The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft was an exciting one. Plenty of trades, moving up and down, and interesting selections for most of the teams involved in the process. Fans watching on TV got to see some of the top prospects celebrate with their families in Philadelphia as they awaited their selection in the Green Room. While the majority of the 22 players were selected, there are four players remaining in Philly as we move onto Day 2, with rounds 2 and 3 starting at 7pm ET tonight. So, judging by who went in the first round, and the remaining team needs, where are those four guys going to end up playing after tonight?
DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Many people, including myself, expected Kizer to be seleceted somewhere in the first round. When the Browns made their trade back to pick #29, I was sure I had it right with the former Fighting Irish signal caller being selected. Instead, Sashi Brown’s crew went with Michigan do-it-all Jabrill Peppers. Kizer may not have displayed his first round talent in 2016, but he was surrounded by worse starters than in 2015, and head coach Brian Kelly put plenty of unwarranted pressure on him. The potential is certainly there if he ends up in the right environment. Now that Kizer remains on the board, there are surely plenty of teams thinking about selecting him. While it may be a team that expects to need a quarterback in the next year after the starter retires or leaves, or a team that is desperate for anyone to start for their team, there is definitely some sort of interest in him going in round 2. Teams to think about here would be the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and New Orleans Saints. The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills may be in play as well.
Best Guess: Arizona Cardinals
Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
Malik McDowell is a sort of polarizing prospect. There were certainly plenty of flashes and sustained displays of extreme talent that would warrant being selected in the top 10 of this year’s draft. According to some of the media members, McDowell didn’t display the right amount of effort during many of his plays. This wasn’t entirely true, but it appeared to have worn off on teams, and many believe his attitude may be hard to deal with, especially early on. There must be a team that has a stable coaching staff that will keep him in check if these reports are true. He would be a great pick for any team that needs a 3-technique in a 4-3 defense, or a 3-4 defensive end. Some of these teams include the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens. McDowell could be an exciting player in any of these defenses, and should likely be a top 50 or 55 pick tonight.
Best Guess: Baltimore Ravens
Kevin King, CB, Washington
Kevin King was never really a project first round pick until very close to the draft. He was not as talented as his former teammate Sidney Jones, but he was a very good corner with plenty of potential upside. Considering Jones’ injury and new Las Vegas Raider Gareon Conley’s possible rape case, he was sort of vaulted into round one consideration for teams. He is a long press corner that would excel on a team that plays a lot of man coverage. I would expect King to be a high pick tonight, but there is always a chance he falls farther due to the amount of projected first round players falling, like Quincy Wilson, Forrest Lamp, Zach Cunningham, Cam Robinson, and more. Some of the fits for Kevin King would the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, and Seattle Seahawks. It will be interesting to see where King goes, considering his up-and-down draft stock.
Best Guess: New York Jets
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Awuzie is in the same position as King is; never really was a first round prospect, but many members of the media started to push him higher up due to injuries and questions. He is a very talented cornerback that played on a strong Colorado defense, and he deserves top-75 consideration. His athleticism and IQ would be impressive in a zone coverage scheme like a Cover 1 or Cover 3, but he also has decent man coverage skills that could possible translate if a team was interested in doing so. Awuzie also could use his athleticism to play slot cornerback, which is becoming more and more important in today’s NFL game. He will likely go in the middle of second round, and there should be plenty of teams interested in the former Buffalo’s talents. The same teams in on Kevin King will also be listed for Awuzie. His skillset is deserving of being picked early on in Day 2, but teams may value him less than many people outside the NFL do. Irregardless, it will be an interesting few rounds today, as well as Day 3.
Best Guess: Seattle Seahawks