The 2017 NFL Draft featured a ton of surprises during the first round. Ten trades were completed on Day One of the NFL Draft, per ESPN.
Other surprises included the three quarterbacks who were selected in the first round, despite questions about each of the top players at that position. NFL teams also reached for receivers and running backs because this team features a ton of defensive talent.It appears franchises figured they would wait until the later rounds to get defensive help.
Either way, here are the five best players remaining after the first round of the NFL Draft. These players should not last long into Day Two of the draft, which features second and third round selections for NFL teams.
At one point, Kevin King was considered one of the top cornerbacks in this entire draft class. King finished his career at Washington with six picks, as he played corner and safety. King built on that momentum with great tests at the NFL Combine. His 4.43 40-yard dash and six-foot-three frame make him a specimen for the corner position. King’s big body helps him project as a nickel corner, outside corner or free safety. He also has the versatility to play in a variety of schemes.
However, the 2017 defensive back group is super deep. Some of the corners with first round grades were expected to fall due to the wide range of talent at the position. It is surprising that King was the one to slide in this NFL Draft because he seemed like one of the most well-rounded corners in this class. King also did not have any injury or off-field concerns lingering over him like some of the other corners taken on Day One. King should be the first corner taken in the second round.
Again, this defensive class is so deep. Zach Cunningham is an ideal Will linebacker for a 4-3 team, but he slipped out of the first round. Cunningham has the range to play as a middle or inside linebacker. He also has the length and speed to play as a hybrid outside linebacker. There are some questions about his pad level, ball skills, and tackling.
Nonetheless, Cunningham finished his career at Vanderbilt with 256 tackles, six sacks, six forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries. Cunningham’s production proves that he is ready to start for an NFL team. Some team will get an absolute steal by drafting Cunningham in the second round.
— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) April 28, 2017
At one point, there was an argument for Dalvin Cook as the best running back in the 2017 NFL Draft. Now, Cook is sitting as a potential steal at the top of the second round. At Florida St., Cook’s career 5,399 yards from scrimmage and 40 total touchdowns showed that he is a balanced receiver and runner. Cook brings the speed and vision to become a home-run threat from the backfield in the NFL.
Ultimately, Cook tumbled in the draft due to injury and off-field concerns. It also does not help that this draft class is filled with running backs. Plus, Cook did not look super explosive at the NFL Combine. Hence, it will be interesting to see what team finally selects Cook on Day Two.
Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp was also expected to hear his name called on Day One of the 2017 NFL Draft. Lamp played guard and tackle in college. His athleticism pegs him at either position in the NFL. Despite playing against lesser talent for most of his career, Lamp dominated in big games like versus Alabama.
This offensive line class is not super top-heavy. Thus, many draft experts projected Lamp to be one of the first offensive lineman selected. Two already went above him in the first round. Nonetheless, a team will find terrific value by selecting Lamp as a potential starter in the second round of the draft.
This quarterback class did not have a consensus best player. However, three quarterbacks were still selected in the first round. DeShone Kizer was not. Could another quarterback-needy team reach for Kizer in the second round?
Kizer has the body and arm strength to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. He has some questions about his ability to read defenses as well as his leadership. Regardless, he is probably the best quarterback available on Day Two. There are better defensive talents remaining in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. However, if the first round taught us anything, it is that NFL teams are desperate to reach for a quarterback. Kizer may not be available on Day Two for much longer.
Ultimately, teams will begin making their Day Two picks for the 2017 NFL Draft on April 28th at 7 p.m. EST. Will Kizer, Lamp, Cook, King or Cunningham finally hear their name?
[Featured Image by Gregory Payan/AP Images]