The 2017 NFL draft became an exercise in the unexpected from the moment the Chicago Bears traded up one spot to make quarterback Mitchell Trubisky the second overall choice. It was this draft's biggest talker, but there were many more.
Extensive conversations with coaches, executives and evaluators bring the leading issues to life in this 32-team review of the draft through these insiders' eyes.
Note: Teams are listed in alphabetical order. To quickly get to your team, click on the links below.
Free agency gutted the Cardinals' defense, which is why it was no surprise when Arizona used its first two picks for linebacker Haason Reddick and safety Budda Baker. That they did not also get a potential quarterback of the future was a function of Arizona's limited draft capital. Teams that maneuvered for QBs paid handsomely for the opportunity.
"I liked Reddick a lot -- he's a freaking baller," a personnel director said. "The guy I did not like as much as some people liked was Budda Baker. He is tough and good, but he is not a safety. He is a nickel and not a nickel that plays man. He is a zone-reliant nickel. His optimum fit was to go to Arizona, though, because he is a little bit like Tyrann Mathieu. Arizona is good at thinking outside the box, so this is a good fit."
The Falcons traded the 31st, 95th and 249th picks to move up to the 26th overall choice, which they used to select pass-rusher Takkarist McKinley. They acquired that 26th choice from Seattle, which was fitting for an Atlanta team that is trying to build its defense in the Seahawks' defensive image.
"I really love Takk and might like him more than I liked Vic Beasley Jr. when he was coming out," an evaluator said. "He is a lot like Cliff Avril and so, for [Dan] Quinn, they will probably use Takk in very much the same way."
"[Takkarist McKinley] is a volcano personality who has been kicked out of practice, but it's because he is passionate and competitive. I'd rather have that than the guy kicked out because he is lazy."NFL evaluator
The negative on McKinley is also a positive. Fans got a glimpse of that when McKinley lost control of his emotions upon his selection and shouted obscenities in celebration to millions watching on television.
"He very much lives off his emotions, and if he can learn to channel that, he will be even more dynamic and explosive and amazing," the evaluator said. "He is a volcano personality who has been kicked out of practice, but it's because he is passionate and competitive. I'd rather have that than the guy kicked out because he is lazy. He has that chip on his shoulder. Quinn is all about the grit, and Takk has that."