The Winners and Losers of the NFL Draft


The dust has settled on the NFL 2017 Draft and preparations are underway for the new season; September 7 can’t come quick enough. We take a look at the biggest winners and losers of an absorbing draft; has anyone done enough to get the ‘X Factor’ they need to reach Minneapolis on February 4, 2018?

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

One of the beneficiaries of the Bears largesse (see below), swapping one place in the first round for Chicago’s third and fourth picks. Nabbing Linebacker Reuben Foster, rookie GM John Lynch also landed Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, as well as Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, George Kittle, the Iowa tight end, finishing the talent roster with Louisiana Tech wide receiver Trent Taylor.

Lynch set a high bar for future drafts and the rest of the NFL took note of a sharp operator at the table.

Loser: Chicago Bears

There were plenty of Bears with sore heads after they traded draft picks for the glory of a quarterback. Mitchell Trubisky might prove to be the player they hope but it’s by no means a certainty. To get Trubisky, they traded picks which cost them as the draft progressed, one which ended in round 5. With the lower round picks used for defensive numbers, Chicago’s decision is questionable at best.

After a poor 2016 when they went 6 and 9; with Cleveland making hay in this draft, last place in AFC North is up for grabs. The jury is out on whether the Bears have done anywhere near enough to avoid that fate - they currently sit as +1000 outsiders for this year's Superbowl (Odds taken from BetWay on 04th June).

Winners: Cleveland Browns

The Browns proved as astute at the negotiating table as in their draft selections. 2018 sees them with five first or second round picks, including the Texans first round, included in the dozen already secured. Cleveland claimed Howard Wilson as a result of last year’s trades with Houston, while Roderick Johnson and Matthew Daynes look set to be a part of the refreshed Browns offensive line.

After going 1 and 15 last year, the only is up and the organization looks to have made a giant leap forward.

Losers: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons proved with last year’s draft that getting the right players for the roster is more important that focussing purely on their rating. Reaching the Super Bowl was a tremendous boost for the organization as a whole. None of this year’s draft picks by Atlanta comes highly-rated but in Takkarist McKinley, Duke Riley and Sean Harlow, the Falcons have solid, if unspectacular players.

The question is whether this is enough to raise them to contenders for Super Bowl LII

Winners: Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati stole the show with their first four picks. For just two letters, ‘if’ is a massive word in pro sports, but if Joe Mixon and Carl Lawson keep themselves together, the Bengals have struck gold. Michael Johnson and Jordan Willis both offer additional pace and strength with pass-rushing which gave the Cincinnati a major overhaul of their defensive line.

The question which remains is whether the holes in the offensive line can be patched up to build on some astute defensive work in the draft.

Losers: Houston Texans

While the Texans made a great capture in DeShaun Watson, it’s come at a big cost. Houston’s 2018 first and second picks were traded to the Browns, while Cleveland taking Brock Osweiler delivered this year’s second and fourth picks. Watson has an outstanding track record in college football but for Houston, it’s a risk going with a rookie QB next season.

However, Tom Savage also has the edge which the Texans need to take them to the post-season but a lot of things need to come together before the Houston fans can look at this draft in anything but a disappointing light.

Winning the AFC is looking to be a problem as the draft did nothing to raise them from the position of outsiders.

Winner of the Weekend: Rocky the Orangutan

Minnesota Vikings opted for the pop-culture phenomenon, Game of Thrones, as their draft pick gimmick but tapping into the HBO series didn’t bring them the limelight they hoped for.

The NFL’s own coverage was flagging by day 3 and taking leave of their senses, while ignoring the showbiz adage, ‘Never work with kids or animals’, the Indianapolis Colts wheeled out Rocky the orangutan for their fourth round pick. Zach Banner, since you’re wondering, the USC offensive tackle.

Rocky was on a roll, and returned with Marlon Mack and Grover Stewart; leaving the Colts with a smile on their face. The picky primate is in the running for a summarizing slot on Monday Night Football is rumored to be in the offing.