2017 NFL Mock Draft

I wasn’t going to do one this year, but why the hell not?  Here is my extremely uneducated prognostication on the first round to come.

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

There has been talk that the Browns are genuinely looking at UNC QB Mitch Trubisky, but in my opinion, when the dust settles, Garrett has to be the pick. The Browns are devoid of talent and Garrett is exactly the type of cornerstone player on defense that could jump-start a long overdue change of fortunes for this much maligned franchise.

2. San Francisco 49’ers: Jamal Adams: Safety, LSU

No one knows the importance of the safety position than neophyte GM John Lynch.  Adams brings the physical nature and leadership skills that can become a leader on the 49’ers rebuilding defense.  While it’s possible that the 49’ers fall in love with one of the QBs, I think that they will roll with Brian Hoyer this year and reevaluate the position next season.

3. Chicago Bears: Malik Hooker: Safety, Ohio State 

Word is that head coach John Fox loves Jonathan Allen from Alabama, but I believe that the most glaring need for the Bears is in the back seven.  Hooker is as athletic as they come and has the size and speed to cover the athletic tight ends that are commonplace in today’s NFL.  It’s also possible that the Bears opt to go with a QB, or the aforementioned Allen.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette: RB, LSU

Tom Coughlin has final say over the roster decisions in Jacksonville and Fournette can be the between-the-tackles bruiser that Brandon Jacobs filled while he was the head coach of the Giants.  Coughlin loves defensive lineman, so Allen or Thomas could be tempting, but Blake Bortles needs all the help that he can get and Chris Ivory and TJ Yelodon haven’t been productive.

5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB: Ohio State

The Titans released Jason Mccourty in the offseason and brought in Logan Ryan, and they definitely have a glaring need at this position.  Lattimore was only a one year starter, but he is long and athletic and could make an immediate impact.  The Titans really need a true #1 WR, but I think there will be someone their pick at 18.

 

6. New York Jets: OJ Howard: TE, Alabama 

The Jets have arguably the worst roster in the NFL, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.  You could throw a dart at the depth chart and would probably land on a need. Howard is a monster and would be a safety blanket for Hackenberg or a potential later QB selection. The Jets could also target a CB or LB like Reuben Foster.

7. LA Chargers: Solomon Thomas: DE, Stanford

The Chargers are switching to a 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, and Thomas could start opposite last year’s rookie phenom Joey Bosa.  There are also talks of the Chargers looking at drafting Phillip Rivers successor, so Deshaun Watson could be in play.

8. Carolina Panthers: Christian Mccaffrey: RB, Stanford 

Jonathan Stewart is toast and the Panthers need to bring in offensive playmakers to keep Cam Newton from getting killed. Mccaffrey is talented and versatile and would be a big time weapon for Cam.  The Panthers could also look at Marshon Lattimore here, as they have yet to fill the shoes of departed CB Josh Norman.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonathan Allen: DT, Alabama 

Some believe that Allen is a redundant talent to Geno Atkins, but Atkins is getting up there in age and this would be a great value pick for the Bengals at #9.  The Bengals are also rumored to be interested in Allen’s teammate Reuben Foster, but I believe that Allen will be too tempting to pass on here.

10. Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams: WR, Clemson

The Bills arguably need a WR more than any other team in the league.  Sammy Watkins is supremely talented but always injured, and Robert Woods was grossly overpaid in free agency.  There are some questions about Williams’ ability to separate against NFL corners, but his ball skills are off the charts.  I think the Bills would also be tempted by Haason Reddick from Temple and Reuben Foster from Alabama.

11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster: LB, Alabama 

The Saints have needs everywhere on their defense, and some have called Foster the 2nd most talented player in the draft.  There are some serious character questions clouding Foster’s draft status, but his ability on the field is undeniable.  The Saints could also look at Haason Reddick or Derek Barnett from Tennessee.

12. Cleveland Browns: Mitchell Trubisky: QB, UNC

This would seemingly be a dream scenario for the Browns. They supposedly love Trubisky, and there is even talk that he’ll be the #1 overall pick in the draft.  Their love for Trubisky could all be a smoke screen, and if that’s the case the Browns could continue to stock pile defensive players here.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Maholmes: QB, Texas Tech

Hard to believe that Bruce Arians could make his intentions so transparent, but by all accounts he loves Maholmes.  Carson Palmer is toast and there is no successor on the roster. The Cardinals would also be tempted by Barnett or Reddick here.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett: DE, Tennessee

The Eagles need help at cornerback, but Barnett is a sack master who would immediately help improve their front seven.   The Eagles could also look at Marlon Humphrey from Alabama, and a playmaker for Carson Wentz can’t be ruled out either.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick: LB, Temple

New GM Chris Ballard has made revamping the Colts’ defense a big offseason priority.  Reddick is flying up draft boards and he’s the athletic type of LB that would be a foundation of the improving unit. The Colts could also look to bolster their offensive line, as Andrew Luck has been battered throughout his career.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Forrest Lamp: OG, Western Kentucky

The Ravens supposedly want to build an offensive line ala the Dallas Cowboys.  That plan took a hit when Rick Wagner left in free agency to Detroit.  Lamp projects as a guard, but would be a plug and play starter.  Ozzie Newsome loves Alabama players, so Cam Robinson and Marlon Humphrey could also be in play here.

