Skip to main content

2017 NFL Draft: 10 biggest remaining gems after Day 1

PHILADELPHIA -- With a full-day walk-up to Day 2 of the NFL draft, teams are afforded the opportunity to completely restack their boards. There are plenty of really good players left after Thursday night. Here are 10 that I have graded the highest, and ones I suspect teams will be aiming for at the top of Round 2:

Original rank: 15 | School: Alabama | Year: Junior. Father is Steve Foley, who played in the NFL for seven years. Started 43 consecutive games in his three seasons at Alabama. Team captain. Has 35.5-inch arms. Very good initial quickness (1.77-second 10-yard dash at combine). Very good competitor. Allowed only one sack in 2016 -- against Tennessee's Derek Barnett, who also had three pressures in the game. Big, strong hands (10.5 inches). Called for only one holding penalty but had 10 false starts. Should play long time in the NFL at a high level.

Original rank: 25 | School: Florida State | Year: Junior. Became Seminoles' all-time leading rusher in yards (4,464) and touchdowns (46) in just three seasons. Exceptional vision as a runner, a trait Bill Parcells believes is the most important for a running back. Has strength and is tough. Plays fast. Good but not great hands, and some questions linger about his pass-protection skills. Has had some off-field problems in past, but seems like a good kid when you meet him. Has had three shoulder surgeries since high school.

Original rank: 27 | School: Florida | Year: Junior. Has the size needed to match up with the new breed of NFL receivers. Strong, can re-route receivers. Smart, quick and competitive. Ran incredible 4.02-second short shuttle at the combine. Was targeted by opposing quarterbacks 47 times and had a very respectable burn rate of 34 percent (16 catches), plus nine passes defensed. Had three career INT returns for touchdowns. Father, Chad Wilson, was a corner at the University of Miami.

Original rank: 28 | School: Washington | Year: Senior. Played safety first two years with the Huskies, moved to corner last two seasons. Was targeted by opposing quarterbacks 51 times in 2016, with 23 burns (45 percent) and did not surrender a touchdown. Had a very good combine. Has exceptional short-area quickness (3.89-second short shuttle, 6.56-second three-cone). Can play both safety and cornerback. Played 92 snaps on special teams.

Original rank: 32 | School: Colorado | Year: Senior. Started seven games as a true freshman in 2013. Did not play well vs. Oklahoma State in bowl game (turf toe injury). Had an exceptional 1.50-second 10-yard dash at the combine. Very good tackler. Smart and tough. Can play corner, nickel and safety. Great character. Comes from a strong family. In 2016 he was targeted 63 times, with 31 burns (49 percent) and two touchdowns allowed.

Original rank: 33 | School: Notre Dame | Year: Redshirt junior. Had 23 starts after being redshirted in 2014. Didn't start Week 1 last fall vs. Texas, but entered in reserve and nearly brought Notre Dame back to win. Has tremendous upside, maybe more than any quarterback in this draft. Very good arm strength. Has quick release, but his accuracy needs improvement. Did not play as well in 2016 as he did in 2015, but that was due to a lack of talent around him after losing key weapons. Has talent and athletic ability. Needs time with top quarterback coach like Kyle Shanahan at San Francisco.

Original rank: 35 | School: Ohio State | Year: Junior. Played mostly running back. Will be a Percy Harvin-type of player in the NFL. Very fast. Will catch going across the middle. Despite lack of experience, more advanced than you might think at receiver. Started at H-back in 2016. Look at Michigan tape and you see a future NFL star in the making.

Original rank: 36 | School: USC | Year: Junior. Very young; won't turn 21 until November. Started 12 games as a true freshman. Did not have a good quarterback at the start of the 2016 season (only one catch vs. Alabama in opener). Needs work as a route runner. Very strong and has big hands. Wins most 50-50 balls.

Original rank: 38 | School: Utah | Year: Junior. Started six games in 2014 as a true freshman. Very athletic; had 43.5-inch vertical, 10-foot-9 broad jump, and 6.85-second three-cone drill at the combine. Very instinctive as a free safety. Very good hands. He was targeted 19 times by opposing quarterbacks in 2016, with five INTs and five burns for a very low burn rate of 26 percent. Participated on 98 special teams snaps. Will start as first-year player in NFL, might even play corner for certain teams.

Original rank: 39 | School: North Carolina State | Year: Redshirt junior. Entered N.C. State as a running back out of high school. Redshirted in 2013. Played strong safety in 2014 and 2015, moved to free safety last season. Physical player, very aggressive. Had impressive 37.5-inch vertical jump at the combine. Was burned on 24 of 44 targets in 2016 (55 percent), three touchdowns allowed and three interceptions. Had 78 special teams plays. Impact tackler; had double-digit tackles in six games this past fall, 109 for season.

Follow Gil Brandt on Twitter _@GilBrandt_.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content