2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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Photo Credit: Sporting News

It’s that time of the year again: NFL Draft Season. And this year, it promises to be a good one, with as deep and talented of a pool of prospects as we’ve seen in years. With the draft just over a month away, the Cleveland Browns are on the clock, with a bevy of potential choices at the No. 1 overall selection. Will it be Myles Garrett? Or will the Browns shock the world and take DeShaun Watson, Mitchell Trubisky or someone else? So without further ado, here’s my 2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.

(All Offensive, Defensive and line rankings come via Football Outsiders DVOA)

  1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M. Myles Garrett is as close to a once-in-a-generation talent this draft has, and the Browns would be foolish to pass him up. With 10 more picks, and four more in the Top 100, the Browns can afford to pass on a quarterback here, especially in a weak class, and take Garrett, vastly improving their pass rush.
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC. Though they signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, neither is the 49ers long-term answer at quarterback. What Hoyer and Barkley do allow San Francisco to do though, is take a guy like Trubisky, who may not be ready to start from day one. The 49ers need a quarterback, and Kyle Shanahan finds his guy here.
  3. Chicago Bears: Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama. The Bears defense improved from No. 31 to No. 24 in the NFL this past season, but Chicago still has several needs to address, including its defensive line. Though his shoulder could scare some teams away, Allen is the second-best prospect in the draft behind Garrett, and would immediately give the Bears a mauler up-front.
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU. Whether Blake Bortles is the long-term answer at quarterback for the Jaguars, Jacksonville needs to surround him with more weapons. T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory combined to form the No. 29 rushing offense in the NFL, and Fournette, who has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson, who instantly give them an upgrade and a dynamic weapon at the position.
  5. Tennessee Titans (via LA Rams): Jamal Adams, SS, LSU. The Titans defense ranked No. 10 against the run this past season, but No. 26 against the pass. After adding a corner in Logan Ryan and Jonathan Cyprien via free agency, the Titans continue to upgrade their secondary with this pick, taking Adams, who after Garrett, might be the closest thing to a “sure thing” in this draft class.
  6. New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State. The Jets defense suffered a massive drop-off last season, with their pass defense finishing the season ranked No. 31 in the NFL. With an aging and depleted secondary, the Jets need an upgrade, and they do so by selecting Lattimore here. The top corner in the draft, Lattimore had four INTs and nine passes defended this past season with the Buckeyes.
  7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State. Though the Chargers defense improved last season, they still had trouble replacing Eric Weddle, who signed with Baltimore in free agency. Enter Hooker, a rangy safety who had seven interceptions last season with the Buckeyes and can slot into Weddle’s position from day one.
  8. Carolina Panthers: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin. The Panthers are crazy if they think OT Matt Kalil is the answer to their offensive line struggles. Carolina needs to better protect Cam Newton after allowing 36 sacks this past season, and a lot more quarterback hits. Drafting Ramzyck, a plug-and-play tackle, would be a start.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford. DE Michael Johnson struggled in his return to Cincinnati, as the Bengals defensive line generated little pass rush, resulting in a mediocre defense performance this past season. Thomas, while a bit of a tweener at 273 lbs., would give the Bengals another edge rusher to work with.
  10. Buffalo Bills: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama. Now that they’ve decided to keep Tyrod Taylor, the Bills need to improve their 19th ranked passing offense. Outside of Sammy Watkins, Taylor doesn’t have a whole lot to work with, especially with Robert Woods leaving via free agency. Charles Clay hasn’t really lived up to his contract either, so drafting Howard, who has all the makings of a dynamic playmaker would be terrific replacement.
  11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama. While the Saints’ defense did improve from the worst defense in the NFL in 2015 to No. 29 in 2016, New Orleans still needs help at just about every position. The Saints are especially weak at linebacker, and drafting Foster, an explosive, athletic linebacker, would give the unit a much-needed boost.
  12. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia): Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson. The Browns need a quarterback. And while Hue Jackson is reportedly enamored with Trubisky, its doubtful he’d be available here and instead, the Browns select Watson. While there are some questions about his accuracy and how he’ll transition to the NFL, Watson has proved himself in big games, and has the tools to succeed at the next level.
  13. Arizona Cardinals: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan. Arizona’s offense took a major step back last season, with Carson Palmer and the Cardinals’ pass offense finishing the season ranked No. 27 in the NFL. And with Michael Floyd cut and Larry Fitzgerald nearing retirement, Arizona needs to find Palmer another target a la Davis.
  14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama. If the 2017 season began today, Jalen Mills and Ron Brooks would be the Eagles starting corners. That’s less than ideal and it’s a good bet that Philadelphia addresses the position in the draft. Humphrey would give the Eagles a physical corner, and allow them to move one of Mills or Brooks into more of a slot or backup role.
  15. Indianapolis Colts: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee. Indianapolis’ defense really struggled last season, ranking No. 27 against the pass and No. 32 against the run. The Colts needs to add talent and there’s no better way to do so then adding a pass rusher like Barnett, who lit up the stat sheet at Tennessee with 32.0 career sacks and 52.0 tackles for a loss.
