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After picking the teams that helped themselves the most in the 2017 draft, we asked NFL Nation reporters to weigh in on which players selected in Rounds 4-7 will have the biggest impact in each division.
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The results are below. Click the links after each division to view the complete answers from each reporter.
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We asked NFL Nation reporters to weigh in on which team helped itself the most in the draft. Among the most improved? The Browns, who had three first-round picks.
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Now that the 2017 NFL draft is in the books, which teams did the best job of improving their rosters? Todd McShay highlights the five franchises that made the most of their picks.
Christian McCaffrey Jerseys’s pass-catching ability gives him the chance to play early and often for the Panthers this season. Which other rookies are primed to make an impact in Year 1?
Fourth-round pick Samaje Perine Jerseys will immediately challenge Rob Kelley for the starting running back job thanks to his powerful running style. Perine averaged 6.0 yards per carry at Oklahoma and scored 49 touchdowns. The Redskins like Kelley but clearly sought an upgrade at running back — they were interested in the top three backs as well. Kelley and the run game slowed in the final six games; he averaged 3.2 yards per carry during that stretch. It’s possible that Perine and Kelley split duties, but the former should provide early help in short-yardage and goal-line situations if nothing else. That was one of Perine’s strengths in college. If he shows he can handle pass protection, Perine could see a lot of early playing time cheap nfl jerseys. Read the reporters’ takes.
The Packers passed on linebacker T.J. Watt in the first round, but they grabbed his University of Wisconsin teammate Vince Biegel Jerseys in the fourth round. While Watt’s upside may be greater, Biegel actually had more production over a longer period of time as a pass-rusher than Watt, who had a monstrous 2016 season. The Packers need more pass-rushers to go along with Clay Matthews Jerseys Jerseys and Nick Perry Jerseys Jerseys, and Biegel could get that opportunity right away. Read the reporters’ takes.
Cornerback Corn Elder was a nice steal for Carolina in the fifth round. He can step in right away and occupy the nickelback position. It’s rare for a guy who is 5-foot-9 and 183 pounds to have his type of physicality. He’s aggressive, has great ball skills and doesn’t miss many tackles. With the struggles the Panthers’ secondary has faced since the departure of Josh Norman Jerseys Jerseys, bolstering that unit, even in the slot, and being able to do so with this type of value in the later rounds is a great move. Read the reporters’ takes.
The 49ers might have found their future starting running back in Joe Williams Jerseys from Utah in the fourth round. Coach Kyle Shanahan (and his father before him) has a history of making these types of picks and turning them into major contributors at the NFL level. Williams has the speed and cutting ability to fit perfectly in Shanahan’s outside zone running scheme and should get opportunities wholesale nfl jerseys right away considering starter Carlos Hyde Jerseys’s injury history. Read the reporters’ takes.
Somewhere wearing an orange Clemson hoodie, Rex Ryan must have been smiling when the Jets took Clemson tight end Jordan Leggett in the fifth round. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. named Leggett as one of his early-impact rookies from Day 3 of the draft, and for good reason: The Jets’ tight end position has been a black hole in recent seasons. Without much competition, Leggett should have opportunities to contribute immediately, especially with Austin Seferian-Jenkins Jerseys suspended two games to begin the season. Read the reporters’ takes.
Fourth-round linebacker Carl Lawson Jerseys has injury questions that held him back at Auburn, but as a raw pass-rusher, he had the ability to be drafted in the top two rounds. If healthy, he can provide an immediate spark to the Bengals as a rotational linebacker or rusher. Guard Nico Siragusa Jerseys, picked by the Ravens in the fourth round, has the athleticism to push for playing time, and the Steelers’ fifth-round corner, Brian Allen, is intriguing at 6-foot-3 with 34-inch arms, but he needs some time. Lawson should be ready to contribute right away, which gives him the edge here. The Bengals plan to work Lawson at linebacker and defensive end in camp. Read the reporters’ takes.
The Colts were able to wait until the fourth round before selecting Frank Gore Jerseys Jerseys’s potential future replacement at running back in Marlon Mack Jerseys. South Florida’s Mack will help ease some of Gore’s workload next season after the veteran had 199 more carries than his next closest teammate last season. Gore also turns 34 on May 14. A consistent running game featuring both Mack and Gore will help quarterback Andrew Luck Jerseys Jerseys and the passing game. Mack left South Florida as the school’s all-time rushing leader with 3,609 yards to go with 32 touchdowns. Read the reporters’ takes.
If the Broncos’ doctors are right, folks might really raise an eyebrow at Denver selecting tight end Jake Butt Jerseys with the 145th pick — a fifth-rounder. The Michigan tight end carries some medical questions — he has suffered a torn ACL in each knee during his college career, the second in his right knee during the Orange Bowl this past January. However, the Broncos like his progress, and if they maintain their plan to be patient with Butt, they will end up with a first-down machine who could develop into the best blocker they have had at the position in quite some time. Read the reporters’ takes.