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Six Trades, Three for QBs, Punctuate 2017 NFL Draft's 1st Round - This Is Sports Zone

The first round of the 2017 NFL draft came and went Thursday night, with the biggest news as always being the trades that dominated the headlines throughout the round. Six trades in total, with the first three being made by teams who promptly took three of the top quarterback prospects, and by the end of the round, the Chicago Bears shocked the world, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan started their administration on the right foot, the Houston Texans grabbed Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson, UCLA defensive end Takk McKinley dropped an F-Bomb on live TV as he honored his late grandmother after being drafted, and the Cleveland Browns came away with three more elite talents than they had yesterday to go with an extra first round pick in next year’s draft.

The Browns took the consensus best player in the draft, Texas A&M linebacker Myles Garrett, first overall after weeks of rumors that they might reach for a quarterback such as North Carolina’s Mitch Trubinsky or Watson with either the first pick or the twelfth pick in the draft. Not only did they go with the smart move in the first spot, they followed it up by trading their second pick to the Houston Texans, who had already given them next year’s second round pick to take Brock Osweiler earlier in the offseason, for the 25th pick this year along with their first round pick next year. At 25 they selected Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers, and finished the night by sending a second- and fourth-round pick to the Green Bay Packers to take Miami tight end David Njoku with the 29th pick.

On paper, these three moves vastly upgrade a Browns defense that needed playmakers at every level, while adding a potential explosive pass catcher to an offense whose biggest weapon is running back Isaiah Crowell, with second-year receiver Corey Coleman still an unproven commodity and free agent addition Kenny Britt never haven shown any consistency during his career. This is what a team that needed talent at every position group craves, plus they added another high draft pick to their current stockpile for next season.

As for the Texans, while they have now allowed themselves to basically give up their first two rounds to rid themselves of a failed experiment (Osweiler) while adding their next attempt at a franchise quarterback, the truth is they have taken a solid risk, given the immense reward that the National Champion Watson could provide. The Texans have been looking for their franchise quarterback since the team took David Carr in their first year in existence, and they have never been closer than they are right now.

Watson has all the tools to become an elite quarterback in the NFL, and he gets to join a team that is one star quarterback from becoming a legitimate title contender. With fellow Clemson alum DeAndre Hopkins to catch passes along with a solid collection of role players, Watson could not have dreamed of a better landing spot.

But before the Browns made their moves, the Bears shocked the entire viewing audience by sending a massive bounty to the San Francisco 49ers for the right to move up one spot and take Trubinsky second overall, mere months after signing quarterback Mike Glennon to an expensive contract. To take Trubinsky at two, the Bears sent the third overall pick, along with a third and fourth round pick in this year’s draft, and a third round pick in next year’s draft, which is a tall order when one is in a rebuilding situation such as the Bears.

While Trubinsky may turn into a franchise quarterback down the line, there are those who feel he is still raw, and doubted whether he would live up to a lofty draft spot. The former North Carolina standout won’t be rushed into the job thanks to the presence of Glennon, but with this draft pick, the idea of the former Bucs signal caller being a long-term solution has gone out the window.

As for the 49ers, this was the perfect way to begin the reign of front office tandem Lynch and Shanahan, as they were able to give themselves the ability to fill their wide dearth of talent by adding up to three potential draft picks, or allow for some maneuverability in the draft, yet still add the best defensive tackle in the draft in Stanford’s Solomon Thomas. Their night was not done however, as they took Chicago’s fourth-round pick, along with their own second round pick, and jumped back into the tail end of the first round, acquiring the 31st pick from the Seattle Seahawks to take maligned Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

Foster was considered a top-of-the-draft talent before injury concerns and a diluted drug test caused his stock to tumble. But, Foster has the talent to become the force on defense the Niners have not had since Patrick Willis retired, and to get that after already selecting Thomas is the best thing to happen to San Francisco as an organization in years. And, they still have two third round picks to play with, so they are not done by a long shot.

The third trade of the night came from a surprising source, as the Kansas City Chiefs traded the 27th pick in the draft, along with a third-round pick and their first round pick next year to the Buffalo Bills for the 10th overall pick, which they used to take Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. This move is a clear indication that head coach Andy Reid does not plan on sticking with Alex Smith much longer, but comes with a clear risk, give the fact that Mahomes is another raw talent, one who is no way ready to start an NFL game. He will be holding a clipboard this season, and possibly longer, but Reid has proven capable of developing young quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb first and foremost), so he is not one to be doubted. But still a bold move from a coach not known for splashy draft-day deals.

One of the more memorable moments of the night came when the Atlanta Falcons traded up to take Takk McKinley at number 26. They send Seattle their first rounder (which they later sent to the Niners in the aforementioned deal for Foster), along with a third and seventh, for the right to move up and take a player whose stock fell after having shoulder surgery, which could cause him to miss up to six months. Considered one of the more athletic and talented pass rusher in the draft and one of the hardest workers who brings high energy on every play, the Falcons were more than willing to give Vic Beasley another weapon to take pressure off after his breakout season.

McKinley walked the draft stage with a picture of his grandmother, who he promised he would go to college and make it to the NFL. As he was interviewed by Deion Sanders he became overwhelmed by emotions and gave one of the most heartfelt speeches a freshly drafted player has ever given:

“I told her before she passed away I was going to live my dream, I was going to go D-1, I was going to get out of Richmond, I was going to get out of Oakland. I was going to go to the NFL. I made that promise to her, man. 30 seconds later she passed away. And this is who I do it for…..It means everything, man. It means everything. I made a promise to her….. I was going to live my dreams to play in the NFL. And I’m here man. I completed the promise. It means every-f*cking-thing to me. Excuse my language! Man, FINE ME LATER MAN.”

Fine him later, enjoy the feel-good story of the night first.

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