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NFL Draft: Reflecting on first round

The 2017 NFL Draft will forever be defined by the trades that went down, and the players picked as a result of them.

The San Francisco 49ers were able to require two of the best five players in the entire draft, due entirely to a pair of trades executed by rookie general manager John Lynch. Lynch, who was working with the second-overall selection, traded back one spot in a move that shocked the NFL world. The 49ers were able to get an extra third and fourth-round selection from the Chicago Bears, and another third round pick in 2018. San Francisco then added Solomon Thomas to a defensive line that already boasts Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner.

Then, Lynch got back into the first round with a trade for the 31st -overall selection. The 49ers were able to snag inside linebacker Reuben Foster, a player many believe is the best prospect at his position since Luke Kuechly.

San Francisco isn’t going to be good in 2017, but it laid serious groundwork for a quick turnaround.

Then, the blockbuster of the night took place at the 10th pick. The Buffalo Bills were on the clock, but decided to move back 17 spots when the Kansas City Chiefs came calling. Kansas City, which went 12-4 last year despite Alex Smith throwing for 3,500 yards and 15 touchdowns, decided to be bold. The Chiefs traded away their first and third-round pick, and their 2018 first-round selection to move up for Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech.

Mahomes is going to sit for at least a year behind Smith, who remains the starter for a team with Super Bowl dreams. Yet the Chiefs have to be beaming about the future, knowing full well that for the first time in decades, the quarterback question might be settled. This is the first time since 1983 that Kansas City selected a quarterback in the first round.

Finally, the Houston Texans also were aggressive in moving up to get their quarterback. Originally sitting with the 25th pick, general manager Rick Smith decided to give up next year’s first round selection to the Cleveland Browns, moving all the way up to No. 12.

Once there, Houston took the third quarterback off the board with Deshaun Watson, the reigning national champion from the University of Clemson. Watson has some issues in terms of arm strength, but he checks all the other boxes for a quarterback who could ultimately be the franchise.

Unlike Mahomes, Watson might be thrust into the starting role immediately, getting to battle in training camp with Tom Savage. Should be win the battle, the AFC South will be looking at Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck and Watson under center. Not bad.

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