Which members of the 2017 class will make an immediate impact?
Well, the draft has come and gone. Now we’re left waiting until September. Everyone’s excited for their team’s rookies to put on their jerseys and show exactly what they can do. Some rookies have the chance to be immediate contributors. Some are more surprising than others.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans-
This one’s fairly obvious. Watson has proven that he has what it takes to win (albeit with a star-studded team around him) and the situation he’s being drafted into is desirable. The Texans have been missing a star quarterback for a while now. Watson will have no shortage of weapons with Hopkins and Fuller and he’ll have arguably the best defense in the NFL backing him up. Watson won’t only do well, he’ll thrive on the Texans.
Myles Garrett, DE, Browns-
The second and last first round pick I’ll be discussing. Garrett is a generational pass rushing talent. It’s a simple as that. With a strong tape and a transcendent combine there was no way the browns wouldn’t have selected him with the first overall pick. The Browns need a lot of help on the pass rushing front. Garrett will be given his chance to shine immediately. He’ll take it.
Tyus Bowser, OLB, Ravens-
If it wasn’t for character issues, Bowser would have gone in the first round. He has all the tools to be a great pass rusher, but his temper is another story. A fight with a teammate cut his senior season short with a broken orbital bone. If he can mature and settle into his position, he could set the edge for the Ravens for years to come.
Cameron Sutton, CB/PR, Steelers-
Sutton was a projected late-first to second round talent but he fell to the third because of an ankle injury derailing his senior season. Sutton still has a lot of tools that will help him in the next level. He’s great in man-to-man and is very fluid. If he can bulk up, he’ll take over the Steelers’ slot duties easily. However, his punt return skills may be what gets him on the roster to start.
Marlon Mack, RB, Colts-
The Colts have finally found the heir apparent to Frank Gore. Mack, the all-time leading rusher of USF, can be the youth boost the Colts need in the backfield. His ability to be slippery coupled with his breakaway speed is exactly what the Colts need to help Andrew Luck. If Mack can start running with consistent power, he could take Gore’s job sooner rather than later.