Anyone else enjoy looking back at past NFL drafts and catching the studs and duds? That is exactly what NFL.com did recently as they did a complete 2017 NFL Draft do-over. Of course, Patrick Mahomes went first to the Cleveland Browns as Deshaun Watson and George Kittle followed. However, there is one note to point out about this draft. The Los Angeles Rams found some gems in the third round as they drafted WR Cooper Kupp with the 69th overall pick and S John Johnson with the 91st overall pick. Wanna know where NFL.com had them now in the do-over? Let’s take a look.
1st Round: Pick 14 – Philadelphia Eagles WR Cooper Kupp
Original pick: Derek Barnett, DE.
Kupp was actually drafted: by the Rams in Round 3 (No. 69)
The Eagles seemingly have a perennial need for a wide receiver. One of my favorite receivers headed into the 2017 NFL Draft was Cooper Kupp, a standout at Eastern Washington who proved he could play in the Senior Bowl. But then his 40-yard-dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn’t that great, and folks panicked. Which was kind of stupid. Because I would always lean toward the guys who actually played well on the field over someone who looked good running around in his underwear in Indianapolis. Kupp would have no doubt flourished with Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz in Philly.
I can confidentially say that Kupp is 100% a 1st round WR. Looking back at his years with the Rams, he has already shown he can be reliable on third down and can come back from a very serious injury. For his career, Kupp already has 196 catches for 2,596 yards and 21 touchdowns. Expect Kupp to be a Ram for life.
1st Round: Pick 18 – Tennessee Titans S John Johnson
Original pick: Adoree’ Jackson, CB.
Johnson was actually drafted: by the Rams in Round 3 (No. 91).
The Titans would probably be in a good spot to move down, because cornerback would have been their biggest priority at this point. But the team also had a need at safety — and I would favor Johnson over Eddie Jackson, because Jackson is a better free safety, a position that is already occupied on Tennessee’s roster by the great Kevin Byard. Johnson would be able to play his more natural strong safety position, where he really did well for two years before an abbreviated 2019.
Another 1st round selection as John Johnson makes the list. Another player the Rams are hoping to keep for a very long time. Johnson’s best year came in 2018when he totaled four interceptions, one forced fumble, 119 combined tackles and three tackles for losses. Johnson clearly is a ball hawk and will not allow anything to go past him. Expect more amazing plays from Johnson this season.
Anybody else happy with the Rams 2017 draft selections? Remember they also drafted WR Josh Reynolds and LB Samson Ebukam.