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: C+
Kiper: I understand why Tom Coughlin and the Jags went with Leonard Fournette this high -- Coughlin sees him as his new Fred Taylor, a workhorse back who can make the quarterback better -- but I question the need. Consider the recent history: Chris Ivory is signed through 2020 (though he could be a cap casualty), and T.J. Yeldon was taken at the top of the second round just two years ago. Before that, they paid for Toby Gerhart.
Yes, that was before Coughlin's time in the organization, but between Ivory and Yeldon that's a hefty free-agent deal and high draft pick now minimized with the addition of Fournette. They could have had their pick from the some of the best defensive linemen on the board, as well as tight end O.J. Howard to give Blake Bortles a useful weapon. Instead they went with a running back who will only be as good as his offensive line -- and that's the problem. Fournette isn't a guy you want dancing in the backfield to create big plays. Will the blocking be enough? Adding Cam Robinson in the second round helps, but how good will Fournette be with an O-line that isn't on the same level as the Cowboys' was when they took Ezekiel Elliott at No. 4?
Elsewhere, Dawuane Smoot is a fascinating pass-rushing talent if he's right, but his production dropped off last season. He looked like a possible first-round pick in 2015, when he had 8.0 sacks. Dede Westbrook in the top of the fourth round was a reach, and the red flags here are significant. I thought he would drop closer to the sixth round. At that point, if you decide to cut a player, it's not that unusual. Blair Brown is an undersized inside linebacker (5-foot-11, 238), and Jalen Myrick is an undersized corner (5-10, 200) with electric 4.28 speed.
Overall, there's no question Fournette is special, I'm just not a fan of taking running backs early when other needs can be addressed.
Todd McShay's favorite pick
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (No. 4 pick)
Tom Coughlin is running the show in Jacksonville, and you can tell. This pick is all about taking the ball out of QB Blake Bortles' hands, playing to the team's strength on defense and slowing the game down. No player in this draft can help you more in this role than Fournette. He has a rare combination of size, speed and power (4.51 40 at 240 pounds). Fournette can also create yards on his own, which will be an important trait running behind a Jaguars offensive line that's still a work in progress.
Scouts Inc. on 2017 class
1 (4) Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU | Highlights
What he brings: A highly competitive and physical runner with a rare combination of size, speed and power. Fournette runs through a lot of contact and can be a nightmare to corral when reaching the open field. Needs to develop more patience as a runner at the NFL level. -- Kevin Weidl
How he fits: QB Blake Bortles struggled in his third season and the Jaguars hope to take some pressure off of him by handing the ball to Fournette, who is a workhorse with an elite physical skill set. The hope is Fournette's ability to force an extra defender near the box will open up some easier reads for Bortles off of play-action. -- Kevin Weidl
2 (2) Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama | Highlights
What he brings: Robinson is a powerful run-blocker with the length and flexibility to develop into an above-average pass-blocker with improved footwork. He's expected to push for a starting role, though he might have to move to right tackle or guard early in his career. -- Steve Muench
How he fits: After taking Leonard Fournette at No. 4 overall, the Jaguars continue to bolster their ground game by adding the best run-blocking offensive linemen in this class. Robinson has a chance to step in at right tackle opposite of Branden Albert or line up at guard early on. Tom Coughlin has had a big influence early on, and clearly Jacksonville is looking to get more physical on offense. -- Kevin Weidl
3 (4) Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois | Highlights
What he brings: Smoot flashes the quickness and bend to develop into an effective pass-rusher. He needs to continue to add bulk and improve strength to become every down player. Projects as a situational pass-rusher early in his career. -- Kevin Weidl
How he fits: You can never have enough edge rushers, and Smoot flashes some upside getting after the quarterback. However, the Jaguars need Smoot to play like he did in 2015 and make an impact as a situational pass-rusher. Considering their depth at defensive end, they could have filled more pressing needs here. -- Steve Muench
4 (3) Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
What he brings: Westbrook is an explosive slot receiver and return man with excellent top-end speed, but he's undersized and there are concerns about his durability. Though he wasn't convicted in either case, he was also twice arrested on complaints of domestic violence before he got to Oklahoma. -- Steve Muench
5 (4) Blair Brown, ILB, Ohio | Highlights
What he brings: Brown, a twitchy run-and-hit linebacker, displays strong playmaking instincts defending the run. He lacks ideal length (31 1/4 inches) but makes up for it with his athleticism and tackling ability. He is also an experienced special teams player who should make an immediate impact in that area. -- Kevin Weidl
7 (4) Jalen Myrick, CB, Minnesota
What he brings: Myrick is an average-sized corner with below-average ball skills and average instincts, but he has some upside thanks to his elite top-end speed. -- Steve Muench
7 (22) Marquez Williams, FB, Miami
What he brings: Williams has only one year of experience at the FBS level, and he's a limited athlete who didn't play a big role as a ball carrier or receiver in Miami's offense, but he has an intriguing blend of size and speed. -- Steve Muench
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