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Redrafting the 2017 NFL Draft: Deshaun Watson, T.J. Watt rise

Where do Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Mitchell Trubisky find themselves in this redraft of the 2017 NFL Draft first round?

2017-nfl-redraft
CLEVELAND, OHIO - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans passes during the first quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 15, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The 2017 NFL Draft will be forever known as the one where the Chicago Bears didn’t draft Patrick Mahomes. Given the chance to go around again, would things work out differently? Let’s find out with a complete redraft of the 2017 NFL Draft first round.

The 2017 NFL Draft Redraft | Picks 1-16

1) Cleveland Browns: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

At the time, Myles Garrett was seen as a home run hit with the first overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. It could still be argued that the dominant defensive end was. However, the Cleveland Browns would remain mired in quarterback misery throughout the 2017 season.

Their selection in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft needs no explaining. Originally the tenth overall pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes has gone on to define what great looks like at the game’s most important position. Whether he would have been as successful for the Browns is a matter entirely up for debate.

2) San Francisco 49ers: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Everyone familiar with the 2017 NFL Draft will be acutely aware of what happened with the number two pick. Rather than trade out of the pick in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft, the San Francisco 49ers select DeShaun Watson out of Clemson.

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The 49ers’ depth chart consisted of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley by the start of 2017. The need for a quarterback in this draft couldn’t be any clearer. Since his arrival in the NFL in 2017, Watson has proven himself to be one of the best at the position. Meanwhile, the 49ers ultimately traded for Jimmy Garoppolo.

3) Chicago Bears: T.J. Watt, OLB, Wisconsin

Having already paid Mike Glennon handsomely in free agency, the Chicago Bears surprised everybody by trading up on the night to select Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. It’s fair to say that with Watson and Mahomes available, the selection of Trubisky as the first quarterback of the class was probably a little unfortunate.

Instead, they address the defense with the third pick of this 2017 NFL Draft redraft. Wisconsin linebacker T.J. Watt has turned into a dominant pass rusher. He is coming off a season where he was rightly a contender for Defensive Player of the Year. The Bears’ pass-rush needs were clear and ultimately traded for Khalil Mack in 2018.

4) Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Although he ran for 1,000 yards in his rookie season and went on to win Super Bowl LV, the original selection of Leonard Fournette by the Jacksonville Jaguars was largely thought of as a bust. In this 2017 NFL Draft redraft, they trade one running back for another with Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

Although he missed most of 2020 with injury, McCaffrey was a first-team All-Pro in 2019. Additionally, he became the highest-paid running back in NFL history prior to this season. A threat on the ground and as a receiver, McCaffrey represents a significant upgrade.

5) Tennessee Titans: Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

With the original fifth overall pick, the Tennessee Titans addressed their wide receiver need with Western Michigan WR Corey Davis. However, they also had a cornerback need which they address first in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft.

Tre’Davious White made the PFWA All-Rookie Team following his performances for the Buffalo Bills. A first-team All-Pro in 2019, he also co-led the NFL in interceptions that season. White has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL since being drafted by the Buffalo Bills. Here, he provided an instant upgrade in the Titans’ secondary.

6) New York Jets: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

Despite the acrimonious ending to their relationship, Jamal Adams represents the best selection that the New York Jets could have made with the sixth overall pick. Their main needs were quarterback, outside linebacker, and cornerback and there isn’t a single player in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft at those positions that you would take over Adams.

7) Los Angeles Chargers: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

The Los Angeles Chargers addressed their wide receiver need with Mike Williams four years ago. Although he had 10 touchdowns in 2018 and over 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, injury issues have limited his impact on the field. In this 2017 NFL Draft redraft, Myles Garrett lands in their lap at the seventh spot.

As the Chargers transitioned to a 4-3 defensive system, they would have had Joey Bosa on one side and Garrett on the other. It would have formed the most ferocious pass-rush duo possibly of all-time.

