The 2017 NFL Draft is in the books. We’ve analyzed the picks and now move on to after the draft activities and OTAs. Let’s take a look at some news around the league and the undrafted free agents added by each team.
Undrafted Free Agents
Detroit added their share of undrafted free agents. WR Michael Rector (Stanford), Storm Norton (Toledo) and Tion Green (Cincinnati RB) were the big additions.
No big names for the Packers. They added a QB in Taysom Hill (BYU). Donatello Brown could be a ninja turtle.
Minnesota added 13 undrafted players including Illinois QB Wes Lunt.
Bears added some people too. They didn’t give up any picks for them. The Bears signed a basketball player to play football and a nose tackle named Coward from Old Dominion.
Fifth Year Options
The fifth year option passed and 23 teams picked up the option. The Bears did not pick up Kyle Fuller’s option. The Packers did pick up Ha Ha Clinton Dix’s option for 2018. The Vikings picked up the option for Anthony Barr but didn’t give one to injured QB Teddy Bridgewater. Finally, the Lions gave Eric Ebron the option for 2018 for a cool 8.5 million in 2018. Barr will cost 12.036 million in 2018. Dix will cost 5.597 million for 2018. I am very surprised the Bears didn’t give Fuller the option but he was coming off an injury.
Ebron was eighth in tight end yards (711 in 13 games) and still a good weapon for Detroit. Ebron has progressed every year and should have a big year for the Lions in 2017 with the speed to stretch the middle of the field and get good YAC. The Lions drafted Michael Roberts in Round 4 but he is more of a red zone threat and blocker. Dix was a good safety with five interceptions and good cover skills for the Packers. Finally, Barr is a good pass rusher but has struggles against the run and coverage. We will see if those players get long term deals before their fifth year options hit in 2018. The teams have some flexibility now and the cap space to retain those players.
The Packers signed Jahri Evans before the draft. His contract is one year for 2.25 million with a 200k signing bonus. There was a rumor the Packers almost traded backup QB Brett Hundley on day 2 of the draft. The Packers also cut running backs Christine Michael and Don Jackson after drafting three running backs in the 2017 draft.
The Lions are bringing in former Vikings RB Matt Asiata for a work out. Asiata is a TD machine and would help the Lions in the red zone. LaGarette Blount is also linked to Detroit after they didn’t draft a RB. Finally, Jamaal Charles is no longer available after signing with Denver. The Lions are leaving the door open for Anquan Boldin for 2017. We will see if Boldin elects to stay in Florida, return to Baltimore or return to Detroit for 2017.
The Bears added tackle Bradley Sowell to be a backup for 2017. Mike Glennon felt cheated when the Bears drafted Trubisky. Schism.
OTAs should begin soon along with rookie mini-camps. Mandatory mini-camps will be in June. However, full scale padded practices won’t begin until late July. The doldrums of the offseason is upon us.