2017 NFL Re-draft: Deshaun Watson a Clear #1

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Deshaun Watson
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 01: Deshaun Watson /

We are halfway through the 2018 season and are starting to figure out the value of some of the rookies. This article is a look at a 2017 NFL Re-Draft.

There have been several rookies who have made their presence know this season. The play of several others helped moved them up this 2017 NFL Re-Draft.

Since Pete Carroll came to town in 2010, the Seattle Seahawks have only three games where the defense allowed a quarterback to throw for 400 yards. On Sunday, Rookie Deshaun added a fourth.

The Texans’ newfound star has not only put himself in pole position to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but has a legitimate case to snag votes for the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

More from With the First Pick

It is hard to decide which is more incredible: Watson’s superstar level of play, or that he wasn’t even one of the top two quarterbacks selected in last year’s draft.

Myles Garrett will be a terrific player and was a consensus number one pick. But if the Cleveland Browns could to go back in time, my guess is that they would be taking the field with Deshaun under center instead of DeShone.

Don’t be too hard on Cleveland. Eleven other teams passed on Watson, including passing powerhouses such as the Bears, Niners, Jags, and Jets.

I know, hindsight is 20/20. And after the first half of the season, there’s enough tape of the 2017 rookie class to see where teams went right, and where they went very, very wrong. This is the 2017 re-draft.

1. Cleveland Browns – Deshaun Watson, QB – Clemson

2. San Francisco 49ers – Myles Garrett, DE – Texas A&M

The Niners are one of the NFL’s worst defenses in both rushing and passing. Garrett helps with both, even if he isn’t a perfect scheme fit. When on the field, he’s been a playmaker for Cleveland.

3. Chicago Bears – Mitchell Trubisky, QB – North Carolina

Trubisky certainly isn’t the third best rookie of the 2017 class. Yet he has shown flashes of a franchise quarterback, and the Bears cannot afford to pass on that type of opportunity.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette, RB – LSU

Fournette is the only reason the Jags have any sort of offense this season. It’s possible that Kareem Hunt is a better player, but Fournette’s production comes while surrounded by lesser offensive talent. He’s also better suited to take the type of pounding that comes from Coach Doug Marrone’s desire to “run the ball every play.”

5. Tennessee Titans – T.J. Watt, OLB – Wisconsin

Tennessee badly needs a playmaker on the outside for Marcus Mariota. Corey Davis looked fantastic in limited playing time, but hamstring injuries have caused many elite wide receivers to miss significant game time over their careers.

JuJu Smith-Schuster might help but probably doesn’t have the talent to be the number one option for a team. Instead, the Titans improve their lousy pass rush (only 11 sacks thus far) by selecting T.J. Watt (4 sacks, 5 pass deflections).

6. New York Jets – Jamal Adams, S – LSU

Adams has lived up to the hype as the best defensive back available in the draft. He’s been the perfect leader for a Todd Bowles’ defense which likes to disguise coverages and blitz safeties often. He’s also capable of spot duty outside coverage.

7. Los Angeles Chargers – Jonathan Allen, DT – Alabama

Mike Williams has barely made it onto the field for the Chargers. But with Keenan Allen healthy and Hunter Henry emerging as a game-changing pass catcher, L.A. can pass on a back-end receiving threat and address a much bigger issue instead: their league-worst run defense. Though he may miss the rest of this season, Jonathan Allen is agile for his size, changes direction well, and is great at extending his hands and shoving off blockers. He is also a formidable pass rusher from the interior.

8. Carolina Panthers – Kareem Hunt, RB – Toledo

Carolina is averaging less than 100 rushing yards per game, and Christian McCaffrey isn’t helping at all (117 yards rushing this season). Without a significant run threat, Cam Newton cannot use his arm strength to throw the play-action bombs we saw in 2015.

McCaffrey is a nice player, but most of his production comes from check-downs that should be a last resort in an offense, not a primary option. Hunt (who has 37 broken tackles this season) is in a different stratosphere of runners than McCaffrey and would make this offense more explosive while still providing a legitimate receiving option (25 catches through 7 weeks).

