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Offense dominates early in NFL Draft: Chicago Bears make very questionable trade early

Brian Abbate, A&E Editor

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     With another NFL Draft in the books, let’s take a look at some of the notable talent that was selected in the first round.

     The consensus best player in the draft, Texas A&M defense end Myles Garrett, was taken first overall by the talent-starved Cleveland Browns. By no means shocking, Garrett was the safest and the most appealing prospect in the entire draft. His massive presence will surely help bolster a mediocre defense.

     The Chicago Bears, who gave an absurd amount of money to longtime backup quarterback Mike Glennon this offseason, traded three selections to move up one single spot to draft North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The pick is baffling enough with Glennon getting paid just a month ago, but what is arguably more confusing is the fact that the San Francisco 49ers had zero interest in Trubisky.

     The Bears could have kept all of their assets and still drafted Trubisky a mere 10 minutes later than they did, but insisted on a trade with the 49ers. Glennon is set to be the starter this fall, and getting a whopping $18.5 million to do so. Glennon will likely be a misfire, thus opening the door to the severely inexperienced Trubisky by week 10 or 11.

     With the fourth overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Leonard Fournette, an elusive running back out of LSU. After a Heisman caliber season in 2015, with the exception of a 31-yard game against Alabama, Fournette racked up 1,953 rushing yards, third best in the nation. In 2016, however, he fell off, gaining less than 900 yards and only scoring eight touchdowns. Assuming he can play up to his 2015 season, he could be a monumental asset to a poor running team in the Jaguars.

     Three receivers were taken in the top ten; Corey Davis (Western Michigan) to the Titans, Mike Williams (Clemson) to the Chargers, and John Ross (Washington) to the Bengals. All three wideouts should add speed and stability to receiving regiments that have been plagued by injury and inconsistency.

     With the eighth overall pick, the Carolina Panthers selected running back Christian McCaffrey from Stanford. The Heisman runner-up from 2015 brings much needed speed and strength to a depleted backfield in Charlotte. McCaffrey joins Zach Zenner (Detroit Lions), and Danny Woodhead (Baltimore Ravens), as the only white starting running backs in the NFL.

     The Kansas City Chiefs traded up from pick 27 to 10 in order to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes II from Texas Tech. This was the first time since 1983 that the Chiefs drafted a quarterback in the first round of an NFL draft. Expect him to sit behind Alex Smith for a season or two, developing under Andy Reid before earning the nod under center.

     The Houston Texans also traded up to draft a quarterback. With pick number 12, the Texans selected Deshaun Watson out of Clemson. As the runner-up in last year’s Heisman voting, Watson threw for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns, while tacking on 629 rush yards and nine scores on the ground. After the failed Brock Osweiler experiment, Houston absolutely needed to draft a big name quarterback.

     With the 25th selection in the draft, the Cleveland Browns got a steal, picking safety Jabrill Peppers from Michigan. After testing positive for a dilute sample at the Scouting Combine, which he blamed on being over-hydrated, many questions were raised as to how this would affect his draft stock. The hybrid safety is a great value at pick 25 and can surely help to fix a pedestrian defense.

     Three tight ends, O.J Howard (Alabama), Evan Engram (Mississippi) and David Njoku (Miami) were selected in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New York Giants and Cleveland, respectively. This was easily one of the most offense- driven first rounds of an NFL draft we will probably see for quite some time, since this draft was so defensively top heavy.

 

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Offense dominates early in NFL Draft: Chicago Bears make very questionable trade early