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Let's revisit and grade 2017 draft


How would you grade Bills 2017 draft class?  

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  1. 1. How would you grade Bills 2017 draft class?

    • A+
      27
    • A
      42
    • A-
      8
    • B- to B+
      11
    • C- to C+
      2
    • D and worse
      0


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So there are a couple of threads right now discussing grades of the 2021 draft. Even though most of us grade it for fun, we also realize that it doesn’t make much sense to grade any draft immediately. What makes sense is the grade draft after a couple of years.

 

I think the first time when it’s really worth it is after 4 years. After that time we usually have a large enough sample size for each player, and we also know if players were extended by the original team or are long gone.

 

From the Buffalo perspective, the 2017 draft is also special, since it is the first draft under the new regime. I know that Brandon Beane wasn’t here during the draft, but McDermott was. So I guess this is a great time to revisit the 2017 draft and evaluate how it all started.

 

I am no expert so I mostly want smarter guys to comment on it, but I give my view just to start the discussion.

 

Bills Draft

 

Mahomes factor. When judging the 2017 draft from the Bills perspective it is impossible not to deal with this Mahomes thing first 😀 Yes we could’ve draft him and yes Chiefs did so in our original spot. I guess that for many people whatever we did after that won’t matter much and will always consider it as a failure. I don’t think that is the case, since a) it was really hard to predict Mahomes’ success and above all b) from reasons discussed to death in my view McDermott wasn’t ready to take any QB immediately so it simply wasn’t an option. Therefore, not taking Mahomes doesn’t factor in my grades.

 

Let’s move to actual grading:

 

Round 1 pick 27: CB Tredavious White. Grade A+. Hard to give this pick another grade. Not only he is top 10 pick at worst in any redo, but there is maybe one player drafted behind him (T.J.Watt) who could be considered in his place. 1xAll Pro, 2xPro Bowl, extended after 3 years to massive extension.

 

Round 2 pick 37: WR Zay Jones. Grade D. Oh well. Not only we drafted below average to bust player so high, but we traded up to do so and gave up late 3rd round pick. It also doesn’t help his case that much better WRs went after him – Curtis Samuel, JuJu-Smith Schuster and Cooper Kupp. He had one solid season in 2018 when we didn’t have an actual NFL receiver on the roster (652y/7TDs), and was then traded next season to Raiders. I don’t think it’s an F since we got some production from him and Beane was able to trade him for 5th round pick this year, where we drafted Tommy Doyle. If Doyle pans out, it will be Zay’s biggest contribution to this team.

 

Round 2 pick 63: OT Dion Dawkins. Grade A. I have a hard time to give this pick anything less than A. We traded up for him giving up two 5th round selections, but I guess it is fully worth it when you get above average franchise LT at the end of 2nd round. He took over LT position five games into his rookie season and then started all 59 following games. Resigned to a large extension this offseason.

 

Round 5 pick 163: LB Matt Milano. Grade A+. I know there are discussions about Milano on this board, but getting someone like him in 5th round among all those names I’ve never heard of is amazing. No matter how we view him, he just signed quite a massive extension and he is an integral part of this team’s success and future. When doing this I found that we gained that pick from New England in exchange for their signing of RFA RB Mike Gillislie, which makes me smile.

 

Round 5 pick 171: QB Nathan Peterman. Grade D. I really don’t know what to say. He was a disaster here, but somehow he is still in the league. It can be anything between C and F imo.

 

Round 6 pick 195: LB Tanner Vallejo. Grade C. I have no idea how to grade picks like this. He played here his rookie season, then left. He didn’t pan out, but you generally don’t expect that from 6th round picks. What’s interesting is that he is still in the league and just had his best season with the Cardinals and resigned there for 2y/4m.

 

Overall Bills grade: A

I was considering A+ actually. If you get All Pro CB, franchise LT and one more top player from the same draft without mortgaging future, I don’t think it can be grade any worse than A. I keep it this way, since A+ should be probably reserved for draft when we don’t completely waste couple of 2nd day picks.

 

Even though the idea is to discuss primarily the Bills draft, I think we can have a look at other teams as well. My random thoughts:

 

AFC East teams blew this one big time.

 

Jets drafted safeties Adams and Maye, but after them it was a disaster. Adams was not a bad player, but I don’t think you draft him so high even when you know how good he will be, and less so without knowing that. His biggest contribution was how the Jets robbed the Seahawks when trading him. I don’t think Dolphins has drafted an impact player. DE Harris busted, LB McMillan left after two seasons, and others are journeymen at best. Patriots didn’t draft until late third and didn’t draft anybody relevant.

 

Best draft had without doubt Saints - Lattimore, Ramczyk, Marcus Williams, Kamara, Anzalone, Hendrickson. They get an A+ since it is really sick.