17. Washington Redskins: Marlon Humphrey: CB, Alabama

“You can never have enough good defensive backs” has never been more true in today’s NFL.  The Redskins added Josh Normal offseason, but Humphrey would mark the addition of another talented playmaker in the secondary.  The Redskins have also been linked to Dalvin Cook, but the combination of his poor combine and off the field baggage lead me to believe they will look elsewhere to add a running back.

18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis: WR, Western Michigan.

The Titans have an up-and-coming offense, but they lack a lot of talent at the receiver position. Davis was very productive at Western Michigan, and has the size, speed and production that would lead you to believe that he could bud into a very good receiver in the NFL.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku: TE, Miami 

As a Giants fan, this will be crushing to me, as I have dreams of this guy catching passes from Eli next season.  The addition of Njoku would give the Bucs arguably the most potent passing attack in the league.  The Bucs could also use help along the offensive line and at running back, but I don’t see them passing on the athletically gifted ‘cane.

20. Denver Broncos: Garrett Boles: OT, Utah:

Rumors are swirling that the Broncos are looking to trade up, but that is too hard to predict.  Russell Okung left via free agency, and a weak unit gets weaker.  The Broncos have been linked to Bolles, and he would provide an answer at left tackle that the Broncos must be searching for.

21. Detroit Lions: Charles Harris: De, Mizzou

The Lions have been linked to Reddick and Njoku, but with both off the board they will look to bolster their defense with the selection of Harris.  They have not been able to find a competent compliment to Ziggy Ansah, and Harris could fill that void.

22. Miami Dolphins: Taco Charlton: DE, Michigan

The Dolphins have needs along the interior offensive line and at linebacker, but bolstering their pass rush would also be nice, as Cameron Wake is nearing the end of the road at age 34.  Charlton can be groomed to be his successor and could provide much-needed depth at the position.

23. New York Giants: Zach Cunnimgham: LB, Vanderbilt

The Giants most glaring need is obviously the offensive line, but from what I’ve heard they don’t have a first round grade on any of the o-lineman in the draft. I’m hesitant to make this selection here, but Jerry Reese attended Vandy’s pro day and that is usually a sign that they are serious about the player.

24. Oakland Raiders: Jarrad Davis: LB, Florida

The Raiders biggest need by far is in the secondary, but they also need badly to bolster their linebacking corps, and Davis would definitely do that.  He’s an athletic and productive linebacker and would immediately bolster the Raiders’ lackluster defense.

25. Houston Texans: Deshaun Watson: QB, Clemson

It’s hard to believe that the reigning national champion will slide this far, but this would be a logical fit for the Texans.  This would help Houston wash the bad taste of Brock Osweiller out of their mouths, and he could sit behind Tom Savage for a year and eventually take over in 2018.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Kevin King: CB, Washington

It has been rumored all offseason that the Richard Sherman era is coming to an end, and King could be groomed to be his eventual successor.  The Seahawks really need help along the offensive line, but with last year being the exception, first round o-line is generally not their MO.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Deshone Kizer: QB, Notre Dame

The Chiefs have been linked to a slew of quarterbacks, and Kizer would be the best on the board at this point. He had an up-and-down career at Notre Dame, but if anyone can maximize talent its Andy Reid.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Adoree Jackson: CB, USC

The consensus seems to be that the Cowboys will be targeting a defensive player, and Jackson would be an immediate upgrade at the position.  Barry Church and Morris Claiborne both left via free agency, so an infusion of youth and talent is a dire need.  They have also been linked to Uconn safety Obi Melifonwu.

29. Green Bay Packers: TJ Watt: LB, Wisconsin

A talented, productive Badger going to the in state team seems like a perfect fit.  With only one year on defense, Watt was a productive force and his game seems like it is only going up.  The Packers could use some help in the secondary, so Tre’davious White could also be in play here.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyus Bowser: LB, Houston 

The biggest needs for the black and yellow appear to be LB and CB.  Jarvis Jones never lived up to his billing and left via free agency.  James Harrison is nearing the end of the road and they need some youth at the position.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Willis: DE, Kansas State

The Falcons epic Superbowl collapse made it clear that they need to add some young talent along the defensive line.  They have been linked to the big 12 defensive player of the year, and he would immediately help provide some relief as a pass rusher opposite last year’s breakout star Vic Beasley.

32. New Orleans Saints: Tre’Davious White: CB, LSU

The Saints have been linked to Patriots CB Malcom Butler, but until that happens I’ll assume this is still a need.  An in state product, White was productive at LSU and could play in the slot as well as the outside.  Free falling Jabrill Peppers could also be looked at here.

 

 

 

 

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