8) Carolina Panthers: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee

Although the Carolina Panthers were ecstatic with their selection of Christian McCaffrey, he unfortunately doesn’t fall that far in this 2017 NFL Draft. Instead, they pick up another dual-threat running back in Alvin Kamara. The New Orleans Saints originally picked up Kamara with the 67th overall pick.

Kamara was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. Since then, he has twice been a second-team All-Pro. He has tied the record for most rushing touchdowns in a game (six). Additionally, he is the first running back in NFL history to have 500 rushing and receiving yards in each of his first four seasons. A not-too-shabby consolation prize for the Panthers.

9) Cincinnati Bengals: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

It’s safe to say that the Cincinnati Bengals fell for the NFL Combine charm of Washington wide receiver John Ross in 2017. I think it’s also fairly safe, four years later, to label Ross a bust in the NFL. The biggest need for the Cincinnati Bengals was the offensive line. In this 2017 NFL Draft redraft, they address that need.

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Ryan Ramczyk was originally the final pick of the first round. The New Orleans Saints used the pick acquired from the New England Patriots in the Brandin Cooks trade to select the former Wisconsin offensive tackle. He has gone on to be one of the best in the NFL and would fill the hole in the Bengals line left by the departure of Andrew Whitworth.

10) Buffalo Bills: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

With Patrick Mahomes already gone, the Kansas City Chiefs no longer need to trade up to 10 in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft. The Buffalo Bills ultimately used the 27th pick to select Tre’Davious White but he is no longer available. Instead, they turn to another option at the cornerback position.

Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey was selected with the 16th overall pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. However, he doesn’t fall that far here. Not only has Humphrey been productive in breaking up passes, but he also led the league in forced fumbles in 2020. Additionally, he was a first-team All-Pro in 2019.

11) New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

It’s back-to-back cornerbacks in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft. The New Orleans Saints stick with Marshon Lattimore who was voted the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Lattimore has snagged 10 interceptions on his way to three Pro Bowl appearances.

12) Cleveland Browns: George Kittle, TE, Iowa

With Patrick Mahomes secured under center, the Browns add a receiving threat and matchup nightmare for defenses across the NFL. Originally, the Browns traded this pick to the Houston Texans and used the acquired 25th overall pick to select Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers. They then traded back into the first round to select David Njoku.

With the selection of George Kittle at pick 12, they no longer need to do that. Kittle has gone on to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL. A second-team All-Pro in 2018, Kittle went on to secure first-team All-Pro honors in 2019. He would be for Mahomes in Cleveland what Travis Kelce ended up being in Kansas City.

13) Arizona Cardinals: Budda Baker, S, Washington

Although the Arizona Cardinals would land Budda Baker in the second round, they swoop early to secure him in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft. A PFWA All-Rookie Team player and first-team All-Pro in 2017 and 2020, Baker has gone on to be more valuable to the Cardinals than their 2017 first-round pick Haason Reddick.

14) Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

The Philadelphia Eagles presented a dilemma in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft. Their prime needs in the draft were defensive end, cornerback, and running back.

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Although Derek Barnett has missed time with injury, it’s difficult to argue that there is a better option here. He was a part of the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2017, and a pivotal part of the Super Bowl LII-winning Eagles team.

15) Indianapolis Colts: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, Southern California

In a weak defensive and offensive line class, the Indianapolis Colts ignored their primary need and originally selected Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. The Colts declined their fifth-year option on Hooker and he ended 2020 on injured reserve after sustaining a torn Achilles.

In this 2017 NFL Draft redraft, the Colts instead address a different need in the secondary. Adoree’ Jackson would give them a playmaking cornerback, something the Colts are still trying to find ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.

16) Baltimore Ravens: Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State

With original selection Marlon Humphrey already gone, the Baltimore Ravens turn their attention to the wide receiver position in this 2017 NFL Draft redraft. Chris Godwin has gone from third-round pick to one of the most productive wide receivers out of the 2017 class.

A second-team All-Pro in 2019, Godwin would have provided an additional receiving threat for Joe Flacco. Despite wide receiver being seen as a main need, the Ravens never addressed the position in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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