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NFL Draft Off the Clock (Picks 1-4): Myles Garrett, Mitchell Trubisky, Solomon Thomas, Leonard Fournette
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28 Apr 2017 05:29 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Texas A&M Aggies defensive end Myles Garrett coming off the edge. (Image Source: Eric Christian Smith/AP Photo)

Here’s a breakdown of the first four picks of the 2017 NFL Draft:

1. Cleveland Browns: DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M

Despite their need for a quarterback, the Browns go with the best player on the board philosophy when selecting Garrett. At least the best talent on the board, as the Aggie is blessed with elite speed, athleticism, and explosiveness for a defensive end with the necessary hand size and arm length to battle in the trenches. His effort and even production have been questioned by some, but no one doubts his vast potential. Cleveland was among the worst teams in the NFL at getting after the opposing quarterback. Garrett should be able to step in and make an immediate impact as a pass rusher coming off the edge.

2. Chicago Bears (trade from San Francisco): QB Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

In the first wow move (of many) of the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Bears trade up one spot and drafted a quarterback when most analysts were expecting them to go defense. Chicago signed Mike Glennon as a free agent in the offseason, which means the Bears don’t need to rush Trubisky into the starting lineup. Considering he only has one year as a starter under his belt, that’s a very good thing. Scouts like his arm, accuracy, and pocket presence, while they love his toughness, leadership, and ability to thrive under pressure. Mobility is an underrated but not overlooked part of his game. The kid can run and change directions very well. I completely understand why Chicago fans are troubled by the haul they gave up.

3. San Francisco 49ers (trade from Chicago): DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford

Unless he had his eyes on Mitchell Trubisky, John Lynch did a masterful job in trading down just one slot and adding three picks in the process. The 49ers received the 67th (third round) and 111th (fourth round) picks in this year’s draft, as well as Chicago’s 2018 third-round pick in the deal. What a coupe, especially if you get the guy you were going to take at No. 2 anyway. There’s no reason to believe San Fran wasn’t targeting Thomas, a powerful and versatile defensive end. The Stanford man, like Lynch, is quick with elite pass-rushing skills for an interior lineman. Not only can Thomas fill a need as a five-technique, but he’s athletic and agile enough to play with his hand off the ground as an edge pass rusher, a skill set he showed off at the combine.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: RB Leonard Fournette, LSU

Reports of the demise of the running back position have been greatly exaggerated, as for the second-straight draft a runner is selected with the fourth overall pick. Behind an elite frame, Fournette is that rare physical between-the-tackles workhorse who also flashes burst when he gets into the open field. He’s displayed the ability to run through and away from defenders. While he wasn’t used often coming out of the backfield at LSU, he’s shown good hands as a pass catcher when worked out. Don’t expect him to win the rushing title as a rookie the way Ezekiel Elliott did, but Fournette should be a starter from Day 1 and potentially the focal point of Jacksonville’s offense. His addition could make Y.J. Yeldon expendable.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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