Maybe my memory escapes me, but I don’t remember participating in a re-do of an NFL Draft in all the years I’ve been running Dawgs By Nature. Over the past week or so, all of the NFL bloggers at SB Nation have been busy re-doing the 2017 NFL Draft.
Cleveland ended up having the three first-round picks in 2017: No. 1, No. 25, and No. 29. With those three picks, the team selected DE Myles Garrett, SS Jabrill Peppers, and TE David Njoku.
For the re-draft, the draft order stuck with the picks that teams had heading into the start of the draft. For Cleveland, that means I had picks No. 1 and No. 12. For this exercise, I had to find the right mix of understanding how players in the 2017 class ended up turning out in their NFL careers, while also putting my mind back to the year 2017 and ignoring the fact that the Browns have since taken guys like QB Baker Mayfield, RB Nick Chubb, or acquired the likes of WR Jarvis Landry and WR Odell Beckham.
Without further adieu, let’s take a look at who I selected with the first overall pick:
No. 1 Overall: QB Patrick Mahomes - It’s not easy to say goodbye to Garrett. While he still has room to grow, I think he’s been a worthy first overall pick and remains an impressive physical specimen. But I don’t think there’s any question that, in hindsight, Mahomes would be the unanimous No. 1 pick, right? After basically being red-shirted his rookie season, Mahomes threw for 5,000+ yards and 50 touchdowns in 2018. In 2019, despite suffering an injury during the season, he led the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl. The arm angles that Mahomes can throw from, his feel for the game, his mobility, etc. makes him the ultimate total package for a young franchise quarterback.
I was on the clock again at No. 12 overall, and the players below were taken after my selection of Mahomes:
1. Cleveland Browns - QB Patrick Mahomes
2. San Francisco 49ers - QB Deshaun Watson
3. Chicago Bears - TE George Kittle
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Christian McCaffrey
5. Tennessee Titans - DE Myles Garrett
6. New York Jets - S Jamal Adams
7. Los Angeles Chargers - CB Tre’Davious White
8. Carolina Panthers - CB Marshon Lattimore
9. Cincinnati Bengals - OT Ryan Ramczyk
10. Buffalo Bills - LB T.J. Watt
11. New Orleans Saints - CB Marlon Humphrey
Who was the right pick at No. 12 overall? The Browns’ wide receiver room wasn’t very good back then (as were a ton of other pieces — let’s not forget that the Browns went 0-16 in 2017), so my eyes drew me to a player who has come on strong the past couple of seasons.
No. 12 Overall: WR Chris Godwin - Godwin was a third-round pick in 2017 (No. 84 overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Godwin has shown a lot of growth over his three seasons in the NFL, going from 525 yards in 2017 to 842 yards in 2018, and then his best season yet in 2019: 86 catches for 1,333 yards and 9 touchdowns. I was also tempted to take a player like RB Alvin Kamara to have that explosive QB-RB tandem, but went with Godwin. A left tackle to replace LT Joe Thomas also could’ve been a consideration here, but Thomas got hurt during the 2017 season, and prior to that, I didn’t think it would be his final year with the team.
Here is how the rest of the first round shook out:
12. Cleveland Browns - WR Chris Godwin
13. Arizona Cardinals - RB Alvin Kamara
14. Philadelphia Eagles - S Eddie Jackson
15. Indianapolis Colts - WR Kenny Golladay
16. Baltimore Ravens - WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
17. Washington Redskins - DE Jonathan Allen
18. Tennessee Titans - CB Adoree Jackson
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - RB Dalvin Cook
20. Denver Broncos - S Budda Baker
21. Detroit Lions - WR Cooper Kupp
22. Miami Dolphins - S Malik Hooker
23. New York Giants - OG Taylor Moton
24. Las Vegas Raiders - WR Mike Williams
25. Houston Texans - CB Desmond King
26. Seattle Seahawks - DT D.J. Jones
27. Kansas City Chiefs CB - Shaquill Griffin
28. Dallas Cowboys - S Marcus Williams
29. Green Bay Packers - RB Aaron Jones
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - TE O.J. Howard
31. Atlanta Falcons - OG Dion Dawkins
32. New Orleans Saints - TE Evan Engram
We are currently in process of drafting for round 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft (I’ve already made pick No. 33, but will save that, and No. 52, for another article). Let us know in the comments section below — if you had been in my shoes, which players would you have taken at No. 1 and No. 12? And given how the first round played out, who would you be looking at for the start of the second round?