NFL Draft: Which region won, Southeast or Midwest?
The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is complete and there was a lot of excitement and unexpected movement throughout the first 32 picks. Here is a regional breakdown of where those selections played in high school and a recap of which area of the country did best on the opening night.
RB Leonard Fournette, New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine, LSU, Jaguars
WR Mike Williams, Santee (S.C.) Lake Marion, Clemson, Chargers
QB Deshaun Watson, Gainesville, Ga., Clemson, Texans
DE Derek Barnett, Brentwood (Tenn.) Brentwood Academy, Tennessee, Eagles
CB Marlon Humphrey, Hoover, Ala., Alabama, Ravens
TE O.J. Howard, Autauga (Ala.) Autauga Academy, Alabama, Buccaneers
LB Jarrad Davis, Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County, Florida, Lions
TE Evan Engram, Powder Springs (Ga.) Hillgrove, Ole Miss, Giants
CB Tre’Davious White, Shreveport (La.) Green Oaks, LSU, Bills
LB Reuben Foster, Auburn, Ala., Alabama, 49ers
Overview: So many mock drafts and prognostications had a bunch of Alabama players taken in the top 15 or so but the night did not play out that way. There were emerging concerns about Allen’s arthritic shoulders and he fell to the Redskins at No. 17. If he’s healthy, that could be the steal of the draft. Foster had injury issues and other concerns and didn’t get selected until No. 31. Humphrey, far from the best Crimson Tide player this past season, was the first Alabama selection at No. 16. Still, with Howard, Alabama had four first-round selections so it was another great night and recruiting tool for coach Nick Saban. Probably the biggest surprise from the Southeast in the first round is that no one who played high school ball in Florida – namely Dalvin Cook – was taken in Round 1.
QB Mitchell Trubisky, Mentor, Ohio, North Carolina, Bears
WR Corey Davis, Wheaton (Ill.) Warrenville South, Western Michigan, Titans
DB Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville, Ohio State, Saints
DE Charles Harris, Kansas City (Mo.) Lincoln College Prep, Missouri, Dolphins
CB Gareon Conley, Massillon (Ohio) Washington, Ohio State, Raiders
DE Taco Charlton, Pickerington (Ohio) Pickerington Central, Michigan, Cowboys
LB T.J. Watt, Pewaukee, Wisc., Wisconsin, Steelers
OT Ryan Ramczyk, Stevens Point, Wisc., Wisconsin, Saints
Overview: After the Bears traded up for the second pick, the belief was that Chicago had targeted Stanford DL Solomon Thomas but that was not the case. Instead, the Bears drafted Trubisky to end all speculation about which quarterback would be taken first. Three picks later, Davis came off the board as the first receiver drafted. A bunch of Big Ten stars were taken later with Lattimore, Conley, Charlton and Watt going throughout the round. Harris, a former two-star, was the No. 22 pick. Ramczyk was the last pick in the first round.
RB Christian McCaffrey, Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian, Stanford, Panthers
WR John Ross, Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan, Washington, Bengals
CB Adoree’ Jackson, Gardena (Calif.) Serra, USC, Titans
OT Garett Bolles, Saratoga Springs (Utah) Westlake, Utah, Broncos
LB Takkarist McKinley, Richmond (Calif.) Kennedy, UCLA, Falcons
Overview: McCaffrey is such an interesting pick for the Panthers at eight because he will be paired with QB Cam Newton in Carolina’s backfield. It’s not a shock at all he was taken that high and the second RB off the board after Fournette. Ross made his money at the combine by setting the event record in the 40-yard dash and was taken ninth. Jackson was a little surprising as the No. 18 pick but the Titans are looking for versatile, athletic playmakers and the former five-star fits the bill. Bolles and McKinley were the only two JUCO transfers to be taken in the first round.
LB Haason Reddick, Haddon Heights, N.J., Temple, Cardinals
DB Malik Hooker, New Castle (Pa.) Senior, Ohio State, Colts
DL Jonathan Allen, Ashburn (Va.) Stone Bridge, Alabama, Redskins
DB Jabrill Peppers, Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic, Michigan, Browns
TE David Njoku, Cedar Grove, N.J., Miami, Browns
Overview: Two five-stars in Allen and Peppers came off the board later in the first round but it was the local boy, Temple’s Reddick, that was drafted first from the region by Arizona with the No. 13 pick. Peppers and Njoku, a freak athlete who is still developing as a football player, are headed to Cleveland along with top pick Myles Garrett in a massive rebuilding effort. Landing those players, especially Peppers because of his versatility in all three phases, could be a perfect first step.
SOUTHWEST (TEXAS) (4)
DE Myles Garrett, Arlington (Texas) Martin, Texas A&M, Browns
DT Solomon Thomas, Coppell, Texas, Stanford, 49ers
S Jamal Adams, Lewisville (Texas) Hebron, LSU, Jets
QB Patrick Mahomes, Whitehouse, Texas, Texas Tech, Chiefs
Overview: The state of Texas made a serious statement early in the first round of the NFL Draft as Garrett was selected first, as expected, and then Thomas went third, another unsurprising selection as both were expected to go that high on the first night. Adams was another pick planned to go early as he went sixth and then one of the biggest surprises of the night happened when Kansas City traded up to take Mahomes in front of Watson, which will be heavily debated. Four Texas high school players went in the first 10 picks, a huge statement for that state. After that early run on players from the state of Texas, though, no others from the region were taken in the first round.