Starting with Bears, surprises galore on Day 1 of NFL draft
May 01 2017 by Dustin Murphy
The first stunning move was the Bears trading with the 49ers to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2.
This wasn't supposed to be a strong quarterback class and yet three were chosen in the top 12 - not by the Browns, who are already set for next season with two first-round picks and three second-rounders. The 21-year-old oozed confidence and composure during a news conference during which he and fellow first-round picks Peppers, the multi-dimensional defensive back from MI, and Miami tight end David Njoku were introduced to their new football home.
Cleveland, who have finished last in the AFC North nine years in a row, traded themselves into three selections in the first round.
On the field for the fourth-most plays in the National Football League, 1,067, this past season, the Browns allowed 392.4 yards and 22.8 first downs per game, and surrendered third-down conversions on 45.1 percent of their opponents' attempts. Except that when asked about that very subject, general manager Sashi Brownsaid, "It may be something we can't get comfortable with".
Gareon Conley, the former Ohio State cornerback who was accused of rape this week, was picked 24th overall by the Raiders. Not only does it allow fans to see the most high-profile new Browns players, but it is a great welcome to Cleveland for the young men. He was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2015 and collected the Paul Hornung Award - given to college football's most versatile player - this past season.
"I'm not ashamed of the things I like and the things I like to do in my off time, " he said.
Conley's status was central storyline of the draft after a 23-year-old woman reported he sexually assaulted her at a Cleveland hotel on April 9. But it was what was going on around him that surprised Philadelphia's Howie Roseman. The running-back was selected at #8 by Carolina Panthers, and is the son of three-time Super Bowl champion Ed McCaffrey. Mahomes comes from a spread attack and will need to learn a pro-style offense, but Kansas City has Alex Smith in place right now. He was the best player, and the right pick. "He's got some work to do", Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "It's another step of us being proud of him and what he's done".
This is the third straight year the Niners have taken a defensive lineman with their first pick. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Howard with the 19th pick in the first round.
Two other tight ends - Evan Engram of Ole Miss 23rd to the Giants and Miami (Fla.) product David Njoku 29th to the Browns - were drafted Thursday.