With the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft in the books, lets take a look at the Baltimore Ravens and their AFC North division rivals draft selections from last night. This draft was extremely unpredictable to call and it showed. So with that, lets get started.
The Picks: Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, David Njoku
Wow! The Browns got not one, not two, but three first round picks. The Garrett pick was an absolute no-brainer for the Browns and the future of their organization. While rumors swirled of them possibly taking Mitchell Trubisky with the number 1 overall pick, it would've been typical Browns. Reaching for a quarterback out of desperation, but they didn't do it and took the best player in this draft. They let teams like the Chicago Bears reach for a quarterback instead of them. Garrett will make an impact in this division and every Ravens fan should be even more thankful they have Ronnie Stanley as their left tackle. The Browns might've stole Peppers at 25. He's versatile, a playmaker, and could've been a top-10 pick. They just need to figure out where he plays. Some felt that Njoku was the second best tight end in this class after O.J. Howard, and the Giants even passed on him for Evan Engram. The Browns were able to trade back up with the Green Bay Packers at 29 to select Njoku. Giving Gary Barnidge a quality tag team partner at the tight end position. The Browns selected three very good players, and they now have two first round picks and three second round picks in next years draft after trading their 12th pick to the Houston Texans. Maybe things are indeed changing in Cleveland?
The pick: John Ross
Every Ravens fans heart must've sank once they heard Corey Davis name heard not only before the Ravens selected, but in the top five to the Tennessee Titans. Not only was he gone, but it also meant that there would be an early run at wide receivers. The Los Angeles Chargers picked Mike Williams, and then the Bengals selected speedster John Ross. While this is a bit of a reach with the 9th pick due to the fact Ross gained momentum after his 40-yard dash performance at the combine and his injury concerns, a tandem of Ross and A.J. Green could be very deadly for the Bengals and quarterback Andy Dalton. It's a risky pick, but it could very well pay off if Ross stays healthy. The Ravens run of free agents and their eventual draft pick in the secondary could help them big time against a Bengals passing attack that also features Tyler Eifert.
The pick: Marlon Humphrey
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome had a plethora of choices, especially players from Alabama, to choose from when he was on the clock with the 16th pick. His pick was Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey. This was yet another pick that left some pleased, but also some scratching their heads at why they didn't take O.J. Howard, Reuben Foster, or Jonathan Allen. Humphrey is a big, physical cornerback that had five interceptions in college. Baltimore has without a doubt, made it priority number one to fix this secondary after years of ineptitude. You also have to factor in Jimmy Smith's injury history. A history that has wound up burning the Ravens time and time again because they weren't ready for it. Don't also forget that Brandon Carr is 31 years old and won't be here for long. With Humphrey on board to go along with the acquisitions they made this offseason, Baltimore is really looking to have a top secondary for the 2017 season and the foreseeable future. There are a few concerns. One of them is hearing John Harbaugh say that Humphrey will play special teams. The Ravens picked Jimmy Smith in the first round in 2011, and played him on special teams in the season opener. The end result was an injury for the then rookie. If Humphrey starts out on special teams, Baltimore better hope the same thing doesn't happen. They can't allow it. Another is the fact that Humphrey struggles on the deep ball. With Dalton and Ben Roethlisberger in this division, Humphrey will have to work on that if he is going to succeed.
The pick: TJ Watt
JJ's little brother won't be joining him in Houston. No, instead he will be heading to an ever improving Pittsburgh Steelers defense with a pass-rush that just got better. In just one season starting, Watt garnered 11.5 sacks at Wisconsin and after the Steelers swung and missed on Jarvis Jones, the team will look for the youngest of the Watt brothers to produce a pass-rush with his high-motor. Watt is another prototypical Steelers pick, and gives the Ravens need for another offensive lineman even more critical entering Friday night.
How do you think the Ravens and their rivals did in round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft?
Edit: The Browns have now released tight end Gary Barnidge after drafting David Njoku, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.