Looking back at an interesting final day of the 2017 NFL draft for the B1G
That’s the best way to describe the final day of the NFL draft for the B1G. There were All-Americans left on the board far too long, guys who were drafted much higher than expected and guys who weren’t drafted at all that looked like locks.
Here’s a look back at the day that was for the B1G.
-Vince Biegel to the Packers is TOO perfect
You can’t make this stuff up. Biegel was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, he spent five years in Madison as the ideal student-athlete and then he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Oh, and he was NAMED AFTER VINCE LOMBARDI.
I reminded Biegel a few months ago that his beloved Packers also had a 3-4 defense which features a linebacker with his own signature hair style. Naturally, I asked him if that obvious connection crossed his mind.
“Absolutely,” Biegel said. “Green Bay is a great place.”
Biegel will now get to call Green Bay home. Pencil Biegel in for a few Pro Bowls and a long NFL career.
He was long overdue for some new Packers gear:
— Vince Biegel (@VinceBiegel) April 29, 2017
-Jake Butt, Desmond King, Anthony Walker wait far too long
So, usually All-Americans from major conferences with size, experience and production are drafted earlier than the fifth round. For different reasons, that wasn’t the case for Butt, King or Walker.
Butt’s case was well-documented. His ACL tear cost him an estimated $2.3 million, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell. That was after he made $543,000 from his insurance policy. Once considered a late first-round pick, the Mackey Award winner certainly looked like one of the steals of the draft. The Broncos were confident that Butt would be ready to play in 2017, and they were stoked that he fell to the fifth round.
We were holding our breath these last few picks hoping to get Michigan TE Jake Butt. A top-notch TE we're fortunate to select in the 5th.
— John Elway (@johnelway) April 29, 2017
King didn’t have any health concerns. More than anything, it was likely his perceived status as a tweener. Perhaps because of his frame, he wasn’t considered a typical pro cornerback, regardless of the fact that he won the Jim Thorpe Award as a junior. Unfortunately, King’s uncertainty about his position fit probably cost him. Well, it netted Los Angeles a second-round talent.
Iowa DB Desmond King, Chargers. pic.twitter.com/90RXbjFxK4
— Jordan Loperena (@JLope34) April 29, 2017
Walker, who made history when he left Northwestern early, looked more like a late-third, early-fourth round pick. He was banged up for part of 2016, which saw his numbers take a decline. Still, this was a guy that looked like one of the best linebackers in college football entering the season. He shouldn’t have had to wait until the fifth round, either.
All three of those guys haven’t needed much of a reason to have a chip on their shoulders the last couple years given their accolades. On Saturday, they got all the fuel they needed.
-George Kittle, C.J. Beathard reunited in San Francisco
Reunited and it feeeeeeeels so gooooooood.
Call me crazy, but I think Beathard might’ve put a bug in his new team’s ear and told him to go after his reliable college target. Kittle was a steal to get in the fifth round, and nobody should know that better than Beathard.
Kittle can block, get himself open and catch anything in sight. If he had been healthy for all of 2016, he would’ve been a no-doubter in the first three rounds. Because he wasn’t, the Iowa duo will have a chance to establish themselves together in San Francisco.
Iowa fans have had plenty of reasons to watch the Packers the last few years. They just got two reasons to watch a different NFC team.
-Purdue’s draft streak hits 20, Nebraska’s hits 55
For a while, long draft streaks for Purdue and Nebraska were on hold. It took until the end of the fifth round, but both of those streaks continued one more year.
Purdue’s streak continued thanks to DeAngelo Yancey, who was picked No. 175 overall by the Packers. It didn’t matter that Yancey didn’t have a combine invite. He was too productive and talented to go undrafted. Now, he’ll get to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers.
DeAngelo Yancey said he did a Lambeau Leap during his pre-draft visit with the #Packers
— Wes Hodkiewicz (@WesHod) April 29, 2017
What that could also mean is that Purdue’s draft streak survived the Darrell Hazell era. Considering how overmatched the Boilermakers were the last few years, that leads me to believe this streak could last a long time.
The Boilermakers would love to see their streak last as long as Nebraska’s which reached 55 years when Nate Gerry was picked. He was considered the only real lock to get drafted. The four-year starter was one of the better back end playmakers in the country the last few years, which was why the Eagles scooped him him in the fifth round.
But the Eagles didn’t draft Gerry as a safety. They’re switching him back to linebacker, which was where he started his college career.
We know the TV said safety, but we say linebacker. 👍
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 29, 2017
Nebraska did, however, have its streak of multiple draft picks end. That dated back to 1963.
-B1G’s fastest man waits until Round 7
Jalen Myrick turned some serious heads in Indianapolis when he set the B1G record with a 4.28-second 40-yard dash. The former Minnesota defensive back had to wait all the way until the seventh round. Myrick said that the 40-yard time brought on way more attention than he was previously receiving.
But late-round pick or not, Myrick will have a couple former Gophers’ footsteps to follow in. Last year, former Minnesota cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun found a home with the Cleveland Browns after he was undrafted last year. Former Gopher star Eric Murray did the same after being picked on the third day by the Kansas City Chiefs.
For those of you keeping track at home, Myrick’s selection the fourth straight year Minnesota had a defensive back drafted.
-Michigan breaks own record, has most draftees, but falls short of all-time mark
No, Michigan couldn’t reach Ohio State’s mark of 14 draftees in 2016. In fact, Michigan didn’t even best OSU’s mark of 12 players in 2016. Frankly, the Wolverines should’ve.
But Michigan did break its own draft record with a whopping 11 draftees. That’s still an impressive accomplishment for a team that was two years removed from missing a bowl game. Nobody should ever question Brady Hoke’s ability to recruit talent. He certainly did that.
— NFL Now (@NFLNow) April 29, 2017
For Michigan to have more draftees than Alabama also said a lot about the prospects that were in Ann Arbor in 2016. The Wolverines might not repeat that every year, but the future should look a lot more like that than the previous couple years in the NFL draft.
B1G has quiet final two rounds, big names left on board
Go figure that the B1G would have just four players drafted in the final two rounds. In just a normal year, the conference would’ve at least approached its record of 47 draftees, which was set last year.
Instead, countless B1G players were left on the board. Three underclassmen (Garrett Sickels, Devine Redding, Marcus Oliver) went undrafted.
So did these guys:
- Carroll Phillips, Illinois LB
- Corey Clement, Wisconsin RB
- Sojourn Shelton, Wisconsin CB
- Austin Carr, Northwestern WR
- Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska WR
- Cethan Carter, Nebraska TE
- Riley Bullough, Michigan State LB
- Damarius Travis, Minnesota DB
- De’Veon Smith, Michigan RB
- Channing Stribling, Michigan CB
- Will Likely, Maryland DB
- Wes Lunt, Illinois QB
- Mitch Leidner, Minnesota QB
Inevitably, they’ll all have a chance to make an NFL roster. Still, it was surprising to see so many of those guys still on the board after Mr. Irrelevant.
Something tells me that a few players on that list will still have long NFL careers.