  16. Baltimore Ravens: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan. The Ravens’ pass rush was among the worst in the NFL last season, generating just 31.0 sacks. And with Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil aging, adding a pass rusher is a must. Charlton, who had 15.5 sacks and 22.0 tackles for a loss over his past two seasons at Michigan, would give the Ravens a young, 6’6” 277 lbs. rusher off the edge.
  17. Washington Redskins: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State. Depending on how Kirk Cousins’ contract situation shakes out, this pick could easily be a quarterback. But if not, the Redskins must improve a defense that ranked No. 27 in the NFL last season. Selecting McDowell would give the Redskins a versatile defensive lineman to upgrade their front seven.
  18. Tennessee Titans: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson. Rishard Matthews was Marcus Mariota’s top target last season, and while Matthew’s is talented, he’s more suited for a WR2 or slot receiver role. The Titans need a WR1, and drafting Williams, who caught 98 passes for 1,361 yards and 11 TDs this past year with the Tigers, would give them one.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State. After signing DeSean Jackson, the last piece of the Buccaneers offense is at running back where neither Doug Martin or Charles Sims have proved themselves to be the answer. Pairing Cook with his former teammate in Jameis Winston, along with Jackson and Mike Evans, would give Tampa Bay a dynamic offense for years to come.
  20. Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah. Denver’s offensive woes weren’t due to quarterback play, rather it’s inept offensive line which allowed 40 sacks on the season. Upgrading the Broncos’ offensive line starts with the tackle positions and drafting Bolles would give them a major upgrade in front of whomever is under center.
  21. Detroit Lions: Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple. A whole lot of upgrades are needed for a defense that finished last in the NFL last season, and among them, adding a pass rusher to complement DE Ziggy Ansah. Reddick, who had 9.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss with Temple this past season, would not only improve the Lions’ pass rush, but also give their linebacking core a needed upgrade.
  22. Miami Dolphins: Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt. The Dolphins need to improve the front seven of a defense that ranked No. 20 in the NFL last season, and No. 22 against the run. Cunningham, who had 36.0 tackles for a loss over his three-year career at Vanderbilt, would give the Dolphins a major upgrade at OLB.
  23. New York Giants: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama. A Top-10 pick two years ago, OT Ereck Flowers is looking like a bust, and the Giants need to find his replacement and improve an offensive line that struggled, especially in run blocking this past year. Robinson would give the Giants just that and help New York protect Eli Manning over the last few years of his career.
  24. Oakland Raiders: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida. The Raiders’ defense was vastly improved this past year, but still, Oakland ranked in the bottom third of the NFL against the pass. Improving the Raiders’ secondary is a must, and Wilson, a tall, lanky corner, would give Oakland an improved CB2 alongside Sean Smith.
  25. Houston Texans: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame. The Texans haven’t traded for Tony Romo yet, and if they don’t, Houston taking a quarterback is a good bet here. While Bill O’Brien may like Tom Savage, it’s doubtful he’s the QB of the future. Kizer would need time to develop, but he has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
  26. Seattle Seahawks: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky. The Seahawks offensive line was among the worst in football last season, and upgrades are needed just about everywhere. Lamp played tackle in college, and projects as a guard, but either way, selecting the former Hilltopper will help improve an inept Seahawks offensive line.
  27. Kansas City Chiefs: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida. Marcus Peters is one of the best corners in the NFL, but an upgrade is needed opposite him. Tabor had eight interceptions, including three pick-sixes, and 28 passes defended in his three years with the Gators and would slot right in opposite of Peters, giving Kansas City one of the top-corner tandems in the league.
  28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri. Upgrading a lackluster pass rush must be an offseason priority for the Cowboys, who recorded just 36.0 sacks as a team. Harris, who totaled 18.0 sacks and 34.5 tackles for a loss in his three years with Missouri, would be perfect fit, giving the Cowboys a desperately needed edge rusher.
  29. Green Bay Packers: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State. For much of last season, LaDarius Gunter, an undrafted free agent, had to cover opponents’ top receiver with Damarious Randall banged up. And while the Packers did sign Davon House, more help is needed at corner. Conley might not be as talented as his Buckeye counterpart in Marshon Lattimore, but he still projected to be a very good corner at the next level.
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA. A top the Steelers’ depth chart at outside linebacker stands Bud Dupree and James Harrison. While Dupree has excelled, Harrison is 38, and Pittsburgh needs to find his replacement soon. Add in the fact that the Steelers’ pass rush needs some help and selecting McKinley, who totaled 10.0 sacks this past season with UCLA makes perfect sense with this pick.
  31. Atlanta Falcons: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn. Down the stretch in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons really struggled to rush the passer. Dontari Poe was added to shore up the middle, but Atlanta still needs to improve their pass rush, and complement Vic Beasley Jr. with another outside rusher. Lawson, who posted 9.5 sacks this past year with the Tigers, would be a perfect fit.
  32. New Orleans Saints (via New England): TreDavious White, CB, LSU. The Saints pass defense ranked No. 29 in the NFL last season, and help is desperately needed in the secondary. New Orleans already tried to trade for Malcom Butler, and taking a corner would make sense here. White would give New Orleans an upgrade over PJ Williams, slotting alongside Delvin Breaux.

 

 

 

 

 

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