By Danny Dunn
The NFL draft results are in, which means it is time to start evaluating each pick in the draft before they have played a single down for their team.
It is impossible to know for sure how each team did in this year’s draft until a few years down the road, but that does not mean there cannot be an initial reaction to each team’s selections, based on team needs and how early or late a player was drafted.
Here is a look at some winners and losers of the 2017 NFL draft:
San Francisco 49ers: New 49ers General Manager John Lynch absolutely fleeced the Chicago Bears in the first round of the draft, but more on that later. As for the players the 49ers actually selected in the draft, they were solid, and for the first time in a long time 49ers fans can be excited about their draft class. Defensive end Solomon Thomas out of Stanford will help sure up the defensive line, while linebacker out of Alabama Reuben Foster appears to be the best linebacking partner for Navorro Bowman since Patrick Willis.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs have already made a splash this offseason by signing wide receiver DeSean Jackson to put alongside pro-bowler Mike Evans in the wide receiving corps. Through the draft they added tight end from Alabama O.J. Howard. Howard was the number one ranked tight end in college and rightfully so after a terrific performance in the national title game as one of Alabama’s best receivers. Quarterback Jameis Winston will now have a litter of elite offensive talent around him, so look for the Bucs to crash the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Houston Texans: The Texans have the defensive talent of a Super Bowl caliber team right now, and Pro Bowl level talent at the running back and wide receiver positions, but the only thing hindering their playoff success is the quarterback position. They may have solved that problem by drafting quarterback Deshaun Watson from Clemson, who has a chance to play in his third championship game in as many years.
Chicago Bears: The Bears gave up two third round picks and a fourth to the 49ers to move up one space in the draft from number 3 to number 2, to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. This stunned everyone that watched the draft, because usually teams do not trade up one space; also, the Niners were probably not going to draft Trubisky.