 

Teams with good draft include Steelers (T.J. Watt, Smith-Schuster), Chiefs (Mahomes, Hunt), Texans (Watson, Cunningham), Browns (Garrett, Njoku, Ogunjobi) and Bucs (Chris Goodwin, O.J.Howard).

 

The 49ers had a fun draft since they completely whiffed early (Thomas, Foster) but then grabbed Kittle in the 5th round.

 

3 WRs went in top 10 and while two of them are good NFL players (Corey Davis, Mike William), they were certainly overdrafted. Ross is a complete bust in my book.

 

What are your grades/thoughts?

 

Link to the draft:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_NFL_Draft

 

 

 

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Tre White, Dawkins, Milano - 3 key starters including a 1st team all-pro, all signed to 2nd contracts, plus a 1st the following year to move up and get Josh Allen?   A+

Big successful hits on 3 of 6 picks, and at key NFL positions? That's a solid A.

Josh Allen makes the 2018 draft an A+ regardless of what happens to the rest of the draftees. He's the most important pick since Kelly.

Tre White, Dawkins, Milano - 3 key starters including a 1st team all-pro, all signed to 2nd contracts, plus a 1st the following year to move up and get Josh Allen?

 

A+

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B

 

Although we got three really good starters, we passed on Mahomes. I understand we have Josh Allen who is a top 2-3 QB, but it was a risky move. Not to toot my own horn, but I wanted Mahomes that year. It worked out in the end though, but had we not landed Josh, this could have been a career ender for McD/Beane.

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How far this team has come in 4 years from the depths of purgatory we once perpetually resided in. 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, No_Matter_What said:

So there are a couple of threads right now discussing grades of the 2021 draft. Even though most of us grade it for fun, we also realize that it doesn’t make much sense to grade any draft immediately. What makes sense is the grade draft after a couple of years.

 

I think the first time when it’s really worth it is after 4 years. After that time we usually have a large enough sample size for each player, and we also know if players were extended by the original team or are long gone.

 

From the Buffalo perspective, the 2017 draft is also special, since it is the first draft under the new regime. I know that Brandon Beane wasn’t here during the draft, but McDermott was. So I guess this is a great time to revisit the 2017 draft and evaluate how it all started.

 

I am no expert so I mostly want smarter guys to comment on it, but I give my view just to start the discussion.

 

Bills Draft

 

Mahomes factor. When judging the 2017 draft from the Bills perspective it is impossible not to deal with this Mahomes thing first 😀 Yes we could’ve draft him and yes Chiefs did so in our original spot. I guess that for many people whatever we did after that won’t matter much and will always consider it as a failure. I don’t think that is the case, since a) it was really hard to predict Mahomes’ success and above all b) from reasons discussed to death in my view McDermott wasn’t ready to take any QB immediately so it simply wasn’t an option. Therefore, not taking Mahomes doesn’t factor in my grades.

 

Let’s move to actual grading:

 

Round 1 pick 27: CB Tredavious White. Grade A+. Hard to give this pick another grade. Not only he is top 10 pick at worst in any redo, but there is maybe one player drafted behind him (T.J.Watt) who could be considered in his place. 1xAll Pro, 2xPro Bowl, extended after 3 years to massive extension.

 

Round 2 pick 37: WR Zay Jones. Grade D. Oh well. Not only we drafted below average to bust player so high, but we traded up to do so and gave up late 3rd round pick. It also doesn’t help his case that much better WRs went after him – Curtis Samuel, JuJu-Smith Schuster and Cooper Kupp. He had one solid season in 2018 when we didn’t have an actual NFL receiver on the roster (652y/7TDs), and was then traded next season to Raiders. I don’t think it’s an F since we got some production from him and Beane was able to trade him for 5th round pick this year, where we drafted Tommy Doyle. If Doyle pans out, it will be Zay’s biggest contribution to this team.

 

Round 2 pick 63: OT Dion Dawkins. Grade A. I have a hard time to give this pick anything less than A. We traded up for him giving up two 5th round selections, but I guess it is fully worth it when you get above average franchise LT at the end of 2nd round. He took over LT position five games into his rookie season and then started all 59 following games. Resigned to a large extension this offseason.

 

Round 5 pick 163: LB Matt Milano. Grade A+. I know there are discussions about Milano on this board, but getting someone like him in 5th round among all those names I’ve never heard of is amazing. No matter how we view him, he just signed quite a massive extension and he is an integral part of this team’s success and future. When doing this I found that we gained that pick from New England in exchange for their signing of RFA RB Mike Gillislie, which makes me smile.

 

Round 5 pick 171: QB Nathan Peterman. Grade D. I really don’t know what to say. He was a disaster here, but somehow he is still in the league. It can be anything between C and F imo.

