Slides (Foster), surges (Davis) from 1st round of NFL draft
The first round of the NFL draft had players from Temple and Western Michigan off the board before players from Alabama. And in a draft where none of the quarterbacks looked like locks to be picked in the first round, three were taken in the first 12 picks.
The draft always provides surprises. As usual, some players were off the board earlier than expected while others had to wait longer than most of the draft forecasters expected.
Three players who surged and three more who were picked but slipped during the first round of the NFL draft
Corey Davis, wide receiver, Western Michigan to Tennessee at No. 5
For those who think the combine and pro day workouts are overrated, Davis is proof that film comes first. He didn't work out at the combine or pro day because of injuries, and the conventional wisdom was that would make Clemson's Mike Williams to first receiver off the board. Instead, the Titans grabbed Davis over Williams, who went two picks later to the Chargers . The only real question about the 6-foot-3 Davis is consistent quality of competition.
John Ross, wide receiver, Washington to Cincinnati at No. 9.
Ross was a lock to go in the first round after running a combine record 4.22-second 40-yard dash . Still, he is not the biggest guy at 5-11, 188. Plus, he had a serious knee injury in his college career. Ross seemed like more of a mid-first rounder than a top-10 pick, but the Bengals could not pass up on that speed.
Patrick Mahomes II, quarterback, Texas Tech to Kansas City at No. 10.
The Bears surprisingly traded up from No. 3 to No. 2 to take North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, but he had long been speculated to be the first QB off the board. Then Kansas City made an even more surprising jump from 27 to 10 via a trade with the Bills to take Mahomes . The gun-slinging Mahomes has a ton of upside, but needs polish. When the college football season ended, no one would have guessed that Mahomes would be drafted before Deshaun Watson, who was taken two picks later by Houston.
Reuben Foster, linebacker, Alabama to San Francisco at No. 31.
Foster was touted as a top-10 pick, but he had a rough go of it during the postseason draft process. He left the combine early after getting into argument with a hospital worker. He was found to have a diluted urine sample at the combine, which counts as a failed drug test. And there were lingering concerns about a shoulder problem. The last one might have been most damaging. Early in the process, there was speculation San Francisco might take Foster at No. 2 overall. Instead, the 49ers were able to trade back into the first round and get him with the second-to-last pick of the night.
Jonathan Allen, defensive lineman, Alabama to Washington at No. 17.
Another Alabama player with a shoulder issue that likely cost him a few million dollars. Allen was in the discussion to push Myles Garrett to be No. 1 overall at the end of the college season. Instead, a deep talent pool and an early run on quarterbacks helped push Allen down the board - much to the delight of the Redskins.
O.J. Howard, tight end, Alabama to Tampa Bay at No. 19.
Make it a hat trick for the Crimson Tide, though there were no injury red flags working against Howard. He was still the first tight end off the board and Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston gets a big new target at 6-foot-6, 255 pounds.
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