June 9, 2017

The Surprising 2017 NFL Draft Class

Corey Blum ‘18

On Thursday, April 27, teams were looking to make moves in order to take their franchise to the next level during this year’s National Football League Draft.
This was an interesting draft class that set multiple records. For instance, this year marked the first time in NFL history that an offensive lineman was not selected within the first seven picks.
In fact, the first offensive lineman drafted was Garett Bolles at number 20 overall by the Denver Broncos, who is a talented prospect with off-field issues. He was kicked out of multiple schools and was arrested for vandalizing his high school rival’s football field.
Bolles originally attended Snow College before transferring to the University of Utah. He has turned his life around and actually brought his newborn baby to draft day. Bolles looks to make a big impact on a Broncos offensive line that could use great improvement.
Additionally, this year set a record-high for the most defensive backs drafted in the first two rounds with a remarkable 19. The increased emphasis on aerial attacks in the league requires teams to load up on defenders in the secondary who can shut down their opponents’ passing game.
The biggest surprise of the draft was when the Chicago Bears, who had the third pick, traded to get the second pick. Many questioned this move at face value, but it became increasingly strange when it was revealed it had been done to prevent other teams from jumping up to the number two spot.
The Bears gave up a lot to move up just one spot, trading the third pick, the 67th pick, the 111th pick and a 2018 third-round pick. Chicago then selected Mitchell Trubisky second overall, a quarterback from the University of North Carolina.
This came as a shock to many people. The Bears had just signed free agent quarterback Mike Glennon to a three-year deal worth $45 million. In fact, the Bears asked Glennon to attend the draft, where he watched his new team trade up for his potential replacement. Additionally, very few rumors linked the Bears to Trubisky leading up to draft day.
The most captivating storyline of this year’s draft is about James Conner, a running back who was drafted in the third round by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Conner was a stud his sophomore year in college. His future was very bright and was a potential first round pick; however, toward the end of his sophomore year, Conner tore his MCL and then, while getting examined by doctors, was told that he had cancer.
Conner went through 12 rounds of chemotherapy during his junior year. He was able to defeat cancer, and returned to the football field his senior year, dominating opponents with a new-found vengeance.

This year’s NFL Draft was one loaded with surprises. Only time will tell if each team’s selections will spark or sink their futures.


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