 

Round 6 pick 195: LB Tanner Vallejo. Grade C. I have no idea how to grade picks like this. He played here his rookie season, then left. He didn’t pan out, but you generally don’t expect that from 6th round picks. What’s interesting is that he is still in the league and just had his best season with the Cardinals and resigned there for 2y/4m.

 

Overall Bills grade: A

I was considering A+ actually. If you get All Pro CB, franchise LT and one more top player from the same draft without mortgaging future, I don’t think it can be grade any worse than A. I keep it this way, since A+ should be probably reserved for draft when we don’t completely waste couple of 2nd day picks.

 

Even though the idea is to discuss primarily the Bills draft, I think we can have a look at other teams as well. My random thoughts:

 

AFC East teams blew this one big time.

 

Jets drafted safeties Adams and Maye, but after them it was a disaster. Adams was not a bad player, but I don’t think you draft him so high even when you know how good he will be, and less so without knowing that. His biggest contribution was how the Jets robbed the Seahawks when trading him. I don’t think Dolphins has drafted an impact player. DE Harris busted, LB McMillan left after two seasons, and others are journeymen at best. Patriots didn’t draft until late third and didn’t draft anybody relevant.

 

Best draft had without doubt Saints - Lattimore, Ramczyk, Marcus Williams, Kamara, Anzalone, Hendrickson. They get an A+ since it is really sick.

 

Teams with good draft include Steelers (T.J. Watt, Smith-Schuster), Chiefs (Mahomes, Hunt), Texans (Watson, Cunningham), Browns (Garrett, Njoku, Ogunjobi) and Bucs (Chris Goodwin, O.J.Howard).

 

The 49ers had a fun draft since they completely whiffed early (Thomas, Foster) but then grabbed Kittle in the 5th round.

 

3 WRs went in top 10 and while two of them are good NFL players (Corey Davis, Mike William), they were certainly overdrafted. Ross is a complete bust in my book.

 

What are your grades/thoughts?

 

Link to the draft:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_NFL_Draft

 

 

 

Yeah, Mahomes factor aside, that was a really nice draft for the Bills.  And didn't we get back some sort of late-round pick for Peterman? Or did we just cut him?  

 

It would have been nice if we had traded or pick 10 overall to someone outside the AFC, but I don't doubt that KC's offer was the best one we had on the table at time.

 

As far as which team had the best draft, well, there's not much question that it was Kansas City.  They got their QB for the next 15 years, long after Marshawn Lattimore and the other Saints draftees have hung up their cleats. 

Edited by mannc
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Fun fact - this is the first Bills draft since the pre-salary cap era of 1991 that we signed 3 of our original picks to 2nd contracts

 

It has always felt like this, more than anything else, contributed to the long period of mediocrity, and indirectly to all of the bad free-agent spends as well.

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5 minutes ago, mushypeaches said:

Fun fact - this is the first Bills draft since the pre-salary cap era of 1991 that we signed 3 of our original picks to 2nd contracts

 

It has always felt like this, more than anything else, contributed to the long period of mediocrity, and indirectly to all of the bad free-agent spends as well.


And the drafts were still 12 rounds back then, making the 2017 draft much more impressive 

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B to B+.  I wanted Mahomes, but I was OK with the Bills trade down, except when I learned the compensation.  We needed to get 1 or 2 more picks out of KC to make that deal worthwhile.  The Zay Pick was also disastrous, with the move up.  White, Dawkins, and Milano were home runs.

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A+

 

The Bills managed to draft an All-Pro along with drafting two additional perennial starters and cornerstones on the team. You also need to factor that we acquired an additional 1st as well. 

 

The miss on the other picks shouldn't matter considering the Bills hitting on these 3 studs. 

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Posted (edited)

White, Dawkins, and Milano clearly were really good picks. When you factor in Zay, Petermen (especially) I guess I would overall give it a B or B-.. I really don't factor in the Tanner pick in 6th round very much due to obvious reasons, however if it would have been a 6th round player that  totally surprised and made an impact (which is very rare) it would be an A.

 

Also I don't really factor in the PM miss since so many other teams also passed on him. That's just me.

Edited by Patrick_Duffy
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48 minutes ago, DrDawkinstein said:

Big successful hits on 3 of 6 picks, and at key NFL positions? That's a solid A.

 

They did that while pocketing a future 1st round pick. A+ in my book. 

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16 minutes ago, DrDawkinstein said:

Gonna stir the pot here: Is there another A-graded draft in the last 3 years? Or does Whaley have the only one? :devil:

Josh Allen makes the 2018 draft an A+ regardless of what happens to the rest of the draftees. He's the most important pick since Kelly.

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