn the schemes used by NFL teams.
Coming to the Packers 29th overall pick. Ted Thompson is still at the helm of Green Bay’s draft choices, and he is known for stashing draft picks. One should not be surprised if Thompson trades down and possibly out of the first round to gather more picks later on in the draft. Trading down would not be the worst option. This draft class is stacked at both positions that the Packers need, cornerback and running back. The Packers have never really been known to try and take the top guy at whatever position they need. Thompson will always take the best player available, even if that player somewhere we do not need the help.
Starting off at running back, there are two players that I believe Green Bay should go after. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey is a very instinctive running back and makes many people miss in the open field. McCaffrey is a big running back standing at 6’0″ and 205lbs. He would be a very good complementary running back to Ty Montgomery. Like Montgomery, McCaffrey has good hands for a running back so he could be used out of the backfield. McCaffrey is known as a “one-cut” back and likes to work in the open field. However, McCaffrey had an injury-filled Senior year at Stanford, and this could mean that he will stay injury-prone or that he will not get a lot of work during his rookie year. The second running back that the Packers might go after, in the second round, is Texas’s big back, D’Onta Foreman. Foreman is slightly taller than McCraffery, Foreman is 6’1″ and 250lbs. Foreman is very powerful and can take hits while still standing up, but Foreman is still very light on his feet. D’Onta Foreman is reminiscent of Eddie Lacy during his rookie season. During his career at Texas, Foreman rushed for 2,782 yards and 20 touchdowns on 433 carries in only 28 games. There are two downsides with drafting Foreman for any team, his lack of receiving hands, and the tendency to bounce outside. Foreman does not have great receiving out of the backfield. In Foreman’s 28 games at Texas, he only recorded 13 catches for 146 yards. Finally, Foreman is always looking to bounce outside and get into the open field and does not want to run through traffic. The Packers probably won’t draft either of these players with their 29th overall pick, that will probably be on the defensive side of the ball.
There are three major choices for Green Bay on defense — T.J. Watt, Sidney Jones, and Jabrill Peppers. T.J. Watt is my top choice for the Packers 29th pick. Not only is T.J. Watt very similar to his older brother J.J., but he is also a downhill linebacker who can shed blockers very easily. Even though he is only 6’2″ and 245lbs Watt is not afraid of some contact while finding the ball. Sidney Jones would be a great fit for Ted Thompson’s defensive back. Jones is very long and lanky, which is something that Thompson looks for. Jones also has a quick and instinctive style to his play. Jones has powerful had that will help him bump and jostle receivers at the line, and would be a good replacement for Sam Shields. A big issue with Jones is his size. Sidney Jones has a very narrow frame and this might cause him to get outmuscled by bigger, stronger receivers. Finally, Green Bay might draft an all around specialist on defense like Jabrill Peppers from Michigan. Peppers can do almost anything on defense, which is something that Green Bay need right now, and after the loss of Micah Hyde. Peppers is listed as one of the top five athletic players in the entire draft. One major downside for Peppers is that he might need some help develop as a safety in the NFL, however, the Packers could start him as a number two cornerback behind Damarious Randall.
Whatever Ted Thompson and the Packers do with their first draft pick this year, will be the right pick. However interesting.
UPDATE: As of April 24th, 2017 at 11:40 am PT – Jabrill Peppers has tested positive for a diluted sample or a failed drug test.