9. Cincinnati Bengals – Evan Engram, TE – Ole Miss

So far, 100% of John Ross’ offensive touches have been a disaster. Granted, that’s because he’s only had one carry and no receptions. But that lone rushing attempt resulted in a lost fumble on national television. Cincinnati currently sits in the bottom quarter of the NFL in both rushing and receiving yards per game.

In desperate need of another receiving option, Evan Engram is the choice here. Tyler Eifert’s career is in question due to never-ending injuries, and Engram has had success as the Giants number one option. He catches the ball away from his body, often eludes the first tackler, and is flat-out impossible to cover with the linebacker.

10. Buffalo Bills – Tre’Davious White, CB – LSU

Buffalo badly needs a receiving threat on offense. Jordan Matthews is their best option with Charles Clay out, and Zay Jones has done virtually nothing this season. While it’s tempting to go with Corey Davis in this spot, the Bills would probably be content with the way things are and keep Tre’Davious White, whom they selected with pick #27.

White has been a stud this season. He leads all rookies in passes defensed by a mile with 13, and Pro Football Focus has him ranked as their #4 overall cornerback. He runs faster than his 4.47 40-time and isn’t afraid to use his instincts to leave his man and make plays on the ball.

11. New Orleans Saints – Marshawn Lattimore, CB – Ohio State

The Saints also opt to keep their pick with Marshon Lattimore, who has helped improve a historically awful defense and turn it into something respectable. Lattimore is as physically gifted as they come, and so far he has lived up to his billing.

He tows the line of being just physical enough to not get penalized, and still being in position to make a play on the ball. He is also good in zone coverage, where he’s able to split the difference between receivers and read the quarterback’s eyes in order force a tough decision.

12. Cleveland Browns – Corey Davis, WR – Western Michigan

After (hypothetically) addressing their need at quarterback, Cleveland can help him out by improving either their offensive line or their receiving core. Corey Davis has one of the highest upsides left on the board. He has only played one full game this season and put up six catches for 69 yards.

While he didn’t look as fast as he did in college, he still showed the ability to high point the ball while draped in coverage. Hopefully the speed shows up as his hamstring he Either way, he would instantly become the best pass catcher on Cleveland’s roster.

13. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Mahomes, QB – Texas Tech

No other team’s outlook for this season has changed more in eight weeks than it has for the Arizona Cardinals. Had Carson Palmer and David Johnson been healthy, the birds might still be looking toward the playoffs.

However, it’s clear that this era of the Cardinals is coming to a Prior to the draft, Arizona was so closely linked with Patrick Mahomes that Kansas City felt they needed to trade up to pick number ten to get him. Bruce Arians loves strong-armed QBs, and no 2017 prospect has a stronger cannon on his shoulder than Mahomes.

14. Philadelphia Eagles – Malik Hooker, S – Ohio State

The Eagles currently have the best record in the NFL, so there aren’t many weaknesses to nitpick. Two of the best fits for Philadelphia suffered heartbreaking and season-ending injuries. But the talent overrides, and the Eagles need to address their passing defense.

If he comes back near 100%, Malik Hooker would provide much-needed coverage ability from the safety position when dealing with elite tight ends within the division (Evan Engram, Jordan Reed).

15. Indianapolis Colts – Solomon Thomas, DE – Stanford

With barely any pass rush and poor coverage, Indy has been tough to watch this year. Malik Hooker is off the board in this scenario, and there aren’t any elite pass rushers on the board. That makes this a good spot to go best player available.

Solomon Thomas is fast, agile, and can bench press offensive lineman off him and throw them aside. He has eight tackles for loss already this season and would be a good addition to any defense.

16. Baltimore Ravens – O.J. Howard, TE – Alabama

The last team in part one of our re-draft is the team that needs the most help. Everything about Baltimore’s offense is a mess. The best weapon still on the board is O.J. Howard. Joe Flacco has always fed his tight ends, and Howard has the talent to be top five at his position.

While he’s currently locked in a timeshare with Cameron Brate in Tampa, I believe he would instantly become the number one option for Baltimore.