First, I’m highly impressed with the way the NFL drafted as a whole on Thursday night. Not that there weren’t exceptions, but for the most part, teams didn’t overthink things and took the best players available at positions of need and importance, which is how every team should draft.
There’s a ton of good talent still available in round two, but tough not to be pleased with how the NFL assessed and selected the talent in the first round.
- I’m a big fan of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes landing spots, but an even bigger fan of both Houston and Kansas City’s willingness to make big-time moves for the guys who could help put them over the top. There’s always a risk involved, but Watson is the most NFL-ready quarterback, and Bill O’Brien has a vastly talented roster that needs to win right away. I tweeted about this too, but Watson’s supporting cast in Houston is interestingly very similar to the one he had in Clemson, which I think will bode well for his comfort early on.
Not a perfect match by any means, but if Deshaun Watson lands in Houston, his supporting cast will be oddly similar to his group at Clemson
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) April 26, 2017
- As for Kansas City, Mahomes is the antithesis of Alex Smith in every way, and Andy Reid obviously knew that when he pushed for the move. Tired of having his offense held back by a solid, but unspectacular Smith, Reid and Jon Dorsey made the aggressive move for the most exciting player in the class and a guy that has the potential to lift the Chiefs’ talented offense to their peak. Mahomes is too high variance as a passer right now, but if he can hone his wildness and refine a consistent mechanical approach, even if it is nontraditional, the Chiefs will have their franchise quarterback. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you he won’t start this year in Kansas City, including Chiefs personnel. They’ll say what they need to in order to keep Alex Smith on board and focused, but this massive step away from the veteran quarterback’s style of play wasn’t made so Mahomes could sit on the bench and watch. He’s coming for the job in camp, just watch.
- Mitch Trubisky’s situation is the most interesting because I’m really not sure what to expect. On the surface it seems like a great fit; he’ll attack the short-intermediate areas of the field in Dowell Loggains offense, while working on developing a more consistent deep ball. I’m not worried about Trubisky’s tools so much as his mechanical and mental growth at the NFL level and I’m not familiar enough with Loggains to have an idea how he’ll be brought along in that way. I like that Trubisky won’t be thrown to the wolves right away, and having a terrific offensive line and reliable running game will be huge for him. They need to improve his weaponry in the passing game but based on everything I know, this fit seems close to perfect as well. How it progresses from here will be vital however, including Trubisky not having to change offenses and coaching staffs if this one is sent packing after an unproductive year.
- I don’t know how you can view John Lynch’s general manager debut as anything short of a smashing success after one round. Trading back one spot and adding picks while still getting Solomon Thomas is a no-brainer, and then jumping back up into the first round to grab my #2 overall player in Reuben Foster was a steal as well. Now granted, Foster needs to stay healthy and out of trouble, but I don’t think there’s a massive risk involved for an organization that is rebuilding anyway. They added draft picks and got two of the six or seven most talented players in the draft.