NFL Draft Insiders
The 2017 NFL draft is over, and it's time to review how your favorite team fared. Where did it reach? Did it get a potential steal in Round 5? Is there a bust waiting to happen?
ESPN Insider's draft experts break down each draft class, starting with Mel Kiper Jr.'s grade, Todd McShay's favorite pick, and Scouts Inc.'s analysis on how each player fits into his new team.
Mel Kiper's Draft Grade: B
Kiper: New general manager Chris Ballard inherited a porous defense, and he went that direction with his first three picks. Malik Hooker could have gone as high as No. 7, but the one-year wonder dropped to 15. He's the best center fielder in his class, and some have compared him to Ed Reed, but Hooker needs to improve as a tackler. He's a ballhawk who is recovering from having surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and repair sports hernias.
Quincy Wilson went higher than I thought, and he gets a little grabby in coverage, but he has good ball skills and instincts. Top-end speed is the issue -- he ran a 4.54 40 at the combine. Jourdan Lewis Chidobe Awuzie, Fabian Moreau, Ahkello Witherspoon were all still on the board when Wilson went. Tarell Basham is a premium pass-rusher I thought could go in the second round. He had 29.5 career sacks.
Zach Banner is massive (6-8, 353) and will likely move inside to guard. Marlon Mack should see time next to Frank Gore. Grover Stewart is a developmental plugger (6-4, 334) who can take on double-teams at nose tackle. Anthony Walker Jr. had 20.5 tackles for loss for Northwestern in 2015 and was the Wildcats' best defender.
Ballard did a nice job addressing the defense, but there's still a long ways to go. I also wouldn't have minded a tight end to replace the departed Dwayne Allen.
|1/15||Malik Hooker||S||OHIO STATE|
|4/143||Marlon Mack||RB||SOUTH FLORIDA|
|4/144||Grover Stewart||DT||ALBANY ST (GA)|
|5/161||Anthony Walker Jr.||ILB||NORTHWESTERN|
Todd McShay's favorite pick
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida (pick No. 46)
I debated heavily here between safety Malik Hooker, who the Colts got at a great value in the first round (No. 15). But because Indy had a much bigger need at corner, I went with Wilson. Wilson was a fringe first-rounder on our board (No. 31 overall), and the Colts selected him midway through the second. At 6-foot-2 and 211 pounds, Wilson is at his best when he's playing press coverage. That makes him a perfect fit for Ted Monachino's scheme, which requires big, physical corners who thrive in press-man. The Colts had only eight interceptions last season, tied for second worst in the NFL, so it's no coincidence Ballard targeted Hooker and Wilson in the first two rounds. They both have great ball skills.
Scouts Inc. on 2017 class
1 (15) Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State | Highlights
What he brings: A ball-hawking safety who possesses playmaking instincts and outstanding range as a center fielder, Hooker is in the Ed Reed mold with his ability to convert turnovers into points. Room to become more consistent in run support but is active and willing in this area. -- Kevin Weidl
How he fits: The Colts add the biggest ballhawking safety in the class to a defense that ranked 27th in the league against the pass in 2016. Hooker also fills a void left by Mike Adams, who departed for Carolina in free agency. -- Kevin Weidl
2 (14) Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida | Highlights
What he brings: Wilson is a big and physical corner who masks the tightness in his hips with his instincts and ability to disrupt receivers in press coverage. He's also a playmaker who plays faster than his timed top-end speed and has outstanding ball skills. -- Steve Muench
How he fits: The Colts fill a need with Wilson, who has the size and physicality to thrive within defensive coordinator Ted Monachino's heavy press-man scheme. With the addition of Wilson and Malik Hooker, first-year general manager Chris Ballard is clearly looking to provide Andrew Luck with some help on defense. -- Kevin Weidl
3 (16) Tarell Basham, DE, Ohio | Highlights
What he brings: Basham is a hybrid edge defender who needs to develop his technique, but he possesses the size, athleticism and explosive traits that translate well to the NFL. Also brings added value as a core special-teams player. -- Kevin Weidl
How he fits: New general manager Chris Ballard continues to address a defense that finished 30th in the league in yards allowed per game, filling one of the Colts' most pressing needs by taking Basham here. Basham is a good fit at 3-4 OLB in the Colts' 3-4 scheme, and he should push for a starting role early on. -- Steve Muench
4 (31) Zach Banner, OT, USC | Highlights
What he brings: Banner, a massive right tackle or guard prospect, has the power and size to overwhelm defenders as a run-blocker. He possesses excellent length but needs to show more patience and balance in pass protection. His weight will need to be monitored. -- Kevin Weidl
4 (37) Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida | Highlights
What he brings: Mack put the ball on the ground too much last year and he's too quick to bounce runs outside. With that said, he has quick feet and accelerates well for a 213-pound back. He's also an above-average receiver who is a threat after the catch. -- Steve Muench
4 (38) Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State (GA)
What he brings: Stewart is a wide-bodied space eater who is raw but he had a strong pro day workout and has moldable tools. While he'll never be an overly effective pass-rusher, he has the size and strength to contribute as a situational run stopper. -- Steve Muench
5 (14) Nate Hairston, CB, Temple | Highlights
What he brings: Hairston, a former receiver who didn't move to corner until 2015, should get better with experience. He has an above average combination of balance, fluidity and short-area quickness. He's also outstanding in run support and expected to cover kicks. -- Steve Muench
5 (17) Anthony Walker Jr., ILB, Northwestern | Highlights
What he brings: A big and physical linebacker, Walker has adequate range for his size. He does have some limitations in space, but he has the work ethic and instincts to overcome his physical deficiencies. -- Kevin Weidl
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