NFL Mock Draft 3.0: The Final Mock

After months of waiting, thousands of Mock Drafts and overspeculation, the 2017 NFL Draft is finally here. To a chorus of boos, Roger Goodell will open the NFL Draft Thursday night in Philadelphia, and over the next three days, 32 teams will select 253 players over seven rounds. Myles Garrett should be a lock for the No. 1 pick, but the Cleveland Browns, being the Browns, are always full of surprises. And after that? Who knows. So here is my 2017 Final Mock Draft:

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

  1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M. There’s no question about it, Myles Garrett is not only the best prospect in the 2017 NFL Draft, he’s also the closest this draft class has too a once-in-a-generation talent. While the Browns need a quarterback, they also need to improve a defense that ranked No. 31 in the NFL last year. The Browns would be foolish to pass on Garrett.
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina. There seems to be a general consensus that the 49ers will pass on a quarterback and instead improve a defense that ranked No. 30 in the NFL last season. However, I’m not buying it. Kyle Shanahan is going to want to find and develop his own quarterback to turn the 49ers around. And in this year’s class, that guy is Trubisky.
  3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, SS, LSU. The Bears’ defense improved in year two under John Fox, but it still has ways to go, finishing No. 24 in the NFL last year. And though they signed SS Quintin Demps, his contract has a potential out after 2017. After Garrett, Adams might be the closest thing to a “sure thing” in this draft class, and would give the Bears’ a hard-hitting strong safety over the top of their defense.
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU. If the Jaguars want to help QB Blake Bortles, improving their rushing attack would be a great start. RBs Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon combined to form the No. 29 rushing offense in the NFL last season. Leonard Fournette would give Jacksonville an immediate upgrade at the position.
  5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State. The Titans’ pass defense ranked No. 26 in the NFL last season, in large part due to poor play from their secondary. Signing CB Logan Ryan and SS Jonathan Cyprien will help, but Tennessee still needs a CB1. Marshon Lattimore, an elite talent, could become a Pro Bowl corner early on in his NFL career, and would give the Titans their CB1.
  6. New York Jets: Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State. The Jets’ secondary was atrocious last season, and led to New York being the second-worst pass defense in the NFL. The Jets’ need help at corner after cutting CB Darrelle Revis, but with Lattimore off the board, they can turn their attention to safety. Hooker would give them a rangy, ball-hawking safety, and start to improve their pass defense.
  7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama. Defensive line isn’t a huge need for the Chargers, but with Malik Hooker off the board, San Diego can take the best player available in Allen. Though his potential shoulder issues are concerning, Allen’s arguably the second or third best prospect in the draft and would give opposing offensive lines all sorts of trouble paired with DE Joey Bosa.
  8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford. McCaffery’s become a hot name in recent weeks, with reports suggesting he won’t fall out of the Top 10. RB Jonathan Stewart just turned 30, and Carolina’s rushing attack ranked No. 22 in the NFL last season. While McCaffery may not be a typical ground and pound rusher, he’d give Cam Newton an incredibly talented and versatile weapon to work with.
  9. Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford. The Bengals’ defense really struggled last season, ranking No. 17 in the NFL. A big reason why was their mediocre pass rush. DE Michael Johnson struggled on the outside and the Bengals totaled just 31 sacks. Cincinnati needs to add a pass rusher, and Thomas, who had 8.0 sacks and 15.0 tackles for a loss in 2016, would give them an upgrade.
  10. Buffalo Bills: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama. The Bills re-signed QB Tyrod Taylor, so the next step is to improve a passing offense that ranked No. 19 in the NFL last season is to add a top-flight receiver or tight end alongside WR Sammy Watkins. Though Howard didn’t have the production at Alabama, has all the makings of an elite tight end and a potential All-Pro in the NFL.
  11. New Orleans Saints: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama. With one of the worst defenses in football for the second-straight year, New Orleans’ needs to add talent at just about every position, from their front seven to the secondary. The Saints are especially weak at linebacker, where Craig Robertson or Manti Te’o is slated to start. Drafting Foster, an explosive, athletic linebacker, would give the unit a boost. And while there are off-field concerns with Foster, he’s too talented to fall that far.
  12. Cleveland Browns: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson. There’s no question about it, the Browns need a franchise quarterback. Brock Osweiler certainly isn’t the answer under center, and it’s doubtful Cody Kessler is either. While Watson might not be the most polished passer, the physical ability and intangibles are there for Hue Jackson to mold into the Browns’ franchise quarterback.
  13. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech. Carson Palmer turns 37 in December, and Arizona needs to find his successor. But more so, Palmer really struggled last season. Palmer was just the 18th-best QB in the NFL per ESPN’s Total QBR and Arizona had the sixth-worst passing offense in the NFL. Mahomes will need time to adjust to the NFL from Texas Tech’s air-raid offense, but with Palmer in the fold, Mahomes can learn from Bruce Arians and step in when Palmer retires.
  14. Philadelphia Eagles: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State. If Christian McCaffery is on the board, there’s no doubt he’ll be the Eagles selection. But if not, the Eagles should improve their secondary. CBs Jalen Mills and Patrick Robinson sit atop the Eagles’ depth chart, and that’s not ideal. Conley’s been moving up draft boards in recently, and would give the Eagles’ an experienced, press-man corner on their depth chart.
  15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple. After finishing the season ranked No. 27 against the pass and No. 32 against the run, the Colts’ defense needs a lot of help. One of the best ways to quickly improve a defense? The pass rush. The Colts signed OLBs Jabaal Sheard and Barkevious Mingo, but neither is the caliber of Reddick, who totaled 9.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss last season at Temple.
