NFL heads to Philly for 2017 draft: Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garret likely to be chosen No.1 overall

Brian Abbate, Chief Copy Editor

Former Stanford running back Christian McCaffery fights off a defender during a Pac-12 match-up with UCLA. Bleacher Report has projected McCaffery to go eighth in the draft to the Carolina Panthers.

     Tonight will be a very special night for 32 young men from across the country, as the 2017 NFL Draft kicks off in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. Since the 2016 NFL Draft concluded a year ago, analysts and pundits have been speculating as to who the top picks will be this year. This class is headlined by Myles Garrett, a defensive end from Texas A&M University.

     The Cleveland Browns, who own the number one overall pick, would be foolish to pass up such a remarkable talent. The six foot five, 271 pound junior is an absolute beast. He accounted for 141 total tackles, 31 sacks and seven forced fumbles in three seasons at A&M. The 21 year old was awarded All-American and All-SEC honors in both 2015 and 2016. He is the consensus best player in the draft.

     After Garret, there are many talented players who could potentially be selected in the first round. In terms of quarterbacks, Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina), Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) and Deshaun Watson (Clemson) seem the most poised to be taken on the first night of the draft.
Though Trubisky only has 13 career starts under his belt at the University of North Carolina, he seems ready to take the plunge to the professional level. Last season he completed 304 of 447 passes for 3,748 yards and 30 touchdowns to only six interceptions. Reports surfaced earlier this week that the Browns intend to take him with the number one pick, even though they could most likely snag him with pick number 12, which they also own.

     Patrick Mahomes’ stock has been rising as of late, so much so that some analysts are even suggesting he should be the first quarterback taken off the board. He threw for over 11,000 yards in three seasons, while passing for 93 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He also accounted for 845 rush yards and added 22 touchdowns on the ground. The Texas Tech product is arguably the most NFL ready.

     Clemson’s field general, Deshaun Watson, surpassed 4,000 passing yards in back to back seasons and tossed 76 touchdowns in the same span. He’s also rushed for more than 1,700 yards and added 21 rushing scores in the same two seasons. Watson finished second in Heisman trophy voting last season to Lamar Jackson of Louisville while leading his team to a national championship. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer could be in the mix to be selected as well.

     Running backs Leonard Fournette (LSU), Christian McCaffrey (Stanford) and Dalvin Cook (FSU) headline a deep running back class. Expect all three tailbacks to be taken in the first round tonight. Wide receivers John Ross (Washington), Mike Williams (Clemson) and Corey Davis (Western Michigan) are among the top receiving threats, alongside O.J Howard, the tight end out of Alabama.

     On the defensive end of the ball, standouts Solomon Thomas (DE, Stanford), Jamal Adams (S, LSU), Jonathon Allen (DL, Alabama), Marshon Lattimore (CB, Ohio State), Malik Hooker (S, Ohio State) and Reuben Foster (ILB, Alabama) could headline a traditionally defensive heavy first night of the draft.

     There have already been rumors circulating of multiple teams trading up and down in tonight’s draft. The Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers are amongst the most likely to do so, to address more than a few needs on both sides of the ball. Regardless of who is taken when, it will be a night to remember for any young man who is selected in the 2017 NFL Draft and for fans of football as well.