In case there is any doubt the 49ers were a decided “winner” on the first day of the NFL Draft, the players the team landed with the Nos. 3 and 31 overall picks were two of the top three prospects on its board, new GM John Lynch claims.
Those two players: Stanford DE Solomon Thomas and Alabama LB Reuben Foster
“I can tell you right off the bat that what we had on the board was just under 200 players, and in terms of how we rated them, we got two of our top three players,” Lynch said, per ESPN.com. “We were able to do that, and we’re thrilled. We’re ecstatic. We think these guys have a lot of traits of what we want to be about as a football organization.”
As the night began, San Francisco swapped the second and third overall picks with Chicago and also acquired the Bears’ third-round (No. 67 overall) and fourth-round picks (No. 111) this year and their third-round pick in 2018. While the Bears selected QB Mitch Trubisky with the No. 2 pick and the 49ers picked Thomas No. 3, the overwhelming feeling among NFL observers is the 49ers got the far better end of the trade.
Michigan tight end Jake Butt ran into the same thing this season. He suffered a torn ACL in the Orange Bowl and went from what some thought was a late first-round grade, all the way to possibly undrafted.
Ultimately he was selected in the fifth round, No. 145 overall, by the Broncos Saturday, but his injury cost him a large sum of money. Quantifiably $543,000.
Because Butt had an insurance policy taken out on himself prior to the draft in case, he will get that money back, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
While that could never make up for what he could eventually make with a second contract in case he never truly recovers from the knee injury, it’s at least something that can keep him from getting absolutely nothing just because he decided to play in a bowl game.
For the first few games, the Bulls-Celtics series did not make sense, but it was inevitable that Chicago would take its exit from the playoffs. Before the Celtics eliminated the Bulls on Friday, the fans at the United Center let out their collective frustration at what a disappointing season they witnessed, chanting “Fire Hoiberg” near the end of the game.
ESPN’s cameras caught Brad Stevens in the middle of the chant, shaking his head and mouthing “shut up.” His reaction is understandable because he has a lot of respect for the Bulls coach. And in a way, his reaction to that is justified — the frustration over the Bulls should also be directed toward the front office, not just Hoiberg.
Additionally, Chicago might have had some residual anger after the Bears drafted new QB Mitchell Trubisky on Thursday (after trading up from No. 3 to No. 2 with the 49ers). Trubisky was also at the game, and while the team welcomed him with open arms, the fans actually booed him. Trubisky took it all in stride, though.
Chicago sports fans can be a fickle bunch.
If there’s one thing that Rossi’s and Starkey’s Ovechkin pieces does well, it’s getting people to talk. And talk they did. However, at what point do we step back from our hot takes? Are we really adding anything to the conversation if we’re just writing incendiary things we may not even believe to get clicks?
It’s also hard to take Pittsburgh media’s outrage seriously when they’ve stood idly by as the team employed players such as Matt Cooke in the past. That Cooke, who put into motion the NHL’s stance on headshots with this career ending one to Marc Savard.
Back in 2008, the Atlanta Falcons were coming off one of the most tragic seasons in team history. Michael Vick was in prison serving a sentence for a dogfighting conviction, and the team was reeling after head coach Bobby Petrino slid out of town in the middle of the night, letting players know he was leaving with notes in their lockers.
After a 4-12 finish with a combination of Chris Redman, Joey Harrington and Byron Leftwich behind center, the Falcons needed a quarterback. They got one with the third overall pick, and Matt Ryan went on to be named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year last season. But fans didn’t want Matt Ryan in the first round.
After four consecutive winning seasons and back-to-back trips to the playoffs, the Chiefs have one of the NFL’s best rosters. With 10 draft picks (two each in the third, fifth and sixth rounds), it’s difficult to imagine so many rookies making the team. Packaging some of those picks to get better value early would make sense.
It would also be a good move by the Chiefs to find a quarterback to groom for the 2018 season when Alex Smith’s cap hit balloons to $20.6 million, and has the potential for $17 million in savings if Kansas City moves on. Going up to get the No. 1 quarterback isn’t realistic, but if a passer the Chiefs like drops to an attainable range, they’re primed to go up and secure the future of the position.
During the 2016 NFL Draft, there were five trades during the first round, and it’s likely that we’ll see a similar amount next Thursday.
The Browns are reportedly split between North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett, although most believe the latter will be the selection.
Brown said Wednesday that one of the teams that called Cleveland about possibly acquiring the No. 1 pick was interested in a quarterback, presumably Trubisky. But the likeliest scenario is that the Browns stick with Garrett, leaving the next 31 picks in the draft open for business.
Dion Dawkins did whatever Temple needed him to do in his four seasons with the Owls. The 6’4, 314-pound lineman started at each tackle position and earned All-AAC honors while developing a reputation as a mean, path-clearing run blocker.
That was enough to earn him a second-round grade from the Bills, who snapped him up with the 63rd pick of the 2017 NFL draft.
However, concerns about his pass protection and whether or not he’s good enough to stay at tackle raise one big question: Was Dawkins, who wasn’t highly recruited out of high school in New Jersey and labeled himself a “no-star,” a reach?
The Temple product was projected everywhere from the late first round to the early fourth as scouts and executives struggled to find common ground. He’ll have plenty to prove as he jumps to the next level and cuts his teeth in the league.
Remember Brady Quinn? The Browns traded up to select him in the first round of the 2007 draft, and it cost Cleveland its first-round pick the next year. He started 12 games for them, going 3-9, before Cleveland gave up on Quinn and traded him to the Denver Broncos.
The Browns could have had Julio Jones. Instead, they traded with the Atlanta Falcons and got five picks. On paper, that sounds like a great deal, but Cleveland used those picks to draft Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, Phil Taylor, Greg Little, and Owen Marecic.
There are only two players from the first round of the 2014 draft who are no longer in the NFL; the Browns drafted them both. Justin Gilbert played just 23 games for the Browns. Johnny Manziel washed out of the NFL after eight starts.