  16. Baltimore Ravens: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee. Not only is OLB Terrell Suggs set to turn 35 in October, but the Ravens’ pass rush was also among the worst in the NFL last season. Barnett, who had incredible production at Tennessee, totaling 32.0 sacks and 52.0 tackles for a loss, would give the Ravens’ some desperately needed pass rush at defensive end.
  17. Washington Redskins: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan. Washington must improve a defense that ranked No. 27 in the NFL, No. 24 against the pass and No. 25 against the run. DE Chris Baker left via free agency, leaving a hole at defensive end on an already weak defensive line. Charlton, with his 6’6” 277 lbs. frame, would help replace Baker and improve Washington’s front seven.
  18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan. WR 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 role. The Titans don’t have a WR1 on their roster, capable of stretching defenses and making the big play. Incredibly polished, Corey Davis dominated his competition at WMU, and would give Mariota a big-play target.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State. Neither Doug Martin nor Charles Sims have proved themselves to be the answer at running back for the Buccaneers, combining to form the No. 28 rushing attack in the NFL. Pairing Cook with his former teammate in QB Jameis Winston, along with WRs DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans, would give Tampa Bay a dynamic offense for years to come.
  20. Denver Broncos: Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin. Denver’s offensive woes weren’t due to their quarterback play, rather it’s inept offensive line which ranked in the bottom-half of the NFL in run and pass blocking. Both tackles struggled, and while they signed OT Menelik Watson, that alone isn’t enough. Ramcyzk’s a plug-and-play tackle who could slide right in and protect whoever starts under center.
  21. Detroit Lions: Zach Cunningham, OLB, Vanderbilt. After finishing with the worst defense in the NFL last season, No. 32 against the pass and No. 23 against the run, the Lions need defensive help in the worst way. And with DeAndre Levy cut, the Lions desperately need upgrades at linebacker. Cunningham, who had 125 tackles and 16.5 tackles for a loss this past season at Vanderbilt, would give them boost.
  22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky. With OT Branden Albert’s departure, Laremy Tunsil will slide over to tackle, leaving a hole at guard along the Dolphins’ offensive line. Miami’s offensive line wasn’t that great to begin with, ranking No. 22 in run and pass blocking, and adding a four-year starter in Lamp will do wonders to shore up Miami’s protection in front of QB Ryan Tannehill.
  23. New York Giants: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah. Once a top-10 pick, Ereck Flowers is a bust, having allowed the most pressures among OTs over the past two years. The Giants need to find his replacement and shore up an offensive line that struggled this past year. Bolles, an incredibly athletic tackle, could replace Flowers and help protect Eli Manning over the last few years of his career.
  24. Oakland Raiders: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State. Whether it’s a linebacker or defensive tackle, the Raiders need to bolster their interior of the defense; a defense which ranked No. 21 in the NFL last season. With Oakland cutting NT Dan Williams, the Raiders can draft his replacement in McDowell, an athletic disruptor who can play multiple positions along the defensive line.
  25. Houston Texans: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame. With Tony Romo off to CBS Sports, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden are the Texans’ lone quarterbacks so there’s a good chance Houston takes a quarterback here or later in the draft. Bill O’Brien may like Tom Savage, but it’s doubtful he’s the QB of the future. Kizer will need time to develop, but he has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL.
  26. Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama. With one of the worst offensive lines in football last season, Seattle needs upgrades just about everywhere, but especially at both tackle positions. OT Luke Joeckel, a former first round pick who the Seahawks signed in free agency, probably isn’t the answer. Robinson could protect Russell Wilson’s blindside and is versatile enough to play inside if needed.
  27. Kansas City Chiefs: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida. With 34-year-old ILB Derrick Johnson recovering from a torn Achilles and DT Dontari Poe off to Atlanta, the Chiefs need to shore up the middle of their defense, which ranked No. 24 against the run last year. Davis, an athletic linebacker who can play inside or out, would help improve the Chiefs defense alongside ILB Ramik Wilson, and can replace Johnson if/when he retires.
  28. Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri. Upgrading a lackluster pass rush should be an offseason priority for Dallas, whose defense ranked No. 18 against the pass and recorded just 36.0 sacks. Harris totaled 18.0 sacks in his three seasons with Missouri and would give the Cowboys a desperately needed pass rusher.
  29. Green Bay Packers: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama. The Packers’ secondary had so many issues last season that CB LaDarius Gunter, an undrafted free agent, had to cover Green Bay’s opponents’ top receiver in the playoffs. As a team, Green Bay had the No. 22 pass defense in the NFL and though getting CB Damarious Randall back from injury will help, more is needed at corner. Humphrey is a physical corner who could slide in across from Randall from day one.
  30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA. The Steelers must find a replacement for 38-year-old OLB James Harrison and improve a lackluster pass rush. Bud Dupree has excelled opposite Harrison, but OLB Jarvis Jones was a bust and left in free agency. Selecting McKinley, who totaled 10.0 sacks this past season with UCLA, makes perfect sense.
  31. Atlanta Falcons: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn. Down the stretch in Super Bowl LI, the Falcons struggled to rush the passer. And over the entire season, the Falcons had just the No. 22 defense in the NFL. Atlanta added DT Dontari Poe to shore up the middle, but the Falcons still need to improve their pass rush, complementing Vic Beasley Jr. with another rusher at defensive end. Lawson would be a good fit.
  32. New Orleans Saints: TreDavious White, CB, LSU. After the Saints’ pass defense ranked No. 29 in the NFL last season, New Orleans desperately needs help in their secondary. New Orleans unsuccessfully tried to trade for CB Malcom Butler, so taking White would make sense here and would give New Orleans an upgrade over CB PJ Williams alongside Delvin Breaux.
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