There are always certain picks made in the NFL Draft that immediately seem to make perfect sense. Whether it’s a team filling a need at the right time or a player being selected after somehow falling in the draft, some teams just find a way to make what seems like a flawless pick.
Last year these picks belonged to the selections of players like Jalen Ramsey, Joey Bosa and Michael Thomas who were picked at ideal times to ideal teams.
The following five picks were the best in this year’s draft for a number of reasons. They are ranked in descending order from fifth to first with the last pick mentioned being the best of the entire draft.
5. Eddie Jackson, Defensive Back- Selected by the Chicago Bears Round 4, Pick 5
The draft didn’t get off to an ideal start for the Bears as their trade to select Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick in the draft was panned by draft analysts and the general public.
However, the franchise was able to bounce back in the fourth round with one of the best value picks in the draft with the selection of this star from the University of Alabama.
Eddie Jackson simply has an incredible knack for making big-time plays. During his last 23 games in Tuscaloosa he managed to score 5 total touchdowns as a defensive back and punt returner while also snagging 7 interceptions.
There is a great chance that Jackson will score whenever the ball is in his hands due to his uncanny returning ability. He can easily make the first guy miss, and then his top-tier acceleration will kick in and leave everyone in his wake.
However, it isn’t just his return ability that makes this such a good pick. The Bears had a pretty large hole to fill at safety in this draft. And since they traded away a lot of their first couple of picks to land Trubisky with the second, they absolutely needed a solid cover safety at this spot and they didn’t miss with Jackson.
Last season the Crimson Tide had possibly the best pass defense in the nation with Jackson on the field, but it noticeably took a step in the wrong direction once he broke his leg in the eighth game of the season. If Jackson is on the field against Deshaun Watson in the championship game, it could’ve been a different story.
4. D’Onta Foreman, Running Back- Selected by the Houston Texans Round 3, Pick 25
To put this simply, there is absolutely no good explanation why Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery were selected in the first 8 picks of the draft and Foreman had to wait all the way until the 89th pick before finally being selected by Texans.
The running back group this year was stacked and there isn’t that big of a gap in talent between these players.
Last season, Foreman was statistically the best running back in college football as he basically carried the woeful Texas Longhorns to a 5-7 record. He ran for over 2,000 yards while also scoring 15 touchdowns.
Foreman does have weaknesses to his game. He is pretty unproven in the passing game as he only had 146 receiving yards in three seasons and he had some fumbling problems last year.
Nevertheless, Foreman helps fill a need for the Texans as Lamar Miller now has someone behind him to take help decrease his workload. At 233 pounds, he has ridiculous speed and some of the highest upside of any running back in this draft.
If used correctly, Forman can be a dependable and rugged third-down back for Houston. A player of this caliber selected at the back end of the third round is a huge steal.
3. Forrest Lamp, Offensive Lineman- Selected by the LA Chargers Round 2, Pick 6.
Sure, this isn’t one of the sexier picks in the draft but the Chargers hit an absolute home run with this selection.
Heading into last weekend, the Chargers most pressing need was talent along the offensive line. For whatever unknown reason, one of the most talented lineman in the entire draft fell into the second round in the form of Lamp.
This year’s group of offensive lineman was not built up as the most impressive class. However almost every scout was regularly comparing Lamp to Zack Martin who is an immensely successful NFL lineman.
The biggest reason why he has been given these comparisons, besides their freakishly comparable measurables, is because of his incredibly dominant performance against the highly touted Alabama defensive line last fall.
Lamp was able combine his expert technique with his freakish strength (second most reps on bench press out of offensive lineman at the combine) to handle some of the best defensive lineman in the country.
Picking what could be the best offensive lineman in the draft in the second round while also filling a very pressing need makes this a can’t miss pick no matter how unsexy it may be to the common fan.
2. Malik Hooker, Defensive Back- Selected by the Indianapolis Colts Round 1, Pick 15
There were several highly touted players who fell in the first round of this draft, but the most unpredictable slide had to be that of Hooker who was slated to go in the first 7 or 8 picks.
However, he fell down to the 15th pick of the draft most likely due to concerns about his recent injury history. And because there was an obscene run on offensive skill players within the first 15 picks as well.
Despite these reasons, it just makes no sense as to why Hooker fell almost halfway down the first round. He doesn’t have the biggest sample size as he only started for one year, but in one year he was able to play well enough to regularly be compared to a young Ed Reed.
Jamal Adams may be a better tackler, but there isn’t a better ball-hawking safety in this draft then Hooker. In just thirteen games he was able to notch 7 interceptions and 3 defensive touchdowns.
More importantly, he helps to fill a pressing need for the Colts as former safety Mike Adams just signed with the Carolina Panthers. This pick simply checks off every box. The Colts defense will be another step close to being one of the better defenses in the league with the addition of Hooker.
1. Deshaun Watson, Quarterback- Selected by the Houston Texans Round 1, Pick 12
Despite whatever opinion you may have about any quarterback that was selected in the first round, Houston’s trade up to snag Watson was one of the better draft moves that has been made since the Atlanta Falcons traded up to select Julio Jones.
This isn’t even about Watson’s strengths and weaknesses. The reasoning for why this pick is the best in the draft this year is because it fills one of the biggest needs that any team in the NFL team currently has.
Here is a reminder: the Houston Texans made it to the second round of the NFL Playoffs last season with Brock Osweiler at quarterback.
Without an even average player at the most important position in the sport, the Texans still had enough talent on both sides of the ball to a win a game in the playoffs.
Watson doesn’t have to be an amazing quarterback right off the bat either. He is going to struggle early, but his talent is considerably higher than that of any quarterback on that roster at the moment. Once he finds his footing within the next two years, the Houston Texans may just be the team to dethrone the Patriots as the best team in the AFC.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Watson was actually the most talented quarterback in this draft and the Texans somehow stole him with the 12th pick.
Revisiting Deshaun Watson this morning. This throw, though. Holds safety out of the middle with his eyes, waits for Liggins, perfect pass pic.twitter.com/qmvuEEr8VX
— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) April 8, 2017